Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. Our show is special because we make it our priority to go where the silence is. We put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. Today a generous funder will match your donation 2 to 1. That means when you give $15 today, your donation will be worth $45. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to help make sure Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else.

Your Donation: $
Friday, April 12, 2002 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Governments Welcome the Historic International...
2002-04-12

Military Coup Ousts Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

download:   Video Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was forced to resign today after a military coup followed civilian demonstrations that ended in government troops firing on protesters.

National Guard troops and pro-Chavez gunmen opened fire on 150,000 protestors with bullets and tear gas. At least 13 people were killed and over 100 wounded.

The head of Venezuela’s National Guard announced last night the military had taken control of the country, and the chief of staff said military leaders had asked the president to resign.

Details of the coup are unclear. The western press is reporting that unrest came to a head three days ago when Chavez vowed to crush a general strike called by Venezuela’s largest business and labor groups. The groups called the strike to support oil executives who wanted Chavez to sack new management he appointed at the state oil monopoly.

What is clear is that the US has significant interests in the country. Venezuela is the world’s fourth largest oil producer and is the third largest foreign supplier to the US, accounting for 15% of all imports. Chavez has constantly challenged US foreign policy. He was the first elected leader to visit Saddam Hussein since the Persian Gulf War. He provided ideological and economic support for Fidel Castro. Last October, Chavez said the US was "fighting terror with terror" in Afghanistan and displayed photos of dead Afghan children to make his point.

Guest:

  • James Petras, Professor of Sociology at SUNY-Binghamton and author of ??Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century and ??The Nationalization of Venezuelan Oil. He is currently working in Argentina.

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news