2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt
The Venezuelan coup d'état attempt of 2002 was a failed coup d'état on 11 April 2002 that saw President Hugo Chávez ousted from office for 47 hours before being restored to power. Chávez, elected in 2000, was aided in his return to power by overwhelming popular support and mobilization against the coup and assistance of loyalists in the military; the situation began on 9 April, when a general strike was called by the trade union organization "National Federation of Trade Unions", Confederación de Trabajadores de Venezuela. The proposed strike was in response to Chávez's appointments to prominent posts in Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA. Two days in Caracas, up to one million Venezuelans marched in opposition to Chávez. At one point during the march, opposition leaders redirected the protestors to the presidential palace, where government supporters and Bolivarian Circles were holding their own rally. Upon the opposition's arrival, the two sides confronted each other. Gunshots rang out, by that evening 19 people were dead, including both supporters and opponents of the government.
The military high command started the coup at Miraflores and demanded that Chávez resign. President Chávez refused to resign, he subsequently was arrested by the military. Chávez's request for asylum in Cuba was denied, he was ordered to be tried in a Venezuelan court. Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce president Pedro Carmona was declared interim president. During his brief rule, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court were both dissolved and the country's 1999 Constitution was declared void. By the 13th, the coup was on the verge of collapse, as Carmona's attempts to undo Chávez's reforms angered much of the public and key sectors of the military, while parts of the anti-Chávez movement refused to back Carmona; when word began to spread that Chavez had not resigned, as was publicly claimed, Chavez supporters surrounded the presidential palace. In Caracas, Chávez supporters demanded his return; that night, Carmona went into exile. The pro-Chávez Presidential Guard retook Miraflores without firing a shot, leading to the removal of the Carmona government and the re-installation of Chávez as president.
The coup was planned for some time, as those who opposed Chávez, such as business lobbies, private media, Catholic organizations, felt that his government was becoming undemocratic and threatened their commercial interests. At the time, Chávez saw his approval rating of 80% drop to about 30%; the growing dissatisfaction with Chávez among those in the military due to his aggressive manner and alliances with Cuba and paramilitaries led multiple officers to call on Chávez to resign. Although Chávez denied intentions that the United States government sought to overthrow his government, it was revealed that the US had prior knowledge of the coup attempt and that members of the US government had ties to prominent participants in the coup; the private media was accused of biased reporting in support of the anti-Chávez protests and coup, with coverage being described as "lopsided", as well as "suppress and manipulate". Allegations that owners of media organizations participated in the coup have not been proven.
Chávez was first elected president in 1998. One of his campaign promises was to convene a new constitutional convention, on 15 December 1999 he put the new Constitution of Venezuela to the voters in a referendum, which passed with 71.78% of the popular vote. Following the 1999 constitutional referendum, Chávez was reelected in 2000 under the terms of the new constitution. Following these elections, Chávez had gained control of all independent institutions of the Venezuelan government; the popularity of Chávez dropped due to his clashes with multiple social groups he had alienated and his close ties with controversial world leaders such as Mohammad Khatami, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Fidel Castro. Chávez used a strategy of polarization in Venezuela, a them against us situation, in order to single out those who stood in the way of his progress, he would use name calling against original supporters that would question him. Such "words spawned hatred and polarization" with Chávez, "a master of language and communication", creating his own reality among Venezuelans.
Nelson says that what hurt Chávez's popularity the most was his relationship with Fidel Castro and Cuba, with Chávez attempting to make Venezuela in Cuba's image. Venezuela became Cuba's largest trade partner while Chávez, following Castro's example, consolidated the country's bicameral legislature into a single National Assembly that gave him more power and created community groups of loyal supporters trained as paramilitaries; such actions created great fear among Venezuelans who felt like they were tricked and that Chávez had dictatorial goals. This feeling of being tricked affected the media since they supported Chávez and his promises. Opposition to the Chávez government was particularly strong, with some of those who were in the government before the election of Chávez; the independent media became the primary check on Chávez after he had taken control of most of the Venezuelan government, with the Venezuelan media acting like other forms of media in Latin America at the time that demanded accountability for governmental abuses and exposing corruption.
