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Accion Democratica of Venezuela : the political party as a factor in the modernization and integration of a developing country

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Accion Democratica of Venezuela : the political party as a factor in the modernization and integration of a developing country
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Wiarda, Iêda Siqueira, 1936-
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[Gainesville]
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University of Florida
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vii, 634 . : ; 28cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Agrarian reform ( jstor )
Agricultural land ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Communism ( jstor )
Peasant class ( jstor )
Petroleum ( jstor )
Political organizations ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Voting ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF ( lcsh )
Political Science thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Venezuela ( lcsh )
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non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 560-634.
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Manuscript copy.
General Note:
Vita.

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ACCION DEMOCRATICA OF VENEZUELA: THE POLITICAL PARTY AS A FACTOR IN THE MODERNIZATION AND
INTEGRATION OF A DEVELOPING
COUNTRY







By
IEDA SIQUEIRA WIARDA












A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY










UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1968














PREFACE


The problems of attaining modernization and integration in a developing country are vitally crucial for those directly affected and highly interesting to those involved in political science research. To political scientists, problems of development pose a number of important questions--will, for example, the pursuit of modernization unify or further fragment a polity? Can modernization and integration be attained more easily through democratic than through authoritarian means? If the former, what agencies have served as the means for the attainment of modernization and integration in a democratic fashion? It was the author's interest in questions such as these that led her to a study of the Acci6n Democr.tica Party of Venezuela.

This study is the product of several years' interest in political parties in Latin America. Beginning in 1963, this interest focused upon the Acci6n Democr~tica Party of Venezuela. To find out more about this Party as a possible factor in the modernization and integration of Venezuela, the author visited that country on three separate occasions: spring of 1964, fall of 196.5, and sunr.wr of 1966. .The first trip was made possible by a grant from the Caribbean Research Institute at the University of Florida. During her ii







stays in Venezuela, the author divided her timie about equally between Caracas and the interior and 3oterviewod throughout the country a number of Acci6n Democitica leaders and members as well as government officials. The data from these interviews vere used in conjunction with and to supplement data obtained from published sources, both in the United States and in Venezuela.

Our research on Acci6n Democr~tica centered on the role of that Party as an important factor in the modernization and integration of Venezuela. We were not primarily concerned with the program and organization of the Party, themes already adequately surveyed by other scholars. Nor were we confined to looking at AD as a reflection of its leadership, particularly in the days of the Betancourt administration. Our aim, rather, was to look at this Party as an instrument in the making of the "modern Venezuela." As such, AD served as a channel for the demands of Venezuelans who desired a more "modern" standard of living and who wished to feel as though they were integral participants in the governing process. These demands were channeled to the government controlled by AD which, in turn, sought to satisfy the needs of the largest possible number of Venezuelans without at any one time alienating too many groups within the society. In attempting to serve as a channel be*ween the government and the governed, AD was, furthermore, limited by the constitutional framework in which it had to operate. It was also limited by the physical and human resources at its disposal and by the


iii







milieu in which it found itself. Taking into account those considerations, the AD ?arty is exarmincld in this study as a dynamic force operating within a certain political culture-that is, as a political organization which acts upon and interacts with the special Venezuelan context. AD has clearly had an impact on the Venezuelan social and political system, but that milieu has also left its indelible mark upon the Party.


Whatever merits this study may have are due to the many Venezuelans who went out of their way in helping the author obtain information, in making her feel at home, and in submitting to interviews. Special thanks go to Dr. Demetrio Boersner and Dr. Jos6 Luis Salcedo-Bastardo, both of whom provided invaluable assistance in facilitating the author's research at the Universidad Central, at the Biblioteca Nacional, and at Acci6n DemocrAtica headquarters in Caracas. In numerous ways the members of the author's dissertation committee at the University of Florida were most helpful. Professor Harry Kantor, chairman of the committee, and Professor Manning J. Dauer, chairman of the Department of Political Science, provided especially valuable assistance from the early stages of this project until its completion. The author was also most appreciative for Dr. Cornells C. Goslinga's suggestiuns on the historical aspects of the manuscript.

The author also wishes to thank her husband,







Howard J. Wiarda, also a political scientist, whose corhents on the study were invaluable and to whoza it is dedicated.

All these organizations and persons are not to be

blamed for the study's shortcomings. The responsibility Lor the mistakes of omission and commission are solely the author 's.





Ieda Siqueira Wiarda


Spring, 1968













TABLE OF CONTENTS


PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLL'S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

Chapter
I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

II. THE GEOGRAPHIC, DE"iOGRAPHIC, AIM CONSTITUTIONAL


SETTINGS . . . . * . . . . . . .


.. . . . 28


III. ACCION DEMOCRT1CA )I THE CONTEXT OF
VENEZUELAN POLITICAL PARTY HISTORY ....

IV. ACCION DEMOCFRATICA IN THE CONtXT OF
CONTEYPORARY VENEZUELAN POLITICAL
IDEOLOGIES AIMi PROGBAIS . . . . . . .

V. THE PARTY ORGANIZATION . . . . . .....

VI. ACCION DEMOC ATICA'S INTEGRATING AGRARIAN
REPORl' ... . .. . . . . ..

VII. LABO Ikl POLITICS
ACCION DE;lOCRATICA ANT) THE, VMITEZUL%AN LABOR MOV.VE T . . . . . . . . * . .. .
VIII. RESOURCE UTILIZATION AIUD WECoFARIIMPROVE4ENT UNDER ACCION DEAOCIRTI CA
GOVERN I-TNTS . . . . .........

IX. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UITDER ACCI6N
DEMOCRATICA GOVEMIT-l12NTS . . . . . ...

X. CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

A PPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

BIBLIOGRA P Y . . . . . . o . . . . . . . . . . . .


* . 213


254


* . 320



* � 373

* . 436 . 501

546

* . 560


ii

vii


I


I











LIST OF TABLES


Table
1. Growth of the Five Largest Venezuelan Cities,
1936-1966 . . . . . . . * * . * * . .
2. Population of Venezuela, 1830-1966 . . .
3. Distribution of the Venezuelan Population by
Habitation, 1950-1961 . . . . . ..
4. Distribution of Indian Population by States, 1936-1966 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5. Growth of the National Road System, 1938-1966
6. Motor Vehicles in Use, 1938-1.964 ..
7. AD Membership, 1962 Census . . . . . ....
8. Rural Ownership and Rural Population, 1937
9. AD Members Vis-A-Vis the Agrarian Reform Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10. AD Leaders Vis-A-Vis the Agrarian Reform
Program . . . . . . . . . .
11. Modifications Desired in the Agrarian Reform
Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12. Legally Operating Labor Unions and Membership 13. Party Preference by Labor ....... 14. Union as Entr6e to AD Membership . . .... 15. Voted for AD in 1963 Elections ..... 16. Universities and Normal School Mlrollment
Increase, 1957-1958 to 1965-1966 ..
17. Growth in Electrical Consumption ...... 18. External Commerce of Venezuela (1936-1965) .


Page
36
44 45 48
* 55
* 56
* 228
* 262

313

314

� 314
339 367
* 367
* 368

* 407
* 433
* 455


Vii














CHAPTER I


INTRODUCT ION

By 1936, after a century and a quarter of existence as an independent nation, Venezuela had not developed a viable, functioning political system. Periods of instability and chaos alternated with periods of extreme authoritarian rule, and Venezuela led the Hemisphere both in the number of constitutions which had been promulgated and in the total number of years which had been spent under dictatorial control. Power--oconomic, social, and political--remained in the hands of a very few, while the vast majority had little say in national decision-making and received few of the benefits of the country's natural wealth. In this way the semi-feudal styucture established by the Spanish colonialists

--based on an exploitative agrarian economy, a rigid two-class social system:, and an authoritarian political system--was perpstuated into the twentieth century.

The traditional order began to break down during the dictatorship of Juan Vicente G6moz (1908-1935) and crumbled in the decades after his death. As economic development accelerated and new groups with new ideas and new organizations emerged and began to make their interests felt, the semi-feudal order began to give way. At the same time, the





2

new, more modern, and more democratic order which evolved to replace it continued still tenuous and uncertain. The uncertainties of the transition gave rise to a succession of coups and unstable regimes in the 1940's and a decade of dictatorship in the 1950's. In 1964. however, for the first time in Venezuelan history, a democratically elected president, R6mulo Betancourt, peacefully turned over his office to his successor, Rarl Leoni, also democratically elected. Since both Betancourt and Leoni were members of a political party, Acci6n Democr~tica, what was the role of AD in the fundamental transformation of the Venezuelan political system? And can the Venezuelan experience be repeated by other developing nations? Or, in other words, what part can a modern, democratically oriented and well-organized political party play in the process of modernization and political integration through democratic means? These are some of the questions which this study seeks to explore.

The study of political parties is a relatively new
preoccupation for Latin America area specialists. They have traditionally been concerned with the history of independence movements, with border disputes, with the formal aspects of government. Only recently has interest been shown in the dynamics of the governmental process, and detailed surveys of political groups and political parties date from the last few years.1

1
Merle Kling, in a highly critical analysis of th
shortcomings of American political scientists who specialize on Latin America concludes that "[they] have not reached, to borrow Rostow's familiar metaphor, the take-off stage." "The








A logical explanation for the dearth of such surveys

is the fact that modern political parties have only made their

appearance in the last few decades of Latin-American history.

These modern parties serve as effective channels between

government and governed, and have a well-defined body of

principles, a large membership, a large body of primary snd

secondary leaders, a wellodevcloped strucLure and system of

comnunication to reach the population. They contrast, in

these aspects, with the traditional "conservative" and

"liberal" groups of the nineteenth and early twentieth
2
centuries. Further, these modern-day mass parties began to

emerge, with some possible exceptions, only after World

War I and gained a dominant position in only a very small

number of countries, among which is Venezuela.


Stages of Research on Latin Arierica," in Charles Wagley (ed.), Social Science Research on Latin America (New York:
Columbia University Press, 19-6T p. 166. See also the critique in Kalman H. Silvert's The Conflict Societv:
Reaction and Revolution in Latin AmeriecT2d ed. rev.; New ork: American Univrs-ieS Fe-ld-Staff, Inc., 1966), pp. 155-162. A more recent appraisal is found in John D. Martz' "The Place of Latin America in the Study of Corparative Politics," Journal of Politics, XXVIII (February,
1966), 57-80.

2See the characterizations of Diodern mass parties in Maurice Duverger, Political Parties; Their Organization and Activity in the ioa-rn State, trans. Robert and Barbara North (New ok: John Wley & Sons, Inc., 1954), pp. 63-71, 379, and Otto Kirchheimer, "The Transformation of the Western European Party Systemis," in Joseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner (eds.), Politicea Partie. and Political Development (Princeton, N.J.: Princ t Univosity Pres,96, pP. 177-200. A critique of Kirchheimcr's concepts can be found in Frank A. Pinner's "On the Structure of Organizations and Beliefs," Paper read before the 1967 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 5-9.








The classic work of Duverger specifically leaves out a comprehensive examination of Latin-American political parties on the grounds that the frequent govornmental interference in the rather transitory political parties that exist and in tht sporadic electoral process makes these parties

--too anomalous to merit their inclusion in his stasiology.3 Further, if one applied Duverger's standards to the political party system in Latin America, one would in most cases consider these systems as existing in the "pre-historic era of parties.''h

As late as 1957, Russell M. Fitzgibbon could affirm with reason that "students of comparative politics have usually had a blind spot with regard to Latin American parties" and he commended the subject "to a whole generation of prospective graduate students in political science." Since 1957 a certain number of studies in this area have appeared but few among them have fulfilled Fitzgibbon's recommendation that the focus should not rest on a mere classification or typology of parties but rather that one should "seek to find out how far down the socioeconomic

3Duverger, Political Parties, p. 220. Duverger uses the term "stasiolog-y for the science of political parties, from the Greek stasis, faction (ibid., p. 422).

4Ibid., p. 228. Duverger clarifies, "A country
in which opinion is divided amongst several groups that are unstable, fluid, and short-lived dues not provide an example of multipartism in the proper sense of the term: it is still in the pre-historic era of parties." Duverger does admit, however, that some countries may be at an intermediate stage from "pre-history" to "true" nultipartism.








scale of consciousness party organization and activity have descended; in other iords, to what extent parties have 'grass roots' in a given country."5

If one were to follow Fitzgibbon's advice, it seems that the s' arting point should be a: effort to place the study of Latin-American parties in the broad framework of political science and from thore to work towards a focus in which a certain political party is examined for its dynamic aspects within a certain society--that is, for the kinds of interactions that may exist between this structure and the milieu in which the structure is found. It is this type of progression that the present study aims to accomplish.



In the field of political science today the traditional study of political theory has come under heavy attack. Some of the criticism is undoubtedly justified.6 To the extent that we pursue a pu3:ely genealogical enterprise in the study of ideas, such as tracing the development of natural law through the centuries, the fertility of our insight seems to be small. It is no disparagement of the work of scholars like Gierke to say that going over the

5Russell H. Fitzgibbon, "The Party Potpourri in
Latin America," Western Political Quarterly, X (1.arch, 1957), 3-22.
6David Easton, The Political Systeor (New York:
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., -9T),p. 233- PPVernon Van Dyke, Political Science: A Philosophical PnaP sis (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford Uni~versty 89-109, 172179.







ground that the traveled again is a fairly sterile task. Nor do we wish to deny that political science could use more purely analytical theory such as current students of political behavior, heavily under the influence of Bentley, seek to formulate. ]ut after all these considerations are taken into account, certain questions properly belonging to the general field of political theory may be posed and may lead to tentative answers of value in our study of the developing nations.7

As suggested by Hartz, the relationship between ideas (such as a party ideology and program for government) and the people who form a nation's political institutions (such as a political party and the government itself) is one area which political analysis may properly and profitably explore. Hartz explains further that "ideas . . . may have creative impact upon the political process .... This is a concept designed to argue that ideas which are manifestations of anterior social forces can exercise a reciprocal influence upon these forces so as to condition them significantly if not to control them ultimately."8

Placed in such a conceptual framework, a party ideology and program can be studied as an expression of the aspirations and demands of the party membership. In this sense, too, the party ideology and program are "manifestations" of the milieu

7Paul E. Sigmund, Jr., The Ideologies of the Developg Nations (New York: Frederi- je----T. ge, 1963)p pp.J

8Louis Hartz, "The Problem of Political Ideas," in Roland Young (ed.), Approaches to the Study of Politics (Evanston, Ill.: NorEfste-rn University Press, 958T-, pp. 7886. The quotation is found on p. 79.





7

in which they are found. But the ideology and program also "condition" and may even "control" this milieu if they serve as the basis for governmental actions.

This general approach to a study of a political party is n-it entirely original and in fact encompasses features of other studies. Thus, following Burke, there are those who conceive of parties as "idea" groups, bodies of men entertaining a set of common basic convictions about the public interest, or about the nature and desirable form of human relationships in society. Viewed in this fashion, parties are to be understood by what they stand for, and analyzed in terms of the symbolic, verbal content of party ideology or doctrine. In behavioral terms, a party according to this conception turns out to mean a segment of the total spectrum of public opinion measured by the votes the party is able to command at a general election.9

Another approach is to visualize a party in terms of the social composition of its mass supporters, so that parties are identified by the relative proportions of the demographic groupings of the people who belong to it or
10
who vote for it. A third conception regards both of

9Angus Campbell et al., The American Voter (Now York:
John Wiley & Sons, !nc.,T9 p), pp. 1 -2 .
lOPaul F. Lazarsfeld et al., The People's Choice
(New York: Columbia UniversiT-y Pres Angus Cambell et al., The Voter Decides (Evanston, Ill.: Row, Peterson, 19M; Angus Carnpbell and Robert L. Kahn, The People Elect a President (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University oTi-hFi-gan Press, I-YT.








these as static, on the ground that they fail to take into account the dynamic element of men acting in concert through association and leadership. From this standpoint, the essential feature of the party is its organization, the workers ani full-time stsff, and tha party bureaucracy. This conception emphasizes the dynamic internal processes whereby the members are controlled by the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy by the leaders, and the leaders by the other two in competition for the control of the party. 1 In sum, each of these approaches concentrates on different aspects' of the political party: the first on its ideological orientation, the second on its class or group composition; the third on the formal and effective distribution of authority within the organization.12

Following Leiserson,13 an approach which would

encompass features of all three orientations is possible and desirable--and this approach may be delineated when we study the relationship between ideas and institutions, as well as between ideas and the people making up these institutions in a given milieu. This relationship can be a key to serviceable distinctions among different political systems. In the words of Lowenstein,

11lRobert Michels, Political Parties (New York: Collier Books, 1962); pp. 6-60,
12Neil A. McDonald, The Study of Political Parties (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1qV-ID ,pT. 936.
13Avery Leiserson, Parties nd Politics (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1958TY pp. 133--13d. --





9

All political systems are necesssrily operated by institutions and ideologies. Institutions are the apparatus through which the power process functions ir a society organized as a state. . . . Ideologies
0. are the values and value systems that underlie
the institutions and determine their telos. . *
Most institutions are conditioned, generated, and
operated by ideology.14

And Lowenstein stresses the intimacy of ideology and institution also in historical terms,

The political party is indispensable for
organizing and activating the political will of a
mass electorate. Tho coincidence of the mass
suffrage and ;*s mobilization by political parties is clearly ev" .encod by the first appearance of a political party in the modern technological sense,
the Jacoo2ns under the rule of the Convention. Here
a concrete political ideology was carried to the
masses by rationalized organization and propaganda.15

If one applies this relationship between ideology

and institution to a study of a political party, in this

case the Acci6n DemocrAtica Party of Venezuela, one may

argue that Accien Democrtica was conditioned by the geographic, the constitutional, and the historical settings

in which it emerged and in which it has operated. In the

evolution of the Party's ideology, AD received the influence

of and was challenged by other ideologies both in and out

of Venezuela. Its ideological orientation has been shaped

by a broad spectrum of social-democratic influences--thus

14Karl Lowenstein, Political Power and the Governmental Process (Chicago, Ill.: The University of C-hf-Ti 'Press, I95fYn-, pp. 10-11.
15Ibid., p. 76. Von der Nehdon sees the pary ideology as--major factor for unity; i.e., integration and stability. Fred von der Mehden, Politics of the Developing Nations (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenticeHall, Inc.., 1964), pp. 117, 138-140.





10

its insistence upon calling itself a multiclass party. If this is so, then even if the bulk of the membership has consisted of labor and cainesino elements, the party programs aim to benefit not only these groups but others as well. But these party programs have been enacted because AD has held control over the government executive and because AD has attracted a broad spectrum of group support and has not alienated, at any one time, too many Venezuelans not wholly sympathetic to the Party.

In turn, program enactment and implementation have depended upon the particular context in which they hnve emerged. The constitutional, the geographical, and the historical framework have left their indelible imprint upon the AD governments' programs and upon the way in which these programs have been enacted and implemented. AD's functioning as a channel between government and governed has been limited by the resources placed at its disposal; on the other hand, the way these resources are being used by the AD-controlled government has reflected AD's ideological orientation and membership demands.

To better understand the role that AD has played as a force for the democratic modernization of Venezuela, it is also necessary to look at the other democratic ideologies and political parties existent in the country and to consider where Acci6n DomocrAtica fits on the Venezuelan political spectrum. In examining the various aspects of the political philosophy that undergirds AD and the several ideologies and moverqents which influenced







and challenged the Party (such as the impact of the Peruvian Apristas and the challenge of the Castroite FALN), it is necessary also to consider the political history of Acci6n Democr~tica. Finally, ve shall be concerned with the "representativeness" of the nation-1 Party program and organization.

Implicit in these themes is our assumption that AD has been a prominent factor in the contemporary Venezuelan political process. Its commitmonts to a wide range of programs for the benefit of the largest possible number of Venezuelans (not just AD followers) have bolstered the Party's claim to have governed in a truly democratic fashion--that is, in a manner in which no single group controls all the benefits to be gained from the country's resources.

What is behind this assw ;,ption is that we view

the relationship between the democratic political system and its political parties as a complex ono, full of reciprocal influences. Soon in this context, the party is to a great extent an essential instrument, s necessary condition or ingredient of democracy as we kno it. But though it may be in this sense a prerequisite of democracy, it is also democracy's child. The rise of the political party in the Western democracies parallels the rise of demands for greater popular participation in public affairs. This is considered true in the history of parties in the United States







16
and, as we shall see, it is also true in Venezuela.

Further, our assumption that AD can be considered a "modern democratic mass party" elicits the crucial differentiation between this party and other Venezuelan parties--a differentiation that lles in the relationship between the party leaders and the rest of the population, especially the large number of party members as well as in the type of party ideology and structure. Is this ideology in any way a reflection of viembership aspirations and demands? Is the structure flexible enough to permit close contact between members and leaders and a chance for advancement of members within the party hierarchy? A mass party, at its best, has developed an organization which can publicize and encourage the mass discussion of important issues.17 These issues, in turn, are defined, not only at the top of the party hierarchy but also at its base. Here the mass party is a channel of communication and, if the party has remained dominant in the national scene for a number of years, its communicative value becomes also an integrative force in the formation of political awareness for the whole nation. Thus, if a dominant party fulfills

16The literature on U.S. parties and their relationship to democracy is voluminous. For an interesting and recent study see Frank J. Sorauf, Political Parties in the American System (Boston: Little, Ero n & Co., 1q96wi) especially _pp. _2-_15 153-169.
17See the discussion on mass parties in Ruth
Schachter, "Singlo--Party Systems in West Africa," American Political Science Review, LV (June, 1961), 294-307.







its mission as a channel between various individuals, groups, interests, if it acts as a mediator and a broker between government and governed, this party shows not only characteristics of a modern, mass party, but, more importantly, it can be labeled a "democratic" institution--one that is crucial in the building of an open society.

