President: Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.
Came to power: Elected in 1998, re-elected in 2000 and in 2006 with 63% of the vote. Overcame coup attempt in 2002 and recall attempt in 2004.
|•||Social “missions” for literacy, health care, treatment for addicts, and job training address poverty and exclusion.|
|•||Initiated rewrite of constitution.|
|•||Major moves towards regional integration through ALBA and Bancosur.|
|•||Economy is mixed: some enterprises are state-owned, some remain private; cooperatives are encouraged.|
|•||Proposed gas pipeline to Brazil, and later to Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay, would cut through rainforest and indigenenous lands.|
|•||57% satisfied with Venezuela's democracy*|
|•||Approval rating for Chávez government: 65%*|