The opposition was worried with Chávez because they believed his rewriting Venezuela's constitution were signs that Chávez was trying to maintain power through authoritarianism. In early 2002, there were increasing signs of discontent in the
Chavismo known as Chavism and Chavezism, is a left-wing political ideology based on the ideas and government style associated with the former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez that combines elements of socialism, left-wing populism, internationalism, feminism, green politics and Caribbean and Latin American integration. Strong supporters of Chávez and Chavismo are known as Chavistas. Several political parties in Venezuela support Chavismo; the main party, founded by Chávez, is the United Socialist Party of Venezuela referred to by the four letters PSUV). Other parties and movements supporting Chavismo include Fatherland for Tupamaros. Broadly, Chavismo policies include nationalization, social welfare programs and opposition to neoliberalism. According to Chávez, Venezuelan socialism accepts private property, but this socialism seeks to promote social property too, much like social democracy while supporting participatory democracy and workplace democracy. In January 2007, Chávez proposed to build the communal state, whose main idea is to build self-government institutions like communal councils and communal cities.
According to political scientist John Magdaleno, the proportion of Venezuelans who define themselves as Chavistas declined from 44% to around 22% between October 2012 and December 2014, after the death of Hugo Chávez and the deterioration of the economy during Nicolás Maduro's tenure. In February 2014, a poll conducted by International Consulting Services, an organization created by Dr. Juan Vicente Scorza, a sociologist and anthropologist for the National Experimental University of the Armed Forces, found that 62% of Venezuelans consider themselves supporters or followers of the ideals of Chávez. By 2016, many Chavistas became disenchanted with the Bolivarian government and sought to emigrate from Venezuela to a more stable country. In April 2017, a survey by Hinterlaces said that only 35% of Venezuelans identify as supporters of Chavista bloc led by Maduro's PSUV, while 36% of Venezuelans interviewed did not sympathize with any national party. Despite its claim to socialist rhetoric, Chavismo has been described as being state capitalist by critics.
In a 2017 interview, after being asked if he would take Venezuela's failing economy as an admission that socialism "wrecked people's lives", philosopher Noam Chomsky said: "I never described Chavez's state capitalist government as'socialist' or hinted at such an absurdity. It was quite remote from socialism. Private capitalism remained... Capitalists were free to undermine the economy in all sorts of ways, like massive export of capital." Critics frequently point towards Venezuela's large private sector. In 2009 70% of Venezuela's gross domestic product was created by the private sector. Academic research produced about Chavismo shows a considerable consensus when acknowledging its early shift to the left and its strong populist component. However, besides these two points there is significant disagreement in the literature. According to Kirk A. Hawkins, scholars are divided into two camps: a liberal democratic one that sees Chavismo as an instance of democratic backsliding and a radical democratic one that upholds Chavismo as the fulfillment of its aspirations for participatory democracy.
Hawkins argues that the most important division between these two groups is neither methodological nor theoretical, but ideological. It is a division over basic normative views of democracy: liberalism versus radicalism. Scholars in this camp adhered to a classical liberal ideology that valued procedural democracy as the political means best suited to achieving human welfare. Many of these scholars had a liberal vision of economics, although some were moderate social democrats who were critical of neoliberalism. Together, they saw Chavismo in a negative light as a case of democratic backsliding or competitive authoritarianism or electoral authoritarian regime; the most relevant aspects of the liberal critique of Chavismo are the following: Failure to ensure free and fair elections due to fraud or frequent changes of electoral rules. The government violates principles of electoral freedom during and after the 2004 presidential recall election. Many of these violations would be possible due to bias within the National Electoral Council.
Violation of civil liberties. A number of civil liberties saw significant reverses under the Chávez government, including the right of association and freedom of expression; some of the most significant setbacks are in media freedom, where Chavism has used several means to constrain the operation of commercial media. Infringement of separation of powers. Liberal scholars argue that Chavismo eliminates the separation of powers between the branches of government by manipulating to produce a supermajority to the supreme court. Besides, by 2006, the government had fired hundreds of judges in lower courts as well and threatened to remove and prosecute any judge who dared to rule against the government. Political discrimination and exclusion of opposition parties. Under Chavista governments, state resources are used to favor the incumbent, the opposition parties lack access to media, legal institutions are captured by the incumbent. Besides, many sources cited by liberal scholars suggest that the government's participatory initiatives are used as campaign infrastructure.