When we look at Acci6n Democr~tica from this anglo, our study is not only an original survey of that Venezuelan party but it is also a survey which seeks to look at AD in its dynamic relationships within its own structure as well as with the society as a whole. An earlier study of Acci6n Democr~tica, utilizing material-s mostly through 1963, surveyed that Party's structure, membership, and program in great detail but failed to delve deeply into the relationships that may exist among these aspects of a political party considered in a certain national context. There is little indication, for example, that the author of this earlier study extended his field work beyond Caracas and
'8
the national leadership of the party. A recent book concentrates on the accomplishments of the Betancourt government (1959-1964) and certain chapters are devoted tc a highly favorable historical and programmatic review of

18John D. Martz, Acci6n Democr~tica: Evolution of a Modern Political Part Tn Venezuela Princoeton, N.J.:
Prinice o-niversity--Pros ,-- 6T-. -es also Charles W. Anderson, Ruview of Acci6n Democrgticm Evolution of a
Modern Political Par n ea. -by .M Amer~into~iance ivTew, XL (December, 1966),
6T8,__ 9_ and Fran "Bo-l-la's review of the same book in Journal of Politics, XXIX (February, 1967), 180-182.








Acci6n DemocrAtica.19 A much earlier monograph was mainly concerned with the emergence and the programs of Acci6n Democratica prior to the 1958 overthrow of the dictator P~rez Jim6nez.20

Fcllowing Myrdal's advice Lor the researcher,21 we must state that the bias of our choice of approach is based not only on its originality but also on the preference to look at a political institution--a party in this case-in its ideological, its historical, and its representative character. Above and beyond this lies an interest in studying a party that apparently has tied its ideology to other manifestations of democratic ideologies in Latin America, that can be viewed within the setting of contemporary Venezuela, and that may have served as a link between the ideological positions of its membership and its leadership. With a reformist program, with the core of its membership and leadership in peasant and labor groups, it is interesting to question and to probe the extent to which it may be studied as a possible model for other Latin-American parties that aim to place themselves within the democratic spectrum as well as serve their membership by gaining legitimate control of the government


19Robert J. Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic
Revolution (New Brunswick, N.J. utgers UniVersint rss,


20Stanley J. Serxner, Acci6n Derocrtica of
Venezuela: Itsn Fla. : University of Florida Pess,71 T
21Gunnar Plyrdal, An American Dilemma (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1941), pp. -o2017-UOTI-








through elections. And once this control is obtained, the

parties would then aim to perpetuate the democratic processes

and to obtain, through these processes, a better standard of

living for all.

The above discussion gives a clue as to the path to

be followed in gathering data for this study. Works such

as those of Leiserson, Sigmund, Duverger (already cited),

Almond,23 Pye,24 Deutsch,25 and Ward26 sketch out the broad

framework within which we seek to consider the party in

question. For our specific area of study, Latin America

22Arthur P. Whitaker and David C. Jordan in Nationalism in-Contemporary Latin America (New York: The Free Press, 19&T-p-_ .138 �onclude Ehat Acci6n Democr~tica may have been instrumental in the democratic modernization of Venezuela. They add, "Venezuela Ein 19641 turned a corner in that Leoni was the first constitutionally elected president in the country's history to succeed one who had filled out his term. . . . Perhaps the election of December 1963 did reflect the achievement of a sufficiently broad national consensus so that Venezuela's current leadership can continue to seek revolutionary nationalist goals in an evolutionary manner."
23Gabriel A. Almond et al., The Politics of the Developing Areas (Princeton,-1T.: rincetn - =vj7-f-y

24George McT. Kahin, Guy J. Pauker, and Lucian Pye, "Comparative Politics in Non-Western Countries," American Political Science Review, XLIX (December, 1955),
2 T- Lfu'c1anPy-, 'e Non-Western Political Process," Journal of Politics, XX (August, 1958), 468-486; Lucian Pyo, Aspect-so Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1966), especialy -pp. 71-88.
25Karl W. Deutsch and William J. Foltz (eds.), Nation-Buitlding (New York: Atherton Press, 1963).
26Robert E. Ward et al., Studyin Politics Abroad: Field Research in the Developn 0a s ost on: L tte, Brown & Co., 964).








with emphasis on Venezuela, works such as those of Cole,27 Alexander,28 Kantor,29 Betancourt,30 and Lander31 provide guidelines to the ideological orientation of Acci6n Democr~ti ca.

The research tools, beyond the readin, of general works, include the use of government documents, Venezuelan publications on government and politics, periodicals, the writings of political leaders, party literature, etc. Interviews concentrate upon party leaders and party members in those groups to which the party has directed most of its appeal and who form the core of its membership--labor and the rural population. These interviews provide further data on the role of AD as a factor for the integration and modernization of Venezuela, particularly as this role is viewed by its loaders and followers.32

The organization of this study follows a pattern

27G. D. H. Cole, Comunism and Social Democracy (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 19082 IV, Pt. 1T 7774; V, 207-229.
28Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution, assim; also his "The Latin American Aprista Parties," olfITfcal Quarterl , XX (July, 1949) -20 .
29Harry Kantor, "The Development of Acc16n
Democr~tica of Venozuela," Journal of Inter-Amarican Studies, I (April, 1959), 237-251.
30R6mulo Betancourt, Posici6n y Doctrina (Caracas: Editorial Cordillera, 1959).
31Luis Lander, "La Doctrina Venezolana de Acci6n Democr~tica," Cuadernos Americanos [Mexico] LII (JulyAugust, 1950O),'- 7.
32See supra, Appendix.





17

parallel to that used as methodology in that it proceeds from the general to the specific. Thus, we first look at the geographic, demographic, constitutional, and historical settings in which we find today's Acci6n Democr~tica. Next we examine Acci6n DemocrAtica in the context of presentday Venezuelan political ideologies and programs. This is followed by a series of chapters on specific areas such as labor, agrarian reform, resource utilization and welfare, foreign relations. In these chapters we attempt to contrast the party's programmatic positions with its members' and leaders' aspirations and demands. 33 We further look at the AD governmont's accomplishments as possible factors in the political integration and modernization of Venezuela.

All these topics underline the central concept of this study--that one must look at a political party not in a vacuum but in an ecological and historical context. As a political institution and as an ideology, Acci6n DemocrAtica represents a portion of the total milieu. This milieu not only influences Acci6n Democr.tica, but Acci6n DemocrAtica likewise exerts an influence upon this milieu.

This concept has successfully been used by other

students of political parties who were also concerned with the relations between parties and other groups in the


33These issues were explored, in part, through
interviewing. For a discussion of the intorviewing procedures, see sura, Appendix.







society and between parties and the society as a whole.34 Like these students, we are not interested in political groups as such, although the systematic study and comparison of the internal structure and the dynamics of groups, a- universes unto themselves, would be a worthwhile intellectual exercise. Rather, our particular interest, and one that we endeavor to emphasize in this study, is the role of a political party in the functioning and in the development of the Venezuelan society and the political system of which it is a part.

It is our contention that at this stage of

Venezuela's development, the examination of its dominant political party not only illuminates most clearly the nature of Venezuelan politics, but also shows the importance of this party as a major determinant of the unfolding Venezuelan political scene. In affirming the primacy and the centrality of a party in Venezuelan politics, we are at once confronted with the issue of the

34A list of those studies is becoming increasingly extensive--an indicator perhaps of th0 usefulness of this conceptual approach to political parties in various settings. Among these studies we may cite Schachter's "Single-Party Systems in West Africa"; Myron Weiner,
"Traditional Role Performance and the Development of Modern Political Parties: The Indian Case," Journal of Politics, XXVI (November, 1964), 830-849; L. VicetPdet, "Mexico's One-Party Systeti: A Re-Evaluation," American Political Science Reviow, L! (Decenber, 1957), 995-







group approach to politics.35 We are not seeking to prove,

with data drawn from an exotic milieu, the proposition of

Arthur Bentley and others that everywhere groups are the

most relevant phenomena to study in politics. We do not

here wish to encumber the argument with this particular

issue.36 Our contention, rather, is based essentially on

the highly determinative role a political party--and the

various political groups that make it up or that interact

with it--has been allowed or compelled to assume in contemporary Venezuela because of the nature of the society

in which this party functions.

Just as the preeminence of Accion DemocrAtica is

35peter H. Merkl, in Political Continuity and
Char (New York: Harper & Row.67). p. 35I, explains that the institutions of government and the policymaking process of a given political community do not exist in a vacuum. They are part of the fabric of . . . a society. They reflect its social mores, customs, and explicit beliefs or ideologies. . . . Government and politics are part and parcel of what has been called the S ru process, the life and interaction of the many different kinds of groups of society, social classes, occupational groupings, geographical communities, any manner of associations, interest groups, and political parties."
36For statements on the group approach and for
criticisms of this approach, see Arthur Bentley, The Process of Government (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 79'27
-avid B. Truman, The Governriontal Process (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Tnc., 1951); Earl Latham, The Group Basis of Politics (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Pres-T-l-5); Robert T. Golebiewski, "The Group Basis of Politics" Notes on Analysis and Development," American Political Science Review, LIV (March, 1960), 17-33Charles Hagan, T1Th Goup in a Political Science," in Young (ed.), Approach to the Study of Politics, pp. 38-51; Joseph EaP-a-T-0 Uba- ;-TT, th L d farn -Lmitations of Interest Group Theory in Non-American Field Situatiuns," Journal of Politics, XXII (February, 1960), 29-19.





20

the most striking feature of the political history of Venezuela in the past three decades, so the problems of national integration and of modernization are the major issues and obstacles in the task of national development which is itself the primary preocc-.pation of the leadership of the country. Acci6n Democr~tica appears dctined, because of its central importance, to play a determinative role in the resolution of, or in the failure to solve, the problems of integration and of modernization.

The concept of "national integration" has a variety of meanings which are not always clearly identified. For our purposes, national integration is a broad subsuming process whose major dimension is political integration, which refers to the progressive bridging of the elitemass gaps on the vertical plane in the course of developing an integrated political process and a participant political community. Here we look at Acci6n DewocrAica as a channel of communication and as an agency of mediation between policy makers on the one hand and the iaJority and minority points of view at the grass roots on the other. It is our contention that Acci6n Den.ocratica's acting as an instrument of mediation between government and the people has been the party's most important function from the standpoint of stability as well an flexibility within the Venozuelan







political system.37

The concept of "modernization" is likewise defined

in a myriad of ways. For our purposes, however, modernization is regarded as a broad and multiform process whereby

37Cf. Padgett, "Nexico' s One-Party System,"
whei'e the author examines Mexico's Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) from a similar viewpoint. See also Kirchheimer, "The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems," p. 182, where he defines political integration as the capacity of a political system to make groups and their members previously outside the official political fold full-fledged participants in the political process. He views mass parties as crucial factors either for or against such an integration. Robert E. Scott, "NationBuilding in Latin America," in Deutsch and Foltz (eds.), Nation-BuildLng, pp. 73-83, concludes that the major block to integration within Latin-American countries is the dearth of "participants in the entire political process" (pp. 80-81). In a more recent article, Scott states that "the few Latin American political parties which have played any real role in the public-policy process are those which have attempted . . . to serve as a bridge between the unintegrated masses and national political life," Scott in LaPalombara and Weiner (eds.), Political Parties and Political Development, pp. 331-367 (quote is on p. 39. Ari stde R. Zolberg in "Mass Parties and National Integration: The Case of the Ivory Coast," Journal of Politics, XXV (February, 1963), 36-148, stresses tE"siihlarly observers . . have often reported the positive contributions of political organizations to national integration. . . . The examination of the contributions of political parties and movements to this process is particularly relevant because it is related to one of the oldest problems of politics, namely man's ability to direct social change toward selected goals through volitional action" (ibid., 36). Almond and Powell concur by saying that "theW6oitical party and the government bureaucracy are the two most likely candidates for this specialized mediating role . . . between the great range of articulated
interests and the final making of authoritative rules. Both . . . provide direct links between large numbers of interest groups ond ths decision makers, and yet are capable of aggregating interests as well as articulating and transmitting them." Gabriel A. Almond and G. Bingham Powell,
Jr., ConParative Politics: A Develoymental Approach (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, Fother fuT-discussion on this topic, see pp. 98-127.








the natural resources of Venezuela are put to utmost use with the view of providing all the country's human resources--i.e., all the social sectors--the best possible conditions of well-being. Such a concept of modernization implies a : estructuring of Venezueln society--the sectors which have long hold monopoly of resources as well as the benefits from these resources will now share their privileges with other sectors of the society. It should equally imply

a restructuring that takes place without the breakdown of the political system--a coup might impede modernization by reverting to traditional patterns of power and privilege.38

Who is to decide what are the relevant guidelines and goals in modernization? How are these goals achieved?

What has been the role of Acci6n Democrtica leaders and members in the setting of goals, of guidelines, and of methods to achieve them? The answer to those questions

uncovers the link between political integration, modernization, the ideal of democracy and the role of a political party in achieving each of these.39

38Cf. David E. Apter, The Politics of Modernization (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, P965), for his definitions of modernization (especially pp. 3, 9, and 67).
39For provoking discussions of this link, see
Seymour M. Lipset, "Some Special Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy," American
Political Science Review;, LIII (March, 1959), 69--I3; Talcott Parbons, tIThe Political Aspects of Social Structure and Process," in David Easton (ed.), Varieties of Political Theory (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: PrenlteZ-faTTcrT-)6, PP. 71-112; and Lucian I,. Pye, Aspects of Political DeveloEment, especially pp. 71-88. Pye concludes that it-hority
an-participation must go hand in hand in the building of modern states" (p. 88). In a similar vein, Horowitz states that "in those cases where more or less successful changes





23

In the area of political integration and modernization, no single agent seems of greater importance than the political party. This is because political parties are themselves historically so closely associated with the modernization of Western societies and, in various forms, have become the instruments of modernization in the developing areas. In these areas, further, it is often the case that a party has been largely instrumental in mobilizing the populace towards the struggle for independence.40

For those countries where independence has long

been achieved, such as in Latin America, the party may be the agency which seeks to bring within its own jurisdiction the various sectors, individuals, and geographical regions-it seeks to become the crucible where all these different factors come together in a coon search for power to fulfill their own particular demands.

For those countries where the party is already in power--in charge of the government--ideally its primary function becomes to organize public opinion and test attitudes and to transmit these to government officials and in the social structure have been brought about in Latin America, i.e. Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia, and . . . Venezuela, the party apparatus becomes the vessel." Irving Louis Horowitz, "Party Chari!:ra,"1 Studies of Comparativo International nevelopment, I (l96-5TU-j)7. Quotation on p. 89.
40Thomas Hodgkin, African Political Parties (London: Penguin Books, 1961), espeT-fj.y -pp. l-T





24

leaders so that the ruled and rulers, public and government, are in reasonably close accord. The entire representative principle of government rests on this relationship.

In a similar voin, the relationship between party and modernization, whether modernization in technology or organization, appears clearly in the campaigns and manifestoes of the various political parties. As a goal, modernization is particularly effective since the desire for industrialization, education, better zmeans of communication and sanitation is widespread throughout the developing areas. Itl

The employment of all the mass media during

political campaigns, the use of journalists, cartoonists, poster-makers, and pamphleteers, also helps to identify political action with modernity and to stress the instrumental role of party activity in change and innovation. Similarly, the registration of voters, compilation of lists, and appointment of polling officers, voting papers and ballot boxes, the use of school children as messengers and of schools as meeting halls or of agrarian reform recipients as political organizers and agrarian reform colonies as rallying grounds, and even the organization of a country into voting constituoncies, districts, and

hlThis has been found strikingly true in Venezuela, as it will be pointed out later in this paper. Dsniel Lerner, "Conflict and Consensus in Guayana," in Frank Bonilla and Jos6 A. Silva M4ichelena (eds.), Studying the Venezuelan Polity (Cambridge, Mass.: Massac etts In, -t--i Te-- ology, 1966P,pp. 479-512.





25

wards, all encourage the identification of the mechanics of politics with a modern culture.42

For the political party and the politician in a modernizing system, the ideal of democracy becomes an expansive concept. "Democracy" has to be understood as involving a variety of economic and social objectives: the expansion of national output and national income; a more effective mobilizing of labor; a more rapid development of power, industry, and communications; the elimination of illiteracy and "backwardness" through mass education; and the provision of universal, free, primary education. Thus the slogan "democratic freedom" of many of these political parties is actually understood to mean "freedom to enjoy the blessings of Western standards of subsistonce."43

Confronted with such expansive demands, the parties in modernizing systems rarely limit themselves to the more or less passive role of transmitting private wants to the makers of public policies. Nor are they solely aggregative devices, collecting varying expressions of want, belief, and outlook. On the contrary, the political parties of a modernizing society play an active entrepreneurial role in the fornation of those ideas, and in the linking of the

42ScC W. J. M. Mackcnzie and Kenneth E. Robinson
(eds.), Five Elections in Africa (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960), fop' Intces'ing llluELrations of use of modern machinery and sophisticated techniques in electoral campaigns in developing nations.
431Hodgkin, African Political Parties, pp.15-160; David Apter, The Gol-d Coast nsiiof- rip" N.J.: Princeton UniversIty Press, 95D7 -T V-XIV.








public and the leadership in such a way that power is generated, mobilized, and directed. Viewed in this manner, the party not only "represents" its membership at the same time that it forms a link between the government and the governed, but it also "leads" those it represents by evolving for them new goals and interpretations of modernity and of integration. 4

In developing these "representative" and "leadership" functions, the political party is restricted by the entire sociopolitical framework of the society in which it operates. It depends upon the society's physical, demographic, and historical setting; it requires a constitutional framework congenial for its own very existence and functioning (i.e., the type of political party system allowed to operate);45 and it depends upon the groupings in the society for its membership.

On the other hand, the political party itself has an impact upon the entire framework in which it operates. A party is, after all, a subgroup in the system with its own means of generating power. In terms of this aspect, which may be the most critical in the developing nations, the party is often seen as the microcosm of the future society. Society and government become dependent on party organization and leadership for their transformation


44Apter, The Politics of Modernization, pp. 179-222.

McDonald, The Study of Political Parties, pp. 3435; Duverger, Politi5l Partie, pp.








into modern and democratic entities. One would conclude that parties are not merely the passive transmitters of opinions from the individual to the marketplace of the collectivity. In the words of Apter,

They [parties]represent a set of . . . variables
that drastically affect social stratification,
while giving concrete expression to grievances and
relative scarcity as particular issues. Hence,
in modernization, political parties play a critical
role in building a system around themselves, by
becoming a modernizing device manipulated by
political entrepreneurs.46

This conclusion suggests that if we are to uncover the link between political integration, modernization, the ideal of democracy, and the role of a political party in the pursuit of each of these; if we are to look at the Acci6n DemocrAtica Party of Venezuela in an ecological and historical context as an agent for political integration and modernization through democratic means, the starting point of our study logically lies in an examination of the physical, the demographic, the constitutional, and the historical framework in which we find that party. only then can we look at the party itself and the ways in which-given the context in which it operates--this party has sought to integrate Venezuelans in the mainstream of democratic modernization.

46Apter, The Politics of !.odoenization, p. 222. For a thooeatical model oe tsDargafln process, see Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Dermocra (New York: Harper & Row, 1 .T Sce also Robert R. Alford, Pa and Society (Chicago: Rand NIcNally & Co., 1963) ii7-













CHAPTER II


THE GEOGRAPHIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, AND CONSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS


It was argued, in the previous chapter, that

Acci6n Democr~tica was conditioned by--and made an impact upon--the geographic, the demographic, the constitutional, and the historical settings in which it emerged and in which it has operated. We shall now examine this argument first by looking at these settings in themselves and then by looking at their possible relationship to Acci6n Democr~tica as an institution and as an ideology. In doing so, we shall be interested in bringing out some of the changes that have occurred. in these settings during Acci6n Democratica's existence as a party. Significant areas of change and their possible relation to the party-its program, its leadership, its membership, its government--shall be examined in greater detail in subsequent chapters.


The Georaphic Sef i

Venezuela was the first country on the mainland of

IThere is much written on this topic. The best
single source based on the most recent official figures is Levi Marrero's Venezuela y Sus Recursos (Caracas: Cultural Venezolana, S.A., l ).Othei source include Je1sjis Antonio Cova, GagLsja Ffo y Politlca dc Venozuela (Caracas: EliTe, 193bU ; arco-AcioVi a, Georaia Fsica y Politica do Venozuela (7th cd.; Caracas: fundaci6n 28







the New World discovered by Columbus. Filled with wonderment by the natural beauty of the country, he concluded that he must have arrived at the earthly paradise, EL1 Dorado. His letter to the Cathol.ic King and Queen of Spain reported that "for in this Blessed Land I fovnd the mildest climate and the land and trees very green . . . and the people there are of a very lovely stature . . . and many wear pieces of gold around their necks and some have pearls around their arms. These are great proofs that this is the Earthly Paradise.

The news of the discovery of the Promised Land by

the Admiral awoke a lively interest among other navigators, and in the wake of his caravels they came, first to harvest the rich pearls of Margarita and Cubagua, and later to look for the Golden City of El Dorado. Cumian1, an eastern Venezuelan port on the Caribbean, was the first city settled by Europeans on the South American continent. Lying close to poarl fisheries, it was founded by Spanish soldiers in 1515 and named Nueva C6rdoba. Meanwhile, other great navigators extended Columbus' discovery. First among


Eugenio Mendoza, 1961); Guillermo Zuloaga, A Goo raphical Glim se of Venezuela (Caracas: Croriotip, 1957TViR;o m--E. Crist, Venezue172-d ed. rev.; Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday, 196); L A. Cgrdenas, Geograffa Ffsica do Venezuela (2d ed.; Caracas: Publ. Venezolanas, For good pictures, see Herbert Kirchhoff, Venezuela (Buenos Aires: Kraft, 195().
2Quoted in Pan American Union, Venezuela (Washington, D.C.: Pan American Union, 3965), p. 5 and--so in Guillermo Zuloaga, "A Geographical Glimpse of Venezuela," Farol [Caracas), XXIV (November-December, 1962), 13. -








them were Amerigo Vespuoci and Alonso de Ojeda, whose expedition along the shores of the Caribbean led to the discovery of Lake Maracaibo and the naming of the land. The native huts built on piles above the waters of the lake reminded Vespucci of Venice; so he called the land a little Venice, a Venezuela.3

Venezuela lies on the north coast of South America between latitudes 0 045' and 12�12' and longitudes 590Li5'
0
and 73 09'. Located entirely in the tropics the geographical aspects of the country embrace a diversity of regional types: in the north is a hot coastal strip that lies at the foot of the Andean coastal ranges; beyond the mountains are the broad and flat plains of the Orinoco River, giving way in the south to the extensive plateau country and eventually to the Amazon rain forest which effectively isolates the country from Brazil. Colombia, to the west, is the only country with which it has any appreciable land communication. Contacts with Guayana, the former British colony, to the east, have been intermittent and, more often than not, hostile.

