On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez thanked the Venezuelan people that rallied around the Miraflores Presidential Palace ten years ago on April 13, 2002, to demand his return to the government after a coup d’état perpetrated by the right-wing and supported by the private media, which installed a de facto government led by Pedro Carmona for a period of 48 hours.
“My appreciation for those that gave their lives to save the life of this soldier,” said President Chávez, who participated in a live discussion with friends and functionaries of the government that experienced the April 2002 coup.
The leader agreed with the Venezuelan journalist José Vicente Rangel, who said the initial plan of the coup leaders was to assassinate him and take him out of the political game entirely.
“That plan failed thanks to the people that – without arms – came here,” Chávez said.
“The empire and the bourgeoisie in 2002 ended up causing the perfect equation: a civil-military alliance, and that is what will happen again,” he reiterated in a live transmission on state TV and radio from the capital city of Caracas.
On April 11, 2002, ten years ago, a group of Venezuelans were shot by snipers of the Metropolitan Police hiding near Llaguno Bridge in downtown Caracas, where a march convened by right-wing groups arrived and triggered a coup against the legitimate constitutional order.
Repression by the de facto government of Pedro Carmona Estanga was also unleashed the next day, when the people began to organize to return President Chávez to elected office, something that was achieved on April 13.
Commemoration of the 2002 Coup
The President recalled that activities are taking place throughout the country this Thursday and Friday to commemorate the ten year anniversary of the right-wing coup.
“It’s not just about remembering, it’s about continuing to strengthen consciousness and the role of each one of us in continuing to act to consolidate national independence, and by that path, to build a truly democratic Venezuela, a socialist Venezuela,” Chávez said.
He continued: “I, a humble soldier – because that’s what I am – feel a humble pride. What luck I have had! Kidnapped, nearly assassinated, and the mass of people and soldiers… I would not have wished that fate for me, but rather, for [Simón] Bolívar, our father, who was thrown out and left without his people, without soldiers. And he put that terrible phrase in that letter to Rafael Urdaneta: What good is one poor man against the world?”
The head of state recalled the events of April 11, 2002 and the days that followed, speaking alongside Vice President Elías Jaua; Defense Minister Henry Rangel Silva; the Governor of the state of Barinas, Adan Chávez; the Minister of Penitentiary Affairs, Iris Varela; President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello, and others.
Chávez landed at Maiquetía Airport on Wednesday night at 10:29.
“We are arriving here at Miraflores and we have here a gathering of friends,” he said, speaking from the palace, an hour after arriving from Havana, where he received medical treatment.
Please see our special section on events in Washington, DC to commemorate the popular restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
YVKE Mundial / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / April 12, 2012