Girish Gupta

HOME

PHOTOS

VENEZUELA ECON

ONLINE

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
LinkedIn
AngelList
Keybase
GitHub
IFTTT

BY COUNTRY

Afghanistan
Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Data Driven Journalism (EJC)
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)


Chávez celebrates failed coup that propelled him into office
Feb. 4, 2012 — Caracas, Venezuela

Published by Christian Science Monitor



"We have failed, for now," were the immortal words of Hugo Chávez back in 1992, a young lieutenant colonel announcing to his soldiers on live television that the coup he organized against President Carlos Andrés Peréz had failed.

Mr. Chávez was unable to create a regime change that year, but his concession left little doubt he would try again.

Today, Feb.4, marks the 20-year anniversary of Chávez’s now infamous address on state television. Though he failed in his coup that year, the speech propelled the young soldier into the nation's psyche. It both led him to prison for organizing the coup and, six years later, to Venezuela's presidential palace. He won the presidency through free and fair elections, and has remained in office since.

The government has referred to the anniversary ­– abbreviated as 4F, for the date the coup took place – as “one of the most important sociopolitical events of contemporary history in Venezuela,” and huge celebrations are planned all over the country in honor of it.

His coup attempt in 1992 came at a time when there was much dissatisfaction with the Venezuelan government, mired by deadly riots over economic reform and broken campaign promises that reinforced the image of a corrupt government serving only the country’s elite.

As Chávez’s Socialist government plays up the inspiration his words instilled 20 years ago, buoying support today, opposition party candidates are preparing to choose a presidential candidate in next weekend’s primary election. The winner will face Chávez, who has been in power for the past 13 years, in elections in October. The opponent expected to win the primaries is Henrique Capriles Radonski, a charismatic state governor who, for the first time in Chávez's long tenure, has unified the opposition to put up a good fight.

But Chávez is a formidable foe for the country’s political opposition, reports the Monitor, and aside from running popular social programs funded by oil profits, he is still believed to have strong support from the country’s military. His journey to power began by rallying support in Venezuela’s military academy. One young soldier, Jesús Urdaneta Hernández, now living in a wealthy Caracas suburb, was a good friend of Chávez at the academy and helped mastermind and run the coup attempt.

"I could never have imagined the reaction of the population," Mr. Urdaneta says in an interview with the Monitor. "We were like the saviors of the people."

Chávez gained huge support from both the middle classes and the poor in the years following 4F, as he came to personify the struggle against the old oligarchy. Six years after the attempted coup, Chávez was elected president in a landslide victory.

But Urdaneta fell out with Chávez when the socialist came to power in 1999. Now a staunch member of the opposition, he is currently campaigning for governor of Guárico, a state just south of Caracas. Urdaneta is not a unique case: many of Chavez’s original supporters, like those in the middle class, have tired of the high inflation and crime rates that ballooned under his leadership.

The celebrations surrounding 4F this weekend will coincide with the summit of Alba, the regional Bolivarian alliance setup by Chávez, which includes countries sympathetic to his mission like Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.

"The rebellion of Feb. 4 was a historical necessity," Chávez said on Thursday, celebrating 13 years in power. "Only by way of the revolution could we emerge from the abyss."

Filed from
Caracas, Venezuela






More...

Advisers urge deep discount in Venezuelan cryptocurrency offering
Jan. 16, 2018


Inflationary math
Dec. 12, 2017


Venezuela money supply up 14 percent in one week, fastest rise on record
Dec. 1, 2017


How a defrocked judge became the chief enforcer for Maduro's Venezuela
Nov. 15, 2017


De cómo un juez destituido se convirtió en el principal artífice judicial del presidente de Venezuela
Nov. 15, 2017


The 'Venezuela Econ' app: Harnessing data to understand a spectacular economic meltdown
Nov. 6, 2017


Venezuela's monthly inflation rises to 34 percent: National Assembly
Sept. 7, 2017


Ousted Venezuelan prosecutor says she fears for her life, will keep fighting
Aug. 10, 2017


Venezuela quells attack on military base, two killed
Aug. 6, 2017


Exclusive: Venezuelan vote data casts doubt on turnout at Sunday poll
Aug. 2, 2017


All eyes on Venezuela military after protests, vote
Aug. 1, 2017


U.S. 'sweetheart' of Venezuela sees worrying signs of authoritarianism
Jul. 29, 2017


Venezuela money supply surges 10 percent in one week, fastest in 25 years
Jul. 29, 2017


Exclusive: At least 123 Venezuelan soldiers detained since protests - documents
Jul. 6, 2017


Venezuela hikes minimum wage 50 percent, effectively down 17 percent
Jul. 2, 2017








© Girish Gupta