tv BBC World News America PBS March 5, 2013 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
has died. >> this has been building for a long time. there have been a lot of speculation, people waiting and watching. we have not seen or heard of him for three months. this is not a surprise. the government has been preparing for it. the opposition has been preparing for its. a lot of venezuelan people have tremendous loyalty to him. >> he was dearly loved by segment of this population. >> clearly. he had a big following in connecting with people in an unemotional and sentimental well. oil prices would from $10 to over $100. he was giving out a lot of things. he made it clear that he was caring about the poor and the marginalized. >> he was a very polarizing figure. he met him before he became president. what was he like?
>> very charming. very seductive appeared he made you feel like you were important. he was a great communicator. he was somebody that also had a tremendous appetite for power and concentrated in his own hands. there was no constraint on his authority, on his power. that led to real problems in the country. he really thought he knew best for everybody and expressed the general will for the people. that left little room for others who wanted to challenge him. >> during the course of his illness, there has been wishful thinking here in washington that the end of hugo chávez would mean the end of the chavez regime. does it? >> i do not think so. it becomes strengthened in the short term. his death gives a lot to support. the people who have been loyal to him for so long will come together.
the need to come together. a lot of people have benefited from 14 years of his role. the question is what happens over the medium and longer term when the economic crisis deepens. people do not have access to goods. inflation goes up higher. i think his charisma may become a little weaker. >> does it give a chance to the opposition to mount an effective campaign against maduro? >> they can but they have to be patient. they had a very tough time to win these elections. they have to build the future. they have been doing this for 14 years. they are frustrated. it is understandable. the real challenge is to try to keep focused on a strategy, come up with new leadership, and try to challenge the regime. >> is maduro an effective
successor? >> i just think he can match the charisma. there are going to be a lot to people unhappy. given the option, he is probably the best choice. he was a union leader and president of the congress. he was a foreign minister. he probably makes more sense than any of the other options. >> thank you very much for being with me on the studio on this important day in venezuelan politics. let's get more on the life of hugo chávez. james robins has this look back. >> hugo chávez saw himself as a revolutionary leader. he was a hero to many of the venezuelas poorest people but a villain to opposition parties. they hated the friends he kept in the abuses of power they accused him of. this is how he originally burst onto the world stage. in 1992, he led a military coup,
trying and failing to grab power after decades of a moral -- more or less corrupt rule. he was released after two years in jail. he built his popularity by denouncing the rottenness he wanted to replace. >> with these people you have to take everything they have stolen away from him. put them in a cell. turn them into public disgrace. that is necessary for venezuela's more a recovery. >> the soldier transform himself into a radical politician. elected president in 1998, he transformed the politics and presidential dread. supporters were ecstatic. key industries worked steadily nationalized including oil, and the source of the country's wealth. he used the money largely to fund a massive health and
welfare programs. many workers were dismayed. in 2002, the whole country was embroiled in a general strike. hugo chávez was pushed from office. two days later, after his supporters took to the streets, president chavez was back. abouts very deliberate his choice of friends. it made him enemies around the world. his reliance on cuba's fidel castro appalled those on the right. the alliance with ahmadinejad in flames washington. it used the u.n. stayed to result president george w. bush. >> today the devil came here. right here. >> it smells of sulfur still today.
