Venezuela. According to
Countryaah official website, a new chapter in Venezuela's history appears
to have been initiated by the controversial winner in the
1998 presidential election, the former paratrooper and coup
maker Hugo Chávez, who was installed in his office on
February 2. He calls his government "revolutionary" and has
declared "war against old Venezuela". Corruption, poverty,
neoliberalism and the petrified bipartisan system
("puntofijismo") that Venezuela has had since 1958 and which
blurred the border between the state and political parties
("party democracy") must be fought.
The main theme during the year has been a constitutional
reform through which Chávez aims to found a "new republic".
The main battle has been between Chávez's supporters and the
Supreme Court, and has concerned whether a constituent
assembly is in itself unconstitutional. His opponent accuses
him of authoritarianism and warns against the militarization
of Venezuela's politics.
On November 19, a proposal for a new constitution was
completed in record time - 3 months. Power is gathered with
the president, the two-chamber congress is replaced by a
national assembly with control over legislation and the
judicial system, the military gains voting rights and the
president's term of office is extended from 5 to 6 years,
with the possibility of re-election. For the most part, the
Constitution is considered to be Chávez's own work and
tailor made for him. It was approved by a large majority.
More than 70% of the population voted yes in the referendum
held on December 15.
The year in Venezuela ended with heavy downpours that
caused extensive soil and clay breeding. Between 100,000 and
200,000 people are believed to have become homeless, and
tens of thousands have been killed.
On November 2, the government’s candidates won in 20 of
the 22 provinces in the municipal and regional elections.
The preliminary results were published by CNE 6 hours after
the closing of the polling stations. The government won the
mayor post in Caracas and retained them in Libertador and
Sucre de Caracas, while the opposition retained its mayors
in Chacao, Baruta and El Hatillo. Acc. However, CNE turnout
was not very high. 14 million Venezuelans were eligible to
vote for 337 mayors, 22 governors and 249 local councilors.
In January 2005, Chávez launched a new agricultural
reform whose purpose was to hand over uncultivated land to
the country's small farmers. A 2002 agricultural law had
been controversial and had not yet been implemented.
In June, the government offered to supply cheap oil to
countries in the region with financial problems. The move
was criticized by the opposition, which accused Chávez of
using the oil to gain greater international influence.
At the last moment in December 2005, the opposition
decided to boycott the parliamentary elections. The reason
was stated as distrust of the Election Commission and lack
of transparency in the electoral process. Foreign electoral
observers, however, pointed out that security and
transparency "lived up to the highest international
standards". Although turnout barely reached more than 25% of
the DKK 14 million. eligible, then the government and its
support parties secured all 167 seats in parliament. The
real reason for the opposition boycott was a recognition
that it was a stubborn defeat in the elections. This was
hidden by the boycott.
In March 2006, the Army launched a military training
program for civilians. They were used in the use of guerilla
methods to help withstand a foreign invasion. The plan was
to train DKK 2 million. Venezuelans in these civil defense
and guerrilla tactics.
In April, Peru withdrew its ambassador from Caracas,
claiming that Chávez had interfered in Peru's internal
affairs. Chávez, as a kick in the current Peruvian
presidential election campaign, stated that candidate Alan
García was a thief. Garcia ended up being elected anyway. In
June, the first 100,000 automatic copies of 170,000 that
Venezuela had ordered in Russia arrived. It further
amplified the tension between Caracas and Washington.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly in September
2006, Chavez referred to Bush as the devil. Bush had spoken
the day before, and Chávez commented: "The devil spoke here
yesterday... and it still smells of sulfur." Until then, the
United States had done everything to bring down Chávez.
Chavez was re-elected as president in December 2006 with
62.8% of the vote.