From 1959 Venezuela could be considered a democracy. With Romulo Betancourt. With the punto fijo democracy. Venezuela's democracy was so particular compared to the rest of Latin America that it has been described as “exeptionalist” (p13).
A characterisation which was deemed premature as punto fijo democracy began to unravel “in response to series of punctuated political and economic crises that began in 1983 and culminated in the election of Hugo Chavez in december 1998”
==> his move to success was due to him criticising the political party in order by describing it as being “arrogant” and due to their failure to create economic prosperity with the petroleum revenue.
1999 – created a new consitution.
After the consitution came into effect : he was reelected for 6 years. MVR (Movimiento Quinta republica) gained cntrl of the National assembly.
December 2000 – MVR repeated its success in elections.
“this restructring of the political system set the stage for efforts to bring about far-reaching social and economic changes” (p12).
“The Bolivarians, blamed Venezuela's post-1983 difficulties on Punto Fijo's ruling elite and on its close association with the UniteD states” (p12)
Chavez called upon those who had been previously excluded from politics to take a stand. Chavez's rhetoric was mainly designed to reduce the class conflict which had been a part of Venezuels between 1958 and 1998.
Vulnerabilities of the Punto Fijista regime-
Groups and leaders who had been pushed out of politics for three decades and coalesced behin Chavez in the 1990s – were able to take control of National Politics shows the weakenesses of the party system.
Deficiencies which first began to reveal themselves in the 1980s.
Four weakenesses : the ruling elite ( those who controlled AS,COPEI) The National Labor confederation (The private sector The Roman Catholic church as They resulted to destributive policies to govern. Distributive output came at the expense of regulatory solutions Post-1958 democracy remained centralised while the operational rules were being institutionalised. The power sharing arrangements which dvlpt during the elite unification overlooked two groups which were rapidly increasing in power : the urban poor and the middle class.
After 1962, democratic govs received important new resources as the coutry pulled out of eco recession. Steady growth ensued until the 1970s. Eco success depended on an increase in income for petroleum sales and continuing political stability.
“Distributive policy proved an inadequate tenet for governing as revenues rose and fell, unraveling progressed” (p26). Available resources were insufficient to satisfy the expectations of establishment interest.
Core weakeness was the centralised nature of policy making embbeded in the punto fijo