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Key events in Hugo Chavez's rise to power and presidency in Venezuela

Key events in Hugo Chavez's political life:

Feb. 4, 1992 — Army paratrooper Lt. Col. Chavez leads botched coup against President Carlos Andres Perez.

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

Dec. 6, 1998 — Chavez wins presidential election, promising to seek "third way" between socialism and capitalism.

Dec. 15, 1999 — Venezuelans vote to accept a Chavez-backed constitution. It 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. Interim government throws out constitution.

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

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

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

Sept. 7, 2005 — Creates Petrocaribe agreement to sell oil on preferential credit terms to more than dozen countries.

Dec. 4, 2005 — President's allies win all 167 seats in legislature as opposition parties boycott election.

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

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

Feb. 15, 2009 — Chavez 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 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.

Feb. 26, 2012 — Chavez has second operation to remove tumor from same location in pelvic region.

July 9, 2012 — Chavez announces he is "totally free" of cancer.

Oct. 7, 2012 — Chavez wins new six-year term with 55 percent of vote.