100 years of Venezuelan presidents

Here I put the list of Venezuelan presidents of the past 100 years. Those with "M" were military by profession. Those with "C'" were basically civilians. Gómez used a couple of puppet presidents but I don't bother to write their names as Gómez was very much the one who controlled everything. Dictator Pérez Jiménez (a hero of Chávez) also used a puppet president firstly. I decided to write next to each year the name of the head of state who had ruled during all or most of that year.

From 2003 I could find the price of the OPEC oil barrel. I added that at the end. Notice Chávez has had higher oil prices every year with one exception, in 2001. That and his mismanagement triggered the events of early 2002. Oil prices have dropped since the end of 2008 and that is causing a lot of problems to the government, problems that are making it become more repressive. As the government is rapidly running out of money, it has been negotiating very bad deals for Venezuela. It has, for instance, accepted a Chinese "investment" which in reality means Venezuela gets several billion dollars now for it to give away oil for many decades to come. Notice Venezuela's government is now getting into these bad deals even though oil prices now are several times higher than in 1998, when Chávez was elected.

1909 M Gómez
1910 M Gómez
1911 M Gómez
1912 M Gómez
1913 M Gómez
1914 M Gómez
1915 M Gómez
1916 M Gómez
1917 M Gómez
1918 M Gómez
1919 M Gómez
1920 M Gómez
1921 M Gómez
1922 M Gómez
1923 M Gómez
1924 M Gómez
1925 M Gómez
1926 M Gómez
1927 M Gómez
1928 M Gómez
1929 M Gómez
1930 M Gómez
1931 M Gómez
1932 M Gómez
1933 M Gómez
1934 M Gómez
1935 M Gómez
1936 M López Contreras
1937 M López Contreras
1938 M López Contreras
1939 M López Contreras
1940 M López Contreras
1941 M Medina Angarita
1942 M Medina Angarita
1942 M Medina Angarita
1943 M Medina Angarita
1944 M Medina Angarita
1945 M Medina Angarita
1946 C Betancourt
1947 C Betancourt
1948 C Gallegos
1949 M Chalbaud
1950 M Pérez Jiménez
1951 M Pérez Jiménez

1952 M Pérez Jiménez

1953 M Pérez Jiménez
1954 M Pérez Jiménez
1955 M Pérez Jiménez
1956 M Pérez Jiménez
1957 M Pérez Jiménez
1958 M Larrazábal/Sanabria
1959 C Betancourt
1960 C Betancourt
1961 C Betancourt
1962 C Betancourt
1963 C Betancourt
1964 C Leoni
1965 C Leoni
1966 C Leoni
1967 C Leoni
1968 C Leoni
1969 C Caldera
1970 C Caldera
1971 C Caldera
1972 C Caldera
1973 C Caldera
1974 C Pérez
1975 C Pérez
1976 C Pérez
1977 C Pérez
1978 C Pérez
1979 C Herrera
1980 C Herrera
1981 C Herrera
1982 C Herrera
1983 C Herrera
1984 C Lusinchi
1985 C Lusinchi
1986 C Lusinchi
1987 C Lusinchi
1988 C Lusinchi
1989 C Pérez
1990 C Pérez
1991 C Pérez
1992 C Pérez
1993 C Lepage/Velásquez
1994 C Caldera
1995 C Caldera
1996 C Caldera $20,29 OPEC oil barrel average
1997 C Caldera $18,68
1998 C Caldera $12,28
1999 M Chávez $17,48

2000 M Chávez $27,6
2001 M Chávez $23,12
2002 M Chávez $24,36
2003 M Chávez $28,1
2004 M Chávez $36,05
2005 M Chávez $50,64
2006 M Chávez $61,08
2007 M Chávez $69,08
2008 M Chávez $94,45

2009 M Chávez $46,43 (currently $58,32)

Do you know how many Norwegian heads of state were military? None but for this.

Globber is not working properly and I have little time, so I post the comment to J. here:

I have no problem with posting your comment, on the contrary. I have deleted comments from people of different tendencies (pro or against Chavez) if they 1) have a blog that promotes hatred towards any religion, ethnic group or belief or 2) are promoting hatred themselves here.

To your questions:

"What is the point of detailing which presidents had a military background? Only about a dozen U.S. presidents did not have military backgrounds."

Firstly: one thing is "military background" and another "military background and nothing else".
I think most US presidents can be defined as having a different background than military. They could have served in the military, but most were before that lawyers, editors, there was even a mathematician (Washington). Washington was more than just a military become he went to arms.

Being a military is not a point to exclude a president nor having studied for engineering/law/etc a guarantee for being any good at all, but I do see a certain trend in Venezuela: the military has played an excessive role and once they are in, they hardly leave.

Even those in the US like Eisenhower and the like were surrounded by a whole bunch of people with a much firmer level of education than military matters.
In a country with a much lower level of education, having military leaders (specially those who planned a coup) with nothing else for education and who came to power via non-kosher methods (or became known because of that) is no good.

"As for the price of oil, it is not Venezuela that is solely responsible for its increase. I believe it has more to do with a current military conflict elsewhere in the world."

