The parties that were in power before the election of Chavez to the presidency included National Convergence Party led by Rafael Caldera. Caldera pardoned Chavez after he was elected the Venezuelan president in 1994. Chavez popularity rose during the 1998 campaigns despite getting negative media coverage because the rich owned the press and he was vocally against them.

Wilpert (2007) notes, “He won the vote with support from nearly all classes of society, but especially from the disenchanted middle class, which had been slowly slipping into poverty for the previous 20 years, and from the country’s poor” (p. 18). Chavez won the vote partially because the working class did not turn up in large numbers to vote.

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