Bloomberg News

Milestones in the Life of Venezuelan President Chavez: Timeline

March 06, 2013

Chavez Freed After Coup Attempt in 1994

Army Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez speaks to reporters after being released from prison in Caracas, on March 26, 1994. Photographer: Bertrand Parres/AFP via Getty Images

The following is a timeline of milestones in the life of Hugo Chavez, who ruled Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. Chavez died at 3:55 p.m. New York time yesterday at a Caracas military hospital. He was 58.

July 28, 1954: Born in Sabaneta in the Venezuelan state of Barinas, one of six children born to Hugo de los Reyes Chavez and Elena Frias.

1975: Graduated from Venezuela’s Military Academy as a sub- lieutenant and with a degree in Military Science and Arts, specializing in Communications.

1982: Forms subversive group Bolivarian Army 200 (EB-200) with other military officers while serving in the national army.

1989: Then-President Carlos Andres Perez’s austerity measures trigger riots during which the army kills hundreds of protesters. The riots become known as the “Caracazo,” a rallying point for Chavez’s political movement.

1989: EB-200 becomes MBR-200, a military-civilian group that would lead a failed February 1992 coup.

1990: Earns rank of lieutenant colonel. Earns a master’s degree in political science from the Simon Bolivar University.

Feb. 1992: Leads military coup against then-President Carlos Andres Perez, which fails and lands him in prison for two years.

Nov. 1992: Another military coup attempt where Chavez played a role fails while he is in jail.

1994: After two years in prison, President Rafael Caldera orders Chavez’s release.

Dec. 6, 1998: Wins election for president over a former Miss Universe with 56 percent of the vote.

Dec. 15, 1999: Venezuelans approve a new constitution proposed by Chavez’s movement.

July 30, 2000: Wins second presidential election with 60 percent of the vote.

April 11-13, 2002: Ousted from power by a military coup for two days, returns to office after international condemnation and supporters demand his return. Apologizes for mistakes and offers to open a dialog with the opposition. Blames the U.S. for supporting the coup.

Dec. 2002: Opposition begins a two-month general strike to demand Chavez step down, paralyzing much of the country’s oil production. Eventually fires more than 18,000 state oil workers.

2003: Installs currency controls and price controls on basic goods.

Aug. 2004: Wins recall referendum sought by opposition.

2004: Starts Alba, a political alliance of Latin American countries, with Venezuela and Cuba as first members.

2006: Speaks at United Nations General Assembly, calling then- U.S. President George W. Bush “the devil.”

Dec. 3, 2006: Wins his third presidential election and second six-year term with 63 percent of the vote.

2007: Nationalizes CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country’s largest phone company, and CA Electricidad de Caracas, then the country’s largest publicly traded power company.

Jan. 10, 2007: Sworn in as president again, declaring in parliament that he will lead Venezuela toward 21st-century socialism and uttering the phrase, “Homeland, Socialism or death!”

May 2007: Revokes opposition television network RCTV’s broadcasting license, provoking opposition street protests.

Dec. 2, 2007: Loses referendum on constitutional amendments that would have eliminated term limits.

Feb. 17, 2009: Wins referendum to amend constitution, eliminating term limits for all public officials.

May 2011: Knee injury sidelines him from a regional tour.

June 2011: Reveals from Cuba that he is being treated for cancer after doctors discovered a malignant tumor in his pelvic region earlier that month.

July 2011: Begins first rounds of chemotherapy to treat cancer.

Feb. 2012: Undergoes third operation for cancer after a second tumor is found.

March, 2012: Announces that doctors removed another cancerous tumor from his pelvic region, adding that the disease hasn’t spread.

March 2012: Receives first radiation therapy sessions.

July 2012: Says he is “totally free” of cancer as presidential campaign kicks off.

Oct. 7, 2012: Wins third six-year term with 55 percent of the vote over former Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Oct. 11, 2012: Names Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro vice president.

Dec. 8, 2012: Returns from a trip to Cuba to say cancer has returned. In a national address flanked by Maduro and national assembly head Diosdado Cabello, Chavez anoints Maduro as his successor if early elections are called.

Dec. 10, 2012: Chavez flies back to Cuba for more treatment. It is the last time he is seen in public.

Dec. 11, 2012: Chavez undergoes a six-hour operation that Maduro says was “complex” and “carried out as planned and with success.”

Dec. 29, 2012: Maduro flies to Cuba to visit Chavez. The following day he says the president has suffered “new complications” as a result of a respiratory infection, without giving more details.

Jan. 10, 2013: Chavez is unable to return to Caracas for a swearing-in ceremony to start his third six-year term. One day earlier, the Supreme Court said the event was a formality and that Chavez remained head of state.

Feb. 15, 2013: The Venezuelan government publishes photos of Chavez propped up in his Havana hospital bed with his daughters, reading the Cuban newspaper Granma. The president was breathing through a tracheal tube, the government said.

Feb. 18, 2013: Chavez returns to Caracas after more than two months in Cuba, traveling immediately to a military hospital. His arrival isn’t broadcast.

March 5, 2013: Chavez dies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Caracas at jorozco8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net


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