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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Venezuela

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This page contains a list of the greatest Venezuelan Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 47 of which were born in Venezuela. This makes Venezuela the birth place of the 63rd most number of Politicians behind Cuba and Algeria.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Venezuelan Politicians of all time. This list of famous Venezuelan Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Venezuelan Politicians.

Photo of Simón Bolívar

1. Simón Bolívar (1783 - 1830)

With an HPI of 78.86, Simón Bolívar is the most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 140 different languages on wikipedia.

Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a Venezuelan military and political leader who led what are currently the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Bolivia to independence from the Spanish Empire. He is known colloquially as El Libertador, or the Liberator of America. Simón Bolívar was born in Caracas in the Captaincy General of Venezuela into a wealthy criollo family. Before he turned ten, he lost both parents and lived in several households. Bolívar was educated abroad and lived in Spain, as was common for men of upper-class families in his day. While living in Madrid from 1800 to 1802, he was introduced to Enlightenment philosophy and met his future wife María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa. After returning to Venezuela, in 1803 del Toro contracted yellow fever and died. From 1803 to 1805, Bolívar embarked on a grand tour that ended in Rome, where he swore to end the Spanish rule in the Americas. In 1807, Bolívar returned to Venezuela and proposed gaining Venezuelan independence to other wealthy creoles. When the Spanish authority in the Americas weakened due to Napoleon's Peninsular War, Bolívar became a zealous combatant and politician in the Spanish American wars of independence. Bolívar began his military career in 1810 as a militia officer in the Venezuelan War of Independence, fighting Spanish and more native Royalist forces for the first and second Venezuelan republics and the United Provinces of New Granada. After Spanish forces subdued New Granada in 1815, Bolívar was forced into exile in the Republic of Haiti, led by Haitian revolutionary Alexandre Pétion. Bolívar befriended Pétion and, after promising to abolish slavery in South America, received military support from Haiti. Returning to Venezuela, he established a third republic in 1817 and then crossed the Andes in 1819 to liberate New Granada. Bolívar and his allies defeated the Spanish in New Granada in 1819, Venezuela and Panama in 1821, Ecuador in 1822, Peru in 1824, and Bolivia in 1825. Venezuela, New Granada, Ecuador, and Panama were merged into the Republic of Colombia (Gran Colombia), with Bolívar as president there and in Peru and Bolivia. In his final years, Bolívar became increasingly disillusioned with the South American republics, and distanced from them because of his centralist ideology. He was successively removed from his offices until, after a failed assassination attempt, he resigned the presidency of Colombia and died of tuberculosis in 1830. He is regarded as a national and cultural icon throughout Latin America; the nations of Bolivia and Venezuela (as the Boliviarian Republic of Venezuela) and their currencies are named after him. His legacy is diverse and far-reaching within Latin America and beyond; he has been memorialized all over the world in the form of public art or street names and in popular culture.

Photo of Hugo Chávez

2. Hugo Chávez (1954 - 2013)

With an HPI of 71.24, Hugo Chávez is the 2nd most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 133 different languages.

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈuɣo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβes ˈfɾ] (listen); 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was a Venezuelan politician who was president of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013, except for a brief period in 2002. Chávez was also leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which he led until 2012. Born into a middle-class family in Sabaneta, Barinas, Chávez became a career military officer and, after becoming dissatisfied with the Venezuelan political system based on the Puntofijo Pact, he founded the clandestine Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200) in the early 1980s. Chávez led the MBR-200 in its unsuccessful coup d'état against the Democratic Action government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1992, for which he was imprisoned. Pardoned from prison two years later, he founded the Fifth Republic Movement political party, and then receiving 56.2% of the vote, was elected president of Venezuela in 1998. He was re-elected in 2000 with 59.8% of the vote and again in 2006 with 62.8% of the vote. After winning his fourth term as president in the October 2012 presidential election with a decrease to 55.1% of the vote, he was to be sworn in on 10 January 2013. However, the inauguration was postponed due to his cancer treatment, and on 5 March 2013 at age 58, he died in Caracas.Following the adoption of a new constitution in 1999, Chávez focused on supposedly enacting social reforms as part of the Bolivarian Revolution. Using record-high oil revenues of the 2000s, his government nationalized key industries, created participatory democratic Communal Councils and implemented social programs known as the Bolivarian missions to expand access to food, housing, healthcare and education. The high oil profits coinciding with the start of Chavez's presidency resulted in temporary improvements in areas such as poverty, literacy, income equality and quality of life between primarily 2003 and 2007, though extensive changes in structural inequalities did not occur. On 2 June 2010, Chávez declared an "economic war" on Venezuela's upper classes due to shortages, arguably beginning the crisis in Venezuela. By the end of Chávez's presidency in the early 2010s, economic actions performed by his government during the preceding decade, such as deficit spending and price controls, proved to be unsustainable, with Venezuela's economy faltering. At the same time, poverty, inflation and shortages increased. Under Chávez, Venezuela experienced democratic backsliding, as he suppressed the press, manipulated electoral laws, and arrested and exiled government critics. His use of enabling acts and his government's use of propaganda were controversial. Chávez's presidency saw significant increases in the country's murder rate and continued corruption within the police force and government.Internationally, Chávez aligned himself with the Marxist–Leninist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba, as well as the socialist governments of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. His presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. He described himself as a Marxist. Chávez supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South and the regional television network TeleSUR. Chavez's ideas, programs, and style form the basis of "Chavismo", a political ideology closely associated with Bolivarianism and socialism of the 21st century.

