Key dates in Hugo Chavez’s political life

Key events in Hugo Chavez’s life:

Feb. 4, 1992 — Army paratrooper Lt. Col. Chavez leads botched coup against President Carlos Andres Perez. Faces possible 30-year prison term.

March 26, 1994 — After two years in jail awaiting trial, Chavez and fellow plotters set free when President Rafael Caldera dismisses charges.

Dec. 6, 1998 — Wins presidential election, promising to seek “third way” between socialism and capitalism.

Feb. 2, 1999 — Hours after being sworn in, decrees referendum on whether to rewrite constitution.

April 25, 1999 — Venezuelans overwhelmingly approve proposal to have assembly draft new constitution.

Dec. 15, 1999 — Venezuelans vote to accept Chavez-backed constitution. It eliminates Senate, changes country’s name to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, lengthens presidential term from five years to six.

July 30, 2000 — Elected to new six-year term.

April 11, 2002 — Gunfire erupts as protesters demanding Chavez’s resignation march toward presidential palace; 19 people killed. Dissident generals oust Chavez and clear way for interim government that throws out constitution.

April 14, 2002 — After huge protests by Chavez supporters, loyal army officers rescue Chavez, restore him to power.

Dec. 3, 2002 — Business organizations, labor unions and executives from Venezuela’s state-run oil company call strike, demanding Chavez agree to nonbinding referendum on his rule. Strike fizzles. Seven top executives and 18,000 workers later fired for participating in it.

Aug. 15, 2004 — Venezuelans overwhelmingly vote “no” in referendum asking if Chavez should leave office immediately.

Dec. 14, 2004 — Chavez signs cooperation agreement with Fidel Castro that evolves into leftist Bolivarian Alliance, or ALBA, bloc as other Latin American and Caribbean nations join.

Jan. 30, 2005 — Announces at World Social Forum in Brazil that he aims to develop “21st-century socialism.”

Sept. 7, 2005 — Creates Petrocaribe agreement that sells Venezuelan oil on preferential credit terms to more than a dozen countries.

Dec. 4, 2005 — President’s allies win all 167 seats in National Assembly as major opposition parties boycott election.

Sept. 20, 2006 — Chavez calls U.S. President George W. Bush “the devil” in speech before U.N. General Assembly.

Dec. 3, 2006 — Re-elected to six-year term, capturing 63 percent of vote.

Jan. 31, 2007 — Pro-government lawmakers grant Chavez sweeping powers to legislate by decree for 18 months.

Feb. 8, 2007 — Chavez’s government nationalizes Venezuela’s largest private electric company.

Feb. 12, 2007 — Officials sign agreement to take over Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company.

May 28, 2007 — Radio Caracas Television, country’s oldest private network, goes off air after Chavez refuses to renew its broadcasting license.

Dec. 2, 2007 — Voters reject constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez, setting back his drive to transform Venezuela into socialist state.

April 3, 2008 — Chavez orders nationalization of Venezuela’s cement industry.

April 9, 2008 — Government announces it will nationalize Venezuela’s largest steel maker.

Sept. 12, 2008 — Chavez orders U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela, accusing him of conspiring against government.

Feb. 15, 2009 — Wins referendum that allows him to run for re-election indefinitely and vows to remain in power for at least another decade.

Sept. 27, 2010 — In congressional elections, Chavez’s allies lose two-thirds majority that has allowed them to ignore opponents in rewriting fundamental laws and appointing key officials. His allies still retain majority.

Dec. 17, 2010 — Outgoing congress grants Chavez power to enact laws by decree for 18 months.

June 10, 2011 — Chavez undergoes surgery in Cuba for pelvic abscess.

June 12, 2011 — Telephones state television to say he is recovering from surgery, but his silence following call prompts speculation he is severely ill.

June 30, 2011 — Appears on television to confirm he had a cancerous tumor removed. Later says tumor was size of baseball.

July 4, 2011 — Returns to Venezuela, but travels to Cuba periodically for chemotherapy and medical tests.

Sept. 23, 2011 — Says he’s completed chemotherapy and calls treatment successful.

Feb. 21, 2012 — Announces doctors found lesion in same place where tumor was removed; says he will return to Cuba for surgery.

Feb. 26, 2012 — Undergoes operation that removes tumor from same location in pelvic region. Says later that tests found tumor was “recurrence of the initially diagnosed cancer.”

March 24, 2012 — Travels to Cuba to begin radiation therapy.

July 9, 2012 — Says at a news conference that tests have shown he is “totally free” of cancer.

Oct. 7, 2012 — Wins another six-year term, beating challenger Henrique Capriles by an 11-point margin.

Dec. 9, 2012 — Announces that his cancer has returned and that he needs surgery again. Also says for the first time that if he is unable to stay on as president, Vice President Nicolas Maduro should take his place and be elected president.

Dec. 11, 2012 — Undergoes his fourth cancer-related operation in Cuba. Officials describe it as a complicated six-hour surgery.

March 5, 2012 — Government announces death of Hugo Chavez.