Oswaldo Álvarez Paz
|Oswaldo Álvarez Paz|
|Member of the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies|
|Governor of Zulia|
|Preceded by||Ismael Ordaz González|
|Succeeded by||Lolita Aniyar de Castro|
February 12, 1943 |
Maracaibo, Zulia State
Oswaldo Álvarez Paz (born February 10, 1943) is a Venezuelan politician.
He was born in Maracaibo, Zulia and graduated in Law from the University of Zulia. He was a Member of the Republic's Congress for over 20 years (periods from 1966 to 1993), President of the Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies (1974 to 1979) and participated/directed the most important commissions of the Venezuelan Parliament. He was Rafael Caldera's campaign manager for the Venezuelan presidential election, 1983. In December 1989, he became the first Governor of the State of Zulia to be elected by the people, being re-elected for a second period in December 1992.
On April 25, 1993, his party, COPEI, held open primary elections to choose a presidential candidate for the Venezuelan presidential election, 1993; almost 20% of Venezuela's 9.8m voters participated in the primary. Álvarez Paz defeated COPEI party leader Eduardo Fernández, resigning his position as Governor in order to run. In the campaign Paz supported privatization and foreign investment, and said he aimed for Venezuela to join the North American Free Trade Agreement; he identified the contemporary political figure he admired most as Ronald Reagan. Oswaldo Alvarez Paz obtained more than 23% of the votes, in an election where the winner, Rafael Caldera, won with 30%.
In May 2005 Alvarez Paz created a new party called "Alianza Popular" (Popular Alliance), organization that, as it states in its by-laws, defends and promotes freedom, democracy State of Law and human rights, as well as the promotion and protection of private property, the contribution to poverty eradication and the disappearing of corruption.
On 22 March 2010, Oswaldo Alvarez Paz was arrested for remarks made during a broadcast of the Globovisión talkshow Aló Ciudadano ("Hello Citizen"). Álvarez Paz had said "Venezuela has turned into a center of operations that facilitates the business of drug trafficking." He also accused "Chavez of being a subversive element and having direct links with FARC and ETA." He was charged with conspiracy, and with spreading false information and publicly inciting violation of the law, and was sentenced to serve two years in prison. He was released on bail in mid May 2010.
In July 2010 the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias reported that Alvarez Paz had in a recent column for El Nacional called for a coup strategy to end what he called the "monstruous" current process. He had written that "It is indispensable to be clear about the indispensable objective. To replace the current regime with as little delay and as little trauma as possible. We don't know when the time will come..."
- Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, 2 May 1993, "Venezuelan candidate a free-market fan"
- Miami Herald, 1 December 1983, "In Venezuela campaign, it's image over ideology"
- Financial Times, 27 April 1993, "VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION PICKS REFORMER"
- Jennifer L. McCoy, and William C. Smith (1995), "Democratic Disequilibrium in Venezuela," Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 37(2)
- Vheadline.com, 25 March 2010, Chavez government taking no chances with Alvarez Paz' destablization spin
- New York Times, 23 March 2010, Chavez Foe Arrested Over Drug Haven Comment
- (Spanish) El Universal, 13 May 2010, Dejan en libertad a Oswaldo Álvarez Paz
- (Spanish) Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, 28 July 2010, Derechista Oswaldo Álvarez Paz insiste en estrategia golpista
- "Es indispensable tener claro el objetivo indispensable. Sustituir al régimen actual en el menor tiempo y con el menor trauma posibles. No sabemos cuanto será ese tiempo..." - AVN 28 July 2010.