Undermining the rule of law. Liberal critics present three majors
Constitution of Venezuela
The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the current and twenty-sixth constitution of Venezuela. It was drafted in mid-1999 by a constitutional assembly, created by popular referendum. Adopted in December 1999, it replaced the 1961 Constitution, the longest-serving in Venezuelan history, it was promoted by President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and thereafter received strong backing from diverse sectors, including figures involved in promulgating the 1961 constitution such as Luis Miquilena and Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chávez and his followers refer to the 1999 document as the "Constitución Bolivariana" because they assert that it is ideologically descended from the thinking and political philosophy of Simón Bolívar and Bolivarianism. Since the creation of the Constituent National Assembly in August 2017, the Bolivarian government has declared the 1999 constitution suspended until a new constitution is created; the Constitution of 1999 was the first constitution approved by popular referendum in Venezuelan history, summarily inaugurated the so-called "Fifth Republic of Venezuela" due to the socioeconomic changes foretold in its pages, as well as the official change in Venezuela's name from the República de Venezuela to the República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
Major changes are made to the structure of Venezuela's government and responsibilities, while a much greater number of human rights are enshrined in the document as guaranteed to all Venezuelans – including free education up to tertiary level, free health care, access to a clean environment, right of minorities to uphold their own traditional cultures and languages, among others. The 1999 Constitution, with 350 articles, is among the world's longest, most complicated, most comprehensive constitutions. One of the outstanding differences between Venezuelan and most of the other constitutions of the Americas is the lack of the possibility of impeachment of the president by the national parliament. Instead, it enables citizens to remove the president through a recall referendum. President Hugo Chávez was first elected under the provisions of the 1961 Constitution in the presidential election of 6 December 1998. Chávez had been contemplating a constitutional convention for Venezuela as an ideal means to bring about sweeping and radical social change to Venezuela beginning from the eve of his 1992 coup attempt.
Chávez would state that: We discussed how to break with the past, how to overcome this type of democracy that only responds to the interests of the oligarchical sectors. We had always rejected the idea of a traditional military coup, of a military dictatorship, or of a military governing junta. We were aware of what happened in Colombia, in the years of 1990–1991, when there was a constitutional assembly – of course! – it was limited because in the end it was subordinated to the existing powers. It was the existing powers that designed Colombia’s constitutional assembly and got it going and, therefore, it could not transform the situation because it was a prisoner of the existing powers and thoughts. After his imprisonment and release, he began to seek a political career with such a convention as its political goal. Thus, in the 1998 presidential elections, one of Chávez's electoral promises was to organise a referendum asking the people if they wanted to convene a National Constituent Assembly.
His first decree as president was thus to order such a referendum, which took place on 19 April. The electorate were asked two questions – whether a constituent assembly should be convened, whether it should follow the mechanisms proposed by the president; the "yes" vote in response to these two question totalled 92% and 86%, respectively. Elections were held, on 25 July, to elect 131 deputies to the Constituent Assembly, which convened and debated proposals during the remainder of 1999. Chávez's widespread popularity allowed the constitutional referendum to pass with a 72%'yes' vote. Chávez's Polo Patriotico went on to win 92% of the seats in the new voter-approved Venezuelan Constitutional Assembly. Conflict soon arose between the Constitutional Assembly and the older institutions it was supposed to reform or replace. During his 1998 presidential campaign, in advance of the 25 July elections to the Assembly, Chávez had maintained that the new body would have precedence over the existing Congress and the courts, including the power to dissolve them if it so chose.
