Posted: Monday, April 22, 2002
Just over a week ago, Pedro Carmona was the president of Venezuela, installed following a military coup, and amid scenes of street violence that have left an estimated 90 people dead. His term lasted barely a day before counter-demonstrations led to the return of President Hugo Chavez, whose revolutionary rhetoric and espousal of Fidel Castro since his election in 1998 has so enraged the United States. Now Carmona, the 60-year-old head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce, is under house arrest in his apartment in the gated complex of La Arbolada in a wealthy suburb of Caracas.
While relatives and friends enjoy a late meal on the balcony, Carmona reflects on the events since April 11 - or 11A, as it is now known - which brought him so briefly to power, and which have polarised this country of 23 million people. So had the coup been planned and - the most-frequently asked question - did the United States play a key role in the overthrow of a democratically elected president? More