Hugo Chavez’s democratic election as President of Venezuela in 1999, and his subsequent declaration of a journey towards “Socialism of the 21st Century” has established Venezuela at the head of a left-ist, popular wave sweeping through Latin America.

However in the mainstream media in the North, lopsided attention is focussed on the undemocratic aspects of the changes, and the loss of privilege of a largely white upper class; rather than the many progressive polices that have dramatically improved the economic, health and education well-being of a previously ignored poor and working majority.

In 2008, I visited Venezuela to see for myself some of the changes in the country – link to my stories and photos from this visit on this page.