Wars, Conflicts, and Coups of Venezuela

Wars, Conflicts, and Coups of Venezuela


Venezuela is a Spanish-speaking nation on the northern coast of South America. The late leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, was self-styled Socialist and ally of Cuba who proclaimed himself as a foe of the United States and world capitalism. Since Chavez’s death and the ascension of President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has been rocked by economic and political turmoil and violent protests.

Flag of Venezuela

Flag of Venezuela


Below is a list of wars and conflicts involving Venezuela.

Venezuelan War of Independence (1811-1823)–After a long conflict, involving several campaigns, battles between competing Venezuelan forces, and against Spanish forces, independence from Spain was achieved. Venezuela became a part of the new nation of Gran Colombia until 1831, when Gran Colombia dissolved into the separate nations of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Paez’s Revolt (1848-1849)-Revolt by Jose Antonio Paez, the leader of the Conservative Party, rebelled against his erstwhile friend and ally, President Jose Tadeo Monagas when the new president appointed members of the Liberal Party to his government. Paez was defeated and fled into exile.

The Federal War (1859–1863)— Civil war between Venezuela’s Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. The Federal War is also known as the Great War or the Five Year War. This war began with the overthrow of the Monagas brothers by their Liberal and Conservative opponents, who then began fighting among themselves. the war ended in a Liberal victory.

Conservative Revolution (1868)— A Conservative revolution led by Conservative leader Jose Tadeo Monagas overthrew the Liberal regime of President Juan Falcon.

Venezuelan Civil War (1868-1870)–Civil conflict between the Conservatives and Liberals. The Liberals won this time.

Venezuelan-British Boundary Dispute (1895-1896)–A border dispute over the boundary separating Venezuela from British Guyana nearly caused war between the United States and Britain. The U.S. supported Venezuela in the dispute.

Venezuelan Civil War (1899-1902)–Civil war between Venezuela’s Liberal and Conservative factions. Won by Conservative “Blue” leader Cipriano Castro.

Venezuelan Blockade (1902)–British, German, and Italian warships blockaded Venezuelan ports in an attempt to force payment of Venezuelan international debts. This was a common tactic by rich European nations to force payment by poorer nations when they had trouble paying debts.

Venezuelan Military Revolt (Oct. 18, 1945)-A military coup brought a Liberal government into power.

Venezuelan Military Revolt (Nov. 24, 1948)-A military coup led by Colonel Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, overthrew the Liberal government of the Acción Democrática (AD) political party and restored Conservative rule. What followed was the establishment of a repressive military dictatorship.

Venezuelan Liberal Revolt (Oct. 13, 1951)-Attempted rebellion by the Acción Democrática (AD), the party of the elected government overthrown by the military junta in November of 1948.

Venezuelan Military Revolt (Jan. 1-23, 1958)-A military rebellion ousted dictatorial President Marcos Perez Jimenez. Jimenez fled the country due to the revolt which cost 300 lives and left 1,000 wounded.

Venezuelan Communist Insurgency (1960-1965)-Low-level Communist insurgency against the government.

Venezuelan Military Uprising (June 26, 1961)-A military revolt against the government failed.

Venezuelan Military Uprising (May 4-5, 1962)-A military revolt against the government failed.

Venezuelan Military Uprising (June 4, 1962)-A military revolt against the government failed.

Venezuelan Military Coup Attempt (February, 1992)-A military revolt led by military officer Hugo Chavez against the government failed.

Venezuelan Military Coup Attempt (November, 1992)-A military revolt against the government failed.

Venezuelan Coup Attempt (April, 2002)-An attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez failed. Chavez remained in power, despite repeated protests and economic crisis until his death in March, 2013.

Venezuela-Colombia Conflict (December, 2009)

Venezuelan Political and Economic Crisis and Civil Unrest (2014-2017)-New president, Nicolas Maduro, a Socialist like Chavez, has faced fierce opposition since first winning election. The more conservative elements in the country oppose his policies. Economic problems continue to plague the nation, adding to the unrest. Maduro’s hold on power increased during the 2017 constitutional crisis, in which the National Assembly was effectively dissolved. Opponents claimed that Maduro and his supporters in the government had performed an internal coup and that Maduro was in fact now a dictator. Opposition leaders called for the creation of a parallel government to resist Maduro. In August, 2017, U.S. President Trump said that the United States might need to intervene militarily in Venezuela. It should be noted that Venezuela is a major exporter of oil, and has some of the world’s largest oil reserves.



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