The “Chávez effect”, which started when Hugo Chávez was elected as Venezuelan president in 1998, has made waves across the continent, with the “pink tide” now lapping as far as Mexico to the north and Brazil to the south. The effect is twofold: first, Mr Chávez has been a key player in establishing a network of leftist politicians in the region who can give each other moral and economic support and, second, his use of Venezuela’s oil has caused his fellow leaders to examine how they can shift control of their own natural resources from private to public ownership. Full Story
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