>> in venezuela itself, i hugo chávez's unique style divided the country. as part of his regular tv show he paraded his socialism, something he stressed, talking to the bbc in 2010. >> is a possible to have genuine democracy and respect for the rule of law with in your socialism? >> the only way to save the world is through socialism. the socialism that exists within a democracy. there is no dictatorship. i was elected three times. when the rich three out in a coup, the people brought me back to power. >> he also presided over the slide into recession. despite the country's great oil wealth and a soaring growth in the rest of south america. paying huge subsidies to provide important food at low prices could not be sustained. uncontrolled violent crime marked another failure. support for opposition parties
had grown. before he fell ill, he was flown to cuba, he is visited by his political hero, fidel castro. despite his illness, and he was reelected to a six year term in october 2012. who is unable to attend his own inauguration in january. in spite of protests, the supreme court approved an indefinite delay. how will hugo chávez be remembered that a true member of the poor or a radical turned autocrat? if pulverize a nation between those who contend hugo chávez as a record and those who hailed him as a rescue work. >> a larger than life controversial figure hugo chávez who ruled venezuela for years. how has the news of his death been received in venezuela at? a few moments ago i caught up with the bbc. >> all we know is that the
president-8 about an hour ago it -- died an hour ago. this is all we know. we know the government officials met up with vice president maduro. he had a very long televised address to the nation. this was over 2.5 hours ago. during that time he was still sending out that the president hugo chavez was stable. this is all we know so far. >> the signed% the course of the day had been his health had deteriorated quite significantly. then we had this curious comment from vice president maduro earlier in the day that this was some sort of attack or plot against venezuela, and the expulsion of american diplomats. what more can you tell us about that?
>> last night we have the first announcement of the deterioration of mr. chavez. later we heard today during the day that vice president maduro was blaming the foreigners for giving bad energy to the president and for inoculating him with cancer. this is a something we have heard before. president chavez said in the past that not only him but other latin american leaders have been victims of the evil powers of the west as he calls them. >> what can you tell us about the reaction would seem like andthere comingra in? on what can you tell us? >> i think the reaction will be different. just in the area where i am there is a lot of anti-chavez
sentiment. i have been seeing cars and noises. there were a few fireworks as a sign of celebration. for many this will be a huge moment of morning. already there were people lining up in the chapel and the hospital where the president was still there. people were crying and praying for the help of the president. >> it seems that in venezuela earlier that he really was a polarizing figure. people will either be glad that he has died or they will be very sad that he has died. there's not very much in between. >> that is right. the country is very polarized about hugo chávez. there are a lot of people he
changed. i was looking to the woman that had tears in her eyes. she said her life had changed. what is for sure is that the size of the comparison to him being a dictator what is for sure is that he is going to be remembered as a changing figures here in the country. >> we can still see pictures that does come m from c 00 than just coming in from -- we can still see pictures that are just coming in from caracas we know this announcement was made by the vice president. what do people make up vice- president maduro? >> maduro was not the most popular of people. then mr. chavez appointed him as
his successor. in polls are round october, he only received about 4%. this was during the election. pollsters were trying to figure out whether there were other candidates between mr. chavez and his party. maduro was that the most popular one. just before mr. chavez left for cancer surgery in cuba, mr. chavez appointed him. did that seem to give him enough popularity. for now people think that mr. chavez picked him for a reason. today's press conference will decide maduro's attempt that he is capable of holding unity. there have been rumors of infighting between chavez's
party without the presence of mr. chavez. conference was definitely a sign of trying to silence those rumors and trying to show to people that he is the new leader. he can be the new leader. he can hold all the differences together. if he can, we will see it that is possible. >> what is the speculation about what happens in venezuela now? is the assumption that mr. maduro takes over and that he wins the election that we will be called? >> elections have to be called. they will be taking place within 30 days. if mr. maduro is seen as mr.
chavez's successor, which is very likely, it will happen at this point. the likelihood of him being elected is very high. in october he won over 11. -- 11 points over the new candidates. these the be the ones to run again. >> a very divided reaction. she was talking about those in caracas you are sad and those on the opposition you hope it can be an opportunity. let's look at how venezuela learned the news of president chavez's death. >> at 4:25 p.m. today on the
fifth of march, hugo chávez has died. after struggling with his illness for almost two years, with the love of the people, with the blessings of the people, and the loyalty of his comrades, and love of his family, his father, his brother, his sisters, his daughters, his grandchildren and all our people. we in for me of our pain and solidarity. -- inform you of our pain and solidarity. the police are preparing to protect and a company our people. and to guarantee the peace. respect and peace have to go hand in hand in this immense pain and historical tragedy in which our country is going through. >> a venezuela's vice president nicolas a maduro they're announcing the death of the president hugo chávez. -- nicolas mindoro there announcing the death of
president hugo chávez. you have steadied him four more years than i can possibly imagine. he had written a book about him. he has been the subject of your dissertation. >> absolutely. we just had the reports. it would be really sad. they would be shot. i think if you go back to the country that chavez inherited when he was elected, chavez was elected after many years of a failed regime that left the country broken and with a lot of corruption and very little legitimacy in terms of politics and a lot of the population was out of politics. they did not believe in politics. chavez did bring a lot of the poor people into politics. they felt like coming out to vote. they felt like participating. the ways that chavez dead were
very controversy will. sometimes he talked about militia or organizing the population from a very centrist point of view. this is what people will be looking at. >> thank you very much for coming in. shannon o'neill is from the council on foreign relations. she joins me now down the line. what an incredibly polarizing pictures hugo chávez was with in is on country. what changes now between american and venezuela? >> that is the big question. you saw today in the speech by the vice-president quite potent and forceful language against the united states.
