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Venezuela

Yearbook 1999

Venezuela. According to Countryaah official website, a new chapter in Venezuela's history appears to have been initiated by the controversial winner in the 1998 presidential election, the former paratrooper and coup maker Hugo Chávez, who was installed in his office on February 2. He calls his government "revolutionary" and has declared "war against old Venezuela". Corruption, poverty, neoliberalism and the petrified bipartisan system ("puntofijismo") that Venezuela has had since 1958 and which blurred the border between the state and political parties ("party democracy") must be fought.

1999 Venezuela

The main theme during the year has been a constitutional reform through which Chávez aims to found a "new republic". The main battle has been between Chávez's supporters and the Supreme Court, and has concerned whether a constituent assembly is in itself unconstitutional. His opponent accuses him of authoritarianism and warns against the militarization of Venezuela's politics.

On November 19, a proposal for a new constitution was completed in record time - 3 months. Power is gathered with the president, the two-chamber congress is replaced by a national assembly with control over legislation and the judicial system, the military gains voting rights and the president's term of office is extended from 5 to 6 years, with the possibility of re-election. For the most part, the Constitution is considered to be Chávez's own work and tailor made for him. It was approved by a large majority. More than 70% of the population voted yes in the referendum held on December 15.

The year in Venezuela ended with heavy downpours that caused extensive soil and clay breeding. Between 100,000 and 200,000 people are believed to have become homeless, and tens of thousands have been killed.

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