In 1999, newly-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez initiated a far-reaching social movement as part of a political project known as the Bolivarian Revolution. Inspired by the democratic ideologies of Simón Bolívar, this movement was committed to reducing intractable inequalities that defined Venezuela's Fourth Republic (1958-1998). Given the ambitious scope of these reforms, Venezuela serves as an instructive example to understand the political context of social inequalities and population health. In this article, we provide a brief overview of the impact of egalitarian policies in Venezuela, stressing: (a) the socialist reforms and social class changes initiated by the Bolivarian Movement; (b) the impact of these reforms and changes on poverty and social determinants of health; (c) the sustainability of economic growth to continue pro-poor policies; and (d) the implications of egalitarian policies for other Latin American countries. The significance and implications of Chávez's achievements are now further underscored given his recent passing, leading one to ask whether political support for Bolivarianism will continue without its revolutionary leader.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy