FACT CHECK: Venezuela a ‘Leading Democracy’? Get Real.

On August 11, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro praised his deceased predecessor, Hugo Chavez, tweeting:

“[I]n 1999, with the swearing-in of Commander Chavez, the road to the profound transformation of the Homeland was illuminated. Historic moment for the beginning of the leading democracy that today we continue to deepen together with the people.”

That claim is false. Venezuela has not been a “leading democracy” under Chavez or Maduro, who has continued his predecessor’s autocratic ways.

During his 14 years as president, Hugo Chavez initiated constitutional and political changes in Venezuela, some of which, analysts say, were power grabs that effectively squelched true democracy and made him a de facto dictator.

After Chavez died in 2013, Maduro tightened this grip on power by further narrowing the space for civil rights and liberties. Economic and social turmoil in Venezuela deepened into a “humanitarian crisis,” according to the United Nations, and global think tanks began ranking its political system as “hard autocracy.”

It didn’t start that way.

Chavez, first elected as Venezuelan president in 1998, won four consecutive elections and ruled until his death. During his first inauguration, Chavez pledged to preside over Venezuela’s democratic transformation. Historians praised him for implementing social and economic reforms, among them the inclusion of the impoverished, indigenous peoples and women in politics. He expanded subsidized food distribution programs and affordable housing for low-income families and made health care accessible to most of Venezuelans.

LINK: www.polygraph.info/a/fact-check-venezuela-maduro-chavez/31417033.html

Watch video on channel "VOA News"
Boris Johnson Meets Ukraine’s Zelenskiy on UNGA Sidelines.

Boris Johnson Meets Ukraine’s Zelenskiy on UNGA Sidelines.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in New York on Wednesday. The two leaders held talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier in his address to the assembly, Zelenskiy c...

FACT CHECK: Russia Dangles Mercenaries to Mali, Denies Military Talks.

FACT CHECK: Russia Dangles Mercenaries to Mali, Denies Military Talks.

According to news reports, France and Germany are dismayed that authorities in the West African country of Mali are in talks with the Russian government over deploying mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company. Accordin...

Afghan Evacuees Vaccinated at Fort McCoy

Afghan Evacuees Vaccinated at Fort McCoy

Fort McCoy says 97% of Afghan refugees being temporarily housed at the military base in western Wisconsin have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as well as measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. They released footage from a mass vaccination clinic lat...

La Palma Volcano Leaves Trail of Devastation

La Palma Volcano Leaves Trail of Devastation

A wall of lava up to 12 meters high is bearing down on a Spanish island village following a volcanic eruption. READ MORE: A vast river of molten lava from a Canary Islands volcano was edging toward the sea on Tuesday, destroying everything in its ...

Police Free US Toddler Who Got Head Stuck in Railing.

Police Free US Toddler Who Got Head Stuck in Railing.

Bodycam video of two U.S. officers who freed a little girl who got her head stuck between the metal bars of a balcony railing last month was released by police in Boulder, Colorado. Officers used a heavy battering ram to spread the bars just enoug...