2007 Venezuelan constitutional referendum
A constitutional referendum was held in Venezuela on 2 December 2007 to amend 69 articles of the 1999 Constitution. Reform was needed, according to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, to initiate the transformation into a socialist country; the referendum was narrowly defeated, giving Chávez the first and only election loss of his nine-year presidency. University student protests and opposition from former allies helped fuel the defeat, but the referendum results and the 44% abstention rate suggest that support waned among Chávez's traditional base of Venezuela's poor. On 15 August 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez proposed an amendment to 33 articles of Venezuela's 350-article Constitution. A constitutional provision allows the president, the National Assembly of Venezuela or a constituent assembly to ask for changes; the 1999 constitution was adopted by popular referendum. The proposed constitutional reforms were needed, according to Chávez, to complete the transition to a socialist republic and implement his socialist agenda.
The proposal was hailed by government supporters as "the start of a new era towards socialism", but Podemos, a pro-government party, expressed disagreement and claimed Chávez was seeking lifelong power. Venezuela's constitutional procedures require three debates before the National Assembly, to reform the constitution; the first debate was held on 21 August 2007 and gave initial approval to the general purpose of the reform. During the second successful vote on 11 September 2007, the National Assembly added amendments to the original Chávez reform proposal, again angering the Podemos party, which said that the National Assembly had infringed the Constitution; the third vote on 25 October 2007 approved the proposal, enlarged from 33 articles to 69. Final parliamentary approval for the referendum was given on 2 November 2007; the final proposal included 69 constitutional amendments to be voted on in two blocks: 33 that were proposed by President Chávez plus another 13 articles introduced by the National Assembly and 23 more reform articles proposed by the National Assembly.
Proposed changes included: abolish presidential term limits, allowing for indefinite re-election of the president, expand social security benefits to workers in the informal economy, end the autonomy of the central bank, giving control to the president, place the president in charge of administering the country's international reserves, prohibit large land estates, while "allowing the state to provisionally occupy property slated for expropriation before a court has ruled", reorganize the country's administrative districts and allow the president to control elected state governors and mayors by an unelected “popular power” dependent on the presidency, reduce the maximum working week from 44 to 36 hours and reduce the workday from eight to six hours, lower the voting age from 18 to 16, increase the presidential term from six to seven years, allow the president to declare an unlimited state of emergency, prohibit foreign funding for political associations. Allow public funding for political associations.
Ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Change the name of Caracas to "Bolivar's Cradle and Queen of the Guaraira Repano" In November 2007, demonstrations arose in Caracas and six other cities over the proposed constitutional changes. "Tens of thousands" of "Yes" voters marched in Caracas after the referendum had been approved on 2 November. A 7 November riot at the Central University of Venezuela resulted in several injuries. In late November 2007, just days before the referendum, tens of thousands marched in Caracas for both the "Yes" and "No" votes. An opposition politician estimated the crowd marching for the "No" vote at 160,000. Protests were peaceful, only one death has been reported; some of Chávez's supporters expressed concerns and disagreement with his proposals to change the constitution. Many voters abstained in the vote, rather than cast a "No" vote against Chávez; the student movement played a crucial role in consolidating this position and in organizing numerous rallies.
The student movement has played a large role in the Venezuelan political process, having gained a prominent position during the RCTV broadcast license expiration protests. Although the student movement is not limited to the opposition, it has been the opposition students that have gained the largest support, in part because they are not affiliated with any political cadres. After the election the student movement was awarded $500,000 from libertarian Cato Institute located in Washington, D. C. USA. Raúl Baduel, former Minister of Defense and one of the four founding members of Chávez's Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200, expressed his concern by describing the reform as "nothing less than an attempt to establish a socialist state in Venezuela... is contrary to the beliefs of Simón Bolívar and it is contrary to human nature and the Christian view of society, because it grants the state absolute control over the people it governs". Other leaders and former Chávez supporters who distanced themselves from the proposal were Ismael García, a deputy in the National Assembly, Ramón Martínez, governor of Sucre State.
Marisabel Rodríguez, Chávez's ex-wife, called the proposed changes an attempt to achieve "an absolute concentration of power". Venezuela's state television network broadcast coverage prior to the referendum of a memo written in Spanish, claiming it
Nicolás Maduro Moros is a Venezuelan politician serving as President of Venezuela since 2013, disputed president since January 2019. AP News reported that "familiar geopolitical sides" had formed in the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, with allies Russia, Iran and Cuba supporting Maduro, the US, most of Western Europe supporting Juan Guaidó as interim president. Beginning his working life as a bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000, he was appointed to a number of positions under President Hugo Chávez and was described in 2012 by the Wall Street Journal as the "most capable administrator and politician of Chávez's inner circle". He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as Vice President of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013 under Chávez. After Chávez's death was announced on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the presidential powers and responsibilities. A special presidential election was held in 2013, which Maduro won with 50.62% of the vote as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela candidate.
