Hugo Chavez Fast Facts

CNN —  

Here is a look at the life of the late Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela from 1998 to 2013.

Birth date: July 28, 1954

Death date: March 5, 2013

Birth place: Sabaneta, Barinas, Venezuela

Birth name: Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias

Father: Hugo Chavez, school teacher

Mother: Elena (Frias) Chavez, school teacher

Marriages: Marisabel Rodríguez de Chavez (December 1997- 2004, divorced); Nancy Colmenares de Chavez (divorced mid-1990s)

Children: with Marisabel Chavez: Rosa Inés; with Nancy Chavez: Rosa Virginia, María Gabriela, Hugo Rafael, Raúl Alfonzo

Education: Military Academy of Venezuela in Caracas, 1975

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts:
Was closely aligned with Fidel Castro of Cuba.

1975 - Joins Venezuela’s Army.

1990 - Lieutenant Colonel in the Venezuelan Army.

February 4, 1992-March 26, 1994 - Is imprisoned for a coup attempt against President Carlos Andres Perez.

1994 - Forms the Fifth Republic Movement, a political opposition group.

December 6, 1998 - Is elected the youngest president in Venezuela’s history.

February 2, 1999 - Is sworn in as president of Venezuela.

1999 - Chavez’s government creates a new constitution. It passes in a vote on December 15, 1999.

July 30, 2000 - Wins re-election to the presidency for a six-year term, under the new constitution.

April 8, 2002 (week of) - Demonstrations break out across Venezuela due to an economic crisis. Sixteen demonstrators are killed as well as one police officer on April 11 in Caracas.

April 12, 2002 - Chavez says he will “abandon his duties” and Pedro Carmona Estanga becomes President. On the following day, demonstrations force Carmona to resign and Diosdado Cabello, Chavez’s vice president, takes over for one day.

April 14, 2002 - Chavez is reinstated as president.

August 20, 2003 - Opposition groups present election officials with approximately 2.7-3.2 million signatures calling for the removal/recall of Chavez from the presidency.

June 3, 2004 - The National Electoral Council of Venezuela announces that Chavez’s opponents have collected enough valid signatures to force a recall vote.

August 15, 2004 - A vote to potentially recall Chavez fails and he remains president. 59% of voters vote to keep him in office.

August 22, 2005 - Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson calls for the United States to assassinate Chavez, calling him “a terrific danger” bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas. “If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Robertson tells viewers on his “The 700 Club” show. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.”

September 15, 2005 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez delivers a fiery speech to the UN General Assembly, criticizing the United Nations as an imperialist institution and suggesting the world body move its headquarters out of the United States.

September 20, 2006 - In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Chavez says in reference to US President George W. Bush, “The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still today.”

December 3, 2006 - Claims victory in Venezuela’s presidential election against Manuel Rosales after Rosales concedes.

January 31, 2007 - The Venezuelan National Assembly approves a law that gives Chavez the authority to rule by decree. He has been granted the special powers for 18 months.

April 30, 2007 - Chavez announces that Venezuela will formally pull out of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

May 1, 2007 - Chavez’s government takes control of Venezuela’s last remaining privately run oil fields.

May 28, 2007 - Chavez creates a furor when he refuses to renew the broadcast license of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), Venezuela’s oldest television network. His decision to shut it down draws claims of censorship and days of protests in Caracas and other cities. RCTV returns in mid-July.

January 10, 2008 - Chavez assists in brokering the release of two Colombian hostages, Consuelo Gonzalez and Clara Rojas, who had been held for five years by FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

March 14, 2008 - In a public statement, Chavez dares the United States to put Venezuela on a list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

February 15, 2009 - A referendum passes that will allow Chavez to run for a third six-year term in 2012.

September 7, 2009 - Oliver Stone’s film “South of the Border,” featuring Chavez, premieres at the Venice Film Festival. Chavez attends the premiere.

December 17, 2010 - Venezuelan Television reports that Venezuela’s National Assembly has granted President Hugo Chavez the power to pass laws by decree for the next 18 months.

May 9, 2011 - Chavez calls in to Venezuelan state television and says that he’s canceling a scheduled trip to Brazil because of debilitating pain in his knee requiring doctor-ordered bed rest.