Hugo Chavez elected to power
- In the 1980s, under President Andres Perez, a fall in crude oil prices created an economic depression in Venezuela.
- In 1992, amid widespread disenchantment and protests, Hugo Chavez, a Colonel in the Venezuelan Army attempted 2 coups following which he was arrested and pardoned in 1994
- In 1998, Chavez was elected to power and launched the 'Bolivarian Revolution' and introduced a socialist constitution.
What is socialism?
Socialism is a political system characterized by social (common) rather than private ownership of means of production, land, resources etc. Exercising democratic control over these resources is a key aspect of socialism.
Chavez's reforms and ouster
- A defining aspect of Chavez's rule was an outright defiance of US foreign policy and interests in Venezuela.
- In 2001, Chavez announced land and oil industry reforms which diluted the National Assembly's powers and consolidated his.
- In 2002, several anti-government protesters were killed in clashes with the National Guard.
- The military high command announced Chavez's resignation and took him into custody in 2002.
Chavez returns to power
- The interim government collapsed in 2002 and Chavez came back to power.
- Chavez introduced several socialist reform laws and nationalized the oil & gas sector and several central banks.
- He cultivated and maintained close bilateral ties with Iraq, Iran and Russia in defiance of US warnings against doing so.
- He was voted to power for four successive Presidential terms until his death in 2013.
The death of Hugo Chavez
- In 2011, Chavez revealed that he was suffering from cancer and traveled to Cuba extensively for treatment.
- In 2012, Chavez claimed he had fully recovered from cancer and won the Presidential election.
- Soon afte,r he stated that he would be traveling for more medical treatment as the cancer relapsed.
- On 5 March 2013, Chavez died in Caracas and Vice President Maduro was appointed President.
Nicolas Maduro- the high and the low
In 2013 Maduro's public approval rating stood at 45-50% due to Hugo Chavez's endorsement of him. By the end of 2014, it plummeted to a mere 24% due to deteriorating economic conditions.
Protests, arrests and elections
- In 2013, reeling under 50% inflation, the assembly gave Maduro emergency powers, a move widely protested by the opposition and civilians.
- In 2014, student protests began over deteriorating economic conditions and rising crime and several protesters were killed in government action.
- The Venezuelan economy continued to slow down with falling oil prices and protests against government policies continued into late 2015.
Opposition wins parliamentary majority in Venezuela
- As polling ended in Venezuela's National Assembly elections, the National Election Commission announced that the opposition secured a parliamentary majority with 99 seats.
- The Socialists won 46 seats and President Maduro said he recognized "the adverse results" and acknowledged his party's defeat.
- Socialists loyal to former President Hugo Chavez have ruled Venezuela since 1998 and the results signal an end to socialism in Venezuela.