Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? 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 make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Hugo Chavez Is Once Again Declared President of Venezuela After a One-Day Old Military Government Collapses Amidst Nationwide Protest

StoryApril 15, 2002
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Hugo Chavez is once again the president of Venezuela. He was swept back into office early Sunday morning, after a one-day old military government collapsed amidst nationwide protest. He returned to a hero’s welcome: cheering crowds, waiving flags, the national anthem. In his first major address, he appealed for calm and vowed there would be no retaliation against those who had tried to oust him.

Venezuela’s military leadership took control of the government last Friday morning, arresting Chavez and installing a prominent businessman in his place. The military claimed that Chavez had resigned of his own accord, but the president’s family, supporters and government officials insisted this was not the case.

Friday’s military coup came on the heels of enormous anti-government protests sponsored by a coalition of military and business forces. Thirteen people died under circumstances that still remain murky. Eyewitness sources describe a band of opposition snipers firing into a crowd of pro-Chavez demonstrators, killing at least 10. By contrast, coup leaders describe government troops shooting into a crowd of opposition protesters. It is this version that is most often told in US newspapers.

Chavez’s ouster sparked mass protests throughout the country. Civilians rallied in the streets, while troops loyal to Chavez mutinied and seized control of the presidential palace. Twenty-four hours after he took office, Carmona resigned.

During his one-day presidency, Pedro Carmona, dismantled the National Assembly, fired the ministers of the Supreme Court, arrested high-level members of the Chavez government and sent others into hiding. Nations throughout the world deplored these actions and pressed for the return of democracy. Among the only countries that remained silent was the US.


  • Gregory Wilpert, former Fulbright scholar who was eyewitness to the protests last week.
  • William Cammacaro, Venezuelan activist living in the US.
  • Eric Lecompte, outreach coordinator for School of the Americas Watch.

Related links:

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 Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation