Former Venezuela president Caldera dies at age 94
Former Venezuela president Caldera who released current leader Hugo Chavez from jail after his failed coup attempt in the 1990s, died at age 94.
Rafael Caldera, who served twice as Venezuela's president and released current leader Hugo Chavez from jail after his failed coup attempt in the 1990s, died at age 94 on Thursday, his family and state media said.
Caldera, a lawyer and veteran politician who ruled South America's top oil exporter between 1969-1974 and 1994-1999, suffered from Parkinson's disease. He died in Caracas.
Caldera's second term was marked by a traumatic financial crisis that sunk half of Venezuela's banks and cost the state some $11 billion.
In 1994, Caldera pardoned Chavez, who was jailed after he lead a failed military coup against former President Carlos Andres Perez in 1992.
Chavez went on to succeed Caldera and has ruled Venezuela since 1999.
Caldera's son, Andres Caldera, said his father would be buried on Saturday. The former leader was born in western Yaracuy state on January 24, 1916.
Reuters Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2009, 21:08