He has ruled Venezuela by decree since 19 November 2013 through powers granted to him by the pre-2015 Venezuela legislature. Shortages in Venezuela and decreased living standards led to protests beginning in 2014 that escalated into daily marches nationwide, repression of dissent and a decline in Maduro's popularity. According to The New York Times, Maduro's administration was held "responsible for grossly mismanaging the economy and plunging the country into a deep humanitarian crisis" and attempting to "crush the opposition by jailing or exiling critics, using lethal force against antigovernment protesters". An opposition-led National Assembly was elected in 2015 and a movement toward recalling Maduro began in 2016; the Supreme Tribunal removed power from the elected National Assembly, resulting in a constitutional crisis and protests in 2017. Maduro called for a rewrite of the constitution, the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela was elected in 2017, under what many—including Venezuela's chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega and Smartmatic, the company that ran the voting machines—considered irregular voting conditions.
On 20 May 2018, presidential elections were called prematurely. The majority of nations in the Western world did not recognize the Constituent Assembly election or the validity of Maduro's 2018 reelection. Maduro has been described as a "dictator", an Organization of American States report determined that crimes against humanity have been committed during his presidency. Maduro allies including China, Russia and Turkey support and denounce what they call interference in Venezuela's domestic affairs. Amid widespread condemnation, President Maduro was sworn in on 10 January 2019, the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, was declared the interim President by that body on 23 January 2019. Maduro's government states that the crisis is a "coup d'état led by the United States to topple him and control the country's oil reserves." Guaidó denies the coup allegations. Nicolás Maduro Moros was born on 23 November 1962 in Caracas, into a working-class family, his father, Nicolás Maduro García, a prominent trade union leader, died in a motor vehicle accident on 22 April 1989.
His mother, Teresa de Jesús Moros, was born in Cúcuta, a Colombian border town at the boundary with Venezuela on "the 1st of June of 1929, as it appears in the National Registry of Colombia". He was born into a leftist family and "militant dreamer of the Movimiento Electoral del Pueblo". Maduro was raised in Calle 14, a street in Los Jardines, El Valle, a working-class neighborhood on the western outskirts of Caracas; the only male of four siblings, he had "three sisters, María Teresa and Anita". Maduro was raised as a Roman Catholic, although in 2012 it was reported that he was a follower of Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba and visited the guru in India in 2005. Racially, Maduro has indicated that he identifies as mestizo, stating that he includes as a part of his mestizaje admixture from the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africans, he stated in a 2013 interview that "my grandparents were Jewish, from a Sephardic Moorish background, converted to Catholicism in Venezuela". Maduro has been married twice.
His first marriage was to Adriana Guerra Angulo, with whom he had his only son, Nicolás Maduro Guerra known as "Nicolasito", appointed to several senior government posts. He married Cilia Flores, a lawyer and politician who replaced Maduro as President of the National Assembly in August 2006, when he resigned to become Minister of Foreign Affairs, becoming the first woman to serve as President of the National Assembly; the two had been in a romantic relationship since the 1990s when Flores was Hugo Chávez's lawyer following the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts and were married in July 2013 months after Maduro became president. While they have no children together, Maduro has three step-children from his wife's first marriage to Walter Ramón Gavidia.
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
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
Venezuela the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas, it has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, 99,889 km2 of continental shelf; this marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species.
There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east. The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence, not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia, it gained full independence as a country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993.
A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution. The revolution began with a 1999 Constituent Assembly, where a new Constitution of Venezuela was written; this new constitution changed the name of the country to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The sovereign state is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District, federal dependencies. Venezuela claims all Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River, a 159,500-square-kilometre tract dubbed Guayana Esequiba or the Zona en Reclamación. Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America. Oil was discovered in the early 20th century, today, Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil; the country was an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil came to dominate exports and government revenues.
The 1980s oil glut led to a long-running economic crisis. Inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995 as per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak; the recovery of oil prices in the early 2000s gave. The Venezuelan government under Hugo Chávez established populist social welfare policies that boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, temporarily reducing economic inequality and poverty in the early years of the regime. However, such populist policies became inadequate, causing the nation's collapse as their excesses—including a uniquely extreme fossil fuel subsidy—are blamed for destabilizing the nation's economy; the destabilized economy led to a crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela, resulting in hyperinflation, an economic depression, shortages of basic goods and drastic increases in unemployment, disease, child mortality and crime. These factors have precipitated the Venezuelan Migrant Crisis where more than three million people have fled the country.
