1.8Mil BC In 2006 a Petroleos de Venezuela team
looking for oil in Monagas state, found fossils of six scimitar
cats, or Homotherium, along with those of panthers, wolves, camels,
condors, ducks and horses, that dated to about this time.
1498 Aug 4-1498 Aug 12,
Christopher Columbus explored the Gulf of Paria (Venezuela) between
Trinidad and South America.
1498 Aug 16, Christopher
Columbus reached the island of Margarita (Venezuela).
1498 Aug 14, Columbus landed at
the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela.
1500 Nueva Cadiz was
established on Isla de Cubagua off the coast of Venezuela after
Columbus discovered rich pearl oyster beds nearby.
(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.F8)
1509-1520 The Spanish colonized the area of Nueva
Granada (modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela).
1536 The city of Porlamar was
founded on the southeastern coast of Margarita Island off the coast
(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.F8)
1541 An earthquake and tidal
wave finished off the settlement of Nueva Cadiz on Isla de Cubagua
off the coast of Venezuela.
(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.F8)
1595 Sir Walter Raleigh
explored the South American coast from the Orinoco River to the
mouth of the Amazon, an area that he called "Guiana."
(WSJ, 1/6/04, p.D10)
1616 Mar 20, Walter Raleigh was
released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guiana. He took along
his son Wat (22), who was killed during an attack on a Spanish
(MC, 3/20/02)(WSJ, 1/6/04, p.D10)
1778 Dec 26, Juan Lovera,
artist, was born: ‘artist of independence’: originator of Venezuelan
historical painting: paintings commemorate Venezuela’s independence
1781-1865 Andres Bello, diplomat, politician (a
Senator in Chile - his adopted country), educator, poet and author
of a Spanish grammar, was born in Venezuela. His selected writings
were published by the Oxford Library of Latin America in 1998.
(WSJ, 2/3/98, p.A20)
1783 Jul 24, Simon Bolivar
(1783-1830), was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He was a soldier and
statesmen who led armies of liberation throughout much of South
America, including Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru and
Bolivia, which took its name from Bolivar. Bolivar, called "the
Liberator," was a leader in Venezuela for struggles of national
independence in South America. He formed a Gran Colombia that lasted
8 years but broke apart into Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
Bolivar died of tuberculosis.
(AHD, p.148)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.E3)(AP,
1796 Hacienda Santa Teresa
began producing rum in Venezuela. In 1885 it was bought out by the
(WSJ, 11/10/04, p.A8)
1811 Jul 5, Venezuela became
the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.
(HFA, '96, p.34)(AP, 7/5/97)
1811 Scotsman Gregor MacGregor
(1786-1845), later known as His Serene Highness Gregor I, Prince of
Poyais (in modern Honduras), received a commission from Simon
Bolivar in Venezuela to serve in the Army of Liberation. After he
returned to London in 1820, he began selling land in the fictional
kingdom of Poyais. He served 8 months in jail after English and
French expeditions revealed the hoax. In 1839 he returned to
Venezuela. In 2004 David Sinclair authored "The Land That Never Was:
Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Most Audacious Land Fraud in History."
(SSFC, 1/18/04, p.M2)(WSJ, 1/30/04, p.W9)(Econ,
1812 Mar 26, Earthquake
destroyed 90% of Caracas; about 20,000 died.
(SS, 3/26/02)(PCh, 1992, p.376)
1816 Jul 14, Francisco de
Miranda (b.1750), Venezuela-born self-appointed leader of
independence for South America from Spanish rule, died in a Spanish
prison in Cadiz. He is regarded as a forerunner of Simón Bolívar,
who during the Spanish American wars of independence successfully
liberated much of South America.
1819 May 23, Bolivar’s
revolutionary commanders met in the deserted village of Setenta,
Venezuela, and planned a march across the Andes to attack Spanish
forces in New Granada (Colombia).
(ON, 3/05, p.1)
1821 Jun 24, Battle of
Carabobo: Bolivar defeated the royalists outside of Caracas.
1822 May 24, At Battle of
Pichincha (Ecuador) General Sucre (1795-1830) won a decisive victory
against Spanish forces. Shortly after the battle, Sucre and Bolivar
entered the newly-liberated Quito and Sucre was named President of
the Province of Quito, which formed Gran Colombia with Venezuela and
1828 The Republic of Gran
Colombia fell apart due to political rivalries between its
constituent provinces. Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela became
(ON, 3/05, p.2)
1830 Dec 17, Simon Bolivar
(b.1783), called "the Liberator," died of TB in Santa Marta, in
Colombia. He was a leader in Venezuela for struggles of national
independence in South America. He formed a Gran Colombia that lasted
8 years, but broke apart into Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. In
2006 John Lynch authored “Simon Bolivar: A Life."
(AHD, p.148)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.E3)(AP,
12/17/97)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.77)
1845 Dec, Scotsman Gregor
MacGregor (b.1786), con artist known as the Prince of Poyais, died
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.112)
1846 Ezequiel Zamora
(1817-1860) spearheaded a peasant revolt in Venezuela. After a brief
exile he returned to lead the Federal War (1859-1863) and founded
the Venezuelan state of Barinas.
(SSFC, 8/26/07, p.M2)
1859 Jan 20, The Federal War
began in Venezuela. Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860) led the Federalist
Army until his assassination on Jan 10, 1860.
1859 Dec 10, In Venezuela’s war
for independence from Spain Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860) led the
Battle of Santa Ines. Zamora and 3,400 men defeated the Central Army
of 2,300 men, with about 1,200 casualties altogether on both sides.
Zamora had returned to Venezuela to lead the Federal War, which
lasted to 1863.
1860 Jan 10, Ezequiel Zamora
(1817-1860), leader of the Federalist Army in Venezuela, was
1863 Apr, In Venezuela the
hostilities of the Federal War ended with negotiations for the
Treaty of Coche, singed on May 22. This was the biggest civil war
Venezuela had had since its independence.
1863 May 22, The Treaty of
Coche was signed in Venezuela. Arms were laid down from the Federal
War and a general assembly called at Victoria, which elected Juan
Chrisostomo Falcon as president and Antonio Leocadio Guzman as vice
president. The latter was at the same time secretary of the
treasury, and went to London to negotiate a loan.
1870 Antonio Guzman Blanco
(1830-1899) became president of Venezuela.
1883 In Venezuela General
Joaquin Crespo, a friend of Antonio Guzman Blanco, was declared
president, and Guzman-Blanco became ambassador to France, living
with great ostentation in Paris. In 1886 he again assumed the
1884 English explorers Everhard
Im Thurn and Harry Perkins became the 1st Westerners to reach the
9,200 foot summit of Roraima in Venezuela.
(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.C5)
1899 Oct, An int'l. tribunal in
Paris ruled on a border dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana
(Guyana). Britain received most of the claim for the Essequibo
region, close to 111,000 square miles. Venezuela was represented by
2 US judges and the chairman of the panel was Russian jurist
Frederic de Martens. Venezuela rejected this decision in the 1960s.
(SFC, 10/26/99, p.A12)(Econ, 9/29/07, p.44)
1899 Antonio Guzman Blanco
(b.1830), former president of Venezuela, died. He dominated
Venezuela from 1870-1888, when a revolution destroyed his power.
1899-1909 Cipriano Castro served as president of
1908 Dec 12, Luis Peraza
(d.1974), Venezuelan dramatist, was born.
1908 Dec 13, The Dutch took two
Venezuelan Coast Guard ships.
1908 Dec 19, In Venezuela Gen.
Juan Vicente Gomez (1857-1935) seized power from Pres. Cipriano
Castro, while Castro was in Europe for medical treatment.
1914 Venezuela’s 1st oil gusher
was drilled near Lake Maracibo.
(WSJ, 4/18/02, p.A9)
1914 The discovery of oil in
Venezuela prompted Royal Dutch/Shell to build an oil refinery on
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.72)
1916 Jan 24, Rafael Caldera,
president of Venezuela (1969-1974), was born.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)
1928 In Venezuela a student
movement shook, but failed to dislodge the dictatorship of General
Juan Vicente Gomez.
(Econ, 11/17/07, p.45)
1929 Rómulo Gallegos,
Venezuelan novelist and Venezuela's first freely-elected president,
authored Doña Bárbara. Mr. Danger, a long-standing figure in
Venezuelan life, was a character in the work. It was
republished many times. His government was brought down in
a U.S.-backed 1948 military coup, ten months after he took
1929-1970 Venezuela was the world's largest
exporter of oil.
1933 Nov 16, American pilot and
adventurer Jimmie Angel (1899-1956) flew over the world's tallest
waterfall in Venezuela, while searching for a cloud-shrouded,
flat-topped mountain where he had previously discovered gold. The
falls became known as Angel Falls. In 2009 Pres. Hugo Chavez said
that the waterfall should revert to its original indigenous name,
1935 Dec 17, Venezuela’s
military strongman Juan Vicente Gomez died. He had lorded over
Venezuela since 1908.
1941 In Venezuela Romulo
Betancourt founded Accion Democratica, a centrist political party.
1943 Venezuela negotiated the
first 50-50 oil deal with Shell Oil and Standard Oil of New Jersey.
(WSJ, 9/13/99, p.R4)
1945 Oct 19, Romulo Betancourt
began serving his first term as president of Venezuela and continued
to 1948. founded Accion Democratica.
1948 Nov 24, In Venezuela Gen.
Pérez Jiménez and Lt. Colonel Carlos Delgado Chalbaud staged a
coup. A military junta headed by Delgado Chalbaud, Luis Felipe
Llovera Páez and Pérez Jiménez overthrew the elected president
Rómulo Gallegos and ruled for the next four years.
1949 A memorandum by Severo
Mallet-Prevost was published posthumously. He had acted as junior
counsel in 1899 land dispute with British Guiana and asserted that
Venezuela was pressured to accept the deal or give up territory to
the mouth of the Orinoco.
(SFC, 10/26/99, p.A12)
1952 Venezuela’s constituent
assembly proclaimed Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez (1914-2001) as
president. He was a popular dictator and prided himself on
colossal public works that included the Central University.
(WSJ, 4/27/98, p.A16)(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T6)(Econ
1952-1958 Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez was president
(dictator) of Venezuela. He prided himself on colossal public works
that included the Central University. He was ousted by a popular
revolt in Jan., 1958.
p.A16)(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T6)
1953 In Venezuela a statue of
the legendary Maria Lionza, crafted by sculptor Alejandro Colina,
was placed in Caracas by the dictator Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez. The
20-foot image of a naked, muscular Indian woman sitting astride a
wild tapir, a snake coiled at its feet split apart at the waist in
1954 Jul 28, Hugo Chavez, later
president of Venezuela, was born in Sabaneta, Venezuela.
1954 The Caracas Convention
established ground rules for political sanctuary in Latin America.
(SFC, 7/12/97, p.A13)
1954 Venezuela’s Radio Caracas
Television Station (RCTV) began operations.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.38)
1957 Nov 21, A student strike
began at the Central Univ. of Venezuela (UCV) against the electoral
fraud of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez. This soon led his
1957 Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez
opened his Hotel Humboldt atop a mountain overlooking Caracas. The
hotel closed in 1970. In 2001 it underwent a $90 million renovation.
(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T6)
1958 Jan 23, Venezuela gained
liberties with the overthrow of Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez, its last
dictator. The social democrats' Democratic Action (AD) and the
Christian Democrats (Copei) began alternating power and then entered
into the power-sharing agreement called "Pacto de Punto Fijo."
Rafael Antonio Caldera (1916-2009) was one of the three signers of
the Punto Fijo pact, which organized democratic elections after the
fall of Jimenez.
(WSJ, 2/26/99, p.A15)(SSFC, 6/24/01, p.T6)(AP,
1958 May 13, Vice President
Nixon's limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S.
demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela. Nixon’s eight-nation South
America goodwill tour encountered violent demonstrations,
particularly in Peru and Venezuela, spurring President Dwight
Eisenhower to order the movement of US forces into Caribbean bases.
(AP, 5/13/97)(HNQ, 6/14/99)
1959 Feb 13, Romulo Betancourt
began serving his 2nd term as president of Venezuela and continued
1960 Sep 14, Iraq, Iran,
Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela formed OPEC. Fuad Rouhani
(1907-2004) of Iran served as its 1st secretary-general. In 1964 he
was succeeded by Abdul Rahman Bazzaz of Iraq.
(HN, 9/14/98)(WSJ, 7/28/03, p.A8)
1961 A Constitution was passed
with 252 articles and a wide variety of social rights. Article 99
declared the social function of private property.
(WSJ, 11/26/99, p.A11)(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.A11)
1962 Venezuela’s Pres. Romulo
Bettancourt announced the cessation of oil exploration concessions
to private companies. His energy minister became OPEC’s founder.
(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.A11)
1966-1996 Venezuela’s state owned Guayana Complex
(producing steel, electricity and aluminum) received more than 100
billion in government investments over this period.
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A11)
1967 Jul, A 6.7 earthquake hit
Caracas, Venezuela, and left 300 dead and 2,000 injured.
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.E3)
1967 Luis Posada Carriles,
Cuban-born CIA agent since 1965, moved to Venezuela and rose to
become head of a government counterintelligence security agency.
(SFC, 5/18/05, p.A9)
1967 At least 30 Indians in
Venezuela died from a measles epidemic that hit Yanomani villages at
least one year before researchers administered the Edmonston B
(SFC, 11/16/00, p.A19)
1968 In Venezuela researchers,
Napoleon Chagnon and James V. Neel, reportedly inoculated thousands
of Yanomami Indians with a measles vaccine. Chagnon published
"Yanomamö: The Fierce People," a summation of his 30 years in the
Amazon forest. In 2000 the controversial book "Darkness in El
Dorado" Patrick Tierney blamed the researchers for a major epidemic
that killed hundreds of Indians. At least 30 Indians died from a
measles epidemic that hit Yanomani villages at least one year before
researchers administered the Edmonston B vaccine [see 1967].
(SFC, 11/10/00, p.A4)(SFC, 11/16/00, p.A19)(NH,
Jul, p.28)(WSJ, 2/23/08, p.W8)
1969 In Venezuela the
Democratic Action party changed the law so that judges would be
chosen by party affiliation in proportion to the electoral results,
which put the courts into the hands of the deepest pockets. Social
democrats lost the presidential election but maintained a
legislative majority and passed a new law making judicial
appointments a function of electoral results. The judiciary became
politicized and corrupt.
(WSJ, 2/26/99, p.A15)(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.A11)
1969 In Guyana a group opposed
to the government of Pres. Forbes Burnham staged an uprising in the
Essequibo region. It was asserted that Venezuela had trained and
armed the militants.
(SFC, 10/26/99, p.A12)
1970 Venezuelan oil production
peaked in this year.
1970-1998 Brazilian Gold miners worked in the
Yanomani reservation near Venezuela beginning in the 1970s and
introduced disease that cut the Indian population by more than half.
(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.A1)
1974 Mar 12, Carlos Andres
Perez (1922-2010) began serving as president of Venezuela and
continued to 1979. Oil income exceeded $48 billion over this period.
Foreign debt meanwhile grew from $3 billion to $18 billion. Perez
served a 2nd term from 1989-1993.
(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A14)(AP, 12/25/10)(Econ, 1/8/11,
1974 Dec, In Venezuela a
national commission created by President Perez delivered a proposal
for nationalization. This proposal formed the core of the 1975 law
that nationalized the oil industry. Pres. Carlos Andres Perez
nationalized the oil industry and the central bank.
1/05/00, p.A11)(Econ, 1/8/11, p.86)
1974 Venezuela set up a fund
for the future (El Fondo de Inversiones) to help spread its wealth
to future generations, but soon began to raid the kitty.
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.46)
1975 Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu
(b.1939) founded the "National Network of Youth and Children
Orchestras of Venezuela," which came to be called “El Sistema." He
believed that introducing kids to classical music could heal the
"spiritual poverty" that perpetuates social and economic inequality.
The school became a network of schools and received UNESCO’s
international music prize in 1995.
1976 Oct 6, A Cuban aircraft
from Venezuela with 73 people onboard was blown up on a flight over
the Caribbean. Castro blamed the explosion on the US. Luis Posada
Carriles, a veteran of the Cuban exile’s war against Castro, was
charged and twice acquitted in the bombing. Venezuelan authorities
kept him in jail for 9 years until his escape in 1985 when he
settled in El Salvador. In April, 2005, Posada sought asylum in the
US. In May, 2005, declassified documents were made public that
linked Posada to the bombing and indicated he was on the CIA's
payroll for years.
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.A8)(SFC,11/17/97, p.A14)(AP,
1976 In Venezuela Carlos Lanz
and 5 others kidnapped an American executive and held him captive
for the next 3½ years. Lanz later served time for military
rebellion. In 2004 Pres. Chavez appointed Lanz to devise a plan for
economic self-sufficiency for workers in cooperatives.
(WSJ, 12/24/04, p.A1)
1976-1996 Venezuela’s political establishment
accumulated a growing control over the country’s assets.
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A15)
1978 Jul 3, The Amazon Pact was
established. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru,
Suriname, and Venezuela signed the Amazon Pact, a Brazilian
initiative designed to coordinate the joint development of the
1979 In Boston Joseph P.
Kennedy launched the Citizen’s Energy Corp., a tax-exempt social
welfare program that later depended on for-profit subsidiaries. The
initial idea was to ease heating bills during the oil crises. The
group signed its 1st crude oil contract with Venezuela. By 2007 the
company had expanded to 16 states delivering low-cost oil to as many
as 400,000 households. In 1987 Kennedy was elected as a
Massachusetts Representative to Congress and served until 1999.
(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A1,10)(SFC, 2/17/07, p.A3)
1981 Irene Saez of Venezuela
won the Miss Universe title. In 1998 she ran for the presidency of
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D3)
1982 Dec 17, In Venezuela Hugo
Chavez (b.1954) and other junior officers formed a secret group, the
Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (MBR-200), and vowed to change
their society. They made their 1st coup attempt in 1992.
1983 Feb 18, The Venezuelan
bolivar suffered a serious devaluation. Pres. Luis Herrera initiated
a round of currency devaluations. The Herrera government was forced
to devalue the currency, which at 4.3 bolivars to the US dollar had
been underwriting a lifestyle the country could no longer afford. By
2000 the bolivar lost 16,185% to the dollar.
1983 Venezuela’s finance
minister established exchange controls that offered a preferential
rate and led to crony favoritism.
(WSJ, 1/05/00, p.A11)
1984 Feb 2, In Venezuela Pres.
Jaime Lusinchi took office as the country’s 57th president and
continued to 1989.
1984-1989 Jaime Lusinchi served as president of
Venezuela. Under his leadership the state Recadi agency under
Guillermo Meneses purchased some $40 billion dollars below the
prevailing exchange rate with $9 billion estimated in fraud.
(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A14)
1985 Jan 27, Pope John Paul
said mass to one million in Venezuela.
1985 Luis Posada Carriles,
Cuban-born CIA agent (~1965-1976), escaped from prison in Venezuela.
(SFC, 5/18/05, p.A9)
1986 May 8, In Venezuela 9
people were killed by security forces in the western town of Yumare.
Interior minister Octavio Lepage described it as a clash with
guerrillas — remnants of leftist rebel bands that largely had put
down their weapons by the early 1970s.
1987-1989 In Venezuela inflation rose for 3 years
under price controls established by Pres. Jaime Lusinchi. Inflation
rose from 16% to 40% eventually topping 100% after the controls were
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime_Lusinchi)(Econ, 8/13/11, p.38)
1987-1991 Gen. Ramon Guillen Davila headed the
CIA-financed Venezuelan National Guard antinarcotics group. During
his tenure 1-2 tons of cocaine were smuggled into the US. He was
indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami in 1996.
(WSJ, 11/22/96, p.A12)(SFC, 11/23/96, p.A2)
1988 Dec 4, In Venezuela,
former President Carlos Andres Perez was declared the winner of the
country's presidential election.
1989 Feb 27, In Venezuela riots
took place in Caracas. Known as the "Caracazo," they were triggered
by a hike in gasoline prices and public transportation fares. The
government said at least 300 people died, but some rights activists
say hundreds more were killed — many of them shot by security forces
struggling to re-establish order. In 2011 retired generals Freddy
Maya Cardona of the National Guard and Luis Fuentes Serra of the
Caracas police were charged for their roles in some of the deaths.
1989 Carlos Andres Peres took
office and instituted bold reform plans. Increases in fuel costs and
government reforms in Venezuela sparked extensive rioting and
looting with hundreds of people killed.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-1)(WSJ, 5/22/96, p.A-16)(WSJ,
1989 An IMF loan was made to
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A15)
1990 Aug 13, Alejandro Otero
(b.1921), Venezuelan painter of Geometric abstraction, a sculptor, a
writer and a cultural promoter, died in Caracas.
1990 Dec 7, As President Bush
arrived in Venezuela on the last stop of his South American tour,
his chief spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, warned Iraq that there was
"no lessening in the threat of war," despite Iraq’s promise to
release its hostages.
1991 Venezuela’s Senate voted
to hold Jaime Lusinchi (b.1924), a former President (1984-1989),
"politically responsible" for multibillion-dollar fraud, though he
has never been tried on corruption charges.
1991 In Venezuela the Compania
Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV) was privatized. In
2007 Pres. Chavez planned to transfer the company into state hands.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.33)
1991 US Customs intercepted a
large cocaine shipment and began investigations. It was found to be
part of a CIA operation out of Venezuela.
(WSJ, 11/22/96, p.A12)
1992 Feb 4, In Caracas,
Venezuela, there was a coup attempt but Lt. Col. Chavez failed to
capture the presidential Palace and was forced to surrender. He
served 2 years in prison.
(WSJ, 6/12/03, p.A10)
1992 Nov 27, In Venezuela some
15,000 rebel forces under Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez tried but failed to
overthrow President Carlos Andres Perez for the second time in 10
months. The coup left dozens dead and Chavez was jailed for 2 years
and then pardoned by Pres. Rafael Caldera. Chavez was elected
president Dec 6, 1998.
(AP, 11/27/97)(WSJ, 4/27/98, p.A16)(SFC, 12/7/98,
1992 Irene Saez, the Miss
Universe of 1981, was elected mayor of Chacao. By 1997 she was being
considered for national leadership.
(SFC, 8/19/97, p.A8)
1992 In Venezuela Victor Vargas
sold a small bank he helped for to Banco Latino, one of Venezuela’s
biggest banks. In 1994 Banco Latino collapsed as a run on deposits
exposed questionable loans.
(WSJ, 1/29/08, p.A14)
1993 May, Venezuela Pres.
Carlos Andres Perez was impeached. He was later charged with
misusing $17 million security fund for election debts and a lavish
inauguration. He said the money was used to help Violeta Chamorro
win the presidency of Nicaragua.
(SFC, 5/31/96, A16)(Econ, 1/8/11, p.86)
1993 Aug 31, Venezuela’s
Congress officially removed President Andres Perez (b.1922) from
office. Perez had served 2 terms as presidents (1974-1979,
1989-1993). He was impeached following a scandal on the alleged
mishandling of US$17 million from the presidents' special secret
fund, used to help Violeta Chamorro's government in Nicaragua.
1993 Rafael Caldera was elected
president of Venezuela. He promised not to increase fuel costs.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-14)
1993 In Venezuela Victor Vargas
purchased Banco Occidental de Descuento, a small regional bank known
for it’s a-list of oil-services clients.
(WSJ, 1/29/08, p.A14)
1994 Jan 3, In Maracaibo,
Venezuela, a riot and fire at the Sabaneta Prison left 108 inmates
(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C4)(AP, 1/3/04)
1994 Jan, Banco Latino failed
and sparked a run on the currency that put Venezuela into its worst
economic crises. Chairman Gomez Lopez left the country just before a
warrant for his arrest on charges of fraud was issued. Ricardo
Cisneros was on the board and fled after being charged with playing
a role in the bank’s failure. Victor Vargas, head of Banco
Occidental de Descuento, was able to snap up Banco Latino’s
(WSJ, 7/31/96, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/18/96, p.A14)(WSJ,
1994 Venezuela Pres. Caldera
pardoned Hugo Chavez for the 1992 coup attempt, and asked him to
leave the military.
(WSJ, 4/27/98, p.A16)
1994 Financial controls were
imposed on Venezuela’s currency and the exchange rate was set to 170
to the US dollar. Almost the entire private banking system had to be
nationalized at a cost of $8.5 billion, equivalent to three-quarters
of the national budget. Responsible bankers took much of the money
and fled abroad.
(WSJ, 12/12/95, p.A-15)(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A17)
1995 Moises Naim (b.1952),
Venezuelan writer, coined the phrase “corruption eruption."
1995 Venezuela devalued its
Bolivar currency 41% to 290 from 170 to the US dollar.
(WSJ, 12/12/95, p.A-15)
1995 In northwest Venezuela the
Carbones de la Guajira coal mine began operating in territory
occupied by the native Wayuu Indians. The operation poisoned the
local Socuy River, which drained into lake Maracaibo, which later
became considered too contaminated for swimming. The Wayuu Indians
accounted for nearly 200,000 of Venezuela’s 300,000 indigenous
(SSFC, 12/16/07, p.A17)
1996 Jan, The Venezuela
government reopened the oil sector to private foreign investments.
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A15)
1996 Apr 15, Tens of thousands
of striking Venezuelan teachers defied a government order to go back
to their classrooms. The month-old stoppage has kept more than 6
million children out of school.
(SFC, 4/16/96, p.A-9)
1996 Apr 15, Venezuela Pres.
Rafael Caldera was expected to announce increases in fuel prices by
as much as 850% from the 13-cent per gallon current cost.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-1,14)
1996 May 30, Venezuela’s former
Pres. Carlos Andres Perez was convicted on corruption charges. He
was sentenced to prison for 28-months and fined for misappropriation
of $17 million from a secret security spending fund.
(SFC, 5/31/96, A16)(SFC, 5/28/97, p.A12)
1996 Jun 3, The IMF signed a
$1.4 billion loan to Venezuela.
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A15)
1996 Jun 7, Assets under
Venezuela state control included all mines, oil production,
petrochemical, aluminum and iron factories, beaches, ports, a large
proportion of agricultural lands, prime real estate locations, 60%
of the value of the banking system, manufacturing companies, TV and
the main radio stations. Most of the state enterprises are money
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A15)
1996 Jul 12, Venezuela was
awarded a $1.4 billion credit from the Int’l. Monetary Fund.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 1, The Venezuela tax
authorities increased the general sales tax to 16.5% from 12.5%.
There had been a 108% rate of inflation over the last 12 months.
Transparency Int’l., a Berlin base nongovernmental anticorruption
organization, rated Venezuela as the most corrupt country in the
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A11)
1996 Sep 18, It was reported
that the Cisneros Group, the wealthiest business group in Venezuela,
was moving its assets into communications companies such as Galaxy
Latin America, a direct TV satellite broadcast service.
(WSJ, 9/18/96, p.A14)
1996 Oct 22, In Venezuela at
least 30 prison inmates died after a fire was started apparently
caused by tear gas canisters fired by guards. The fire was set by
incendiary devices fired by national guardsmen. 25 guards were
assigned to watch over 1,700 inmates at the La Planta prison
designed for 1,000.
(SFC, 10/23/96, p.A10)(SFC, 10/24/96, p.C4)
1997 May 20, It was reported
that a plan was approved to allow Venezuela’s 4,000 jaguars to be
legally hunted. Proceeds of hunting licenses would be used to move
remaining jaguars to protected areas.
(SFC, 5/20/97, p.A14)
1997 May 26, Venezuela’s jaguar
hunting plan was dropped.
(SFC, 5/27/97, p.A16)
1997 Jul 9, In Venezuela a 6.7
earthquake hit the northeast coastal region and killed at least 59
people including 27 students trapped inside a collapsed school
(SFC, 7/10/97, p.E3)(SFC, 7/11/97, p.A11)
1997 Jul 23, The US and
Venezuela signed an agreement to allow authorities of both countries
to board boats of each others flags if suspected of carrying drugs.
(SFC, 7/24/97, p.A11)
1997 Aug 28, In Venezuela 29
prison inmates died after a dominant prison gang fell on a group of
newcomers in a remote jungle facility.
(WSJ, 8/29/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 12, Pres. Clinton met
Venezuela Pres. Rafael Caldera on the first stop of his trip to
South America. It was reported that Venezuela handled some 100
metric tons of cocaine and 10 metric tons of heroin from Columbia to
(SFC, 10/13/97, p.A14)
1997 Nov 4, It was reported
that the new Venezuela town of Ciudad Sucre in Apure state was being
set up as a bulwark against guerrillas, drug traffickers and
1997 Nov 22, From Venezuela it
was reported that 18,000 people were infected in an epidemic of
dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and that 34 had died this year. Heavy
rains allowed Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries anyone of 4
dengue viruses, to breed in water containers left out in the open.
In 2006 over 500,000 cases of dengue were reported in Latin America
including 14,000 cases of DHF.
(SFC,11/22/97, p.A9)(Econ, 4/21/07, p.42)(Econ,
1997 Sidor, Venezuela's largest
steel maker, Sidor, was privatized.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.43)
1998 Jan 12, It was reported
that over 140 dead dolphins were recently washed ashore on La
Tortuga Island. There were no external wounds other than some
reddish marks on the abdomen.
(SFC, 1/12/98, p.A8)
1998 Jan 23, Alicia Machado
(21), a former Miss Universe, drove the getaway car following an
attempted murder by her boyfriend, Juan Rodriguez Reggeti.
(SFC, 1/24/98, p.A10)
1998 Mar, Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Mexico began talking to reduce oil output. They
pledged to take 2-3% of the world’s oil production off the market in
what came to be called the Riyadh Pact.
(WSJ, 6/23/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 27, It was reported
that Hugo Chavez, leader of Venezuela’s Fifth Republic Movement
(MVR), was campaigning for the office of president. He led a
1992 failed coup and was jailed for 2 years.
(WSJ, 4/27/98, p.A16)
1998 Apr, Former Venezuela
Pres. Carlos Andres Perez (76) and Cecilia Matos, his longtime
mistress and personal secretary, were charged with depositing funds
in US banks that far exceeded their earnings as public officials.
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A16)
1998 May 14, Irene Saez (38)
received the support of the Social Christian COPEI Party in her bid
for the presidency of Venezuela.
(SFC, 5/15/98, p.D3)
1998 May 20, In another part of
Operation Casablanca, a US federal indictment in LA charged 5
Venezuelans with laundering millions of dollars from drug cartels.
Bankers Esperanza de Saad and Marco Tulio Henriquez were included.
(SFC, 5/21/98, p.A5)
1998 Jun 4, Mexico, Saudi
Arabia and Venezuela agreed to cuts in oil production and exports
for the 2nd time this year in order to raise prices.
(WSJ, 6/5/98, p.A2)
1998 Aug 20, In Venezuela the
market plunged 9.5% on fears that the Bolivar would be devalued.
(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.C12)
1998 Aug 28, In Venezuela
Aragua state police beat and took away Benito Antonio Barrios (28).
Barrios died later in the day from multiple gunshot wounds. This
began a series of police shootings and killings of related family
members that continued to 2012.
(SFC, 2/6/13, p.35)
1998 Oct 28, The Inter-American
Development Bank approved a $400 million loan to help Venezuela
adopt economic reforms while battling the effects of low oil
(WSJ, 10/29/98, p.A13)
1998 Nov 8, In Venezuela a
leftist coalition led by Hugo Chavez, the Patriotic Pole movement,
won a majority in parliament. The Democratic Action and Copei
parties won most of the 23 governorships. Former Pres. Carlos Andres
Perez won a senate seat in Tachira. Corruption charges against Perez
were later dropped due to senatorial immunity.
(SFC, 11/10/98, p.A10)(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A16)
1998 Dec 6, Venezuela held
national presidential elections. Hugo Chavez, a former army officer
who staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years
earlier, won with 56% of the vote. He faced a $22 billion foreign
debt and planned a constitutional assembly to replace the Congress
and to rewrite the constitution.
(SFC, 12/7/98, p.A1)(AP, 12/6/99)(Econ, 3/9/13,
1998 In Venezuela a 136-mile
power line was scheduled to be completed by Edelca. The line ran
through Canaima National Park, home to Pemon Indians and the world's
highest waterfall Kerepakupai-meru, or Angel Falls (3,200 feet).
Construction was delayed by protests and sabotage.
(SFC, 12/2/99, p.A18)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.C5)
1998 Venezuela counted some
4,550 murders for this year.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.30)
1999 Feb 2, Hugo Chavez was
sworn in as president. He soon began Plan Bolivar 2000, a national
effort to refurbish schools and clinics using military forces.
(SFC, 2/3/99, p.A9)(SFC, 6/14/99, p.A12)
1999 Feb 26, It took 578
bolivars to buy on US dollar.
(WSJ, 2/26/99, p.A15)
1999 Mar 4, In Venezuela the
bodies of 3 Americans, who were kidnapped Feb 25 in Columbia, were
found shot to death.
(SFC, 3/6/99, p.A10)
1999 Mar 14, In Venezuela Irene
Saez, a former Miss Universe, won the governorship of Margarita
(SFC, 3/15/99, p.A9)
1999 Mar 27, Congress approved
a bill that gave Pres. Chavez new powers to manage the economy.
Chavez vetoed it and said it was not enough.
(SFC, 4/13/99, p.A11)
1999 Apr 10, Pres. Chavez said
he would extend his term from 5 to 10 years. He had already
threatened to dissolve Congress and the Supreme Court.
(SFC, 4/13/99, p.A11)
1999 Apr 11, Pres. Chavez
reinstated 37 cashiered soldiers who had helped him in his failed
(SFC, 4/13/99, p.A11)
1999 Apr 22, Congress granted
Pres. Chavez an "enabling law" to rule by decree on key economic
issues for the next 6 months.
(SFC, 4/24/99, p.A14)
1999 Apr 25, A referendum was
scheduled to endorse Pres. Chavez's plan to elect a popular assembly
to write a new constitution.
(SFC, 4/24/99, p.A14)
1999 Apr 25, In Venezuela
voters overwhelmingly endorsed the formation of an assembly to
rewrite the constitution. The abstention rate was 60%.
(SFC, 4/26/99, p.A13)
1999 Jul 1, Pres. Chavez
appointed Jose Rojas (35), the deputy finance minister, to succeed
Maritza Izaguirre (60) as Finance Minister. He then asked the
upcoming Constituent Assembly to dissolve Congress.
(WSJ, 7/2/99, p.A10)
1999 Jul 25, A Constituent
Assembly to rewrite the constitution was scheduled for elections.
(SFC, 7/2/99, p.A18)
1999 Jul 26, In Venezuela
candidates from the Fifth Republic Movement, supported by Pres.
Chavez, won over 80% of the 131 constituent assembly seats in
preliminary results. Less than half the eligible voters cast
(WSJ, 7/26/99, p.A19)
1999 Jul 30, A Venezuelan
airliner with 16 people went missing. Rebels on Aug 8 promised to
free 14 passengers and crewmen. Colombian rebels freed 8 passengers
Aug 9 and allowed the pilot and co-pilot to fly the plane back to
(WSJ, 8/2/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 8/9/99, p.A1)(WSJ,
1999 Jul, A new penal code was
implemented and led to the release of over 7,000 inmates from
(SFC, 3/3/00, p.D4)
1999 Aug 12, In Venezuela the
Constitutional Assembly assumed sweeping powers and declared a state
of emergency for the courts.
(SFC, 8/13/99, p.D3)
1999 Aug 19, In Venezuela the
Constitutional Assembly declared a judicial emergency and gave
itself new powers to overhaul the court system.
(SFC, 8/20/99, p.D3)
1999 Aug 25, In Venezuela the
constitutional assembly declared a legislative emergency and usurped
most of the functions of Congress.
(SFC, 8/26/99, p.A12)
1999 Aug 27, In Venezuela
members of Congress clashed with police as they attempted to defy a
government ban on conducting a legislative session.
(SFC, 8/28/99, p.A1)
1999 Aug 28, Congress members
announced that they would refuse to authorize funds for the
constitutional panel and would withhold legal permission for Pres.
Chavez to leave the country.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.A22)
1999 Aug 30, The constitutional
assembly stripped the opposition-controlled Congress of its last
(SFC, 8/31/99, p.A13)
1999 Sep 9, In Venezuela the
Constitutional Assembly agreed to reverse its order for Congress to
shut down and allowed Congress to resume normal activities in an
accord mediated by the Catholic Church.
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A16)
1999 Sep 16, In Venezuela a
Colombian delegation met with the largest guerrilla group to revive
(WSJ, 9/17/99, p.A1)
1999 Oct 4, It was reported
that Venezuela had begun domestic sales of unleaded gasoline.
