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Carroll book looks at Hugo Chávez: The lord of misrule

Rory Carroll’s clinical assessment of Hugo Chávez’s legacy is both an indictment of the comandante and a love letter to Venezuela

In January 1999, shortly after Hugo Chávez  was elected Venezuela’s president, he met Gabriel García Márquez. The encounter with Chávez left the Colombian writer intrigued. In an article published shortly after their meeting, García Márquez wrote that, in Chávez, he met two men. One was a man who might just save his country; the other “an illusionist, who could pass into the history books as just another despot”.García Márquez’s prescient assessment of Chávez informs much of Rory Carroll’s book, Comandante: Inside Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. Carroll spent six years in Caracas as The Guardian’s chief Latin America correspondent. He arrived in Venezuela in 2006, shortly after Chávez declared the

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