6 July 1941 |
|Alma mater||Universidad Católica Andrés Bello|
Pedro Francisco Carmona Estanga (6 July, 1941 in Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela) is a former Venezuelan trade organization leader who was briefly declared President of Venezuela during an abortive 2002 coup d'état against Hugo Chávez. He occupied the office of President on April 12 and April 13. After Chávez was restored to office, Carmona, wanted by the authorities for illegal usurpation of power, escaped house arrest and hid in the Colombian embassy. From there, he traveled to Colombia after being given asylum by that country.
Carmona was a significant business figure in Venezuela, managing several petrochemical companies in the 1980s and 1990s, including Industrias Venoco (1990–2000). Carmona became president of the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras), Venezuela's largest business owners' association.
The early part of 2002 saw mass protests and a general strike by opponents of Hugo Chávez. On April 11, 2002, after snipers fired on 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. While Chávez was brought to a military base and held there, military leaders appointed Carmona as the transitional President of Venezuela.
In the face of crowds of Chávez supporters taking to the streets and under pressure from some quarters of the military, 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.
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.
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- BBC: Venezuelan coup leader given asylum
- CBS: Venezuelan Coup Leader Exits
- Latin Business Chronicle: Pedro Carmona: Actions, Not Words
- BBC Mundo: Pedro Carmona, presidente por un día (Spanish)
- Venezuela's Attorney General Office requests formal charges of civilian rebellion against Pedro Carmona Estanga