Under the presidency of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela showed clear intentions to play a decisive role in shaping its neighborhood and can thus be understood as an “Authoritarian Gravity Centre,” defined as a regional player with the material and immaterial capacity and willingness to influence its geopolitical proximity. It disseminated authoritarian institutional patterns, policies, practices, ideas, and norms. In contrast to other studies, two theoretical explanations for this influence are taken into account: autocratic promotion and autocratic diffusion. Hence, this article examines whether and to what extent these mechanisms were relevant for the dissemination of autocratic elements in Latin America. The qualitative analysis provides empirical evidence that, first, Venezuela under Chávez (1998–2013) did indeed exert influence on Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua in different institutional, policy, ideational, and administrative realms. Second, it presents findings on the mechanisms through which Venezuela unfolded its influence, namely, intentional, actor-driven forms of autocracy promotion, as well as unintentional and passive forms of autocracy diffusion. The analysis points out the relevance of regional contexts, and especially of regional protagonists like Venezuela (authoritarian gravity centres) for authoritarian clustering.