With an area of about 352,150 square miles (officially 912,050 square kilometers), with a 1,750 mile

3Pablo 0 er, "Los Coldie nzos de la Administraci6n Espanola en Iargarita," Revista de Historia (Caracas], IV (October, 1965), 11-30. There has- ben some controversy as to who named the new land. Present-day historians give tho honor to Vespucci. See J. S. Cova, Descubridoros, Conquistadores y Colonizadores de Venezuela (Madrid: . Sociedad Hispano-Venezoln- e-E-dfo , 1961 ), pp. 4950.








coastline on the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Venezuela is the sixth largest country in South America and approximately one-and-one-half times the size of Texas.4 Rich in mineral resources, it i3 one of the world's leading producers of petroleum and its iron reserves 4re being increasingly exploited. The Orinoco River, 1,344 miles long and in South America second only to the Amazon and the eig[,th largest in the world, drains most of the country and affords 1,200 miles of navigation for light vessels, which greatly facilitates internal transportation. Besides the Orinoco, over 1,000 rivers run throughout Venezuela, many of them navigable or potential sources for hydroelectric power.5

The Orinoco River and the mountain system divide Venezuela into four distinct regions: the Mountains, the Coastal Zone, the Orinoco Llanos (plains), and the Guayana (Guiana). Each is markedly different in clinate, topography, vegetation and among them there has been traditionally (at least up to the 1920's) little of the contact and interchange which w-,ould have helped weld Venezuela into a unified and integrated nation-state.

Although the entire country lies within the Torrid

"Venezu;ela at a Glance," Venezuela Up-to-Date,
XI (Winter, 1964-1965), 16. This aJ-Hti' Pu bTcation of the Venezuelan government.
5"Country Highligh"s: Vene7uela," Latin Amorican Business Highli ghts, XV (.st quarter, l96�)7F-2;irT7'naustrialization hOgram Forging a Nodern Venezuela," New York Times, sec. 12 (May 26, 1963), pp. 12, 33; "Petroieum Transforms Venezuela into an Industrial Power," ibid., pp. 14-15.







Zone, the climate varies greatly with altitude--the coastal strip is the hottest area on the entire Caribbean, while several peaks of the Andes are snow covered the year around. Maracaibo, at sea level, is one of the hottest cities in the Americas, ,tith a mean annual temperature of 82.40F. La Guaira, the main harbor, is usually uncomfortably hot, while Caracas, only a few miles away but with an altitude of 3,000 feet has an average temperature of 68.90. Mountain climbing and skiing are possible in the Sierra Nevada of M6rida State. Here is Bolivar Peak, 16,411 feet above sea level and highest point in Venezuela. The low-lying Llanos are continually hot and alternatively excessively dry or excessively w:et, while the mountain regions have a pleasant climate, ranging from tropical to temperate. Although the seasons vary somewhat throughout the country, the rainy season generally extends from May to December, but even in the dry season there are few places where occasional rain does not fall every month of the year. Venezuela as a whole lies south of the usual path of hurricanes and cyclonic storms occur very infrequently.6

The Mountain Region, which includes the Andes, the PeriJ6 Range, the mountains and arid zones of Falc6n and Lara states, and the Coastal Range, is the heart of

6 Mqrrero, Venezuoh. ySus ?ecursos, pp. 74-75, 147, 258, 162-391.-273 5-.-





33

Venezuela's economic, political, and cultural life.7 With the mildest climate in the country and with good farmlands, this is the most densely populated region in Venezuela. Although it covers only 12% of the country's area, it holds 65% of the nation's population. Here are most of the country's chief centers of population and five of its six largest cities (all above 100,000 inhabitants)--Caracas, with over a million and a half inhabitants; Barquisimeto, 250,000 population and one of the fastest growing cities in Venezuela; Valencia, 200,000 population and the largest industrial city; Maracay, 150,000 population, a farming market and rival of' Valencia as an industrial center; San Cristoba7, 109,000 population, traditional trade center for the plains, Andean region and part of Colombia. Here are most of Venezuela's universities--three in Caracas, the University of Carabobo in Valencia, the school of medicine at Barquisimeto, and the University of the Andes in Merida, the latter attracting not only a large number of Venezuelans, but also many foreign students, especially Colombians. Its valleys are the richest and most productive agricultural region in the country, the chief crops being
8
coffe, rice, sesame, corn, cotton, and sugar cane.

7preston R. James in Latin America (New York: The Odyssey Press, 1959), p. 70, call t 1_iYrFhe nuclear region of Venezuela. On this part of the country the political interests come to a focus, and here ono finds the densest rural populations and the largest city."
8"SevenCities Pass 100,000 Population Mark,"
Venezuela Up-to-Date, X (Winter, 1964.-1965), 11-12; i-arrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, p. 206; Venezuela: Caracas and t e Cet Z Caraca: rint iterioieoen-o, rcei'n





34

The Coastal Zone, the narrow strip of land between

the mountains and tho sea, is the smallest of the geographical regions of Venezuela. It broadens out toward the west to leave room for Lake Maracaibo, and toward the east for the Orinoco De.ta. Maracaibo, the largest lake in South Americe, is 96 miles long and 75 miles wide, and it is connected with the sea by a 25--mile-long channel that has been dredged to allow for the passage of large oil tankers and other deepdraft ships. Its two margins are now linked at the lake's narrowest point by a five-mile-long bridge.

Important cities and ports--Maracaibo, Card6n, Punto FiJo, Amuay, Puerto Cabello, La Guaira, Puerto La Cruz, Guanta, CunmanA, and Caripano--are located in tile coastal region, where 18.5% of the country's population lives, occupying 7% of its area. Cocoa grows in the warm valleys near the sea, and farther inland there are large plantations of sugar cane, bananas, and coconuts. The attractive Venezuelan island of Margarita lies near the coastal zone and has become a tourist center of major importance, while the island of Cubagua, today practically deserted, was the seat of one of the first VenezujIan towns.9 The topography of these islands, some of which are quite mountainous, is unlike that of the rest of the coastal zone, despite their closeness to it.

9Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 159-160, 230; Luis Fernando C-Nes, Margari-1-y" SuRegi6n Seca (Caracas: Universidad Central Gd Venezuela, 19-1T )7 pp. 1-121.







Maracaibo, the country's second largest city, is the best known and most important center in the coastal region. A trading and shipping center, Maracaibo serves Zulia State, which is one of the leading producers of oil, sugar, bananas, rice, cott-n, cattle, and hogs in t'ie country, as well as the Andean states farther west. Among its most important industries are petroleum refineries, building materials, paints, beer, clothing, candies, soap, and paper products. More than 2,000 wells have been drilled in the lake and from them, over 700 million barrels of oil are pumped. The oil industry attracted capital as well as population; Maracaibo, which had only about .5,000 inhabitants 40 years ago, in 1966 had over 50C,000.10

The Mountains Region and Coastal Zone contain the five largest cities in the country--cities that have witnessed a tremendous growth from 1936 to 1966 as can be demonstrated in Table 1.

In contrast to the Mountains Region and the Coastal Zone, the reniaining regions of Venezuela are relatively sparsely populated. The Llanos, flat and wide expanses of land, are partly clesred savannahs end partly dense

Jungles. Occupying approximately 36/ of the area of Venezuela, the Llanos have only about 4 of the total population of the country. The Llanos are drained by the

10Marrero, Venezuela 7 Sus Pecurson, pp. 611, 26,268; "Bodies of Water are l1port~nt Venozian .ssets," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XI (Winter, 19611-1965), 9-10.









TABLE 1

GROWTH OF THE FIVE LARGEST VENEZUELAN CITIES,
1936-1966 (in thousands)a



Cities 1936b 1941b 1950b 1961b 1966 (est.) Caracasc 258.3 254.1 694.0 1,336.0 1,600.0 Maracaibo 110.0 121.6 236.0 421.1 500.0 Barquisimleto 36.4 54.2 105.0 199.7 250.0 Valencia 49.2 54.8 89.0 136.6 200.0 Maracay 29.8 32.9 64.0 3.10.5 150.0


Total 483.7 607.6 1,188.0 2,231.0 2,700.0 % of Total 114.4 13.1 21.6 29.7 33 Venezuelan
Population

asources, Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, passim; Information Service, Dribassy of Venezuola, Washington, D.C.; Venezuela, Ministerio de Fomento, various census.
bFigures correspond to the respective census.
CCaracas here includes what the Venezuelan government considers as the metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as "greater Caracas."


Apure, the Arauca, and other tributaries of the Orinoco and are crisscrossed by countless canals and streams. Cattle raising is the area's chief industry. The incidence of malaria during the wet season was until recently one of the

llLudovico Nesbitt, Desolate MNarches; Travels in
the Orinoco Llanos of VenczuT-7-New York: Harcourt, Brace,
w3m67-







reasons for the sparse population in the Llanos. Until irrigation and water control systems become widespread in this area, the Llanos will not support large population centers. There are siharp contrasts between the rainy and the dry se-.son. From April to Octcber the rivers flood large stretches of land. The cattle seek shelter in high, unflooded places, but many perish in the torrent. Travel by land is made difficult or impossible except on the main highways. In the dry season, many rivers cease to exist, pastures wither, and cattle starve. But in spite of these difficulties, the economy of the Llanos, traditionally the cattle country of Venezuela, is undergoing a period of transition and rapid development. Te governments of Betancourt and Leoni initiated a number of flood control projects at the same time that they encouraged modern methods of agriculture and cattle breeding. The jeep is now replacing the horse as a means of transportation and shortening the distances and the roar of airplanes is breaking the quiet of the vast expanses.12

The Guayana Region, covering roughly half of the national territory (45%), had been until very recently a remote and thinly populated area (2%) lying south and east of the Orinoco River. But the legend of El Dorado13-12"Here is a Resume of the Greography of Venezuela," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XI (Winter, 196b-1965), 5-7.
Edward Ward, The New Eldorado: Venezuela (London: Hale, 1957).







usually associated with the Guayana--is fast becoming true and, as a result, the Guayana Region promises to be a new focus for dense population. Gold and diamonds are still occasionally found, but it is the iron ore--with an average ferric content of 58%--tha' ii now transforming the northern areas on either side of the Caroni (a tributary of the Orinoco) into an industrial and population center. The Venezuela government's claim that this region is likely to become the most important industrial complex in Latin America is not a hollow prediction.)4 Along with iron, bauxite and manganese deposits are being explored; largescale agriculture as well as a promising livestock business is also beginning to thrive.

Upon crossing the Orinoco from the Llanos, a geologically different land is found; in place of the soft alluvial soil of the Llanos, granite masses crop up sometimes containing petroleuni, or are replaced by igneous rocks, which are often associated with metal-bearing formations. Here is Bolivar Range, a veritable iron mountain, El Pao, and other deposits still untouched. Further south is the Gran Sabana.

The Gran Sabana, a 14:000-square-mile plateau, is

larger than either Belgium or the Netherlands. The plateau marks the source of nine great rivers, countless creeks,

14L9 Regi6n de Gunarna: Una Gaa _ O2rtundades para la Inversi6 (Carca: T op-d--: rpoe-Iieezo-ana d Guayana, 7 Guayana," New York Tieies, sec. 12 (May 26, 1963), p. 8.








and spectacular waterfalls, including Angel Falls, the highest (3,212 feet) in the world. Beyond the plateau, touching Brazil and Colombia, lies Venezuela's Amazon Territory, still in large part outside of the effective national territory of Venezuela.15 A land of jungles and rivers, the Amazon Territory is inhabited by a sparse population that lives off a profitable trade of rubber and perfumes and, occasionally, gold and diamonds.16

From this brief geographical survey some major

conclusions and implications stand out. One is impressed by the relatively large size and diversity of the country as well as by the undisputed wealth of its many regions. Furthermore, the vast Venezuelan geographic area has traditionally not been integrated into a modern, unified nation state. Each region tended to have its oifm way of life, and historically there was little contact between

the separate regions. Little sense of nationalism, of comrnon purpose, could grow in this context. These conditions have had implications for the organization and for the programs of the Venezuelan political parties.17

Acci6n Democrotica, on one hand, has sought to bridge these regional gaps and to overcomo Venezuela's geographical barriers to national unity. AD, from its

15jaaes, Latin America, pp. 90-91.

16Marrero; Venezuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 136-142.

1TThis topic will be discussed in detail in subsequent chspters.





40

inception, has been aware of the necessity of extending its organization throughout the country if it were in fact to gather a truly broad base and integrate and unify a large nation.18 Most of Venezuela's 650 municipalities, 150 districts, 2o states, 2 federal terri ories, and the federal district contain a party unit.19

The fundamental base of the party remains the

lunta local--a small group of no more than 100 party mombers in a certain ward (barrio) or hamlet (caserio) and these can be found surprisingly well spread throughout the country, from t*. federal district that embraces Caracas to the Ziruma idisn) section of Maracaibo and it is here that most paity members get their first and perhaps only taste of 1ive participation in politics--through indoctrination i. etings, through social activities, through petitions and voicing of grievances, through the obtaining of Jobs or enrollment in government welfare programs.20

The wealth of natural resources of Venezuela has meant that its political parties when making promises to improve the welfare of all--a theme commonly sounded throughout the world by politicians--have indeed a chance

18See Acci6n Demiccr~tica, Acci6n Democr~tica:
Dcctrina v Programa (Caracas: Secr - -acTona-Ti-Propaganda 9- ,pp. 57-71.
19See Acci6n Democr.tica, 'Etatutos (Caracas: Secretaria Nacional do Propaganda ,Y)j'especially chap. VIII, arts. 64-.70, 80.
20See supHra, chap. V and Appendix.








to do so through the further exploitation of these natural resources and the taxation of those who exploit these resources. In the case of Acci6n DemocrAtica, the accent has been on the taxation of its most intensively exploited resource, petroleum, together with an expanding program to exploit other natural resources (diversification) such as iron and hydroelectric potential, at the same tine that it seeks to enlarge the number of those actively engaged in 21
tilling the extensive fertile areas of the country. In this light, the Venezuelan regions in their vastness and variety, can be seen as a challenge to political parties in their efforts to reach the potential voters across the country, while the wealth of these regions can be seen as a means to fulfill the parties' promises to these potential voters.


Population--Increasingly Homogeneous and Urban

All the various Venezuelan regions give the country an area the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined--352,150 square miles 22--with a population slightly over 9 million.23

21See Acci6n Democr~tica, Acci6n Democrgtica;
Doctrina y Program, pp. 73-103, IBTTI3. It shoul be mentioned that the idea of using petrleum revenues for public works, welfare programs, and industrial diversification was noL originated by AD, although that party developed and applied it to its fullest implications. The popular phrase "Tenemos que sembrar el. petr6leo" (We must sow the petroleum) was coined by Arturo Ublao-Pietri, President Medina Angarita's secretary in 1942. See Serxner, Acci6n Democr~tica of Venezuela, p. 5.
22Pan American Union, e a, p. 47.
23population estimated at 9,189,282 in December of 1966 by the Venezuelan government. See "Venezuela at a Glance," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XII (Winter, 1966-1967), 16.








This population remains concentrated along the coastal and Andean Regions, leaving the Orinoco Llanos only sparsely settled and the groat part of the lands south of the Orinoco and its delta the domain of unassimilated Indians virtually outside the national culture. Except for some Indian tribes and for a few concentrations of people of almost pure Negro ancestry in the coastal region, the process of ethnic amalgamation is relatively advanced.214 Ethnic labels for groups are little used, and indications are that most individuals consider themselves "Venezu-lans" rather than blancos or pRardos. It is true that in the social sense there remains a correlation between racial descent and class, with strong predominance of whites at the upper levels. But persons of all degrees of mixed ancestry are found at all levels; not by sheer coincidence, former President Betancourt probably had a strain of Negro blood and the present chief executive, Ra'l Leoni, is of Italian extraction. On the other hand, the Goajiro and Motilone Indians have so far defied government attempts to assimilate them. The miserable Goaairo shacks form & unique section of the petroleum capital, Maracaibo, and not far fro i the international airport one can see their women in bright-colored long robes and their men sipping chicha as they rest on hammocks. Yet, even they speak mostly Spanish and profess Catholicism, both

24See 14iguel Acosta Saignes, Elementos Indfgenas Y Africanos en la Forrmaci6n de la Cultura Venozolana Caraas7 Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1965).





43

universal traits in Venezuela except among a few rain forest Indians and a small number of aliens who are usually English-speaking and Protestant.

The population of Venezuela increased from 5 million at the timc of the 1950 census to about 9,200,000 in 1966, an increase of between 3 and 11% per year.25 This rate of increase is one of the most rapid in the world and it has been caused by a very high birth rate, a death rate greatly lowered by better sanitary conditions, and a large immigration from Europe since World War II of people who were attracted in part by jobs in construction, mining, and petroleum. This growth of the population can be strikingly illustrated by Table 2.

Another characteristic of the Venezuelan population which renders it quite different from most Latin-American populations is its high degree of mobility. The search for jobs and the attraction of better living conditions have led to a large-scale migration from the countryside to the cities, causing serious urban overcrowding, particularly in the Caracas area, and a corresponding decline in the portion of the population devoted to agriculture and production of foodstuffs in genei-al. According to official figures, in 1950, one in every five Venezuelans was living in a different

2 See United Nations, Statistical Yearbook, 1965 (New York: United Nations, 19-6-),p .The rate o population increase in Venezuela is given as 3.4% annually. Compare this figure with an increase of 1.4% for Uruguay and 3.2% for Colombia.





hhF

TABLE 2

POPULATION OF VENEZUELA, 1830-1966 (in millions)a

1830 .... 0.7 1910 .... 2.6
1840 .... 1.1 1920 2 8.
185o .... 1.3 1930 ::::3.1 186o .... 1.6 1940 ....3.8
1870 .... 1.7 1950 .... 5.o
1880 ....1.9 1960 .... 6.9c
1890 .... 2.1 1961 .... 7.5
1900 .... 2.4 1965 (e sQ8.7
1966 (est.)9.2

aSources: Venezuela, Ninist6rio de Fomento, Pocket Atlas of Venezuela (Caracas: Ministbrio de Fomento, T-9-T!T, p. l2; Venezueh, Minist6rio de Fomento, Direcci6n General de Estadfsticas y Censos Nacionales, Noveno Censo General de Poblaci6n (Caracas: Minist6rio de Foi-r-to,- -9-y); Venezuela, FnIteo de Fomento, Direcci6n General de Estadisticas y Censos Nacionales, Octavo Censo General de Poblaci6n (Caracas: inistrio do Fomento, 1955-"Ve nezuela at a Glance," in various issues of Venezuela Up-to-Date.
bIt is in the decade of 1920-1930 that the start of
an increasingly effective oil exploration takes place. See Edwin Lieuwen, Petroleum in Venezuela: a Histor (Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press, 19 .
cThe decade 1945-1955 is characterized by an influx
of European immigrants, liberal immigration policies, and attraction of immigrants for the burgeoning construction trade.


state from that in which he had been born.26

This remarkable degree of internal migration has

not, however, followed strictly a farm to city pattern. More

26As to internal migration, the Federal District (where Caracas is located), and the states of Zulia, Carabobo, Aragua, Portuguesa, Monagas and Anzo.tcgui have received the largest number of migrants from other Vene7uelan states. These states have been made centers of attraction because of a combination
of opportunity for jobs, good land, and oil exploration. The major sources of migration have been the states of Miranda-whose population is irresistibly attracted by the contiguous Federal District; Lara, Trujillo, Nueva Esparta, and Falc6n. Nueva Esparta, a state made up of densely populated and rather arid islands has seen more than half of its population go





45

generally, it can be described as a shift from centers of low economic activity to the more prosperous areas--areas where jobs in mining, commerce, petroleum were available, where the farmlands held a better chance for profit, whore living conditions were more attractive--through schools, hospitals, free social sorvices, all of which inevitably have been concentrated in the cities until very recently.27

Remarkable also has been the degree of urbanization which increased greatly between 1950 and 1960 (see Table 3).


TABLE 3

DISTRIBUTION OF THE VENEZUELAN POPULATION BY HABITATION, 195o-1961a



Type of Habitation Percentage of Population 1950 19 61

Cities over 100,000 16.6 25.4 Cities 50,000 to 100,000 5.2 11.0 Cities 20,000 to 50,000 9.1 10.7 Cities 2,500 to 20,000 16.9 15.4 Villages 1,000 to 2,500 6.0 5.0 Less than 1,000 46.2

Totals 100.0 100.0

aAdpted from official reports of the censuses of 1950 and 1961.

The urban population--officially defined as the combined elsewhere in the Republic. See Marrero, Venazuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 232-234, and John FriedmnnV-rEi Crecimrti.jnto Economlco y la Estructura Urbana de Venezuela," Rovista de EPQ o- n -eaatiner icana [Caracas), XI (Apri!-June, JT , 15-204.
27Edwin Lieuwoen, Venezuela (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. x.





46

population of all cities and towns of more than 2,500 inhabitants--increased from 47.8% in 1950 to 62.5% in 1961. While the national population increased by 49.44% in this period, that of Caracas increased 59% and that of Maracaibo by 78.6%.

By 1961, 4.3 million Venezuelans, nearly 60% of the total population, were living in .28 cities of at least 5,000 population. Though 56% of the total population still resided in small cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants, the long-term trend was toward a greater convergence of the country's population upon the larger urban centers. Except for the oil center of Maracaibo and the commercial and communication center of Barquisimeto, all of the cities over 100,000 are in the eastern coastal range. Most of the 12 cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000 are also 28
either in this strip or in the oil region.

While the density of population is only 22 persons 29
per square mile and the country is sparsely settled, about one-third of the total population or about 2.5 million people live in the 8,330 square miles constituting the Federal District and in the small states of Aragua, Miranda, and Carabobo which comprise about one-fortieth of the

28Marrero, Venezuelay Susi ecursos, pp. 224-294.

