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Venezuela

Yearbook 1998

Venezuela. According to Countryaah, military officer Hugo Chávez, candidate for Polo Patriótico, a left-wing alliance with the Movement of Movimiento V República (MVR), won the presidential election on December 6 after leading the polls since March. Chávez, who staged a coup attempt in 1992 and is very unpopular among businessmen and office colleagues, said he would like to continue the previous government's policies broadly, even though he advocated increased investment in social reforms, financed through improved tax burdens.

Chávez's victory was favored by an increasingly bleak economic scenario that seemed to confirm his designation of the "mono-product economy" as the root of Venezuela's social problems. Oil, the country's traditionally leading export commodity, accounts for 80% of export revenue, 24% of GDP and 50% of government revenue. The constantly falling oil prices thus shattered the government's plans for 1998, forcing it to gradually lower its economic targets. On the other hand, the minimum wage was increased by 33% on May 1, which led to redundancies and increased unemployment.

The election also marked a continued distrust and erosion of the traditional bipartisan system with Acción Democrática (AD) and the Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente (COPEI), which dominated Venezuela since 1958. The main candidates stood as independent, although some of the candidates those during the course of the election movement allied themselves with the established parties.

1998 Venezuela

2002. United States, Citizenship and Foreign Oil Companies Retire President

At the beginning of 2002, the President announced a series of steps to stimulate the economy, including land reform that gives the state the right to expropriate land; in addition, a reform of the oil legislation that puts taxes on taxes that companies that utilize state oil sources must pay.

Chávez took steps in April to get the state control over the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). It is formally in the hands of the state, but really in the pockets of the foreign extractive companies. Chávez replaced part of the management of the company and inserted his own management. On April 9, it triggered a "strike" among the leaders of the company, culminating 3 days later with major demonstrations. Business, landlords, foreign oil companies, the United States and parts of the middle layers wanted to get rid of Chávez and with the help of the military conducted a coup attempt against him. The bourgeoisie had almost total control over the media and used this control to whip up a violent mood against Chávez. He was deposed, flown to a small island off the coast, and instead April 12, the president of the employers' union, Pedro Carmona as President. He immediately dissolved parliament, vacated the Supreme Court, put the Constitution out of force and declared that new presidential elections would be held within a year and parliamentary elections in December. All during the slogan of wanting to "reorganize the public institutions". At the same time figures emerged about the losses during the previous day's demonstrations: 15 killed and 350 wounded, according to. fire department. At the same time, the street fighting between supporters and opponents of Chávez continued, despite the new government's attempt to bring the situation under control. On April 14 at midnight, troops loyal to the deposed president entered the Miraflores presidential palace, awaiting the execution of another operation that flew Chávez back from his exile and reinstated him in the presidential post.

The US's only objection to the coup on April 12 was to have Deputy Foreign Minister Otto Reich call Carmona to ask him not to dissolve parliament - the Foreign Ministry announced later. The US first "condemned" the coup when Chávez was reinstated. The British newspaper The Guardian could tell that a year before April 12, the US intelligence had studied the possibilities of deposing Chávez and that North American warships located along Venezuela's coast in the morning of the coup day jammed Caracas communications. Washington's stance on democracy sparked fears throughout Latin America that a new wave of coups could be on the continent.

 

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