Dictator Juan Vicente Gomez governs at time when Venezuela becomes world's largest oil exporter.
Armed coup overthrows military government and establishes a civilian gov.
President Romulo Gallegos, Venezuela's first democratically-elected leader, overthrown within eight months in military coup led by Marcos Perez Jimenez.
Admiral Wolfgang Larrazabal ousts Marcos Perez Jimenez; leftist Romulo Betancourt of the Democratic Action Party (AD) wins presidential election.
Colonel Hugo Chavez and supporters make two coup attempts. Some 120 people killed in suppression of coups, Col Chavez jailed for two years before being pardoned.
Hugo Chavez elected president amid disenchantment with established parties, launches 'Bolivarian Revolution' that brings in new constitution, socialist and populist economic and social policies funded by high oil prices, and increasingly vocal anti-US foreign policy
Amidst the world oil crisis Venezuela thrives as an alternative source of oil.
Fall in world oil prices generates unrest and cuts in welfare spending; Jaime Lusinchi (AD) elected president and signs pact involving government, trade unions and business.
President Chavez uses enabling act to pass 49 laws aimed at redistributing land and wealth. Concern grows in business and some labour circles that he is trying to concentrate economic and political power in the state, along Cuban lines.