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2023 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

The Quest for Democracy: Venezuela in the Twentieth and Twentyfirst Centuries

Authors : Wolfgang Muno, Thomas Kestler

Published in: Venezuela – Dimensions of the Crisis

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

In this chapter, we analyze the historical context of the crisis in Venezuela. The country was formerly regarded as a stable democracy and as an exception in a mostly autocratic region. By now, the situation is the opposite: Venezuela is in a state of crisis and autocratic rule, while the rest of Latin America is mostly democratic. The dramatic decline of the country is the result of populist misrule during the presidency of Hugo Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro. However, the roots of the present crisis run deeper. After the end of the military dictatorship in 1958, the main political actors agreed on a transitional pact, which, over time, turned into an increasingly unrepresentative arrangement of power sharing. With the oil boom of the 1970s, corruption became endemic and disaffection with the political elites increased. When the oil-fueled economic model collapsed in the 1990s, the cracks in the democratic system became apparent. After the election of Hugo Chávez, Venezuelans hoped for a fresh start and for a renewal of the constitutional order. Instead, the country entered a path of economic decline and democratic regression.

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Metadata
Title
The Quest for Democracy: Venezuela in the Twentieth and Twentyfirst Centuries
Authors
Wolfgang Muno
Thomas Kestler
Copyright Year
2023
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21889-7_4