Against this, some of his opponents, including notably the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cecilia Sosa Gomez, argued that the Constitutional Assembly must remain subordinate to the existing institutions until the constitution it produced had been ratified. In mid August 1999, the Constitutional Assembly moved to restructure the nation's judiciary, claiming the power to fire judges, seeking to expedite the investigations of corruption outstanding against what the New York Times estimated were nearly half of the nation's 4700 judges and bailiffs. On 23 August, the Supreme Court voted 8–6 that the Assembly was not acting unconstitutionally in assuming those powers. Over 190 judges were suspended on charges of corruption. On 25 August, the Constitutional Assembly declared a "legislative emergency," voting to limit the Congress's work to matters such as supervising the budget and communications. In response
2006 Venezuelan presidential election
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held presidential elections on 3 December 2006, to choose a president for the six-year term to begin on 10 January 2007. The contest was between incumbent President Hugo Chávez, Zulia Governor Manuel Rosales of the opposition party UNT. After handily winning a recall referendum in 2004, President Chávez positioned himself for re-election in 2006 for a second full term; the opposition did not hold a primary, the candidates reached a consensus into backing the governor of the largest state, Manuel Rosales. Chávez benefited from a high popularity, led most opinion polls throughout the campaign, he went to win re-election by the widest margin by percentage of the popular vote since the 1947 election. Chávez would win another term 6 years before dying only a month into that term. Hugo Chávez, incumbent president, representing the Fifth Republic Movement Manuel Rosales, governor of Zulia State, representing A New Era Four organisations were given permission to send official election observers to monitor the elections: Carter Center, European Union and Organization of American States.
A fifth organisation was refused permission: Cortes Generales. Civil society organization Súmate recommended procedures for a primary, to be held on 13 August 2006, to choose the opposition candidate for the December 2006 presidential elections. Teodoro Petkoff, a Chávez critic, said that Súmate's procedure was authoritarian, comparing it to the Carmona Decree. Nine other candidates agreed to the terms for holding a primary, confirming their desire to allow the citizens to choose the opposition candidate. Another candidate condemned Petkoff's remarks against Súmate, saying that Petkoff's statements did not help the country, explaining that the conditions for holding a primary had been discussed between all of the candidates, including Petkoff. On 9 August, Súmate announced that the 13 August primary election would not be held, since the candidates had decided to back Manuel Rosales as the single opposition candidate. Machado said that the primary "initiative accomplished its goal and that Súmate would continue working to ensure clean elections and respect for citizens' rights".
Chávez's campaign manager Rafael Lacava said that the campaign was to be based on defending Venezuela's national sovereignty and promoting world peace. According to Unión Radio, Lacava added that a campaign theme was to be the "country's freedom to no longer be a North American colony". According to the Associated Press, Chávez launched his campaign "with warnings that Washington is trying to undermine December's presidential vote and destabilize Venezuela", saying "I am the candidate of the revolution and without a doubt I am the candidate of the national majority", dismissing other candidates as "tools of the U. S. government". El Universal reports that Chávez said, "In this electoral process there are two candidates only, namely Hugo Chávez and George W. Bush". Chávez promised that if elected he would convoke a midterm recall referendum in the year 2010 without the need for petition signatures as was the case with the 2004 recall referendum; this consult would allow the voters of Venezuela to remove him from his post.
He has said that if he won that recall referendum, he would call for a referendum to ask the people for indefinite re-election to be put into the constitution. On 26 November Chávez made his final rally in Caracas. Reuters estimated. Chávez supporters packed several streets. Rosales said that the backbone of his government program was to be the social arena, saying it will be a "sound and well defined" program, including a "fair allocation of oil revenues by means of two axes– minimum wage for all unemployed and direct contribution to the underprivileged"; the latter being promoted as Mi Negra, a debit card handed out to the poor with monthly deposits from 20% of oil industry profits. A poll shows 59% of the Venezuelan people rejected the Mi Negra program, preferring stable jobs. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rosales stated that Chávez was vulnerable on his "massive foreign aid programs, government-approved takeovers of land and buildings, the perception that crime is increasing". Rosales said, "We will distribute land to the peasants, but we will buy it in such a way as to respect the principle of private property, just as we will respect those of human rights and social justice".
