The Unpredictable Fashions of Hugo Chávez

Venezuelas President Hugo Chavez (L) attends a friendly softball game against the Enmienda Si Va team at Fuerte Tiuna military bases field in Caracas, January 31, 2009. © Reuters

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (L) attends a friendly softball game against the “Enmienda Si Va” team at Fuerte Tiuna military base’s field in Caracas, January 31, 2009. © Reuters

Hugo Chávez, the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is one of the most charismatic leaders of our time. He lead a failed coup in 1992, got elected in a 1998 landslide, was forced out of office for 48 hours in 2002, endured huge opposition pressure, street protests and a prolonged general strike in the two following years, emerged victorious from a referendum on his rule in 2004, won a third term in 2006, suffered his first electoral defeat in 2007 (when voters in a referendum narrowly rejected proposals to extend his powers and accelerate his socialist revolution) but had his presidential term limits abolished in a February 2009 referendum, clearing the way for a (lifetime?) re-election in 2012.

Chávez is famous for his populist, oil-fuelled kind of “new socialism” – only made possible because Venezuela’s oil reserves generate about 80 percent of the country’s total export revenue, contribute to half of the central government’s income and are responsible for about one-third of the country’s gross domestic product. He is the subject of both adulation and loathing among his divided electorate; while delighting the poor Venezuelan masses for the last 10 years with popular subsidies and massive street rallies, Chávez has been alienating and infuriating the powerful business, cultural and media elite by promoting industry nationalizations, restricting freedom of press and addressing the country in rambling, dogmatic speeches on his own TV show, “Aló Presidente.”

Chávez is often under the world news spotlight not so much for his Cuban-style authoritarian government or South American socialist coalitions, but largely for his controversial courting of other “charismatic” leaders (such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Libya’s Mouammar Kadafi), famous admirers (which include actor Sean Penn and model Naomi Campbell) or his frequent “big-mouth” incidents – the most famous being his row with the King of Spain in 2007.

As observed in news photographs (from Reuters, AP Photo and Getty Images) of the past 9 months, this larger-than-life world leader does all these things in one of three choices of attire: military uniform, suit or shirt/t-shirt combo.

Hugo Chavez and his counterparts Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil talk during the group photo session at a summit of leaders from Latin American and Caribbean nations, in the Costa do Sauipe resort December 17, 2008. © Reuters

Hugo Chavez and his counterparts Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil talk during the group photo session at a summit of leaders from Latin American and Caribbean nations, in the Costa do Sauipe resort December 17, 2008. © Reuters

Chávez’s most-worn outfit, an olive-colored uniform, evokes his military officer background and conduct. Even when paired down to a light cotton jacket over a (at-all-times) red T-shirt, the military ensemble (often complemented by a red paratrooper beret) truly matches his bellicose nature, which often clashes with the also informal, but civilian fashions of his ruling counterparts.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 8, 2009. © Reuters

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 8, 2009. © Reuters

The suit and (at all times) red tie is the official dress of Chávez, the President. His suits, mostly navy in color, are remarkably well tailored from fine fabrics and fit him rather well. Only worn on official occasions, a suit is surely not Chávez’s first choice in clothes. He does however prove to surround himself sartorially well and lives up to “First World” expectations and demands – even if his way of speaking, facial expressions and body language can be as unpredictable and inappropriate in cashmere as in olive drabs.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrives at his closing campaign rally ahead Sundays Referendum in Caracas, February 12, 2008. © Reuters

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrives at his closing campaign rally ahead Sunday’s Referendum in Caracas, February 12, 2008. © Reuters

Lastly, the untucked, plain (not at all times though) red shirt over red t-shirt is Chávez’s civilian, relaxed, tropical wear. The usual choice for his weekly TV show and street rallies, this combo clearly states the “man of the people, not man of the military” persona Chávez has progressively put forward during his hot-blooded, volatile political career, in order to win confidence from his electorate and assure his people he will not drive the regime into military chaos.

Worn virtually indiscriminately, these three clothing options seem to fit both the man and his buffoon lifestyle and attitude. From head of state summits to party rallies, TV appearances to treaty signings, Chávez can get away with wearing anything he wants, because no one really takes him – or his steadfast adherence to the color red, an iconic reminder of his demagogic, pseudo-revolutionary socialism – too seriously anyway. As with most of Chávez’ statements and policies, his clothing choices also reveal his tragic-comic character. Like the man himself, they are something we are amused by, but unfortunately fail to trust.

Andrea Codrington‘s fourth assignment, titled “Personal Effects”, read: “Whether Hollywood celebrity, Washington pundit or Third World dictator, people who live in the public eye bear carefully conceived and constructed personae that begin—but not necessarily end—with the way they are dressed. Choose one person in the public eye—Hollywood celebrity, Washington pundit, Third World dictator, whatever—and collect at least five images of clothing choices to present in PowerPoint. Write a 500-word essay decoding their personae and how the clothes they wear add to—or, in some instances, detract from—the construction of their image. Paul Lukas was the guest critic for this assignment.


