Created By Deion Ninivaggi
The Political Life of Hugo Chavez
February 4, 1992 - Army paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Chavez leads botched coup against President Carlos Andres Perez. Faces possible 30-year prison term.
March 26, 1994 - After two years in jail awaiting trial, Chavez and fellow plotters set free when President Rafael Caldera dismisses charges.
December 6, 1998 - Wins presidential election, promising to seek "third way" between socialism and capitalism.
February 2, 1999 - Hours after being sworn in, decrees referendum on whether to rewrite constitution.
April 25, 1999 - Venezuelans overwhelmingly approve proposal to have assembly draft new constitution.
December 15, 1999 - Venezuelans vote to accept Chavez-backed constitution. It eliminates Senate, changes country's name to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, lengthens presidential term from five years to six.
The Childhood of Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chávez was born on 28 July 1954 in his paternal grandmother Rosa Inéz Chávez's home, a modest three-room house located in the rural village Sabaneta, Barinas State. The Chávez family were of Amerindian, Afro-Venezuelan, and Spanish descent. His parents, Hugo de los Reyes Chávez and Elena Frías de Chávez, were working-lower middle class schoolteachers who lived in the small village of Los Rastrojos.
Hugo was born the second of seven children, including their eldest, Adain Chavez. The couple lived in poverty, leading them to send Hugo and Adán to live with their grandmother Rosa, whom Hugo later described as being "a pure human being... pure love, pure kindness." She was a devout Roman Catholic, and Hugo was an altar boy at a local church. Hugo described his childhood as "poor...very happy", and experienced "humility, poverty, pain, sometimes not having anything to eat", and "the injustices of this world."
Attending the Julián Pino Elementary School, Chávez's hobbies included drawing, painting, baseball and history. He was particularly interested in the 19th-century Federalist general Ezequiel Zamora, in whose army his own great-great-grandfather had served. In the mid-1960s, Hugo, his brother and their grandmother moved to the city of Barinas so that the boys could attend what was then the only high school in the rural state, the Danie O'leary High School.