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Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of US-supported neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism.He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network Tele SUR.He also began to get involved in activities outside of the military school, playing baseball and softball with the Criollitos de Venezuela team, progressing with them to the Venezuelan National Baseball Championships.He also wrote poetry, fiction, and drama, and painted, In 1974, he was selected to be a representative in the commemorations for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ayacucho in Peru, the conflict in which Simon Bolívar's lieutenant, Antonio José de Sucre, defeated royalist forces during the Peruvian War of Independence.Someone who didn't have obligations to anyone, who didn't belong to any movement, who was not enrolled in any party, but who knew very well where I was headed.At one point he found a stash of Marxist literature that apparently had belonged to insurgents many years before.Five years after his creation of the ELPV, Chávez went on to form a new secretive cell within the military, the Bolivarian Revolutionary Army-200 (EBR-200), later redesignated the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200).Later, Chávez said that "the Bolivarian movement that was being born did not propose political objectives... Its efforts were directed in the first place to studying the military history of Venezuela as a source of a military doctrine of our own, which up to then didn't exist".
His presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America.
He went on to read these books, which included titles by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong, but his favourite was a work entitled The Times of Ezequiel Zamora, written about the 19th-century federalist general whom Chávez had admired as a child.
At the same time, he was becoming increasingly critical of the corruption in the army and in the civilian government, coming to believe Venezuela's poor were not benefiting from the oil wealth, and began to sympathize with the Red Flag Party and their cause and their violent methods.
Aged seventeen, Chávez studied at the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences in Caracas, following a curriculum known as the Andrés Bello Plan, instituted by a group of progressive, nationalistic military officers.
This new curriculum encouraged students to learn not only military routines and tactics but also a wide variety of other topics, and to do so civilian professors were brought in from other universities to give lectures to the military cadets.