(WSJ, 10/4/99, p.B13E)
1999 Oct 8, In Venezuela
authorities suspended 122 judges for corruption and incompetence.
(SFC, 10/9/99, p.A11)
1999 Oct 21, In Venezuela
corruption cases against 2 former presidents, Carlos Andres Perez
and Jaime Lusinchi, were reopened.
(SFC, 10/22/99, p.B4)
1999 Nov 4, The Constitutional
Assembly approved a 6 year presidential term and allowed reelection.
(SFC, 11/5/99, p.A17)
1999 Dec 15, In Venezuela a
vote for the approval of the 26th new constitution was scheduled.
The new document contained 368 articles and included the possibility
of recall referendums. Voters approved the new constitution which
included changing the name of the country to the Bolivarian Republic
(WSJ, 11/26/99, p.A11)(SFC, 12/16/99,
p.A16)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.36)(Econ, 3/15/14, p.15)
1999 Dec 16, In Venezuela
torrential rains flooded 9 northern states and Caracas and forced
some 120,000 people to flee their homes. Over 1000 people were
killed in Vargas state and 25,000 were described missing.
(SFC, 12/17/99, p.D6)(SFC, 12/18/99, p.A14)(SFC,
12/20/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/20/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 22, In Venezuela 2
helicopters crashed on aid missions and at least 4 people were
(WSJ, 12/23/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 25, A Cuban airplane,
Russian-made YAK-42, with 22 people crashed just before landing in
the northern Venezuelan state of Carabobo.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.D6)
1999 Dec, Security forces
killed dozens of alleged looters following the flood disaster in
(SFC, 1/27/00, p.A12)
1999 The economic crises threw
some 600,000 people out of work and led to a major increase in
(SFC, 3/3/00, p.D4)
2000 Feb, Mayors from the
Caracas region declared a "crime emergency" and demanded that Pres.
Chavez take action.
(SFC, 3/3/00, p.D4)
2000 Apr 6, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez announced that the Pemon tribe had dropped their opposition
to construction of a 136-mile electrical line in the Canaima
(SFC, 4/7/00, p.D2)
2000 Apr 16, It was reported
that the murder rate had reached some 21 per day. Cars were reported
to be stolen every 10 minutes.
(SFEC, 4/16/00, p.T15)
2000 May, In Venezuela Ford
Motor Co. began a recall of Ford Explorers due to problems with
their Firestone tires.
(SFC, 9/9/00, p.A10)
2000 Jul 30, In Venezuela
national elections were scheduled. 56% of the populace turned out
and endorsed Pres. Chavez to a 6-year term by a 59 to 37% margin
over Francisco Arias. Chavez’s Fifth Republic Movement also won 9 of
23 state governor races and a simple majority of the legislature.
The new constitution gave voters the right to revoke the president’s
mandate after 3 years by referendum.
(SFC, 7/29/00, p.A10)(SFC, 7/31/00, p.A12)(SFC,
2000 Aug 7, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez arrived in Saudi Arabia to begin a tour of 10
oil-producing nations that included Iraq.
(SFC, 8/8/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 10, In Iraq Pres.
Chavez held talks with Pres. Saddam Hussein in support of upcoming
oil talks in Caracas.
(SFC, 8/11/00, p.A15)
2000 Aug 13, Pres. Chavez held
talks in Libya with Moammar Khadafy and proceeded to Nigeria to meet
(SFC, 8/14/00, p.A14)
2000 Aug 18, Government forces
seized 5 tons of cocaine as part of the "Orinoco 2000" probe
financed by the US DEA. Another 5 tons was discovered at the Doble
Uno ranch just days later. The cocaine was suspected to have been
dropped from Colombia.
(SFC, 8/21/00, p.A10)(SFC, 8/26/00, p.A10)
2000 Aug 19, Hugo Chavez took
the oath of office as president of Venezuela after a landslide
2000 Aug 26, Maracaibo,
Venezuela, won the Little League World Series title, defeating
Bellaire, Texas, 3-2.
2000 Aug 30, It was reported
that many professional and entrepreneurs were leaving the country
due to economic policies.
(WSJ, 8/30/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 9, It was reported
that Venezuela had begun a criminal investigation against Ford and
Firestone due to at least 47 deaths from defective tires on Ford
(SFC, 9/9/00, p.A10)
2000 Sep 22, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez announced his 1st major spending program. The $2.1 billion
plan included $819 million for infrastructure and $756 million for
social programs. The rest was for economic stimuli, technology and
(SFC, 9/28/00, p.A11)
2000 Sep 27, OPEC’s top leaders
gathered in Caracas for a 2-day meeting. OPEC speakers called on
Western countries to reduce taxes levied on oil to ease prices.
(SFC, 9/27/00, p.A1)(SFC, 9/28/00, p.A1)
2000 Sep 28, OPEC leaders in
Venezuela signed a united declaration of 20 resolutions and agreed
to meet again in 5 years.
(SFC, 9/29/00, p.A17)
2000 Oct 11, Tens of thousands
of oil workers went on strike for higher wages.
(SFC, 10/12/00, p.A16)
2000 Oct 26, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez greeted Fidel Castro and they planned an accord for oil
shipments to Cuba in exchange for bartered products and services.
(SFC, 10/27/00, p.D2)
2000 Nov 7, The congress
granted Pres. Chavez fast track powers to decree laws without
(SFC, 11/8/00, p.B5)
2000 Nov, In Portuguesa state
Alexander Mendoza Sr. (25) and brothers Gonzalo (29) and Ender Ramon
(16) were wrongly slain by police officers in Acarigua.
(SFC, 8/9/01, p.A8)
2000 Dec 3, In Venezuela a
referendum was scheduled on suspending the leaders of the nation’s
labor unions for 180 days pending new labor elections. Voters in a
20% turnout approved the referendum to oust the leaders of the labor
unions. This paved the way for a government-dominated workers’
(SFC, 11/14/00, p.A17)(SFC, 12/5/00, p.A14)(WSJ,
2000 Dec 24, Pres. Chavez
appointed Adina Bastidas as vice president following the recent
appointment of VP Isaias Rodriquez as attorney general.
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.B4)
2000 Venezuela’s largest
electricity company, Electricidad de Caracas, was bought by
Virginia-based AES for $1.7 billion. In 2007 Pres. Chavez planned to
nationalize the company.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.p33)
2001 May 14, Pres. Chavez
planned a 3-week diplomatic trip to Russia, Iran, India, Bangladesh,
China, Malaysia and Indonesia.
(WSJ, 5/14/01, p.A15)
2001 Jun 23, Vladimiro
Montesinos, Peru’s former spy chief, was arrested in Caracas,
Venezuela. Pres. Chavez pledged to return him to Peru.
(SFC, 6/25/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 6/25/01, p.A16)
2001 Jun 25, Vladimiro
Montesinos was flown from Venezuela to Lima.
(SFC, 6/26/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 22, At least 11
people, mostly children, were killed during a stampede into a
bullring for a music concert in Valencia.
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.C1)
2001 Dec 10, In Venezuela a
nation-wide 12-hour work stoppage was planned to protest policies of
Pres. Hugo Chavez. Thousands of businesses closed and millions
stayed home as Pres. Chavez countered as host of the annual air
force show in Caracas.
(WSJ, 12/6/01, p.A12)(SFC, 12/11/01, p.A6)
2001 Dec 31, In Caracas street
vendors began selling pre-recorded CDs of banging pots to help drown
out the long-winded speeches of Pres. Chavez. Earlier protests
included the banging of pots and pans and became known as
"cacerolazes." Approval ratings for Chavez had dropped from 80% to
just over 50% in recent months.
(SFC, 1/1/02, p.A2)
2001-2003 Cuba ran up an oil debt to Venezuela of
some $752 million.
(WSJ, 2/2/04, p.A1)
2002 Feb 12, Pres. Chavez said
the currency would go on float Feb 13.
(WSJ, 2/13/02, p.A1)
2002 Feb 13, In Venezuela the
bolivar fell nearly 19% with the abandonment of exchange controls by
Pres. Chavez, who also announced a 7% cut in government spending to
help close a projected $8 billion deficit.
(SFC, 2/14/02, p.B6)
2002 Feb 18, Vice Adm. Carlos
Molina Tamayo called for the resignation of Pres. Chavez.
(SFC, 2/19/02, p.A8)
2002 Feb 25, Gen. Roman Gomez
became the 4th military officer to call for Pres. Chavez to step
(SFC, 2/26/02, p.A7)
2002 Mar 7, Venezuela sent some
2,000 troops to its border with Colombia to block fleeing rebels.
(WSJ, 3/8/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 7, Pres. Chavez
announced the dismissal of 7 executives who led strikes and protests
against the state-owned oil monopoly.
(SFC, 4/8/02, p.A7)
2002 Apr 9, The 1-million
member Workers Confederation planned a strike to support protesting
oil executives of Petroleos de Venezuela, who were protesting
tightening controls by Pres. Chavez. Later reports indicated US cash
was used to support strike plans.
(SSFC, 4/7/02, p.A8)(SFC, 4/25/02, p.A9)
2002 Apr 11, Venezuela’s
military removed Pres. Chavez from power after 19 demonstrators were
killed, many by snipers, as some 150-200k marched on the
presidential palace in Caracas. A tape, later released, contained
the voice of Pres. Chavez ordering the activation of "Plan Avila,"
an emergency state security plan. In 2009 a Venezuelan court
sentenced nine former police officials to as long as 30 years in
prison for the killings of demonstrators during street protests that
led up to the failed 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez. In
2009 Brian A. Nelson authored “The Silence and the Scorpion: The
Coup Against Chavez and the Making of Modern Venezuela."
(SFC, 4/12/02, p.A1,8)(WSJ, 4/12/02, p.A1)(SFC,
4/25/02, p.A12)(AP, 4/12/08)(AP, 4/4/09)(Econ, 6/13/09, p.87)(Econ,
2002 Apr 12, In Venezuela Pedro
Carmona Estanga, head of a business association, proclaimed himself
interim president and declared the constitution abolished. A summit
of Latin American leaders criticized the ouster of Hugo Chavez.
Chavez had resigned under pressure from the country's divided
military but was returned to office two days later.
(SFC, 4/13/02, p.A9)(AP, 4/12/03)(Econ, 3/9/13,
2002 Apr 13, Hugo Chavez
returned to the presidency as Pedro Carmona resigned following large
protests in Caracas with dozens reported killed. Caracas mayor
Alfredo Pena said at least 9 people were killed in rioting and
(SSFC, 4/14/02, p.1,20)
2002 Apr 19, A military
helicopter crashed in fog-shrouded mountains north of Caracas and 10
people were killed including 4 generals.
(SSFC, 4/21/02, p.A16)
2002 May 1, In Venezuela rival
groups rallied for and against Pres. Chavez.
(WSJ, 5/2/02, p.A1)
2002 May 23, Pedro Carmona
(60), CEO of Industrias Venoco CA and Venezuela‘s recent 2-day
president, escaped house arrest and sought refuge in the Colombian
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A16)(WSJ, 3/10/08, p.A5)
2002 Jun 15, In Venezuela tens
of thousands opposed to President Hugo Chavez marched to demand his
resignation and punishment for those responsible for 17 deaths
during a coup in April.
2002 Jun 19, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez made an offer for a referendum on his rule in 2003.
(SFC, 6/19/02, p.A8)
2002 Jun 29, In Venezuela over
100,000 people rallied in support of President Hugo Chavez's
so-called "peaceful and democratic revolution."
2002 Jul 6, Former President
Carter launched a Venezuela peace mission sanctioned by leftist
President Hugo Chavez but met with skepticism by many of Chavez's
2002 Jul 11, In Venezuela an
estimated 600,000 people marched demanding that Pres. Chavez abandon
(AP, 7/12/02)(SFC, 7/12/02, p.A9)
2002 Jul 22-2002 Jul 24,
Flooding in southeastern Venezuela killed 5 people and left as many
as 50,000 homeless in Apure state.
(AP, 7/23/02)(SFC, 7/25/02, p.A12)
2002 Aug 2, In Venezuela gunmen
with high-caliber weapons ambushed a police patrol in a Caracas
slum, wounding at least five people and raising tensions ahead of a
Supreme Court ruling on alleged coup leaders.
2002 Aug 16, President Hugo
Chavez railed against a Supreme Court decision to absolve four
military officers accused of leading an April coup but urged
Venezuelans to accept it.
2002 Aug 23, In Venezuela
subway and bus workers in Caracas unexpectedly walked off the job,
forcing more than a million people to find other ways to work.
2002 Aug 29, In Venezuela
thousands of opponents of President Hugo Chavez took to the streets
in Maracay to protest tax increases they say will further impoverish
Venezuelans in this recession-ridden country.
2002 Sep 26, In Venezuela
thousands took to the streets to protest a decree giving the
government the authority to ban protests in several areas of this
2002 Oct 8, In Caracas,
Venezuela, city police used tear gas to disperse a group of their
colleagues who tried to seize the department's communications system
in an ongoing eight-day strike.
2002 Oct 10, In Venezuela
hundreds of thousands marched through Caracas calling for the ouster
of Pres. Chavez.
(WSJ, 10/11/02, p.A10)
2002 Oct 21, In Venezuela
thousands of stores closed and workers stayed home to demand that
Hugo Chavez call early elections.
(AP, 10/21/02)(SFC, 10/22/02, p.A11)
2002 Nov 12, Clashes between
Venezuelan troops and supporters of President Hugo Chavez killed one
person, wounded 20 and prompted an appeal for peace from the head of
the Organization of American States.
2002 Nov 16, In Venezuela Pres.
Hugo Chavez ordered the federal takeover of the Caracas police
force, sending soldiers and armored vehicles to stations throughout
the capital. His opponents vowed to block the move and mounted
2002 Nov 30, A fire ripped
through the packed La Guajira nightclub in downtown Caracas, killing
50 people, most of them suffocated by smoke in what was one of the
deadliest blazes in Venezuela's recent history.
(AP, 12/3/02)(AP, 11/30/03)
2002 Dec 1, Venezuela museum
officials discovered that Henri Matisse's "Odalisque in Red Pants,"
a 1925 painting of a topless, raven-haired woman kneeling on a
floor, worth about $3 million, was stolen as long as two years ago
from the Sofia Imber Museum of Contemporary Art and replaced by an
imitation. In 2012 FBI agents recovered the painting and arrested 2
people at the Miami Beach Loews Hotel.
(AP, 2/1/03)(SFC, 7/18/12, p.A6)
2002 Dec 2, Venezuela's
opposition launched a general strike to protest President Hugo
Chavez's defiant refusal to call a referendum on his rule, closing
hundreds of businesses in Caracas.
2002 Dec 6, In Venezuela at
least one gunman opened fire on a Caracas square packed with
opponents of Pres. Hugo Chavez, killing three people as strikers
trying to force a change of government. Captains and officers of 12
of the nation’s 13 oil tankers joined the strike.
(Reuters, 12/6/02)(SFC, 12/7/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 9, In Venezuela a
general strike aimed at ousting leftist President Hugo Chavez
sparked panic buying at supermarkets and gasoline stations and
forced the national guard to commandeer delivery trucks and ensure
that service stations opened.
2002 Dec 15, In Venezuela
hundreds of thousands of people marched through the capital
demanding Pres. Chavez step down. The strike had cut oil output by
at least 70%.
(WSJ, 12/14/02, p.A12)(AP, 12/15/02)
2002 Dec 20, In Venezuela
hundreds of thousands of whistle-blowing demonstrators demanding
President Hugo Chavez's resignation took to the streets on the 19th
day of a general strike.
2002 Henrique Capriles, one of
the 5 mayors of Caracas, was put under detention for “abuse of
power," following a protest in front of the Cuban Embassy. By 2004
he was still under detention with no formal charges filed.
(WSJ, 6/25/04, p.A11)
2002 In Venezuela Pres. Chavez
cut off supplies to Industrias Veneco Ca after CEO Pedro Carmona’s
brief 2-day coup. Franklin Duran and Carlos Kauffman purchased
Veneco and the company grew with new government contracts.
(WSJ, 3/10/08, p.A5)
2002 Under Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez, the Oct 12 holiday name Día de la Raza was changed to
Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) to
commemorate the Indigenous peoples' resistance to European
settlement. Between 1921 and 2002, Venezuela had celebrated Día de
la Raza along with many other Latin American nations. The holiday
was officially established in 1921 under President Juan Vicente
2002 In Venezuela prison gang
bosses reached an agreement about this time on an internal
self-government that taxed fellow inmates.
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.40)
2003 Jan 3, In Caracas,
Venezuela, clashes between opponents and supporters of Pres. Chavez
left at least eighty people wounded.
2003 Jan 9, Thousands of
Venezuelan bank workers stayed home to support a nationwide strike
seeking new presidential elections.
2003 Jan 10, In Venezuela
opponents of President Hugo Chavez took to the streets as a bank
strike prompted authorities to suspend dollar auctions for a second
day in a row after Venezuela's currency fell.
2003 Jan 15, Venezuela's VP
said the government would respect the high court if it approves a
Feb. 2 referendum on President Hugo Chavez's rule.
2003 Jan 18, In Venezuela at
least 100,000 anti-government protesters staged a candlelight march
2003 Jan 25, In Venezuela
opponents of Pres. Hugo Chavez launched a 24-hour street
demonstration to protest a court ruling that postponed a referendum
on Chavez's rule.
2003 Feb 4, Venezuela's
government suggested a referendum on his rule later this year as a
way out of the country's political crisis.
2003 Feb 8, Tens of thousands
of Venezuelans marched in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for
leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez that
battered the economy of this oil-dependent nation.
2003 Feb 18, In Venezuela police reported
that the bodies of 3 soldiers, who had called for "civic
disobedience" against President Hugo Chavez’s government, had been
found with their hands tied and faces wrapped with tape.
2003 Feb 19, In Venezuela the secret police
(DISIP) arrested Carlos Fernandez, head of the largest business
federation, for his role in the general strike.
(SFC, 2/21/03, A10)
2003 Mar 9, In Venezuela Pres. Hugo Chavez
claimed an international campaign involving the US was trying to
discredit his government and he warned other countries not to be
fooled by the so-called smear tactics.
2003 Apr 3, Venezuela’s
government fired 828 more employees from Petroleos de Venezuela
(PDVSA), the state oil monopoly, for participating in a two-month
strike to oust Pres. Chavez. PDVSA lost many of its most experienced
and best-qualified employees. Altogether Chavez fired some 18,000
employees of PDVSA this year and many of them soon found work
(AP, 4/4/03)(Econ, 8/12/06, p.56)(Econ, 7/19/14,
2003 Apr 11, The Venezuela
government of Hugo Chavez and his opponents agreed to a plan for a
referendum on his presidency, and the chief of state pledged to
leave office if he loses.
2003 Apr 18, In north central
Venezuela a fight between inmates wielding homemade knives and
machetes left 11 dead and 40 injured inside a maximum security
2003 Apr 23, Colombia and
Venezuela agreed Wednesday to build a $120 million pipeline to
deliver natural gas to northeastern Colombia and western Venezuela.
2003 Aug 18, In Venezuela 9
workers died as 8 tried to rescue a comrade who was felled by toxic
industrial gases at an animal feed plant outside Caracas.
(WSJ, 8/19/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 20, Opposition leaders
turned in 2.7 million signatures to demand a referendum on ending
Hugo Chavez's tumultuous four-year presidency in Venezuela.
2003 Sep 9, In western
Venezuelan two passenger buses crashed in separate highway
accidents, killing 45 people and injuring dozens of others.
2003 Oct 23, Venezuelan
troops and police killed 7 heavily armed gunmen during a raid on a
drug trafficking ring in northeast Venezuela.
2003 Oct 24, Venezuelan troops
and police killed seven heavily armed gunmen during a raid on a drug
trafficking ring in northeast Venezuela, officials said Friday.
2003 Dec 2, In Venezuela
opposition leaders claimed that more than 3.6 million people had
signed a petition demanding a recall referendum on Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez.
2003 Dec 19, Venezuela's
opposition turned in 3.4 million signatures to demand a recall
referendum on Hugo Chavez' rule.
2003 Dec 20, Four Venezuelan
National Guard soldiers were killed in an ambush while patrolling an
area near the Colombian border.
2003 Dec 23, Venezuelan
opposition leaders turned in more than a million signatures to
demand recall referendums against 26 lawmakers aligned with
President Hugo Chavez.
2003 Pres. Hugo Chavez, under
advice from Cuba, began creating emergency health, education and
welfare programs called “missions" to provide public services and
subsidies to the poor. They were paid for by a budget controlled by
the president without going through social ministries.
(Econ, 2/18/06, p.36)
2003 Venezuela's tax collection
was reported up 28% under a "Zero Evasion" campaign.
(WSJ, 1/23/04, p.A10)
2003 The Bolivarian University
was founded in Venezuela as an alternative to a university system
Chavez accuses of being elitist. The main campus in Caracas was set
up in a 10-story building formerly used by the state oil company.
The government seized the building and converted its offices into
classrooms after firing thousands of oil workers who participated in
an anti-government strike.
2004 Jan 27, Venezuela's
central bank agreed to allow commercial banks to tap into their
reserves by as much as 2% to finance agricultural programs.
Venezuela require banks to maintain a 15% deposit as a guarantee
(WSJ, 1/28/04, p.A15)
2004 Feb 9, Venezuela devalued
its currency by 17 percent against the U.S. dollar, a surprise
decision that could fuel inflation but help the government meet
2004 Feb 27, In Venezuela
clashes between police and thousands of protesters pressing for the
recall of President Hugo Chavez overshadowed a summit of developing
nations, with at least two people killed and dozens injured. Chavez
opened a two-day summit with the leaders of 18 other developing
nations in Caracas, urging them to reject free-market policies
imposed by industrialized nations.
2004 Mar 2, In Venezuela
demonstrators hurled rocks and gasoline bombs at soldiers as
protests intensified after the elections council ruled against an
opposition petition to force a presidential recall referendum.
2004 Mar 6, Hundreds of
thousands of Venezuelans marched through Caracas to protest the
rejection of a petition aimed at recalling President Hugo Chavez.
2004 Mar 15, In Venezuela
opponents of President Hugo Chavez celebrated a Supreme Court ruling
that signatures on petitions seeking a presidential recall vote were
valid unless citizens disclaim them.
2004 Mar 23, A chamber of
Venezuela's Supreme Court dealt a blow to opponents of President
Hugo Chavez by overruling fellow justices on a petition for
recalling him from office.
2004 May 27, Vito Bigione (52),
one of Italy's most-wanted Mafia suspects, was captured in
Venezuela. He was accused of a key role in international drug
trafficking and flown back to Italy. Bigione had spent years living
in Namibia and only recently moved to Venezuela.
2004 Jun 5, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of opposition supporters marched through Caracas to
celebrate a recent announcement by election authorities that
President Hugo Chavez likely will face a recall referendum on his
2004 Jun 8, In Venezuela,
elections officials said President Hugo Chavez must face a recall
vote on Aug 15. Should Chavez lose a recall before Aug. 19, the
completion of the fourth year of his six-year term, presidential
elections would be held within a month. After Aug 19, Chavez's vice
president, Jose Vicente Rangel, would serve out the remainder of
2004 Jul 6, President Hugo
Chavez announced that Venezuela has granted citizenship to 216,000
immigrants since May under a fast-track nationalization plan.
2004 Jul 30, A Venezuelan judge
ordered the arrests of 59 former military officers on suspicion of
plotting against President Hugo Chavez's government.
2004 Aug 15, In Venezuela the
opposition's long and bitter campaign to oust Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez finally came down to a recall referendum. Chavez
survived a referendum to oust him.
2004 Aug 16, Election officials
in Venezuela announced that voters had overwhelmingly chosen to keep
President Hugo Chavez in office.
2004 Aug 18, In Venezuela
opposition leaders charged that as many as 500 of 8,900 polling
stations used voting machines that were programmed with an
artificial cap to limit the number of votes cast in favor of
recalling Pres. Chavez. In 2003 the Chavez regime has purchased 28%
of Bizta Software, owned and operated by 2 Venezuelans, who also
supplied the election machinery (Smartmatic Corp). Bizta bought back
the shares after the story broke and after the 2 companies received
a significant part of the $91 million referendum contract.
(WSJ, 8/19/04, p.A11,12)
2004 Aug 21, The head of the
Organization of American States said the results of an audit
supported the official vote count showing that President Hugo Chavez
won this month's recall referendum in Venezuela.
2004 Aug 21, A military plane
crashed into a mountain in central Venezuela, killing 25 people,
including five children.
2004 Sep 10, President Bush
ordered a partial cut in U.S. assistance to Venezuela because of its
alleged role in the international trafficking of women and children
for sexual exploitation.
2004 Sep 13, In Venezuela at
least five people were killed and a dozen injured in heavy rains,
flooding and giant waves from Hurricane Ivan. Nine people were
reported missing on a small boat off the coast. Some 350 homes were
damaged and 21 destroyed.
2004 Sep 17, Gunmen killed a
Venezuelan oil engineer and six soldiers near the border with
Colombia in an attack that officials suspected was carried out by
2004 Sep 21, Inmates rioted at
a western Venezuela prison, killing at least six fellow inmates and
injuring 35 others before hundreds of national guardsmen restored
2004 Oct 17, Military
helicopters doused a 730-foot office tower in Caracas' Parque
Central complex, one of Venezuela's tallest buildings, bringing
under control a blaze that many feared would cause the tower to
2004 Oct 31, In Venezuela
candidates backed by President Hugo Chavez swept all but two of 23
governorships in regional elections.
2004 Nov 19, In Caracas a truck
owned by a prosecutor pressing charges against supporters of
Venezuela's failed 2002 coup exploded. Prosecutor Danilo Anderson
was inside. In 2005 a court convicted 3 men in the murder of
Anderson, who had been investigating opponents of Pres. Chavez and
sentenced them to up to 30 years in prison. In 2008 Giovanny
Vasquez, a star witness, recanted his testimony saying he testified
against suspects after receiving $500,000 from a government
(AP, 11/19/04)(AP, 12/21/05)(AP, 4/9/08)
2004 Nov 23, In Venezuela
lawyer Antonio Lopez, a suspect in the slaying of a top prosecutor
last week, was killed in a shootout with police.
2004 Nov 24, Venezuela’s
Congress passed a bill that lays down strict guidelines for sex and
violence in broadcast programming and threatens multimillion dollar
fines or even closure for media outlets that disobey.
2004 Dec 9, In Venezuela a law
that gives the government control over the content of radio and
television programs took effect.
2004 Dec 10, A Venezuelan
military plane crashed in a mountainous region near Caracas on
Friday, killing 16 people, including high-ranking officers.
2004 Dec 13, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez's allies in Congress appointed 17 new justices
to the supreme court.
2004 Dec 13, Rodrigo Granda,
the principle international spokesperson for the most powerful
revolutionary guerrilla group in Latin America, the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was kidnapped in broad daylight
(4pm) in the center of Caracas.
2004 Dec 14, The Bolivarian
Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) began with the
2004 Cristina Marcano and
Alberto Barrera Tyszka authored the biography “Hugo Chavez." In 2007
Kristina Cordero translated it to English.
(Econ, 8/4/07, p.70)
2004 Venezuela’s government
built a $9 million outpost on Isla de Aves, 380 miles from its coast
and much closer to Dominica, Antigua and Puerto Rico. The island
measured 1,900 feet long and 1,640 feet wide. Fishing waters
offshore teem with tuna, grouper and red snapper, while oil and
natural gas are thought to lie under the sea floor.
2004 In Venezuela Ivan
Simanovis, the police chief of Caracas, was jailed in connection
with the death of a pro-government protester who had rushed to the
defense of Hugo Chavez during a failed coup attempt in 2002.
In 2014 Simanovis was released from jail and placed under house
(SSFC, 9/21/14, p.A3)
2005 Jan 1, Venezuela was
forecast for 4.1% annual GDP growth with a population at 26.5
million and GDP per head at $4,140.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.93)
2005 Jan 4, Venezuela's
left-leaning government promised to grant poor farmers at least
100,000 plots of land carved from either state property or large
private holdings, a step toward implementing a controversial
agrarian reform law.
2005 Jan 8, Venezuela
government officials escorted by troops and police descended on a
privately owned cattle ranch to determine whether some lands may be
turned over to poor farmers as part of an agrarian reform. The owner
of the 32,000 acre El Charcote Ranch, Agropecuaria Flora C.A., is a
subsidiary of the British-owned Vestey Group Ltd. and a major beef
producer. The company insists that it can prove ownership back to
1830. A 1998 census found that 60 percent of Venezuelan farmland was
owned by less than 1 percent of the population.
2005 Jan 10, Venezuela's
President Chavez declared that farmland nationwide would be
inspected and some of it given to the poor, expanding agrarian
reforms with a pledge to fight "the large estates."
2005 Jan 14, President Hugo
Chavez said that diplomatic and commercial relations with Colombia
would be put on hold until it apologizes for paying bounty hunters
to abduct rebel leader Rodrigo Granda from inside Venezuela.
2005 Jan 28, Colombia and
Venezuela announced a settlement in a bitter dispute over the
capture of a Colombian rebel on Venezuelan soil.
(AP, 1/29/05)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.36)
2005 Feb 1, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez said he intends to sell his country’s interests in 8 US oil
(WSJ, 2/2/05, p.A2)
2005 Feb 9, Helicopters rescued
stranded Venezuelans after flood waters struck the mountainous
central coast, triggering landslides, destroying homes and washing
out roads. Officials said at least 13 people were killed and
thousands of others were forced from their homes.
2005 Feb 11, Venezuela's vice
president said US objections will not prevent Venezuela from going
ahead with its plans to purchase 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles
and dozens of Mi35 helicopters from Russia.
(AP, 2/11/05)(Econ, 2/26/05, p.35)
2005 Feb 13, Floods and
landslides in Colombia and Venezuela over the past few days cut a
trail of destruction through small Andean towns and killed at least
(AP, 2/13/05)(WSJ, 2/14/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 14, Brazil and
Venezuela signed 25 accords dealing with energy and economic
cooperation, including the joint development of the Mariscal Sucre
offshore natural gas project.
(WSJ, 2/15/05, p.A16)
2005 Mar 2, It was reported
that the bodies of at least 34 men found in Venezuela's central
Guarico state in the past three years had burns, bruises and cuts
suggesting they were tortured before being executed.
2005 Mar 4, President Hugo
Chavez said Venezuela wants to supply crude oil to India, Asia's
third-biggest consumer, under a long-term agreement.
2005 Mar 5, India clinched a
deal to operate a Venezuelan oilfield and import the output as
Asia's third largest consumer and the world's No.5 oil exporter
vowed to strengthen ties.
2005 Mar 10, Iran’s Pres.
Khatami began a 3-day visit to Venezuela and planned to strengthen
political and economic ties with Pres. Chavez.
(WSJ, 3/10/05, p.A15)
2005 Mar 13, Venezuela
announced that it would seize parts of 4 large estates, some 270,000
acres of farmland, after finding irregularities in their ownership
(WSJ, 3/15/05, p.A18)
2005 Mar 29, In Venezuela a
crowded bus overturned on a highway and plunged 50 feet down a hill,
killing 25 people.
2005 Apr 22, The US Embassy in
Caracas announced that President Hugo Chavez's government has
unexpectedly ended a military exchange program with US.
2005 Apr 23, President Hugo
Chavez says "Don Quixote" is a must-read for Venezuelans — and his
government has printed 1 million free copies to mark the 400th
anniversary of the classic tale of the knight who dared to dream.
2005 May 4, It was reported
that Cuba and Venezuela agreed to start a joint shipyard in
Venezuela, the latest sign of strengthening economic ties between
the Latin nations.
2005 May 17, Russia and
Venezuela signed a contract for 100,000 Russian assault rifles to be
provided to the Latin American nation.
2005 May 21, In eastern
Venezuela armed gunmen stole a 2nd government-owned helicopter
before dawn after taking 3 security guards hostage at an airport in
2005 May 29, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of marched in Caracas demanding the US extradite a
Cuban militant wanted for his alleged role in the 1976 bombing of a
2005 May, Energy ministers from
Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela agreed to develop a field in
Venezuela’s heavy-oil belt in the Orinoco, a refinery in Brazil’s
north-east and an oil and gas venture in Argentina under the name
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.33)
2005 Jun 11, Jose Maria
Corredor, a Colombian drug smuggler wanted by the US, bribed his way
out of Venezuela's secret police headquarters with help from federal
2005 Jun 18, Venezuela said
another land holding of Britain’s Vestey Group Ltd. has been found
to be idle and rightfully belongs to the state. The 67,000-acre
ranch, owned by Vestey subsidiary Agroflora, was reported to be
(WSJ, 6/21/05, p.A14)
2005 Jun 28, Cuban leader Fidel
Castro made a surprise visit to Venezuela for what he described on
arrival as an ''historic encounter'' with his top ally, Pres. Hugo
Chavez, and a 2-day summit with Caribbean leaders. This was his 4th
trip to Venezuela since 1999 and his first outside of Cuba since
2005 Jun, Venezuela set up
Petrocaribe under which it offered 12 Caribbean countries cheap
credit for oil imports.
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.33)
2005 Jul 21, Venezuelan leaders
condemned a U.S. decision to transmit broadcasts to this South
American country to ensure its citizens receive "accurate news."
2005 Jul 22, At a meeting of
Andean presidents Pres. Chavez proposed Petroandina, under which
oil-producing countries would cooperate on pipelines and refining.
(Econ, 7/30/05, p.33)
2005 Jul 22, Seniat,
Venezuela’s tax authority, presented Harvest Natural Resources with
an $85 million retroactive income tax bill. Royal Dutch Shell
received a bill a week earlier and was seeking talks on its bill.
(WSJ, 7/25/05, p.A13)
2005 Jul 24, Telesur, a new TV
station backed by Venezuela's government, began transmitting in
various countries across Latin America. The station, funded by
Venezuela and also backed by Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba, has drawn
concern in the US Congress, where House members last week approved a
measure to transmit radio and television broadcasts to Venezuela to
ensure citizens receive "accurate news."
(AP, 7/24/05)(Econ, 7/30/05, p.33)
2005 Jul 28, In Panama a 2-day
summit started for 25 members of the Association of Caribbean States
(ACS). Venezuela said it will continue offering crude on favorable
terms, and even in barter trades, to countries in the region.
Thirteen of the 15 members of the narrower Caribbean Community
group, or Caricom, mainly island nations, have already signed onto
Venezuela's oil initiative.
2005 Aug 7, Voters across
Venezuela cast ballots to select thousands of local officials in
elections that could predict how well President Hugo Chavez's
political allies will fare in key congressional elections in
2005 Aug 9, Six of Venezuela's
indigenous communities received title to their ancestral lands in a
ceremony that Venezuela's president said reversed centuries of
injustice. An estimated 300,000 Venezuelans belong to 28 indigenous
groups, many living in the country's sparsely populated southeast.
2005 Aug 10, In Venezuela
lawmakers approved a transfer of $14 million (30.6 billion bolivars)
as seed money for a new Treasury Bank to handle government banking
(WSJ, 8/11/05, p.A11)
2005 Aug 11, Venezuela's major
newspapers calculated that pro-Chavez candidates won some 47 percent
of city council posts across the country, while opposition
candidates won 17 percent and other independent parties had 18
percent of posts in the Aug 7 elections.
2005 Aug 11, Argentina and
Venezuela signed an accord to set up a joint trust fund aimed at
providing export financing to small businesses. Presidents Kirchner
and Chavez signed a series of accords during the Chavez visit that
included an expansion of Venezuelan fuel oil imports. Kirchner
thanked Chavez for the purchase of $500 million of Argentine
government bonds over the last few months.
(WSJ, 8/12/05, p.A7)
2005 Aug 12, Venezuela’s Vice
President Jose Vicente Rangel said American citizens could be denied
visas to visit Venezuela in response to a US decision to revoke the
visas of three Venezuelan military officers.
2005 Aug 16, A chartered jet
filled with tourists returning home from Panama to the French
Caribbean island of Martinique crashed in western Venezuela, killing
all 160 people on board. The pilot had been attempting an emergency
landing after both engines failed.
(AP, 8/16/05)(WSJ, 8/17/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 22, Religious
broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested that American agents assassinate
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming
"a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."
Robertson later apologized, saying he had spoken out of frustration.
2005 Aug 24, Venezuela
condemned American religious broadcaster Pat Robertson for
suggesting President Hugo Chavez should be killed, saying he
committed a crime that is punishable in the United States.
2005 Aug 24, Government
officials from Ecuador and Venezuela singed a preliminary agreement
by which Venezuela would lend Ecuador a million barrels of crude oil
between September and October. A loan of naphtha and diesel was also
part of the deal.
