February 27, 1989: Caracazo mass popular uprising in Venezuela against a package of IMF measures imposed by Carlos Andrés Perez govt. Brutal repression using the army against unarmed civilians left thousands dead: the real face of the Venezuelan oligarchy trying to regain power today.
The Caracazo was the precursor of the Bolivarian revolution which brought Chavez to power in 1998
After years of economic crisis ignited by Venezuela’s large debt, Perez’s government applied an International Monetary Fund-backed structural adjustment program, which included gasoline, food and transportation price hikes, deepening rampant poverty and unemployment.
Previous economic measures and their adverse effects on Venezuela’s most economically-vulnerable population led to a series of protests in 1989 known as the “Caracazo,” named in reference to Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas. State repression of these protests led to hundreds of civilian deaths, according to official reports. However, unofficial reports claim that in addition to these deaths, there were 3,000 disappearances.
In this context, the 1992 rebellion was planned and executed.
Sunday’s commemorative march began at 9:00 a.m. local time and will reach the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, were thousands of Venezuelans will continue celebrating the Day of National Dignity.
The 1992 insurrection led by Chavez resulted in his and other leaders’ two-year imprisonment.
In 1994, Chavez founded the Fifth Republic Movement political party. Between 1995 and 1997, he traveled throughout the country talking about his political project and the need to convene a National Constituent Assembly to “refund the Republic.”
On Dec. 6, 1998, Chavez won the presidential elections with 56 percent of the vote.