Venezuela. After politically surviving a coup attempt in 2002 and a massive general strike in 2003, President Hugo Chávez also managed the long-awaited referendum on his future, which, after many legal trips, was finally held on August 15. However, the referendum was also preceded by political turbulence during this year. The election authority’s decision in early March not to accept some of the signatures demanding the referendum that the opposition gathered led to nine days of violent protests and clashes with police in especially Caracas, with nine dead and 110 injured as a result. By the beginning of June, however, the opposition had managed to get as many signatures approved as needed. The date of the vote was also in line with the opposition’s demands.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Venezuela is 28,435,951 people in 2020. Chávez won with a full 59%, and voter turnout was also high, 75%. The US’s delay in recognizing the results of the vote encouraged opposition accusations of electoral fraud, but foreign election observers reported no irregularities. On October 31, governor elections were also held, and President Chávez reaped new successes at the expense of the opposition, even though turnout was far lower than in the referendum. His candidates won in 20 out of 22 states and also the mayor’s post in Caracas. The opposition, which previously dominated eight states, won only one.
In May, Congress also passed a law that increases the number of members of the Supreme Court from 20 to 32. Since the twelve new members are appointed by Congress, the majority of whom now constitute supporters of the president, the law is considered to further favor Chávez’s position.
On January 31, 2007, Parliament passed a law granting the President the right to govern by post. decree the following 18 months. The argument was that Chávez nevertheless had full control over the parliament, which was therefore merely a delay in the reforms Chávez wished to implement as part of the “Bolivarian Revolution”. Chávez used his new powers in February to allow the state to acquire a number of electricity and media companies. In April, he announced that Venezuela would terminate its membership of the World Bank and IMF after paying its debt to the two international financial institutions 5 years ahead of time. In May, he declared that the oil sources in the Orinoco area will be taken over by the state.
Chávez ruled on an association of smaller parties, and in March 2007, 11 of them decided to join forces to form the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV, Venezuela’s United Socialist Party).
During a visit to Argentina in August 2007, Chávez signed an agreement on energy security. This plan ensures oil supplies to allied countries with Venezuela that have financial problems with access to oil. In Uruguay’s case, Venezuela has signed an oil refining agreement on state-owned Uruguayan company ANCAP.
During the Ibero-US summit in Chile in November, an exchange between Spain and Venezuela came as Chávez characterized the former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar as a fascist. That led to an exchange of views with the current Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, which culminated when the Spanish king unknowingly pointed to Chávez and asked him to shut up. Chávez got some of the following speaker – Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega – to explain. Ortega followed up, declaring that Spain had interfered in Nicaragua’s election campaign and at the same time criticized the Spanish electricity company Union Fernosa’s monopoly on the electricity supply in the poor Central American country. At this point, the Spanish king got up and left the summit undiplomatically.
Over 100 regime opponents are pardoned
President Nicolás Maduro is pardoning 110 MPs and other staff members of opposition leader Juan Guaidó for “promoting national reconciliation”. Guaidó dismisses the pardon as a way of trying to “legitimize a farce”, referring to the parliamentary elections in December which the majority of the opposition intends to boycott. The United States also dismisses the gesture, pointing out that hundreds of people are still political prisoners in Venezuela. Among those who have been imprisoned but are now being released is Guaidó’s assistant Roberto Marrero, who was arrested in March 2019 and accused of being part of a terrorist cell. Henry Ramos Allup, leader of the opposition party Democratic Action, is also covered by the amnesty. However, Juan Guaidó himself does not do so, who is the subject of criminal investigations but has not been arrested. Neither does Leopoldo López,April 30, 2019). Just over a week after the pardon, however, Freddy Guevara leaves the Chilean embassy, where he resided for almost three years (see 4 November 2017).
US reward for chief judge arrested
The United States has promised a $ 5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the Chief Justice of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, Maikel José Moreno Pérez. He is accused of money laundering and receiving compensation for influencing lawsuits in Venezuela. Moreno Pérez has been blacklisted by the US Treasury Department since 2017 but is now placed with his wife on the State Department’s special list.
The United States seizes Iranian oil
The United States seizes the oil on four Iranian tankers en route to Venezuela, citing current sanctions. The seizure of 1.1 million barrels of oil is said to be the largest of its kind ever. According to the United States, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are the owners of the ships, while the Iranian ambassador to Venezuela claims that the ships or their owners are Iranians. It is unclear where the four ships are.