Milestones in the Life of Venezuelan President Chavez: Timeline

The following is a timeline of milestones in the life of Hugo Chavez, who ruled Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. Chavez died at 3:55 p.m. New York time yesterday at a Caracas military hospital. He was 58.

July 28, 1954: Born in Sabaneta in the Venezuelan state of Barinas, one of six children born to Hugo de los Reyes Chavez and Elena Frias.

1975: Graduated from Venezuela’s Military Academy as a sub-lieutenant and with a degree in Military Science and Arts, specializing in Communications.

1982: Forms subversive group Bolivarian Army 200 (EB-200) with other military officers while serving in the national army.

1989: Then-President Carlos Andres Perez’s austerity measures trigger riots during which the army kills hundreds of protesters. The riots become known as the “Caracazo,” a rallying point for Chavez’s political movement.

1989: EB-200 becomes MBR-200, a military-civilian group that would lead a failed February 1992 coup.

1990: Earns rank of lieutenant colonel. Earns a master’s degree in political science from the Simon Bolivar University.

Feb. 1992: Leads military coup against then-President Carlos Andres Perez, which fails and lands him in prison for two years.

Nov. 1992: Another military coup attempt where Chavez played a role fails while he is in jail.

1994: After two years in prison, President Rafael Caldera orders Chavez’s release.

Dec. 6, 1998: Wins election for president over a former Miss Universe with 56 percent of the vote.

Dec. 15, 1999: Venezuelans approve a new constitution proposed by Chavez’s movement.

July 30, 2000: Wins second presidential election with 60 percent of the vote.

April 11-13, 2002: Ousted from power by a military coup for two days, returns to office after international condemnation and supporters demand his return. Apologizes for mistakes and offers to open a dialog with the opposition. Blames the U.S. for supporting the coup.

Dec. 2002: Opposition begins a two-month general strike to demand Chavez step down, paralyzing much of the country’s oil production. Eventually fires more than 18,000 state oil workers.

2003: Installs currency controls and price controls on basic goods.

Aug. 2004: Wins recall referendum sought by opposition.

2004: Starts Alba, a political alliance of Latin American countries, with Venezuela and Cuba as first members.

2006: Speaks at United Nations General Assembly, calling then-U.S. President George W. Bush “the devil.”

Dec. 3, 2006: Wins his third presidential election and second six-year term with 63 percent of the vote.

2007: Nationalizes CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country’s largest phone company, and CA Electricidad de Caracas, then the country’s largest publicly traded power company.

Jan. 10, 2007: Sworn in as president again, declaring in parliament that he will lead Venezuela toward 21st-century socialism and uttering the phrase, “Homeland, Socialism or death!”

May 2007: Revokes opposition television network RCTV’s broadcasting license, provoking opposition street protests.

Dec. 2, 2007: Loses referendum on constitutional amendments that would have eliminated term limits.

Feb. 17, 2009: Wins referendum to amend constitution, eliminating term limits for all public officials.

May 2011: Knee injury sidelines him from a regional tour.

June 2011: Reveals from Cuba that he is being treated for cancer after doctors discovered a malignant tumor in his pelvic region earlier that month.

July 2011: Begins first rounds of chemotherapy to treat cancer.

Feb. 2012: Undergoes third operation for cancer after a second tumor is found.

March, 2012: Announces that doctors removed another cancerous tumor from his pelvic region, adding that the disease hasn’t spread.

March 2012: Receives first radiation therapy sessions.

July 2012: Says he is “totally free” of cancer as presidential campaign kicks off.

Oct. 7, 2012: Wins third six-year term with 55 percent of the vote over former Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski.

Oct. 11, 2012: Names Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro vice president.

Dec. 8, 2012: Returns from a trip to Cuba to say cancer has returned. In a national address flanked by Maduro and national assembly head Diosdado Cabello, Chavez anoints Maduro as his successor if early elections are called.

Dec. 10, 2012: Chavez flies back to Cuba for more treatment. It is the last time he is seen in public.

Dec. 11, 2012: Chavez undergoes a six-hour operation that Maduro says was “complex” and “carried out as planned and with success.”

Dec. 29, 2012: Maduro flies to Cuba to visit Chavez. The following day he says the president has suffered “new complications” as a result of a respiratory infection, without giving more details.

Jan. 10, 2013: Chavez is unable to return to Caracas for a swearing-in ceremony to start his third six-year term. One day earlier, the Supreme Court said the event was a formality and that Chavez remained head of state.

Feb. 15, 2013: The Venezuelan government publishes photos of Chavez propped up in his Havana hospital bed with his daughters, reading the Cuban newspaper Granma. The president was breathing through a tracheal tube, the government said.

Feb. 18, 2013: Chavez returns to Caracas after more than two months in Cuba, traveling immediately to a military hospital. His arrival isn’t broadcast.

March 5, 2013: Chavez dies.

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