How did the two failed 1992 coup d’état attempts led by Hugo Chavez help his political career? This investigation will answer the question by analyzing two results of the failed coups; first, that the coups exposed the corruption, failures and weakness of President Perez and his government; second, that the coups presented an image to the Venezuelan people of a dynamic, charismatic and populist leader in the person of Chavez. The most important sources used will be contemporary press accounts, Chavez’s speech and reactions from ordinary Venezuelan people at the time.
This investigation will not assess the conditions or conflicts of any surrounding country at the time.
Summary of Evidence
Setting & Causes
1948 - 1958: Marco Perez Jimenez leads military dictatorship
overthrown by the military and established democratic regime
from 1958 to 1992 Venezuela had experienced uninterrupted civilian rule
did have more than a dozen minor coup attempts on the early 60s, the country’s elected leaders managed to consolidate the democratic rule and keep military loyal
an export economy: reliant on high oil prices to sell in the market
Income differentiation among members of the military deepened, as it had for the rest of the population. Senior officers received lucrative salaries while their junior colleagues saw their purchasing power steadily decrease. In addition, the military high command was also implicated in corrupt dealings
Coup Makers and their Motives
The income differentiation between members of the army made junior and middle ranking officers very upset and eventually led to leftist ideology being accepted.
The country’s military intelligence knew about the group COMACATE (derived f...
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...nd has his supports stay with him from when he wanted to overthrow the government, to the elections of 1999 when he won with his political group, the PSUV.
Barbukin, Sergei. "The 1992 Coup Attempts in Venezuela: Causes and Failures." JPMS: Journal of Political and Military Sociology 27, no. 1 (1999): 141.
The New York Times. "Venezuela Crushes Army Coup Attempt - New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia.
Richard Lapper. “Venezuela and the Rise of Chavez: A Background Discussion Paper.” Council of Foreign Relations. Last modified November 22, 2005. http://www.cfr.org/venezuela/venezuela-rise-chavez-background-discussion-paper/p9269
“‘Por Ahora’ Hugo Chávez 4 de febrero 1992 (con subtítulos en Ingles)” YouTube video, 1:10, posted by “fobioh”, Last modified: March 27, 2009, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKcoFPsoKLU
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