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An American Hugo Chávez? Investigating The Comparisons Between Donald Trump And Latin American Populists, Charlotte Blair Harris Jan 2018

An American Hugo Chávez? Investigating The Comparisons Between Donald Trump And Latin American Populists, Charlotte Blair Harris

Honors Theses and Capstones

Following the 2016 presidential election of populist outsider Donald Trump, several think pieces throughout the popular press conjectured a comparison between Trump and former Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Citing their populist rhetoric, brash and coarse sense of humor, and shared propensity for fiery tirades against the press, these articles made foreboding predictions about the status of American democracy. However, these short and sometimes anecdotally-based opinion pieces failed to acknowledge several important differences between Trump and Latin American populists like Chávez. This paper will address this gap in understanding by evaluating the comparison from an academic perspective. Through in-depth case studies ...