Robert Amsterdam has a new article published in Foreign Policy about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s recent aggressive crackdown on the opposition and the debated events of April 2002.
On April 11, 2002, a loose group of labor and business leaders attempted a coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. The coup, which lasted only 47 hours, resulted in some 20 deaths, a two-day vacuum of power, and a moral hangover that is still being felt today.
In fact, if it were up to Chávez, Venezuelans would never stop feeling it. Scarcely a week goes by without the president making some reference to the events. On the seventh anniversary this past weekend, he proclaimed, “There is nothing similar in 100 years of history of this planet to what happened here in Venezuela on April 13th, 2002,” referring to the countercoup by loyalist officers that brought him back to the Miraflores Palace as the beginning of “the socialist and anti-imperialist revolution in Venezuela.”