Former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez Dies
By Dialogo December 28, 2010
Former Venezuelan president Carlos Andrés Pérez, who survived two coups d’état but left office before the end of his term after being convicted on corruption charges, died in the United States on Saturday, 25 December, of a heart attack at the age of eighty-eight, family members said.
Pérez, who governed Venezuela from 1974 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1993, suffered a stroke that left him partially incapacitated in 2003.
“With deep sorrow, we communicate the death of our loved one, Carlos Andrés Pérez, who died today (Saturday) in the city of Miami,” a statement released by his family said.
The former president, known as “El Gocho” – as Venezuelans from the Andean region are called -, had been out of the country since 1999. Before taking up residence in the United States, he lived in the Dominican Republic, from which he was unsuccessfully sought for extradition.
Pérez is the only sitting Venezuelan president to have been removed from office by judicial action and the first in the region to be convicted on corruption charges.
The current mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, a former party comrade of Pérez, lamented his death and referred to him as “a democratic fighter through and through, a man determined to defend his ideas.”