Timeline: The Life and Rule of Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks

After announcements of the death of President Hugo Chávez today, the Washington Post gives us 12 key events from the life of “El Comandante.”

1954: Hugo Chavez is born to local schoolteachers in Sabaneta, Barinas, and lives his childhood in a small village outside of the town.

1971: Education at military academy—Chavez enrolls at the Venezuelan Academy for Military Sciences, where he has the opportunity to meet and interact with military cadets from other parts of Latin America. He graduates in 1975.

1992: A failed coup—Frustrated by Carlos Andres Perez-led government’s monopoly on power and corruption, Chavez leads a military coup, known as Operation Zamora, and fails. He is arrested and imprisoned.

1998: Beginning of presidency—Four years after leaving prison, Chavez wins his first election and becomes the president, largely because of the support he garnered for his Bolivarian movement.

2000: With a massive support from the poor working class, Chavez wins re-election by with nearly 60 percent of the votes to become the president for six additional years under the new constitution.

2002: A series of huge protests against his rule led to Chavez’s overthrow, but an uprising against the coup leaders by the president’s supporters puts him back in power two days later.

2004: The opposition calls a national referendum to recall Chavez from presidency, but the result is in favor of Chavez. The opposition accuses the government of fraud.

2005: “They want to kill me”—Reacting to a growing criticism by top American officials, Chavez claims that United States is trying to assassinate him. “If they kill me, the name of the person responsible is George Bush,” he said.

2006: In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Chavez refers to U.S. President George W. Bush as “the devil” who talked “as if he owned the world.” At the end of the year, he wins another term in office.

2009: Chavez wins a referendum to eliminate term limits, making a way for him to run for president indefinitely. “With this victory, we begin the third cycle of the Bolivarian revolution,” he said.

2011: Chavez confirms that he has cancer and is recovering from surgery, in a televised address from Havana. Venezuelan television report that he traveled to Cuba for further treatments.

2012: Another victory—After winning a comfortable victory that extended his presidency for six more years, Chavez once again pledges to deepen his socialist revolution. In December, he travels to Cuba again for a serious surgery.

2013: Chavez dies—Hugo Chavez is reported dead by Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro during a press conference in Caracas, on March 5, 2013.

For original article, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/hugo-chavez-timeline/

For photo above and more information, see


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