The Venezuelan Civil War (or the Venezuelan Conflict) as it is known is an ongoing conflict waging across Venezuela from 2008 to the present. The Conflict began when incumbent president Hugo Chavez attempted to gain unconstitutional powers following sanctions by the League of Democracies in late 2007. In response pro constitutional and pro Chavez factions of the military engaged in combat in early 2008 sparking a war that has so far cost the lives of approximately 7000 Venezuelans and cost billions of dollars in damages.