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Unformatted text preview: 790-312 (12-3-07) Bases of Venezuelan Democracy Partiodracty bipartisan consensus among leaders of highly centralized parties Petroleum wealth basis for patronage, employment and social welfare Problems of oil dependency - limited incentive to diversify economy o vulnerability to price fluctuations - limited incentive to diversify tax base o vulnerability to fiscal crisis - illusion of wealth: limited support for restructuring of economy economic decline - debt crisis in 1982: oil revenues permit avoidance of reform - oil price collapse in 1985 - economic stagnation - rapid increase in poverty stalled economic reforms - carlos Andres perez 1989 1993 o elected as populist, but initiates sweeping market reforms o strong popular opposition: Caruzzo o defection of party support from AD, Unions, OPEI o efforts of military coup, led by hugo chavez o threat of impeachment and of president ouster deterioration of party system - drop in support for AD as COPEI - breakdown of inter-party consensus - emergence of smaller parties Economic decline - Rafael caldera 1994 -98 - Elected as populist - Fiscal deficits force trenchment and reform - Popular opposition - 1998: election of hugo chavez why inability to reform - reliance o major parties on patronage - low inflation, contrast with Brazil and Mexico - illusion of wealth: if were poor, dispute oil wealth, the politicians must be stealing the Chavez appeal he had very simple answers (simplistic approach) - causes of poverty o elite dishonesty o US imposed neoliberalism Not very accurate Venezuelan had not undertaken neoliberal policies...they may have been better off had they of o cure: constitutional reform and elimination of elite power Nationalist economic party Hugo chavez as savior ...
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- Spring '08