Luis Alfonso Dávila

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Luis Alfonso Dávila
Minister of the Interior of Venezuela
In office
2000 – 15 February 2001
President Hugo Chavez
Preceded by Ignacio Arcaya
Succeeded by Luis Miquilena
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela
In office
15 February 2001 – 30 May 2002
President Hugo Chavez
Preceded by José Vicente Rangel
Succeeded by Roy Chaderton

Luis Alfonso Dávila (born 1943) is a Venezuelan politician.

Career[edit]

Early military and party positions[edit]

Davila is a retired air force officer.[1] Davila knew Hugo Chavez as a cadet in the armored Briage of San Fernando de Apure.[2] Davila asked to be discharged from the military in 1990, even though he had been considered for the position of general under the president Carlos Andrés Pérez. Instead he retired from being a Commander of a unit in the Army of Venezuela and dedicated himself to cattle ranching.[2] Davila recollects being “delighted” at the attempt to change the Venezuelan government[2] in 1992, when Chavez attempted an unsuccessful military coup.[3] In 1994 Chavez asked Davila to help him on a political project.[2] Davila was elected to the Venezuelan Senate in the 1998 elections, becoming its President before the Senate was removed by the 1999 Constitution of Venezuela.[citation needed]

Minister of the Interior[edit]

In 2000, Davila became the Minister of the Interior of Venezuela.[citation needed] In February 2000, while Minister of the Interior, Davila “blamed the media for the criminality rampant in the country [of Venezuela].”[4] Davila was Minister of the Interior until February 2001, when he was appointed to the foreign affairs department and was replaced as Interior Minister by Luis Miquilena,[3] a political mentor to Chavez. At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported that Colonel Luis Alfonso Davila had been "under fire recently for failing to curb Venezuela's rising crime rate."[5]

Minister of Foreign Relations[edit]

In February 2001 Davila was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela.[3][5]

In 2001, while Minister of Foreign Relations, Davila prepared and published a document “using the traditional mantra that in Venezuela there is no racism, only mestizaje.” The Afro-Venezuelan Network criticized the document, confronting Davila at the Third World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa that year. In response to arguments that Davila had not read the document, Davila agreed to alter the document to meet the organization’s concerns.[6] On November 29 and 30 of 2001, Davila made an official visit to Guyana, meeting with president Bharrat Jagdeo and paying courtesy visits to Ralph Ramkarran, Desmond Hoyte, and Edwin Carrington. Discussions dealt with Venezuela’s territorial claim, and the Caracas Energy Cooperation Accord. In the conversations, Davila asserted that his country would be “willing to grant Guyana beneficiary status under the accord.”[7]

Starting in 2001, the moderate political movement in Venezuela was headed by Davila, who took the position from Chavez’s right-hand man Luis Miquilena. Davila “placed [his] followers at all levels,” and like Miquilena, he rejected Cuban socialism in favor of consolidation over radicalization.[1] He opposed the April 2002 coup.[2] He was replaced as foreign minister by Roy Chaderton in May 2002,[8] having briefly been replaced by José Rodríguez Iturbe in 2002.[citation needed] Davila exited the Chavista movement in 2003, after his thorough defeat in the 2003 internal elections of the Chavista party.[1]

In the 2008 regional elections he stood as an independent, gaining less than 1% of the vote.[citation needed]

Politics[edit]

Although Davila was a “trusted man” of Hugo Chavez between 1994 and 2004, around a decade later, he told regional press that supporting Chavez had been his “biggest mistake.”[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ignacio Arcaya
Minister of Interior of Venezuela
2000–2001
Succeeded by
Luis Miquilena
Preceded by
José Vicente Rangel
180th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela
15 February 2001-30 May 2002
Succeeded by
José Rodríguez Iturbe
Preceded by
José Rodríguez Iturbe
180th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela
15 February 2002 – 30 May 2002
Succeeded by
Roy Chaderton