(WSJ, 8/25/05, p.A7)
2005 Aug 29, The Rev. Jesse
Jackson met with President Hugo Chavez in hopes of reducing tensions
between the US and Venezuela after religious broadcaster Pat
Robertson called for the assassination of Chavez.
2005 Aug, In Caracas,
Venezuela, 3 male students were shot to death while dropping off a
friend at her home in a dangerous slum. In 2006 a court sentenced 19
soldiers and five police to prison terms of 10 to 30 years in the
shooting deaths of the 3 students.
2005 Sep 1, Venezuelan leader
Hugo Chavez offering planeloads of soldiers and aid workers to help
American victims of Hurricane Katrina, while at the same time taking
aim at the US government for its handling of the crisis. He called
Bush "the king of vacations" and noted he had been at his Texas
ranch and when the storm hit and didn't provide leadership.
2005 Sep 3, It was reported
that Venezuela’s worker co-operatives under Pres. Chavez had
increased from less than 1000 in 1998 to an estimated 67,000.
(Econ, 9/3/05, p.34)
2005 Sep 5, A Venezuela
official said a state governor allied to leftist Pres. Hugo Chavez
has ordered troops to seize an abandoned tomato-processing plant
owned by the H.J. Heinz Co.
2005 Sep 6, Nine countries:
Antigua, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Dominica, Suriname, St. Kitts, St.
Vincent and the Dominican Republic, signed oil deals with Venezuela
in Jamaica. Cuba and Jamaica had previously signed. Chavez urged
Caribbean governments to consider Cuba-style socialism as an
alternative to capitalism.
2005 Sep 13, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez extended a preferential oil trade deal to 13
Caribbean countries in what he says is part of a plan to challenge
U.S. economic domination of the region. The plan includes a $50
million fund to pay for social programs across the Caribbean,
similar to those Chavez has started at home with rising oil profits.
2005 Sep 15, Venezuelan Pres.
Hugo Chavez took Pres. Bush to task in front of a global summit for
waging war in Iraq without UN consent and won rousing applause for
2005 Sep 16, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said he has documentary evidence that the
United States plans to invade his country. Chavez, interviewed on
ABC's "Nightline," said the plan is called "Balboa" and involves
aircraft carriers and planes.
2005 Sep 21, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez said his government would cancel existing mining concessions
and not award new ones.
(WSJ, 9/23/05, p.A15)
2005 Sep 23, Colombia's
2nd-largest rebel group, the ELN, accepted an offer from Venezuela
to host peace talks between the guerrillas and the Colombian
2005 Sep 26, Hugo de los Reyes
Chavez, father of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez and governor of
Barinas state, ordered the seizure of a plant owned by the country's
largest food company, the latest move in the federal government's
land reform program.
2005 Sep 26, A judge in El
Paso, Texas, cited conventions against sending a person to a country
where he could face torture. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban militant,
was wanted in Venezuela for a 1976 airliner bombing. President Hugo
Chavez said the decision by a US immigration judge in the case of
Posada protects a terrorist and shows the "cynicism of the empire,"
a term he uses for President Bush's government.
2005 Sep 30, South American
presidents committed themselves to establishing a continental free
trade zone. The South American summit was attended by the presidents
of Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and
2005 Sep, Some National Guard
generals in Venezuela, suspected of easing drug movement through the
country, were quietly removed from their posts.
(Econ, 9/24/05, p.48)
2005 Oct 4, Venezuela said it
has reduced its holdings of US Treasury securities and moved some
foreign exchange reserves into European investments.
(SFC, 10/5/05, p.A18)
2005 Oct 8, Thousands of poor
farmers marched through Venezuela's capital demanding that the
government expand its initiative to expropriate what they called
"idle" land, a program that has raised the ire of cattle ranchers
across the country.
2005 Oct 12, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez ordered a U.S.-based Christian missionary
group working with indigenous tribes to leave the country, accusing
the organization of "imperialist infiltration" and links to the CIA.
Chavez said missionaries of the New Tribes Mission, based in
Sanford, Fla., were no longer welcome during a ceremony in a remote
Indian village where he presented property titles to several
2005 Oct 13, Spanish
authorities said police have seized 3.5 tons of cocaine in a fishing
boat bound for Spain from Venezuela after tip-offs from U.S.
2005 Oct 15, Members of a
Venezuelan indigenous tribe criticized President Hugo Chavez's order
to expel a U.S. missionary group he accused of links to the CIA,
saying the decision goes against the interests of their impoverished
2005 Oct 25, A Venezuela
military court sentenced 3 former Venezuelan military officers and
27 Colombians to prison terms ranging from two to nine years for an
alleged plot in May 2004 to kill President Hugo Chavez.
2005 Oct 26, The Mormon Church,
citing difficulties with the government of President Hugo Chavez in
renewing visas or obtaining new ones, said it is pulling its foreign
missionaries out of Venezuela and reassigning them to other
2005 Oct 31, Live news
broadcasts began on a new Latin American TV station backed by
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an alternative to large
corporate media outlets.
2005 Nov 14, Mexico said it
will sever diplomatic ties with Venezuela if Pres. Chavez doesn't
apologize for warning Mexican leader Vicente Fox: "Don't mess with
me." Mexico and Venezuela called their ambassadors home in a sharp
dispute between presidents Hugo Chavez and Vicente Fox over the
latter's relations with Washington.
(AP, 11/14/05)(AP, 11/15/05)
2005 Nov 17, In Venezuela
officials said the government will expand a land reform program next
year to take control of some 3.7 million acres of "idle" farm land
and turn it over to cooperatives of poor farmers.
2005 Nov 21, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez pledged to help build a natural gas pipeline stretching from
Venezuela to Argentina during talks with Argentine leader Nestor
2005 Nov 22, Massachusetts
signed an agreement with Venezuela to obtain discounted home heating
oil. Democrat Rep. William Delahunt helped broker the deal.
(WSJ, 11/23/05, p.A14)
2005 Nov 24, Colombian
President Alvaro Uribe met with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to try to
help bridge differences in Latin America.
2005 Nov 28, Spain agreed to
sell 12 military planes and eight patrol boats to Venezuela in a $2
billion deal that the United States has threatened to block.
2005 Dec 3, A rupture in an oil
pipeline caused a fire in western Venezuela, but firefighters
quickly brought the blaze under control. Evidence of sabotage was
soon found. [see Dec 5]
(AP, 12/04/05)(AP, 12/05/05)
2005 Dec 5, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez's governing party won full control of the
167-National Assembly, claiming a sweeping victory in congressional
elections boycotted by major opposition parties.
2005 Dec 5, In Venezuela a Dec
3 explosion that damaged an oil pipeline supplying the country's
largest refinery was reported to have been caused by government foes
attempting to disrupt congressional elections. Interior Minister
Jesse Chacon said investigators found remnants of C-4 explosives at
three spots on the pipeline.
2005 Dec 26, In southeastern
Venezuela an accidental fireworks explosion touched off a blaze that
raced through a busy strip mall, killing at least 12 people and
injuring five others.
2005 Venezuela’s government in
2005 approved plans for 20 co-management operations. Some 200 small
companies had voluntarily applied for co-management status in
exchange for government funds. Pres. Chavez vowed to continue taking
over companies and converting them to co-managed entities.
(WSJ, 12/27/05, p.A12)
2005 Venezuela’s government
gave Cuba a contract to modernize its identity card system.
(Econ, 2/13/10, p.40)
2005 Venezuela’s Ministry of
Justice reported 9,402 homicides nationwide for 2005. Deaths by
gunfire per capita was the highest in the world at 34.3 per 100,000.
(SFC, 10/6/06, p.A14)
2005 Transparency Int’l. placed
Venezuela 130th out of 159 countries in its annual survey of
perceptions of corruption.
(Econ, 4/1/06, p.31)
2006 Jan 1, In Venezuela 32
privately operated oil fields returned to state control. A 2001
hydrocarbons law had required oil production to be carried out by
companies majority-owned by the government.
(WSJ, 1/3/06, p.A14)
2006 Jan 3, Venezuela President
Hugo Chavez offered Bolivia's president-elect Evo Morales diesel
fuel, trade benefits and help in financing his social reforms as the
two leftists cemented ties, reasserting their opposition to US
policy in Latin America.
2006 Jan 5, In Venezuela a
viaduct, carrying the motorway that crosses the mountains between
Caracas and the int’l. airport, was closed due to geologic and
structural problems. Travel time one way rose up to 5 hours.
(Econ, 1/14/06, p.44)
2006 Jan 6, Venezuela said it
will expand a program to provide discounted home heating oil to
low-income Americans, bringing savings to some Indian tribes in
2006 Jan 7, American singer
Harry Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor
Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West in a
meeting with Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez.
2006 Jan 8, In Venezuela
American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush
"the greatest terrorist in the world" and said millions of Americans
support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
2006 Jan 13, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez on blasted an attempt by the US to block Spain
from selling Venezuela 12 military planes with American parts.
2006 Jan 19, Venezuelan
officials said that they have approved a new anti-drug agreement
with the US, months after suspended cooperation amid allegations of
2006 Jan 24, In Venezuela
activists gathering for the six-day World Social Forum in Caracas. 2
other gatherings were set in Mali and Pakistan. The World Social
Forum was first held in Brazil in 2001 and coincides each year with
the market-friendly World Economic Forum of political and business
leaders in Davos, Switzerland.
(AP, 1/24/06)(SFC, 1/24/06, p.A2)
2006 Jan 25, Venezuela’s VP
Jose Vicente Rangel said that some Venezuelan military officers have
been detained after they allegedly passed information to US
2006 Jan 25, In Venezuela
thousands of activists marched through Caracas demanding an end to
the war in Iraq and shouting slogans against U.S. imperialism at the
opening of the World Social Forum backed by President Hugo Chavez.
2006 Jan, The presidents of
Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil met in Brazil and promised to come
up with the first set of preliminary studies in March for a $20
billion, 5,000-mile gas pipeline, stretching from Venezuela to
2006 Feb 2, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela is expelling a US Navy officer for
allegedly passing secret information from the Venezuelan military to
the Pentagon and warned he will throw out all US military attaches
if further espionage occurs.
2006 Feb 3, Responding to
Venezuela's expulsion of a US naval officer from Caracas, the State
Department declared a senior Venezuelan diplomat persona non grata
and gave her 72 hours to leave the United States.
2006 Feb 3, Some 200,000 Cubans
crowded Revolution Plaza for a ceremony granting Hugo Chavez
UNESCO's 2005 Jose Marti International Prize. President Castro
himself handed over the framed certificate to Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez. UNESCO introduced the Marti prize in 1994 to recognize an
individual or institution contributing to the unity and integration
of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
2006 Feb 9, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez unleashed more criticism toward President Bush
and accused the US and Britain of planning to invade Iran.
2006 Feb 23, Venezuela said it
will prohibit Continental and Delta Airlines from flying into this
South American nation. Initially effective March 1, the ban was soon
delayed to Mar 30. The ban was in response to a 1996 FAA ban on
commercial jets registered in Venezuela, because Venezuela allegedly
didn't meet international safety standards. Venezuelan officials say
they have improved safety standards since then.
(AP, 2/24/06)(WSJ, 2/27/06, p.A6)
2006 Feb, In Venezuela
parliamentary hearings exposed some $1.5 million in bribes,
kickbacks and commissions involving the opening of the new Ezequiel
Zamora Agroindustrial Sugar Complex in Sabaneta, Barinas state,
where the father of Hugo Chavez is governor.
(Econ, 4/1/06, p.31)
2006 Mar 2, Venezuela's VP Jose
Vicente Rangel said that the US was the world's biggest consumer of
illegal drugs and had no "moral authority" to criticize Venezuela
for failing to control narcotics.
2006 Mar 7, Venezuela's solidly
pro-Chavez National Assembly gave final approval to changes in the
flag proposed by the socialist president: an eighth star and a
turnabout of the horse that until now has galloped to the right.
2006 Mar 20, Venezuela agreed
to sell fuel under preferential terms to an El Salvador association
created by a group of leftist mayors.
2006 Mar 21, An international
audit concluded there are tens of thousands of dead voters listed on
Venezuela's voter rolls, but the country's top electoral official
said that those errors are being fixed and do not amount to
2006 Mar 23, The US ambassador
said that the US and Venezuela had reached a temporary agreement
that will avoid a proposed ban on flights by most US airlines to
2006 Mar 29, In Venezuela the
body of Filippo Sindoni (74), a prominent businessman who owned a TV
station, newspaper and pasta company, was found a day after he was
abducted by men wearing police uniforms.
2006 Apr 3, Venezuela seized
control of oil fields from France's Total SA and Italy's Eni SPA in
a show of force against those resisting President Hugo Chavez's
efforts to pry more profits from the industry at a time of high oil
2006 Apr 4, Venezuelan
authorities found the bullet-ridden bodies of three Canadian boys
who had been kidnapped more than a month ago. John Faddoul (17),
along with his brothers Kevin (13) and Jason (12) were abducted Feb.
23 when unidentified men dressed as police stopped their car at a
checkpoint in Caracas as the boys were on their way to school.
2006 Apr 5, In Venezuela Jorge
Aguirre, a photographer for the Caracas daily El Mundo, was shot and
killed on the way to an anti-crime protest. He managed to take a
picture of his assailant fleeing on a motorcycle. Homicide charges
were filed on April 15 against Boris Lenis Blanco (33), a police
officer, who was arrested April 13.
2006 Apr 7, Venezuela Attorney
General Isaias Rodriguez said that five suspects were being charged
with willful homicide in the slayings of the 3 Faddoul brothers,
whose bodies were found April 4. Supporters of President Hugo Chavez
pelted the car of the US ambassador with eggs and tomatoes, then
chased after his convoy on motorcycles.
(AP, 4/7/06)(AP, 4/8/06)
2006 Apr 10, Cuba and Venezuela
signed agreements for a joint venture to revamp an unfinished
Soviet-era refinery in Cuba and supply it with oil from Venezuela.
(WSJ, 4/12/06, p.A7)
2006 Apr 10, Mexican soldiers
seized 128 suitcases packed with 5.6 metric tons of cocaine worth
more than $100 million from a commercial plane arriving from
Venezuela. Smugglers had purchased the DC-9 plane with laundered
funds transferred through US banks Wachovia Corp. and Bank of
America. In 2010 court papers said a gang under Walid Makled
operated the DC-9 and flew the cocaine from Simon Bolivar
International to Campeche, Mexico. Makled was arrested Aug 19, 2010
in Colombia in the border city of Cucuta. In Nov 2010 Colombia
denied an extradition request for Makled by the US, saying that the
suspect will be sent back to face charges in his home country.
(AP, 4/12/06)(SFC, 6/30/10, p.D1)(AP, 11/17/10)
2006 Apr 19, In Venezuela a
riot erupted at a western prison, leaving 10 inmates dead and one
wounded. A day earlier authorities had seized weapons and illegal
drugs from gang members in the jail.
2006 Apr 21, US aviation
authorities upgraded Venezuela's safety ranking, averting a ban that
would have blocked most US airlines from flying to the country.
2006 Apr 22, Thousands of
Venezuelans lay in the outlines of bodies chalked on a main avenue
to protest against President Hugo Chavez's handling of violent
crime, while supporters held a separate demonstration backing his
2006 Apr 29, Bolivia's new
left-leaning president, Evo Morales, signed a pact with Cuba and
Venezuela on rejecting US-backed free trade and promising a
socialist version of regional commerce and cooperation. Bolivia
became the 3rd member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
(AP, 4/29/06)(Econ, 5/6/06, p.38)
2006 Apr 29, Peru recalled its
ambassador from Venezuela over what it called President Hugo
Chavez's "persistent and flagrant interference" in its upcoming
2006 May 4, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said he was withdrawing his ambassador from
Peru as a matter of principle after Peru called home its ambassador.
2006 May 4, Brazil’s President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with Argentina’s Pres. Nestor
Kirchner, Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez and Bolivia’s Pres. Morales in
response to Bolivia’s decision to nationalize its oil and gas
industry. Morales offered to refrain from cutting off supplies and
to negotiate prices.
(Econ, 5/13/06, p.43)
2006 May 4, Nicaraguan Foreign
Minister Norman Caldera asked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to
butt out of his country's political affairs after Chavez signed a
favorable oil pact with dozens of leftist Nicaraguan mayors.
2006 May 15, Washington banned
all US arms sales to Venezuela, punishing President Hugo Chavez for
his ties with Cuba and Iran and for what it believes is his inaction
against guerrillas from neighboring Colombia.
2006 May 17, In Libya
Venezuela's anti-American president was given a warm welcome in
Tripoli by Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Chavez and Gadhafi planned to
discuss "social programs based on oil revenues."
2006 May 24, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela will buy Russian jets because of a
dispute over parts for US-made aircraft, launching yet another
verbal assault on Pres. Bush.
2006 May 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez moved to expand his oil-rich country's
influence in Bolivia with a set of accords to secure Venezuela's
role in the impoverished Andean nation's recently nationalized
2006 Jun 3, President Hugo
Chavez inaugurated a Venezuelan film studio to counter what he
called Hollywood's cultural "dictatorship." Venezuela received
30,000 Russian-made assault rifles, the first shipment in a deal for
2006 Jun 14, Pres. Hugo Chavez
said Venezuela will buy 24 Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets this
year, and his government will build a factory to produce Kalashnikov
2006 Jun 26, In central
Venezuela a riot by inmates fighting for control of cell blocks
within a prison left seven prisoners dead and 11 wounded.
2006 Jul 4, President Hugo
Chavez marked Venezuela's entry into the South American trade bloc
Mercosur with a six-nation summit, an alliance that he says should
be a common front against US free trade deals.
2006 Jul 5, Venezuela marked
its Independence Day showcasing recent arms deals that have alarmed
Washington. Pres. Chavez proposed that Mercosur members: Brazil,
Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay, should one day join
their militaries to guarantee the region's security.
2006 Jul 17, In western
Venezuela a fire broke out at the Amuay oil refinery. Officials said
it was soon extinguished without reported injuries or loss of
2006 Jul 20, Luis Jefferson
Lira Rodriguez (20), a Venezuelan soldier, massacred 8 people at
Ranch Adi, but said he acted on orders from at least one other
lieutenant who claimed there was a Colombian rebel camp nearby.
Officials later said rape was the motive and that the soldier acted
2006 Jul 21, Venezuela formally
entered Mercosur, increasing the South American trade bloc's
economic might and vowing to transform the policy organization into
a force for profound social change. Cuba’s Fidel Castro signed a
modest trade at the 2-day Mercosur meeting in Cordoba, Argentina.
(AP, 7/21/06)(Econ, 7/29/06, p.36)
2006 Jul 24, In Belarus leftist
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez exchanged declarations of
solidarity with the authoritarian leader of isolated Belarus, who
shares his anti-US views. During the talks with Lukashenko, the two
sides signed seven agreements on military-technical cooperation,
economic and other ties as well as a declaration pledging a
strategic partnership. Bilateral trade was just under $16 million in
2006 Jul 27, The head of
Russia's state arms-trading agency said that Russia has signed
contracts with Venezuela for 24 military planes and 53 helicopters.
2006 Jul 29, In Tehran the
presidents of Iran and Venezuela pledged to support one another in
disputes with Washington, with the Iranian calling Hugo Chavez "a
brother and trench mate."
2006 Jul 31, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez praised Vietnam for its battle against
"imperialism" and pledged to help the communist country develop its
nascent oil and gas industry during a two-day state visit.
2006 Aug 7, Venezuelan
authorities captured Elias Verde, the alleged head of an
international drug trafficking group that was involved in a major
cocaine smuggling operation earlier this year in France.
2006 Aug 9, In Venezuela 8
candidates opposing Pres. Chavez called off a primary and agreed to
support front runner Gov. Manuel Rosales in the Dec 3 presidential
(SFC, 8/10/06, p.A8)
2006 Aug 13, In Venezuela
prison officials discovered that Carlos Ortega, an anti-Chavez union
leader, had slipped out of the Ramo Verde prison west of Caracas,
where he was serving a 16-year sentence for civil rebellion. Three
convicted military officers also escaped.
2006 Aug 22, In China visiting
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said China will expand its
cooperation in oil exploration and help his country build a
fiber-optic communications network under agreements to be signed in
Beijing this week.
2006 Aug 30, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said in Damascus that he and Syrian President
Bashar Assad shared a "decisive and firm" stance against American
"imperialism" and "domination."
2006 Sep 7, American officials
said the US government has ordered Venezuela to close its military
purchasing office in Miami after suspending arms sales to the South
2006 Sep 17, Iran's president
made his first visit to Venezuela, seeking to strengthen ties with a
government that also opposes the US.
2006 Sep 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the US to the
floor of the UN General Assembly, calling President Bush "the
devil." "The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said. "He came here
talking as if he were the owner of the world."
2006 Sep 21, In NYC Venezuela’s
Pres. Chavez visited the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Harlem and
promised to double the amount of discounted heating oil his country
is shipping to needy Americans. His offer included 100 gallons of
heating oil for each of 12,000 households in rural Alaska.
(SFC, 9/22/06, p.A3)(SSFC, 10/8/06, p.A27)
2006 Sep 27, In Venezuela’s Los
Roques islands Elena Vecoli (34), a newly married Italian woman, was
murdered and her husband, Riccardo Prescendi (46) beaten inside an
inn popular with foreign tourists. Police identified 3 suspects the
2006 Sep, In Venezuela soldiers
killed 6 miners from La Paragua in the Caroni basin, where mining
was banned. 14 officers and men later arrested in the case. Another
4 men drowned while allegedly fleeing an army operation on the upper
Carua River. 18 soldiers were later accused of abuse of authority.
(Econ, 10/28/06, p.44)
2006 Oct 3, In Venezuela 2
boys, Renzo Festa (9) and Domenico Festa (12), were abducted along
with their mother, Nathaly Gotera de Festa, as she drove them to
school. Gotera (35) was married to Italian-Venezuelan businessman
Domenico Festa and was in the process of obtaining her Italian
2006 Oct 7, In Caracas,
Venezuela, thousands marched in the biggest show of public support
yet for Manuel Rosales, the main opposition presidential candidate,
who pledged to undo what he called the ills of President Hugo
2006 Oct 9, In Venezuela
spending exceeded gains from oil sales and the government expected
to see a deficit for the year of 4.3% of GDP.
(WSJ, 10/10/06, p.A6)
2006 Oct 16, Guatemala topped
Venezuela in the first round of voting for a UN Security Council
seat, but it failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority to win
a two-year term on the decision-making body. The 192-nation General
Assembly elected South Africa, Indonesia, Italy and Belgium for the
four other open seats in a secret ballot. 10 rounds of voting failed
to anoint a winner to fill the spot reserved for Latin America.
(AP, 10/16/06)(AP, 10/17/06)
2006 Nov 1, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez handed public workers $3 billion in Christmas
bonuses 1 1/2 months early, angering opposition leaders who called
it part of a cynical pattern of public handouts ahead of a December
2006 Nov 1, Venezuela and
US-backed Guatemala agreed to withdraw from the race and support
Panama, a compromise reached after voting in the UN General Assembly
dragged through 47 rounds of balloting.
2006 Nov, Venezuela inaugurated
its Venirauto car factory, a joint venture with Iran. The first 300
units were released on July 9, 2007.
2006 Dec 3, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez won re-election, defeating Manuel Rosales,
governor of the western state of Zulia. With 78% of voting stations
reporting, Chavez had 61% of the vote, to 38% for Rosales.
(Econ, 11/11/06, p.44)(AP, 12/3/06)(AP, 12/3/07)
2006 Dec 18, Venezuela's ruling
party took the first step toward creating a single pro-government
party, a move opponents criticized as a push to consolidate more
power in the hands of President Hugo Chavez after his landslide
re-election. Chavez met with Malaysia's PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to
discuss expanding trade and deepening ties.
2006 In Caracas, Venezuela, the
annual murder rate was 107 per 100,000.
(SSFC, 11/16/08, p.A16)
2007 Jan 2, Rival gangs battled
for control of Uribana Prison in eastern Venezuela, killing 16
inmates and injuring 13. National Guard troops restored order after
the riot broke out overnight. The death toll in riots this week rose
(AP, 1/2/07)(AP, 1/3/07)
2007 Jan 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez announced plans to nationalize power and
telecommunications companies and make other bold changes to increase
state control as he promised a more radical push toward socialism.
Chavez stated that he had been a “communist" since at least 2002.
(AP, 1/9/07)(Econ, 1/13/07, p.34)
2007 Jan 18, Venezuelan
lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo
Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can
impose sweeping economic, social and political change.
2007 Jan 21, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez told US officials to "Go to hell, gringos!"
and called Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly
radio and TV show, lashing out at Washington for what he called
unacceptable meddling in his country's affairs.
2007 Jan 23, Hundreds of
Venezuelans protested against a congressional measure that would
grant President Hugo Chavez the power to pass laws by decree in
areas from the economy to defense.
2007 Jan 30, Venezuela said it
plans to obtain air defense missiles to guard strategic sites such
as oil refineries and major bridges against any air strike.
2007 Jan 31, A Congress wholly
loyal to President Hugo Chavez met at a downtown plaza to give the
Venezuelan leader authority to enact sweeping measures by
2007 Feb 7, Officials in
Venezuela confirmed that Venezuela will buy whatever legal products
Bolivia can make from coca leaf as part of an effort to wean farmers
from the cocaine industry.
(SFC, 2/8/07, p.A2)
2007 Feb 8, President Hugo
Chavez's government moved to nationalize Venezuela's largest private
electric company, signing an agreement to buy a controlling stake in
Electricidad de Caracas from its US-based owner, AES Corp.
2007 Feb 11, In Venezuela
officials said President Hugo Chavez's government has drafted a
decree allowing officials to take control of food distribution
chains, including supermarkets and storage depots, if services are
2007 Feb 12, Venezuela signed a
preliminary agreement to purchase Verizon Communications Inc.'s
stake in the country's largest telecommunications company, the
latest move by President Hugo Chavez toward nationalizing strategic
sectors of the economy.
2007 Feb 26, President Hugo
Chavez ordered by decree the takeover of oil projects run by foreign
oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region.
2007 Mar 2, Venezuela accused
US anti-drug agents of collaborating with traffickers and rejected
Washington's allegations that rampant corruption has allowed illegal
drug smuggling to thrive in the South American country.
2007 Mar 6, Venezuelan
authorities arrested, Gen. Ramon Guillen Davila, a retired National
Guard general, on accusations that he plotted to overthrow President
2007 Mar 9, Nearly 20,000 fans
gathered at a stadium in Buenos Aires, not to watch soccer but to
hear Hugo Chavez bash George W. Bush.
2007 Mar 10, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez visited flood-ravaged Bolivia to show off the
fact that his country has pledged 10 times more aid than the Bush
administration. But local leaders gave him a cool reception,
accusing him of meddling in Bolivian politics.
2007 Mar 11, In Bolivia
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez called for a socialist
counterattack against the American "empire," taking his campaign to
upstage President Bush's Latin American tour to a packed gymnasium
in a poor, indigenous Bolivian city.
2007 Mar 12, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez shadowed his political foil President Bush on
a tour of Western Hemisphere nations, stopping in Haiti after
passing through Jamaica to promote aid packages and discuss
2007 Mar 25, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said that his administration plans to create
"collective property" as part of sweeping reforms toward socialism,
and that officials would move to seize control of large ranches and
redistribute lands deemed "idle."
2007 Apr 19, Venezuela launched
a Zeppelin to patrol Caracas, seeking to fight crime in one of Latin
America's most dangerous cities but also raising fears that
President Hugo Chavez could be turning into Big Brother.
2007 Apr 21, Venezuelans
marched amid heavy security in the opposition's largest show of
support yet for a television station targeted by President Hugo
Chavez, whom they accuse of suppressing freedom of speech and
2007 Apr 24, Yanis Chimaras
(51), a Venezuelan soap opera actor, was stabbed to death when he
came upon a robbery in a Caracas suburb. The Justice Ministry
reported 9,402 homicides nationwide in 2005.
2007 Apr 25, In Venezuela
officials from Chevron, BP PLC, France’s Total SA and Norway’s
Statoil ASA signed memorandums of agreement to give state-owned
Petroleos de Venezuela SA a majority stake in 3 projects.
ConocoPhillips resisted giving up control of 2 projects.
(SFC, 4/27/07, p.D3)
2007 Apr 28, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela is ready to become the sole energy
supplier to Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Haiti, presenting the
countries with his most generous offer yet of oil-funded diplomacy
in the region.
2007 Apr 29, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela hopes to gradually sell off its
refineries in the United States and build a new network of
refineries in Latin America, part of a plan to offer his leftist
allies in the region a stable oil supply.
2007 Apr 30, President Hugo
Chavez announced he would pull Venezuela out of the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund, a largely symbolic move because the
nation has already paid off its debts to the lending institutions.
2007 May 1, President Hugo
Chavez's government took over Venezuela's last privately run oil
fields, intensifying a struggle with international firms over the
development of the world's largest known petroleum deposit.
2007 May 3, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez warned he will nationalize the country's banks
and largest steel producer in an apparent bid to strong-arm the
businesses to contribute more to local industry.
2007 May 5, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela's largest steel maker, Sidor, will not be
allowed to make any more exports until it meets domestic needs, and
threatened to expropriate the Argentine-controlled company if it
2007 May 7, Venezuela said it
will not allow US agents to carry out counter-drug operations in the
country, accusing the US Drug Enforcement Administration of being a
"new cartel" that aids traffickers.
2007 May 12, A cutter of the
Dominican Republic picked up 3 men hauling in bales of cocaine
dropped from a plane that had originated in Venezuela. A US plane
and British helicopters took part in the seizure of a half-ton of
cocaine as Colombian drug traffic via Venezuela escalated.
(SFC, 7/2/07, p.A17)
2007 May 15, Venezuela’s health
minister said Venezuela will impose a limited smoking ban in bars
and restaurants but has no plans to halt the production of
cigarettes and tobacco.
2007 May 19, Tens of thousands
of Venezuelans marched to support a TV station aligned with
opponents of President Hugo Chavez, whose government plans to kick
the channel off the air next week by not renewing its license.
2007 May 26, Tens of thousands
of Venezuelans took to the streets chanting "Freedom, Freedom!" to
protest President Hugo Chavez's decision not to renew the broadcast
license of the country's most-watched TV station, an outlet for the
2007 May 28, RCTV, Venezuela's
oldest private television station, was pushed off the air as
President Hugo Chavez's government replaced the popular
opposition-aligned network with a new state-funded channel. Police
fired tear gas and plastic bullets into a crowd of thousands
protesting the decision by President Hugo Chavez.
(AP, 5/28/07)(AP, 5/29/07)(Econ, 6/2/07, p.14)
2007 May 30, In Venezuela a top
opponent of President Hugo Chavez demanded the release of jailed
protesters as university students poured into the streets for a
third day to protest the removal of a leading opposition TV station
from the air.
2007 Jun 4, In Venezuela
thousands of university students, their hands painted white as a
symbol of nonviolence returned to the streets of Caracas, keeping up
a week of protests against President Hugo Chavez's decision to force
a popular TV station off the air.
2007 Jun 6, President Hugo
Chavez called for the creation of a common defense pact between
Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia. The leftist Latin American
bloc announced the creation of a development bank to finance joint
2007 Jun 9, Venezuelan
authorities seized 2.5 tons of cocaine bound for Africa and arrested
nine suspects including four federal police officers and a US
2007 Jun 26, It was reported
that ConocoPhillips planned to walk away from its Venezuelan
investments, rather than agree to a government takeover of assets,
and preserve its right to seek international arbitration. Exxon
Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips refused to sign deals to keep pumping
heavy oil under tougher terms in Venezuela's Orinoco River basin,
signaling their departure from one of the world's largest oil
deposits. 7 of the 11 companies agreed to new terms with Petroleos
de Venezuela SA (PdVSA).
(WSJ, 6/26/07, p.A7)(AP, 6/26/07)(WSJ, 6/27/07,
p.A1)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.46)
2007 Jun 28, President Vladimir
Putin welcomed Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for talks at the
Russian presidential retreat outside Moscow, saying economic affairs
and military-technical cooperation were on the agenda.
2007 Jun 29, In Minsk
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for a strategic partnership
with Belarus, calling his counterpart a "brother-in-arms" and
lamenting the pressure he said the US was putting on Minsk and
2007 Jun 30, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez arrived in Iran for a two-day visit.
2007 Jul 3, President Hugo
Chavez said his government will nationalize Venezuela's privately
owned hospitals and clinics if they fail to reduce health care
2007 Jul 3, Venezuela’s energy
minister said in newly published comments that Venezuela has agreed
to sell gasoline to Iran.
2007 Jul 16, In Venezuela RCTV
resumed broadcasting on cable and satellite TV channels. The station
had been pushed off public access on May 28.
2007 Aug 1, An
opposition-aligned television channel (RCTV), already booted from
the airwaves, faced a deadline to agree to carry speeches by
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez or be yanked from the cable lineup.
2007 Aug 3, In Venezuela US
actor Sean Penn accompanied Pres. Chavez on a visit to western
Venezuela. "I'm also here as a journalist and so I owe it to that
medium to wait until I've digested, fact-checked and finished my
journey here" before saying more, Penn said. He thanked Chavez for
2007 Aug 7, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela would invest in a
regasification plant for liquid natural gas for Argentina, which is
weathering an energy crisis. Chavez was in Argentina as part of a
2007 Aug 8, Venezuela's
socialist President Hugo Chavez took a campaign of petrodollar
diplomacy to Uruguay, seeking stronger political ties while offering
energy aid from one of the world's largest oil producers.
2007 Aug 8, Argentine
authorities said they were investigating why Venezuelan businessman
Antonini Wilson was carrying $800,000 in undeclared cash aboard an
executive jet charted by Argentina's state energy company. In
December US prosecutors said that the suitcase full of Venezuelan
cash was intended to finance the presidential campaign of Cristina
(AP, 8/8/07)(AP, 12/13/07)
2007 Aug 9, In Ecuador
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to help Ecuador build a $5
billion oil refinery, as the socialist leader pledged to spread his
government's oil wealth to another South American ally.
2007 Aug 16, Opponents of
President Hugo Chavez vowed to block his plans to radically overhaul
the constitution, warning the changes would give him unlimited power
and cripple democracy in Venezuela.
2007 Aug 21, Venezuela's
National Assembly, dominated by allies of President Hugo Chavez,
gave unanimous initial approval to constitutional reforms that would
allow him to run for re-election and possibly govern for decades to
2007 Aug 31, Colombia's Alvaro
Uribe and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez agreed to allow a
representative of Colombia's largest guerrilla group to travel to
Caracas for talks aimed at freeing dozens of rebel-held hostages,
including three U.S. defense contractors.
2007 Sep 1, In Venezuela more
than two dozen Colombian prisoners arrested three years ago in an
alleged plot against President Hugo Chavez were freed in a goodwill
gesture he hopes will help facilitate a prisoner exchange in
2007 Sep 12, Exxon Mobil Corp.
said in a filing with the SEC that it had filed a request with the
Int’l. Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes for arbitration
over compensation from the Venezuelan government for seized oil
(WSJ, 9/14/07, p.A9)
2007 Sep 17, President Hugo
Chavez threatened to take over any private schools refusing to
submit to the oversight of his socialist government, a move some
Venezuelans fear will impose leftist ideology in the classroom.
2007 Sep 27, Iran’s President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled stopped in Bolivia, where he pledged $1
billion in investment. He pledged investment over the next five
years to help the poor Andean nation tap its vast natural gas
reserves, extract minerals, generate more electricity and fund
agricultural and construction projects. He then visited Venezuela to
meet President Hugo Chavez. Chavez embraced the Iranian leader,
calling him "one of the greatest anti-imperialist fighters" and "one
of the great fighters for true peace."
2007 Oct 3, President Hugo
Chavez accused the US of trying to spur a military rebellion, saying
the CIA is behind the distribution of leaflets inside army barracks
calling for his ouster.
2007 Oct 19,
Armed with clubs and waving provincial flags, thousands of
residents of Bolivia's wealthiest province seized control of Santa
Cruz’s Viru Viru airport from troops sent in by President Evo
Morales. The previous day Morales had ordered 220 troops to take
control of the airport after workers threatened to block flights
that did not pay landing fees to local officials rather than the
national airport authority. Television footage showed a Venezuelan
air force plane and uniformed personnel at the site.
