The Bolivarian Revolution: a Consequence from Historical Roots.

Topics: Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, Carlos Andrés Pérez Pages: 7 (2290 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Tittle: The Bolivarian Revolution: A consequence from historical roots.

The inability of politicians to rescue the national economy resulted in growing public discontent in Venezuela leading the nation to support Hugo Chavez in initiating the Bolivarian Revolution. The Bolivarian Revolution is unique as at its core, it is a humanistic approach to state governance and operation, one that is based on social justice and the participation of the citizens in this social justice. In order to better understand the reasons for any revolution, including this particular one, it is important to understand the context that gave rise to the revolution, the roots that grew from this particular set of circumstances. Only then can one began to explain why such a revolution took place. Venezuela, not unlike other Latin American countries, has been plagued for many years with dictatorships and ideology struggles over the governing the country including the proper way to develop its economy. This particular struggle over whether leftist or rightist government would be best suited to not only run the country but to develop the Venezuelan economy, which is predominantly rich with oil reserves is what characterizes this revolution.

In 1958, leftist groups were able to overthrow the leadership of the rightist dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez, allowing for the rising of new political parties such as the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), different labour unions, organizations of youth groups, and a centrist party called Democratic Action (AD). Subsequently, as author Dario Azzelini explains, the left parties were marginalized when rightwing and bourgeois parties such as COPEI and URD, accorded to sign a pact of cooperation with AD called the Pact of Punto Fijo (Azzellini, p. 13). This Pact was seen by the US as a signal that the Venezuelan government was moving in the right direction and as an opportunity to access the Venezuelan market and establish its influence in the country. To complement Azzellini’s statement, author Hal Brands affirms that the creation of this pact was to maintain control over insurgent groups such as student movements and the Communist Party from overthrowing them. On one hand, the Pact of Punto FIjo would assure the respect of election results, cooperation among parties, and the protection of democracy in the nation against authoritarian groups. However, this pact would also allow the elite political parties to minimize cleavages among them. AD’s leader Romulo Betancourt, who became president of Venezuela in 1960, had strong ties to the main labour unions, business unions and federation groups, thus keeping an environment of equilibrium among leftists groups (Hal, p. 295), allowing him to maintain some control over them and the middle class. This pact paved the road to establish a democratic regime with no obstruction, but it allowed the implementation of measures to defuse any violent uprising in a more peaceful manner, such as by passing the Agrarian Law that favored those citizens with land, assuring their property from being taken away by the government and evicting peasants who occupied land illegally from rightful owners, opening the market to foreign investment favoring elite groups in society, and giving better benefits to the militaries forces. By these actions and their marginalization, the discontent of the lower classes increased severely, adding more support to guerrilla groups and the communist party. (Hal, p. 295). Although this may seem as an ideal political environment until certain extent by the formation of a democratic government, the Pact of Punto FIjo, established the foundations for an environment of oppression against leftist parties, exclusion of lower classes to be involved in any political decision, assured power among the elite political society by cooperating among them, and consequently opening the doors for corruption and minimizing the obstruction of any decisions made by politicians...

References: Valencia Ramirez, Cristobal. “Hemos Derrotado el Diablo! Chavez Supporters, Anti-Neoliberalism, and Twenty –First-Century Socialism”. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 15 (2008) 147-170.
Collins, Sheila. “Breaking the Mold? Venezuela’s Defiance of the Neoliberal Agenda”. New Political Science, 27 (3) (2005) 367-395.
Lopez-Maya, Margarita. “Venezuela after the Caracazo: Forms of Protest in a Deinstitutionalized context. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 21 (2) (2002) 199-218.
Azzellini, Dario. “Constituent Power in Motion: Ten Years of Transformation in Venezuela”. Socialism and Democracy. 24 (2) (2010) 8-31.
Brands, Hal. “Reform, democratization, and counter-insurgency: evaluating the US experience in Cold War-era Latin America”. Small Wars and Insurgencies. 22 (2) (2011) 290-321
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