Oh, I perfectly agree. I just put the price of oil to explain how the popularity of any one president has greatly depended on the easy petrodollars he has had at his disposal. I will add more data on that later on.
Basically, all of Chavez's popularity is based on external factors, the corruption already present before him and Chavez TALK.

"As for president Perez Jimenez, under what conditions did he become president?
How is he remembered by many pre-Chavez Venezuelan politicians and Venezuelan citizens?

Many people saw him as a bloody dictator, which he was. Others saw in him "a man who ruled a Venezuela where one could leave doors open and there was law and order and prosperity and big construction works took place".

In reality those who saw Perez Jiménez positively don't realize Venezuela had less than 5 million people back then
and that problems that affect petro-states grow exponentially ceteris paribus. Pérez Jiménez, like many other presidents, also forgot the countryside and robbed a lot. Besides, he murdered and tortured quite some people.

"I lived in Venezuela for several years, I am also a Venezuelan citizen, I have no allegiance to Chavez or to anyone else, but I have witnessed the poverty that so many of the poor masses of Venezuela have been subjected to for decades and I do not understand why one would choose to malign a president who has taken it upon himself and his government to try to rectify that problem. I am not a communist, nor am I a socialist, it just seems that it is about time that something was done down there to change the status quo. "

I may be seen in the US sometimes as a communist, sometimes as a liberal or socialist, I have no allegiance with any political party and I come from a family that has always been critical and independent but at the same time people who have tried to give proposals.

I greatly criticized the governments that came before Chavez (there was basically no blogs back then, let's remember Chavez is in power since 1998). The fact they were very bad, very corrupt and oblivious of the poor does not mean I should praise this government. I am old enough to remember a bit the decade of the seventies and what oil booms in Venezuela do.
Chavez has been riding on the biggest oil boom in several decades and he has just given crumbles to the poor and a lot of resources have been wasted.

I am not a seer. When Carlos Andres Perez was elected in 1988 I was very sad and almost cried. I knew there were going to be riots very soon as people were thinking he would repeat the conditions of the seventies, which he couldn't. I also predicted very much the bloody coup of Chavez to the week.
I did not know Chavez at all, I could "read the signs on the wall".

Chavez still had no justification to carry out that coup, CAP was going out anyway and Chavez later did nothing to prosecute the military who organized the massive shootings of poor people.

"The only Venezuelans that I have heard complain about the current government are the "haves"; the "have-nots", or the poor if you prefer, love this man for their own reasons(education, health care, and finally, a say in their future for better or worse)."

Are you in the US? I did not check where you were coming from, but you should get around Venezuela more these days.
A couple of my relatives are still Chavez supporters, several others are very sorry they voted for him, others were always against him.

Take a look at this:
1) the poorest tend to be still with Chavez, but then +-70% of the population are considered as poor and Chavez got 55% of the votes. Not all those votes came from the poor.
2) the biggest divide is actually between the city and the countryside now, where the opposition has no reach via media . Petare is the biggest slum in Venezuela and yet it voted against Chavismo now.
Miguel Pena is a parish that is very poor, it has half a million people and 58% supported Chavez and 41% opposed him. Are those 41% haves? Not at all.

As for my relatives: half of them live in prefabricated houses with zinc ceilings, 2 of my grandparents were illiterate and my other grandmother, who could read and write, did two years of basic schools and was a single mother keeping up her children as a sewer.

My parents profited from free education and a free health system. They were, like Chavez's parents, teachers. Unlike what Chavez said to the foreign press, one did not have to go barefooted back then if one's parents were teachers.

Those systems were far from optimal but they basically collapsed when sinking oil prices and huge population growth strained the state budget.

As for education, I have written a lot in this blog. Please, browse a bit.
And specially tell me: how come a Venezuelan government can oppose the introduction of the PISA programme?
I tell you why: because it would show what a farce all those courses are and how the education in Venezuela, already very weak, has only deteriorated.
Have you analyzed the literacy numbers? The "literacy reduction" is a farce. I can go over the reasons why I say so, but please, try to see if you can find the data in the blog first.

One anecdote: once my sister had a poster of the opposition on her second-hand Fiat. A guy passing by in a brand new SUV shouted at her "capitalista de XXXX". Probably the guy would consider himself a man from the working class.

Yes, there are people from the Ancien Regime who are completely elitists, who did not care about the poor, etc, but that is not the majority in the opposition.

Chavez has been very popular because he has been able to do a Carlos-Andrés-Pérez II, with more populism still, but
1) inequality is worse (and my indicator is not so much the GINI but the corruption levels and the tripling of the murder rate, the biggest hike ever
2) education has worsened, programmes for getting some money and spending half the time learning about socialism and Chavismo is not the way to go, Venezuela stopped taking part in open evaluations of education in 1998
3) there is huge political mobbing, people who signed against Chavez have been sacked (do you want me to show you the video of Labor minister saying they should be sacked?), others
have been forced to march for Chavez
4) 10 years have been wasted without any plan for sustainable development

I have no time to go deep into all of this but if you please consider Chavez has done what he has done because he has had much more money than all the presidents in the last 20 years, then you will understand.

Expect much more repression in the coming months.