CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
The "for the time being" uttered by retired Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chávez Frías was implemented when he started his term in office and left behind his times of coupster and enemy of voting to start a new era of changes and clashes in the domestic ambit. Ex President Carlos Andrés Pérez was elected Senator for Andean Táchira state. The world was adversely affected by climate change. The effect of El Niño caused havoc, particularly in South America and Florida, United States
Hugo Chávez Frías, the leading character of the 1992 coup attempt against the government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez took over after winning the presidential election, changing his strategy and quitting abstention File Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation / Alejandro van Schermbeek
Hugo Chávez Frías, a retired Lieutenant Colonel
born in Sabaneta, western Barinas state, took over after staging
a foiled coup attempt in 1992 and backing another that same
For some years after leaving the prison, Chávez advocated abstention as a way of protest against what he considered an impenetrable system governed by two major parties. At the end, he opted to run for president taking the advice of veteran politicians, such as Luis Miquilena and José Vicente Rangel, and with the economic support of major domestic or foreign companies, and even the media.
The retired military officer was no doing well in the polls, initially led by Irene Sáez. The trail of a coupster was behind him, and public remarks, which he denied, pointed to his closeness to the system and ideology imposed by Fidel Castro in Cuba.
However, in a very hard year due to economic troubles, low oil prices, a prevailing anti-political trend and loss of prestige of political parties, he managed to go up in the polls. He climbed little by little and his speech filled with promises won followers, particularly the downtrodden.
Election results left his main challenger, Henrique Salas Römer, very far behind, with 39.07 percent, followed by Irene Sáez Conde, 2.82 percent, and Luis Alfaro Ucero, 0.42 percent.
In a related event, former President Carlos Andrés Pérez -forced to step down and sentenced in 1996 to two years under domiciliary arrest for misappropriation of public monies- faced a second trial for joint bank government accounts with her mistress Cecilia Matos. In March 1996, the Higher Court in Safeguard Matters issued a bench warrant against him for alleged unjust enrichment. He was released because of stay of execution as he was elected Senator for Andean Táchira state.
Experts considered that, for the time being, El Niño had came to an end. The natural phenomenon starting in late 1997 caused widespread damage in some regions around the world, including flooding in the northern and central Peruvian coast and Ecuador.
Amidst street demonstrations staged by ordinary citizens and political parties in Chile, General Augusto Pinochet was named "distinguished commander-in-chief" of the army, in recognition of his leadership for more than 24 years.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan reached an agreement with Saddam Hussein, putting on hold a potential US attack on Iraq.
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