(AP, 10/19/07)(Econ, 8/1/09, p.32)
2007 Oct 23,
In Venezuela thousands of university students scuffled with
police and government supporters during a protest against
constitutional reforms that would let President Hugo Chavez run for
2007 Oct 29,
Patrick Duddy, the new US ambassador to Venezuela met with
President Hugo Chavez, calling it a positive start toward improving
2007 Nov 1, Soldiers used tear
gas, plastic bullets and water cannons to scatter tens of thousands
who massed to protest constitutional reforms that would permit
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election
2007 Nov 2, Venezuela's
pro-government National Assembly overwhelmingly approved
constitutional reforms that would greatly expand the power of
President Hugo Chavez and permit him to run for re-election
2007 Nov 7, Masked gunmen
opened fire on students returning from a march in which tens of
thousands of Venezuelans denounced President Hugo Chavez's attempts
to expand his power through constitutional changes. At least eight
people were injured.
2007 Nov 16, Guyana rushed
troops and police to its western border a day after Venezuelan
soldiers allegedly blew up two Guyanese gold-mining dredges on a
river near the frontier.
2007 Nov 19, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez made his fourth trip to Iran in two years, as
the two countries sought to strengthen ties while their leaders
exhort the international community to resist US policies.
2007 Nov 21, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of President Hugo Chavez's supporters filled the
streets to back his proposed constitutional changes, while
anti-government student leaders announced a bold plan to march on
the presidential palace.
2007 Nov 21, Colombia's
government said it was canceling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's
mediation role with leftist rebels in a possible hostage swap,
dealing a blow to efforts to free three kidnapped US contractors and
a former presidential candidate.
2007 Nov 29, in Venezuela more
than 100,000 people flooded the streets to protest constitutional
changes that would boost President Hugo Chavez's power. Students
again showed they are a key force behind the re-energized
2007 Nov 30, In Venezuela some
200,000 gathered in Caracas as President Hugo Chavez urged
supporters to approve constitutional changes that he said could keep
him in power for life and threatened to cut off oil exports to the
US if it tries to meddle in the Dec 2 vote.
2007 Dec 2, Venezuelans voted
in a referendum on granting President Hugo Chavez expanded powers
and ending term limits under sweeping constitutional changes. Voters
narrowly rejected changes to 69 of 350 articles in the 1999
constitution by 51% to 49%.
(AP, 12/2/07)(AP, 12/3/07)(Econ, 12/8/07, p.30)
2007 Dec 3, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez, humbled by his first electoral defeat ever,
said he may have been too ambitious in asking voters to let him
stand indefinitely for re-election and endorse a huge leap to a
2007 Dec 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez promised to supply the oil needs of Belarus for years to
come and dismissed Western accusations that Pres. Alexander
Lukashenko is a dictator. Chavez presented Lukashenko with a medal,
and they signed an agreement pledging military cooperation.
2007 Dec 11, US officials in
Florida arrested 4 people, 3 from Venezuelan and one from Uruguay,
and accused them of being agents of the Venezuelan government.
Prosecutors later said the 4 were seeking to silence Guido Alehandro
Antonini Wilson, a citizen of both the USA and Venezuela. In August
Wilson was detained in Argentina for carrying $800,000 in a
suitcase, which prosecutors said was intended to aid the campaign of
Cristina Kirchner. Franklin Duran, multimillionaire owner of
Industrias Venoco CA, was one of the arrested Venezuelans. In 2008 a
federal jury convicted Duran on charges that he was a foreign agent
involved in a conspiracy.
(WSJ, 12/13/07, p.A16)(WSJ, 3/10/08, p.A5)(SFC,
2007 Dec 18, The leaders of
Argentina and Venezuela closed ranks against the United States,
rejecting US court charges in a campaign cash scandal as one more
example of Americans treating their nations like subservient
2007 Dec 21, Caribbean leaders
gathered in Cuba for a regional oil summit. Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez presided at a regional petroleum summit, pressing his
efforts to counter US influence in Latin America and the Caribbean
by suggesting more of his neighbors could pay for cheap oil with
goods or services in lieu of cash.
2007 Dec 31, President Hugo
Chavez granted amnesty to many opponents accused of supporting a
failed 2002 coup that briefly drove him from power. Chavez said he
signed an amnesty decree that would also pardon others accused of
attempting to overthrow his government in recent years.
2007 Dec 31, A Venezuelan-led
mission to rescue three hostages, including a 3-year old boy, from
leftist rebels in Colombia's jungles fell apart as the guerrillas
accused Colombia's military of sabotaging the promised handoff.
2007 Inflation in Venezuela
rose 22.5% for the year. Some 13,000 people were murdered this year
producing a murder rate of 48 per 100,000, the 2nd highest in the
world after El Salvador. In Caracas there were 2,710 murders, or 130
per 100,000 citizens.
(Econ, 1/12/08, p.32)(Econ, 7/19/08, p.47)(SSFC,
2008 Jan 1, Venezuela launched
a new currency with the new year, lopping off three zeros from
denominations in a bid to simplify finances and boost confidence in
a money that has been losing value due to high inflation.
2008 Jan 3, President Hugo
Chavez shuffled his Cabinet, naming a retired military officer as
vice president and other changes aimed at tackling corruption and
inefficiencies in his socialist government.
2008 Jan 4, A private plane
carrying 14 people, including 8 Italians, crashed into the sea after
taking off from Venezuela's Los Roques islands.
(AP, 1/5/08)(AP, 1/7/08)
2008 Jan 10, Helicopters sent
by Venezuela's president picked up two hostages freed by Colombian
rebels in the jungle and flew the women across the border. Clara
Rojas was an aide to Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid
Betancourt in February 2002 when the two were kidnapped on the
campaign trail. Rojas gave birth in captivity to a boy fathered by
one of the guerrillas. Betancourt is still being held. The other
freed hostage, former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo,
had been abducted in September 2001. FARC, in a statement published
on a pro-rebel Web site, said the unilateral release demonstrated
the group's "unquestionable willingness" to engage the government in
talks over the release of remaining hostages. The Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia is thought to still hold more than 700
(AP, 1/11/08)(Econ, 1/19/08, p.39)
2008 Jan 12, In Venezuela
Commander Hugo Chavez, spearheaded the installation of the Founding
Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) at the
San Carlos quarter in Caracas.
2008 Jan 16, The Venezuelan
Observatory of Prisons said more than an inmate a day died violently
in Venezuela's crowded prisons last year. Some 498 prisoners were
killed in riots and other violent acts in 2007, up from 412 in 2006.
2008 Jan 23, In Venezuela a
dozen opposition parties formally launched the Coalition for
Democratic Unity (MUD).
2008 Jan 25, In Miami Moises
Maionica (36) of Venezuelan pleaded guilty in a scheme to cover up
the source of $800,000 seized in a suitcase in Argentina that was
allegedly sent by Venezuelans as a donation to Cristina Fernandez's
2008 Jan 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez and allies Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba,
members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA),
launched a regional development bank intended to strengthen their
alliance and promote independence from US-backed lenders like the
World Bank as Chavez hosted a summit with ALBA leaders.
2008 Jan 29, In Venezuela 4
gunmen held more than 30 people hostage inside a bank during a
lengthy and tense standoff with police that began with a botched
robbery in the town of Altagracia de Orituco. The 4 gunmen
surrendered to police after freeing dozens of hostages and a
high-speed chase, ending an ordeal that lasted more than 30 hours.
(AP, 1/29/08)(AP, 1/30/08)
2008 Jan 30, Wilber Varela, one
of Colombia's most-wanted drug lords, was found slain in Merida,
Venezuela. Varela's war with his rival within the Norte del Valle
cartel, Diego Montoya, plagued the city of Cali and much of
southwestern Colombia, killing more than 1,000 people in several
2008 Feb 8, It was reported
that Exxon Mobil Corp. has obtained a court order freezing over $12
billion in bank accounts and assets in Europe, the Caribbean and New
York belonging to Venezuela’s state oil company in a dispute over
compensation for expropriated assets.
(WSJ, 2/8/08, p.A3)
2008 Feb 10, President Hugo
Chavez threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States in an
"economic war" if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize
billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.
2008 Feb 12, Venezuela's state
petroleum company PDVSA said it suspended oil supplies to ExxonMobil
in retaliation for the US energy giant's effort to freeze billions
of dollars in global PDVSA assets.
2008 Feb 21, In Venezuela a
plane carrying 46 people crashed in the western mountains, 6 miles
from the airport in the Andean city of Merida. All aboard were
2008 Feb 24, In Venezuela a
blast near the entrance of the Fedecamaras business chamber
headquarters in Caracas killed a 44-year-old man suspected of trying
to plant the bomb. The next day Venezuela's justice minister blamed
"anarchists" for the explosion and vowed to capture those
2008 Feb 27, Two Venezuelan
helicopters left for Colombia on a mission to pick up four hostages
held by rebels for more than six years. Rebels turned over four
ex-lawmakers to representatives from Venezuela in the same region
where they released two others on Jan 10.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/28/08)
2008 Feb 29, Peruvian officials
arrested seven members from the Coordinadora Continental
Bolivariana, a Venezuela-based leftist movement, including the
group's alleged leader, Roque Gonzalez, who spent eight years in
prison for kidnapping a Bolivian politician. Two more alleged
members were arrested on March 17 trying to carry in $65,000 from
Ecuador, money Peruvian authorities suspect is Venezuelan.
Coordinadora founder Fernando Rivero told The Associated Press in
Venezuela that the group is entirely autonomous.
2008 Feb 29, Italy’s Eni SpA
signed a major oil production agreement with Venezuela. Last month
Eni said it had reached a compensation deal in which Venezuela
agreed to a payment in excess of $700 million.
(WSJ, 3/1/08, p.A5)
2008 Mar 1, Colombia's defense
minister said security forces killed Raul Reyes (59), a leading
commander of the FARC rebel group, in combat and air strikes in
neighboring Ecuador. Reyes was the nom de guerre of Luis Edgar
Devia. 23 other rebels were also killed and a laptop computer was
seized with documents indicating a close relationship between the
rebels and Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez. Colombia later acknowledged
that an Ecuadorean was killed during the raid.
(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 3/5/08)(Econ, 3/8/08, p.43)(AP,
2008 Mar 2, Venezuela and
Ecuador ordered troops to their borders with Colombia, sharply
raising tensions after Colombia killed a top rebel leader on
Ecuadorean soil. Ecuadorean troops recovered the seminude bodies of
15 rebels in their jungle camp. Soldiers also found three wounded
women at the camp, a Mexican philosophy student injured by shrapnel
and two Colombians, who were evacuated by helicopter to be treated.
2008 Mar 3, Ecuador's president
said that his government was in "very advanced" talks with Colombian
rebels to free 12 hostages, including former presidential candidate
Ingrid Betancourt and three US contractors, but was thwarted by
Colombia’s military raid. Venezuela and Ecuador expelled Colombia’s
diplomats and cracked down on trade across the border.
2008 Mar 5, The
Washington-based OAS declared Colombia’s attack on rebels in Ecuador
a violation of Ecuador's sovereignty and called for OAS
Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza to lead a delegation to both
countries to ease tensions. But the resolution stopped short of
explicitly condemning the assault. Pres. Chavez said Venezuela will
search for other countries like Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina to
replace products imported from Colombia.
2008 Mar 7, At a summit in the
Dominican Republic the presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador
agreed to end a bitter dispute triggered by a Colombian cross-border
raid with testy handshakes and an apology.
2008 Mar 21, In Venezuela a
riot broke out between prison gangs at the San Fernando de Apure
lockup. 9 inmates were left dead and 20 more wounded.
(SSFC, 3/23/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 26, Venezuela's
National Assembly opened an investigation into a congressman's
accusations that two of President Hugo Chavez's brothers acquired 17
ranches in recent years.
2008 Mar 28, Combat helicopters
and F-16 fighter jets opened fire at a clandestine airstrip in
Venezuela's remote southern plains as part of a government
counter-drug effort. Army Gen. Jesus Gonzalez told state television
that so far this year, the military has demolished 67 airstrips used
by drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine from neighboring Colombia to
the United States and Europe. Another 90 are to be destroyed next
2008 Apr 3, President Hugo
Chavez ordered the nationalization of Venezuela's cement industry,
saying his government cannot allow businesses to continue exporting
raw materials needed to help tackle a domestic housing shortage.
2008 Apr 9, President Hugo
Chavez's government said it will nationalize Sidor, Venezuela's
largest steel maker and a unit of Ternium SA, bringing one more key
industry under state control in its drive toward a socialist
economy. Ternium, based in Luxembourg, was controlled by Argentine
(AP, 4/9/08)(SFC, 4/10/08, p.A9)
2008 Apr 9, Venezuela forced US
cartoon "The Simpsons" off its airwaves, calling the show a
potentially bad influence on children, and filled its morning slot
with reruns of the beach-and-bikini show "Baywatch."
2008 Apr 13, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said his government is working to create a
NATO-like South America defense council along with Brazil and other
2008 Apr 15, Venezuela moved to
take a greater cut of windfall oil profits, approving a 50 percent
tax on foreign oil companies when crude tops US$70 a barrel.
2008 Apr 23, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez joined with his leftist allies to create a
$100 million program to fight the rising cost of food for Latin
2008 Apr 24, The
Washington-based Cato Institute announced that Yon Goicoechea (23),
a law student in Venezuela, was winner of the $500,000 Milton
Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. Goicoechea took a central role
last year in rallying students to oppose what he sees as threats to
personal liberties and democracy in Venezuela.
2008 Apr 29, A power outage
left wide swaths of Venezuela without electricity, including much of
the capital. The blackout was caused by a forest fire that
overheated power lines in the central state of Guarico.
2008 Apr 30, President Hugo
Chavez ordered the expropriation of Sidor, Venezuela's largest steel
maker, after attempts by the government to acquire a majority stake
in the company failed. Chavez said Venezuela will turn Siderurgica
del Orinoco, which was controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA.,
into "a socialist company."
2008 May 8, A US diplomatic
cable, unveiled by WikiLeaks in 2010, described Nicaragua’s Pres.
Ortega as a "willing follower" of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The report said Ortega uses Venezuelan oil money to fund Sandinista
campaigns and that "several unconfirmed reports indicate that Ortega
will have as much as 500 million dollars at his disposal over the
course of 2008.
2008 May 23, In Brazil 12 South
American leaders gathered in Brasilia to set up the Union of South
American Nations. UNASUR was expected to replace the South American
Community, declared in 2004, and unite the Mercosur and Andean
Community free trade areas. Members included Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela.
2008 May 28, Venezuela
announced that the new Intelligence and Counterintelligence Law,
passed by Pres. Chavez, would replace the Disip secret police and
Military Intelligence Directorate with 4 new agencies. Under the law
citizens who refuse to act as informants for intelligence agencies
could face as much as 4 years in prison.
2008 Jun 2, In Venezuela the
vice president of a Venezuelan newspaper was shot and killed by a
gunman who police said could have confused the victim for his
brother, the president of Reporte Diario de la Economia, a daily
that has closely covered corruption cases.
2008 Jun 7, President Hugo
Chavez said that his government will rewrite a new intelligence law
to calm fears in Venezuela that the decree could be used to stifle
dissent. Thousands of opponents of President Hugo Chavez protested a
"blacklist" unveiled by Venezuela's top anti-corruption official
that bars key opposition candidates from running in upcoming
2008 Jun 8, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez urged Colombian rebels to lay down their
weapons, unilaterally free dozens of hostages and end a decades-long
2008 Jun 10, In Venezuela the
new intelligence system, dubbed the “Gestapo law," was repealed less
than a fortnight after its introduction.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.47)
2008 Jun 14, Annualized
inflation in Venezuela stood at around 30% amidst an economic
slowdown and an unprecedented crime-wave.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.47)
2008 Jun 15, Javier Garcia, a
Venezuelan television anchorman, was found slain in his apartment,
his body riddled with stab wounds.
2008 Jun 18, Venezuela's
national electoral council dealt a setback to President Hugo
Chavez's foes by tentatively accepting a blacklist barring nearly
400 potential candidates, most from the opposition. Venezuela's
government started posting National Guard troops on buses to try to
prevent violent crime.
(AP, 6/18/08)(AP, 6/19/08)
2008 Jul 11, Venezuela's Hugo
Chavez and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe mended relations after months of
sniping that threatened trade and unleashed a diplomatic crisis.
2008 Jul 12, President Hugo
Chavez said that he is expanding his Venezuela's Petrocaribe
oil-supply pact to include Guatemala.
2008 Jul 12, Thousands of
Venezuelans protested in the capital demanding that the Supreme
Court overturn a "blacklist" blocking key opponents of President
Hugo Chavez from running in upcoming elections.
2008 Jul 14, In Vietnam Dayana
Mendoza, Miss Venezuela, was crowned Miss Universe 2008 in a contest
marked by the spectacle of Miss USA falling down during the evening
gown competition for the second year in a row.
2008 Jul 17, Venezuela's ruling
party pledged to seek to reform the nation's constitution to let
President Hugo Chavez seek indefinite re-election.
2008 Jul 17, Six prominent
members of Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC met this day with
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega according to Nicaragua’s La
Prensa newspaper. The members of the guerrilla organization arrived
in Nicaragua in a Cessna airplane from Venezuela. Both Ortega and
Venezuela denied the newspaper report.
2008 Jul 20, In central Bolivia
a Venezuelan military helicopter often used to transport Bolivian
President Evo Morales crashed. Four Venezuelan military personnel
and a Bolivian officer were reported killed.
2008 Jul 23, Venezuela signed
over three more oil fields to a joint venture with Belarus, with
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declaring that the two nations were
strongly united in their resistance to "US imperialism" and
2008 Jul 27, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez, during his weekly TV program "Alo Presidente", made some
sharp criticisms of various government officials, calling on them to
fight against bureaucracy and corruption. He then brought to the
attention of the audience the book, "Reformism or Revolution" by
Alan Woods (b.1944), a Welsh Trotskyist.
2008 Jul 31, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez said his government will nationalize Banco de Venezuela, the
local unit of the Spanish banking giant Banco Santander.
(WSJ, 7/31/08, p.A6)
2008 Jul, In Venezuela
inflation was running at 32%.
(Econ, 7/19/08, p.47)
2008 Aug 3, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez says 24 Sukhoi fighter jets have been
delivered to Venezuela, and are ready to defend his country from
2008 Aug 4, In Venezuela
changes in areas from the military to small business loans were
pushed through by the president in 26 laws released in the official
gazette. Chavez approved them on the final day of an 18-month period
during which lawmakers had granted him special legislative powers.
2008 Aug 5, Venezuela's Supreme
Court ruled that a list barring hundreds of candidates suspected of
corruption from running in elections is constitutional, despite
complaints that it singles out opponents of President Hugo Chavez.
2008 Aug 6, Riot police used
tear gas as they blocked hundreds of Venezuelans protesting what
they call new moves by President Hugo Chavez to concentrate his
2008 Aug 8, Researchers said at
least 38 Warao Indians have died in remote villages in Venezuela
since June 2007. Medical experts suspected an outbreak of rabies
spread by bites from vampire bats.
2008 Aug 12, Venezuela raised
the regulated prices of foods ranging from bread to beef by up to 50
percent and removed price controls from other goods in a bid to ease
sporadic shortages in supermarkets.
2008 Aug 12, Spanish officials
said local police acting on a tip-off from US authorities have
seized 1.4 tons of cocaine and arrested eight South American
suspects, 6 from Colombia and 2 from Venezuela.
2008 Aug 18, Mexico’s Cemex SAB
rejected Venezuela’s bid for the company’s assets in Venezuela. At
midnight oil workers and Venezuelan soldiers occupied Cemex
facilities around the country.
(WSJ, 8/19/08, p.A10)
2008 Aug 19, The Dutch Navy and
a squad of US Coast Guard raiders seized 4.6 tons (4,200 kilograms)
of cocaine from a Panamanian-flagged freighter that had set sail
from Venezuela. The freighter was boarded on Aug 17 and it took 36
hours of searching to find the drugs.
2008 Aug 31, Venezuela rejected
US requests to resume cooperation in the war on drugs, saying it has
made progress despite an alleged fourfold-gain in the amount of
Colombian cocaine now passing through its territory.
2008 Sep 2, South Africa signed
an energy agreement with oil-rich Venezuela as President Hugo Chavez
arrived on his first state visit. Political, trade and economic
relations were on the agenda with President Thabo Mbeki.
(AFP, 9/2/08)(AFP, 9/3/08)
2008 Sep 11, Venezuela
interrogated military officers named in recordings of an apparent
plan to kill President Hugo Chavez, in what may the firmest evidence
in years of a barracks plot to oust him. Chavez ordered the US
ambassador to leave Venezuela within 72 hours, accusing the diplomat
of conspiring against his government and saying he would also
withdraw his own envoy from Washington immediately.
(AP, 9/12/08)(Reuters, 9/12/08)
2008 Sep 12, The US accused
Rodriguez Chacin and 2 other top aides to Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez
of helping Colombian guerrillas traffic cocaine and procure weapons
for FARC. Chacin had just resigned on Sep 8 from Venezuela’s
(SFC, 9/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Sep 23, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez arrived in China to hold talks with his
counterpart Hu Jintao and sign a deal for combat aircraft in a visit
likely to irk the US. Chavez said Venezuela and China agreed to
jointly build 2 oil refineries, one in each country.
(AP, 9/23/08)(WSJ, 9/24/08, p.A25)
2008 Sep 28, President Hugo
Chavez said that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy,
a move likely to raise US concerns over increasingly close
cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.
2008 Oct 1, In Venezuela Julio
Soto, a student leader at the University of Zulia, was killed by
unidentified gunmen in the western city of Maracaibo. Assailants
sprayed his vehicle with gunfire and then fled without taking
anything. Soto had helped organize protests against constitutional
amendments proposed by President Hugo Chavez.
2008 Oct 12, In Venezuela Pres.
Chaves, on Indigenous Resistance Day, presented the Yukpa Indians
titles to some blocks of land. This fell short of the 150,000 acres
they claimed as ancestral territory.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.41)
2008 Oct 13, A Venezuelan court
issued arrest warrants for eight suspects in the Oct 1 killing of
Julio Soto, a student leader who helped organize protests against
constitutional amendments proposed by President Hugo Chavez.
2008 Oct 29, Venezuela launched
its first satellite from Sichuan, China. It will begin carrying
radio, television and other data transmissions in early 2009 after
three months of tests.
2008 Nov 8, Kenneth Dale Peters
(55), an American tourist, was shot and killed and a friend wounded,
in an apparent robbery attempt aboard a sailboat on Venezuela's
Caribbean coast. On Nov 12 regional police arrested Jose Rodriguez,
Jonas Marcano and Johan Isazis. They will face charges of homicide
and attempted homicide.
(AP, 11/10/08)(AP, 11/13/08)
2008 Nov 17, Venezuela and Iran
announced a plan to start a new university program in the South
American country with a focus on teaching socialist principles.
2008 Nov 20, Vietnam's
president Nguyen Minh Triet was set to meet Venezuelan leader Hugo
Chavez, during the first visit by a head of state from the communist
nation here, mainly focused on oil and gas ties.
2008 Nov 23, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez sought to hold on to his dominance in state
and municipal elections, facing an opposition aiming to win back
power in key states and cities. Chavez's opponents made important
gains in local elections, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and
three of the most populous states, but his allies won a strong
(AP, 11/23/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 25, Russian warships
arrived in Venezuela in a show of strength aimed at the United
States as Moscow seeks to expand its influence in Latin America.
2008 Nov 26, In Venezuela
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a local
nuclear energy program and said Moscow is willing to participate in
a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo
2008 Dec 11, Venezuelan
prosecutors formally charged Manuel Rosales, a leading opposition
figure, with corruption, as President Hugo Chavez pushed forward
with plans for a referendum to end term limits. Rosales denied any
wrongdoing, saying the accusations are politically motivated.
2008 Dec 13, Cuban President
Raul Castro arrived in Venezuela on his first international visit as
2008 A Human Rights Watch
report said Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez had effectively neutralized the
judiciary as an independent branch of government.
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.40)
2009 Jan 5, Former US
Representative Joseph P. Kennedy said Citgo Petroleum, the US
refiner owned by the Venezuelan government, planned to stop
deliveries to his Boston-based nonprofit, Citizens’ Energy, due to
falling oil prices. The stop order was removed 2 days later.
(WSJ, 1/6/09, p.A7)(AP, 1/8/09)
2009 Jan 6, Venezuela ordered
Israel's ambassador expelled from the country in protest over the
Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2009 Jan 6, Turkey held a
shipment bound for Venezuela from Iran saying it contains equipment
that can make explosives.
(WSJ, 1/7/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 7, Venezuela's Citgo
Petroleum Corp. announced its fuel oil aid program would continue,
just two days after its partner nonprofit group, Boston-based
Citizens Energy, said Citgo had halted the free fuel shipments due
to the world economic crisis.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuelan
lawmakers approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would
allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely, the
final step before the proposal goes before voters in a referendum.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuela and
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel to protest its
military offensive in Gaza.
2009 Jan 16, In Venezuela a
takeover of the Caracas City Hall began violently when dozens of
armed Chavez supporters wearing ski masks stormed in after shooting
at the building and tying up security guards. Chavez backers
occupied the civil registry and other municipal buildings to protest
Ledezma's decision to cut them off the city payroll. Caracas Mayor
Antonio Ledezma took to working from an undisclosed friend's office.
2009 Jan 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez challenged President Barack Obama to remake US
policy toward Latin America, but said he isn't holding out much hope
for major changes. Police used tear gas, plastic bullets and a water
cannon to break up a protest by university students against Chavez's
attempt to eliminate term limits.
2009 Jan 30, In Venezuela an
armed group vandalized Caracas' oldest synagogue, shattering
religious objects and spray-painting walls in what Jewish leaders
called the worst attack ever on their community. On March 26
prosecutors filed charges against eight police officers and three
other people, accusing them of involvement in the attack.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AP, 3/26/09)
2009 Feb 7, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of protesters marched in Caracas to oppose a
constitutional amendment that could allow President Hugo Chavez to
run for re-election indefinitely.
2009 Feb 12, In Venezuela tens
of thousands clad in red flooded the streets of Caracas, saying a
referendum that would end term limits is the only way President Hugo
Chavez can complete what he calls a socialist revolution.
2009 Feb 15, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez tried for a second time to win the right to
seek re-election far into the future with a referendum widely
regarded as a way to cement socialism. Some 55% percent of the
voters approved the amendment.
(AP, 2/15/09)(AP, 2/16/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.39)
2009 Feb 26, Venezuela
condemned a US State Department report on human rights problems in
the South American country, saying Washington has no right to pass
judgment on its record.
2009 Feb 28, President Hugo
Chavez ordered troops to intervene in Venezuelan rice processing
businesses, saying some have balked at producing under regulated
2009 Mar 4, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez ordered the expropriation of the rice operations of US grain
giant Cargill Inc. and threatened to take over beer and food
manufacturer Polar, the country’s largest private company.
(WSJ, 3/5/09, p.A9)
2009 Mar 10, Venezuela's
National Guard destroyed an elaborate network of clandestine
cocaine-processing laboratories along the country's border with
Colombia as part of its anti-drug efforts.
2009 Mar 10, In northern
Honduras a plane from Venezuela that was carrying more than 2 tons
of cocaine crashed, killing the pilot. 2 US Drug Enforcement
Administration helicopters were allegedly pursuing the aircraft when
it went down near El Negrito town.
2009 Mar 14, A Russian Air
Force chief said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered
an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers. Maj.
Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev also said Cuba could be used to base the
2009 Mar 15, President Hugo
Chavez dispatched the navy to Venezuela's seaports, warning that
state governors who challenge a new law bringing transportation hubs
under federal control could end up in prison. Chavez also said that
Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but he denied that
his country would offer Moscow its territory for a military base.
2009 Mar 19, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez announced the nationalization of Banco de Venezuela, a unit
of Spain’s Banco Santander SA.
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A10)
2009 Mar 21, Venezuela's
federal government seized seaports and airstrips in at least four
states, a move critics say is meant to limit the powers of mayors
and governors opposed to President Hugo Chavez.
2009 Mar 22, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez, who has for years funneled state oil income
into sweeping social programs, vowed to cut nonessential state
spending and order a review of top officials' salaries as oil income
plunges. Chavez also called President Barack Obama "ignorant,"
saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.
2009 Mar 23, In Venezuela
thieves in Caracas ransacked the offices of the Ibrahim Al-lbrahim
mosque, stealing jewels, computers and other objects and throwing
books across the floor. The Ibrahim Al-lbrahim building is Latin
America's second largest mosque after the Rey Fahd Islamic Cultural
Center in Argentina.
2009 Mar 25, US authorities
arrested Florida businessman Rama K. Vyasulu and froze his
Rosemont Finance Corp. following a federal grand jury indictment in
Boston indicting him on charges of laundering $900,000 in drug
profits. His firm served as a key US clearing house for dozens of
black market brokerages selling dollars in Venezuela, despite an
official ban on private firms buying an d selling currency at
unofficial rates. An estimated $100 million was believed to be
(WSJ, 3/28/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 26, The UN's top
human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations urging
passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.
The resolution was sponsored by Pakistan, Belarus and Venezuela.
(AP, 3/26/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.17)
2009 Mar 31, In Qatar
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sought Arab support for a proposed
oil-backed currency to challenge the US dollar in his latest swipe
at Washington's dominance in global financial affairs.
2009 Mar, In Venezuela Manuel
Rosales, a leading opposition figure, stepped down as mayor of
Maracaibo and went into hiding following politically motivated
corruption charges. Rosales entered Peru as a tourist on April 4 and
sought asylum there.
(AP, 12/11/08)(SFC, 4/21/09, p.A2)(AP, 4/21/09)
2009 Apr 2, Venezuelan
authorities arrested retired Gen. Raul Baduel, a former defense
minister and a prominent critic of President Hugo Chavez, on
corruption charges. The former ally of Pres. Chavez went into
opposition 18 months earlier.
(AP, 4/2/09)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.36)
2009 Apr 2, Washington
expressed no interest in an offer by Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez to take in any of the 240 remaining Guantanamo detainees
after they are released from the US military prison.
2009 Apr 3, In Venezuela 3 of
the capital’s former police chiefs were sentenced to 30 years in
prison. They were accused without evidence of complicity in the
murder of several supporters of Pres. Chavez, who died during a coup
attempt in 2002.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.36)
2009 Apr 6, Japan’s Finance
Minister Kaoru Yosano said PM Taro Aso has ordered a $100 billion
stimulus plan to boost the national economy. PM Aso and Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez agreed to deepen ties in energy, investment
and trade, with Japanese companies ready to participate in gas and
crude production in the Latin American country.
(WSJ, 4/7/09, p.A8)(AP, 4/6/09)
2009 Apr 8, In China visiting
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the world's center of gravity
has moved to Beijing, as he focused on boosting Chinese oil
2009 Apr 8, The US Coast Guard
located a Venezuela-flagged fishing boat 500 miles east of Brazil,
boarded the vessel and found about 2,500 pounds (1,135 kilograms) of
cocaine. They planned to turn over the boat, the drugs, the
prisoners to Venezuelan authorities.
2009 Apr 18, Venezuela’s Hugo
Chavez said that he is restoring Venezuela's ambassador in
Washington, voicing hopes for a "new era" in relations after
exchanging greetings with US President Barack Obama at a regional
summit in Trinidad. Chavez presented Obama with a Spanish hardcover
edition of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the
Pillage of a Continent" (1971), by Uruguayan journalist Eduardo
(AP, 4/18/09)(WSJ, 4/27/09, p.A13)
2009 Apr 20, In Florida 7 more
Venezuelan polo horses sickened just before a tournament died
overnight, raising the death toll to 21. Officials said they may
have been killed by some type of poison.
2009 Apr 27, Palestinian
officials established formal ties with Venezuela and opened a
diplomatic mission in the South American country.
2009 Apr 27, Peru's government
said that it has granted political asylum to Manuel Rosales, a
Venezuelan opposition leader, who faced corruption allegations in
his homeland but claimed to be persecuted by leftist President Hugo
2009 Apr 28, Venezuela recalled
its ambassador to protest Peru's decision to grant political asylum
to a prominent opponent of President Hugo Chavez, calling it a
mockery of international law and escalating a diplomatic dispute.
2009 May 1, In Venezuela police
and national guard troops broke up an opposition march in Caracas as
thousands of opponents and supporters of Pres. Chavez held separate
May Day marches.
(SFC, 5/2/09, p.A2)
2009 May 3, Sixteen Venezuelan
soldiers and a civilian were killed when a military helicopter
crashed near the Colombian border. A brigadier general was among
2009 May 6, Venezuelan
prosecutors filed embezzlement and other charges against a former
Caracas mayor who supports the government of President Hugo Chavez.
Juan Barreto, mayor from 2004 to 2008, denied the allegations and
vowed to clear his name in court.
2009 May 8, Venezuelan police
uncovered a cache of weapons and explosives at a Caracas apartment.
The discovery led to the detention of 3 citizens of the Dominican
Republic, Luini Omar Campusano de la Cruz (38); Edgar Floiran
Sanchez (29); and Diomedis Campusano Perez (31) and a Frenchman,
Laurent Frederic Bocquet, on suspicion of planning terrorist acts.
2009 May 8, Venezuela’s
National Guard began occupying dozens of oil rigs, docks and boats
operated by private contractors, both local and foreign, hired by
PDVSA, the state oil company. It appeared that PDVSA had run out of
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.44)
2009 May 9, In Venezuela police
and soldiers discovered 4,370 pounds (1,983 kilograms) of cocaine
during a raid on a ranch in central Miranda state. A Colombian and
two Venezuelans were detained.
2009 May 10, A small plane
filled with cocaine crashed in Honduras. The plane registered in
Venezuela was carrying around 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms) of
cocaine when it crashed on Utila, one of the Bay Islands off the
country's northern coast.
2009 May 20, In Venezuela
thousands of university students marched through Caracas demanding
more state financial aid for public universities after President
Hugo Chavez's government reduced funding by 6 percent.
2009 May 21, In Venezuela
police and soldiers raided a property belonging to the head of the
only anti-government news network amid a growing confrontation
between the station and President Hugo Chavez's government.
2009 May 25, It was reported
that a secret Israeli government report said Venezuela and Bolivia
are supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program.
2009 May 26, Wilmer Ignacio
Guerrero Ibanez (40), a suspected trafficker accused of smuggling
cocaine through Venezuela was deported to Colombia, where officials
took him into custody at an international bridge linking the
2009 May 27, In Venezuela
hundreds of opponents of President Hugo Chavez marched in support of
press freedom, two years after his government refused to renew the
concession of an opposition-aligned television station.
2009 Jun 4, Venezuelan
prosecutors charged Guillermo Zuloaga (67), president of the
anti-government television station Globovision, with usury.
This ended a weeks-long investigation into his business activities
that Zuloaga called politically motivated.
2009 Jun 5, Venezuela's tax
agency ordered an anti-government news network to pay $2.3 million
in back taxes, a day after its president was charged in a separate
investigation and troops raided his home.
2009 Jun 20, Venezuela’s
Commerce Minister Eduardo Saman, a close confidant of President Hugo
Chavez, announced that the government would annul patents on some
medicines under a reform of existing intellectual property laws.
Industry leaders soon responded saying the action could cause
shortages and scare off foreign investment.
2009 Jun 20, In Venezuela
authorities arrested Salvatore Miceli, suspected of being a key
intermediary in the drug trafficking trade and one of Italy's most
dangerous Mafia fugitives, as he left his apartment in Caracas.
Police also picked up two other Italian suspects.
2009 Jun 24, Venezuela and the
United States said they will restore their ambassadors more than
nine months after President Hugo Chavez expelled the US envoy in his
final diplomatic bout with the Bush administration.
2009 Jun 27, Thousands of
Venezuelans held separate protests to support and condemn an
opposition-aligned TV station that President Hugo Chavez's
government has threatened with closure.
2009 Jul 3, The head of
Venezuela's telecommunications regulatory agency said that 240 radio
stations will have their licenses revoked for failing to update
their registrations with the government. The government now controls
six television channels, including the Caracas-based international
network Telesur, two national radio networks and other smaller media
outlets including 600 radio stations and 72 community TV stations.
2009 Jul 9, In Venezuela’s top
telecommunications official said President Hugo Chavez's government
is imposing new regulations on cable television while revoking the
licenses of more than 200 radio stations.
2009 Jul 14, Venezuela's oil
minister Rafael Ramirez said workers at the state oil company must
support President Hugo Chavez's endeavors or be suspected of
conspiring against his socialist revolution.
2009 Jul 15, In Venezuela
National Guard troops seized a police station controlled by a
leading opponent of President Hugo Chavez, sparking clashes between
soldiers and protesters that authorities said injured eight people.
