Constituting the Venezuelan Pueblo: The Rhetoric of President Hugo R. Chávez
Marianallet Mendez, Institute for Writing Studies, Institute for Core Studies
The purpose of this project is to analyze the constitutive character of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez’s oratory. This paper argues that Chávez has maintained and enhanced his political powers by developing a sense of identification with his target audience that is based on focusing his oratory on five specific themes, and on offering to people, via the mass media, a participatory platform to communicate with him and to experience what his revolution is all about.
This paper concludes that Chávez’s oratory is an example of constitutive rhetoric and of the power of it to sustain political power. Through his discourse Chávez is able to transform a politically apathetic audience and disunified country into a people so attached to him and to his ideology that they re-elected him president of the country, fought against allowing a coup d’etat to happen, and continue to maintain him in power despite the country’s high poverty and unemployment rates that affect most of them.