Photo of Nicolás Maduro

3. Nicolás Maduro (1962 - )

With an HPI of 66.10, Nicolás Maduro is the 3rd most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 92 different languages.

Nicolás Maduro Moros (Spanish: [nikoˈlaz maˈðuɾo ˈmoɾos] (listen); born 23 November 1962) is a Venezuelan politician and president of Venezuela since 2013. Beginning his working life as a bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000. He was appointed to a number of positions under President Hugo Chávez, serving as President of the National Assembly from 2005 to 2006, as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as the vice president from 2012 to 2013 under Chávez. After Chávez's death was announced on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the presidency. A special presidential election was held in 2013, which Maduro won with 50.62% of the vote as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela candidate. He has ruled Venezuela by decree since 2015 through powers granted to him by the ruling party legislature.Shortages in Venezuela and decreased living standards led to a wave of protests in 2014 that escalated into daily marches nationwide, repression of dissent and a decline in Maduro's popularity. An opposition-led National Assembly was elected in 2015 and a movement toward recalling Maduro began in 2016, which was ultimately cancelled by Maduro's government; Maduro maintained power through the Supreme Tribunal, the National Electoral Council and the military. The Supreme Tribunal removed power from the elected National Assembly, resulting in a constitutional crisis and another wave of protests in 2017. As a response to the protests, Maduro called for a rewrite of the constitution, and the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela was elected in 2017 under voting conditions that many concluded that were irregular. On 20 May 2018, presidential elections were held; President Maduro was sworn in on 10 January 2019 with widespread condemnation, and the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, was declared interim president on 23 January 2019 by the opposition legislative body—kicking off a presidential crisis that spanned three years and divided the international community.Maduro has been described as an autocrat and a "dictator". Between 2013 and 2022, Venezuela dropped 42 places in the Press Freedom Index. According to estimations by the United Nations (UN), under Maduro's administration, more than 9,000 people have been subject to extrajudicial killings and seven million Venezuelans have been forced to flee the country. and the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela concluded that the country's justice system independence has been deeply eroded; the mission also identified frequent due process violations, including political external interference and the admission of evidence through torture. Most Venezuelan television channels are controlled by the state, and information unfavorable to the government is not covered completely. In 2018, a Board of Independent Experts designated by the Organization of American States (OAS) found that crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela during Maduro's presidency, and in 2021 the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the opening of an investigation regarding the situation in the country.

Photo of Antonio José de Sucre

4. Antonio José de Sucre (1795 - 1830)

With an HPI of 62.23, Antonio José de Sucre is the 4th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Antonio José de Sucre y Alcalá (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈtonjo xoˈse ðe ˈsukɾe j alkaˈla] (listen); 3 February 1795 – 4 June 1830), known as the "Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho" (English: "Grand Marshal of Ayacucho"), was a Venezuelan independence leader who served as the president of Peru and as the second president of Bolivia. Sucre was one of Simón Bolívar's closest friends, generals and statesmen. Due to his influence on geopolitical affairs of Latin America, a number of notable localities on the continent now bear Sucre's name. These include the eponymous capital of Bolivia, the Venezuelan state, the department of Colombia and both the old and new airports of Ecuador's capital Quito. Additionally, many schools, streets and districts across the region bear his name as well.

Photo of Carolina Herrera

5. Carolina Herrera (1939 - )

With an HPI of 60.51, Carolina Herrera is the 5th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Carolina Herrera (born María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño; 8 January 1939) is a Venezuelan-American fashion designer known for her personal style, and for dressing various First Ladies, including Jacqueline Onassis, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Melania Trump.

Photo of Rafael Caldera

6. Rafael Caldera (1916 - 2009)

With an HPI of 57.88, Rafael Caldera is the 6th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Rafael Antonio Caldera Rodríguez (Spanish pronunciation: [rafaˈel anˈtonjo kalˈdeɾa roˈðɾiɣes] (listen ); 24 January 1916 – 24 December 2009), twice elected the president of Venezuela, served for two five-year terms (1969–1974 and 1994–1999), becoming the longest serving democratically elected leader to govern the country in the twentieth century. His first term marked the first peaceful transfer of power to the opposition in Venezuela's history. Widely acknowledged as one of the founders of Venezuela's democratic system, one of the main architects of the 1961 Constitution, and a pioneer of the Christian Democratic movement in Latin America, Caldera helped forge an unprecedented period of civilian democratic rule in a country beleaguered by a history of political violence and military caudillos.His leadership established Venezuela's reputation as one of the more stable democracies in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century.After graduating with a degree in law and political science from Central University of Venezuela in 1939, Caldera embarked on a 70-year long career that combined political, intellectual and academic activities.

