BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 27 May, 2002, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK
Profile: Pedro Carmona
Pedro Carmona sworn in as interim president
Carmona forged an alliance with the trade unions
Pedro Carmona was installed by military officers as Venezuela's interim president on 12 April, a day after protests against Hugo Chavez's government turned violent.

As head of Venezuela's biggest business organisation, Fedecamaras, Mr Carmona marshalled business and trade union opposition to Mr Chavez's economic policies.

Pedro Carmona speaks backed by armed forces chiefs
The armed forces backed Carmona for 48 hours
So it was no surprise that the Venezuelan armed forces chose the 60-year-old economist and oil executive to take the reins of the world's fourth biggest oil exporter.

But his time in office was short-lived - only 48 hours - and Hugo Chavez was restored to power on 14 April.

After the failed coup, Mr Carmona was placed under house arrest, accused of rebellion and usurping the presidency. He denies the charges, saying the military asked him to head a transitional administration.

When a court ordered his transfer to prison, he sought refuge in the Colombian embassy and asked for asylum.

Capable people

An economist who studied in Venezuela and Belgium, Mr Carmona worked for most of his life in the private sector.

He also represented Venezuela in economic and commercial missions abroad.

President Hugo Chavez seen here in December 2001
Chavez was quickly restored to power

Juan Calvo, a business executive who has worked with Mr Carmona for many years, described him as "a balanced and intelligent man, a leader who knows how to resolve problems."

"He always surrounds himself with capable people," Mr Calvo told the French news agency, AFP.

Mr Carmona initially attempted dialogue with Mr Chavez, whose authoritarian style and left-wing populism alarmed Venezuela's traditional ruling classes.

But he ended up forging an unexpected alliance with the trade unions.

Together, the two sides organised strikes and massive street demonstrations that led to Mr Chavez's brief downfall.

Laws repealed

Once ridiculed as an "oligarch" and "scrawny" by Hugo Chavez, Mr Carmona moved immediately to repeal economic laws introduced by Mr Chavez as part of his "Bolivarian" revolution.

Ensuring that Venezuela's vital oil exports quickly resume normal levels was one of his priorities.

As soon as he was sworn in, he appointed several right-wing figures to his administration, signalling his intention to end to Venezuela's close relations under Chavez to Cuba, Libya and the Group of 77 unaligned nations.


Key stories

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

12 Apr 02 | Americas
12 Apr 02 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes