Coup warnings grow in Venezuela
Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001
By Bill Vann
10 September 1999
The protracted constitutional crisis unleashed by the election of former military officer and coup leader Hugo Chavez in Venezuela has increased the danger that the Venezuelan military may be preparing to seize power in an attempt to squelch potential social unrest. The threat of military intervention looms nearer following the eruption of street battles outside the Venezuelan Congress August 27 between supporters of Chavez and the newly elected Constituent Assembly and backers of Venezuela's traditional ruling parties which still control the legislative body.
Militarized units of the National Guard joined with police in breaking up the warring mobs outside the parliament, while the country's Catholic Church hierarchy worked to broker a compromise between the Chavez regime and Venezuela's old ruling parties.
Chavez, a former paratrooper who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, staged an abortive coup attempt in 1992 against the government of Carlos Andres Perez and was jailed for his efforts. Six years later, he was elected president as head of the Patriotic Pole, an electoral front comprised of his own Fifth Republic Movement and various parties of the petty-bourgeois nationalist left. MORE
While low on details this article points to increasing tensions in Venezuela. Keep your eye on the U.S.'s involvement.