Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena (born 18 October 1959) is the President of El Salvador. He won the 2009 presidential election as the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo MartĂ National Liberation Front (FMLN) political party and took office on 1 June 2009.
Political Career. Funes was nominated to be the FMLN candidate on 28 September 2007 and competed against the Nationalist Republican Alliance's candidate Rodrigo Ă vila, a former deputy director of the National Police. Funes won the 2009 presidential election with 51.32% of the popular vote, thus winning election in a single round. He is the country's second left-leaning president (the first being Arturo Araujo, as well as the first FMLN party leader not to have fought in the Salvadoran civil war.) Since coming to power, Funes' administration has implemented a wide range of social reforms designed to combat poverty and inequality, including the institution of various poverty alleviation programs in the most impoverished communities, the abolition of public health care fees, the introduction of free shoes, meals and uniforms for schoolchildren, the distribution of property titles to hundreds of families, the introduction of monthly stipends and job training for those living in extreme poverty, and pensions for the elderly. In addition, investments have been made in improving school infrastructure, a presidential decree has been made against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation in the public services, two working groups on indigenous affairs have been created as a means of bringing about better representation of the interests of El Salvadorâ€™s indigenous communities, a community health
plan has been introduced, improvements have been made in teacherâ€™s salaries, and measures have been introduced to combat illiteracy. Funes has been criticized for lack of a plan to fight El Salvadorâ€™s increased crime in El Salvador. Since taking office in June 2009, criminal statistics on homicides, robbery and extortion have increased, and as of February 2010, 13 persons were murdered daily. In response, the President has ordered the deployment of the army to cooperate with police authorities in their fight against crime. More recently, there have been reports of newly formed Death Squads operating in El Salvador, due in part to a lack of response of the police.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was a Venezuelan politician who was the President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which he led until 2012. Under the new constitution, it was legally required that new elections be held in order to relegitimize the government and president. This presidential election in July 2000 would be a part of a greater "mega election", the first time in the country's history that the president, governors, national and regional congressmen, mayors and councilmen would be voted for on the same day. For the position of president, Chávez's closest challenger proved to be his former friend and coconspirator in the 1992 coup, Francisco Arias Cárdenas, who since becoming governor of Zulia state had turned towards the political center and begun to denounce Chávez as autocratic. Although some of his supporters feared that he had alienated those in the middle class and the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy who had formerly supported him, Chávez was re-elected with 59.76% of the vote (the equivalent of 3,757,000 people), a larger majority than his 1998 electoral victory, again primarily receiving his support from the poorer sectors of Venezuelan society. That year, Chávez helped to further cement his geopolitical and ideological ties with the Cuban government of Fidel Castro by signing an agreement under which Venezuela would supply Cuba
with 53,000 barrels of oil per day at preferential rates, in return receiving 20,000 trained Cuban medics and educators. In the ensuing decade, this would be increased to 90,000 barrels a day (in exchange for 40,000 Cuban medics and teachers); dramatically aiding the Caribbean island's economy and standard of living after its "Special Period" of the 1990s. In the presidential election of December 2006, which saw a 74% voter turnout, Chรกvez was once more elected, this time with 63% of the vote, beating his closest challenger Manuel Rosales, who conceded his loss.The election was certified as being free and legitimate by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Carter Center. After this victory, Chรกvez promised an "expansion of the revolution.