Caracas, November 25, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Bolivarian government issued an official communiqué Thursday mourning the death of long time Venezuelan politician and entrepreneur Luis Miquilena.
“The Venezuelan government laments the death of the citizen Luis Miquilena, who served as president of the Constituent Assembly, in the National Legislative Council, and as minister of justice and the interior,” read the statement.
Following a long political career under Venezuela’s Fourth Republic, Miquilena took the spotlight as the first establishment political figure to back Hugo Chávez’s Fifth Republic Movement (MVR) that surged to victory in the 1998 elections on the promise of a new constitution.
In 1999, Miquilena headed the nation’s first-ever Constituent Assembly, which convened representatives from diverse movements across the country to draft a new Bolivarian constitution that was ratified by popular referendum.
He went on to serve as minister of justice and the interior in 2001 and was broadly considered one of President Chávez’s closest advisors.
However, the former businessman broke with the president and the more left-wing faction of the MVR over the latter’s commitment to far reaching social and economic reforms that threatened private sector interests.
Following the defeat of his pro-business faction within the party, Miquilena resigned from the cabinet in early 2002 in a move that has been widely viewed as preparing the ground for the April 11, 2002 US-sponsored coup that ousted Chávez for 47 hours.
The ex-Chavista continued as a vocal critic of the Chávez government in later years, opposing the president’s failed 2007 constitutional reform referendum.
Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas extended condolences to the family of the 97 year-old politician on behalf of President Nicolas Maduro.