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  • VENEZUELA (3/31/15)
    • Venezuela Guide, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (pro-business, membership includes the top US firms investing in Latin America)
    • Articles
    • 1908-35—Juan Vicente Gomez (feudal, “Tyrant of the Andes”)
    • 1920s—petroleum
    • 1928—Generation of ’28—Betancourt, Leoni, and Caldera
    • 1935—Vicente Gomez dies
    • 1935-45—gradual period—creation of AD and Copei
    • 1945-48—“Trienio”—progressive military coup—civilian/military junta—elections won by AD—“all or nothing” politics—50% tax on petroleum companies (illustrate “learning curve” in terms of government control over the export companies)
    • 1948-58—Perez Jimenez
    • 1958-present
    • First three presidents
      • Betancourt—AD—coalition—OPEC—A4P (John F. Kennedy and Rómulo Betancourt at La Morita, Venezuela, during an official meeting, Dec 16th, 1961).
      • Leoni—AD—Cuba (reform vs. revolution)
      • Caldera—Copei
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    • 1974-78—Carlos Andres Perez—nationalized petroleum—opposed Somoza and Pinochet—allied with Echeverria of Mexico
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    • 1989-94—Andres Perez—neo-liberal (impeached, scandal)
      • Feb., 1989, Caracazo, worst riots in Venezuelan history—protesting the neo- liberalism of Andres Perez—from 300 to 3,000 deaths—influence on Chavez
      • 1992 failed coup attempt (led by Hugo Chavez) against Andres Perez—left-of- center military movement (similar to “Peruvian Revolution”—circa 1968-1975)
      • Chavez allegedly “influenced” by Simon Bolivar, Juan Velasco (Peru), Jorge Gaitan (Colombia), Salvador Allende (Chile), Che Guevara and Fidel Castro (Cuba), Noam Chomsky, liberation theology, among others.  Leftist-nationalist philosophy labeled “Bolivarianism.”
    • 1994-98—Caldera (same one—elected when 78 years old)
      • 1994—Chavez released from prison by Caldera
    • 1998-present (essentially)—Hugo Chavez
      • 1998 presidential election—56% for Chavez
        • 1999—72% approve Constitutional Convention to write new constitution—Chavez party wins 95%--new Constitution approved—Presidential term from 5 to 6 years with 2 terms
      • 2000—new presidential election, Chavez elected with 60%.  Verified by OAS and Carter Center.  “Flawed” but irregularities would not have changed the outcome.
        • 2001—Chavez ruling partially by decree
        • Dec., 2001—Business strike fails
        • April, 2002—Coup against Chavez—Head of Fedecamaras installed as President and reverses Chavez policies by decree (US role?)—Two days later Chavez supporters retake President Palace, free Chavez, and he is re- installed as President
        • May 29, 2003—Under the auspices of the Carter Center and the OAS, government and opposition forces signed an agreement to “respect human rights, freedom of expression, and the right to petition for recall referenda of elected officials.”
        • Aug., 2004—recall vote on Chavez loses with 59% against the recall.
        • Dec., 2005—Chavez parties win almost all of the seats in the Natl. Assembly—AD and Copei boycott
        • 2006—terrestrial broadcast license not renewed for RCTV (2nd largest TV channel)—questions continue about RCTV’s alleged support of 2002 coup
      • Dec. 3, 2006—Chavez re-elected with 63% of the vote.  Verified by OAS and Carter Center
        • Dec., 2007—referendum (under the 1999 Constitution) to end presidential term limits and other nationalist reforms—defeated with 51% of the voters rejecting the referendum
        • Jan. 2008—Chavez able to pass legislation by decree—total of 66 such decrees before the end of this power in July, 2009
        • Spring, 2008—Rising tensions between Venezuela and Colombia over alleged Venezuelan support for FARC and militarization of the border.
        • Fall, 2008—Chavez expels US Ambassador (after similar action in Bolivia).  $1 bn weapons deal with Russia, with Russian planes and ships in the Caribbean.
        • Feb., 2009—Chavez wins referendum to eliminate term limits with 54% approval—his next election will be 2012—and he could continue to run so long as he is elected—he is 54 years old
        • Sept., 2009—Chavez declares intention to buy Russian missiles
        • Oct., 2009—respected national poll (Datanalisis) found a decline of Chavez’ popularity/approval from 61% in February to 46% in October— Datanalisis does say Chavez remains most popular politician in Venezuela and has rebounded from such poll figures before.
        • Sept. 26, 2010—parliamentarian elections embolden opposition. Chavez party and opposition essentially split the national popular vote--but Chavez party wins a majority in parliament due to winning pluralities in more single-member districts.
        • Oct., 2010—international tour by Chavez stirs concerns about growing nuclear ties.
        • Nov., 2010—Venezuela and Colombia sign energy agreements.
        • Oct., 2012--Presidential election for 6-year term beginning in January, 2013. Chavez wins wih 55% (his 4th term). But Chavez became ill with cancer (first announced in June, 2011). Unable to be inaugurated, but Supreme Court recognized a postponement. Technially remained President for some two months until his death in March, 2013.
        • Nicolas Maduro (as Vice President) becomes President upon death of Chavez. Former bus driver, labor leader, member of National Assembly, and Foreign Minister.
        • April, 2013--Special President Election. Maduro wins with a plurality (1.5% over the opposition).
    • Fareed Zakaria, GPS, 1/12/13, Venezuela—Facing a Year of Upheaval (22:00- 26:30), ITunes and Amazon (your video library).  Under Unlimited Instant Videos (possibly under Full Store Directory on left). 21:55-26:00
    • The Hugo Chavez Show. PBS Frontline 27. 11/25/2008. Amazon. Your video library.
    • The Economist comments on Maduro and run-up to 2013 election