In 1998 Venezuelan former president Hugo Chávez had started a wide ranging revolutionary transformation project. The “Bolivarian revolution”, named after Latin American historical figure Simón Bolívar, should pave the way for a socialist future regarding the political, economic, and societal sphere, the so called “Socialism of the 21st Century”. Based on alternative conceptualizations of economic and political development the Chávez government had been trying hard to boost regional cooperation patterns. With the help of ALBA, a regional cooperation organization founded in 2004, special ties have been built up with several neighboring countries among others Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Due to its enormous reserves of oil the Venezuelan government has established a clientelist network within ALBA to foster regional stability, ideational proximity, and legitimacy at home and abroad.