Timeline: Hugo Chavez's rise to power in Venezuela
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:19PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:21PM EST
Key events in Hugo Chavez's life:
- Feb. 4, 1992 -- Army paratroop commander Lt. Col. Chavez leads botched coup against President Carlos Andres Perez. Faces possible 30-year prison term, but case never goes to trial.
- Nov. 27, 1992 -- Military officers with close ties to Chavez make second coup attempt, which is quashed.
- March 26, 1994 -- After two years in jail awaiting trial, Chavez and fellow plotters set free when President Rafael Caldera dismisses charges on condition they retire from the military.
- Dec. 13, 1994 -- Chavez visits Cuba, where he has long talks with President Fidel Castro and is honoured with ceremony at University of Havana.
- Dec. 6, 1998 -- Wins come-from-behind presidential election victory, promising to seek "third way" between socialism and capitalism.
- Jan. 16, 1999 -- Travels to Cuba for private talks with Fidel Castro and Colombian President Andres Pastrana on attempts to bring peace to Colombia.
- Feb. 2, 1999 -- Hours after being sworn in, decrees referendum on whether to rewrite constitution.
- April 25, 1999 -- Venezuelans overwhelmingly approve Chavez's proposal to draft a new constitution.
- July 25, 1999 -- Allies of Chavez win 122 of 128 seats in constitutional assembly, allowing them to draft document tailored to his wishes.
- Dec. 15, 1999 -- Venezuelans vote to accept Chavez-backed constitution. It eliminates Senate, changes country's name to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and lengthens presidential term from five years to six, clearing the way for Chavez to stay in office as long as 13 years.
- July 30, 2000 -- In presidential election, Chavez elected to six-year term.
- April 11, 2002 -- Gunfire erupts as protesters demanding president's resignation march toward presidential palace; 19 people killed. That spurs revolt by dissident generals who arrest Chavez and usher in interim government.
- April 12, 2002 -- Business leader Pedro Carmona takes presidential oath, throws out constitution and dissolves National Assembly.
- April 13, 2002 -- Tens of thousands of Chavez supporters take to streets demanding his return.
- April 14, 2002 -- Loyal army officers rescue Chavez, restore him to power.
- Dec. 3, 2002 -- Business organizations, labour unions, political parties and executives from state-run oil company call strike demanding that Chavez agree to nonbinding referendum on his rule. Strike fizzles after two months, government regains control of oil industry.
- April 7, 2003 -- Chavez fires seven top executives at state oil company for joining strike. Within weeks, 18,000 employees are fired for participating in the strike.
- Aug. 15, 2004 -- Venezuelans overwhelmingly vote "no" in referendum asking if Chavez should leave office immediately.
- Dec. 14, 2004 -- Chavez and Castro sign agreement deepening co-operation between Venezuela and Cuba. Pact evolves into leftist ALBA bloc as other Latin American and Caribbean nations join.
- Sept. 7, 2005 -- Chavez creates Petrocaribe agreement that sells oil on preferential credit terms to more than dozen countries.
- Oct. 31, 2005 -- Telesur, Caracas-based television network launched by Chavez, begins broadcasting as alternative to corporate media outlets. Telesur financed mainly by Venezuela with help from Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay.
- Dec. 4, 2005 -- Chavez's allies win all 167 seats in National Assembly as major opposition parties boycott election.
- Sept. 20, 2006 -- Chavez calls U.S. President George W. Bush "the devil" in speech at United Nations General Assembly, raising tensions with Washington.
- Dec. 3, 2006 -- Wins re-election to six-year term, capturing 63 per cent of vote.
- Dec. 5, 2006 -- Emboldened by victory, tells countrymen his political movement aims to transform Venezuela into socialist state.
- Jan. 8, 2007 -- Announces plans to nationalize Venezuela's electrical and telecommunications companies.
- Jan. 31, 2007 -- Pro-government lawmakers grant Chavez sweeping powers to legislate by decree for 18 months.
- Feb. 8, 2007 -- Government nationalizes Venezuela's largest private electric company, signing agreement to buy controlling stake in Electricidad de Caracas from U.S.-based AES Corp.