2009 Jul 20, In Venezuela
Alicia Torres, a judge handling one of Venezuela's most politically
charged cases, said that she was fired after complaining about
pressure to rule against an opponent of President Hugo Chavez.
Torres said last week she was pressured by a superior to prohibit
Guillermo Zuloaga, president and owner of the Globovision TV
channel, from leaving the country.
2009 Jul 27, Sweden said it was
demanding an explanation as to why Swedish-made anti-tank rocket
launchers, sold to Venezuela years ago, were obtained by Colombia's
main rebel group. Three launchers were recovered in October in a
FARC arms cache belonging to a rebel commander known as "Jhon 40"
and Colombia only recently asked Sweden to confirm whether they had
been sold to Venezuela.
2009 Jul 28, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez recalled his ambassador from Bogota and threatened to
halt Colombian imports after the neighboring country said anti-tank
weapons found in a rebel arms cache came from Venezuela.
2009 Jul 30, Venezuela's top
prosecutor, Attorney General Luisa Ortega, insisted that freedom of
expression in Venezuela "must be limited" and proposed legislation
that would slap additional restrictions on the country's news media.
2009 Jul 31, Venezuelan
regulators revoked the broadcast rights of 34 radio stations for
allegedly failing to submit the proper paperwork to the broadcasting
regulator, deepening a rift between President Chavez's government
and the private media. Venezuelan lawmakers approved an election law
to redraw voting districts, a step that President Hugo Chavez's
opponents say will give his party a big advantage in next year's
(AP, 7/31/09)(AP, 8/1/09)(Econ, 8/8/09, p.32, 34)
2009 Aug 3, In Venezuela a
far-left party led by Lina Ron attacked the opposition-aligned
Globovision TV station. The next day Pres. Chavez condemned the
attack and had Ron arrested for taking part in the assault.
(SFC, 8/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Aug 5, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said his government will buy dozens of Russian
tanks because Venezuela feels threatened by a pending deal for the
US military to increase its presence in neighboring Colombia.
2009 Aug 8, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said he's returning his ambassador to
Colombia, moving to resolve rising diplomatic tensions after weapons
sold to Venezuela were found in a rebel cache.
2009 Aug 13, In Venezuela
attackers injured 12 of the journalists as they passed out leaflets
warning against a new education law that critics fear could lead to
indoctrination in schools. Their fliers warned against a provision
for sanctions against reports that "produce terror" among children
or incite hate.
2009 Aug 14, In Venezuela
lawmakers loyal to President Hugo Chavez gave final approval on to
legislation that has raised fears among government opponents of
impending socialist indoctrination in schools. The National Assembly
also approved a law that paves the way for the government to take
over private buildings and land in urban areas.
2009 Aug 19, US authorities in
collaboration with Venezuela led to the seizure of about a ton of
cocaine aboard a ship in the Caribbean Sea. Two Venezuelans and a
Colombian were arrested.
2009 Aug 22, Venezuelan police
dispersed opponents of Pres. Chavez's government as thousands
demonstrated both for and against an education law that critics fear
will lead to political indoctrination in schools.
2009 Aug 23, In the Bahamas
Stefania Fernandez (18), Miss Venezuela, was the fairest of them all
once again, winning the 2009 Miss Universe crown for the second year
straight and the sixth time since the pageant's creation.
2009 Sep 2, In Algeria
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for closer economic ties
with Algeria, notably in the energy sector, during a two-day visit
2009 Sep 4, Thousands of
opponents of Hugo Chavez marched against the Venezuelan president
across Latin America, accusing him of everything from
authoritarianism to international meddling. The protests,
coordinated through Twitter and Facebook, drew more than 5,000
people in Bogota, and thousands more in the capitals of Venezuela
and Honduras. Smaller demonstrations were held in other Latin
American capitals, as well as New York and Madrid.
2009 Sep 6, In Iran Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez sealed an agreement to export 20,000 barrels
per day of gasoline to Iran. The deal would give Tehran a cushion if
the West carries out threats of fuel sanctions over Iran's nuclear
program. The two countries also agreed to set up a bank together to
help finance joint projects.
2009 Sep 10, In Russia
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez recognized the pro-Russian rebel
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a rare
boost to the Kremlin's campaign for their international acceptance.
2009 Sep 11, In Spain
Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez paid a brief courtesy call on King Juan
Carlos and met briefly with PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to
discuss energy issues and Spanish investment in oil-rich Venezuela.
2009 Sep 11, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez returned home from a world tour. He said he
has signed military agreements with Russia and is soon expecting the
arrival of some "little rockets," which reach up to 186 miles
(300km) and are strictly for defense purposes.
2009 Sep 12, In Venezuela
opposition Mayor Lluvane Alvarez was shot by unidentified assailants
as he entered his home in western Tachira state, which is plagued by
crime related to drug trafficking and other illicit activities.
2009 Sep 13, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez said Russia has opened a $2.2 billion line of credit for
Venezuela to purchase weapons including armored vehicles and
2009 Sep 16, In Venezuela the
collision of a truck carrying chlorine gas and a cargo vehicle
killed nine people and provoking breathing problems in 326 others.
2009 Sep 18, In Venezuela an
emergency meeting of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA)
took place in Caracas. Former presidents from Peru and Bolivia
joined newspaper editors from across the Americas in condemning what
they call a series of attempts by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,
and some of his allies, to clamp down on the news media.
2009 Sep 22, Venezuelan police
have captured Julio Mendez (38), an American pilot wanted
since 2007 on cocaine smuggling charges in the United States.
2009 Sep 24, Venezuela’s
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said the animated television
series "Family Guy." should be pulled from the airwaves because it
promotes the use of marijuana. He said that cable networks that
broadcast "Family Guy" would be fined by Venezuela's
telecommunications regulator if they refuse to dump the program.
2009 Sep 26, In Venezuela some
30 African and South American leaders met for a 2-day summit on
Margarita Island seeking to build on their alliances. Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi called for a NATO-like defense alliance for Africa
and South America as leaders from the two continents agreed to link
up to gain more clout as economic and political blocs.
(AP, 9/26/09)(AP, 9/27/09)
2009 Sep 27, In Venezuela Pres.
Hugo Chavez proposed that South American and African nations unite
to create a cross-continental mining corporation to keep control of
their resources. Chavez made diplomatic inroads in Africa at a
summit of South American and African leaders where he offered
Venezuela's help in oil projects, mining and financial assistance.
Venezuela signed agreements to work together on oil projects with
South Africa, Mauritania, Niger, Sudan and Cape Verde.
(Reuters, 9/27/09)(AP, 9/28/09)
2009 Sep 28, In Venezuela Pres.
Hugo Chavez and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi called for a new global
definition of terrorism. Meeting a day after the end of a summit of
African and South American leaders in Venezuela, the two men signed
a declaration urging a global conference be held to sketch out new
terms defining terrorism.
2009 Sep 30, In Venezuela more
than 150 university students ended a hunger strike after the
Organization of American States (OAS) agreed to hear their concerns
over alleged political persecution by President Hugo Chavez's
2009 Oct 1, Venezuela's top
security official said Julio Mendez (37), an American pilot wanted
in the United States on cocaine-smuggling charges, has been turned
over to representatives of the US State Department to be taken home.
2009 Oct 3, Some 2,000 people
marched across Venezuela's capital to protest what they say is the
persecution of President Hugo Chavez's opponents.
2009 Oct 11, In Venezuela 12
men were kidnapped from a field where they were playing soccer. On
Oct 25 the bodies of 10 of the men, most of them Colombians, were
found with multiple spots in western Tachira state. A single
survivor, Manuel Cortez (19) of Colombia, was shot in the neck.
2009 Oct 12, In Venezuela
thousands of people congregated for candlelit rituals on a remote
mountainside where adherents make an annual pilgrimage to pay homage
to an indigenous goddess known as Maria Lionza. The traditions,
hundreds of years old, draw on elements of the Afro-Caribbean
religion Santeria and indigenous rituals, as well as Catholicism.
Believers often ask for spiritual healing or protection from
witchcraft, or thank the goddess for curing an illness.
2009 Oct 22, Venezuela deported
Luis Cediel to the US. The Colombian man had links to a pyramid
scheme that bilked Colombians out of hundreds of millions of
(SFC, 10/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Oct 27, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said two Colombian spies have been captured
and will go on trail for conducting espionage within his country.
Colombia's security agency denied sending any agents into Venezuela.
2009 Nov 2, In Venezuela a lone
gunman approached Gustavo Gonzalez, a member of the Copei opposition
party, at a restaurant, fatally shot the politician in the head and
fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. 2 National Guard
soldiers were shot multiple times at a roadside checkpoint near the
border with Colombia. Prosecutors believed the troops were attacked
by four men on two motorcycles. Johan Manuel Mora Rodriguez (20) was
detained at a National Guard checkpoint near where the killings
occurred in western Tachira state.
2009 Nov 2, In Mali the burned
debris of a Boeing cargo plane was discovered on Nov. 2 in the Gao
region. It was assumed to have landed on a clandestine landing strip
and either failed to take off again or was destroyed on purpose.
Ample traces of cocaine were found on board. Drug smugglers had
flown the plane from Venezuela, unloaded it and torched it. In 2010
it was reported that drug smugglers were buying old jets and flying
them across the Atlantic to feed Europe’s growing coke habit.
(AP, 12/3/09)(SFC, 11/16/10, p.A6)
2009 Nov 4, The London-based
indigenous rights group Survival International said Swine flu has
appeared among the Yanomami Indians of Venezuela, one of the largest
isolated indigenous groups in the Amazon. A local doctor and that
the virus is suspected in seven deaths, including six infants.
2009 Nov 8, Colombia said it
will appeal to the UN Security Council and the OAS after Hugo
Chavez, the fiery leftist president of neighboring Venezuela,
ordered his army to prepare for war in order to assure peace.
2009 Nov 11, Venezuelan
authorities destroyed more than 30,000 illegal firearms as part of
an effort to combat soaring crime. The government stopped releasing
complete annual murder figures in 2005, but in 2008 the Justice
Ministry said homicides averaged 152 a week, or roughly 7,900 for 12
2009 Nov 14, Colombia’s
government 4 soldiers from Venezuela's National Guard captured in
Colombian territory will be repatriated in a bid to ease tensions
between the South American neighbors. The Colombian navy intercepted
the men Nov 13 in El Aceitico along the border.
2009 Nov 19, Venezuelan
authorities captured Magally Moreno (39), a former Colombian
official, wanted for collaborating with outlawed right-wing
paramilitary fighters. Moreno was wanted by Colombian authorities on
charges of aggravated homicide and Interpol had called for her
2009 Nov 20, Hugo Chavez has
defended the alleged terrorist mastermind Carlos the Jackal, aka
Ilich Sanchez Ramirez, saying the Venezuelan imprisoned in France
was an important "revolutionary fighter" who supported the cause of
the Palestinians. Ramirez gained international notoriety during the
1970s and 80s as the alleged mastermind of a series of bombings,
killings and hostage dramas. He is serving a life sentence in France
for the 1975 murders of two French secret agents and an alleged
2009 Nov 25, Iranian Pres.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Caracas for a meeting with President Hugo
Chavez, as the two outspoken anti-US leaders try to boost ties.
2009 Nov 27, Venezuela’s
President Chavez said he plans to open an embassy in Palestinian
territories and upgrade its ties to ambassadorial level, to support
Palestinians in their struggle against Israel.
2009 Dec 7, President Hugo
Chavez said that Venezuela has received thousands of Russian-made
missiles and rocket launchers as part of his government's military
preparations for a possible armed conflict with neighboring
2009 Dec 8, In Venezuela a
group of college students ended a hunger strike after 17 days
following a meeting with Organization of American States
representatives to air their concerns about human rights. A dozen
students started the protest Nov. 21 outside the OAS office in
Caracas, aiming to press the body to look into their complaints,
including allegations that President Hugo Chavez's government abuses
the legal system to persecute opponents. Jesus Ramirez Bello (20), a
student, was shot and killed during a protest in the southwestern
city of San Cristobal, Tachira state. 2 suspects were later detained
in the killing.
(AP, 12/9/09)(AP, 12/11/09)
2009 Dec 10, In Venezuela Judge
Maria Afiuni was jailed on charges of corruption and abuse of power
for freeing a high-profile banker while he awaited trial. An angry
President Hugo Chavez demanded she be kept in a cell for the maximum
sentence, 30 years.
2009 Dec 15, In Venezuela
lawmakers loyal to President Hugo Chavez inaugurated a state-run
radio station that replaces a previous broadcaster that sandwiched
criticism of Venezuela's socialist leader between jazz and salsa
2009 Dec 24, In Venezuela
Rafael Antonio Caldera (b.1916), former two-time president
(1969-1974 and 1994-1999), died. He is considered as one of the
founders of Venezuelan democracy (1958) after decades of
2009 Venezuela counted some
19,133 murders for this year, over 4 times the number before Pres.
Chavez became president. On Dec 9, 2010, the Provea human rights
group said 13,985 people were murdered in Venezuela in 2009 and that
the figure could be significantly higher, alluding to the rampant
crime that has become a central concern of Venezuelans.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.30)(AP, 12/9/10)
2010 Jan 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez issued a presidential decree devaluing the currency by up to
50%. Finance minister Ali Rodriguez admitted that this would boost
the inflation rate, 27% last year, by 3-5 percentage points.
(Econ, 1/16/10, p.39)
2010 Jan 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez said his government is determined to keep Guri Dam from
falling to a critical level that would cause its
electricity-generating turbines to fail. The dam, which supplies 73%
of Venezuela's electricity, was at dangerous lows.
2010 Jan 10, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez says there's too much capitalism on Venezuelan
TV. So he's urging producers to start making films and TV shows that
stress socialist values.
2010 Jan 13, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez indefinitely suspended rolling blackouts in
Caracas, just a day after they began, and sacked his electricity
minister saying he was responsible for mistakes in the way the
rationing plan was applied.
2010 Jan 15, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez announced a 25% increase in the minimum wage
to try to blunt the effects of soaring inflation, and playing down
criticism of his government's handling of an energy crisis and other
2010 Jan 16, Venezuelan
authorities said they have captured Salomon Camacho Mora (65), a
prominent Colombian drug trafficker wanted by the United States.
Venezuelan intelligence and counter-drug agents captured Mora during
the past week in the city of Valencia.
2010 Jan 20, In Venezuela’s
Pres. Chavez opened the new 1.8 km. Metro Cable in Caracas.
2010 Jan 23, In Venezuela tens
of thousands opposed to President Hugo Chavez took to the streets,
blaming him for rolling blackouts, water rationing, widespread crime
and other problems they say are making daily life increasingly
difficult. This day marked the 1958 uprising that ousted Venezuela’s
last military dictator. The Chavez regime told cable TV operators to
stop carrying RCTV, a pro-opposition channel.
(AP, 1/24/10)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.44)
2010 Jan 24, In Venezuela a
cable television channel critical of President Hugo Chavez was
yanked from the airwaves for defying new regulations requiring it to
televise the socialist leader's speeches.
2010 Jan 25, In Venezuela
police and supporters of President Hugo Chavez clashed with students
in cities across the country during protests over the government
forcing an opposition channel off cable TV. One youth was reported
killed and 16 people suffered injuries. A government official said
that Pres. Chavez has accepted the resignation of Ramon Carrizalez,
who also served as defense minister. Carrizalez’s wife, the
environment minister, also resigned.
(AP, 1/25/10)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.46)
2010 Jan 26, In Venezuela
thousands of university students again protested against Pres.
Chavez, accusing the socialist leader of forcing an
opposition-allied TV channel off cable and satellite as a means of
silencing his critics.
2010 Jan 28, In Venezuela
police fired tear gas to chase off thousands of students
demonstrating in the capital, a fifth day of protests against
President Hugo Chavez for pressuring cable and satellite TV
providers to drop an opposition channel.
2010 Feb 2, Venezuela deported
alleged major drug traffickers to the US and France. Suspected
Colombian drug kingpin Salomon Camacho Mora, French smuggling
suspect Jean Marie Bonnamy and alleged Colombian paramilitary member
Oscar Ospino were ferried to the nation's main airport for
2010 Feb 4, Venezuelan police
used tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons to scatter hundreds
of students protesting against the government, as Pres. Chavez's
supporters celebrated the 18th anniversary of his failed coup as an
2010 Feb 6, Venezuela’s
government announced that it will spend $15 billion over the next 5
years to increase electricity production.
(SSFC, 2/7/10, p.A6)
2010 Feb 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez declared a national emergency in the electricity sector as
the worst drought in 50 years dried up water supplies in
(SFC, 2/10/10, p.A3)
2010 Feb 14, Venezuelan
authorities said they have discovered 28 airplanes on the outskirts
of El Sombrero that were presumably being used by drug traffickers.
Federal police and National Guard troops took control of the hangar
and impounded the planes.
2010 Feb 24, Venezuela's
highest court annulled the election of an opposition mayor,
replacing him with a supporter of President Hugo Chavez until a new
vote is held. The Supreme Court threw out the 2008 election of Jorge
Barboza, mayor of the Sucre municipality in western Zulia state, on
grounds that he failed to pay $292 in local taxes. On March 4 the
court reinstated Barboza. The constitutional council said that last
week's ruling was unconstitutional because it violated Barboza's
(AP, 2/25/10)(AP, 3/4/10)
2010 Mar 9, Venezuela's
government seized control of two sugar mills and threatened to
expropriate them, accusing managers of hoarding a basic good and
violating the labor rights of employees. The government also raised
the price of sugar by 30% as mill owners struggled to turn a profit
due to price controls.
2010 Mar 13, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez called for regulation of the Internet while
demanding authorities crack down on a critical news Web site that he
accused of spreading false information. A Venezuelan police official
said security forces have seized two tons of cocaine hidden in two
bulldozers at a port in the central state of Carabobo. The cocaine
was intended to be smuggled to the Netherlands.
2010 Mar 15, in Venezuela
representatives of a leftist party asserted their independence from
President Hugo Chavez, accepting a dissident politician into their
ranks while demanding increased tolerance from their socialist
2010 Mar 19, Venezuelan
prosecutors charged a government opponent with conspiracy and other
crimes after he said on a television program that the country has
become a haven for drug trafficking.
2010 Mar 22, In Venezuela
former Zulia state Gov. Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, an outspoken opponent
of President Hugo Chavez, said that police have taken him into
custody while he awaits trial on conspiracy charges for saying
Venezuela has become a haven for drug trafficking.
2010 Mar 25, In Venezuela
Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested, raising
concerns the government is pursuing a widening crackdown to silence
opponents. Globovision is the country’s only remaining TV channel
that takes a critical line against Pres. Chavez.
2010 Apr 2, Russia’s PM
Vladimir Putin made his first visit to Venezuela. Pres. Chavez,
ahead of the visit, said Russia has offered to help Venezuela set up
its own space industry, including a satellite launch site. Officials
planned to sign new agreements for energy projects in Venezuela, as
well as industrial, commercial and agriculture projects. Putin also
planned to hold talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales.
2010 Apr 5, PM Vladimir Putin
said Russia may sell $5 billion worth of weapons to Venezuela
following his visit to the South American nation.
2010 Apr 6, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez said that eight Colombians have been arrested
as suspected spies and charged that several carried identification
indicating they are members of neighboring Colombia's military. He
said the suspects, who were detained more than a week ago, had
computers and satellite telephones and were using cameras to take
photographs of Venezuela's power plants.
2010 Apr 12, In Venezuela
knife-wielding prison inmates killed seven other prisoners and
wounded 10 guards during an outbreak of violence at the Santa Ana
2010 Apr 15, Venezuelan
authorities were reported to be investigating the deaths of six
Yanomami Indians, including two children, in a remote community in
the Amazon. Prosecutors believed that four adults, a man and three
women, died after drinking water contaminated by illegal miners, and
that the two children were apparently killed.
2010 Apr 19, In Venezuela
former boxing champ Edwin Valero committed suicide in his jail cell
just hours after he was arrested in his wife's killing.
2010 Apr 22, Venezuelan
authorities raided eight drug laboratories near the Colombian
border, seizing 4.5 tons of cocaine in one of the largest hauls in
2010 Apr 29, In Venezuela
Father Esteban Woods (68), an American priest, was slain inside his
apartment in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz.
2010 May 1, In Venezuela armed
government officials who took over the 914-acre farm Diego Arria,
Venezuela's former ambassador to the United Nations. The government
accused Aria of not holding proper legal title. Arria has been a
vocal critic of Chavez internationally and is now forming a group to
advocate for the rights of people whose lands have been seized by
the government. Aria said he bought La Carolina farm, which is
flanked by a mountain, in 1988 for the equivalent of about $300,000.
2010 May 4, In Venezuela a riot
at the Santa Ana Prison in the western state of Tachira, one of the
country’s most violent prisons, left eight inmates dead and three
2010 May 7, In Venezuela
Retired Gen. Raul Baduel, former defense minister and critic of
President Hugo Chavez, was sentenced to more than seven years in
prison after being convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power. In
the same case, Col. Hernan Medina Marval was sentenced to 8 years,
11 months in prison.
2010 May 13, The Venezuelan
government said the Aban Pearl offshore natural gas platform has
sunk into the sea, and 95 workers have been safely rescued.
2010 May 25, Venezuela's top
anti-corruption official barred two opponents of President Hugo
Chavez from holding public office, preventing them from running in
September legislative elections. The decision blocked candidacies by
former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales and former Sucre state
Gov. Ramon Martinez.
2010 May, Venezuelan agents,
while investigating the theft of powdered milk, discovered that some
30,000 tons of food were rotting in Puerto Cabello. The find came
amidst growing shortages at PDVAL, the state-run grocery company.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.43)
2010 Jun 5, In Venezuela
Gustavo Azocar, a journalist-turned-politician who had planned to
run in September, became the latest in a series of candidates kept
out of the race by Comptroller General Clodosbaldo Russian, an ally
of Pres. Chavez. The government began to take control of an archive
of documents that belonged to independence hero Simon Bolivar.
2010 Jun 7, Venezuela announced
the takeover of 18 more food companies accused of violating
(Econ, 6/2/10, p.43)
2010 Jun 10, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez said he wants Venezuelans to stop drinking so much
alcohol and ordered the military to crack down on businesses selling
beer on the streets or after legal hours.
2010 Jun 11, Venezuelan
authorities issued an arrest warrant for Guillermo Zuloaga, the
owner of a television channel that takes a critical line against
President Hugo Chavez. Zuloaga served as president and majority
shareholder of Globovision, the country's only remaining channel on
the airwaves that is stridently opposed to Chavez.
2010 Jun 15, In Venezuela
Guillermo Zuloaga, the majority owner of the country's only
opposition-aligned TV station, was confirmed to have left the
country to avoid an arrest warrant as multiple cases brought by
authorities leave Globovision facing an uncertain future. In the
meantime the channel will be headed by Maria Fernanda Flores, a
member of the board of directors, along with Carlos Zuloaga, a son
of the owner.
2010 Jun 18, Venezuela called
on Interpol for the capture of Guillermo Zuloaga (67), a government
opponent who owns a critical television channel, who recently fled
the country after authorities sought to arrest him. Authorities
believed Zuloaga was in Miami, along with Nelson Mezerhane, who owns
a minority stake in Globovision.
2010 Jun 23, Venezuela said it
will nationalize a fleet of oil rigs belonging to US company
Helmerich and Payne. The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months
following a dispute over $49 million in pending payments by the
state oil company PDVSA. On June 26 the oil minister said Venezuela
will pay Helmerich and Payne for the fleet of seized oil rigs,
warning that five drills at a Chevron venture were also at risk of
(Reuters, 6/24/10)(Reuters, 6/26/10)
2010 Jun 24, Venezuela said it
has captured Luis Frank Tello Candelo (47), a suspected Colombian
drug smuggler, who is wanted on cocaine charges in the United States
and who has allegedly collaborated with Mexico's Zetas drug gang.
2010 Jun 25, In Venezuela it
was reported that fish and birds covered with tar-like oil are
washing up on the eastern shores of Lake Maracaibo, angering
fishermen who fear their livelihood is at stake because of the
country's state-run oil company.
2010 Jun 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and
called on Latin America and the Arab world to fight what he called
America's imperialist and capitalist interests abroad.
2010 Jul 1, Francisco Chavez
Abarca of El Salvador, was arrested in Venezuela, traveling on a
false passport, and quickly flown to Cuba to face charges in a 1990s
bombing campaign. On Sep 27 Abarca said on state TV that he was
hired to plant bombs by Luis Posada Carriles, an 80-year-old
anti-Castro militant and former CIA operative.
2010 Jul 5, In Venezuela Carlos
Alberto "Beto" Renteria (65), last remaining fugitive capo of
Colombia's Norte del Valle drug cartel, was arrested after he
traveled to Margarita Island. The next day Pres. Chavez announced
that would be extradited to the US, which has offered a $5 million
reward for information leading to his arrest. The cartel is accused
in a 2004 US indictment of shipping some 500 metric tons of cocaine
to the US beginning in 1990.
2010 Jul 6, Venezuela announced
plans to extradite a Salvadoran man wanted by Cuba as a suspect in a
series of bombings. Cuba believes Chavez Abarca placed an explosive
that damaged a hotel disco on April 2, 1997, and another bomb later
that month that failed to explode on the 15th floor of the same
hotel. Cuban officials also suspect him in a 1997 bombing of a Cuban
2010 Jul 12, Venezuelan
intelligence agents detained Alejandro Pena Esclusa, a government
opponent, on suspicion of links to a Salvadoran man accused of
bombings in Cuba. His wife accused authorities of planting
explosives while her husband was handcuffed and she was in another
part of the apartment.
2010 Jul 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said he would put a representative on the
board of opposition television station Globovision, the leftist
leader's boldest move yet against his fiercest media critic.
2010 Jul 22, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez broke diplomatic relations with neighboring
Colombia, accusing the close US ally of fabricating reports that
Colombian rebels find safe haven inside Venezuela.
2010 Jul 27, Venezuela's
justice ministry announced the capture of a purported Colombian drug
trafficker, Gloria Esther Chavez Ceballos, alias "Gloria Amparo."
Ceballos was alleged to lead a group of smugglers known as "Los
Indios" that moves drugs to the Caribbean and Europe. Authorities
said police have apprehended six alleged far-right paramilitary
fighters from Colombia, including a militia leader wanted in the
killing of a Venezuelan mayor near the border with Colombia.
2010 Aug 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez rejected Larry Palmer as the US ambassador to Caracas citing
comments by Palmer regarding low morale in Venezuela’s military.
(SFC, 8/9/10, p.A1)
2010 Aug 10, The leaders of
Colombia and Venezuela re-established diplomatic relations, saying
they are starting to repair confidence undermined by years of
recriminations between the two countries. The announcement came
after a four-hour meeting between Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez and
Colombia's new leader, Juan Manuel Santos.
2010 Aug 17, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez signed a new law into effect that formalizes
the exclusion of private brokerages from trading the local bolivar
currency or public sector dollar-denominated debt.
2010 Aug 17, A Venezuelan court
ordered one of the country’s leading newspapers to stop publishing
photographs depicting blood, guns and other violent images and
warned it could face a hefty fine for having published a photo of
bodies in a morgue.
2010 Aug 18, A leading
Venezuelan newspaper replaced front-page photos with the word
"censored" to protest a court's monthlong ban on the publication of
information and photos about violence.
2010 Aug 19, Venezuelan Walid
Makled Garcia (43), a prominent drug trafficking suspect who has
been branded a major kingpin by the US government, was arrested in
Colombia. He was implicated in Venezuela in two killings.
2010 Aug 21, In Venezuela a
soldier, identified as Jeffersson Jose Trujillo Vasquez, shot and
killed two officers at the Fort Tiuna military base in Caracas,
setting off a gunfight that wounded six other soldiers. Trujillo
Vasquez was arrested on Sep 21 in a slum in the city of Araure in
the western state of Portuguesa.
(AP, 8/21/10)(AP, 9/22/10)
2010 Aug 26, Venezuelan
authorities seized more than 4.4 tons (4 metric tons) of cocaine at
a ranch after F-16 fighter jets intercepted a plane that was flying
to pick up the load.
2010 Aug 27, A Venezuelan
National Guard helicopter crashed during a counter-drug mission near
the Colombian border, killing all 10 soldiers on board.
2010 Aug 30, In Venezuela
Franklin Brito, a farmer who staged repeated hunger strikes to
protest a government-sanctioned takeover of his farm, died in a
military hospital in Caracas.
2010 Sep 13, In eastern
Venezuela a plane carrying 51 people crashed in a steel mill yard.
17 people on board were killed leaving 34 survivors.
(AP, 9/13/10)(AP, 9/14/10)
2010 Sep 14, A Venezuelan
military helicopter crashed into a navy research boat and plunged
into the sea, leaving two missing and five injured.
2010 Sep 20, Venezuela deported
two drug trafficking suspects to the US, including an alleged boss
of the powerful Norte del Valle cartel in neighboring Colombia. The
action came only days after the US criticized Venezuela's
cooperation in fighting illegal narcotics.
2010 Sep 26, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez was seeking to hold on to his dominant control
of congress in elections that put his popularity to a critical test.
Chavez's allies won a strong majority in Venezuela's congress, but
lost the two-thirds majority needed to carry out major changes on
(AP, 9/26/10)(AP, 9/27/10)
2010 Sep 29, Venezuela’s
attorney general's office said that psychiatrist Edmundo Chirinos
has been convicted of killing Roxana Vargas (19). He was sentenced
to 20 years in prison. Her body was found with a blow to the head in
2008 in a park on the outskirts of Caracas. Investigators had found
some 1,200 photographs of nude female patients in his home. Chirinos
was a fringe candidate for president in 1988, but came away with
only a tiny fraction of the vote.
2010 Sep 29, In Venezuela
fighting erupted between inmates feuding over control in Tocoron
prison in north-central Aragua state. The rioting killed 16 inmates
and injured 35.
2010 Oct 15, Russia agreed to
help build Venezuela's first nuclear power plant and buy $1.6
billion of oil assets, reinforcing ties with President Hugo Chavez,
who shares Moscow's opposition to US global dominance.
2010 Oct 16, In Belarus
visiting Pres. Chavez of Venezuela promised that Belarusian
refineries, the backbone of the country's economy, would see no oil
shortages for the next 200 years.
2010 Oct 19, In Iran
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez held talks with leaders expected
to focus on boosting cooperation between the countries' oil, gas and
2010 Oct 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez left Iran after signing 11 deals focused on
energy cooperation between the two major oil producers who are foes
of the United States.
2010 Oct 21, In Syria
Venezuelan Pres. Chavez met with his Pres. Bashar Assad on the
Mideast leg of an international tour partly intended to counter what
he calls US "imperialism."
2010 Oct 25, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez announced the expropriation of the local
affiliate of the US-based glassmaker Owens Illinois, accusing it of
causing environmental damage and exploiting its workers. To date
almost 400 companies have been nationalized since Chavez became
president in 1999.
(AFP, 10/26/10)(Econ, 11/20/10, p.44)
2010 Oct 29, Venezuelan health
workers said an epidemic that may be malaria has killed dozens of
people, decimating three villages of the Yanomami Indians, whose
struggle for survival in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest has
attracted worldwide support.
2010 Oct 30, In China
Alexandria Mills, a soft-spoken 18-year-old from Louisville,
Kentucky, was named the winner in the 60th Miss World Competition,
held on Hainan Island. Second place went to Emma Wareus of Botswana,
and Adriana Vasini of Venezuela came third.
2010 Nov 2, In Venezuela
President Hugo Chavez and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel
Santos signed a string of accords seeking to improve relations
despite ideological differences and recent bitter disputes.
(AP, 11/2/10)(AFP, 11/3/10)
2010 Nov 7, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said on Cuban television that Colombia will
extradite Walid Makled, known as "The Turk," a businessman accused
of being a major drug kingpin back to his native Venezuela to face
justice. Makled has said in a television interview that he poured $2
million into a 2007 Chavez political campaign and in return got a
concession at Venezuela's Puerto Cabello, his alleged shipping point
2010 Nov 13, In Venezuela
thousands of supporters of President Hugo Chavez filled a downtown
Caracas avenue to demonstrate their backing for the socialist
leader's crackdown on allegedly crooked real-estate and construction
companies. Chavez ordered the expropriation of six residential
complexes and "the temporary occupation" of eight gated communities
in Caracas and other cities more than a week ago, arguing that real
estate and construction companies were unjustly boosting prices.
2010 Nov 22, Venezuela's oil
minister, Rafael Ramirez, said that the latest exploratory drilling
has confirmed "extraordinary results": about 15 trillion cubic feet
of gas under the sea floor in a place where experts once thought
there was only a fraction of that amount. An event launched a
separate $17 billion oil project involving Italy’s Eni SpA and state
oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA.
2010 Nov 27, Venezuelan
President Chavez promoted Gen. Henry Rangel Silva to
general-in-chief. Silva had sparked controversy by suggesting the
military would not accept an electoral return to power by government
2010 Dec 5, In Venezuela voters
in several regions elected governors in two states and mayors in 11
municipalities, including the country's second-largest city. An
opposition candidate won the mayorship of Venezuela's second-largest
city of Maracaibo. Candidates from Chavez's ruling party captured 7
of the 11 mayorships and one state.
(AP, 12/5/10)(AP, 12/6/10)
2010 Dec 5, Venezuelan
authorities said flooding and landslides unleashed by torrential
rains have killed at least 34 people and forced thousands from their
(AP, 11/30/10)(AP, 12/2/10)(AP, 12/5/10)
2010 Dec 6, Venezuelan soldiers
took charge at several privately owned hotels to help accommodate
some of the thousands of people who have been forced from their
homes by flooding and mudslides following weeks of torrential rains.
2010 Dec 9, The Provea human
rights group said 13,985 people were murdered in Venezuela last year
and the figure could be significantly higher, alluding to the
rampant crime that has become a central concern of Venezuelans.
2010 Dec 10, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said he will ask his congressional allies to
again grant him special powers to enact laws by decree.
2010 Dec 13, A classified US
document, dated Feb 26, 2010, released by WikiLeaks said Venezuela’s
government sold China oil for as little as $5 a barrel and was upset
that China apparently profited by selling the fuel to other
countries. Another embassy report on Sept. 23, 2009, said Venezuela
has been manipulating its oil price index. Other cables indicated
significant problems at PDVSA.
2010 Dec 14, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez asked congress to grant him special powers to
enact laws by decree for one year, just before a new legislature
takes office with a larger contingent of opposition lawmakers.
2010 Dec 17, Venezuelan
lawmakers granted President Hugo Chavez broad powers to enact laws
by decree, undermining the clout of a new congress that takes office
next month with a bigger opposition bloc. Officials and troops began
seizing 47 private ranches as pres. Chavez pushed ahead to take over
big swaths of agricultural land in western Venezuela.
(AP, 12/18/10)(SFC, 12/18/10, p.A2)
2010 Dec 18, Tensions between
the US and Venezuela flared over Washington's nominee for
ambassador, as President Hugo Chavez warned that diplomat Larry
Palmer would be detained and put on the next flight home if he tries
to set foot in the country.
2010 Dec 20, Venezuela’s
government formally rejected Larry Palmer, Washington's nominee for
ambassador. The US State Department said the decision will have
consequences on their relations. Venezuela’s parliament passed a law
banning for the first time Internet content that promotes social
unrest, challenges authority or condones crime, fueling outrage by
(AP, 12/20/10)(AFP, 12/21/10)
2010 Dec 21, Venezuela’s
congress, dominated by President Hugo Chavez's allies, passed a law
barring foreign funding for nongovernment organizations and
political parties, adding to a series of measures that critics say
aim to stifle dissent.
2010 Dec 22, A Venezuelan court
sentenced Jose Sanchez Montiel, an opposition politician, to 19
years in prison, saying he was an accomplice in the 2007 killing of
a military intelligence official. He was elected to the National
Assembly in September while in jail awaiting sentencing. On Dec 24,
2011, a court granted parole to Montiel for humanitarian reasons
because of his advanced prostate cancer.
(AP, 12/23/10)(AP, 12/24/11)
2010 Dec 23, In Venezuela
police and soldiers fired water cannons and plastic bullets as
thousands of students protested against a law passed by Venezuela's
congress that increases the government's powers over the country's
2010 Dec 25, Former Venezuelan
President Carlos Andres Perez (88) died in Miami. His popularity
soared with his country's oil-based economy, but later faced riots,
a severe economic downturn and impeachment in his homeland. Perez
governed Venezuela from 1974-79 and again from 1989-93 and denied
(AP, 12/25/10)(Econ, 1/8/11, p.86)
2010 Dec 26, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez made his first use of new decree powers to
create a $2.3 billion fund for reconstruction after widespread
flooding that left more than 130,000 people homeless.
