There was considerable speculation that when democracy came to countries characterized by high inequality and poverty, voters would choose leaders who would bring about a more equitable distribution of educational and income opportunities. In 1961 a constitution based on representative democracy was created; it stayed in effect until the 1999 constitution enacted early in the Chavez presidency. Hugo Chavez, the son of schoolteachers, admired Fidel Castro and believed the Cuban revolution brought major benefits to Cuba's people. In 1998, however, the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela launched a new effort to bring revolutionary change through democracy. Accion Democratica President Carlos Andres Perez nationalized oil operations in 1976 and created the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, Sociedad Anonima. During his first term, 1974–1979, Perez displayed a leftist orientation by criticizing US policies and sending aid to Sandinista revolutionaries trying to overthrow the pro-US Nicaraguan dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.