Rosales would halt oil giveaways, "including sales of discounted oil to Cuba, until Venezuela reduced its high poverty rate". The Associated Press reports that Rosales accuses Chávez of "overspending on a military buildup" and pledged "to use Venezuela's oil wealth to help the poor and improve education and health care", ridiculing Chávez's "claims of a possible war with the U. S." and saying, "Venezuela's real war should be against rampant street crime". Rosales held several large rallies around the country. Rallies were held in several states to try to get the Rosales campaign to be heard by as many people as possible. To close his election campaign, Manuel Rosales held a huge final rally in Caracas with an estimate by the Associated Press to be in the hundreds of thousands. Rosales demanded a public debate, saying Chávez should choose the TV channel where the debate would be broadcast, he said "I am waiting for him to have a debate with me broadcast by all the TV channels to allow Venezuelans to know what is the project and the vision of the country he has and the project and vision we have".
Chávez declared he would not debate Rosal
The AK-103 assault rifle is a derivative of the AK-74M chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 round, similar to the older AKM. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights, plus a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher, it uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal, with such components being the pistol grip and stock. Protective coatings ensure excellent corrosion resistance of metal parts. Forearm, butt stock and pistol grip are made of high strength plastic; the AK-104 is a compact version of the AK-103. It has a muzzle brake derived from the older AKS-74U combined with a shorter barrel, it is chambered for 7.62×39mm ammunition. The current issue steel-reinforced matte true black nonreflective surface finished 7.62×39mm 30-round magazines, fabricated from ABS plastic weigh 0.25 kg empty. Early steel AK-47 magazines are 9.75 in long, the ribbed steel AKM and newer plastic 7.62×39mm magazines are about 1 in shorter. The transition from steel to plastic magazines yielded a significant weight reduction and allow a soldier to carry more rounds for the same weight.
Note: All, 7.62×39mm AK magazines are backwards compatible with older AK variants. Note *: 10.12 kg is the maximum amount of ammo that the average soldier can comfortably carry. It allows for best comparison of the three most common 7.62×39mm AK platform magazines. Select fire version for the military market This is a semiautomatic version for the police and civilian market This version has a three-round burst feature added in between full automatic and the engaged semi-automatic settings and is intended for the police and civilian markets Has a mount for the 1PN58 night scope Has a mount for the 1PN51 night scope Carbine version of the AK-103 Modernised version of the AK-103 Russia: Used by various special police groups, special operations forces and civilians. Ethiopia: The Gafat Armament Engineering Complex produces the AK-103 rifle in Ethiopia. Supplements the AKM and AK-47 in the Ethiopian Armed Forces. It's reported in 2014. India: Used by Naval Special Forces, MARCOS. Iran: The sale of an undisclosed number of AK-103s for use by sections of the Iranian special forces was negotiated.
The weapons were reported to be shipped to Iran on August 2016. The IRGC is reported to be using the AK-103. Libya: Seen in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists in numerous photos; the rifles in use are the AK-103-2 version. MUJAO used an ex-Libyan AK-103-2 in Agadez and Arlit attacks in 2013. Namibia: Used by Namibian Marine Corps Pakistan: In 2016, the Pakistan Armed Forces announced their intent to purchase large number of the AK-103 rifles to supplement their forces. Saudi Arabia: Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces. A license to produce AK-103 rifles was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017. Syria: Used by police. Used by Al Qaeda-linked Guardians of Religion Organization. Venezuela: Standard issue weapon of the Venezuelan Army. Made under license by CAVIM with initial licensing fee payments made in 2006 and the transfer of Russian-made AK-103s to Venezuela in 2008. CAVIM's AK-103 factories opened in 2012 without the necessary manufacturing equipment.
CAVIM-made AK-103s were delivered to the Venezuelan Army in 2013. Due to trouble with the plant with the Russian contractor failing to meet deadlines with a case of fraud, which forced CAVIM to finish the rest of the construction, full-scale production will start by 2019. AK-107 List of Russian weaponry List of assault rifles Modern Firearms - AK-103 Kalashnikov.guns.ru Izhmash page on the AK-103
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was a Venezuelan politician, President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. Chávez was leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which he led until 2012. Born into a working-class family in Sabaneta, Barinas, Chávez became a career military officer, after becoming dissatisfied with the Venezuelan political system based on the Puntofijo Pact, he founded the clandestine Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 in the early 1980s. Chávez led the MBR-200 in an unsuccessful coup d'état against the Democratic Action government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1992, for which he was imprisoned. Pardoned from prison after two years, he founded a political party known as the Fifth Republic Movement and was elected President of Venezuela in 1998, he was re-elected again in 2006 with over 60 % of the votes. After winning his fourth term as president in the October 2012 presidential election, he was to be sworn in on 10 January 2013, but Venezuela's National Assembly postponed the inauguration to allow him time to recover from medical treatment in Cuba.
