Patterns of electoral support in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela
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Recent surveys have found that Afro-Venezuelans vote disproportionately for Hugo Chávez as President. This paper seeks to explain why Chávez has received significant support from non-white voters. I argue that this support is not only due to his mixed racial background, but more importantly due to the tangible benefits from the Chávez regime in the form of policies directed specifically at redressing racial discrimination and class inequalities. These policies include legislation against racial discrimination, educational reform, the mass enfranchisement of Afro-Venezuelan voters, and the recruitment of Afro-Venezuelan political leaders within the Chávez administration.