Photo of Carlos Andrés Pérez

7. Carlos Andrés Pérez (1922 - 2010)

With an HPI of 57.17, Carlos Andrés Pérez is the 7th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Carlos Andrés Pérez Rodríguez (27 October 1922 – 25 December 2010) also known as CAP and often referred to as El Gocho (due to his Andean origins), was a Venezuelan politician and the president of Venezuela from 12 March 1974 to 12 March 1979 and again from 2 February 1989 to 21 May 1993. He was one of the founders of Acción Democrática, the dominant political party in Venezuela during the second half of the twentieth century. His first presidency was known as the Saudi Venezuela due to its economic and social prosperity thanks to enormous income from petroleum exportation. However, his second presidency saw a continuation of the economic crisis of the 1980s, a series of social crises, widespread riots known as Caracazo and two coup attempts in 1992. In May 1993 he became the first Venezuelan president to be forced out of office by the Supreme Court on charges for the embezzlement of 250 million bolívars (roughly 2.7 million US dollars) belonging to a presidential discretionary fund, whose money was used to support the electoral process in Nicaragua and hire bodyguards for President Violeta Chamorro.

Photo of Rómulo Betancourt

8. Rómulo Betancourt (1908 - 1981)

With an HPI of 57.06, Rómulo Betancourt is the 8th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.

Rómulo Ernesto Betancourt Bello (22 February 1908 – 28 September 1981; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈromulo betaŋˈkuɾ]), known as "The Father of Venezuelan Democracy", was the president of Venezuela, serving from 1945 to 1948 and again from 1959 to 1964, as well as leader of Acción Democrática, Venezuela's dominant political party in the 20th century. Betancourt, one of Venezuela's most important political figures, led a tumultuous career in Latin American politics. Periods of exile brought Betancourt in contact with various Latin American countries as well as the United States, securing his legacy as one of the most prominent international leaders to emerge from 20th-century Latin America. Scholars credit Betancourt as the Founding Father of modern democratic Venezuela.

Photo of José Antonio Páez

9. José Antonio Páez (1790 - 1873)

With an HPI of 55.86, José Antonio Páez is the 9th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

José Antonio Páez Herrera (Spanish pronunciation: [xo.ˈse ãn̪.ˈto.njo ˈ ɛ.ˈrɛ.ɾa]; 13 June 1790 – 6 May 1873) was a Venezuelan leader who fought against the Spanish Crown for Simón Bolívar during the Venezuelan War of Independence. He later led Venezuela's independence from Gran Colombia. He dominated the country's politics for most of the next two decades once the country had achieved independence from Gran Colombia, serving either as president of Venezuela (1830–1835; 1839–1843; 1861–1863) or as the power behind puppet presidents. He is considered a prime example of a 19th-century South American caudillo, and imbued the country with a legacy of authoritarian rule that lasted, with few exceptions, until 1958. He lived in Buenos Aires and New York City during his years in exile and died in the latter in 1873.

Photo of Andrés Bello

10. Andrés Bello (1781 - 1865)

With an HPI of 55.79, Andrés Bello is the 10th most famous Venezuelan Politician.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Andrés de Jesús María y José Bello López (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈdɾes ˈβeʝo]; November 29, 1781 – October 15, 1865) was a Venezuelan-Chilean humanist, diplomat, poet, legislator, philosopher, educator and philologist, whose political and literary works constitute an important part of Spanish American culture. Bello is featured on the old 2,000 Venezuelan bolívar and the 20,000 Chilean peso notes. In Caracas, where he was born, Andrés Bello was Simón Bolívar's teacher for a short period of time and participated in the process that led to Venezuelan independence. As a diplomat for the new independent government that he helped establish, he went with Luis López Méndez and Simón Bolívar on their first diplomatic mission to London. He lived in London from 1810 to 1829. In 1829, Bello went with his family to Chile. He was hired by the Chilean government and made great works in the field of law and humanities. In Santiago he held positions as a senator and a professor, as well as directing several local newspapers. As a legislator, he was the main promoter and editor of the Chilean Civil Code, one of the most innovative and influential American legal works of his time. In 1842, under his inspiration and with his decisive support, the University of Chile was created, an institution of which he became the first rector, staying in the post for more than two decades. Due to his great contributions, on 17 October 1832 he was given Chilean nationality through a law approved by the Congress.

Pantheon has 47 people classified as politicians born between 1772 and 1986. Of these 47, 10 (21.28%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Nicolás Maduro, Carolina Herrera, and Pedro Carmona. The most famous deceased politicians include Simón Bolívar, Hugo Chávez, and Antonio José de Sucre. As of April 2022, 2 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Jorge Arreaza and Rodolfo González.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2022)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.