29In 1961 neighboring Colombia, for example, had an estimated density of 33 persons per square mile. In 1960 the figure for Ecuador was 4l, for Peru 22, and for Brazil 20. See United Nations, Statistical Yearbook, 1965, p. 88, for comparable estimates.--








country's total area. Of these, more than half live in the immediate area of Caracas. Other areas of high population density are found in the high Andes, in the island state of Nueva Esparta, in the neighboring state of Sucre and in the oil-rich Lke Maracaibo Bsin.30

In contrast to such countries as Peru and Ecuador, where two or more disparate cultural traditions--Spanish and Indian--continue to exist side by side, Venezuela has only one national culture, basically Hispanic, but with considerable Indian and African influence.31

The census-takers of Venezuela do not solicit information concerning race, but an estimate places those of mixed blood at 65%, white at 20%, Negro at 8%, and Indian at 7%.32 The mestizos are dispersed throughout the country but the more racially pure elements tend to regional concentration--the whites in the large cities of the Andes, the Negroes in the coastal lowlands, and the Indians in the

30Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 240-247.
31Obviously, both Negro and Indian have left their mark on the basically Hispanic culture of Venezuela. See Juan Pablo Sojo, Temas y A untes Afro-Venezolanos (Caracas: Tipografia La ;ac 6n- Castellano de Venezuel -: La Influencia Indigena," Bolet1n Indigenista Venezolano, I.i-V (March, 1959), 87-107; I. Rari6n y i'vera et al., "Resumon de un Estudio Sobre las Expresiones Negras en el Folklore Musical y CoreogrAfico de Venezuela," Archivos Venezolanos de Folklore, III (1955-1956), 65-73; Carlos Siso, La Formac76n del Pueblo Venezolano: Estudios Sociol6icos INow York: Horizon House, 1941).
32This estimate made by Jamies, Latin America, p. 65, seebis to exaggerate the number of Indians. Estimates made by the Venezuelan governmant are much lower and place Indians at less than 2% of the total population.







remote forests of the Guayana highlands and the Sierra de Perij6. There are also large numbers of pure Indians living on the outskirts of several major cities, especially the Guajiros around Maracaibo. Their degree of acculturation to western ways far exceeds that of the smaller and isolated groups of primitive tribos living in the back country or
33
jungle in the Territory of Amazonas.

TABLE 4

DISTRIBUTION OF INDIAN POPULATION BY STATES,
1936-1966a (in thousands)



States Census
1936 1941 1950 1961 1966


Anzo~tegui 6.0 1.2 0.3 -- -Apure 13.2 14.0 6.6 3.5 3.0 Bolivar 17.9 18.0 4.2 4.0 3.5 Monagas 0.9 -- -- -- -Sucre 1.4 -- 0.5 0.3 0.1 Zulia 15.5 15.0 10.0 4.0 3.8 T.F. Amazonas 39.5 43.4 35.1 20.0 18.0 T.F. Amacuro 9.0 9.0 -- -Totals 103.4 100.6 56.7 31.8 28.4


asouV:e8: Adapted fon i official reports of


the various


censuses, rirecci6n General de Estadistica y Censos, Ministeio do Fomento; compare with Darrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, p. 228.
bEstimate.


33Absa16n Jos6 Bracho, "Maracaibo al Dfa," El Nacional (October 14, 1965), p. D-7.-







Available information indicates that the Indians are a disappearing element. In 1800 they reportedly made up 13% of the total population; this percentage had dropped to less than 2% by 1950.34 The Negroes make up roughly the same percentage ,f the total population txday as they did in 1800. The only group tending to become a somewhat larger percentage of the total population is the white. This is mainly due to European immigration after World War II--Venezuela received more refugees after 1945 than any other Latin-American country except Argentina.35

At the beginning of 1963 the foreigncrs not nationalized residing in Venezuela numbered 683,500 or 8.5% of the national population ald they originated from 75 different countries. The largest national groups were, in decreasing order, the Spaniards, the Italians, the Portuguese, the Americans, Colombians, Cubans, British, German, and French. The bulk of these immigrants were small farmers, craftsmen, and businessmen who came to Venezuela seeking economic opportunity. Many came under contract with governments preceding that of President Betancourt to fill special needs in the country's economic development, particularly in the construction of governmental projects such as highways, hotels, hospitals, etc. Others, like a group of Germans, had been in Venezuela for a long tire and had built up their own

3L. S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela (Washington, D.C.: Government Prin g office, 19 , pp. U-69.
35Lieuwon, Venezuela, p. 12. A significant number of foreigners had also been attracted by the oil boom from the 1920's on.






36
community, Colonia Tovar, not far from Caracas.

While Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have urged the immigrants to become producers of food crops, their efforts have been only moderately successful for the majority of newcomers still prefers industrial -nd commercial pursuits in the cities. On the positive side of this new policy, more farmers are found in the newer immigrant groups, particularly Spaniards from the Canary Islands, many of whom now farm in the states of Aragua, Yaracuy, and Lara. But in spite of all efforts, the greater concentration of immigrants in the large cities continues. In 1962, 62.6% of the foreigners in Venezuela lived in Caracas, with the remaining 37.4% scattered throughout the country but again showing greater concentration in the more industrialized states-- -iranda (a state in the immediacy of the Federal District) had 7%, Zulia (Maracaibo, capital) had 6%, and the comiorcial state of Carabobo (also not far from the capital) had 5%.37

All these foreigners, with few exceptions, appear well on the way towards complete integration into the Venezuelan nation. Intermarriage is comw, on and, more often than not, it is taken as a symbol of improvement of status, especially for the pardos (Venezuelan mulattoes). The Guajiro Indian smuggler is a proud father when he marries off

36"La Colonia Tovar, Un Pedazo de la Renania Cerca de Caracas," Tamanaco (1965), pp. 14-17.

37Narrero, Venezuela, Sus Recursos, pp. 232-233.








his daughter to an Arab merchant. In high society, one is never shy about announcing one's family connections with real or mythical European nobility. Yet, of far greater importance is the fact that all newcom ers to Venezuela-from the Ncgro slave to the twentieth century oil field workers--have merged in the mpatrix of Spaniards and disappearing Indians. From this matrix they have taken the language, the religion, the costuames, the government and have added to it their own modificRtions--words, rites, color. The progressive economic into&. ution and a gradual liberalization of the ethnic structure hav made it possible for all Venezuelans, regardless of their racial or national origin, to consider themselves as one people, rather than a mosaic of distinctive ethnic groups, each proudly and rigidly clinging to its own little community rather than viewing itself as a vital portion of the greater national whole.



In summary, then, Venezuela has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. This population is remarkably young--in 1961 more than 5V/% was younger than 19 years of age.38 Unevenly distributed in the various regions of the country, it shows a high degree of mestizage, a diminishing Indian contingent, and an unusually large, by Latin-American standards, influx of Europe an imlgrants.

38arrero, Venezuela Sus Recuros, p. 223.








Though with varied national and racial backgrounds, Venezuela has become largely homogencous and this progressive racial homogeneity .s been greatly aidzd by the country's high rate of mobi ity and urbanization.

In tixrn, this homogeneity ha- been an asset for all

political parties in Venezuela. In contrast to those parties in countries that are deeply compartmentalized in terms of race and/or language and/or religion,39 the Venezuelan politicians are not obliged to work around or deal with these compartmentalizations; they can address their fellows in a language that is practically universally understood and they can forego appeals to ethnic minorities. Further, the great degree of urbanization of the Venezuelan population has meant that parties can reach large groups of people easily. Finally, the relative youth of the population, combined with the high degree of mobility, have been factors for the openness of this population to various ideological appeals and by the same token, its small attachment to rigid traditionalism. This has forced the Venezuelan political parties not only to avidly compete for the votes of young people--and the right

39See LaPalombara and Weiner (eds.), Political Parties and Political Development, ssi; ron i ,Party in India--CPrinceton, N.J.: Prineeton University Pre-s ,- 9$1T-," is~m; Mackenzie and Robinson (eds.), Five Elections in M~rica., pessim.
40jorge Ahumada, "Hiptesis para el Diagn6stico de uns Situaci6n de Cambio Social: El Caso do Venezuela," Arn6rica Latina [Rio de Janeiro], VII (April-June, 1964), 3,14.





53

to vote includes all those 18 and over--but also to give their programs a high tone of social reform.41 Acci6n Democrtica, which has dominated the political scene for three decades, has sorely tried to retain its appeal to the jA6venes while, at the same time, it las proclaimed itself a party for all Venezuelan clases,42 with a program "truly revolutionary.43


Transortation and Communications

Extensive networks of transportation and communication have been other factors contributing to Venezuela's relative homogeneity, mobility, and urbanization. In all Venezuelan regions transportation consists of a wide variety of means. According to an official summary,

Plane service between cities and towns is maintained
through 63 airports, including four international airports. For surface transportation by bus and
automobile the country has a network of 7,000 miles
of superhighways and first-clap paved roads linking
every city, town, and village.44

IThis topic will be further examined in the course of this dissertation.
12Acci6n DemocrAtica, Acci6n Democr6tica: Doctrina yPrurapa, Pp. 5-8, 11-71, 225 --2 al S~rvic-io d la Nac-bn," Polltica, V, September, 1966, 5-13; Luis BeltrAn Prieto Figueroa, Tareas para la Juventud (Caracas: Secretarfa Nacional de Propagada, 1962); Manuel Alfredo Rodriguez, Politica yUniversidad (Caracas: Ediciones "La Estrella en Mira,"1960); Manuel Alfredo Rodriguez, La Universidad y el Reg imen Deraocr~tico (Caracss: Socretaria Nacional de Propaganda, December, 1960).
43Jesds Paz Galarraga, "Acci6n De iocrftica y las
Reformas Socio-Econ6micas," Yo3jt a, V (September, 1966), 33-38.
4"Venezue)a at a Glance," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XI (Winter, 1964-1965), 16.








A more detailed survey of transportation conditions

reveals that the all-weather road not in the north and west is extensive, but roads are almost nonoxistent in the State of Apure and the Territories of Amazonas and Delta Amacuro and are only beginning to penetrate Bolivar State, through which a highway is now being built from El Dorado to Santa Elena on the Brazilian border. Reflecting the location of most roads, the official Iaps do Carreteras (Road Map) leaves out almost half of Venezuela.4

A four-lane highway Leads from La Guaira, the

country's principal port, through the mountains to Caracas. From the capital, the paved, modern Pan American Highway runs through the fertile valley across the northern piedmont of this range overlooking Lake Maracaibo to the Tgchira gap and then crosses the Liberator Bridge to join the Colombian portion of the highway near Cdcuta. This highway is the most important part of the Venezuelan road system, which totals over 18,000 miles, including 200 miles of autopista (superhighway), over 6,000 miles of paved highway, 5,000 miles of gravel roads and the remaining 7,000 miles of dirt roads. In addition, there are some 5,000 miles of cart and pack trails.h6

45The map shows only the national territory north of the 6040' parallel; see Repfblica de Venezuela, NaRLde Carreteras (Caracas: Minist6rio de Obras PMblicas, Di'Fecci6:.. de Cartografia Nacional, 1962).
M6Narrero, Venezuela X Sus Recursos, pp. 537-564;
Embassy of Venezuela, Information Service, Venezuela (Washington, D.C., January, 1965).





55

TABLE 5 GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL ROAD SYSTEM, 1938-1966a


1938 1962 1966b All Roads 1,860 miles 17,100 miles 20,800 miles Paved Roads 124 miles 6,200 miles 7,A.50 miles

aMarrero, Venezuela Sus Recursos, p. 53C; Embassy of
Venezuela, VenezueTlaTTashngton D.C., 1966).
bEstimate


The means of transportation are as varied as the types of roads encountered. Besides the traditional mule, horse, and ox carts, the Venezuelan roads teem with an assortment of busitos which run all the way from the most modern, airconditioned buses to trucks converted to public transportation. A popular and effective reans of transportation is the por puesto, a taxi that carries five passengers for a very nominal charge. In all, Venezuela has one of the longest--if not the longest--system of paved roads in South America as well as the highest number of motor vohiclis in use. The latter has increased tremendously in recent years as shown by Table 6.

Venezuela has few railroads and they carry mostly
freight. Most of them were built during the rule of Guzm~n Blanco, between 1877 and 1893, by British and especially German concerns.47 In 1963 the stats-owned railroads covered

47james, Latin America, pp. 74-75.








TABLE 6

MOTOR VEHICLES IN USE, 1938-1964a (in thousand units)



1938 1948 1958 1960 1964 Passenger Cars 10.0 40.6 186.0 268.7 352.4 Commercial Vehicles 12.0 45.1 88.1 100.7 14.5.6

aSource: United Nations, Statistical Yearbook 1965, P. 432; Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, p. 53d. only 455 miles, while since 1945 some 435 miles of railroads had been abandoned. Three ferrocarrile3 make up the rail network--one linking Caracas to Valencia; another connecting La Frfa to Encontrados, the T~chira Railway; and a third linking Puerto Cabello to Barquisimeto. The last ferrocarril, though little used, has one of the most modern terminals at Barquisimeto. Besides these ferrocarriles are the short railroads found around the sugar mills and the mining enterprises, especially iron.

Water transportation--inland, coastal, and ocean-is very important, and internal transport in the Lake Maracaibo and the enLire Orinoco basin is heavily dependent on the waterways. The latter is of particular significance because it is almost the only means of transportation--aside

from a few scattered airpoars--foux the southern portion of Venezuela not served by any extonsive notwork of roads. Along the Cinoco, all sizes of craft sail., from the largest

iron ore carriers to small sailboats carrying freight and







produce from port to port. old river towns have grown into busy ports and new cities have sprung up near the river to house thousands of newcomers attracted by mining and industrial operations, among them Ciudad Bolivar and Ssnto Tom6 de la Guayana. The only barrier to continuous navigation on the Orinoco are the rapids below Puerto Ayacucho, capital of the Amazonas Territory. Otherwise, navigation would be possible from the Gulf of Paria, on the Caribbean, through the Orinoco and the Amazon, to the mouth of the latter river in the Atlantic. The vision of just such super waterway is by no means ignored by the Venezuelans.48

As with transportation, there is little doubt that
the Venezuelan people are wiell served by formal. communication facilities. For a population of a little over 9 million, there are around 50 major daily newspapers with a total circulation close to 1 million. In 1963, 17 major daily newspapers, with a circulation of 633,000 copies, provided 78 units per 1,000 of the population. This compared favorably with most Latin-American countries. All Brazilian newspapers, for example, provided only 54 units per 1,000 population; Colombia and Ecuador newspapers provided 52 units per 1,000 population; Haiti's four major dailies provided only 6 units per 1,000 population.h9

Venezuela probably had more television receivers 48"Bodies of Water," pp. 9-10; Marrero, Venezuela XSus Recursos, pp. 551-560.
7. gUnited Na"ions, Statistical Yearbook 1965, pp. 72$726.








(591,000) and more radio receivers (1,651,000) in 1964 than 5o
any other South American country. On a national basis, radio has been the most effective means of nass communication in Venezuela and politicians have used it to promote themselves and their programs. Television debates among candidatos have also become usual occurrences. Although the precarious financial situation of many in the lower class, especislly the campesinos, would prevent the purchase of a radio, contact with the outside world is almost certainly established in public places--no bar, no matter how run down, will survive without a battery radio--or the homes of friends. It is customary, for example, for the patron to allow his farm hands to listen to some programs he' may deem interesting or educational.5l

The lack of professionalization among reporters and radio television personnel, aligned with an extensive affiliation of these mass media monitors with extremist political factions, however, has made the conunications network in Venezuela less than an ideal vehicle to transmit
52
news and programs. For its part, the government hns intervened often and at times drastically; during the

50Ibid., pp. 733, 735.

51U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela, pp. 283305.
52 pez Celiz, "Evaluacion de las Omisiones y de las Defunciones do los Peri6dicos 1936, l9h1, y 1950," Revista de Fomento [Caracas), I (March 30, 1962), 67-80; "E---6do de EtMade la Televisi6n Venezolana, " Tienpo Econemico (Caracas], I (September, 1964), 14-]5.





59

administrations of Betancourt and Leoni censorship of the press ranged from moderate to the extreme.53 The Caracas press, in turn, has often carried vitriolic attacks on the government and the government has retaliated by temporarily suspending publication of the offendng journals and detainit-g their editors. In this fashion, the Venezuelan communications media network, though one of the best in Latin America in absolute terms, has not always worked for harmonious relations among the government, the people, and the communication media personnel themselves. It doos, nevertheless, provide the government with a channel for communication to the people, to the various regions, and between the capital and the interior; especially because the government is the major news source, it has its own powerful stations, and it regulates whatever else is permitted to be broadcast or 54~
disseminated elsewhere. In addition, Acci6n Democr~tica has been closely associated with the daily La Republica, created in 1961, which has a fairly wide circulation (37,000 throughout the country) and which gives the AD party leadership and pronouncements extensive coverage. The popular magazine Momento has also been favorable to Acci6n Democr~tica and usually gives that party a broader coverage than it does


53U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela, pp. 285286.

54See Antonio Pasquali, Coinunicci6n y Cultura de Masas, la Nasificaci6n de la Cultura en las Regionos
Subesrr7 ad as; EsuioscoL!- Cru-cc~a (Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1964), pp. 1308.







for other political organizations. The semi-scholarly monthly Politica, which publishes background articles on the Latin-American democratic Left (especially AD) and progress reports on AD government programs, is another channel beti.eon the party and the in-ividual Venezuelan citizen.

The Venezuelan Constitutional Syste

The conflict between the ideal of freedom of expression in the communications Tedia and the frequent need to curtail this freedom to prevent the undermining of the government55 is paralleled by a similar conflict between the ideals of the Constitution and the Venezuelan political reality. The various Venezuelan constitutions--from the time of the Independence--describe the form of the government as democratic, responsible, elective, representative, and
fedral56
federal. 5 This description has not been altogether accurate; the ideals of the Venezuelan constitutions often have represented goals and have not yet become fully operating reality in the country. This point is illustrated by an examination of the problems of federalism in Venezuela especially as they reflect upon the powers of the executive.

55Admittedly, Venezuela is not unique in this respect; see Luis Castaijo, "El Desarrollo de los Medios de Informacion en Ame'rica Latina y el Crisis do la Libertad do Expresi6n," Ciencias Pollticas y Sociales (Mexico], VIII (April-June,

56Venezueia, Socretaria General de la Prosidencia de
la Rep5blica, Constituci6n, 1961 (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional. 1961), republi-hed i English by Pan American Union, Constitution of the Republic of Venezuela, 1961 (Washington, D.C.: Pan American Union, 19_O_-3-







In turn, the executive, because of its powers, becomes all the more attractive--and crucial--for the Venezuelan political party. If the party can obtain control of the executive, its program has that much more chance of being implemented, thus satisfying lectoral promises as wel] as giving jobs to party members and sympathizers. Fulfillment of programs as well as the sharing of the spoils of office eventually means the strengthening of the party--and the possible retaining of the executive in subsequent elections. In this fashion, the actual operation of the Venezuelan "constitutional" system is intimately related to the way a political party (such as Acci6n Democr~tica) itself operates and can fulfill its program through control of the executive.


From the declaration of independence in 1810, through more than s century of virtually uninterrupted dictatorship, followed only in very recent years by a turn to liberal democratic govornrent, the country's constitutions have preserved a federal forlri that bears great resemblance to the United States constitution which served Ps their modol.57 They outline a federal. government composed of semi-autonomous

ststes; separation of powers; the tripartite division of government into legislative, executive, and judiciary; checks and ba1snces; provisions for admission of now states; and a

57Alexander T. Edalrmun, Latin A2zrican Govern-ment and Politics (Homewood, Il.: The Ps,6-7 p.3$ and 3Tj.







list of private rights. This form has shown little substance through the years and through the various administrations in Venezuelan history.58

Thus, while the federal union of Venezuela is said to consist of 20 states, a federal distAct, two federal territories, and 72 island dependencies, these entities have in reality been subordinated to the power in Caracas. The states have always occupied a weak position in the basic governmental structure, a fact amply demonstrated by the number of territorial changes they have suffered since the adoption of the federal system in 1864. Thus, the Congress of 1856 created a territorial division embracing 21 states. In 1864 the number was 20; in 1881 it dwindled to 9; in 1899, 20 again, in 1904, 13; and in 1909 back to 20 states. State sovereignty was respected in none of the changes, the initiative coming in each case from the national congress, acting on orders from the president. The states, in a further show of their weakness, have unanimously ratified the territorial

58See Juan Vicente Gonz I-z, La Constituc!6n y el
Fusil (Caracas: Presidencia de la Re -uTfcT9' )7-jT 7l139. Though this book presents a collection of articles
dealing almost exclusively with the nineteenth century situation, it is still applicable to the present. For more recent maneuve's to bond the Constitution to the presidential wishes, see A. Arellano Morono, "Las Siete Refovmas Constitucionales del General Juan Vicento Gomez," Pol'tica, III (September, 1963), 31-72. The overall constituT:EtToniSiitory of Venezuela remn>ins Jos6 G1I Fortoul, Historia Constitucional de Venezuela (3 vols.; Caracas: Editorial Sur America 930 For comparisons with other Latir-Am erican countries, see Jamnes L. Busey, "Observations on Latin American Constitutionalism," Ameericas, XIV (July, 1967), 46--66 and J. Lloyd Mecham, . AiT rerican Const tui ons--yninal and Real," Journal of Politics, XXI (May, 1959), 2-8-275.





