Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuela's ex-President Carlos Andres Perez dies at 88

Carlos Andres Perez. Photo: October 2010
Carlos Andres Perez served as president from 1974-79 and 1989-93

Venezuela's former President Carlos Andres Perez has died in Florida at the age of 88.

He died of a heart attack, Mr Perez's daughter was quoted by Venezuela's Globovision as saying.

Mr Perez served as president from 1974 to 1979 and again from 1989 to 1993.

His first term was marked by a transformation of Venezuela's economy because of a sudden increase in oil revenues. His second was marred by allegations of corruption.

'Caracazo' riots

Mr Perez was forced to leave office in 1993 and was then sentenced to 28 months in prison for the misappropriation of millions of dollars in public funds.

He spent the first few months in a jail in Caracas, but was then allowed to serve the rest of his term under house arrest.

Mr Perez had always denied any wrongdoing.

He survived two coup attempts in 1992, the first of which was led by current President Hugo Chavez, who was then a young army lieutenant colonel.

In recent years, Mr Perez lived in Miami, fighting demands by the current government in Caracas to extradite him to stand trial for his role in putting down riots in 1989.

He was accused of sending troops into the streets to fire indiscriminately on protesters during the so-called Caracazo riots.

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