Pedro Carmona

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Pedro Carmona
Personal details
Born (1941-07-06) 6 July 1941 (age 73)
Alma mater Universidad Católica Andrés Bello
Profession business

Pedro Francisco Carmona Estanga (6 July 1941 in Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela) is a former Venezuelan trade organization leader who was briefly installed as President of Venezuela in place of Hugo Chávez, following the attempted military coup on April 2002.[1][2] He occupied the office of President on April 12 and April 13.[3] Following the coup Carmona fled to the Colombian ambassador's residence.[1] Chavez granted Carmona safe passage out of Caracas, and said he respected Colombia's sovereign right to grant asylum to whoever it wished.[4]


Carmona was a significant business figure in Venezuela, managing several petrochemical companies in the 1980s and 1990s, including Industrias Venoco (1990–2000).[5] Carmona became president of the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras), Venezuela's largest business owners' association.

April 2002[edit]

The early part of 2002 saw mass protests and a general strike by opponents of Hugo Chávez. On April 11, 2002, following clashes between both supporters and opponents of Chávez, Lucas Rincón, commander-in-chief of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, announced in a nationwide broadcast that Chávez had tendered his resignation from the presidency.[6] While Chávez was brought to a military base and held there, military leaders appointed Carmona as the transitional President of Venezuela.[7]

In the face of crowds of Chávez supporters taking to the streets and under pressure from some quarters of the military,[8] Chávez was restored to office.

During Carmona's 36-hour government, military officers held Chávez and attempted to force his exile. Additionally, security forces conducted raids without warrants and took some Chávez supporters into custody illegally, including National Assembly deputy Tarek William Saab, a member of the Chávez-aligned MVR, who was taken into protective custody by security forces after a large crowd had gathered around his home, threatening him and his family. He was held incommunicado for several hours.[9]

After the coup Carmona was placed under house arrest, but was able to gain asylum in the Colombian embassy after an anti-Chávez protest drew away his security detail.[10]


According to some sources, Colin Powell held at least one meeting with the exiled Carmona in Bogotá in December 2002, during the Venezuelan general strike of 2002–03.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Venezuelan coup leader given asylum - BBC News, 27 May 2002
  2. ^ En imágenes: el "día negro" de ChávezBBC Mundo, 12 April 2002
  3. ^ Intermin president sworn in. URL last accessed August 13, 2006
  4. ^
  5. ^ Nikolas Kozloff (2007), Hugo Chávez: oil, politics and the challenge to the United States, Palgrave Macmillan. p28
  6. ^ "Nuevo gobierno en Venezuela" (in Spanish). BBC. April 12, 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-23. Tras los incidentes entre opositores y partidarios de Chávez, en medio de disparos de francotiradores y de una "cadena" nacional de radio y televisión en la que Chávez aseguraba que el país estaba en paz, Molina Tamayo exigió públicamente a la FAN actuar y derrocar al gobierno. 
  7. ^ URL last accessed October 29, 2006.
  8. ^ Analysis: After the would-be coup. URL last accessed October 29, 2006.
  9. ^ United States Department. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2002; released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Dated: March 31, 2003. URL last accessed August 13, 2006.
  10. ^ Kozloff (2007:30)
  11. ^ CounterPunch, 27 November 2004, Danilo Anderson and Condoleezza Rice
  12. ^ Eva Golinger, "The Adaptable U.S. Intervention Machine in Venezuela," in Olivia Burlingame Goumbri, The Venezuela Reader, Washington D.C., U.S.A., 2005. p 134.

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