63

changes required of them. Furthermore, the sparsity and isolation of the population in some states (e.g., Bolivar state) make them inherently weak as semi-autonomous units in a federal system. They have no choice but to look toward Caracas for the satisfaction of most of their economic, social, and political needs.59

The operation of the Venezuelan government since

1864 has been marked by a pronounced trend toward concentration of power in the national government and, in particular, in the national executive. In 1864, in response to the socalled federal revolution, the states gained important powers of their own and, in theory, possessed all powers not granted to the national government. By 1953 they had lost all but those powers permitting them to write their own constitutions, change their names, and administer the revenue they received from the national treasury. The 1961 constitution continued those powers and restored to the states the right to determne the organization of their public powers, municipalities, and police forces. It also restored the reserve powers clause, but this meant little in the face of the extensive grants to the national government fhich continued to appear in the 1961 chart.6o

59james, Latin America, pP. 94-95, attests that the Venezuelan populat onis vo-y unefe-ly distributed and that this is another factor which hinders federalism.
6Salvadcr M. Dana Montaho, "Sobro el Federalisiro," Revista de la Facultad do Der'eclo [aaracaibo], II (MayAugust, 1962 ,T--








Another innovation of the 1961 constitution was the restoration of a provision that would permit the people to choose their state governors. This innovation has remained theoretical until now; as in the past, state executives continue to be chosen or at the very least tolerated by the president. The weakness of the state governor in the Venezuelan federal system is attested by the fact that between 1936 and 1953 there were 262 governors out of which 207 were in office less than 15 months each and 106 hold power for less than 6 months.61 The national constitution itself places the state governor in an ambiguous position--it declares him to be an agent of the national government charged with executing faithfully all the national laws, while at the same time he is charged by the state constitution with the task of preserving the autonomy of the state against "all" encroachments. It is not surprising that governors have always been chosen more for their loyalty to the national caudillo of the day than for their administrative ability. If P6rez Jim6nez had not been overthrown in 1958, the national dominance might have become practically total. Shortly before his ouster, a special congross under the dictator's orders elected the members of all state legislatures and even all members of municipal councils in the country.62

61Wlliam S. Stokes, Latin ALtrican Politics (2d ed. rev.; Now York: Thomas Y. Cro6oel & Co.7--.9GZ . -492.
62Leo B. Lott, Ln Martin C. Needler
(ed.), Politic Stens of Latin Amorica (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Tostrand Co. , . "96 T2-506








The vestiges that remain in the Venezuelan constitutional system of a "federal" form soo to point more to a division of power between national and municipal governments than to a division between state and national governments.63 While the states have lost most of their power to tax, the municipalities do have a more or less well-defined fiscal basis. States not only are excluded from all fields taxed by the national government, but they are also forbidden to levy taxes in areas granted to the towns and cities, which derive their income from taxes on public entertainment, commerce and industry, certain types of licenses, urban real estate, and municipal services. The control of a dependable source of income, a necessary condition for autonomy, is thus denied to the states and is instead divided between the national government, which takes the lion's share, aid the municipalities. 61

Both states and municipalities lost whatever say they ever had on the judiciary when, in 1945, the states surrendered their last major power and ratified a

63Salvador M. Dana Montano, "El R6gimen Municipal en la Nueva Constituci6n de Venezuela," Revista de la Facultad
de Derecho [Maracaibo], I (September-Dece
6The Constitution of 1961 provides that the national
government shall distribute 12.5% of its annual estimated ordinary revenue to the states and that this minimum figure shall be increased at the rate of 0.5% each year beginning in 1962 until it reaches a minimum of 15%. This is offset by tie exigency that statos coordinate their budgets and expenditures with directions issued by the national government, which suggests appropriate ways to utilize the funds to fit in with
national plans for development. Soo Pan American Union, Constitution of the Re-ublic of Venezuela, 1961, Title VIII, Mhps. I anid IfL.







constitutional amendment which conferred upon the national government exclusive control of the judicial system. The actual transfer of power from the ste'tes to the national government did not occur until November, 1948, in the early days of a Cecade of dictatorship an& further encroachments upon the last remains of "federalism." A nationalizing decree abrogated all the state judicial codes and statutes and promulgated the national one in their stead. A ministry of justice was created in 1950 to supervise not only the unified judicial structure, but also all penitentiaries and other correctional institutions. Again, although Venezuela is technically a federal state, in practice and in fact the judicial system is entirely controlled by the national government; hence there are no state courts.65

The net effect in practice has been that the states, though called autonomous, actually have very narrowly restricted residual powers limited to such as do not infringe upon those pertaining either to the nation or to the
66
municipalities. The almost fictional character of the Venezuelan federalism was frankly admitted by the framers of the 1961 constitution when they clearly implied in their report that they had chosen to retain the term "federal" in

65Edelman, Latin American Government and Politics,
PP. 451, 452, 454, B. Lott, "TheLeo .I nalization of Justice in Venezuela," Inter-Araerican Economic Affairs, XIII (Sumimer, 1959), 3-19.66
See Leo B. Lott, "Venezuelan Federalism: A Case Study in Frustration" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. of Political Science, University of Wiscnsin, 1954), especially pp. 2, 5, 7, 15, 16, 19-23, 35-37, 43-85, 169, 175-179.





67

deference to the long standing and popularly accepted tradition of providing at least a vestigial autonomy of the states. As a specialist on Venezuelan federalism concluded,

Federalism is a fiction in Venezuela. What has always
existed is a centralized, unitary form of government,
and the Venezuelans are perfectly aware of it. It may
be that their devotion to federalism is to the principle and not to practical application, and that in the final analysis it remains in existence only as a response to the emotional idealism of the Venezuelan people who see in it the unattainable goal of local self-government.67

This somewhat "fictional" character of federalism, which is perhaps more pronounced in Venezuela than in the

other two Latin-American federal countries, is accompanied by a very real elecutivista character, a not uncommon trait in Latin America.68 Taken in the aggregate, the executive

powers endow the president with sweeping authority and completely overshadow the fairly small grants to the congress. If there is any one section of the 1961 constitution which can be said to faithfully reflect the nature of political power in present-day Venezuela, it is that which deals with

67Lott, "Venezuela," Needler (ed.), Political Systems LAm erica_, pp. 238-268. The quotation-s on p. 2-U.
68Leo B. Lott, "Executive Power in Venezuela,f?
American Political Science Review, L (June, 1956), 422-441. It should also be noted that until recently, there were three other federal countries in Latin Amepica: Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The new Brazilian constitution (1966), however, seems to indicate that that country should no longer be considered a federal state. In fac t, many officiO3 documents no longer bear the "Etados Unidos do Brasil" letterhead but siriply "Brasi.."








the executive power.69

A vital part of the chief of state's power lies in

his control of the armed forces. The president as commander in chief is charged with its organization and operation. He fixes the s.ze of the military estabishment and controls the appointment of officers. He is charged with the defense of the national territory and the sovereignty of the Republic, in event of an international emergency. Since 1958 the Venezuelan civilian presidents have held a firm--if uneasy and tenuous at times--preponderance over the armed forces. This is a novelty in Venezuelan history, but there are guarded hopes that it may become part and parcel of the actual pattern of politics.70

The president is also responsible for the enforcement of the Constitution and the laws and therefore ultimately responsible for internal law and order In a national sense. He is authorized to declare a state of emergency and to restrict or suspcnd certain constitutional guarantees in the event of internal or external conflict or whenever there

69Lott, "Venezuela," Needler (ed.), Political Systeris of Latin America, p. 257.
70Gral. Martin Garcia Villaswil, "Las Fuerzas Armadas de la Republica," Pclftica, IV (August-September, 1965), 161169. The director of the military school of Venezuela declares in this article that "the respect for the constitution and the national laws, which has been evident in the present day [military] institution, has beon a very important factor in the consolidation of the republican domocratic system in Venezuela," (p. 166). He goes on to underline the military support for the freely elected constitutional officials. See also Edwin Lieuwen, Generals vs. Presidents (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1_-5-, pp. T- 9l.








is good reason to believe that such aay occur.

Guarantees which may not be suspended are those

forbidding the holding of persons i nconamznicado, perpetual imprisonment, torture, and the death penalty. The state of emergency, the guarantees suspended, and thereasons for the action must be announced by a decree of the Council of Ministers and be authorized by Congress in joint session or, if not in session, by the Standing Committee.

Less specifically limited is a provision of the Constitution which empowe-s the president to suspend constitutional guarantees, either totally or in part, when in his opinion and that of his council of ministers, situations arise which could lead to "national or international emergencies." The power to suspend parts of the constitution has been an effective weapon in the hands of presidents who have used it to harass their political enemies. Terroristic activities which plagued the

Betancourt regime from its inception in 1959 made it necessary for him to suspend certain co .itutional guarantees from November, 1960, throughout most of his administration.1

President Leoni has not noeded to use this power to such an

71For justifications of Botancourt's actions, see
two Acci6n Dcmocr�tica public&tions.: Braulio Jatar Dotti, Inhabilitaci6n de le Extromi, Tzquierd, sjy Guerrillas Corianas TCaracas : Co-lecui(511 lljuZ,7i- - -----6T)" Angel Paz Calarraga, ViolenciaySuzp.ons6n de Garantlas (Caracas: Colecci6n 'Puebl yr Parlanento, z) z Galarraga, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential
candidate in 1968, was secretary general of Acci6n Democrtica for seven years and was its first vice-president in 1966.








extent as his government has been less threatened by terrorism and subversion from either Right or Left.

The presidential logislative powers are also sweeping in their scope. Although th3 main body of law rests upon legislation passed by congress, the resident and his staff have been the authors of most of it. More importantly, the executive's "decree" powers are almost unchecked in practice. Thus, the president can create and suppress public services-he has created such executive departments as the ministries of agriculture and livestock, of health and social welfare, of justice, and of mines and hydrocarbons, and a rash of autonomous institutes or autargulas as the National Agrarian Institute, the Venezuelan Airmail Line, the Venezuelan Corporation of the Guayana, to name but a few.

These traditional decree powers of the presidents have made them reluctant observers of the niceties of executive-legislative relations prescribed by the various constitutions. This pattern has been somewhat altered in

more recent years.

The Congress traditionally had almost no initiative at all and was considered an assembly of employees--after

all, the congressmen had all been "elected" through the good will or at least the tolerance of the caudillo president

of the rronent. They usually limited themselves to orderinLg the erection of statues nrd to conferring new honors end titles on the chief executive. Legislators were expected and in fact did enact into lc j, speedily and without miodifications, whatever proposals came from the president.








Budgets passed year after year without any congressional revision and the 1953 constitution in fact indicated that the national budget would go into effect on July 1 of every year, with or without congressional approval.

Sii.ce the fall of the dictatorship in 1958, Venezuelan presidents have been confronted with an unprecedented situation in which congressraen have indeed exerted some initiative and have gone so far as to frustrate--and even reject--many of the president's proposals. But since'this situation has prevailed only while the presidential party was not in full control of both houses of congress and because the president still retains many of his decree powers in practice, one can hardly speak of a trend away from the

ejecutivista orientation in the Venezuelan governmental system.

Federalism has always in the Venezuelan context meant weak state and local units and a strong executive, while legislative-executive relations have traditionally been dominated by the president. For all these reasons, the Venezuelan executive is a prize to be coveted, for in terms of executive powers granted. by the constitution and even more in the practical operation of the Venezuelan constitutionalism, whatever party can attain the presidency will have in its hands the coveted challenge of pushing Venezuela further along the road of modernization. The geographical regions of the country with their impressive physical resources, the relative homogeneity of the





72

population, the extensive transportation and communications systems all can be seen--nd used--as factors for the political integration and economic modernization of the country. How have the Venezuelan political parties responded to this prize and to this challenge;














CHAPTER III


ACCION DEIMOCRATICA IW THE CONTEXT OF VENEZUELAN

POLITICAL PARTY HISTORY


Latin America is becouiing ever more complcx politically. One of the indications of this recent complexity is the emergence of modern political parties. The traditional caudillismo of the region is declining while politics is becoming increasingly a clash of interests, of programs, of ideas, and less a mere struggle for po ver among char1
ismatic leaders. This trend toward political complexity, with the passing away of the monopoly of power held by the very few and the emergence of political parties imbued with a devotion to the masses and to their denrands for greater economic development to be shared by all, is particularly true in the case of Venezuela.2


IRobert J. Alexander, "The Emergence of Modern
Political Parties in Latin America," in Joseph Maier and Richard W. Weatherhead (eds.), Politics of Change in Latin America (New York: Frederick A.-Pragor ,196i, pp. 101252
2Jorge Ahumada, "Hip6tesis par& ol Diagn6stico do una Situaci6n de Cembio Social: el Case Je Venezuola," Amorica Latina (Rio do Janc-iro), VII (April-June, 1964), 3-1T,*," Scott, 'Wolifical Parties and Policy-1,king in Latin Amerior7 in La Palombara and Weiner (eds.), Political Parties and Political Dcve].oent, pp. 331-367.








The emergence of modern political parties in

Venezuela can be seen as a reflection of the basic economic and social changes that have taken place during the last two generations. With the development of important middle groups in bocioty, politics is no longer, as it was during the first century of independence, merely a game played among rival cliques of a small ruling class.

Today Venezuela is characterized by increasing industrialization, urbanization, and a population ever more homogeneous. Transportation facilities link the most remote regions and the communications network is capable of reaching all parts of the country. The old social molds, built in an era when all wealth, education, and political power were the monopoly of a small landed and commercial aristocracy, are being swept away.

As a result of these changes, the organized urban workers, the rapidly growing professional classes, the students (who now come more and more from the lower rungs of society), the new industrialists, and even the peasantry, are now playing a part in political life. Each of these groups has concrete objectives that it is seeking to obtain through political activity. Each seeks to wold the process of change in its own way. At the same time, conservative elements remain strong and seek to resist the process of change or, at the very least, to have a measure of control over it. Finally, the whole process of social and economic transformation of Venezuela is taking place at a time when ideologies have polarized groups of countries and when no








country can be considered wholly at the margin of the clashes between these polarized groups of countries. All this created in Venezuela a fertile ground for political ideas and philosophies from abroad.

Thruughout Venezuelan history, the political parties that existed have mirrored the patterns of power--at first they were the exclusive preserve of the privileged few, as they now attempt to respond to tae demaands of the enfranchised masses. They have shown the primacy of various interest groups at various times; they have reflected the clashes of political philosophies; and they have taken a wide variety of points of view concerning the basic issues of social and economic change. Yet, Acci6n Deaocr.tica has been more durable than many other parties for it, unlike the others, has based its ideology and its programs in Venezuela's foremost hero, Bolivar, at the same time that it has sought to adapt his thoughts to the demands of twentieth century Venezuela.3 This

reinterpretation of Bolivar has prompted Acci6n DerocrAtica to view always its role as one of attempting to overcome the legacy of Spanish rule and the long shadow of dictators that followed the trauma of independence. AD has consistently

sought to reaffirm its devotion to the substance of Bolivar's thoughts as they may apply in the transformation of today's Venezuela. It is thus fibLing fov us to place Acci6n DemocrAtica in the context of Venezuelan political party

3Acci6n DomocrAtica, Acci6n Democr~tica: Doctrina _LFroAr ama, passim.








history in order that we may better perceive the ideological trends that have existed for centuries and that have left their mark on present day Accien Demccr~tica, as well as newer aspects; of this party that may signal significant breaks witi the past.


The Syanish Le~acy

The Spanish colonial regim3 in Venezuela, as in

other parts of Latin America, was a mixture of neglect th't helped in the early appearance of a spirit of independence among the criollos (the sons of the Spanish colonists) and of arbitrary government that was to serve as a model for the criollo leaders once independence was achieved.

The Venezuc lan region was the first on the South

American mainland to be explored by the Spaniards. Pearls and gold brought to Spain by Alonso Nino in 1499 enticed the first European adventurers. Settling on the Island of Cubagua, where the city of NL4Ueva Ca'diz was founded in .523, they soon spread their explorations to the mainland and in fact abandoned the city by 1550.

But this wave of Europeans soon dwindled to a trickle and the Venezuelan region became a backwater of the Spanish

4C. Parra P6rez, El Regiinen Es .- ol on Venezuela
(Madrid: Cultural Hisp6nfca1j.[96I-; Fran iJ. Mrenoj, "'The Spanish Colonial Systemr A Functional Approach,: Western Political Quarterly, XX (June, 1967), 308-320.
5Comisi6n de Tarismo del Estado Sucre, Una Invitac ' a Conocer al Estado Sucre (Cumana; Editorial Universita i--Oriente, n.d.).





77

colonial empire. The pearl fisheries were soon exhausted and little gold or other precious metals wias found. Its soil did not lend itself to the exploitation of sugar on a large scale as did the islands of the Caribbean and the northeast coast of Biazil. Especially after ,he conquests of Mexico ii, 1519 and of Peru in 1532, with the discovery of their rich gold and silver mines, Spain practically forgot the existence of Venezuela. Its disinterest was so great that Spain "rented" the government of Venezuela to the German bankers Welsers from 1528 to 1546.6

Venezuela was then made a distant dependency of Santo Domingo and later, after 1550, a ninor part of New Granada, now Colombia. It never attained the dignity of a viceroyalty but kept the subordinate statuss of captaincy general. Perhaps for this very reason, neglected by the Spanish authorities and far from the centers of colonial power, Venezuela developed a strong feeling of identity and of separateness before many other parts of the Spanish Empire. Here the mixture of Spanish, African, and Indian peoples was more thorough than in some other colonies. Further, as landholders employing slave labor, the succeeding generations of American-born criollos won considerable fortunes, forming a society not entirely dependent upon Spanish connections. Also, their distance from the great
6
Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 157-160;
J. M. Siso Martine, lfia7e---Ve-n-Szuel--- (11th ed.; Mexico:
Editorial "Yocoima," 195677pp. 3-49.







vice-regal capitals, to which the Spanish-born sought assignment, produced opportunities to avoid the more onerous controls from the mother country. At the saiiia time, French, Dutch, and English smugglers provided an alternative to trade with the S;anish. More often than .,ot, they also brought to the Venezuelan shores new ideas and concepts of government at variance with that of Spain. Theirs, however, was a spiall ideological flow when compared with the much greater influx of now ideas and experiences brought home by the sons of the criollos who had spent their formative years abroad.7

But Spain, in spite of its neglect and its remoteness, was to leave indelible marks on the makeup of Venezuela. Hers was the language, hers was the Church, and hers were the outlines of government as well as the major strains of white blood that were to mix with Indians and the
8
Negroes.

To encourage settlement, the Spanish governors distributed the availablc Indians in groups (encomiendas) to the conquistadores to work the miines and to cultivate the fertile lands of the valleys. With the establishment of towns and cities, civil government appeared in the form of town councils (cabildos). Since the mayors and councilors

7V~ctor Andre Belaunde, Bolivar and the Political Thought of the Stvnish American Re64!t--fftTYThro: The Johns Hopki-ns o Pe } T; 19tf chaps. I-V.
8See Parra P6rez, FlR6imen FEpolenVeezuela, passim; Rafael Caldera, AsectosSociolg _e ode lacu) tura en Venezuela (Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, n.T. ,espcially pp. 7-12.








(alcaldes and regidores) were usually appointed by the royal representative from the Spanish settlers or on the recommendation of their descendents (criollos), the cabildo became a form of oligarchy drawn from colonial aristocracy. The cabildos did draw up and publish municipal ordinances and handled local matters of law enforcement so that the successors of the conquistadores became accustomed to a measure of local government. Writers of the nineteenth century America, in fact, praised the cabildos as democratic or semi-democratic bodies and as elected representatives of the people.

Higher justice in the New World was handled by the royal tribunals (audiencias), which also partook of the functions of a council of state for the executive. Whatever the title of the chief executive of a region, he was also president of the audiencia--if one were allotted to his seat of government. All major executives were forced at the end of their appointment to account for their official conduct at a public hearing (residencia) which probed their fiscal and administrative policies and which was usually held by a senior member of the audiencia. The Crown might also, at its own initiative, send r, visitador at any time to inspect the affairs of the colony. These measures of control were often nu liflod' by the anbition and greed of the inspectors, who might accept bribes for a good report on a bad

9Belaunde, Bolivar and the Political Thought of the Spanish AMican RPvolutton, pp. 2-7.








administration or castigate a good one with a view of succeeding to the position. There was a similar gap between

the intention of the encorniondas--created to protect the Indians--and their use in the colony, for the Indians were exploited ooth by Spaniards and criollos. In a similar manner, early laws ordered that governmental positions should be filled preferably by the descendants of the conquistadores, discoverers, and settlers. In spite of this, the practical policy of Spain was precisely the contrary; the criollos were seldom appointed to high positions such as viceroy, captain general, or judge. In this manner, criollos grew with the daily experience of seeing a formidable and well-intended code nullified in practice. Further, their impotence before the realities of Spanish rule and the overwhelming powers of executive Spaniards remained one of the bases of the remonstrance of the criollos, a factor in the wars of independence. Diffie summarizes the prevalent situation in these words:

Despite all efforts of the Crown to remedy abuses
and centralize colonial government, a great divergence
persisted between the intent of the laws and their
execution. . . . Royal laws were further weakened by many conflicting authoriti.es in Amrerica. Frequently it was not clear wvho had jurisdiction in a specified
case. . . . Added to this confusion of administration,
there was open corruption. The syste-m of the visita
and the residencia was not always effective, since the
judges themselves lilight be suborned. . . . Finally,
there was no real public opinion to enforce good
goveri.ent. Government was in The hands of a minority
which had got its position through privilege or heredity.
Property was a requiretient for citizenship and tho
possession of an office was frequently regarded as an








opportunity to turn public funds into private pockets."v

In 1728 Spain formed her own trading company to which all trade with Venezuela would be allotted. The Compainf a Guipuzcoana was organized, staffed, and financed principally by Basques. This economic monopoly, in which the colonists had no voice, quickly became 1-mmensely unpopular. In 1749 a spontaneous revolt against this monopoly broke out. This was finally suppressed but the extent of its popular support showed that the Venezuelan criollos were growing increasingly restive under the restrictive Spanish controls. When the Compainia Guipuzcoana failed and was liquidated in 1784, Venezuela was authorized free trade with the other Spanish possessions--the last colony to receive this privilege.