2010 Dec 27, Venezuela said it
has detained 12,376 people for drug-related crimes this year, about
40 percent more than in 2009.
2010 Dec 30, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez's government devalued its bolivar currency for
the second time in 12 months, abolishing the lowest exchange rate as
the OPEC member fights to revive its economy.
2010 In Venezuela 476 people
died and 967 were injured in prison violence this year, according to
figures compiled by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
2011 Jan 5, In Venezuela
supporters and opponents of Hugo Chavez held rival rallies to mark
the start of a new parliament shorn of power by the radical
socialist leader's assumption of decree rule. Larry Tovar Acuna, a
convicted drug trafficker who has been in and out of prison, was
recaptured by Venezuelan authorities after a shootout with police.
(AP, 1/5/11)(AP, 1/6/11)
2011 Jan 7, In western
Venezuela a 10-year-old girl survived a plane crash that killed the
five other people on board, apparently her family members.
2011 Jan 15, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez called for conciliation between political
rivals and told recently elected lawmakers he was willing to sharply
reduce the period of time he has to enact laws by decree.
2011 Jan 23, In Venezuela
allies and adversaries of President Hugo Chavez took to the streets
of the capital by the thousands, staging rival demonstrations to
commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Venezuela's democracy.
2011 Jan 26, Venezuela's top
security official and Colombia's defense minister signed an accord
to strengthen cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking
along the extensive border separating the South American neighbors.
2011 Jan 30, In Venezuela a
fire set off a series of explosions at a military arms depot in the
city of Maracay, killing one person and leading authorities to
evacuate around 10,000 people from the area.
2011 Feb 8, Cuban officials
celebrated the arrival of a 1,600km fiber optic cable from
Venezuela, whose government put up the $70 million cost. It was
expected to become operational this summer.
(SFC, 2/10/11, p.A2)(Econ, 3/5/11,
2011 Feb 15, Venezuelan and
French authorities seized 3.6 metric tons of cocaine aboard a vessel
in the Caribbean Sea.
2011 Feb 17, Analysts of the
British research firm, Capital Economics, wrote that the government
of Venezuela could default on its obligations in 2012.
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.43)
2011 Feb 22, In Venezuela
protesting students ended a three-week hunger strike, saying they
stopped because the Organization of American States is discussing
their allegations of human rights abuses by Venezuela's government.
2011 Feb 28, In Venezuela union
leader Ruben Gonzalez was sentenced to 7½ years in prison on charges
related to a 2009 strike he led that temporarily paralyzed the
state-run iron mining company, CVG Ferrominera Orinoco CA, better
known as Ferrominera. On March 3 Gonzalez was granted parole but
would be required to appear before authorities every 15 days.
(AP, 3/3/11)(AP, 3/4/11)
2011 Mar 2, Leading human
rights activists condemned Venezuelan authorities for sentencing
union leader Ruben Gonzalez to prison for launching a strike, saying
more than 100 other unionists also face charges after participating
2011 Mar 3, Libya’s Muammar
Gaddafi struck at rebel control of a key Libyan coastal road for a
second day but received a warning he would be held to account at The
Hague for suspected crimes by his security forces. Mutinous army
units deployed around the strategic oil installation at Brega,
securing the site after the opposition repelled an attempt by
loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi to retake the port in rebel-held east
Libya. A spokesman for Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said the
Libyan government has accepted a Venezuelan plan that seeks a
negotiated solution to the uprising in the North African country.
(Reuters, 3/3/11)(AP, 3/3/11)(Reuters, 3/3/11)
2011 Mar 17, A Venezuelan
government official said one person has died of swine flu and six
others have been diagnosed with the virus.
2011 Mar 22, In Venezuela new
rules authorizing the military to distribute weapons to
pro-government militias took effect, raising concern among critics
who say the armed groups could be used by President Hugo Chavez to
cement his hold on power.
2011 Mar 26, University
protesters in Venezuela ended a month-long hunger strike, saying
President Hugo Chavez's government has met their demands.
2011 Mar 27, Venezuela’s
President Chavez urged citizens to cut their calories to avoid
obesity, the latest lifestyle recommendation by the self-proclaimed
socialist crusader. Chavez has lobbied in recent weeks against what
he calls the evils of capitalism, including alcoholism, breast
implants and violent television programs.
2011 Apr 3, In Colombia Walid
Makled, the reputed Venezuelan drug kingpin who Colombia has decided
to extradite back home rather than to the US, said in a TV interview
that he has videos proving Venezuela's ruling elite is deeply
involved in cocaine trafficking.
2011 Apr 7, A blackout hit a
large swath of Venezuela, darkening street lights, shutting down the
Caracas subway and prompting the government to announce temporary
rationing measures. A forest fire apparently caused the problem by
overheating major transmission lines in western Venezuela and
knocking them offline.
2011 Apr 11, Venezuela deported
two suspected Colombian rebels, sending a positive message to other
nations that want President Hugo Chavez to ensure suspected
terrorists do not find haven in Venezuela.
2011 Apr 13, Venezuela’s police
seized 66 pounds (30 kg) of cocaine aboard a bus carrying members of
the government-organized militias. Five suspects, including the bus
driver and his assistant, were arrested.
2011 Apr 13, Colombia's
interior minister approved the extradition to Venezuela of Walid
Makled, a reputed drug kingpin who has publicly accused his home
country's ruling elite of deep involvement in cocaine trafficking.
It will take at least five days to extradite Makled, in order to
give him a chance to appeal the decision.
2011 Apr 23, Venezuela detained
Joaquin Perez Becerra as he arrived in Caracas on an airline flight
from Frankfurt, Germany. He was described him as an alleged member
of the international front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
2011 Apr 28, Venezuelan
authorities said inmates have taken 22 employees hostage at a prison
to demand human rights guarantees and improved living conditions.
The uprising inside El Rodeo prison began the previous day, when
inmates complained of a tuberculosis outbreak inside the lockup.
2011 May 5, In Venezuela
inmates at a prison near Caracas freed the prison director and 14
other hostages and ended an eight-day standoff over conditions at
2011 May 6, In Venezuela
authorities at a prison in western Tachira state found the bodies of
eight inmates killed in what officials say is a conflict between
rival gangs fighting for control of their cellblocks.
2011 May 8, In Venezuela the
director of a municipal police force and his son were slain in the
western part of the country. Investigators believed the criminals
began shooting during an attempt to steal the officer's vehicle.
2011 May 9, Colombia extradited
Walid Makled to Venezuela to face drug smuggling and murder charges.
(SFC, 5/10/11, p.A2)
2011 May 17, In Venezuela the
body of journalist Wilfred Ivan Ojeda (56) was found in a vacant lot
in the town of La Victoria. He had been shot in the head and was
found gagged and hooded with his hands bound. He was a local
political activist for the opposition party Democratic Action and a
columnist for the small daily El Clarin in the rural town.
2011 May 21, In Venezuela
inmates at a Caracas prison freed the warden and 14 other officers
after holding them hostage for more than a day.
2011 May 25, In Venezuela
red-clad oil workers rallied to denounce "imperialist" US sanctions
over its Iran ties, but the rising anger seemed unlikely to sink the
OPEC member's huge oil trade with the United States.
2011 May 30, In Venezuela
Guillermo Torres (56), aka "Julian Conrado," a top commander for the
FARC rebels, was captured in a collaboration between Colombia and
2011 Jun 10, Venezuelan
president Hugo Chavez had surgery in Cuba for an abscess in his
pelvis. A government spokesperson said the operation was successful
and he would remain in Cuba for several more days, while he
2011 Jun 12, In Venezuela a
shoot-out erupted between gangs at the Rodeo I unit of the El Rodeo
jail complex. 27 people were reportedly killed.
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.40)
2011 Jun 15, Venezuela's energy
minister said his country will soon begin rationing electricity in
several regions because of recurring power outages.
2011 Jun 17, In Venezuela
thousands of National Guard troops stormed the El Rodeo I prison
seeking to disarm inmates days after a bloody riot, setting off
gunfights with resisting inmates that left at least two soldiers
dead and 18 wounded.
2011 Jun 17, Mexican customs
inspectors say they've found more than $2.4 million in cash rolled
up and stuffed into spools of telephone cable headed for Venezuela.
Authorities say Venezuela is increasingly becoming a trans-shipment
point for cocaine, and Mexican cartels often ship money back to
South America to pay for the drugs.
2011 Jun 18, In Venezuela
gunfire rang out at the El Rodeo I prison for a 2nd day as troops
sought to regain control in battles that have left at least 3 dead
and 18 wounded.
2011 Jun 19, In Venezuela fire
ripped through the El Rodeo I prison where thousands of troops
struggled to put down a revolt by inmates as dozens of horrified
relatives tried to watch the fighting.
2011 Jun 20, In Venezuela
National Guard troops fired tear gas at a prison as they tried for a
fourth day to dislodge a group of heavily armed inmates who have
staved off attempts to retake control.
2011 Jun 24, In Venezuela
Warden Luis Aranguren was arrested along with National Guard Capt.
Gamalier Jose Camargo Gomez whose unit patrolled the Rodeo II
prison. The two men were charged with corruption, criminal
association and supplying arms and explosives to inmates. Violence
began after troops stormed the Rodeo I on June 17 in a weapons hunt,
sparking a furious reaction from prisoners.
2011 Jun 25, Venezuela's top
security official said authorities have seized more than 5.5 tons of
2011 Jun 28, In Venezuela
authorities arrested an operations chief of Rodeo II and a prison
guard. Another 10 officials have also been arrested, including Ruben
Jose Gonzalez Heredi, the deputy director of an adjacent prison. He
was detained for allegedly facilitating arms and explosives and
illegal drug trafficking.
2011 Jun 30, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez (56) revealed that he is fighting cancer after
having a tumor removed in Cuba, raising uncertainty about
Venezuela's political future even as he assured his country he
expects to fully recover.
2011 Jul 4, Venezuela's
ever-theatrical President Hugo Chavez made a surprise homecoming
from Cuba and declared himself "fine" despite speculation his cancer
may still require lengthy treatment.
2011 Jul 9, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez announced a new $4 billion loan from China and
discussed his health in a televised appearance.
2011 Jul 13, In Venezuela a
prison uprising that caused seven deaths ended peacefully on its
27th day when hundreds of inmates emerged from the embattled Rodeo
II prison after negotiations with officials.
2011 Jul 15, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez announced that he will return to Cuba to begin
a new phase of cancer treatment that will include chemotherapy.
2011 Jul 17, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez returned to Cuba to begin chemotherapy nearly
a month after surgery to remove a tumor.
2011 Jul 19, In Venezuela a
clash at a prison in San Felipe left six dead. Tension was high
since July 17, when one group of inmates vying for control of the
prison killed a leader of a rival group. Another prisoner was killed
and 16 were being treated for burns after violence broke out in a
prison in the western town of Cabimas.
2011 Jul 23, President Hugo
Chavez (56) returned to Venezuela after spending almost a week in
Cuba to receive chemotherapy treatment for his cancer.
2011 Aug 3, Venezuela and Iran
signed a deal for Iran build over 10,000 homes in three central
states of the South American nation in a billion-dollar investment
package that signals the two country's increasingly close ties.
2011 Aug 10, Some Venezuelan
police chiefs said the lockups in their stations are either at
capacity or nearly full as a result of the order for prisons to stop
accepting new inmates for a month. The order came last week from the
newly appointed prisons minister, Iris Varela.
2011 Aug 13, In Venezuela a
light plane landed on a coastal road in Falcon state with 1.4 tons
of cocaine. A shootout followed between state police and national
detectives (CICPC). The plane had taken off from a military airport
in Caracas. 2 people were killed.
2011 Aug 17, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez said that he is nationalizing the nation’s gold mining
industry and that he intends to bring home $1 billion in gold
reserves held in the US and European banks. In western Venezuela
inmates brawled in an overcrowded prison, killing seven prisoners
and injuring 37 people, including eight visitors.
(SFC, 8/18/11, p.A2)(AP, 8/18/11)
2011 Aug 17, A Venezuelan
military helicopter carrying 10 soldiers crashed into the sea off
the Caribbean coast. Searchers rescued one soldier and found the
body of one of the helicopter's pilots. The wreckage and remaining
bodies were recovered by Aug 20.
(AP, 8/17/11)(AP, 8/20/11)
2011 Aug 23, In Venezuela a
judge ordered a weekly newspaper strongly critical of President Hugo
Chavez and his allies to temporarily stop publishing while
prosecutors proceed with slander charges against its director.
Dinorah Giron, director of Sexto Poder, was accused of committing
the crimes by allowing the Aug. 20 publication of photo montage that
ridiculed several female public officials by likening them to
2011 Sep 8, The US government
accused a powerful Venezuelan general, an intelligence official and
two political allies of President Hugo Chavez of providing arms,
security and training to Colombia's main rebel group. It barred
Americans from doing business with them.
2011 Sep 19, Venezuela deported
six suspected drug traffickers wanted in Colombia and the United
States. They also included US citizen Lionel Scott Harris (67), who
is suspected of smuggling drugs, and five Colombians wanted on
2011 Sep 24, Venezuelan
opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez launched his presidential campaign,
challenging President Hugo Chavez to accept him in the race after a
human rights court overturned a ban on his candidacy.
2011 Oct 6, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez announced that his government will expropriate
homes on the Caribbean resort islands of Los Roques, saying the
structures were built on plots bought in shadowy business deals.
2011 Oct 14, In Venezuela
activists reported that inmates at Tocuyito prison took more than 50
guards and other prison workers hostage. 25 were released on Oct 23.
15 more were released on Oct 24. Twelve remaining prison employees,
mostly women, were released on Oct 25 after authorities vowed to
transfer hundreds of prisoners to another facility.
(AP, 10/24/11)(AP, 10/25/11)
2011 Oct 20, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said he is free of cancer after a series of
chemotherapy treatments in Cuba.
2011 Oct 27, Venezuelan
lawmakers approved measures that expand rent controls and require
landlords to offer to sell their properties to any renters who have
been living in a home for more than 20 years.
2011 Oct 30, Venezuela's Pres.
Chavez ordered the expropriation of 716,590 acres belonging to a
British-owned company amid a disagreement over compensation for
earlier takeovers of ranchland from the firm. Chavez announced the
latest seizure after saying that Venezuela refuses to pay
compensation in foreign currency to Agropecuaria Flora, a local
subsidiary of the British company Vestey Group.
2011 Nov 2, In Venezuela
inmates rioting at a jail attacked other prisoners, killing 8, and
took 5 police officers hostage inside the jail in the city of San
Cristobal, capital of Tachira state.
2011 Nov 6, Miss Venezuela,
Ivian Sarcos, was crowned the 2011 winner of the Miss World beauty
pageant at a glittering final ceremony in London.
2011 Nov 9, In Venezuela
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos (24), who had just
finished his rookie season, was seized from his home in the town of
Santa Ines by kidnappers. Ramos was reported rescued on Nov 11.
(AP, 11/10/11)(AP, 11/11/11)
2011 Nov 17, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez ordered thousands of National Guard soldiers into the streets
of Caracas and the surrounding states of Miranda and Vargas to help
outgunned police curb widespread violent crime.
(SFC, 11/18/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 27, In Venezuela
Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, a top Colombian drug trafficker known as
"Valenciano," was captured in Maracay. Officials the next day said
he will be turned over to US authorities.
2011 Dec 1, In Venezuela a
5-year-old boy died in Guanare. An autopsy found bruises and other
injuries on the boy's body as well as scars showing a history of
physical abuse and "signs of sexual abuse." His death sparked
violent protests leading to the arrest of some 30 people. Suspects,
including the boy's mother, faced charges of murder, sexual abuse
and abusive treatment.
2011 Dec 2, Venezuela’s Pres.
Hugo Chavez hosted leaders from across the Americas at a two-day
summit. Chavez described the new regional bloc that excludes the US
as a tribute to his idol Bolivar, saying the time has come to put an
end to US hegemony. The 33-nation Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States (CELAC) includes every country in Latin America and
the Caribbean. Plans for the new organization, which grew out of the
24-nation Rio Group, have been in the works since a 2008 summit
hosted by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
2011 Dec 3,
In Venezuela leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean
pledged closer ties to safeguard their economies from the world
financial crisis as they formed a new bloc on Saturday including
every nation in the hemisphere except the US and Canada. The leaders
formally launched the new bloc, known by its Spanish initials CELAC,
by approving a declaration of shared principles as well as a clause
dealing with democratic norms.
2011 Dec 5, In South Africa
Global Witness said it has left the Kimberley Process, accusing the
international diamond regulatory group of refusing to address links
between diamonds, violence and tyranny. The rights watchdog cited
what it called failures in Ivory Coast, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
2011 Dec 9, In Venezuela
officials said floods and mudslides unleashed by torrential rains
have caused at least eight deaths. Neighboring Colombia has also
been coping with floods and President Juan Manuel Santos, touring
flooded areas south of Bogota, promised assistance to those whose
houses have been damaged.
2011 Dec 13, Venezuelan
authorities extended house arrest for Maria Lourdes Afiuni, a judge
whose case has been strongly criticized by human rights groups.
Afiuni was arrested after she released banker Eligio Cedeno, who had
been in jail awaiting trial on charges of violating currency
controls. Cedeno fled the country shortly following his release.
2011 Dec 15, Venezuela handed
Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco (aka "Valenciano"), a top Colombian drug
trafficking suspect to US authorities, deporting him to face charges
of shipping tons of cocaine to the United States.
2011 Dec 17, Former Miss
Venezuela Eva Ekvall (28), whose struggle with breast cancer was
closely followed by Venezuelans, died at a hospital in Houston.
Ekvall was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the
following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant
in Puerto Rico.
2011 Dec 29, In Venezuela a
PDVSA tanker truck filled with gasoline crashed and burst into
flames, engulfing several cars and a bus. 15 people were killed.
(AP, 12/29/11)(Econ, 2/18/12, p.38)
2012 Jan 4, In Venezuela more
than 950 relatives of inmates were refusing to leave the Yare I and
II prison in a protest to demand faster trial for inmates. President
Hugo Chavez has told authorities to negotiate peacefully.
2012 Jan 9, Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited his close ally President Hugo Chavez in
Venezuela on the first leg of a four-nation tour that will also take
Ahmadinejad to Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.
2012 Jan 9, In Venezuela
fighting broke out at a jail. 6 prisoners were left dead.
2012 Jan 13, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez said that his government will close its
consulate in Miami after the US government expelled a diplomat.
2012 Jan 18, In Venezuela a
helicopter crashed into Auyantepui mountain during a tour of the
tabletop mountains in the Canaima National Park. 5 people were
2012 Jan 24, Venezuela deported
three suspected drug smugglers wanted in the United States, Canada
and Colombia, touting the moves as proof the government of President
Hugo Chavez is making strides in fighting trafficking.
2012 Jan 29, In Venezuela 4
armed men seized Mexico’s Ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife as
they were leaving a party shortly before midnight in Caracas. The
kidnappers freed the couple four hours later. On Feb 6 the
prosecutor-general's office announced the arrests of 3 suspects in
the case: Juan Pacheco, Oswaldo Leon and Mayurki Barreto.
2012 Feb 4, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez hosted a meeting of allies, the eight-nation
Bolivarian Alliance bloc, or ALBA. The leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua,
Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda participated.
Suriname's president, Desi Bouterse, arrived the next day to join
the talks. ALBA approved an agreement barring any boats flying
Falkland Islands flags from docking in their ports.
2012 Feb 4, In Venezuela the
Colombian far-tight paramilitary warlord known as "Martin Llanos"
(aka Hector Buitrago) was captured along with his brother, Nelson
Buitrago (aka Caballo), in the eastern town of El Tigre.
2012 Feb 4, In Venezuela a pipe
transporting crude oil to a processing plant ruptured and blackened
Guarapiche River in Monagas state. The spill forced officials to
halt normal water distribution to parts of the city of Maturin.
2012 Feb 12, Venezuelans lined
up to vote in the country's first-ever opposition presidential
primary, choosing a single challenger they hope will have what it
takes to finally defeat President Hugo Chavez after 13 years in
office. Henrique Capriles (39), governor of Miranda state, easily
won the opposition presidential primary.
(AP, 2/12/12)(AP, 2/13/12)
2012 Feb 14, Venezuela's
Supreme Court ordered opposition electoral officials not to destroy
lists of voters following primary elections, a decision that was
promptly condemned by opposition leaders who vowed to keep voters'
2012 Feb 15, In eastern
Venezuela hundreds of protesters blocked streets and burned tires in
Maturin to demand clean water after a Feb 4 oil spill polluted
rivers and streams that supply local storage tanks.
2012 Feb 21, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez announced that doctors in Cuba found a new
lesion in the same place where a cancerous tumor was removed last
year and said he will shortly return to the island to have it
2012 Feb 25, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez arrived in Cuba for urgent surgery to remove a
tumor he says is probably malignant.
2012 Feb 28, Cuban doctors
successfully extracted a tumor from Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez's pelvic region and he was stable and recovering with family
at his side.
2012 Mar 16, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez returned home nearly three weeks after
undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba, saying he is praying for life and
is confident he will survive and triumph in his re-election bid.
2012 Mar 17, In Venezuela the
daughter of Chilean diplomat Fernando Berendique was shot to death
by police at a road checkpoint. The young woman (19) was hit by
three bullets after her brother tried to evade an illegal unmarked
(AP, 3/18/12)(Econ, 4/14/12, p.48)
2012 Mar 21, Colombian police
captured FARC midlevel leader William Alberto Asprilla (62) in
neighboring Venezuela. He was said to be wanted for his role in the
kidnapping and killing of three Americans in 1999. Asprilla, also
known as "Marquetaliano," was detained while on the road between
Caracas and the nearby port of La Guaira with the alleged
cooperation of Venezuelan authorities.
2012 Mar 25, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez was in Cuba to begin radiation therapy
treatment one month after undergoing surgery that removed a
2012 Mar 29, In Venezuela Pres.
Chavez appeared on state television at an early morning meeting with
aides after his plane touched down shortly before midnight. He said
this week's 5-day treatments for cancer have been the first of five
2012 Mar 30, Venezuelan
regulators shut down four radio stations for allegedly operating
without licenses, including one run by a brother of Monagas
governor, Jose Briceno, on the outs with President Hugo Chavez.
Briceno's falling out came this month after the governor accused
National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello of trying to seize
control of the governor's office.
2012 Mar 31, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez traveled to Cuba for another round of cancer
2012 Apr 3, The European
Commission prohibited Conviasa, Venezuela’s state airline, from
flying into the EU due to safety concerns. Venezuela called the
(SFC, 4/4/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 4, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez returned from his latest round of radiation
therapy treatment in Cuba.
2012 Apr 7, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez flew back to Cuba late today for another round
of radiation therapy.
2012 Apr 18, Eladio Aponte, a
former Venezuelan supreme court justice who recently fled to the US,
gave an interview to SoiTV, a Miami-based TV channel. He said that
senior officials from the president on down would provide the
judiciary with instructions on sensitive cases.
(Econ, 4/28/12, p.42)
2012 Apr 24, Venezuela's top
security official announced the arrests of five people on charges of
money laundering and said that there are suspicions some opposition
politicians were involved in the scheme.
2012 Apr 25, In Venezuela Walid
Maklid, an alleged drug baron, said he had paid supreme court
justice Eladio Aponte millions of dollars.
(Econ, 4/28/12, p.42)
2012 Apr 30, Venezuela’s Pres.
Chavez signed a labor law, known as LOTTT, that included a virtual
ban on dismissals, a shorter working week and improved holiday and
(Econ, 1/25/14, p.28)(http://tinyurl.com/pp7suqv)
2012 May 11, Venezuelan Pres.
Hugo Chavez returned home after 11 days of cancer treatment in Cuba.
(SSFC, 5/13/12, p.A6)
2012 May 18, In Venezuela a
3-week prison standoff ended as the last of over 1,600 inmates
agreed to be moved from La Planta prison to other prisons.
(SFC, 5/19/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 5, Bolivia, Ecuador,
Nicaragua and Venezuela said they were pulling out of the
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance during an annual
meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Bolivia.
(SFC, 6/6/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 11, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez sang, danced and gave a marathon speech at the
launch of his re-election bid, offering a preview of a campaign in
which he is likely to push his limits trying to show Venezuelans he
is emerging from cancer's shadow.
2012 Jun 21, A group of
Venezuelan Indians demanded that Germany give back a 35-ton boulder,
the so-called "Kueka Stone," that they say is sacred. Artist
Wolfgang Kraker von Schwarzenfeld brought the sandstone boulder to
Germany in 1997 and says it was given as a gift. He says Pemon
Indians had helped him select the rock and questions whether it was
2012 Jun 29, The Venezuelan
television channel Globovision paid a fine of more than $2 million
imposed by regulators, calling it an unfair penalty but saying it
had no choice after the Supreme Court ordered an embargo on its
assets for nonpayment. Regulators slapped the penalty on the channel
last year for its coverage of a prolonged prison uprising.
2012 Jun 29, In Argentina the
Mercosur trade bloc held a summit. It suspended Paraguay's
membership for having impeached and ousted its president but said it
will not slap economic sanctions on it. The group also announced
that Venezuela will become a full member starting July 31.
2012 Jul 27, In Kenya Olga
Fonseca Gimenez (57), the charge d'affaires and acting ambassador of
Venezuela, was found dead at her official residence in Nairobi.
Police said she was murdered by strangulation. Fonseca arrived in
Kenya in July to replace Ambassador Gerardo Carillo-Silva, who had
fled the country after three male workers at the ambassador's
residence filed a complaint with the police accusing him of sexual
harassment. Dwight Sagaray, First Secretary at the embassy, was
arrested the next day in connection to the murder.
(AP, 7/27/12)(AFP, 7/30/12)
2012 Jul 28, In Venezuela
leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean pledged closer
ties to safeguard their economies from the world financial crisis as
they formed a new 33-nation regional bloc (CELAC), the Community of
Latin American and Caribbean States, including every nation in the
hemisphere except the US and Canada.
2012 Jul 31, Venezuela was
officially welcomed into the Mercosur trade bloc as Brazilian
President Dilma Rousseff hosted Argentina's President Cristina
Fernandez and Uruguay's Jose Mujica along with Chavez for the
one-day Mercosur meeting in Brasilia.
2012 Jul, In Venezuela
Brazilian gold miners reportedly arrived by helicopter and massacred
a village of Yanomani Indians along the upper reaches of the Ocamo
River. Most of the 80 people in Irotatheri village were allegedly
killed. On Sep 1 officials said Investigators were unable to find
any evidence of a massacre.
(SFC, 8/31/12, p.A3)(AP, 9/2/12)
2012 Aug 6, Kenyan authorities
charged Dwight Sagaray, the first secretary of Venezuela's embassy,
with the murder of that country's acting ambassador to Kenya. Police
believed the killing was motivated by a battle over embassy
leadership. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, Sagaray's friend and an
alleged co-conspirator, was also charged. Prosecutor Tabitha Ouya
said the two suspects strangled Olga Fonseca Gimenez on the night of
July 26 to 27.
2012 Sep 18, In Venezuela
Daniel Barrera, one of Colombia’s most wanted drug lords, was
captured in San Cristobal. Barrera, aka “El Loco," has been in
Venezuela since 2008, posing as a cattle rancher.
(SFC, 9/20/12, p.A4)
2012 Aug 19, In Venezuela rival
prison inmates waged a gunbattle that left 25 people dead.
(SFC, 8/21/12, p.A2)
2012 Aug 25, In Venezuela a
huge explosion rocked the Amuay refinery in Los Taques, killing 42
people. It injured more than 150 and was the deadliest disaster in
memory for the country's key oil industry. It took 3-days to
extinguish the fire.
(AP, 8/25/12)(AP, 8/26/12)(AP,
8/28/12)(Economist, 9/1/12, p.39)
2012 Sep 27, Venezuelan and
Russian officials signed eight agreements to boost cooperation in
energy projects. Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia's state-controlled
Rosneft oil company, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying
he also gave Chavez a 3-month-old black terrier puppy as a present
2012 Sep 28, China launched a
second satellite built for Venezuela's government. The $140 million
remote sensing satellite soared into orbit atop a rocket from the
northwestern Chinese province of Gansu. It will provide images for
tasks such as mapping croplands, counter-drug efforts and monitoring
2012 Sep 29, In Venezuela 2
supporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles died in a
confrontation with Chavez supporters in the western state of
Barinas. A third was seriously wounded.
2012 Sep 30, In Venezuela a
huge crowd filled the streets of Caracas cheering for opposition
candidate Henrique Capriles (40), waving flags in a show of support
one week before the country's hotly contested presidential election.
2012 Oct 7, Venezuela held
presidential elections. With 90 percent of votes counted, Chavez had
more than 54 percent of the vote to 45 percent for challenger
Henrique Capriles. The opposition accused Chavez of unfairly using
Venezuela's oil wealth and his near total control of state
institutions to his advantage.
2012 Nov 14, Venezuelan
authorities deported Daniel Barrera, a prominent drug-trafficking
suspect, to Colombia, nearly two months after his capture at a
payphone in an operation aided by Colombian and US authorities.
2012 Dec 7, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez arrived back home in Caracas after 10 days of
medical treatment in Cuba.
2012 Dec 9, Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez named his vice president as his chosen
successor and prepared to head back to Cuba for more surgery for
cancer after announcing that the illness returned despite two
previous operations, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
2012 Dec 11, Doctors in Cuba
operated on Venezuelan President Hugo for cancer, after the illness
reappeared despite a year and a half of surgeries and treatments.
2012 Dec 16, Venezuelans chose
governors and state lawmakers. Allies of cancer-stricken Pres. Hugo
Chavez steamrolled Venezuela's opposition in gubernatorial
elections, winning 20 of 23 states. Voter turnout was 53%.
2012 Tricia Tunstall authored
“Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformation
of Music." Jose Antonio Abreu founded el sistema, a network of youth
orchestras, in Venezuela in 1975. Dudamel became a star graduate of
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.80)
2013 Jan 4, A small plane
disappeared off the Venezuelan coast with six people aboard,
including Vittorio Missoni (58), a top executive in Italy's Missoni
fashion house. Wreckage of the plane was found in June.
(AP, 1/5/13)(AP, 6/27/13)
2013 Jan 5, In Venezuela allies
of cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez chose to retain Diosdado
Cabello as the National Assembly president. He could be in line to
step in as a caretaker leader in some circumstances.
2013 Jan 10, In Venezuela
thousands of chanting supporters of President Hugo Chavez rallied
outside his presidential palace in an exuberant alternative
inauguration for a leader too ill to return home for the real thing.
2013 Jan 13, Thousands of
supporters of Venezuela's cancer-stricken president held rallies
across the nation, hours before the government announced that Hugo
Chavez is responding favorably to treatment for a respiratory
2013 Jan 15, Venezuelan Vice
President Nicolas Maduro took the place of ailing President Hugo
Chavez by delivering a short speech and turning in a
state-of-the-nation report amid legal debate about his legitimacy.
2013 Jan 21, German customs
officials at Duesseldorf airport found a check in Venezuelan
currency worth $70 million in the luggage of Tahmasb Mazaheri,
Iran's former central bank chief, upon his arrival from Turkey.
Mazaheri told authorities the money was to be used for the
construction of 10,000 apartments funded by the Venezuelan
government. The newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported the story in its
Sunday Feb 3 edition.
2013 Jan 22, Venezuela’s
government said President Hugo Chavez is in good spirits and
recovering six weeks after he underwent cancer surgery in Cuba.
2013 Jan 25, In Venezuela
violence erupted at Uribana prison in the city of Barquisimeto when
groups of inmates attacked National Guard troops who were attempting
to carry out an inspection. The death toll reached 58 with some 120
wounded. Officials evacuated the prison after the riot and found 106
firearms and over 8,000 rounds of ammunition.
(AP, 1/27/13)(SFC, 1/28/13, p.A2)(SFC, 2/8/13,
2013 Feb 8, Venezuela's
government announced that it will devalue the country's currency, a
long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily
2013 Feb 13, Venezuela's
government devalued the country's currency amid questions
about how the government can get a grip on 22% inflation and satisfy
growing demand for dollars to pay for imported goods. The fifth
devaluation in a decade established a new government-set rate of
6.30 bolivars to the dollar, replacing the previous rate of 4.30
2013 Feb 18, President Hugo
Chavez returned to Venezuela after more than two months of treatment
in Cuba following cancer surgery.
2013 Feb 28, Venezuela's Vice
President Nicolas Maduro said that President Hugo Chavez is fighting
for his life while he continues to undergo treatment more than two
months after his latest cancer surgery.
2013 Mar 3, In Venezuela
hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Caracas demanding the
government provide details about the health of Pres. Hugo Chavez.
(SFC, 3/4/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 3, In Venezuela Sabino
Romero, a leader of the Yukpa tribe, was fatally shot along a
highway in the western state of Zulia.
2013 Mar 5, Venezuela’s
government announced the death of President Hugo Chavez (b.1954),
the larger-than-life firebrand socialist who led the nation for 14
years. Vice President Nicolas Maduro stood as interim president in
the wake of Chavez's death and will run as the governing party
candidate in elections to be called within 30 days.
2013 Mar 8, In Venezuela a
state funeral was held for Hugo Chavez followed by a swearing in
ceremony for Vice President Nicolas Maduro as interim president.
2013 Mar 10, Venezuelan
opposition leader Henrique Capriles announced that he will run in
elections to replace Hugo Chavez, launching what many consider a
doomed candidacy with a no-holds-barred attack against a government
he said had coldly betrayed Venezuelans' trust.
2013 Mar 11, In Venezuela
owners of Globovision, the last remaining television station
critical of the government, announced that it is being sold to an
insurance company owner who is apparently friendly with the ruling
socialists, following an unrelenting official campaign to
financially strangle the broadcaster through regulatory pressure.
2013 Mar 20, Venezuela's
government halted lines of communication established by a top U.S.
diplomat to protest what it says has been US interference in the
country's internal affairs ahead of an election set next month to
replace the late President Hugo Chavez.
2013 Mar 21, In Venezuela
supporters of late Pres. Hugo Chavez attacked student protesters as
they marched against perceived bias by Venezuela’s electoral
(SFC, 3/22/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 14, Venezuela held
presidential elections. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's hand-picked
successor, won the election by a stunningly narrow margin. Electoral
officials said he got just 50.7 percent of the votes compared to
49.1% for Henrique Capriles, with nearly all ballots counted.
(AP, 4/14/13)(AP, 4/15/13)
2013 Apr 15, Venezuela’s
National Guard troops fired tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse
students protesting the official results in the disputed
2013 Apr 16, Venezuela's chief
prosecutor said that 7 people have been killed and 61 injured in
widespread protests following presidential elections in which the
opposition candidate is demanding a recount. Diosdado Cabello,
speaker of the Natioanl Assembly, said legislators who do not
recognize Maduro as president would not be allowed to speak.
(AP, 4/16/13)(Econ, 4/20/13, p.40)
2013 Apr 17, Venezuela's
opposition watched its options dwindle after the head of the Supreme
Court said there could be no recount of the razor-thin presidential
election victory by Hugo Chavez's heir, leaving many government foes
feeling the only chance at power is to wait for the ruling
socialists to stumble.
2013 Apr 18, Venezuelan
officials, in a surprise announcement, said they will accept an
audit of the disputed vote that handed a narrow margin of victory to
the heir of late President Hugo Chavez.
2013 Apr 19, Venezuela held
inauguration ceremonies for President Nicolas Maduro. Massive crowds
that used to pack the streets for late leader Hugo Chavez failed to
2013 Apr 25, Venezuelan
opposition leader Henrique Capriles announced that his movement will
boycott an audit of election results and push the government to hold
a new presidential ballot.
2013 Apr 24, Venezuelan
authorities arrested Timothy Tracy (35), a filmmaker from
California, accusing him of fomenting postelection violence on
behalf of the US government. Tracy was formally charged on April 27.
Officials accused him of paying right-wing groups to foment
postelection unrest on behalf of US intelligence. Tracy was released
and returned to the US on June 5.
(AP, 4/25/13)(AP, 4/27/13)(AP, 6/5/13)
2013 Apr 27, Venezuelan
officials arrested retired Brig. Gen. Antonio Rivero. He had gained
fame for denouncing Cuban involvement in the Venezuelan military in
2010 and became a prominent member of the opposition, participating
in post-vote protests this month.