- Feb. 12, 2007 -- Officials sign agreement to purchase Verizon Communications Inc.'s stake in Venezuela's largest telecommunications company.
- Feb. 27, 2007 -- Chavez orders takeover of oil projects run by foreign companies in Orinoco River region, giving government majority stake in the joint ventures.
- May 28, 2007 -- Radio Caracas Television, country's oldest private network, goes off air after Chavez refuses to renew its broadcasting license.
- Oct. 14, 2007 -- Ailing Fidel Castro calls Chavez's radio show, making his first live appearance on Cuban airwaves since falling ill 14 months earlier, in example of how close the two men have become.
- Dec. 2, 2007 -- Voters reject amendments proposed by Chavez to make more sweeping changes to constitution, a setback for his drive to transform Venezuela into socialist state.
- April 3, 2008 -- Chavez orders nationalization of Venezuela's cement industry.
- April 9, 2008 -- Government announces it will nationalize country's largest steel maker.
- July 31, 2008 -- Chavez announces plans to nationalize Bank of Venezuela, owned by Santander Central Hispano banking group of Spain.
- Sept. 12, 2008 -- Orders U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela, accusing him of conspiring against government. Patrick Duddy later returns to finish his assignment, but Venezuelan and U.S. officials fail to agree on replacement.
- Nov. 23, 2008 -- Chavez's party wins 17 of 24 gubernatorial races, while opposition candidates triumph in Venezuela's most populous states and cities.
- Feb. 15, 2009 -- Chavez wins voter approval to eliminate term limits, allowing him to run for re-election indefinitely; he vows to remain in power for at least another decade.
- Sept. 26, 2009 -- Chavez, along with allies including Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, sets up regional development lender called Bank of the South. It's billed as Latin American alternative to institutions such as International Monetary Fund.
- Sept. 27, 2010 -- In congressional elections, Chavez's allies lose two-thirds majority that has allowed them to ignore opponents in rewriting fundamental laws and appointing key officials such as Supreme Court justices. Chavez's allies still retain a majority.
- Dec. 17, 2010 -- Outgoing congress grants Chavez power to enact laws by decree for 18 months.
- June 10, 2011 -- Chavez undergoes surgery in Cuba for pelvic abscess.
- June 12, 2011 -- Telephones state television in Venezuela from Cuba, saying he is recovering from surgery, but his silence and seclusion following call prompts speculation he could be suffering severe illness.
- June 28, 2011 -- New videos and photos of Chavez appear on Venezuelan state television, showing him on his feet and talking with Fidel Castro.
- June 30, 2011 -- Chavez appears on television to confirm he had a cancerous tumour removed. He later says tumour extracted was the size of baseball.
- July 4, 2011 -- Returns to Venezuela, but later travels to Cuba periodically for chemotherapy and medical tests.
- Sept. 23, 2011 -- Says he has completed chemotherapy and calls the treatment successful. Says subsequently that tests show no reappearance of cancerous cells.
- Feb. 21, 2012 -- Says his doctors found new lesion in same place where tumour was previously removed, and announces plans to return to Cuba for surgery.
- Feb. 26, 2012 -- Undergoes operation that removes tumour from same location in pelvic region. Says later that follow-up tests showed tumour was "recurrence of the initially diagnosed cancer."
- March 24, 2012 -- Travels to Cuba to begin first round of radiation therapy.
- July 9, 2012 -- Says at a news conference that tests have shown he is "totally free" of cancer.
- Oct. 7, 2012 -- Wins another six-year term, beating challenger Henrique Capriles by an 11-point margin.
- Dec. 9, 2012 -- Announces that his cancer has returned and that he needs surgery again. Also says for the first time that if he is unable to stay on as president, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro should take his place and should be elected president.
- Dec. 11, 2012 -- Undergoes his fourth cancer-related operation in Cuba. Officials describe it as a complicated six-hour surgery.
- Dec. 16, 2012 -- Chavez's allies sweep gubernatorial elections, winning in 20 of 23 states.
- Dec. 18, 2012 -- Venezuelan government reports that Chavez has a respiratory infection but says it has been controlled. He is said to be in stable condition.
- March 6, 2013 -- Government announces the death of Hugo Chavez.
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