But while landowners rejoiced, some merchants protested the increased competition and decreased profits that free trade would bring them. Both groups were made more than ever aware of how completely they were at the mercy of Spain. Their increasing discontent took place at a time when a sizable portion of the British colonies in North America were successfully waging wars of independence and at a time when French philosophes were spreading their libertarian doctrines. 11

10Bailey W. Diffie, Latin American Civilization; Colonial Period (Harrisburg,P-a.:.. tonsTIl-5), pp. 311-312
11
See Charles Griffin, Los Temas Socialos y Econmicos en la Eoca de la Independencia --Caracas: Editorial Arte, Y9 -')T Pedro A. Barbosa, Toso de la Dominaci6n Espa~iola en Venezuela," Revista de la Sociedad Dolivariana [Caracas), XXIII (October,eo Jefeso and Blillem Van Loon, Fighters for Freedom: Je'Lferson and Bolivar (New.. York: Dodd








The First Political Party

The history of Venezuelan political parties begins with the emergence of the Patriotic Society, founded at the root of the events surrounding the 19th of April, 1810, when

Venezuelans openly challenged Spanish rule. Formed as an imitation of the "clubs" that existed during the French

Revolution, directly inspired by the thought of the philosophes ]2
and revolutionaries, 1 this Society constituted a center of conspiracy and political activity. There one would find the best of the Venezuelan youth in the Colony--Miranda, Bolivar, Garcia de Sehia, Coto Pail. These men were at the forefront of those who decried the vacillation of the Congress of 1811 and who constantly asked for an immediate and clear declaration of independence.13

At first the Society admitted only selected members;

Mead, 1962); R. A. Humphreys and John Lynch, TheOins of the Latin American Revolutions, 1808-1826 (NeT-York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc7, !T;Di;fTfie, Latin American Civilization; Colonial Period, pp. 284-312.
12 The philosophy of the eighteenth century did not
imply the direct acceptance of revolutionary ideas. But the ideas of the philosophes, combating, as they did, tradition and authority, opened the way to revolution in France and in the United States, and by reflection, in Spain and Spanish America.-In respect to Roussoau, it is evident that few-if any--other authors were so widely read in Spanish America. Rousseau was the intellectual idol of Rodriguez, the teacher of Bolivar, and somie of the leading ideas of Bolivar are entirely Rousseauistic.
130r the 61ite intelectual d la Indope ndencia, see
Rem6n Dia0 SanchJ, Pai'sf stoio de la Cultura Venozolans (Buenos Aires: Editorial UniversTFarla de Buenos Aires, 1965), pp. 71-74.







later it became open to all who called themselves patriots and who were ready to challenge Spanish rule. Even a few Negroes, Indians, and women were reported as participants in the Society's secret mr1etings, but by and large it remained mostly made -.p of the criollo elite youth. If, however, it never became a truly popularly based institution, the Society was significant for having its own extensive partisan

structure, its leaders, its members, and its meetings where all themes were discussed, among them strictly political questions as well as religious and military topics.

Its well-educated and upper-class nature was advantageous in that it imparted upon the Society a force, a power, prestige, and effectiveness far out of proportion to the small numbers it included as cr imbers. In its name representations were made--often with positive results--before the Congress, the Courts, and in the streets. The Society might have eventually emerged as a more widely based partisan organization, but this never came about. Its members and leaders soon left the realm of polemics and went into the battlefields to fight and to die for the independence of Venezuela. 1

Because the leaders of the Society spoke and thought in terms of the absolute revolutionary and libertarian doctrines emanating frown France, the discussions in the Society meetings and later the writings of its outstanding

members were surprisingly modern in their tone and in the

14Manuel Vicente 1-1agalaanes, Partidos Politicos
Venezolanos (Caracas: Tipograf Ta Varg5s,i0 p -32.








issues they covered. Coto Padl was for anarchy and he called "for a blessed demagogy to revive the listless Congress.''15 Nuoz Tebar, like the Society's central figure Miranda, wanted above all complete independence from Spain; once all bonds were broken, the "people" would choose the new nation's 16
form of government. These and other ideas enlivened the Society meetings; but the greatest L nsador of the group was destined to be Bolivar. Bolivar- was to include in his writings a call for the abolition o2 all types of slavery; for the integration of the Indian in the social and political life of the nation; for the improvement of the living conditions in the country; for educational and agrarian reform; and for the pursuit of Pan-Americanism. For the Libertador, the greatest of the social problems was that of education. He sought to bring foreign educators to the new country and he often linked the right to vote for those who had become sophisticated enough to "understand" its significance.17 On the international level, he dreamed of a union of the American Republics and he himself held the ruling position in Gran

15Quoted in Siso Martinez, Hist6ria de Venezuela, p� 278.
16Ibid. On the Society, see also Guillermo Moron, A Histor f Venezuela, trans. John Street (London: Grace U_en & i _hnf_-Ld., l ) 4, pp. i03-I05.
17George I. S'nc'C;, Thc Dcveopment of Education in Venezuela (Wasiington, D.C.: Departirrnt of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1963), pp. 6-20; Tulle Chiossone, Los Problemas Sociales en la Formacion del Estado Venezolano (Caracas: Gr fica Americana, l19,6. 1--9








Colombia, a complex that included present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador.18

To achieve these domestic and international goals,

Bolivar believed in the advantages inherent in an "effective government," "one that produ(cp the maximum of felicity, of social security, and of political stability.'"19 This "effective government" would not only fulfill the mate jal desires and needs of the population but would also lead this population to greater creative enterprises. > cause it would fulfill the population's dcmands, this "efl -ctive government" would merit their support and thus it would enjoy stability. Further, it was Bolivar's contention that this "effective government" would become feasible not through complicated legalistic structures but through the will of men bent upon the daily tasks of helping and leading their fellow men.20

The Trauma of Independence--Disappearance of


Bolivar's ideals, though tempered by a great deal of political realism, were crushed by the terrifying costs of the prolonged wars of independence. Venezuela suffered more

18Humbsrto FernAndoz Auvert, "Realizar el Ideario de Bolivar, un Deber Continental," Revi~sta de la Sociedad Bo].ivariana [Caracas], XXIIi ( B-a-un-, Bolivar and the Political Thought of the S~pnish American T~ h-uion, pp.-9-270.
19J. L. Salcedo-Bastardo, Vis!6n Revisien de Bolivar (Buenos Aires: Imprunta Lopez, 19 9 ,.-%
20Ibid., pp. 109-11r; Jos6 Carrillo Moreno, "Bolivar y el Nacionaismo CienLifico," Polftica, V (August, 1966), 65-73.








than any other Latin-American country. Eleven years of warfare had cost the lives of one-fourth of her entire population, among them the best educated and most capable of her youth. A great deal of the actual fighting to liberate the northern portion of the South American continent took place in Venezuela, and it was in Carabobo, just west of Caracas, that in June, 1821, the Spanish resistance was decisively broken.21

The Venezuelan social structure, furthermore, had

been rent by class warfare which the mother country had encouraged as a desperate attempt to wreck the Venezuelan independence movement.22 Her economy had been ruined in the fighting. Caracas lay prostrated by the formidable 1812 earthquake. Al] this combined with the general anarchy to bring normal civil government to a condition ofi collapse. Spanish colonialism, sometimes harsh, sometimes paternalistic, was exchanged after independence in 1821 for the even less restrained absolutism of local ceudillos and for a long

21Ramo6n Diaz SAnchev, "Carabobo, Marco para una Victoriosa Agonla," Revista de la Sociedad Bolivariana
[Caracas], XXIII (October 2 , oT,----22
The Asturian, Jos6 Toms Boves, was extremely successful for a time in gaining the allegiance of lower class Venezuelans Pgainst the patriotic but aristocratic leaders of the Independence. His soldiers were specially recruited from the mestizo horsemen of the Llanos and other lower classes. He freed slaves, promoted mestizos to high military ranks and jnbued them with a spirit cf blind vengeance against white, well educated, or aristocratic Venezuelans. See Moron, A History of Vcnezue.la, pp. 118-120; Siso Martinez, Historia de Venezuela, pp. 324- 36








chronicle of the personal rula of dictators, during which little political, social, or economic development took place.

Bolivar's ideal for a Republic of Gran Colombia was soon challenged by regionalistic tendencies, personal rivalries among his lieutenants, and diff culty of communication and control in this far-flung territory. Basically an idealist, Bolivar refused to assume dictatorial powers: that might have kept Gran Colombia together. Finally, when he acceded in August of 1828, it was too late. Regional chieftains could no longer be successfully challenged and the Liberator's dreamsof viable government for the expansive Gran Colombia Republic were shattered. Shortly after, in 1830, Bolivar died. A long parade of dictators was to follow him.23

During the approximately 20 years that the wars of independence lasted, nothing in Venezuela existed that could be considered a true political party. In the early decades after independence, the veteran military officers constituted a closely knit but not too well-organized pressure group in the modern technical sense. Their sole basic agreement lay in their feeling that "they had created the Venezuelan state, and therefore they should lead and control it.1"24

23Augusto Mijares, "La Evoluci6n Politica de Venezuela (1810-1960)," in Mariano Pic6n-Salas et al., Venezuela
Independiente, 1810-1960 (Caracas: FundaciLnhugenTo1 Mendoza, pp. 23-15I$6
24Robert L. Gilmo:e, Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela, 1810-1910 (Athen5, Ohio: Ohio UniverstyPress, T .1.








After the separation from Gran Colombia, Jos6 Antonio P~ez governed with the support of the conservative oligarchy. In 1831 he was elected the new Republic's first president. For the next 18 years no actual political oppo3ition appeared. P~ez was either president or, because of his control of the army, the power behind Soubletto, with whom he alternated in

the presidential chair.

The Venezuelan Constitution of 1830 was drawn up by men of property and the professions. A modest property qualification for the voter and a substantial one for the holders of political office was introduced. "Political crimes," vaguely defined, could be punished by death. The Church was shorn of many of its special powers and privileges. The Constitution's conventional provisions for executive, legislative, and Judicial branches were only lightly observed. In practice, the distribution of power was invariably and heavily weighted in favor of the executive.25

From P~ez until the appearance of Juan Vicente

G6mez in 1908, one properly speaks of the era of caudillism, a time when the person and ambition of the caudillo, around whom power revolved, were preezainent in the national theater. The era of caudillism was associated with an overwhelmingly agricultural as well as ranching and extractive economy,

25 Te most complete work on the Venezuelan constitutions remains Gil Fortoul, Hist6ria Constitucional do
Venezuela. For this eavly period, see its Vol. II.








complemented by a foreign-trade oriented financial and commercial sector. The classes of this strongly manorial and pastoral society were related to such contrasting elements as market and subsistence parts of the economy, the ruling groups and the governed, the educated and the uneducated. Although the correspondence was not wholly exact, the upper and middle sectors of society were identified with the market economy, the ruling groups, the educated. They possessed social and political authority in Venezuela. The remainder of the population was generally illiterate, denied a direct political role, and tied to a subsistence economy. Often political violence, impunity for crime, and the pervasive awareness of race and class tensions contributed greatly to

the continuing social disorier the nation. The Spanish authorities were no longer around--but nothing emerged to take their place except the feuding caudillo militias. Venezuelan pressure and interest groups, such as they were, provided no stabilizing framework in the society during the
26
caudillo era.

Independence had dissolved the special jurisdictions

(fueros) which had given the pressure and interest groups consistency, place, and function in colonial society. The Church had lost many of its privileges and powers, including

tithing rights, tax immunities, and the zlonopoly of education. The veterans of the wars of indopendence wore kept in close

26Gilmore, Caudillism, and Militri.s_ in Venezuea, pp. 19-20.







check by the caudillo of the day who feared--probably with reason--that they were his most portentous rivals. The eroding trauma of independence had obliterated the beginnings of political organization; it was left for the caudillo to spawn an. subvert a series of pseudo political parties in the decades that followed separation from Spain and the emergence of Venezuela from the breakup of Gran Colombia. No political party, in its modern sense, was destined to appear in Venezuela until the second quarter of the twentieth century.27


Traditional Parties in the Era of the Caudillos

Between the time of Paez and the emergence of Gomez as the undisputed national caudillo in 1908, Venezuela saw the emergence of several political groupings that could be placed under the general category of "traditional parties" for the sake of convenience as well as to differentiate them from the full-fledged modernn political parties" that began to flourish after the death of Gomez in 1935. Several things make these two categories distinct from each other--differences in national scope, in ideological inclination, in membership, in organization, and in ability to survive beyond the electoral campaigns. These differences become quite apparent in the following survey.

Paez was the supreme leader cfter 1830 on the basis

27Augusto Mijares, "La Venezuela Marginal," El Nacional (April 10, 1966), p. A-4.







28
of his unrivalled prestige among the fierce llaneros, his military record, and his leadership in the secession of Venezuela from Gran Colombia. There was almost no element to oppose him. High society in Caracas and the provinces was badly lepleted by tho wars for independence to which it had contributed most of its youth. The llaneros inspired a degree of social panic on the basis of their past record--it was difficult to forget that before they supported P~ez and the independence movement, they had supported Spaniards and had impaled many of Bolivar's soldiers on their lances. A strong military force was regarded as no better than the llaneros; besides, P.ez was intent that no such force emerge and threaten his own following. Furthermore, the few prominent Caraquenos who had survived longed for peace--a peace and tranquility that only the llaneros could promise. Out of mutual need, the old and ihe new orders of leadership, landed aristocracy and Pez militia, were drawn together into a working alliance that lasted until 1846. 29

Around 1840 two tendencies appeared in the civilian
28
Llanero, an inhabitant of Venezuela's central plains or Llanos. In this region: local chieftains emerged with ther am6rphous but fanatical followers. With a minimum of education but great valor in battle, many of them distinguished themselves in the wars of independence, thus attaining national notoriety. PAez, brave and largely self-taught, was destined to be considered by many historians one of the best presidents of the country. See Willian D. and Amy L. Marsland, Venezuela Through its History (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co.,-95T pp.- - --Jos& ntonio Paoz, Autobio-rafla (2 vols.; New York: H. R. Elliott & Co., 1946).

'Gilmore, Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela, pp. 73-77.








oligarchy that supported PFez. One advocated the introduction of "new men" in the handling of political affairs and reserved for itself the name of Liberal Party; the other, favoring the status quo, camo to be known as Conservative Party, also som3times referred to as the "Godo" 2erty.30 The Conservatives, primarily concerned with opposing the Liberals rather than presenting any original programs of their own, never attained th.,, prestige or the popular support of their rivals. Conservatives were the commercial men of Caracas and the provincial capitals, the large hacendados (farmers), some of the aristocratic groups that had supported P~ez. The Liberals claimed the allegiance of the professionals and a popular following that had formed around Antonio Leoc~dio Guzman, of the periodical El Venezolano. The Liberals had a greater popular following than the Conservatives, though neither group ever became the focus for pressure from the Venezuelan lower classes, being, as they were, almost exclusive creatures of the Venezuelan elite, especially in Caracas. In fact, the two denominations "conservatives" and "liberals" existed only to designate two personalistic groups that struggled for power.31

30Godo is usually taken as a pejorative term, though at times simply indicating one's affiliation with the Conservative Party and later with the Constitutional or Centralist Party. Godos originally had been those who had sided with or helped the Spaniards during the warL of Independence.
31 MiJares, in Pic6n-Salas et al., Venezuela Independiente, pp. 67-98.








The Liberals, formed as a more formalized political

group in 1840, were quite skillful in handling the discontent that grew within the small clique that surrounded P~ez. Denial of public office to veteran officers of the army of independence, the unyielding grip of Paez and his entourage on public office and policy, the unsuccessful efforts of the Caracas aristocracy to win political independency from P&ez, and the recurrent discontent of the ambitious and the intellectuals helped the Liber-1 Party to appear as the focus for all opposition. In the meantime, El Venezolano became an effective periodical for the dissemination of the party's propaganda.

A Conservative's reaction to thc rise of the Liberals, their propaganda, and the impact of their doctrine is well summarized by a contemporary:

With the doctrine of El Venezolano the harmony between the hacendados with their peons rsappeared as well as the concord between the proprietors and their tenants,
arousing insatiable hopes of sudden fortunes, ambitions that could not easily be satisfied, and claining rights
they said were usurped by those who helped maintain order and justice. . . . [It] confounded the beliefs
of those simple men . . . infusing th-en with the idea
that rebellion against those leading them along t'h
way of morality and work would improve their condition
and the state of their families. They would acquire
full right to the lands they rented and full possession
and enjoyment of privileges and prerogatives.32

Guzm~n, the editor of El Venezolano was accused of preaching social revolution, of "declaring the proprietor a tyrant over the lazy and the vagrant; of calling on these to desbroy

32Quoted in Gilmore, Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela, p. 81.




Full Text

PAGE 1

ACCION DEMOCRATIC A OF VENEZUELA: THE POLITICAL PARTY AS A FACTOR IN THE MODERNIZATION AND INTEGRATION OF A DEVELOPING COUNTRY By lEDA SIQUEIRA WIARDA A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOB THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1968

PAGE 2

PREFACE The problems of attaining modernization and integration in & developing country are vitally crucial for those directly affected and highly interesting to those involved in political science research. To political scientists, problenis of development pose a nuraber of important questions ~-v;ill, for example, the pursuit of modernization unify or further fragment a polity? Can modernization and integration be attained more easily through democratic than through authoritarian means? If the former, what agencies have served as the means for the attainment of modernization and integration in a democratic fashion? It was the author's interest in questions such as these that led her to a study of the Acci6n Democr&tica Party of Venezuela. This study is the product of several years' interest in political parties in Latin America. Beginning in I963, this interest focused upon the Acci6n Deiriocratica Party of Venezuela. To find out more about this Party as a possible factor in the modernization and integration of Venezuela, the author visited that country on three separate occasions: spring of 196k, fall of 1965, and summer of 1966. -The first trip was made possible by a grant from the Caribbean Research Institute at the University of Florida. During her • • 3.x

PAGE 3

stays in Venezuela, the author divided her tine about equally betv/een Caracas and the interior and iiiterviewcd throughout the country a n\imber of Acci6n Democrdtica leadei-s and members as vjell as government officials. The data from these interviews vjere used in conjvmction with and to supplement data obtained from published sources, both in the United States and in Venezuela. Our research on Acci6n DeraocrStica centered on the role of that Party as an important factor in the modernization and integration of Venezuela. We were not primarily concerned with the program and organization of the Party, themes already adequately svirveyed by other scholars. Nor were we confined to looking at AD as a reflection of its leadership, particularly in the days of the Betancourt administration. Our aim, rather, was to look at this Party as an instrument in the making of the "modern Venezuela." As such, AD served as a channel for the demands of Venezuelans who desired a more "modern" standard of living and v;ho wished to feel as though they v/ere integral participants in the governing process. These demands were channeled to the government controlled by AD which, in turn, sought to satisfy the needs of the largest possible number of Venezuelans without at any one time alienating too many groups within the society. In attempting to serve as a channel be+-ween the government and the governed, AD was, furthermore, limited by the constitutional framework in which it had to operate. It was also limited by the physical and human resources at its disposal and by the iii

PAGE 4

milieu in which it found itself. Taking into account these considerations, the AD Party is exardnod in this study as a dynamic force operating v;ithin a certain political culture — that is, as a political organization which acts upon and interacts with the special Venezuelan context. AD has clearly had an impact on the Venezuelan social and political system, but that milieu has also loft its indelible mark upon the Party. Whatever merits this study may have are due to the many Venezuelans who went out of their i;ay in helping the author obtain information, in making her feel at home, and in submitting to interviev/s. Special thanks go to Dr. Demetrio Boersner and Dr. Jos6 Luis Salcedo-Bastardo, both of v;hom provided invaluable assistance in facilitating the author's research at the Universidad Central, at the Biblioteca Nacional, and at Acci6n Democr^tica headquarters in Caracas. In numerous ways the members of the author's dissertation committee at the University of Florida were most helpful. Professor Harry Kant or, chairman of the committee, and Professor Manning J. Dauer, chairman of the Department of Political Science, provided especially valuable assistance from the early stages of this project until its completion. The author was also most appreciative for Dr. Cornelxs C. Goslinga's suggestions on the historical aspects of the manuscript. The author also wishes to thank her husband. iv

PAGE 5

Howard J. Wiarda, also a political scientist, v^hose comments on the study vrere invaluable and to whom it is dedicated. All these organizations and persons are not to be blamed for the study's shortcominss . The responsibility Tor the mistakes of omission and cojn)Tiis".ion are solely the author • s . led a Si que ir a V/iarda Spring, 1968

PAGE 6

TABLE OP CONTENTS PREFACE LIST OP TABLES Chapter I. INTRODUCTION II. THE GEOGRAPHIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, AW CONSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS III. ACCION DEMOCRATIC A IN THE CONTEXT CP VENEZUELAN POLITICAL PARTiT HISTORY IV. ACCION DEMOCRATICA IN THE CONISXT OF CONTEIffORARY VBiN'EZUELAN POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AITD PROGRAHS V. THE PARIT ORGANIZATION ' . . VI. ACCION DEMOGHATICA'S INTEGRATING AGHARJAN REPORII VII. LABO$ IN POLITICS ACCION DEI-:OCRATICA ANI' THE VENEZUELAN LABOR MOVEMENT ' . . . . VIII. liESOUfiCE UTILIZATION AIJD IvILFART-; IMFROVEI-ffiNT UNDER ACCION DEffOCPJiTIC^ GOVERNMENTS , IX. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNDER ACCION DEI-IOCRATICA GOVERNMENTS X. CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX BIBLIOGRAPHY ...... vi

PAGE 7

LIST OP TABLES Table Pa«5e 1. Growth of the Five Largest Venezuelan Cities, 193^-1966 36 2. Population of Venezuela, I83O-I966 3. Distribution of the Venezuelan Population by Habitation, 1950-1961 1^.$ Distribution of Indian Population by States, 1936-1966 1^8 5. Growth of the Rational Road System, I938-I966 . 6. Motor Vehicles in Use, 1938-196[i. $6 7. AD Membership, I962 Census 228 8. Rural Ovmership and Rural Population, 1937 . . 262 9. AD Members Vis-A-Vis the Agrarian Reform Program 313 10. AD Leaders Vis-A-Vis the Agrarian Reform Program . 331^ 11. Modifications Desired in the Agrarian Reform Program 3!^^ 12. Legally Operating Labor Unions and Membership . 339 13. Party Preference by Labor 367 llj.. Union as Entree to AD Membership 367 15. Voted for AD in I963 Elections 368 16. Universities and Normal School "Piirollment Increase, 1957-1958 to I965-I966 1^07 17. Growth in Electrical Consumption [,.33 18. External Commerce of Venezuela (I936-I965) . . 1^.^$ vii