2013 Apr 30, In Venezuela a
clash in congress erupted when members of the opposition coalition
unfurled a banner in the National Assembly denouncing a ruling that
strips them of most legislative powers unless they recognize the
April 14 election victory of President Nicolas Maduro.
2013 May 5, The government of
Venezuela announced that it will use military forces to fight
rampant violent crime.
(SFC, 5/6/13, p.A2)
2013 May 13, In Venezuela a
"Secure Homeland" initiative placed dozens of military checkpoints
in Petare, a sprawling slum on the outskirts of Caracas. This was
the socialist government's latest attempt to control the oil-rich
country's pandemic of violence.
2013 May 14, Venezuela’s
Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming blamed a shortage of toilet
tissue on "excessive demand" built up as a result of "a media
campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country."
2013 May 22, Venezuela's Pres.
Maduro announced the creation of a new workers' militia to defend
the country's "Bolivarian revolution" at a time when the government
faces economic problems and political turmoil.
2013 May 28, In Venezuela 2
officials from the US Embassy suffered gunshot wounds early today
during an altercation between themselves at a strip club in the
Chacao neighborhood Caracas.
2013 May 29, In Venezuela a
free application for mobile devices, written by Jose Augusto
Montiel, was posted to let people notify one another where flour,
sugar, milk, cooking oil and toilet paper are for sale. Within 10
days it was downloaded more than 12,000 times.
2013 Jun 4, Venezuelan
officials said restrictions on the sale of 20 basic items including
toilet paper and chicken subject to price controls are set to begin
next week in Zulia, its most populous state.
2013 Jun, In Venezuela Radwan
Sabbagh, the chairman of state-owned iron-ore miner and processor
Ferrominera, was arrested and accused of bleeding the company dry.
(Econ, 8/10/13, p.31)
2013 Jul 5, Nicolas Maduro of
Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua made offers of asylum for
NSA leaker Edward Snowden during separate speeches in their home
2013 Jul 8, Venezuela’s Pres.
Nicolas Maduro said five officials have been arrested and charged
with embezzling $84 million from a China-financed development fund
administered by state-run development bank Bandes.
2013 Jul 19, Venezuela’s
Foreign Ministry said it was terminating efforts to improve
relations with the US following recent remarks by Samantha Power,
the US nominee for ambassador to the UN. On July 17 Power said part
of her role would be to challenge a crackdown on civil society in
several countries including Venezuela.
(SSFC, 7/21/13, p.A5)
2013 Jul 20, In Venezuela
gunmen stormed a graduation party at a home in central Bolivar state
and killed 8 people, including 6 teenagers in Caicara del Orinoco.
2013 Jul 21, In Venezuela 4 men
and a woman were killed by hooded gunmen at a birthday party in
Valle de La Pascua in central Guarico state.
2013 Sep 3, In Venezuela a
blackout hit much of the country including the capital Caracas, but
the oil industry was not affected and the government said it
expected power to be restored within hours.
2013 Sep 9, Chilean press
reported that the US has spied on communications from Brazil,
Colombia, Venezuela and Uruguay from the island of Ascension
according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
(SSFC, 9/15/13, p.A6)
2013 Sep 12, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro launched a state council to counter
economic "sabotage" by opposition-linked business leaders he accuses
of artificially creating product shortages.
2013 Sep 13, It was reported
that at least five Venezuelan newspapers have temporarily stopped
publishing in recent weeks for lack of paper.
2013 Sep 16, In Venezuela a
clash between rival gangs killed at least 16 inmates at the
Sabaneta prison in the latest bloodshed to afflict the notoriously
over-crowded penal system.
2013 Sep 22, In Venezuela
Venezuela's two National Guard sergeants and one lieutenant were
arrested for alleged involvement in the smuggling of 1.4 metric tons
of cocaine to Paris on an Air France flight in three dozen
suitcases. The flight had arrived in Paris on Sep 10.
2013 Sep 22, China and
Venezuela signed several finance and development agreements during a
visit to Beijing by Pres. Nicolas Maduro.
(SFC, 9/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 30, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of the top US
diplomat and two other embassy officials, accusing them of plotting
acts of sabotage with the opposition.
(AFP, 10/1/13)(SFC, 10/1/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 1, Three Venezuelan
diplomats were ordered out of the United States in response to their
government's decision to boot three US officials from Venezuela,
including the highest-ranking US envoy in the country.
2013 Oct 10, The Venezuelan
navy detained the crew of an oil exploration vessel operated by
US-based Anadarko Petroleum in waters disputed by the Guyana and
Venezuela. The RV Teknik Perdana and its crew were released on Oct
(AP, 10/11/13)(Reuters, 10/15/13)
2013 Oct 31, Venezuela seized
control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior
Energy Services after the company shut them down because the state
oil monopoly was months behind on payments.
2013 Nov 4, Venezuelan air
force warplanes forced a small executive jet with a Mexican license
number to land in the state of Apure, near the border with Colombia.
Venezuela’s air force released images of the plane fuselage still in
flames. President Nicolas Maduro later said the plane was full of
2013 Nov 7, Jim Wyss, the Miami
Herald’s Andean bureau chief, was detained by Venezuela’s National
Guard in San Cristobal, a western city near the border with Colombia
that is the center of a vibrant black market by Venezuelans seeking
to circumvent rigid currency controls. Wyss was released on Nov 9.
2013 Nov 8, Venezuela's Pres.
Nicolas Maduro ordered the "occupation" of the Daka chain of
electronic goods stores in a crackdown on what the government views
as price-gouging hobbling the country's economy. The annual rate was
now at 54 percent.
2013 Nov 9, In Russia Gabriela
Isler (25) of Venezuela was crowned in the Miss Universe pageant at
an exhibition hall on Moscow's outskirts.
2013 Nov 10, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro announced an extension of price controls
and limits on profits as he extends attempts to curb the galloping
inflation that is eroding support for his rule. Maduro's government
announced arrests of both store managers and looters as part of what
it calls an "economic war" in Venezuela between the socialist state
and unscrupulous businessmen.
(AP, 11/11/13)(Reuters, 11/10/13)
2013 Nov 14, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro said that authorities had arrested more
than 100 "bourgeois" businessmen in a crackdown on alleged
price-gouging since the weekend. Venezuela's legislature gave
initial backing to a measure granting extraordinary powers over the
economy to President Maduro.
(Reuters, 11/14/13)(AFP, 11/15/13)
2013 Nov 23, In Venezuela
thousands of opponents of Pres. Nicolas Maduro took to the streets
to express outrage over the country’s deepening economic crisis.
(SSFC, 11/24/13, p.A4)
2013 Nov, Bitly, popular site
for shortening Web addresses, got caught in the crossfire of
Venezuela's polarized politics shortly after President Nicolas
Maduro decided to block access to sites such as www.dolartoday.com
that publish the black market rate for the bolivar, which is now 10
times the official rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar.
2013 Dec 2, Venezuela's second
massive power outage of the year plunged much of the nation into
darkness, prompting renewed talk of sabotage from President Nicolas
Maduro's government and cries of incompetence from its foes.
2013 Dec 8, Venezuela held
municipal elections. The opposition saw this as a referendum on
Pres. Maduro’s performance amid soaring crime, high inflation, and
shortages of basic household items. Early results gave Socialists
and their allies 49 percent of votes, compared to 43 percent for the
opposition coalition and its partners.
(AFP, 12/8/13)(Reuters, 12/9/13)
2013 Dec 30, Venezuela’s Pres.
Nicolas Maduro acknowledged that annual inflation had hit 56%.
(SFC, 12/31/13, p.A2)
2013 Rory Carroll authored
“Comandante: Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela."
(Econ, 3/9/13, p.83)
2013 Napoleon Chagnon authored
“Noble Savages: My Life Among the Two Dangerous Tribes – the
Yanomamo and the Anthropologists."
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.80)
2014 Jan 6, In Venezuela Monica
Spear (29), a popular soap-opera actress and former Miss Venezuela
(2004), was shot and killed along with her ex-husband Thomas Henry
Berry, a 39-year-old British citizen, during a highway robbery
between Puerto Cabello and the provincial capital of Valencia. Their
daughter (5) was wounded. Police in Puerto Cabello soon arrested
five suspects, some under the age of 18. In 2015 a court sentenced
two boys aged 15 and 17 to four years in prison after it said they
admitted taking part in the attack. Three other young men got terms
of between 24 and 26 years. In 2016 a court sentenced three men to
30 years in prison for the murders.
(AP, 1/8/14)(AFP, 2/13/16)
2014 Jan 15, Venezuela’s Pres.
Nicolas Maduro delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address. He
blamed soap operas for crime saying they are spreading “antivlaues."
(AP, 1/22/14, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/m9v8dz7)
2014 Jan 23, Ecuadorean airline
Tame suspended its once-daily flights to and from Venezuela until
that country's cash-strapped government pays it $43 million owed for
2014 Jan 24, Air Canada
suspended ticket sales in Venezuela, adding to a rising number of
airlines protesting a government devaluation of the local currency
just for travellers.
2014 Jan 28, Venezuelan
journalists and journalism students protested on one of Caracas'
avenues to demand that the government auction off dollars to allow
newspapers to buy newsprint after nine regional dailies shut down
and some of the main media chains are experiencing difficulties.
2014 Feb 11, In western
Venezuela armed pro-government groups attacked and shot at people
protesting against President Nicolas Maduro's government, injuring
2014 Feb 12, In Venezuela 3
people were killed in Caracas as protests against Pres. Maduro
turned violent. Armed members of a pro-government vigilante arrived
on motorcycles and began shooting at more than 100 anti-Maduro
student protesters clashing with security forces.
(SFC, 2/13/14, p.A2)(Econ, 2/15/14, p.30)
2014 Feb 14, In Venezuela
soldiers fired tear gas and deployed water cannons to break up
hundreds of student demonstrators blocking a highway in protest
against President Nicolas Maduro. Authorities freed 25 student
protesters pending trial and said that 74 others arrested after this
week's deadly political turmoil would be processed within hours.
(Reuters, 2/15/14)(AFP, 2/15/14)
2014 Feb 15, Venezuelan
security forces searched for Leopoldo Lopez (42), looking to arrest
the hard-line opposition leader who President Maduro blamed for
three deaths at the Feb 12 anti-government protests.
(AP, 2/16/14)(Econ, 2/22/14, p.30)
2014 Feb 15, In Venezuela a
priest (79) and lay worker (84) were killed during a robbery in the
city of Valencia. A 17-year-old was arrested the next day and a
14-year-old was being sought.
2014 Feb 16, Venezuela’s Pres.
Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of three US consular officials
that he accused of infiltrating universities.
(SFC, 2/17/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 17, In Venezuela a
student protester (17) died after being hit by a vehicle in
Carupano. This was the 4th fatality from political unrest over the
2014 Feb 18, Venezuelan protest
leader Leopoldo Lopez (42) surrendered to troops after speaking to
over 10,000 people gathered in Caracas. This followed his
spearheading three weeks of often rowdy demonstrations.
(Reuters, 2/19/14)(SFC, 2/19/14, p.A4)
2014 Feb 19, In Venezuela
Imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez (42) urged supporters to
keep fighting for the departure of the socialist government, even as
he was due in court accused of fomenting unrest that has killed at
least 4 people.
2014 Feb 20, In Venezuela
security forces faced off with demonstrators in streets blocked by
burning barricades in several cities in an escalation of protests
against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government.
2014 Feb 22, In Venezuela tens
of thousands of opponents of Pres. Maduro filled the streets of
Caracas in their biggest rally to date.
(SSFC, 2/23/14, p.A9)
2014 Feb 24, In Venezuela
anti-government demonstrators set up barricades in Caracas, snarling
traffic, despite calls from within the opposition to rein in
protests in which at least 11 people have died in the OPEC nation.
2014 Mar 2, Venezuela released
dozens of anti-government protesters and an Italian photographer,
but that did nothing to appease demonstrators set for more rallies
against President Nicolas Maduro. Thousands marched peacefully in
Caracas. Afterwards some 1,500 erected barricades and clashed with
National Guard troops.
(AFP, 3/2/14)(SFC, 3/3/14, p.A4)
2014 Mar 5, Venezuela broke
ties with Panama. President Nicolas Maduro said he was breaking
diplomatic and commercial relations with the Panamanian government
due to a "conspiracy" against him.
(Reuters, 3/5/14)(Econ, 3/8/14, p.40)
2014 Mar 6, A Venezuelan
soldier and a motorcyclist died in a confused melee sparked by the
opposition's barricading of a Caracas street, boosting the death
toll from nearly a month of violence to 20.
2014 Mar 7, In Washington DC
the Organization of American States voted to approve a declaration
that rejected violence and called for just outcomes for the 21
people the Venezuelan government says have died in weeks of street
protests. The OAS also supported the Venezuelan government's
attempts to use political dialogue to end the protests. The United
States, Panama and Canada voted against the resolution.
2014 Mar 15, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro urged Washington to join a "high-level
commission" to promote peace after more than a month of deadly
2014 Mar 16, In Venezuela a
National Guardsman was shot and killed during violence in the city
2014 Mar 18, In Venezuela
Anthony Rojas (18), mechanical engineering student, was fatally shot
in Tariba, on outskirts of San Cristobal. Rojas had participated in
past opposition protests in San Cristobal, but was not doing so when
he was shot.
2014 Mar 19, In Venezuela a
municipal worker was fatally shot while removing a street barricade
in a Caracas middle class neighborhood. The mayor of San Cristobal,
where recent protests began, was detained.
(AP, 3/19/14)(Econ, 3/22/14, p.37)
2014 Mar 21, Venezuela's Pres.
Maduro said that street protests for the past month have caused at
least $10 billion in damage, accusing hardline foes of carrying out
terrorist acts to sabotage public assets.
2014 Mar 22, In Venezuela
Police fired tear gas and made several arrests as 20,000 people
marched in Caracas against what they say is President Nicolas
Maduro's heavy-handed repression of dissent. At least 3 people were
killed pushing the death toll from almost two months of
anti-government demonstrations to 34.
(AFP, 3/22/14)(Reuters, 3/23/14)
2014 Mar 23, In Venezuela
Adriana Urquoila, a pregnant woman, was shot dead in the head after
she left a bus stuck in traffic because of a barrier built by
(SFC, 3/25/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 24, In Venezuela Sgt.
Miguel Antonio Parra was shot dead during a street demonstration in
Merida. At least 32 people have died in protests over the last five
(SFC, 3/25/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 25, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro said officials have arrested three air force generals on
charges of plotting a coup.
(SFC, 3/26/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 27, Colombia’s Pres.
Juan Manuel Santos said Venezuela’s government has accepted the
political opposition’s conditions for dialogue.
(SFC, 3/28/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 5, Spain’s foreign
minister announced that his country has suspended the export of riot
gear to Venezuela’s government following weeks of unrest.
(SSFC, 4/6/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 20, In Venezuela fresh
clashes erupted in Caracas, with hooded anti-government protesters
hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at riot police who returned fire
with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon.
2014 Apr 25, Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro said that 16 people have been arrested in a
new round of inspections to find alleged price gougers whom the
socialist government blames for the worst inflation rate in the
2014 Apr 26, In Venezuela
scores of opponents of Pres. Nicolas Maduro marched in Caracas,
vowing to remain on the streets in defiance of a high court ruling
limiting protests. The body of former intelligence chief Eliezer
Otaiza was dumped in a forested area on the edge of Caracas after
his vehicle was intercepted by a group of armed men. He was shot
(AP, 4/26/14)(AP, 4/30/14)
2014 May 2, Venezuela's
government said it has arrested 58 foreigners, including an
American, on suspicion of inciting violent street protests against
the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
2014 May 2, A Venezuelan
fishing boat found 11 Chinese sailors floating in a raft about 1,000
miles west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. 2 soon died of their injuries.
(SFC, 5/5/14, p.A2)
2014 May 8, In Venezuela
hundreds of National Guard members and police broke up four camps
maintained by student protesters and arrested 243 people in an early
morning raid. Officials reported one officer killed in clashes
following the raids.
(AP, 5/8/14)(SFC, 5/9/14, p.A4)
2014 May 14, Venezuelan
security forces arrested 105 people during a sweep of a busy Caracas
avenue as protests against the government heated up amid a widening
split within the opposition over whether to back possible US
2014 May 21, Jaime Lusinchi
(89), former Venezuelan president (1984-1989), died in Caracas. He
had struggled to tame an economic crisis sparked by plunging oil
prices in the late 1980s and then saw his reputation tarnished by
allegations of corruption after leaving office.
2014 May, Venezuela saw its
first cases of chikungunya, a disease that causes high fevers and
severe joint pain. It took authorities five months to declare it a
(Econ., 4/4/15, p.32)
2014 Jun 16, In Venezuela at
least 20 people were killed and 10 were wounded when a bus driving
toward Caracas crashed after the driver lost control.
2014 Jun 17, American Airlines
said that it will cut nearly 80 percent of its flights to Venezuela
in a dispute over revenue being held by the South American country.
2014 Jun 27, In Venezuela a
power plant failure knocked out electricity across a big swath of
the country, darkening the lights at a nationally televised
presidential ceremony and forcing a suspension of subway and train
services around the country.
2014 Jul 22, In Venezuela the
first of thousands of squatters at the half-built “Tower of David"
in Caracas were moved out by armed police and soldiers to be
relocated to new government-provided apartments in Cua. The
structure, named after financier David Brillembourg, was abandoned
in the 1990s amid a banking crisis.
(SFC, 7/23/14, p.A6)
2014 Jul 23, In Aruba retired
major general Hugo Carvajal, a former Venezuelan military
intelligence chief, was arrested at US request to face drug
trafficking charges. Carvajal flew home July 27 after the
Netherlands government ruled he had diplomatic immunity on the
(AFP, 7/26/14)(Reuters, 7/28/14)
2014 Jul 30, The US State Dept.
imposed travel and visa restrictions on Venezuelan government
officials accused of human rights violation s during widespread
protests that have left more than 40 dead.
(SFC, 7/31/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 11, Venezuela began
nightly closures of its border with Colombia in an effort to plug
smuggling, estimated to cost the government several billions a year.
Some 17,000 troops were deployed to enforce the blockade.
(Econ, 8/16/14, p.28)
2014 Aug 16, Spanish poilice
said they have arrested a Venezuelan woman (43) arriving from
Colombia carrying 3.7 pounds of cocaine in her breast implants.
(SFC, 8/16/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 17, Venezuelan
cartoonist Rayma Suprani said she was fired from her newspaper for a
caricature that used the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez's
signature to satirize the state of healthcare.
2014 Sep 22, Clorox said it is
shutting down all operations in Venezuela, citing restrictions by
the government, supply disruptions and economic uncertainty.
2014 Sep 27, In Venezuela
hard-line opponents of Pres. Nicolas Maduro began collecting
signatures seeking to force a constitutional assembly and remove the
socialist leader before presidential elections in 2019.
2014 Oct 1, In Venezuela Robert
Serra (27), a "Chavista" ruling party lawmaker, and his partner,
Maria Herrera, were found dead in their home in Caracas.
2014 Oct 7, Venezuelan police
moved in before dawn to arrest what authorities said is a gang
behind multiple homicides. That led to an eight-hour standoff that
created panic and blocked traffic across several downtown blocks. 5
people were killed including Jose Odreman, a former policeman and
well-connected leader of a militia group aligned with the socialist
(AP, 10/8/14)(Econ, 11/29/14, p.31)
2014 Nov 3, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro said a 15% boost of the minimum wage will
take effect in December to protect workers' salaries from inflation
running at more than 60 percent a year. It follows a 30 percent
boost in April and a 10 percent hike in January. The move came a
week after Maduro boosted military salaries by 45 percent.
2014 Nov 7, Venezuelan
authorities said Leiva Padilla Mendoza, the purported leader of a
Colombian paramilitary group who they allege masterminded the
October slaying of socialist Venezuelan lawmaker Robert Serra, has
been captured in Cartagena, Colombia.
2014 Nov 18, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro used expiring decree powers to put in place 28 new measures,
including a luxury tax, increased protection for young workers, and
the establishment of new economic development zones.
2014 Nov 18, Jailed Venezuelan
opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez said he will skip his own trial to
draw attention to a United Nations request for his freedom. Lopez
has been jailed since February for his role in the street
demonstrations that shook the socialist country earlier this year.
2014 Nov 27, Venezuela reported
that at least 13 prisoners have died of drug overdoses after inmates
at the overcrowded David Viloria penitentiary stormed an infirmary
on Nov 24 during protests demanding better living conditions. On Nov
28 authorities confirmed 35 deaths. On Dec 11 the number of dead was
raised to 48.
(AP, 11/27/14)(AP, 11/28/14)(SFC, 12/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Nov, Venezuela greeted the
first 119 Palestinian recipients of a medical school scholarship.
Eight months later about a third of the students had dropped out,
complaining the program lacks academic rigor. The students who
dropped out complained that their first year consisted only of
Spanish language lessons and indoctrination about Venezuela's
16-year-old socialist revolution.
2014 Dec 3, In Venezuela Maria
Corina Machado, a former member of the National Assembly, was
informed that she would be charged with conspiracy alleging
involvement in a purported plot to kill Pres. Maduro. She denied
that charges and supposed evidence.
(SFC, 12/4/14, p.A2)
2015 Jan 13, Governors in three
Venezuelan states banned nighttime queuing as huge lines continued
to snake around shops across the scarcity-plagued OPEC nation.
2015 Jan 23, It was reported
that robbers and looters were targeting trucks carrying food across
Venezuela in another sign of worsening shortages that have turned
basics like flour and chicken into coveted booty.
2015 Feb 4, Venezuela formally
charged two top executives of Farmatado, its largest drugstore
chain, as part of an investigation into what authorities say are
illegal practices contributing to the country's chronic shortages.
2015 Feb 10, In Venezuela Judge
Ali Fabricio Paredes sentenced drug kingpin Walid Makled to 14 years
in prison, drawing immediate objections from prosecutors, who said
they will appeal.
2015 Feb 11, Venezuelan
authorities arrested Judge Ali Fabricio Paredes less than 24 hours
after he issued a sentence in a high-profile drug trafficking case
that prosecutors said is too lenient.
2015 Feb 12, Venezuelan
officials said a retired air force general has been arrested and 13
other people are implicated in a plot to overthrow President Nicolas
2015 Feb 19, In Venezuela
agents of the security police (Sebin) broke into the Caracas office
of Mayor Antonio Ledezma (59) and carted off the longtime critic of
the socialist government, adding to tensions on the anniversary of
the outbreak of protests that paralyzed the nation a year ago.
(AP, 2/19/15)(SFC, 2/20/15, p.A4)(Econ., 2/28/15,
2015 Feb 24, In Venezuela a
teenager was fatally shot at an anti-government protest in the
western city of San Cristobal.
2015 Mar 1, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro said his government had detained US
citizens, including a pilot, on suspicion of espionage, in a move
likely to strain already tense relations between Washington and
2015 Mar 1, Guyana's foreign
affairs ministry said that Caracas objects to plans for an
exploratory well to be drilled in an area it contends is within
Guyana's territorial waters.
2015 Mar 2, Venezuela gave the
US two weeks to reduce its diplomatic mission in Caracas to 17
diplomats, from an estimated 100, to match the 17 Venezuelan
diplomats serving in the US.
(SFC, 3/3/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 3, Venezuela began
requiring US travelers to seek visas before visiting the South
American nation amid an escalation of diplomatic tensions between
Washington and the administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
2015 Mar 9, President Barack
Obama issued an executive order declaring a “national emergency"
because of the “extraordinary threat to the national security" posed
by Venezuela. He levied new sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials
who the US says have violated human rights and engaged in acts of
(Econ., 3/21/15, p.31)(AP, 3/9/15)
2015 Mar 10, Cuba offered its
"unconditional support" to Venezuela after US President Barack Obama
authorized new sanctions against senior officials of the turbulent
South American oil producer.
2015 Mar 12, The European
Parliament called on Venezuela to release students and opposition
figures "arbitrarily detained" during protests against left-wing
President Nicolas Maduro.
2015 Mar 13, In Venezuela
Rodolfo Gonzalez (64) died sometime during the night while being
held at the headquarters of the intelligence police in an apparent
suicide that his family said was the result of harsh prison
conditions and unjust punishment.. Gonzalez was arrested last year
during demonstrations against the socialist government.
2015 Mar 24, Venezuela said it
is launching a probe into large offshore bank deposits amid a spate
of reports that at least $2 billion was siphoned off by corrupt,
top-level officials at state-run oil company PDVSA.
2015 May 1, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro raised the minimum wage 30% for the second
time this year to help workers being battered by the world's highest
inflation. Two-thirds of the increase will come this month and the
rest on July 1. Pensions for retirees were also included in the
2015 May 23, Venezuelan jailed
opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez announced that he and Daniel
Ceballos were starting a hunger strike to demand the release of
political prisoners and an end to government repression.
2015 May 26, Venezuela approved
Decree 1787. It created Operating Zones of Integral Maritime and
Insular Defense, or Zodimain, meant to bolster Venezuela's national
2015 May 30, In Venezuela
thousands of demonstrators took to Caracas' streets to press for the
release of imprisoned foes of President Nicolas Maduro's government.
2015 Jun 3, Venezuela barred
former Zulia state governor Pablo Perez from holding office for 10
years, the latest in a series of opposition politicians to be
2015 Jun 20, In Venezuela some
500 marchers hit the Caracas streets to demand elections and the
release of jailed opposition activists including figurehead Leopoldo
Lopez, who has been on hunger strike since May 24.
2015 Jun 20, Colombia said it
has sent a letter of protest to neighboring Venezuela after the
government of President Nicolas Maduro decreed maritime borders in a
disputed area of the Atlantic Ocean.
2015 Jun 26, In Venezuela 120
policemen were reported to have been murdered so far this year, one
of the world's most violent countries.
2015 Jul 31, In Venezuela
Gustavo Patinez (21) died of a gunshot wound to the chest and 60
people were detained following looting of supermarkets in the
southeastern city of Ciudad Guayana. President Nicolas Maduro said
the violence was premeditated and blamed the United States as being
2015 Jul, Venezuela officially
rolled out Operation Liberate the People, which aimed to take back
neighborhoods overrun by gangs. Over the next two months police shot
and kill more than 80 suspected criminals.
2015 Aug 5, In Venezuela 4 men
were murdered in Aragua state. Eight police officers were later
arrested for the alleged murders, shortly after a video began
circulating on social networks that appeared to show an execution.
2015 Aug 9, In Venezuela John
Pate, an American lawyer, was stabbed to death in his apartment in
Caracas. He looked to be the victim of a botched robbery.
(Econ, 8/29/15, p.29)
2015 Aug 11, A Venezuelan
military court granted parole to former general Raul Baduel. He was
key in the rescue of Hugo Chavez from a coup in 2002, but later
broke ranks with the late leader's socialist government. Baduel,
arrested in 2009, was serving an eight-year sentence for illicit
enrichment while Defense Minister, accusations he deemed politically
2015 Aug 12, In Venezuela
Daniel Ceballos, the former mayor of the restive western city of San
Cristobal, was granted house arrest on medical grounds while
awaiting trial for his alleged role in inciting violence during last
year's anti-government protests.
2015 Aug 19, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro ordered a 72-hour closure of a major border
crossing with Colombia in western Tachira state after three soldiers
were attacked while looking for smugglers.
2015 Aug 21, Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro indefinitely closed his country's border
with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the
frontier region, following an earlier attack that wounded four
2015 Aug 23, In Venezuela Gov.
Jose Gregorio Vielma Mora of Tachira state said that 791 Colombians
living in Venezuela illegally had been handed over to Colombian
authorities as a result of a now five-day crackdown against
smugglers and criminal gangs operating along the 1,400 mile (2,200
2015 Aug 23, In Venezuela fire
broke out at a private senior facility in the upscale neighborhood
of La Castellana on the east side of Caracas, leaving 8 people dead.
2015 Aug 24, Venezuela
announced a 60-day extension of its partial closure of the border
(SFC, 8/25/15, p.A2)
2015 Sep 7, Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro said he has ordered more of his country's
vast border with Colombia closed amid a diplomatic crisis over
deportations and smuggling.
2015 Sep 10, A Venezuelan judge
sentenced opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to a maximum sentence of
nearly 14 years in prison for inciting violence in last year’s
2015 Sep 12, The foreign
ministers of Colombia and Venezuela agreed to renew diplomatic
contacts that had been interrupted by an ongoing border crisis
between the two neighbors.
2015 Sep 17, A Venezuelan air
force jet with two crew members crashed while monitoring an illegal
flight that had entered the country near the Colombian border.
2015 Sep 22, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro said he is extending an anti-smuggling
crackdown to a fourth state on the border with Colombia as foreign
ministers from the two countries prepared to meet in Caracas.
2015 Oct 15, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro said he is raising the country's minimum
wage by 30%, effective Nov 1, to help workers being clobbered by
inflation economists say is likely the highest in the world.
2015 Oct 17, Venezuela
announced that its state-owned oil company will buy a 25 percent
stake in West Indies Oil Co. and that it will establish a regional
bank with the Antigua and Barbuda government to fund a new resort.
2015 Oct 24, Venezuela media
reported that Franklin Nieves, the state prosecutor who helped lead
charges against opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, has fled the
country and accused the socialist government of pressing him to use
false evidence to unfairly condemn Lopez.
2015 Nov 7, In western
Venezuela a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck about 27 km (17 miles)
from the city of Merida, knocking out power in some areas, damaging
some buildings and triggering rockfalls that killed one man.
2015 Nov 12, In NYC two nephews
of Venezuela's first lady appeared in court charged with conspiring
to smuggle cocaine into the US. They were arrested in Haiti on Nov
10 by local police, handed over to US agents and flown the same day
to New York.
2015 Nov 20, A new study was
released that estimated poverty in Venezuela has hit an all-time
high of some 73 percent of households. It was prepared by
researchers at three Venezuelan universities on the basis of surveys
with 6,000 people.
2015 Nov 23, Argentina's
President-Elect, Mauricio Macri, said he would seek Venezuela's
suspension from South America's Mercosur trade bloc because of
accusations of rights abuses committed by Pres. Maduro's socialist
2015 Nov 25, Venezuelan
opposition election candidate Luis Manuel Diaz was shot dead while
campaigning. The shooter was believed to be a member of an "armed
gang" linked to the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela
2015 Dec 2, A Venezuelan
military helicopter landed in Guyana amid a border dispute between
the two nations. Venezuela has long claimed 40 percent of Guyana's
2015 Dec 6, Venezuelans voted
in tense elections that could see the opposition seize legislative
power from the socialist government and risk sparking violence in
the oil-rich, cash-poor nation. The opposition Democratic Unity
coalition won 112 of 167 of the National Assembly seats. The ruling
Socialists and its allies got 55 seats.
(AFP, 12/6/15)(Reuters, 12/7/15)(SFC, 12/9/15,
2015 Dec 10, Venezuela's
outgoing congress promoted a judge who drew international criticism
by handing down a long prison term to opposition leader Leopoldo
Lopez. Lawmakers from the ruling socialist party named Judge Susana
Barreiros as head public defender.
2015 Dec 30, Venezuela’s
Supreme Court barred four recently elected lawmakers from taking
their seats in the National Assembly. No legal justification was
(SFC, 1/1/16, p.A4)
2015 Dec, In Texas three former
officials at Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) pleaded guilty
under seal to conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were
charged with violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
2016 Jan 5, Venezuela’s
opposition took majority control of the National Assembly. 163 of
167 lawmakers were sworn in as the government-stacked Supreme Court
barred four from taking their seats under probes of electoral fraud.
(SFC, 1/6/16, p.A4)
2016 Jan 6, Venezuela’s new
opposition congress swore in three lawmakers barred by the Supreme
Court from taking their seats, setting up a direct confrontation
with the ruling Socialists.
(SFC, 1/7/16, p.A2)
2016 Jan 12, Venezuela's
opposition-controlled legislature suspended its session after the
Supreme Court declared it null and void because the new speaker
defied the judiciary by swearing in three banned lawmakers.
2016 Jan 18, Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon signed a letter informing the General Assembly that 15
countries including oil producer Venezuela are in arrears in paying
their annual contribution to the UN regular budget, which means they
can't vote in the 193-member world body unless there are exceptional
2016 Jan 22, Venezuela's
opposition-led congress rejected Pres. Nicolas Maduro's request for
emergency powers amid a plunging national economy, the depths of
which were dramatized by an IMF estimate that inflation this year
will top 700 percent up from an estimated 200% in 2015.
(AP, 1/22/16)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.29)
2016 Jan 29, Venezuela's
opposition vowed to drive President Nicolas Maduro from office this
year, raising pressure on the socialist leader as he weathers a
political crisis in the oil-rich nation.
2016 Feb 16, Lawmakers in
Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature approved an amnesty
for jailed foes of President Nicolas Maduro, who has pledged to veto
2016 Mar 4, In Venezuela 28
miners were reportedly murdered in a dispute over a gold claim. The
next day the country's public prosecutor's office said it was
opening an investigation as Bolivar State Governor Francisco Rangel
denied that any massacre took place. By March 14 seventeen bodies
(AP, 3/7/16)(AP, 3/15/16)
2016 Mar 8, Venezuela's
opposition launched a campaign to oust socialist President Nicolas
Maduro, saying it would press immediately for a recall referendum,
constitutional amendment and street campaign to demand his
2016 Mar 12, Venezuela's
opposition held a national day of protest, the opening salvo in its
new strategy to oust Pres. Nicolas Maduro, who responded with a
rally of his own.
2016 Mar 17, Venezuela's
Supreme Court approved President Nicolas Maduro's request for a
60-day extension of an economic emergency decree that had been
rejected by the opposition-controlled congress.
2016 Mar 18, Cuba honored
visiting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with its highest state
honor in an act of defiance two days before US President Barack
Obama is due for a historic visit to Havana.
2016 Mar 29, Venezuela's
opposition-controlled Congress approved an amnesty law to free
jailed opposition activists and end legal proceedings against
others, a measure President Nicolas Maduro promised to veto.
2016 Apr 6, Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro decreed that all Fridays for the next two
months will be holidays for state workers, in a bid to save energy
in the blackout-hit OPEC country.
(Reuters, 4/7/16)(SFC, 4/8/16, p.A2)
2016 Apr 8, Guatemalan
prosecutors raided the offices of a bank and froze some $20 million
worth of the bank's shares as part of a money-laundering probe
involving Hidalgo Rafael Socorro Urdaneta, a Venezuelan said to be
the legal representative of DHK Finance INC Panama.
2016 Apr 9, Venezuela’s Digitel
cell phone service suspended long-distance calling as the country
struggled to pay its bills. The Movistar cell phone service planned
to do the same on April 15.
(SFC, 4/12/16, p.A2)
2016 Apr 11, Venezuela’s
Supreme Court scrapped an amnesty law that could have secured the
release of jailed opposition activists.
2016 Apr 27, Venezuelan cities
cleaned up from a night of looting and fiery protests as government
offices closed their doors for the rest of the week in the face of a
worsening energy crisis that is causing daily blackouts.
2016 Apr 30, Venezuela's Pres.
Nicolas Maduro ordered a 30 percent increase in the minimum wage,
the latest move by the socialist government to grapple with high
inflation and economic stagnation. The boost comes after a 25
percent increase on March 1.
2016 May 1, Pacific Alliance
members (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
and Venezuela) eliminated tariffs on 92% of their trade with each
other and planned to phase out the rest over 17 years.
(Econ, 5/14/16, p.26)
2016 May 13, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency due to
what he called plots from within the OPEC country and the United
States to topple his leftist government.
2016 May 14, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown under a new
emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the
arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged
2016 May 20, Coca-Cola said it
is halting production in Venezuela of its namesake beverage due to a
sugar shortage brought on by the country's grinding economic crisis.
Last month, Empresas Polar, Venezuela's largest food and beverage
company, stopped production of beer because of a lack of imported
2016 May 29, German airline
Lufthansa said it is suspending its flights to Caracas, citing the
difficult economic situation in Venezuela.
2016 Jun 14, In Venezuela
dozens of bakeries, supermarkets and hardware shops were looted in
the eastern city of Cumana after gangs of looters on motorcycles
raided trucks transporting food as the country's food crisis
continued. More than 400 people were arrested, including three
suspected gang leaders. Over the next few days at least 5 people
were reported killed in food related disturbances.
2016 Jul 11, Venezuela's
President Nicolas Maduro said that Citibank NA, planned to shut his
government's foreign currency accounts within a month, denouncing
the move by one of its main foreign financial intermediaries as part
of a "blockade."
2016 Jul 17, Caravans of
Venezuelan families drove for hours on bandit-plagued highways to a
checkpoint on the Colombian border where they'll be able to cross
and hunt for food and medicine that are in short supply at home.
