1998 – Hugo Chavez sweeps into power
In 1992, the former army paratrooper Hugo Chavez led a failed military coup against then President Carlos Andres Perez. He was thrown in jail for two years then rode a wave of popular outrage to become president in 1998.
2000 – Re-elected to a six-year term
Shortly after his first election, Chavez introduced a new constitution that strengthened the rights of marginalized groups. He then won the re-election for a six-year term under this constitution.
2002-Ousted from power in short-lived coup
Opponents ousted Chavez from power for 47 hours, but army loyalists and overwhelming public support quickly restored him to the presidency.
Missions for the Poor
Chavez garners widespread support among the poor due to his social programs, or missions, and providing education and health services for all.
2006- Re-Election in a Questionable Democracy
Chavez was overwhelmingly reelected in 2006, but was hardly a democratic ruler, using his power to silence opponents and journalists and to nationalize private companies.
Chavez displayed his theatrical personality on his weekly TV program, “Alo Presidente,” where he discussed national policy and invited guests, including politicians, on the show for interviews.
Leader of Leftist Latin America
Chavez was a close ally of Fidel Castro and Raul Castro as well as other left-leaning Latin American leaders like Bolivia’s Evo Morales.
Relationship with the U.S.
Despite important trade ties between Venezuela and America, Chavez remained a very vocal opponent of the U.S., calling former President George W. Bush a “devil” during one UN meeting and urging the member governments to fight U.S. domination.
2011 – Chavez announces that he has cancer
In a speech from Cuba, Chávez says he had a tumor removed from his pelvic region and that he has begun cancer treatment.
2012 – Re-elected in a closer race than ever before
Hugo Chavez beat Henrique Capriles with 55 percent of vote.
2013 – Hugo Chavez dies after battle with cancer
After Hugo Chavez’s death, Venezuela will be thrown into a period of transition.