By 2017, Venezuela was declared to be in default regarding debt payments by credit rating agencies. In 2018, the country's economic policies led to extreme hyperinflation, with estimates expecting an inflation rate of 1,370,000% by the end of the year. Venezuela is a charter member of the UN, OAS, UNASUR, ALBA, Mercosur, LAIA and OEI. According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast; the stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded the Italian navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, of the city of Venice, Italy, so he named the region Veneziola, or "Little Venice". The Spanish version of Veneziola is Venezuela. Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew, gave a different account. In his work Summa de geografía, he states that the crew found indigenous people who called themselves the Veneciuela. Thus, the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the native word; the official name was Estado de Venezuela, República de Venezuela, Estados Unidos de Venezuela, a
Military career of Hugo Chávez
The military career of Hugo Chávez spans the seventeen years that the President of Venezuela spent in the Venezuelan army. Leader of the "Bolivarian Revolution", Chávez is known for his professed and self-proclaimed democratic socialist governance, his promotion of Latin American integration, his radical critique of neoliberal globalization and United States foreign policy. Born 28 July 1954 in rural Sabaneta, Chávez entered military service upon his graduation from the Military academy of Venezuela in 1975, as a military officer. Chávez thereafter held a variety of post and staff positions. At the time, he was drawn into leftist political movements. Chávez led a violent 1992 civilian-military coup which sought to overthrow a democratically elected government that he saw as a corrupt oligarchy. Although the coup failed—ending Chávez's military career—it brought Chávez into the national spotlight and set the stage for his future rise to political power. After his undergraduate studies concluded in 1975, Chávez entered active-duty military service.
Chávez's first assignment was as commander of a communications platoon attached to a counter-insurgency force—the Manuel Cedeño Mountain Infantry Battalion, headquartered in Barinas and Cumaná. In 1976, it was tasked with suppressing a guerilla insurgency staged by the Hoxhaist Partido Bandera Roja. Despite this, Chávez saw little actual combat. In 1977, Chávez was appointed as a communications officer at the Center of Tactical Operations in San Mateo. Chávez recalled that, during these years, he experienced growing sympathy for the waning guerilla movements—the groups he was tasked with countering, he harbored a growing dislike of. He perceived such problems as a direct result of political corruption. At the age of 23, Chávez married Nancy Colmenares. Colmenares, like Chávez, was from Barinas and had roots in Venezuela's plains culture. Colmenares' friends gossiped that she was pregnant with their first daughter before they were married in 1977. Thereafter, Chávez began to lead a "double life": while feigning disciplined obedience amidst his military superiors and miming political neutrality around his family, Chávez engaged in secret trysts with known socialists and other leftists.
From 1978 through 1979, Chávez was commander and squad leader of the 414th Apure Braves AMX-30 armored battalion in Maracay. Chávez received promotions in rapid succession, was appointed company commander and head of the Department of Physical Education at the Military Academy of Venezuela, remaining in that position from 1980 to 1981, he headed the Department of Culture at the Academy in 1982. Chávez was a founding commander of the José Antonio Páez Company at the Academy from 1983 to 1984. At the time, Chávez gained recognition for his lectures at Caracas's war college, in which he spoke for hours in a "folksy" manner that captivated supporters in his audiences. Chávez's interest in Venezuelan politics only grew throughout his career in the military. Chávez received several decorations: the Star of Carabobo. Chávez continued playing baseball and softball: he went to the 1976 National Baseball Championships, held in Barinas. Apart from his writing, Chávez sculpted, producing such works as the 1980 Sombra de Guerra en el Golfo.
Chávez's first attempt at launching a political movement came in 1977, when he formed the Ejército de Liberación del Pueblo de Venezuela, or ELPV—the "Liberation Army of the Venezuelan People". Years he recalled that the ELPV's purpose was to "prepare ourselves in case something should happen" and that it was "an important pointer to the future". In 1978, dressed in his army fatigues, Chávez met then-presidential candidate José Vicente Rangel—who became Chávez's vice-president—and subsequently aided him in affixing election materials in Maracay. Chávez risked expulsion from the military had his superiors found out about such leftist political activities. Under Venezuelan law at the time, military officers and other personnel were forbidden from involving themselves in political affairs of any sort. Moreover, engaging in such illicit activities while dressed in fatigues or in uniform was punishable by harsher penalties, it was not until the period 1982–1983 that Chávez began to plot the overthrow of Venezuela's elected civilian leaders.
On 17 December 1982, his co-conspirators gathered under a large tree at Samán de Güere. There, they solemnly witnessed each other's repetition of a revised version of the oath Simon Bolivar undertook while upon Italy's Monte Sacro, this time adding Ezequiel Zamora's slogan during the Federal War: On 24 July 1983, Chávez—along with peers from his days at the military academy—launched the Ejército Revolucionario Bolivariano; the "200" in EBR-200's n