Suffering a return of the cancer diagnosed in June 2011, Chávez died in Caracas on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58. Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1999, Chávez focused on enacting social reforms as part of the Bolivarian Revolution. Using record-high oil revenues of the 2000s, his government nationalized key industries, created participatory democratic Communal Councils and implemented social programs known as the Bolivarian missions to expand access to food, housing and education. Venezuela received high oil profits in the mid-2000s, resulting in temporary improvements in areas such as poverty, income equality and quality of life occurring between 2003 and 2007, though these gains started to reverse after 2012 and it has been argued that government policies did not address structural inequalities. Chávez's populist policies led to a severe socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela. On 2 June 2010, Chávez declared an "economic war" due to shortages in Venezuela, beginning the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela.
By the end of Chávez's presidency in the early 2010s, economic actions performed by his government during the preceding decade such as deficit spending and price controls proved to be unsustainable, with Venezuela's economy faltering while poverty and shortages increased. Chávez's presidency saw significant increases in the country's murder rate and continued corruption within the police force and government, his use of enabling acts and his government's use of Bolivarian propaganda were controversial. Internationally, Chávez aligned himself with the Marxist–Leninist governments of Fidel and Raúl Castro in Cuba, as well as the socialist governments of Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega, his presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of U. S.-supported laissez-faire capitalism. He described himself as a Marxist.
He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South and the regional television network TeleSUR. Chavez's ideas and style form the basis of "Chavismo", a political ideology associated with Bolivarianism and socialism of the 21st century, he was born on 28 July 1954 in his paternal grandmother Rosa Inéz Chávez's home, a modest three-room house located in the rural village Sabaneta, Barinas State. The Chávez family were of Afro-Venezuelan and Spanish descent, his parents, Hugo de los Reyes Chávez, described as a proud COPEI member, Elena Frías de Chávez, were schoolteachers who lived in the small village of Los Rastrojos. Hugo was born the second of seven children. Hugo described his childhood as "poor... happy", though his childhood of supposed poverty has been disputed as Chávez changed the story of his background for political reasons.
Attending the Julián Pino Elementary School, Chávez was interested in the 19th-century federalist general Ezequiel Zamora, in whose army his own great-great-grandfather had served. With no high school in their area, Hugo's parents sent Hugo and his older brother Adán to live with their grandmother Rosa, who lived in a lower middle class subsidized home provided by the government, where they attended Daniel O'Leary High School in the mid-1960s. Hugo described his grandmother as being "a pure human being... pure love, pure kindness". She was a devout Roman Catholic and Hugo was an altar boy at a local church, his father, despite having the salary of a teacher, helped pay for college for Chávez and his siblings. Aged 17, Chávez studied at the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences in Caracas, following a curriculum known as the Andrés Bello Plan, instituted by a group of progressive, nationalistic military officers; this new curriculum encouraged students to learn not only military routines and tactics but a wide variety of other topics, to do so civilian professors were brought in from other universities to give lectures to the military cadets.
Living in Caracas, he saw more of the endemic poverty faced by working class Venezuelans, said that this experience only made him further committed
2000 Venezuelan general election
General elections were held in Venezuela on 30 July 2000, the first under the country's newly adopted 1999 constitution. Incumbent President Hugo Chávez ran for election for a full 6-year term under the new Constitution, he was challenged by a former ally of his, Zulia Governor Francisco Arias Cárdenas. Chávez won the election with 60% of the popular vote, increasing his vote share over the previous elections, managing to carry a larger number of states. Arias Cárdenas only managed to narrowly carry his home state of Zulia. Representatives in the National Assembly were elected under a mixed member proportional representation, with 60% elected in single seat districts and the remainder by closed party lists