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Feb 10th POL3051.docx

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Political Science
Donald Kingsbury

POL305 February 10th VENEZUELA'S BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION: POST-NEOLIBERALISM AS SOCIALISM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY ▪ Midterm: identification, paragraph defining and providing context and significance of term or historical figure ▪ short answer, likely be asked to compare terms. provide definition and why its important ▪ deploy authors name, or title of article or chapter in a way that summarizes their position Venezuelas Bolivarian Revolution • named after Simon Bolivar, leader of armies that kicked spanish out the top half of LA • the movements that created the possibility for chavez to run for prez in 1998, were known as the Bolivarian movement • venezuela becomes the first of the left turns, farthest and most unambiguously left of the left terms • step away from neoliberalism and capitalism • still not 20th century socialism, bolivarian socialism is not the same thing as communism according to their public officials • heres the continuity between venezuela and the rest of the cases is that the difference is yet to be defined • they have a dedication to reogizanizing class structure of country, much more so than brazil • venezuela sits on the largest economically viable reserves of oil in the world, based on how much it costs in the world and is accessible • venezuela has a smaller land mass than a country like brazil= more money, less people. it has the elbow room to empower the poor and deliver social assistance without having to dislodge the rich • the economically nationalist programs of the chavez governments, could be argued, that the rich and middle classes are doing better under the socialist bolivarian movement than they did under the 4th republic • the paradox, similar to what we saw in lull's brazil, the economic nationalism might be benefiting the rich rather than the poor • second domestic goal, use oil to develop the slogan of every venezuelan government since 1914, is to sow the oil, turn it into something more than just an export, take the profits and use it to develop the population • with the election of chavez it is now starting to happen • example of progressive extractivism, use profits and distribute profits from extractive industries to the public and therefore legitimating the dependency of that sector. venezuela and the bolvarian project are wholly dependent on oil • final domestic goal of the revolution, reinvent the democracy. Focused on a direct form of democracy, that takes place every day • since 1998 more venezuelans are voting more often than anywhere else in the world • last election had 82% turnout • bolivarian emphasizes multipolar world system, element that has to do anyone opposing US power becomes an active suspicion to the empire • emphasis on venezueln foreign policy on south-south relations, trying to increase economic integration in LA and trade agreements in africa, based less on NAFTA style opened borders, and more on exchanges in kind. something akin to a barter system • ex. venezuela trading oil to cuba in exchange for doctors Direct preconditions for the elections of chavez in the 1990s • 1. venezuela experiences 2 decades of neoliberal structural adjustments and they were sick of it. • very intense and local social movements that were equally critical of the government in power and neoliberal structural power • 2. the collapse of a previously consolidated and exclusionary political system. had been run since 1958 by 2 parties, in the 90's these 2 parties were discredited and seen as part of the problem as opposed to as the solution • the first movement associated with chavez is known as the 5th republic- start from scratch, rewrite the constitution • 3. decline of US power. the ability of the US to influence the region of its interest was greatly diminished. after 9/11 US turns its back on the region focusing entirely on the middle east • latin american then becomes a site for a lot of improvement to happen • 4. through the 2000s global spike in oil prices THE EXCEPTIONAL DEMOCRACY • while other LA nations were facing dictatorships, venezuela had a consolidated democratic system • the first time venezuela had an elected president didn't happen till 1945. Rep of AD party, 3 year window of democracy was that democratic action ran the country for the benefit of itself as a party, stacking bureaucratic institutions in its favour, strengthening control in unions, and oil sector • 'Trenio' of AD 1945-48 • tried to secularize public education from the church, as a result there was a coup leading to ten year rule of Marcos Jimenez, during this period venezuela experienced a massive infrastructure boom, creating of highways and hydroelectricity, university system constructed • Jimenez 1948-1958 • infrastructure still exists in venezuela to this day, very little reinvestment up until 4 years ago • Punto Fijo Pact 1958, Jimenez overthrown, uprising occurs. establishes what becomes the model of a pacted democracy, meaning more than 1 political parties set the rules of the game how power was to be distributed in the democratic era, banned the communist party of venezuela and promised to always respect the results of elections, also wouldn't side with any of the marginalized sectors that were upset with their lack of ability to be represented in gov •
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