As title says, how is socialism in Latin America generally different from Bolivarian socialism led by Hugo Chavez? I heard that there were many differences, so I wonder if anyone can answer this.
There are three conditions that need to be satisfied for any government that claims to be bolivarian.
The most perfect system of government is the one that produces the greatest possible happiness, the greatest degree of social safety, and the greatest political stability. (Simon Bolivar, Angostura Congress, 1819)
Based on the that ideal, any left-wing government that satisfies those three conditions could be bolivarian.
Beside that, there is no other connection between the ideal proposed by Bolivar, and the claim that the regimen led by Chavez could be a bolivarian socialism.
The reason for Chavez to brand his socialism as bolivarian was, IMHO, that just socialism won't do, since in Venezuela socialism seems to have bad reputation, due to the affinity with cubans living in Venezuela and the US.