PAGE 8

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION By 1936, after a centur/ and a quarter of existence as an independent nation, Venezuela had not developed a viable, functioning political system. Periods of instability and chaos alternated with periods of extreme authoritarian rule, and Venezuela led the Hemisphere both in the nurrjber of constitutions which had been promulgated and in the total number of years which had been spent under dictatorial control. Poiirer-economic, social, and political — remained in the hands of a very few, while the vast majority had little say in national decision-making and received fev; of the benefits of the country's natural wealth. In this way the semi-feudal structiire established by the Spanish colonialists --based on an exploitative agrarian economy, a rigid two-class social system, and an authoritarian political system--was perpetuated into the twentieth century. Tlie traditional order began to break down during the dictatorship of Juan Vicente G6mez (1908-1935) and crumbled in the decades after his death. As economic dovelopmsnt accelerated and now groups with new ideas and new organizations emerged and began to make their interests felt, the semi-feudal order began to give v;ay. At the same time, the 1

PAGE 9

2 new, rtioro modern, and more democratic order which evolved to replace it continued still tenuous and uncertain. The uncertainties of the transition gave rise to a succession of coups and unstable regiraes in the 19i4-0's and a decade of dictatoi-ship in the 1950' s. In 19Gl\.. hoviever, for the first time in Venezuelan history, a deraocratically elected president, Romulo Betancourt, peacefully turned over his office to his successor, Ra^l Leoni, also democratically olecled. Since both Betancourt and Leoni v;ere members of a political party, Acci6n Democrdtica, what was the role of AD in the fundamental transformation of the Venezuelan political system? And can the Venezuelan experience be repeated by other developing nations? Or, in other words, what part can a modern, deraocratically oriented and well-organized political party play in the process of modernization and political integration through democratic means? These are some of the questions which this study seeks to explore. The study of political parties is a relatively new preoccupation for Latin America area specialists. Tliey have traditionally been concerned with the history of independence movements, with border disputes, with the formal aspects of government. Only recently has interest been shown in the dynamics of the governmental process, and detailed surveys of political groups and political parties date from the last few years Merle Kling, in a highly critical analysis of ths shortcomings of American political scientists who specialize on Latin America concludes that "[they] have not reached, to borrow Rostow's familiar metaphor, the take-off stage " "The

PAGE 10

3 A logical explanation for the dearth of such surveys is the fact that modern political parties have only made their appearance in the last fevi decades of Latin-American history. These modern parties serve as effective channels between government and governed, and have a v;oll-def ined body of principles, a large membership, a large body of primary and secondary leaders, a v?elldeveloped structure and system of communication to reach the population. Tliey conti'ast, in these aspects, with the traditional "conservative" and "liberal" groups of the nineteenth and early twentieth 2 centuries. Further, these modern-day mass parties began to emerge, with some possible exceptions, only after VJorld War I and gained a dominant position in only a very small number of countries, among which is Venezuela, Stages of Research on Latin America," in Charles V/agley (ed.). Social Science Research o n Latin America (New York: Columbia University Press, 196ij.) , p. 16(3. See also the critique in Kalman H. Silvert's The Conriict Socie ty; React i on and Revolution in L atin Ar;ie}:' i c'a"(2d ed. rev.; iJew York! American UniversTtio's Field Staff, Inc., 1966), pp. 155-162. A more recent appraisal is found in John D, Martz' "The Place of Latin America in the Study of Coriparativo Politics," Journal of Politics, X^CVIII (February, 1966), 57-80. . ' 2 See the characterizations of modern mass parties in Maurice Duverger, Political Parties; Th eir Or ganization and Activity in the Mode rn Ste.to, trans, Robert and Barbara North (New York: John V/i ley & Sons, Inc., 195i|), pp. 63-7I, 379, and Otto Kirchheimer, "The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems," in Joseph LaPalcmbara and Myron V/einer (eds.), Pojj.jticc.1 Parties and Political Dovelopment (Princeton, N. J. : Princeton' Tinlvor-sity Press, 19F5T, pp. 177-200. A critique of Kirohheimcr ' s concepts can be found in Frank A. Pinner's "On the Structure of Organizations and Beliefs," Paper read before the I967 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 5-9.

PAGE 11

The classic work of Duverger specifically leaves out a comprehensive examination of Latin-American political parties on the grounds that the frequent governmental interference in the rather transitory political parties that exist and in the sporadic electoral procwss makes these parties -too anomalous to merit their inclusion in his stasiology .-^ Further, if one applied Duverger 's standards to the political party system in Latin America, one would In most cases consider these systems as existing in the "pre-historic era of parties."^ As late as 1957, Russell M. Fitzgibbon could affirm with reason that "students of comparative politics have usually had a blind spot vrith regard to Latin American parties" and he commended the subject "to a whole generation of prospective graduate students in political science." Since 1957 a certain number of studies in this area have appeared but few among them have fulfilled Fitzgibbon' s recommendation that the focus should not rest on a mere classification or typology of parties but rather that one should "seek to find out how far down the socioeconomic 3 4-v. 4. Duverger, Po]J^ca2._Ja_rti^, p. 22C. Duverger uses ^he term stasiology" for the scTiKSe of political parties, from the Greek stasis, faction ( ibid ., p. 1|22). /*"Ibid;, p. 228. Duverger clarifies, "A country vin.foK? is divided amongst several groups that are unstable, fluia, and short-lived dues not provide an example of multipartism in the proper sense of the term: It f^still w^:^*' P^f.-^i^to^" era of parties." Duverger does admit, however, tnat some countries may be at an intermediate itno^ from "pre-history" to "true" multipartism.

PAGE 12

scale of consciousness party organi.zatlon and activity have descended; in other words, to vrtiat extent parties have 'grass roots' in a given country."^ If one v;ere to follov; Fitzgibbon's advice, it seems that the s' arting point should be a: effort to place the study of Latin-American parties in the broad fra:iiev:ork of political science and from there to work towards a focus in which a certain political party is examined for its dynamic aspects within a certain society--that is, for the kinds of Interactions that may exist bctx>reen this structare and the milieu in v;hich the structure is found. It is this type of progression that the present study aims to accomplish. In the field of political science today the traditional study of political theory has come under heavy attack. Some of the criticism is undoubtedly justified.^ To the extent that we pursue a purely genealogical enterprise in the study of ideas, such as tracing the development of natural lav; through the centuries, the fertility of our insight seems to be small. It is no disparagoment of the work of scholars like Gierke to say that going over the 5 Russell H. Fltzgibbon, "Tlaa Party Potpourri in Latin America," Wester n Political _Q.uar to r_lT. X (Harch, 1957), 3-22 . 6 David Easton, The Political System (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1953). PP. "233-2^5T~Vernon Van Dyke, Pol i t i c al So i e n c o ; ^ A Phi 1 c s ophlxaj^ J^.nal\^si^ (Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 19SUJ^ pp, 69-109, 172179 .

PAGE 13

ground that the;> traveled again is a fairly sterile task. Nor do we wish to deny that political science could use more purely analytical theory such as current students of political behavior, heavily under the influence of Bentley, seek to formulate. Put after all these consirierations are taken into account, certain questions properly belonging to the general field of political theory nay be posed and may lead to tentative answers of value in our study of the developing nations. As suggested by Hartz, the relationship between ideas (such as a party ideology and program for government) and the people v/ho form a nation's political institutions (such as a political party and the government itself) is one area which political analysis may properly and profitably explore. Hartz explains further that "ideas . . . may have creative impact upon the political process. . . . This is a concept designed to argue that ideas which are manifestations of anterior social forces can exercise a reciprocal influence upon these forces so as to condition them significantly if not to control them ultimately."® Placed in such a conceptual framework, a party ideology and program can be studied as an expression of the aspirations and demands of the party membership. In this sense, too, the party ideology and program are "manifestations" of the milieu V •Paul E. Sigmund, Jr., The_ Ideolo gies of the Devel oping Nations (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, I963), pp.~5^ 8 Louis ?Iartz, "The Problem of Political Ideas," in Roland Young (ed.), Approa ches to the Study of Politics (Evanston, 111.: Northwestern UniverlIty~'presT7*T9f8Tr pp. 7886. The quotation is found on p. 79.

PAGE 14

7 in v/hich they are found. But the ideology and program also "condition" and may oven "control" this milieu if they serve as the basis for governnental actions. This general approach to a study of a political party is mt entirely original and fact encompasses features of other studios. Thus, follo^^ing Burke, there are those who conceive of parties as "idea" groups, bodies of men entertaining a set of coiranon basic convictions about the public interest, or about the nature and desirable form of human relationships in society. Viewed in this fashion, parties are to be understood by v/hat they stand for, and analyzed in terms of the symbolic, verbal content of party ideology or doctrine. In behavioral terms, a party according to this conception turns out to mean a segment of the total spectrum of public opinion measured by the votes tho party is able to command at a general q election.^ Another approach is to visualize a party in terms of the social composition of its mass supporters, so that parties are identified by the relative proportions of the demographic groupings of the people who belong to it or who vote for it."^^ A third conception regards both of ^Angus Campbell et al., The American Voter (New York* John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ,~T'9^0) , '^^lM-2K^. ^^Paul F. Lasarsfeld et al., The People's Choice (New York: Colimbia UniversTl— pVessTT:m]tn"^l^g^GimTDbell glg-Vpt e ^' De cides (Evanston, 111.: Row, Peterson, l^5hl; Angus Carapbell and Robert L. Kahn, Tiw People Elect a ^l^dent (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University oF-mcingSn-pTi^iT-

PAGE 15

8 these as static, on the ground that they fail to take into account the dynamic eleraent of rien acting in concert through association and leadership. From this standpoint, the essential feature of the party is its organization, the workers ani full-time staff, and th3 party bureaucracy. This conception emphasizes the dynamic internal processes whereby the members are controlled by the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy by the leaders, and the leaders by the other two in competition for the contz'ol of the party. In sum, each of these approaches concentrates on different aspects of the political party: the first on its ideological orientation, the second on its class or group composition; the third on the formal and effective distribution of 12 authority within the organization. Pollov;ing Leiserson,-'-^ an approach vrhich vrould encompass features of all thr'ee oi'lentations is possible and desirable--and this approach may be delineated when we study the relationship bstvrcen ideas and institutions, as well as between ideas and the people making up these institutions in a given milieu. This relationship can be a key to serviceable distinctions among different political systems. In the words of Lowenstein, '•'•Robert Kichels, Political Parties (New York: Collier Books, 1962). pp. bl-^oT' ~ " '•'•Neil A. McDonald, Th0_Studx_of Political Parties (Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday & Co7, rnc';7~1953T, ppT~9^ 36. •^Avery Leiserson, Par t i_efi_ ?nd^ Poll tics (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1958T,"~rp. i33"13tl.

PAGE 16

All political systems are necessarily operated by institutions and ideologies. Institutions are the apparatus through which the power process functions in a society organized as a state. . . . Ideologies . . . are the values and value systems that underlie the institutions and determine their telos . . . . Most institutions are conditioned, generated, and operated by ideology .lijAnd Lowenstein stresses the intimacy of ideology and institution also in historical terms, The political party is . . . indispensable for organizing and activating the political will of a mass electorate. The coincidence of the mass suffrage and i'.s mobilization by political parties is clearly ev: lenced by the first appearance of a political party in the modern technological sense, the Jacobins under the rule of the Convention. Here a concrete political ideology was carried to the masses by rationalized organization and propaganda. ^5 If one applies this relationship betv:een ideology and institution to a study of a political party, in this case the Accion Democrdtica Party of Venezuela, one may argue that Accion Democrdtica was conditioned by the geographic, the constitutional, and the historical settings in which it emerged and in which it has operated. In the evolution of the Party's ideology, AD received the influen of and was challenged by other ideologies both in and out of Venezuela. Its ideological orientation has been shaped by a broad spectrum of social-democratic influences --thus ^^Karl Lowenstein, Political Pov/er and the Govornmental Process (Chicago, 111.: The UniversFty of Chicii^ Press, ISi^'HTpp. 10-11. . / ^ 15 1^^' * P« 76. Von der Mehdcn sees the party ideology as a major factor for unity; i.e., integration and stability, Fred von dcr Ifehden, Politics of the ^y^l2£iag Nations (Englewood Cliff s,^.Tr^ P?enticeHallTlric:, 1961^)7 pp. ny, 138~li|.0.

PAGE 17

. ^ 10 its insistence upon calling itself a n ulti class party. If this is so, then even if the bulk of the membership has consisted of labor and cRmpesino elements, the party programs aim to benefit not only these groups but others as well. But these party programs ha^-'e been enacted because AD has held control over the government executive and because AD has attracted a broad spectrum of group support and has not alienated, at any one time, too many Venezuelans not wholly sympathetic to the Party. In turn, program enactment and implementation have depended upon the particular context in which they hsve emerged. The constitutional, the geographical, and the historical framevrork have left their indelible imprint upon the AD governments ' programs and upon the way in which these programs have been enacted and implemented. AD's functioning as a channel between government and governed has been limited by the resources placed at its disposal; on the other hand, the way these resources are being used by the AD-controlled government has reflected AD's ideological orientation and membership demands. To better understand the role that AD has pleyod as a force for the dei.iocr&tic modernization of Venezuela, it is also necessary to look at the other democratic ideologies and political parties existent in the country and to consider where Acci6n Democr^tica fits on the Venezuelan political spectrum. In examining the various aspects of the political philosophy that undergirds AD and the several ideologies and movements which influenced

PAGE 18

11 and challenged the Party (such as the impact of the Peruvian Apristas and the challenge of the Castroite FALN) , it is necessary also to consider the political history of Accion Democrdtica. Finally, v;e shall be concerned v/ith the "represen^-ativeness" of the nation 1 Party program and organization. Implicit in these themes is our assumption that AD has been a prominent factor in the contemporary Venezuelan political process. Its commitments to a v;ide range of programs for the benefit of the largest possible number of Venezuelans (not just AD followers) have bolstered the Party's claim to have governed in a truly democratic fashion— that is, in a m.anner in which no single group controls all the benefits to be gained from the country's resources, V/hat is behind this assuiaption is that we view the relationship between the democratic political system and its political parties as e coinplcx one, full of reciprocal influences. Seen in this context, the party is to a great extent an essential instrument, a necessary condition or ingredient of democracy as ve know it. But though it may be in this sense a prerequisite of democracy, it is also democracy's child. The rise of the political party in the Western democracies parallels the rise of demands for greater popular participation in public affairs. This is considered true in the history of parties in the United States

PAGE 19

12 , 16 and, as v;e shall see, it is also true m Venezuela. Further, our assumption that AD can be considered a "modern democratic mass pai'ty" elicits the crucial differentiation between this party and other Venezuelan parties — a differentiation that lies in the relationship between the party leaders and the rest of the population, especially the large number of party nombors as well as in the type of party ideology and structure. Is this ideology in any way a reflection of nembership aspirations and demands? Is the structure flexible enough to penait close contact between members and leaders and a chance for advancement of members vjithin the party hierarchy? A mass party, at its best, has developed an organization which can publicize and encourage the mass discussion of important 17 issues. These issues, in tvirn, are defined, not only at the top of the party hierarchy but also at its base. Here the mass party is a channel of communication and, if the party has remained dominant in the national scene for a number of years, its communicative value becomes also an integrative force in the formation of political awareness for the whole nation. Thus, if a dominant party fulfills The literature on U.S. parties and their relationship to democracy is voluminous. For an interesting and recent study see Frank J. Sor-auf , Politica l Parties in the American System (Boston: Little, Erown & Co., 196IiTr~ especlaJly pp. 153-169. 17 See the discus?iion on mass parties in Ruth Schachter, "Singlo-Party Systems in V/ost Africa," American Political Science Review , LV (June, 1961), 29I4.-307.

PAGE 20

13 its mission as a channel between various individuals, groups, interests, if it acts as a mediator and a broker between government and governed, this party shows not only characteristics of a modern, mass party, but, more Lnportantly, it can be labeled a "democratic" in3ti-,ution-one that is crucial in the building of an open society. When we look at Acci6n DemocrStica from this angle, our study is not only an original survey of that Venezuelan party but it is also a survey which seeks to look at AD in its dynamic relationships within its own structure as well as with the society as a whole. An earlier study of Acci6n Democr^tica, utilizing materials mostly through I963, surveyed that Party's structure, membership, and program in great detail but failed to delve deeply into the relationships that may exist among these aspects of a political party considered in a certain national context, i^ere is little indication, for example, that the author of this earlier study extended his field work beyond Caracas and the national leadership of the party.^^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^ centratos on the accomplishments of the Betancourt government (1959-19610 and certain chapters are devoted to a ^^i^lO^ historical and programmatic review of 18 a Modern Po?Ui?;/pLl; TrTV^^^^^f^^-'^^l^-olnti^ of Anderson, R.view 0/ Aollrn ^efolJktiT^ also Charles W. Modern Political ror,TXr-ri~i^~~~-^-S^i~ Evolution of a i2H£Hal^PpUti_ XXIX (F^b.™!;:: ?967f ^16°°''-

PAGE 21

Ik Acci6n Democrfitica.'''^ A much earlier monograph vjas mainly concerned with the emergence and the programs of Accion Democratica prior to the 1958 overthrow of the dictator Perez Jimenez. 21 Pollov;ing Myrdal's advice xor the researcher, we must state that the bias of our choice of approach is based not only on its originality but also on the preference to look at a political institution — a party in this case-in its ideological, its historical, and its representative character. Above and beyond this lies an interest in studying a party that apparently has tied its ideology to other manifestations of democratic ideologies in Latin America, that can be viewed within the setting of contemporary Venezuela, and that may have served as a linlc betx^een the ideological positions of its membership and its leadership. With a reformist program, v/ith the core of its membership and leadership in peasant and labor groups, it is interesting to question and to probe the extent to which it may be studied as a possible model for other Latin-American parties that aim to place themselves within the democratic spectrum as well as serve their membership by gaining legitimate control of the government ^^Robert J. Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic devolu tion (How Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers UniversTEyTress , I96I4.I. 20 Stanley J. Serxner, Accion De nocrgtica of yenezuel a; Its_^ri£l^and_Developr^ (Gainesville, Fla.* University of Florida Press , ~19j9")T^ 21 Gunnar Myrdal , An American Dilemma (New Yo^'k: Harper & Brothers, 19101) ,"pprior/™ro5in

PAGE 22

1^ thi'Dugh elections. And once this control is obtained, the parties would then aim to perpetuate the democratic processes and to obtain, through these processes, a better standard of 22 living for all. The above discussion gives a clue as to the path to be folloi^ed in gathering data for this study. V/orks such as those of Leiserson, Sigmund, Duverger (already cited). Almond, ^3 Pye,^^ Deutsch,^^ and Ward^^ sketch out the broad framework i-zithin which we seek to consider the party in question. For our specific area of study, Latin America Arthur P. Whitaker and David C. Jordan in Nation alism in Contemporary Latin America (Nev; York: The Free Press, 1966), p. con'clude~^at "Acci6n Democrdtica may have been instrumental in the democratic modernization of Venezuela. They add, "Venezuela [in turned a corner in that Leoni was the first constitutionally elected president in the country's history to succeed one who had filled out his term. . . . Perhaps the election of December 1963 did reflect the achievement of a sufficiently broad national consensus so that Venezuela's current leadership can continue to seek revolutionary nationalist goals in an evolutionary manner." 23 Gabriel A. Almond et al . , Th e Politi cs of the D evelopin g Areas (Princeton, l07: Princeton UnTv^rsity Press, 1:9607: ^ o\ George McT. Kahin, Guy J. Pauker, and Lucian Pye, Comparative Politics in Non-Western Countries," American Political Scienc e Review , XLIX (December, 1955), IO22-IOI4T; Lucian Pye7~''The Non-Western Political Process," P^^Jii^. XX (August, 1958), 1;68-1^86; Lucian Pye, Aspecl^s of Political Development (Boston: Little. Brown & Co., I966), especially pp. 71-88. 25 Karl W. Deutsch and William J. Foltz (eds.), Nation-Buxlding (New York: Atherton Press, I963). 26 I.-.^ o Robert E. Ward et al .. Studyin g Pol itics Abroad: Field Research m the Developing Are a sTBoctBnT — Lit tlT~~ Brown & Co., I^G^IT^

PAGE 23

.16 v/ith emphacis on Venezuela, v/orks such as those of Cole,^*^ Alexander, Kanfcor,^^ Betancourt ,3^ and Lander31 provide guidelines to the ideological orientation of Accion Deraocratica. The research tools, beyond the readin^i of general works, include the use of governmont documents, Venezuelan publications on government and politics, periodicals, the writings of political leaders, party literature, etc. Interviews concentrate upon party leaders and party members in those groups to which the party has directed most of its appeal and who form the core of its membership --labor and the rural population. These interviews provide further data on the role of AD as a factor for the integration and modernization of Venezuela, particularly as this role is viewed by its leaders and followers. "^^ The organization of this study follows e pattern 27 >^ , G» ^' H. Cole, Com munism a nd Social Democracy 77?? S''^n?^oS-^^'' ^ ^"-^ J^tSTT-I^STTTv, pt. II, T$oAlexander, The V ene zuelB_nD emocrat ic Revolution Hssimj also his "The Latin Ai^5H^^[irTfiTFtT"Pi[?Hi^ i!2lj:^al Quar^te£l£> (July, 19k9 ) . 29 Harry Kan tor, "The Development of Accion 31 T^c^r..-r.^, ' L^-^JsJLander, "La Doctrina Venesolana de Acci6n Democr^tica " Cuadernos Americanos [Mexico] LII (JulyAugust, 1950), 20^^39^ vouxy 32 See supra . Appendix.

