There is no doubt that the reduction of poverty has been a transcendent human rights issue during the Chávez government’s thirteen-year administration. The government has consistently used a discourse that highlights poverty and champions those stigmatized by it. Symbolically, all of the government’s policies center on constructing a dignified life for those most in need.
Evidence suggests this is more than just discourse; many poor people have in fact benefited from the government’s policies. However, this does not mean the poor’s quality of life has improved in Venezuela. Many different factors, a few of which will be analyzed here, indicate that rising above the poverty line does not necessarily imply improved life conditions.