This was the second weekend in a row that the socialist government
has opened the long-closed border connecting Venezuela to Colombia.
2016 Jul 27, In Venezuela a
union leader said some 50 animals have starved to death in the last
six months at the Caricuao zoo in Caracas, due to chronic food
shortages that have plagued the crisis-stricken South American
2016 Aug 1, Venezuelan
electoral authorities certified that opponents of President Nicolas
Maduro had gathered enough signatures to permit them to conduct a
second petition drive aimed at removing the socialist leader from
2016 Aug 2, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro named Gen. Nestor Reverol as interior
minister. A day earlier US prosecutors announced the indictment of
Nestor Reverol, who once led Venezuela's anti-drug agency and
National Guard, on drug-trafficking charges.
2016 Aug 13, Thousands of
Venezuelans were welcomed to Colombia by a military band early today
as the two countries' borders were officially reopened after being
closed by Venezuela a year ago.
2016 Aug 17, Venezuelan police
crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a
Caracas city square, as the new interior minister relaunched a
long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most
2016 Aug 27, Venezuela sent
opposition leader Daniel Ceballos, who was under house arrest, back
to jail and expelled a delegation of Ecuadoran lawmakers, amid
rising political tension over a campaign to recall leftist President
2016 Aug 30, Venezuela set to
expel a crew of Al Jazeera journalists who were intending to cover
an opposition march against President Nicolas Maduro.
2016 Sep 1, Venezuelan
opposition supporters descended on Caracas to press for a recall
referendum this year against unpopular Socialist President Nicolas
Maduro. As many as one million protesters took to the streets.
(Reuters, 9/1/16)(Econ, 9/10/16, p.30)
2016 Sep 2, In Venezuela scores
of people banged pots and pans and jeered Pres. Nicolas Maduro
during a visit to inspect state housing projects. Authorities
briefly rounded up more than 30 people on Margarita island for
heckling Maduro. Some 500 thousand to one million protesters
gathered in Caracas calling for a recall referendum on Pres. Maduro.
(Reuters, 9/3/16)(SSFC, 8/7/16, p.A4)
2016 Sep 3, Venezuela named
publicly 18 military commanders to oversee the production and
distribution of food and basic goods in an effort to alleviate
severe shortages affecting the country.
2016 Sep 9, In Manhattan a
father-son team of informants testified that they repeatedly lied to
US investigators in order to secretly traffic drugs, even while they
were working on a narcotics probe of two nephews of Venezuela's
first lady. The Mexican-born 34-year-old son, referred to only as
CS-2, said he has earned $400,000 as an informant. The 55-year-old
father, called CS-1, said he has earned about $1 million since 2003.
The nephews of Venezuela's first lady were arrested in November 2015
and were fighting US charges that they worked with others to try to
send 800 kg of cocaine from Venezuela to Honduras for importation
into the United States.
2016 Sep 17, Venezuela took
over the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement as only 12 heads of
state arrived for the two days of meetings on the Caribbean island
of Margarita. Venezuela did not respond to a request for a list of
attendees for the 17th meeting of the group.
(Reuters, 9/17/16)(AP, 9/17/16)
2016 Sep 21, Venezuela’s
election board gave a timetable for a potential plebiscite to happen
in early 2017, meaning that should Maduro lose, the vice-president
would take over under constitutional rules on succession.
2016 Oct 7, Venezuela's
socialist President Nicolas Maduro said he is establishing a peace
prize in honor of the late Hugo Chavez and that his pick for the
initial award would be Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
2016 Oct 14, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro issued the government's 2017 budget by
decree, bypassing the opposition-held legislature in a move that
could deepen the country's economic crisis. A compliant supreme
court waived it through.
(AFP, 10/15/16)(Econ, 10/29/16, p.29)
2016 Oct 14, At the Vatican a
gathering of Jesuit priests from around the world elected the Rev.
Arturo Sosa of Venezuela to replace the retiring Rev. Adolfo Nicolas
of Spain as father general.
2016 Oct 20, In Venezuela
elections officials issued an order suspending a recall signature
drive a week before it was to start.
2016 Oct 22, In Venezuela
thousands of women marched in Caracas against leftist Pres. Nicolas
Maduro's decision to block opposition-led efforts for a recall
2016 Oct 23, Venezuela's
opposition-majority legislature declared that President Nicolas
Maduro's government had committed a coup d'etat by blocking a
referendum on removing him from power, vowing mass protests and
2016 Oct 24, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro made a surprise visit to the pope, who has been trying to
arrange a meeting between the government and the opposition.
(SFC, 3/6/17, p.29)
2016 Oct 25, In Venezuela
opposition supporters headed to rallies around the country against
unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whom they accuse of
turning into a dictator by preventing a plebiscite to remove him.
2016 Oct 28, In Venezuela a
12-hour work stoppage came as the opposition stepped up its campaign
to force embattled socialist Pres. Maduro from office after
electoral authorities canceled a recall referendum seeking his
2016 Oct 31, Venezuela’s
government and opposition leaders agreed to continue a
Vatican-backed dialogue following initial talks meant to ease an
escalating political standoff taking place against the backdrop of a
worsening economic crisis.
2016 Nov 15, Venezuela's high
court ordered the opposition to drop plans for a political trial
against President Nicolas Maduro, whose rivals blame him for food
shortages in the volatile country.
2016 Nov 18, Venezuela freed
Rosmit Mantilla (33), a politician accused of fomenting violent
protests in 2014, but opposition leaders said it was not enough and
demanded President Nicolas Maduro's government release all 100 or so
2016 Nov 18, Venezuela said it
has rejoined an international pact to curtail the smuggling of
conflict diamonds, vowing to resume issuing export certificates to
guarantee the minerals are not being used to finance war or violent
2016 Dec 4, Venezuela’s central
bank said it will introduce six new notes and three new coins
starting in mid-December to help alleviate practical problems in
doing business with the world's most inflationary currency. The
nation's largest note is worth just 2 US cents on the black market.
2016 Dec 6, Venezuela's
opposition withdrew from the latest round of crisis negotiations
with authorities, insisting the government first release prisoners
and allow a vote on the volatile country's political future.
2016 Dec 9, Venezuela’s fair
pricing authority seized almost 4 million toys from toy distributor
Kreisel and said it plans to hand them out to poor children this
holiday season. Two company executives were detained on suspicion of
promoting price speculation.
(SSFC, 12/11/16, p.A4)
2016 Dec 11, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro announced that the government would pull from circulation its
100-bolivar bill, the country’s largest-denominated. It was only
worth 3 US cents at the black market rate. They will eventually be
replaced with new ones in denominations as high as 20,000 bolivars.
(SFC, 12/13/16, p.A2)(Econ, 12/17/16, p.69)
2016 Dec 12, Venezuelans rushed
to spend their 100-bolivar notes after President Nicolas Maduro's
announcement they will be taken out of circulation to stop the
contraband smuggling "mafias" along the Colombian border that he
says hoard cash outside the country. An estimated third of
Venezuelans have no bank account and keep their savings in the
2016 Dec 16, In Venezuela
protests and looting broke out in parts of the country due to a lack
of cash after the socialist government suddenly pulled the nation's
largest banknote from circulation in the midst of a brutal economic
crisis. Three deaths were reported amid violent scenes in the
southern mining town of Callao.
2016 Dec 17, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro suspended the elimination of the country's
largest denomination bill, which had sparked cash shortages and
nationwide unrest, saying the bill could continue in use until
(Reuters, 12/18/16)(SFC, 12/19/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 18, In Venezuela a
14-year-old boy was shot dead. The opposition said there has been
four other fatalities, all in the southern state of Bolivar. More
than 300 people have been arrested, dozens injured in several days
of protests and looting over the socialist government's elimination
last week of the largest currency bill.
2016 Dec 23, The UN Security
Council passed a landmark resolution condemning Israeli settlements
in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the United States
refrained from using its veto. A resolution needs nine votes in
favor and no vetoes by the US, France, Russia, Britain or China to
be adopted. New Zealand, along with Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia,
co-sponsored the UN Security Council resolution.
(Reuters, 12/23/16)(AFP, 12/24/16)(AP, 6/13/17)
2016 Dec 29, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro again extended the deadline to stop using 100-bolivar bills.
People will now have until Jan 20 to stop using the old bills.
(SSFC, 1/1/17, p.A5)
2016 Dec 31, Venezuela's
government freed former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales along
with five other activists who were jailed during anti-government
protests in 2014.
2016 Dec, Venezuela was
suspended from Mercosur, a South American trade block, for violating
its democratic principles.
(Econ, 1/28/17, p.12)
2016 Venezuela’s economy shrank
by nearly 19% this year with inflation reaching 800%.
(Econ, 1/28/17, p.12)
2017 Jan 11, In Venezuela
Tareck El Aissami (42), Pres. Maduro's new hardline vice-president,
announced the arrest of opposition lawmaker Gilber Caro saying he
was caught with a rifle and explosives.
(AFP, 1/12/17)(Econ, 2/18/17, p.30)
2017 Jan 12, In Venezuela the
son of Raul Baduel, a retired general turned critic of Pres. Maduro,
said authorities had revoked the parole of his father who served six
years in jail for corruption.
2017 Jan 18, In Venezuela
Eliannys Vivas (9) died of diphtheria. Her death and a wider
outbreak of diphtheria, showed how vulnerable the country is to
health risks amid a major economic crisis that has sparked shortages
of basic medicines and vaccines.
2017 Jan 23, Venezuela's
opposition parties launched a new round of protests aimed at forcing
President Nicolas Maduro from power and ending 18 years of socialist
rule, but they fell well short of the massive demonstrations of the
2017 Jan 31, Israeli
authorities said that nine Venezuelan Jewish converts will be
allowed to move to Israel in light of the humanitarian crisis in
Venezuela, reversing an earlier decision to keep them out.
2017 Feb 13, The US Department
of Treasury labeled Venezuela’s VP El Aissami a drug "kingpin,"
accusing him of facilitating shipments by air and sea, and having
links to drug gangs in Mexico and Colombia. The United States also
sanctioned Samark Lopez, a man it termed El Aissami's frontman.
Aissami’s assets reportedly included three lavish apartments in the
Four Season complex of Miami and a Gulfstream jet.
(Reuters, 2/14/17)(Econ, 2/18/17, p.30)
2017 Feb 14, Venezuela's
powerful vice president called his blacklisting by the United States
on drug charges an "imperialist aggression" in the first bilateral
flare-up under new US President Donald Trump.
2017 Feb 15, Venezuela
suspended CNN in Spanish after a report by the network alleging
government workers sold passports to members of a Middle East terror
(SFC, 2/16/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 18, Hundreds of
Venezuelans marched to demand the release of opposition leader
Leopoldo Lopez, the annual demonstration taking on added urgency
after President Donald Trump met with the activist's wife and his
administration slapped drug sanctions on the country's vice
2017 Mar 20, Some 60 Venezuelan
soldiers crossed the border into Colombia and raised their national
flag in a camp they set up. They withdrew on March 23 after Pres.
Juan Manuel Santos called his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro
2017 Mar 29, Venezuela's
Supreme Court ruled that it can take over responsibilities assigned
to Congress. Earlier this week, the high court also moved to place
limits on lawmakers' immunity from prosecution. Opponents of
President Nicolas Maduro said it's part of an attempt to install a
dictatorship in the South American nation.
2017 Mar 30, Venezuela's
Supreme Court took over legislative powers from the
opposition-majority National Assembly, a dramatic tightening of
leftist President Nicolas Maduro and his allies' grip amid a
devastating economic crisis.
2017 Mar 31, Venezuelan
security forces violently repressed small protests that broke out in
Caracas after the government-stacked Supreme Court gutted congress
of its last vestiges of power, drawing widespread condemnation from
foreign countries and even from the government's top prosecutor.
2017 Mar, In Venezuela former
general Raul Baduel was charged with treason two days before
completed a sentence for illicit enrichment.
(Econ, 3/11/17, p.36)
2017 Apr 1, Venezuela's
pro-government Supreme Court revoked its controversial annulment of
the opposition-led Congress amid international condemnation and
protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 Apr 3, Venezuelan
authorities said they've arrested six officials for taking bribes to
issue identification documents to Syrians.
2017 Apr 4, Venezuelan
lawmakers were impeded from reaching the National Assembly. Chaos
and violence in Caracas left 18 people arrested and 20 injured.
2017 Apr 5, Venezuela's
opposition's lawmakers gathered from dawn, some carrying injuries
from protests, to seek the dismissal of Supreme Court judges whom
they accuse of propping up a dictatorship.
2017 Apr 6, Seven protests
against Venezuela's socialist government were held in Caracas, one
for each of the Supreme Court judges who passed a ruling last week
taking control of the country's opposition-led congress in what
demonstrators said was a lurch toward dictatorship. Jairo Ortiz (19)
was shot and killed in a Caracas suburb by security forces that were
breaking up a protest there.
(Reuters, 4/6/17)(Reuters, 4/7/17)
2017 Apr 7, Venezuelan
authorities banned Henrique Capriles, a top opposition leader, from
public office for 15 years. Capriles rejected the move and insisted
he would retain his post as governor, branding Maduro a dictator.
2017 Apr 8, In Venezuela
protesters hurling rocks clashed with police firing tear gas in a
fourth demonstration in a week against President Nicolas Maduro and
2017 Apr 10, In Venezuela
thousands of protesters demanding new elections faced off with
security forces who launched tear gas and blocked roadways in
Caracas. Daniel Queliz (20) died after being shot in the neck during
protests in Valencia.
(SFC, 4/11/17, p.A2)(SFC, 4/12/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 11, In Venezuela
Miguel Colmenares (36) was shot at a protest in the central city of
Barquisimeto. Gruseny Calderon (32) was also killed during the same
protest. The protests have also claimed the lives of two college
students and a 13 year-old.
2017 Apr 13, Thousands of
Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas to support a growing
protest movement. Officials confirmed earlier today that a fifth
person had died in recent protests.
(SFC, 4/14/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 19, Venezuela's
opposition staged the "mother of all marches," accusing President
Nicolas Maduro of resorting to dictatorial measures to quash popular
outrage over a deepening economic crisis. Two students were killed
in the demonstrations. A National Guard officer soon died from
(Reuters, 4/19/17)(Reuters, 4/20/17)
2017 Apr 19, Venezuelan
authorities took control of GM’s only factory there in what GM
called an illegal judicial seizure of its assets.
2017 Apr 20, General Motors
said it was shuttering operations in Venezuela a day after
authorities seized its factory in the country. The neglected factory
has not produced cars since 2015, but the company still had 79
dealers employing 3,900 people.
(SFC, 4/21/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 21, Venezuela was
rocked by a night of fresh violence during anti-government protests.
A man was shot and killed during one protest. The death toll in
three weeks of violence at anti-government protests jumped to 20
people after a night of clashes and pillaging left 12 people dead in
2017 Apr 24, In Venezuela small
groups of protesters held "sit-ins" around the country barricading
roads with trash and even bathtubs in an effort to maintain momentum
as anti-government unrest entered a fourth week. Three people were
killed in another day of nationwide protests against leftist
president Nicolas Maduro, raising the death toll to 24 in weeks of
(Reuters, 4/24/17)(AP, 4/24/17)(AFP, 4/25/17)
2017 Apr 25, In Venezuela a man
(23) was shot dead at a political demonstration in the western state
of Lara, bringing to at least 25 the number of deaths in unrest this
(Reuters, 4/25/17)(AFP, 4/25/17)
2017 Apr 25, A top Venezuelan
prison official said six inmates died and another 11 have been
wounded in a brawl among prisoners at the Puente Ayala penitentiary
in Anzoategui state.
2017 Apr 26, Venezuela said
that it would begin withdrawing for the Organization of American
States to counter an attempt by the OAS and conservative regional
governments to topple Pres. Maduro.
(SFC, 4/27/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr 30, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro said the minimum wage will rise 60% starting May 1. This was
the third wage increase this year as triple-digit inflation eroded
(SFC, 5/1/17, p.A2)
2017 Apr, Colombia’s
constitutional court ruled that Venezuelan sex workers are entitled
to work visas.
(Econ 7/22/17, p.28)
2017 May 1, Venezuela’s Pres.
Maduro called for a new constitution as an intensifying protest
movement entered a second month.
(SFC, 5/2/17, p.A2)
2017 May 1, The US Supreme
Court ruled against Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne
International Drilling Company that claimed Venezuela unlawfully
seized 11 drilling rigs in 2010. The justices ruled 8-0 to throw out
a 2015 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit that allowed one of the claims to move forward.
2017 May 2, Venezuela's
opposition blocked streets in Caracas to denounce a decision by
unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro to create a new
super-body known as a "constituent assembly," a move critics say is
a veiled attempt to cling to power by avoiding elections.
2017 May 6, In Venezuela
thousands of women dressed in white marched in Caracas to keep
pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, whose authority is being
increasingly challenged by protests and deadly unrest.
2017 May 15, In Venezuela
opposition supporters blocked roads in various parts of the country
to try to keep pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 May 16, In Venezuela
Yeison Mora (17) died after he was shot in the head during a protest
the day before, taking the death toll from six weeks of
anti-government unrest to at least 40.
(Reuters, 5/16/17)(SFC, 5/17/17, p.A4)
2017 May 19, The Venezuelan
Foreign Ministry announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has
promised to start delivering several tons of wheat each month after
speaking on the phone with President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 May 19, The US imposed a
new round of sanctions on Venezuelan officials targeting eight
Supreme Court judges for damaging their nation’s democracy by
steadily stripping the opposition controlled congress of any
(SFC, 5/20/17, p.A2)
2017 May 20, In western
Venezuela a 23-year-old was killed with gunshot wounds to the chest
during a protest. His death brings to at least 48 the number of
people killed since anti-government unrest began two months ago.
Government supporter Orlando Figuera (21) suffered burns to almost
all his body when he was doused with gasoline and set on fire at a
protest in Caracas.
(AP, 5/21/17)(AP, 5/25/17)
2017 May 22, In Barinas,
Venezuela, protesters set the childhood home of late Pres. Hugo
Chavez on fire along with several government buildings as they
clashed with national guardsmen.
(SFC, 5/23/17, p.A2)
2017 May 24, Angry Venezuelans
barricaded streets in parts of Caracas and the opposition geared up
for another protest as the announcement of two election dates failed
to appease anger against President Nicolas Maduro and an economy in
2017 May 27, In Venezuela
demonstrators clashed with police again as they descended on the
offices of the state media regulator, the latest in nearly two
months of often-violent protests demanding the ouster of President
2017 May 28, The Wall Street
Journal reported that the Goldman Sachs Group has bought $2.8
billion in bonds from Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA at a
steeply discounted price. Opposition leaders immediately accused the
bank of getting in bed with a deeply unpopular administration, the
target of two months of near-daily protests.
2017 Jun 5, In Venezuela
protesters again took to the streets of Caracas shutting down main
roads to demand new presidential elections following the release of
a new video expressing support from jailed opposition leader
(SFC, 6/6/17, p.A2)
2017 Jun 12, Venezuela's
Supreme Court rejected the chief prosecutor's motion to stop
President Nicolas Maduro's push to rewrite the constitution.
2017 Jun 20, It was reported
that the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in the United States
is accelerating as the oil-rich economy crashes and bloody,
anti-government protests roil the nation.
2017 Jun 28, A Venezuelan
police helicopter strafed the Supreme Court and a government
ministry. A government communique said the helicopter was stolen by
investigative police pilot Oscar Perez, who declared himself in
rebellion against Maduro.
2017 Jun 29, In Venezuela 29
students in Caracas were detained after participating in
2017 Jul 5, In Venezuela a
pro-government mob charged into the national assembly building and
beat up parliamentarians. The thugs were responding to a summons by
Tareck el Aissami, the country’s vice-president.
(Econ 7/15/17, p.31)
2017 Jul 8, Venezuela's
best-known jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was back home and
hugging his family after being granted house arrest following three
years in jail for leading anti-government protests.
2017 Jul 14, The Venezuelan
state prosecutor's office called for the conditional release of
Joshua Holt (25), a US citizen held on weapons charges for more than
a year, citing delays in his trial.
2017 Jul 14, UN officials said
more than 52,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum this year,
nearly twice the number in all of 2016. The UN human rights office
noted figures from the Venezuelan Attorney General's office
indicating 92 people have died in connection with protests since
2017 Jul 16, In Venezuela the
opposition held an unofficial vote to let Venezuelans have their say
about unpopular President Nicolas Maduro's plan to elect a new
legislative body with powers to rewrite the constitution and
supersede other institutions. Venezuelan expatriates began voting in
hundreds of cities worldwide in the unofficial plebiscite. The
Democratic Unity coalition brought millions onto the streets for the
informal referendum. More than 7 million Venezuelans cast
symbolic votes rejecting Maduro’s plan to retool the constitution.
(Reuters, 7/16/17)(Reuters, 7/17/17)(AP, 7/17/17)
2017 Jul 20, Many Venezuelan
streets were deserted and barricaded for a strike called by foes of
President Nicolas Maduro to demand a presidential election and the
abandonment of a plan for a new congress they fear would institute a
dictatorship. Two people were killed in clashes during the
(Reuters, 7/20/17)(AFP, 7/21/17)
2017 Jul 21, Venezuela’s
opposition-controlled congress named a 33 new judges to replace the
government-stacked Supreme Court, which wasted no time in rejecting
the move as an ongoing power struggle heats up between Pres. Nicolas
Maduro and his foes. The government soon arrested three of the new
(AP, 7/22/17)(Econ 7/29/17, p.20)
2017 Jul 22, In Venezuela
another day of violent clashes took place as security forces blocked
protesters with armored cars and riot shields. The injured included
Violinist Wuilly Arteaga, famous for his musical protests. The
opposition called for a fresh 48-hour general strike against
President Nicolas Maduro's plans to have the constitution rewritten
giving him broader powers.
(AP, 7/23/17)(AFP, 7/23/17)
2017 Jul 26, Opposition leader
Leopoldo Lopez (46) called on Venezuelans to support a 48-hour
general strike in protest of government plans to rewrite the
constitution, in his first direct public message since being
released from prison to house arrest. Three people were killed in
clashes between security forces and protesters on the first day of
the opposition-led strike.
(AP, 7/26/17)(Reuters, 7/27/17)
2017 Jul 26, The Trump
administration imposed sanctions on 13 senior officials of
Venezuela's government, military and state oil company PDVSA.
2017 Jul 30, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro asked for global acceptance as he cast an
unusual pre-dawn vote for an all-powerful constitutional assembly
that his opponents fear he'll use to replace his country's democracy
with a single-party authoritarian system. The opposition boycotted
2017 Jul 30, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro asked for global acceptance as he cast an
unusual pre-dawn vote for an all-powerful constitutional assembly
that his opponents fear he'll use to replace his country's democracy
with a single-party authoritarian system. The opposition boycotted
the vote. A candidate to the all-powerful assembly being elected was
shot dead in his home and troops fired weapons to clear protesters
in Caracas. At least 10 people were killed in protests against
Maduro. 8 million people reportedly voted for the new assembly. The
firm that runs the electronic voting system said it had been
(AP, 7/30/17)(AFP, 7/30/17)(Reuters,
7/31/17)(Econ 8/5/17, p.27)
2017 Jul 31, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro celebrated the election of a new
legislative superbody that is expected to give the ruling Socialist
Party sweeping powers and mocked US criticism that the vote was an
affront to democracy.
2017 Jul 31, The European Union
condemned what it said was excessive use of force by state troops in
Venezuela and said it was unlikely to recognize results of elections
a day earlier that were marred by deadly clashes.
2017 Aug 1, In Venezuela
leading opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were
removed from their homes early today after "official intelligence
sources" determined there was a "escape plan" involving both men.
2017 Aug 2, The president of
Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly said the
legislature will call for an investigation into claims that the
official turnout figure in the July 30 election was inflated by at
least 1 million votes.
2017 Aug 4, Venezuela returned
opposition leader Antonio Ledezma from prison to his home.
Venezuela’s government inaugurated a new legislative superbody
authorized to expand the powers of leftist President Nicolas Maduro.
Chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz said it was fraudulently elected.
(Reuters, 8/4/17)(Reuters, 8/5/17)
2017 Aug 5, Venezuelan security
forces surrounded the entrance to the chief prosecutor's office. The
newly installed constitutional assembly voted unanimously to remove
chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega, replaced her with a government
loyalist and ordered her to stand trial, confirming opposition fears
that it would use its powers to root out critics of the government.
(AP, 8/5/17)(Reuters, 8/6/17)
2017 Aug 5, The South American
trade bloc Mercosur, meeting in San Paulo, decided to suspend
Venezuela for failing to follow democratic norms.
2017 Aug 6, Venezuelan
authorities suppressed a small military rebellion near the central
city of Valencia, days after President Nicolas Maduro formed a
legislative superbody internationally condemned as a power grab.
2017 Aug 8, Venezuela’s new
constitutional assembly assumed even more power by declaring itself
as the superior body to all other governmental institutions,
including the opposition-controlled congress.
2017 Aug 8, Venezuela's Supreme
Court sentenced Caracas district mayor Ramon Muchacho to 15 months
in jail for defying orders to keep transit moving in an area
routinely blocked and barricaded by anti-government demonstrations.
2017 Aug 9, Washington imposed
sanctions on eight Venezuelan officials for their role in creating
an all-powerful legislative body loyal to President Nicolas Maduro,
while a mayor-turned-fugitive called for more anti-government
protests. Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the wealthy Chacao district of
capital city Caracas, appeared in a video shot from a secret
location after a court removed him from office and sentenced him to
15 months in prison a day earlier for failing to halt
anti-government protests in his district.
2017 Aug 9, Venezuela’s supreme
court ordered David Smolansky, mayor of the eastern Caracas district
of El Hatillo, imprisoned for 15 months for not obeying orders to
shut down protests.
2017 Aug 11, US Pres. Donald
Trump said a military option was not out of the question for dealing
with the Venezuelan government's crackdown on the opposition and
deepening social crisis.
2017 Aug 15, Embattled
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro traveled to Cuba to pay homage
to deceased leader Fidel Castro, in a surprise visit days after US
President Donald Trump warned of possible military action against
2017 Aug 15, Venezuelan
violinist Wuilly Arteaga (23) was released after spending 19 days in
police custody. He has became a beloved fixture at anti-government
2017 Aug 16, Venezuela’s
government-stacked Supreme Court announced it was ordering the
capture of German Ferrer, the ousted chief prosecutor's husband, and
referring the case to the new, all-powerful constitutional assembly.
Ferrer was accused of running a $6 million extortion ring.
(AP, 8/17/17)(SFC, 8/18/17, p.A4)
2017 Aug 16, In southern
Venezuela at least 37 people were killed overnight during clashes
between armed inmates and security forces at a prison in Puerto
Ayacucho, Amazonas state. Inmates had seized control of the prison
several weeks earlier.
(SFC, 8/17/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 18, Venezuela’s
newly-created constituent assembly, elected in late July to re-write
the crisis-hit country's constitution, said it would supersede
congress and pass laws on its own. A group of 12 regional nations
plus the United States rejected Venezuela's new government-allied
legislative superbody, saying they would continue to regard the
opposition-controlled congress as the country's only legitimate law
2017 Aug 18, Venezuela's ousted
chief prosecutor and her husband, two of President Nicolas Maduro's
most outspoken critics, fled the country and landed in Colombia.
2017 Aug 22, Chile said it has
granted diplomatic asylum to five Venezuelans who took refuge in its
embassy in Caracas, amid political turmoil as President Nicolas
Maduro moves to consolidate power.
2017 Aug 23, Venezuela's
fugitive former top prosecutor Luisa Ortega (59) resurfaced in
Brazil claiming to possess "a lot" of proof of President Nicolas
Maduro's corruption and to warn that her life remains in danger.
2017 Aug 24, Colombia’s Caracol
Television said President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government has
pulled its channel from Venezuela's airwaves, slamming the move as a
crackdown on media. The signal for RCN was also pulled.
(Reuters, 8/24/17)(SSFC, 8/27/17, p.A5)
2017 Aug 25, Venezuela’s
National Communications Commission did not renew permits for two
radio stations that aired critical coverage of Pres. Nicholas
Maduro’s government and ordered them to cease transmitting.
(SSFC, 8/27/17, p.A5)
2017 Aug 26, Venezuela kicked
off two days of military drills in response to US President Donald
Trump's threat of military action and newly announced sanctions on
the crisis-stricken nation.
2017 Aug 30, The UN said
Venezuela's security forces had committed extensive and apparently
deliberate human rights violations in crushing anti-government
protests and that democracy was "barely alive".
2017 Aug 31, Venezuela's chief
prosecutor said he has launched embezzlement accusations against his
predecessor, who fled the country saying the government wanted to
kill her after she challenged it over a deadly political crisis.
Former chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega is currently in Mexico, the
latest stop on a tour of countries where she has been denouncing
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 Aug 31, Venezuelan
authorities discovered some 200 million bolivars in a vehicle
belonging to Lilian Tintori, the wife of opposition activist
Leopoldo Lopez. That's around $60,000 at the nation's weakest
official exchange rate or $10,000 at the black market rate. She has
said the cash was to pay for emergencies including the
hospitalization of her 100-year-old grandmother. On Sep 2 Tintori
said her passport was seized as she tried to board a flight for
(AP, 9/1/17)(SSFC, 9/3/17, p.A4)
2017 Sep 3, Guyanese
authorities said they're seeing a significant increase in
Venezuelans crossing the border seeking treatment for malaria and
other ailments. Guyana's Indigenous Affairs Ministry said Venezuelan
soldiers recently crossed the border and stole food, telling locals
they hadn't been resupplied for 45 days.
2017 Sep 7, Venezuela’s
President Nicolas Maduro invited bondholders to unspecified
"negotiations" over its foreign debt in coming days in response to
recent US financial sanctions.
2017 Sep 8, Russian Finance
Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters that Venezuela is having
problems with fulfilling its obligations on its debt to Russia.
2017 Sep 12, The International
Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said Venezuela's Supreme Court has
progressively dismantled the rule of law, becoming an instrument of
President Nicolas Maduro's government in what amounts to a coup
against the constitutional order. It called on the UN Human Rights
Council to take action.
2017 Sep 21, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Cuba in a surprise visit to
bring a donation of goods after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the
2017 Oct 6, In Turkey
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met with Pres. Recep Tayyip
Erdogan for talks on bilateral relations and international issues.
2017 Oct 15, Venezuela held
gubernatorial elections. The ruling Socialist Party currently
controlled 20 of 23 state governorships, but polls showed the
opposition Democratic Unity coalition likely to upend that.
Socialist contenders swept 18 of the 23 governor offices at stake
(Reuters, 10/15/17)(AP, 10/17/17)
2017 Oct 16, Venezuela's
opposition refused to recognize a surprise win for the ruling
socialists in weekend regional elections. On Oct 18 the
National Electoral Council said socialist contenders swept 18 of the
23 governor offices at stake. The opposition had been widely
expected to win a majority of the races and contested the results.
(Reuters, 10/16/17)(AP, 10/17/17)
2017 Oct 26, Venezuela's
democratic opposition was awarded the European Union's human rights
award and the European Parliament called for a peaceful transition
to democracy in the troubled country.
2017 Nov 3, Venezuela's
government released two prominent opposition activists it has held
for more than a year without trial. Yon Goicoechea and Delson
Guarate were freed late today from a Caracas jail, but continue to
be bound by restrictions on their movement and speech.
2017 Nov 4, Venezuelan
opposition lawmaker Freddy Guevara (31) requested Chile's protection
after Venezuela's high court announced he would be prosecuted on
charges punishable by a decade in prison. He became the sixth
Venezuelan to seek protection at the embassy in under three months.
2017 Nov 7, Venezuelan
journalist Jesus Medina said he has been released following two days
of captivity and torture after photographing criminal gang
activities inside a prison. Last week, he published photos taken
from a nearby hilltop purportedly showing armed inmates, marijuana
plots and satellite dishes inside the prison.
2017 Nov 8, Moscow's finance
minister said Venezuela has agreed to Russia's terms for
restructuring its debt. As of 2016 Venezuela's official debt to
Moscow stood at $2.8 billion.
2017 Nov 13, Venezuela opened
talks with creditors to renegotiate a crippling debt that has left
citizens sifting through garbage for food, as the once-prosperous
OPEC nation seeks to avert a default that would plunge its economy
into deeper crisis.
2017 Nov 13, The European Union
banned arms sales to Venezuela and set up a system to slap asset
freezes and travel restrictions on Venezuelan officials as it sought
to ramp up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 Nov 13, Spain's defense
and foreign ministers said they had evidence that state and
private-sector Russian groups, as well as groups in Venezuela, used
Twitter, Facebook and other Internet sites to massively publicize
the separatist cause and swing public opinion behind it in the
run-up to the Oct. 1 referendum.
2017 Nov 15, The Russian
Finance Ministry says it has signed a deal to restructure
2017 Nov 16, Venezuela's ousted
chief prosecutor asked the International Criminal Court to open an
investigation into President Nicolas Maduro and four other senior
officials for alleged crimes against humanity.
2017 Nov 17, Colombian
authorities said Venezuelan opposition leader Antonio Ledezma (62),
who was detained in 2015 on allegations of coup-plotting but had
been under house arrest in Caracas, has fled over the border to
2017 Nov 22, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuelan-American executives at
refiner Citgo who were arrested in a corruption sweep this week
would be tried as "corrupt, thieving traitors" despite a request by
the United States to free them. Maduro named Asdrubal Chavez -- a
cousin of late leader Hugo Chavez -- to lead Citgo, the state oil
company's US affiliate.
(Reuters, 11/23/17)(AFP, 11/23/17)
2017 Nov 28, The Venezuelan
Soccer Federation fired Kenneth Zseremeta, the coach of its under-20
women's national soccer team, after he claimed that his players were
suffering from malnutrition.
2017 Nov 29, Human Rights Watch
said Venezuelan state security forces systematically abused
opposition protesters detained earlier this year during months of
deadly political unrest.
(SFC, 11/30/17, p.A2)
2017 Nov 30, Venezuelan
authorities said they have detained two once-powerful officials who
had run the oil ministry and state energy company PDVSA. Engineer
Eulogio Del Pino was thought to have participated in a $500 million
corruption and sabotage scheme at the Petrozamora joint venture,
while chemist Martinez was suspected of allowing a poor refinancing
deal for US-based refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp, which he used to
lead, to go ahead without government approval.
2017 Dec 1, Venezuela’s state
prosecutor said Diego Salazar, a relative of former oil czar Rafael
Ramirez, has been arrested as part of an investigation into a
2011-2012 money laundering scandal in Andorra.
2017 Dec 10, Venezuelans voted
in mayoral races, boycotted by the major opposition parties. The
ruling Socialist Party as predicted dominated mayoral polls with the
help of a partial boycott by a crumbling opposition.
(AP, 12/10/17)(Reuters, 12/11/17)
2017 Dec 13, The European
Union's Sakharov Prize for human rights was awarded to Venezuela's
democratic opposition and its political prisoners.
2017 Dec 15, A Venezuelan cash
crunch led residents of Caracas to unveil their own currency. The
panal, which means honeycomb in Spanish, can be spent in just a few
stores. Its circulation is limited to one poor neighborhood.
Initially 62,000 bills have been printed.
2017 Dec 24, In Venezuela three
dozen opponents of the socialist government were released from
prison and reunited with loved ones as part of a wider Christmas
2017 Dec 26, It was reported
that over the last year Venezuela's currency has weakened 97.5 per
cent against the greenback, meaning $1,000 of local currency
purchased then would be worth just $25 now.
2017 Dec 28, Hundreds of
Venezuelans took to the streets in poor parts of Caracas overnight
to protest a shortage of pork for traditional Christmas meals in the
latest symptom of social discontent during a brutal economic crisis.
2017 Dec 30, Colombia said it
has shipped around 55 tons of ham to Venezuela after protests broke
out over shortages of the traditional holiday staple.
2017 Dec 31, In Venezuela
Alexandra Colopoy (18) was reportedly gunned down by National Guard
First Sergeant David Rebolledo. The soldier shot and killed the
pregnant woman an incident that local media described as a melee
over scarce pork. Rebolledo was soon arrested.
2018 Jan 5, Venezuelan
President Nicolas Maduro ordered the shutdown of all air and
maritime traffic with the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and
Bonaire for the next 72 hours. He accused island leaders of being
complicit in the illegal trafficking of goods and resources.
2018 Jan 5, The United States
imposed sanctions on four current or former Venezuelan government
officials, including a former food minister accused by the
opposition of corruptly managing food imports.