  1. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this fantastic blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

    Also visit my web page; Doom Hack Download –,

  2. Really loving the web site, arrived right here for a World of Warships cheat.

    Feel free to visit my website – Best Doom Hack

  3. It is mostly employed to combat flying insects like mosquitoes, midges, flies and wasps.

    Feel free to surf to my site: ?? ???? ???? ???????

  4. “I used to be recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not certain whether this submit is written via him as no one else know such specific approximately my problem. You are amazing! Thank you!”

  5. Ent_create tank_boss, spawns a Tank from Mann Vs. Machine.
    On Payload maps, the tank will make an effort to follow the cart’s course.
    In the event that tank touches the cart, it’ll explode and drop money.
    On other maps, it moves towards a func_door entity.

  6. It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this post
    as well as from our argument made at this time.

  7. Very informative article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  8. Operating out of lives is an important limitation that will turn such a fascinating
    game into a boring fete.

  9. Thank you for your blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  10. As of this website, gamers will discover helpful information on the
    agario cheats that was simply created recently.

  11. Hey very interesting blog!

    Review my website; MaurineZZhou

  12. For its part, the robot grab a structure immediately
    in which its fundamental attribute is to be a multi-player kind shown, because currently
    you go into the world map of the game, users are also trying to match the goal of feeding from smaller
    dots and thus attain the maximum score.

  13. This might be , an explosively preferred browser-based online game you’ve probably never ever heard of.
    In the event that you did, odds are it absolutely was when Bing introduced the most-searched
    terms of 2015 : ” was in 7th place—behind Ronda
    Rousey” and Paris,” but before Fallout 4.” early in the day this present year, two split political functions in Turkey riffed on the
    game in governmental ads.

  14. The overall game pro has furnished easy steps so people may follow these one-by-one to make use of the cheats.

  15. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  16. You have brought up a very fantastic details, regards for the post.

  17. Coiling for security is not as safe as it appears until you’re quite big,
    but doing this to trap other snakes is one thing it is possible to generally
    accomplish effortlessly once you’re at a size of 2000+.

  18. You can have Clash Royale cheats operating
    on any of the video gaming platform you are
    utilizing. This suggests that you can take pleasure in the online game in any platform utilizing our cheats.

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for
    your site. You have some really good posts and
    I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please shoot me an email if interested. Kudos!

  20. Hi there to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one
    is getting more from this web site, and your views are good designed
    for new people.

  21. I am so grateful for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  22. Looking forward to reading more. Great blog. Much obliged.

  23. I really like and appreciate your article.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  24. Really enjoyed this blog post.Really looking forward to read more.

  25. If some one wishes expert view on the topic of running a blog then i
    propose him/her to pay a quick visit this website,
    Keep up the good work.

    My web site; PPOB terbaik di Indonesia adalah ImperiumPAY

  26. Hello mates, how is all, and what you wish for to say concerning
    this article, in my view its truly amazing in favor of me.

  27. Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

  28. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  29. seo

    Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  30. Simply want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity to your post is
    simply nice and that i can suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject.
    Well along with your permission allow me to seize your feed to keep
    updated with impending post. Thanks 1,000,000 and
    please carry on the enjoyable work.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site: garcinia cambogia best brand [Lashay]

  31. I always spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s posts
    every day along with a cup of coffee.

    Here is my web-site :: extract helps make (Delores)

  32. Another source linked in article: Thought this was If it has already been shared in the past, I

  33. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

    Too cool!

  34. I visited several blogs but the audio feature for audio songs current at this web page is truly marvelous.

    Also visit my homepage: garcinia cambogia for sale – Mallory,

  35. So he made the choice to recuperate his
    sex life.

    My homepage Tribe & Fable – Reda

  36. The paracord bracelet may be very sturdy and available
    in numerous sizes in addition to different colour schemes and patterns.

    Here is my weblog – Danon Jewellery [Senaida]

  37. Thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  38. “I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ???‰ Cheers!”

  39. jzybxv I’??ve read a few just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you place to create such a great informative site.

  40. I see you don’t monetize your website, i know how to make good passive income using one simple method, just search in gogle for; Coisin’s tricks

  41. I see you don’t monetize your blog, i know how to earn some extra cash and get more
    visitors using one simple method, just search in google for; How to monetize a blog Twardziel advices

  42. 9OSPd8 Major thankies for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  43. “I simply could not go away your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual provide for your visitors? Is going to be back regularly in order to check up on new posts”

  44. It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Spot on with this write-up, I actually feel this site needs a great
    deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see
    more, thanks for the information!

    My web page: Clickfunnels Review

  46. I got what you mean ,saved to bookmarks, very nice website .

  47. There is noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made sure good factors in options also.

  48. Check out this awesome amazon sellers app-

  49. I have read so many articles regarding the blogger lovers but this post is genuinely a pleasant paragraph, keep
    it up.

  50. I discovered your weblog website on google and check a couple of of your early posts. Continue to keep up the superb operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to studying extra from you later on!…

Leave a Reply