they even accused the united states of causing hugo chávez's cancer. you cannot even see what this new vice president is a parent, a real change in the tension. >> there has been sub speculation -- some speculation that he had cancer. when he goes there could be the prospect of political change. is there any chance you think for that to happen? >> if you look at what is planned to happen in venezuela, hatzel elections within 30 days. the next two weeks will have a funeral and a lot of bad language or chavez. we also saw his party when across the board except for one governorship bac in december. the answer is that they will win this election that comes up for the presidency. that does not mean the relationship between the united states and venezuela cannot
change in the longer term. this next president will have the challenges ahead, holding together the political coalition that hugo chávez built, dealing on the economic fallout on tough times of the to be ahead. there will be a possibility for change in relations between the two nations but more in the medium to long term. >> it should go -- if hugo chávez and not have high oil prices, do you think he would have managed to stay been president of venezuela for so long at? in oil prices come down and madeira faces an economic problem, could we see a change -- and mindoro faces an economic problem, could we see a change? >> in gate chavez a huge program he would not have had otherwise. not only used the oil money, pouring it into social programs but he also took on a lot of debt.
he borrowed against future oil revenues in order to pump up what he was putting into the economy. if we look forward to the next president, we could see oil prices decline. we're also not going to see the other money coming in, the bonds and other things the government built up over time. you're not going to see that coming into the economy. you're going to have someone that the widespread experience. nor will you have the sheer amount of money with the millions of dollars pouring into the economy. >> thank you very much. let's go now to keep up. it is there that hugo chávez went 2 for his operations for cancer. what has the reaction been in the van into the news coming out of hugo chávez? annah on the news
that is coming out of hugo chávez? >> it is been quite clear their close ties between the two countries. especially publicly. the hugo chávez is seen as a protege of fidel castro. very close politically and personally. hugo chávez came here in 1994 and met fidel castro then. they have been extremely close. fidel castro spoke to hugo chávez and many times while he was in hospital. he visited hugo chávez as well while he was in the hospital. politically the countries are very closely tied. there was criticism in venezuela. events in the politics were being carried out here in cuba. leaders of the country word here looking at a cabinet meeting near with the cuban leadership. close ties.
on an emotional and personal level, many people here say hugo chávez as a very important figure in the region. yet they see him rather like fidel castro, a man who stood up for america and is representing the socialist left here in this region. there will be a good degree of sadness in cuba as well amongst the supporters. i passed the venezuelan embassy. the flap has already been lowered to half mast. i am not sure that the word has spread to the wider population. >> sarah there with the reaction for us. that is where hugo chavez had gone to his treatment for cancer. but recap before we go up our main news. venezuelas president hugo chávez has died at the age of 58. this has been announced by his vice president nicolas maduro.
in the military said they will remain loyal to the vice president and to parliament. they have urged people to remain calm. we have seen pictures from caracas where everyone is very divided. there are those that are very sad. those in the opposition would like to see this as an opportunity for change in venezuela. a quick recap. this will oppose the president has died. this is bbc "world news america." thank you for watching. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, fidelity investments, union bank, and zte -- bringing you closer. >> your personal economy is made up of things that matter
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