Term used by President Hugo Chávez to describe the political process he has promoted in Venezuela since elected in 1998. The allusion is to the war of continental liberation from the Spanish led by Simón Bolívar in the early nineteenth century. To its critics, the Bolivarian revolution masks Chávez's personal ambitions and an increasingly authoritarian style of government. Those who offer critical support point to the fact that he has still not embarked upon a transformation of domestic modes and patterns of ownership and the Venezuelan elite remains entrenched. To his supporters—in Venezuela and across Latin America—the revolution represents a commitment to popular empowerment and the transformation of conventional politics.
http://www.alternativabolivariana.org/ Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) website (in Spanish).