Media Center

Press Release


  April 9, 2003

Venezuela is making “substantive progress” in the political dialogue between the government and the democratic opposition,” Ambassador Jorge Valero, that country’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, told the Permanent Council today.

Recalling the coup d’état against President Hugo Chavez’ government on April 11 last year, the Ambassador said “thanks to the courageous and noble Venezuelan people, the coup leaders were defeated when the legitimate President was restored to power,” as “the OAS and the international community condemned the coup and hailed the return to democracy.”

According to Ambassador Valero, “the plan to sabotage the oil industry had inflicted 7.36 billion dollars in damage—equivalent to 33 per cent of the national budget.” The Ambassador said that despite the economic setback and the political excesses, “Venezuela is gradually returning to normal.”

Explaining the surprisingly rapid recovery in the oil industry, Valero said crude oil production currently exceeds 3 million barrels a day, with exports of 2.8 million barrels to meet OPEC quotas. He said “Venezuela is moving towards full recovery of the productive capacity.”

The Venezuelan Ambassador told the Permanent Council that last year’s coup in his country had put the Inter-American Democratic Charter to the test for the first time. He said OAS Permanent Council and General Assembly resolutions have reaffirmed the Organization’s commitment to democracy, and “encourage the Venezuelan government to continue expanding the frontiers of democracy.”

Reference: E-081/03