Hugo Chavez assumed power in Venezuela with a unique opportunity to transform his nation into one in which a small group of wealthy people could no longer assert power into one in which all classes shared in governing the nation. However, his blind ambition for power and egocentric approach to leadership has created a sharp division within the country. In the latest elections, Chavez and his allies won most regional elections, but suffered losses in key areas such as Caracas, the capital. The opposition which consists of several parties increased its power base from two to five states including the populous and economically important Carabobo,Zulia, and Miranda. It not only captured the city hall of Caracas but also won a majority in some major slum areas.
Chavez insists the election is a mandate for socialism even though a significant portion of the population opposes that move. As one who believes in socialist principles, it is important in moving toward a socialist society to work with all segments of the population. Chavez has lost confidence of many young people including college students. Perhaps, it is time for a step back and a focus on developing and protecting democratic principles.