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  • On April 11, 2002 the Venezuelan right, with the help of media power, created a tense situation to pit Venezuelans against each other, leading to a coup for 48 hours against President Hugo Chavez.
    In Depth
    10 April 2016

    On April 11, 2002 the Venezuelan right, with the help of media power, created a tense situation to pit Venezuelans against each other, leading to a coup for 48 hours against President Hugo Chavez.

The same right-wing forces that threatened Venezuelan democracy in 2002 are now using political positions in the National Assembly to once again derail progressive movements and the government of Nicolas Maduro.

Fourteen years ago, on April 11, 2002 until April 13, Venezuela’s so-called opposition movement launched an aggressive attempt to overthrow the massively popular and democratically-elected president Hugo Chavez. With the support dissident sectors of the military, of the state oil company, and of the U.S. government, Venezuela’s right-wing bourgeoisie and Western imperialist forces were willing to resort to coups to preserve the old order.

But popular protests and resistance from Venezuelans across generations and social movements helped save democracy in Venezuela, returning Chavez to the presidency within 48 hours despite the opposition’s hope to topple the Revolution.

teleSUR English takes a look at how the same right-wing political forces that carried out the failed coup attempt are still continuing destabilization in the country today.


If You Only Read One Thing...

En la caravana hasta el Cuartel de la Montaña trasladaron el estandarte del líder de la Revolución Bolivariana, Hugo Chávez.

The 2002 Coup: Destabilization and Revolution in Today’s Venezuela  

By Jeanette Charles

"The opposition and U.S. empire have continued a 'soft coup.' Internal and external enemies have never stopped to arm media and economic strategies to take power," Katherine Castrillo, a Caracas based writer and queer organizer, tells teleSUR English, as she recalls the mass protests against the 2002 U.S.- backed coup and contextualizes people’s power in Venezuela today. READ MORE

Venezuelan soldiers loyal to Hugo Chavez wave the country's flag atop their barracks after retaking the presidential palace from the de facto regime, April 13, 2002.

How Venezuelans and Hugo Chavez Defeated a Right Wing Coup

By Lucho Granados Ceja

The history of Latin America over the last decade would be radically different had a popular uprising against the coup not returned Chavez to power after a short-lived coup saw then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez briefly ousted.

With over decade having passed since the coup took place, we take a look at five critical facts about those fateful days in Venezuela in 2002 and how Venezuelans and Hugo Chavez resisted the right-wing assault. READ MORE

US Involvement and the Role of the Press

Hugo Chavez was rescued and restored to power on April 13, 2002.

The US Role in the Failed Attempt to Overthrow Hugo Chavez

By Lucho Granados Ceja

​The desire of U.S. to send a message to the region, namely those who saw Venezuela under Chavez as source of inspiration, would lead them to play an active role in the April 11, 2002 coup that saw President Chavez briefly ousted from power. READ MORE

April 2002: Venezuelan corporate media celebrates the coup against democratically elected President Hugo Chavez
International Press Gets Briefly Excited about Coup Prospects in Venezuela

By Joe Emersberger

The international press is, on the opposition's behalf, everything it falsely accuses the Venezuelan media of being on behalf of Maduro: hopelessly one-sided and effective at cowing and marginalizing dissenting voices. READ MORE

Renewed Right-Wing Destabilization Attempts

Caracas streets on April 11

Venezuela on April 11: 2002 Coup to 2015 Economic War 

Today, the Venezuelan government has argued there is a multi-faceted “war” being waged on the Bolivarian revolution, with economic sabotage by the business and wealthy classes, a psychological war by the private Venezuelan media, as well as violent attacks by some sectors of the opposition, including the four month long “guarimbas” or violent street barricades that left 43 dead.

teleSUR spoke to two Venezuelanalysis journalists and Venezuela-based activists, Z.C. Dutka and Rachael Boothroyd ,about the relevance of the April 11-13, 2002 coup to the current situation in Venezuela. READ MORE

Venezuela's 'Amnesty Law' Is Just Another Political Game Being Played by the Right-Wing Opposition 

By Lucho Granados Ceja

The bill seeks to release approximately 115 incarcerated criminals, including some who participated in the coup against President Chavez in 2002, as well as many of those that both organized and participated in violent protests. READ MORE

More teleSUR Opinion and Analysis

The 47-hour Coup that Changed Everything

The April 2002 coup attempt against President Chavez represented the perhaps most important turning point of the Chavez Presidency. First, it showed just how far the opposition was willing to go to get rid of the country’s democratically elected president.

Up until that point the opposition could claim that it was merely fighting Chavez with the political tools provided by liberal democracy. Afterwards, the mask was gone and Chavez and his supporters felt that their revolution was facing greater threats than they had previously imagined. A corollary of this first consequence was thus that the coup woke up Chavez’s supporters to the need to actively defend their government. READ MORE

Keys to a Massacre

Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre from Estreito Meio Productions on Vimeo.

More Information:

2002 Coup Venezuela
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