PAGE 24

17 parallel to that used as methodology in that it proceeds from the general to the specific. Thus, we first look at the geographic, demographic, constitutional, and historical settings in which we find today's Accidn Democratica. Next we examine Accion DemocrStica in the context of presentday Venezuelan political ideologies and programs. This is followed by a series of chapters on specific areas such as labor, agrarian reform, resource utilization and welfare, foreign relations. In those chapters we attempt to contrast the party's programmatic positions with its members' and leaders' aspirations and demands. Wo further look at the AD government's accomplishments as possible factors in the political integration and moderiiization of Venezuela. All these topics underline the central concept of this study— that one must look at a political party not in a vacuum but in an ecological and historical context. As a political institution and as an ideology, Accion Democratica represents a portion of the total milieu. This milieu not only influences Acci<5n DemocrStica, but Acci6n Democrdtica likewise exerts an influence upon this milieu. This concept has successfully been used by other students of political parties who were also concerned with the relations between parties and other groups in the 33 t ^ , These issues were explored in nart thrnM
PAGE 25

18 society and between parties and the society as a whole. Like these students, we are not interested in political groups as such, although the systematic study and comparison of the internal str>ueture and the dynamics of groups, ar universes unto themselv.s, would be a worthwhile intellectual exercise. Rather, our partic\ilar interest, and one that v/e endeavor to emphasize in this study, is the role of a political party in the functioning and in the development of the Venezuelan society and the political system of which it is a pert. It is our contention that at this stage of Venezuela's development, the examination of its dominant political party not only illuminates most clearly the nature of Venezuelan politics, but also shows the importance of this party as a major determinant of the unfolding Venezuelan political scene. In affirming the primacy and the centrality of a party in Venezuelan politics, wo are at once confronted with the issue of the 3Ua list of these studies is becoming iucreasinp-lv extensive--an indicator perhaps of tho usefulness of this conceptual approach to political parties in various settings Among these studies we may cite Schachter's ''n^D^r^r^^" ^^^^^ Africa"; Myron Weiner, P^???Performance and the Development of Modern I?Jt J-r^ Case," Journal of Politicsr ?fJJ.^^?''^n^^''!> 830-8[^9; L. VinTo-H^rrag^tr^^' Mexico's One-Party System; A Ro-Evaluation," American luib S cience Rev iew. LI (December, 1957 , 99^

PAGE 26

19 . group approach to politics. 3^ We are not seeking to prove, with data drawn from an exotic milieu, the proposition of Arthur Bentley and others that everywhere groups are the most relevant phenomena to study in politics. We do not here wish to encumber the argument with this particular issue. Our contention, rather, is based essentially on the highly determinative role a political party— and the various political groups that make it up or that interact with it— has been allowed or compelled to assume in contemporary Venezuela because of the nature of the society in which this party functions. Just as the preeminence of Accion Democrdtica is ,.r ^^^^^ ^' Merkl, in Political Continuity and IEl?^thJ'inI?fl'V^^"''^'J '''^~^TT7Trj^h^ins that the institutions of government and the policymaking process of a given political community do not exist in a vacuum. They are part of the fabric of . ? . I l^^itJl /??y/°^*lect its social meres, customs, and explicit beliefs or ideologies. . . . Government and politics are part and parcel of v.'hat has been called dllfSS^MfSr^; ^^^^ interaction of the many different kinds of groups of society, social classes ™«'nn?^"?"^^ groupings, geographical communitiosrany pa?Sies?" interest groups, and political 36 criticism/^? statements on. the group approach and for criticisms of this approach, see Arthur Bentley. The Pi>ooa.,o ^LGovernment (Chicago: University of Chicag^Pri^^lsBT^ pavid B. Truman, The Governmontal Process (llfw yIX-' " Alfred A. Knor»r. t;:;;^: Tocrr\-T---rT-r=r--•--rT^^ ^„ lonz. nagan, me Group m a Politicri c^r«iovi„o 'i ^ v, v / -, x of Polltl?7 i?TT°f;*r''"^" Situations," Journal °i rozitlcs. XXII (February, I960), 29-li9,

PAGE 27

20 the most striking feature of the political history of Venezuela in the past throe decades, so the problems of national integration and of modernization are the major issues and obstacles in the task of national development which is itself the primary preoccupation of the leadership of the country. Accion Deraocratica appears dctjtinod, because of its central importance, to play a determinative role in the resolution of, or in the failxu'e to solve, the problems of integration and of modernization. The concept of "national integration" has a variety of meanings which are not always clearly identified. For our purposes, national integration is a broad subsuming process v;hose major dimension is £oli U ca^ Anteg ration , which refers to the progressive bridging of the elitemass gaps on the vertical plane in the course of developing an integrated political process and a participant political community. Here we look at Accion DeiaocrStica as a channel of communication and as an agency of mediation bet'.Teen policy makers on the one hand and the majority and minority points of view at the grass roots on the other. It is our contention that Acci6n Deir:ocratica • s acting as an instrument of mediation between government and the people has boen the party's most important function from the standpoint of stability as well as flexibility within the Venezuelan

PAGE 28

21 political system.^'' The concept of "modernization" is likewise defined in a myriad of ways. For our purposes, however, modernization is regarded as a broad and multiform process whereby •37 -"Of. Padgett, "Mexico's One-Party System," where the author examines Mexico's Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) from a similar viev^Joint. See also Kirchheimer, "The Transformation of the V/e stern European Party Systems," p. 182, where he defines political integ^^ation as the capacity of a political system to make groups and their members previously outside the official political fold_ full-fledged participants in the political process. He viev/s mass parties as crucial factors either for or against such an integration. Robert E. Scott, "NationBuilding in Latin America," in Deutsch and Foltz (eds.), pl^,-Bui.ldin|r, pp. 73-83, concludes that the ma1or block to integration vdthin Latin-American countries is' the dearth of 'participants in the entire political process" rrff • S r ^ ^^^"^ recent article, Scott states that the few Latin American political parties which have played any real role in the public-policy process are those which have attempted ... to serve as 8 bridge between the unintegrated masses and national political life, "Scott in LaPalorabara and Weiner (eds.), Political Parties and ££iitaxalj)j^^_e^ pp. 331-367nrq^Te"'is' olTFTlirsT. Aristide R. Zolberg m "Mass Parties and National InteFrarryr^'K^ J^"" °''^^of J^''?^ Coast," Journal of Politics, XXV iPebruary, I963), 36-1^8, stresses"thi[t~^'^K^i?3Y observers . . . have often reported the positive contributions of political organizations to national integration. ... The examination of the contributions of politicax parties and movements to this process is particularly relevant because it is related to one of the oldest problems of politics, namely man's ability to direct acUnn-'^MS?^ selected goals through volitional fS^i ^^"^"''^ <^oncur by saying that "the p^itical party and the government bureaucJa?? are the two most likely candidates for this speciaUze^^ mediating role . . . between the great range of articulated interests and the final making of\uthorit?ti?e iSles! Botn . . provide direct lirJcs between large numbers of interest groups .nd tho decision makers, and yet a?6 capable cussion on this topic, see pp. 98-127.

PAGE 29

22 the natural resources of Venezuela are put to utmost use with the view of providing all the country's human resources— i.e. , all the social sectors — the best possible conditions of well-being. Such a concept of modernization implies a : estructuring of Venezuelan society--the sectors which have long held monopoly of resources as well as the benefits from these resources will now share their privilege with other sectors of the society. It should equally imply a restructuring that takes place without the breakdown of the political system--a coup might impede modernization by reverting to traditional patterns of power and privilege. is to decide what are the relevant guidelines and goals in modernization? How are these goals achieved? Whet has been the role of Accion Democrlltica leaders and members in the setting of goals, of guidelines, and of methods to achieve them? The answer to those questions uncovers the linl: between political integration, modernization, the ideal of democracy and the role of a political party in achieving each of these. inv.' Of. David E. Apter, The Politics of Modernization (Chicago: University of Chicago Pres.%~r955') , for hTS ~ definitions of modernization (especially pp. 3, 9, and 67). y^Fov provoking discussions of this link, see Seymour M. Lipset, "Some Special Requisites of Democracy: hcononic Development and Political Legitimacy," American Politic g.1 Science Review . LIU (Karch, 1959), tfl^QV ll^^^^^^rFZ^^"^ Political Asprcts of Social Structure and Process," in David Easton (ed.). Varieties of Political Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Pr^nin^rHOTTTH^-TllIt pp. 71-112; and Lucian W. Pye, Aspects of Political Develool Hgnt especially pp. 71-83. Pye-|^HHm^^-^'f^?F^^ ana^participataon must go hand in hand an the buildinriif th^T-in'th:: ll' ''k ^ ''^''''^^ veL:iorowUz'ftaLs that in those cases where more or less successful changes

PAGE 30

23 ^ In the area of political integration and modernization, no single agent seoris of greater importance than the political party. This is because political parties are themselves historically so closely associated with the modernization of Western societies and, in various forms, have become the instruments of modernization in the developing areas. In these areas, further, it is often the case that a party has been largely instrumental in mobilizing the populace towards the struggle for independence.^^ For those countries where independence has long been achieved, such as in Latin America, the party may be the agency which seeks to bring within its own Jurisdiction the various sectors, individuals, and geographical regions-it seeks to become the crucible where all these different factors come together in a common search for -poi-tev to fulfill their own particular demands. For those countries v/hore the party is already in power — in charge of the government — ideally its primary function becomes to organize public opinion and test attitudes and to transmit these to government officials and in the social structure have been brought about in Latin America, i.e. Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia, and . , . Ven^zueDa, the party apparatus becones the vessel." Irv^'ng Louis Horowitz, "Party Charicsza," Studies of ComT^orativo Intornational Ijo y el p pment , I (196Frr"B3^J7T~~QS^tion onpT'Sg. ^^homas Kodgkin, African Political Parties (LondonPenguin Books, 1961), espenmi^-^FrTScf-^^^ li^onaon.

PAGE 31

21^ . leaders so that the ruled and rulers, public and government, are in reasonably close accord. The entire representative principle of government rests on this relationship. In a similar vein, the relationship between party and moder-.ization, whether moderni ^.ation in technology or organization, appears clearly in the campaigns and manifestoes of the various political parties. As a goal, modernization is particularly effective since the desire for industrialization, education, better means of communication and sanitation is widespread tliroughout the developing areas .^'"^ The employment of all the mass media during political campaigns, the use of journalists, cartoonists, poster-makers, and pamphleteers, also helps to identify political action with modernity and to stress the instrumental role of party activity in change and innovation. Similarly, the registration of voters, compilation of lists, and appointment of polling officers, voting papers and ballot boxes, the use of school children as messengers and of schools as meeting halls or of agrarian reform recipients as political organizers and agrarian reform colonies as rallying grounds, and even the organization of a country into voting constituoncies, districts, and «o i*has been found strikingly true in Venezuela, as it v/ill be pointed out later in this paper. Dsm'el Lerner, "Conflict end Consensus in Guayana," in Fr-ank Bonilla and Jose A. Silva Ilichelena (eds.). Studying t-.he If51|Z'^:^l^olity Mass.: Ke^saao^lt^i^ stituW^r^echnology, I966), pp. ii.79-512.

PAGE 32

25 wards, all encourage the identification of the mechanics of politics v;ith a modern culture. For the political party and the politician in a modernizing system, the ideal of democracy becomes an expansive concept. "Democracy" has to be understood as involving a variety of economic and social objectives: the expansion of national output and national income; a more effective mobilizing of labor; a more rapid development of povrer, industry, and communications; the elimination of illiteracy and "backwardness" through mass education; and the provision of universal, frco, primary education. Thus the slogan "democratic freedom" of many of these political parties is actually understood to mean "freedom to enjoy the blessings of Western standards of subsistence."^"^ Confronted with such expansive demands, the parties in modernizing systems rarely limit themselves to the more or less passive rcle of transmitting private wants to the makers of public policies. Nor arc they solely aggregative devices, collecting varying exprossioiis of want, belief, and outlook. On the contrary, the political parties of a modernizing society play an active entrepreneurial role in the formation of those ideas, and in the linking of the ss ^ See W. J. M. Mackenzie and Kenneth S. Robinson (©ds.). Five Elections in Africa (Oxford: Clarendon Pre i960), for interesting iliuslrations of use of modern machinery and sophisticated techniques in electoral campaigns in developing nations. . ^%odgkin, Af^lxa^n_^Ppnti£al^ pp. 155-160; David Apter, The Gold Coast i n "Transit ion-lTrinp.nl-.nnj N.J.* Princeton University Press, 19ir5T7'~chap3T V-XIV.

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26 public and the leadership in such a way that power is generated, mobilized, and directed. Viewed in this manner, the party not only "represents" its membership at the same time that it forms a linlc between the government and the governed, but it also "leads" those it represents by evolving for them new goals and interpretations of modernity and of integration.^'^ In developing these "representative" and "leadership" fimctions, the political party is restricted by the entire sociopolitical framework of the society in which it operates. It depends upon the society's physical, demographic, and historical setting; it requires a constitutional framework congenial for its own very existence and functioning (i.e., the type of political party system allowed to operate); and it depends upon the groupings in the society for its membership. On the other hand, the political party itself has an impact upon the entire framework in which it operates. A party is, after all, a subgroup in the system v/ith its own means of generating power. In terms of this aspect, which may be the most critical in the developing nations, the party is often seen as the microcosm of the future society. Society and government become dependent on party organization and leadership for their transformation Apter, The_Polit5x3_oJ^ pp. 179-222. McDonald, ."me^Study of Political Parties, pp U35; Duvergor, PoliticaTTar^^

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27 into modern and democratic entities. One would conclude that parties are not merely the passive transmitters of opinions from the individual to the narketplace of the collectivity. In the v;ords of Apter, They [parties] represent a set of . . . variables that drastically affect social stratification, while giving concrete expression to grievances and relative scarcity as particular issues. Hence, in modernization, political parties play a critical role in building a system around themselves, by becoming a modernizing device manipulated by political entrepreneurs .4° This conclusion suggests that if we are to uncover the link betv/een political integration, modernization, the ideal of democracy, and the role of a political party in the pursuit of each of these; if we are to look at the Accion Democratica Party of Venezuela in an ecological and historical context as an agent for political integration and modernization through democratic means, the starting point of our study logically lies in an examination of the physical, the demographic, the constitutional, and the historical framework in which we find that party. Only then can we look at the party itself and the ways in vrhichgiven the context in which it operates— this party has sought to integrate Venezuelans in the mainstream of democratic modernization. Apter, The Politics of Ifodornization. p. 222. For a theo-etical model of tiiiT bar3ailuTrg"~^ce3s , see Anthony Downs, An Economic^Thoo^^^ (jTew YorkHarpor Row 195-/^ See aiiZTRfelTTrrAll^d Party and Society (Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1963)."^ ,

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CHAPTER II THE GEOGRAPHIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, AND CONSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS It was ai'gued, in the previous chapter, that Acci6n Democratica was conditionod by-^-and made an impact upon--the geographic, the demographic, the constitutional, and the historical settings in which it emerged and in which it has operated. V/e shall now examine this argument first by looking at these settings in themselves and then by looking at their possible relationship to Accion Democrdtica as an institution and as an ideology. In doing so, we shall be interested in bringing out some of the changes that have occurred in these settings during Accion Democratica 's existence as a party. Significant areas of change and their possible relation to the partyits program, its leadership, its membership, its government—shall be examined in greater detail in subsequent chapters. Venezuela was the first country on the mainland of There is much written on this topic. The best single source based on the most recent official fi-ures is vZlzollnrL\^^^^^^ (Caracas: °Cul?ural yenezolana, S.A./igblT). Other sources include Jesils Antonio Cova Gej5-raf_<^27:^^ Politica de Vorozue^a (Caracas: Elite, 1935T; l^iS^^^^^i^r^m^T^oTrMy^^ llsicajr^2i^^ (7th od.; Cak^-'^^daciSn 28

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29 the Nev: V/orld discovered by Columbus. Filled with wonderment by the natural beauty of the country, he concluded that he must have arrived at the earthly paradise, El Do rado . His letter to the Catholic King and Queen of Spain reported that "for in this Blessed Land I fovnd the mildest climate and the land and trees very green . , , and the people there are of a very lovely stature . . . and many wear pieces of gold around their necks and some have pearls around their arms. These are great proofs that this is the Earthly 2 Paradise. " Tlie nev7s of the discovery of the Promised Land by the Admiral awoke a lively interest among other navigators, and in the wake of his caravels they came, first to harvest the rich pearls of Margarita and Cubagua, and later to look for the Golden City of El Dorado. Cumand, an eastern Venezuelan port on the Caribbean, was the first city settled by Europeans on the South American continent. Lying close to poarl fisheries, it was founded by Spanish soldiers^ in I5l5 and named Nueva C6rdoba. Meanvihile, other great navigators extended Columbus' discovery. First among Eugenio Mendoza, 1961); Guillermo Zuloaga, A Geographical Glimpse of Venezuela (Caracas: Cronotip, 195TyTRaym6onrcrE. Crist, Vene/:u ela "T2d ed. rev.; Garden City, N.J. : Doubleday, 196ij.); Luis A. Cardenas, Geograf f a Fisica do Venezu ela (2d ed.; Caracas: Publ , Venezolanas, 196^571 For~good pictures, see Herbert Kirchhoff, Venezuela (Buenos Aires: Kraft, 195'^). 2 Quoted in Pan American Union, Venezuela (XiTasbJ n^ton, D.C.: Pan American Union, 1965), p. 5 anT-STi^in Guillermo Zuloaga, "A Geographical Glimpse of Venezuela," FaroD [Caracas], XXIV (November-December, 1962), I3. "

PAGE 37

them were Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda, whose expedition along the shores of the Caribbean led to the discovery of Lake Maracaibo and the naming of the land. The native huts built on piles above the waters of the lake reminded Vespucci of Venice; so he called the land a little Venice, a Venezuela .^ Venezuela lies on the north coast of South America between latitudes 0%5' and 12^12' and longitudes 59°i;5' o and 73 09'. Located entirely in the tropics the geographical aspects of the country embrace a diversity of regional types: in the north is a hot coastal strip that lies at the foot of the Andean coastal ranges; beyond the mountains are the broad and flat plains of the Orinoco River, giving way in the south to the extensive plateau country and eventually to the Amazon rain forest which effectively isolates the country from Brazil. Colombia, to the v;est, is the only country with which it has any appreciable land communication. Contacts with Guayana, the formsr British colony, to the east, have been intermittent and, more often than not, hostile. With an area of about 352,150 square miles (officially 912,050 square kilometers), with a l,75o mile 3 o„ Comienzos de la Administraci6n fo??nS J %V?TSarxta " Ravi^^^ [Caracas], IV (October, 1965 ,11-30. There has bTSH~i-o-me controversy as to who named the new land. Present-day historians g.ve the honor to Vespucci. See J. S. Cola, Descibrfdorcs Conaui^d^or^^ de Venezuela (HidFr^ri^^-. Sociedad Hispano-Venezolana de~EdTH^i^"3TT96l), pp.* 1^9-

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31 coastline on the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Venezuela is the sixth largest country in South America and approximately one-and-one-half times the size of Texas. ^ Rich in mineral resources, it is one of the world's leading producer of petrolevun and its iron reserves t.re being Increasingly exploited. The Orinoco River, l,3l44 miles long and in South America second only to the Amazon and the eigath largest in the \rorld, drains most of the country and affords 1,200 miles of navigation for light ve.r,sels, v/hich greatly facilitates internal transportation. Besides the Orinoco, over 1,000 rivers run throughout Venezuela, many of them navigable or potential sources for hydroelectric power. ^ The Orinoco River and the mountain system divide Venezuela into four distinct regions: the Mountains, the Coastal Zone, the Orinoco Llanos (plains), and the Guayana (Guiana). Each is markedly different in climate, topography, vegetation and among thorn there has been traditionally (at least up to the 1920' s) little of the contact and interchange which v;ould have helped weld Venezuela into a unified and integrated nation-state. Although the entire country lies vxithin the Torrid YT ^^"^^^'^f.f]'^if:Si ^ Gl^^nce," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XI (Winter, 1961^-1965), 16. This Ts" aH-H•^^:^fer^i^IOTcatlon of the Venezuelan government. T.,, ^"f'ountry Highlights: Vener.uela, " Latin American Business Hinhli^hts. XV (1st quarter, 1965)",~nri~Tr7dustrialization Program Forging a Modern Venezuela," Now X£FiL.TiB«s, sec. 12 (May 26, I963), pp. 12, 33"PetrTH^nm Transforms Venezuela into ai Industrial Power,'' iMd^f pp. llj."3.5» '

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32 Zone, the climate varies greatly v/ith altitude--the coastal strip is the hottest area on the entire Caribbean, while several peaks of the Andes are sno\^ covered the year around. Maracaibo, at sea level, is one of the hottest cities in the Americas, .;ith a mean annual temperature of 82.i|.°F, La Guaira, tho main harbor, is usually uncomfortably hot, while Caracas, only a few miles away but with an altitude of 3,000 feet has an average temperature of 68.9°. Mountain climbing and skiing are possible in the Sierra Nevada of M^rida State. Here is Bolivar Peak, 16,1|11 feet above sea level and highest point in Venezuela. The low-lying Llanos are continually hot and alternatively excessively dry or excessively \:et, while the mountain regions have a pleasant climate, ranging from tropical to temperate. Although the seasons vary somewhat throughout the country, the rainy season generally extends from May to December, but even in the dry season there are few places where occasional rain does not fall every month of the year. Venezuela as a whole lies south of the usual path of hurricanes and cyclonic storms occur very infrequently.^ The Mountain Region, which includes the Andes, the Perijd Range, the mountains and arid zones of Palc6n and Lara states, and the Coastal Range, is tho heart of -.1^ ^Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Pecursos, pp. 7ii-75, l'l-7, 158, 162-191, 2o5r: — — i:>>

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33 Venezuela's economic, political, and cultural life.*^ With the mildest climate in the country and with good farr/ilands, this is the most densely populated region in Venezuela. Although it covers only 12% of the country's area, it holds 65^ of the nation's population. Her-? are most of the country's chief centers of population and five of its six largest cities (all above 100,000 inhabitants) --Caracas, with over a million and a half inhabitants; Barquisimeto, 250,000 population and one of the fastest growing cities in Venezuela; Valencia, 200,000 population and the largest industrial city; Maracay, 1^0,000 population, a farming market and rival of Valencia as an industrial center; San Cristoba?, 109,000 population, traditional trade center for the plains, Andean region and part of Colombia. Here are most of Venezuela's universities— three in Caracas, the University of Carabobo in Valencia, the school of medicine at Earquisimeto, and the University of the Andes in Merida, the latter attracting not only a largo number of Venezuelans, but also many foreign students, especially Colombians. Its valleys arc the richest and most productive agricultural region in the country, the chief crops being coffeo, rice, sesame, corn, cotton, and sugar cane.^ Preston E. Janes in Latin America (New York* Th,. Odyssey Press, 1959), p. 70, caTir~tTrr--the nuclear V of Venezuela. On this part of the country the polUical interests come to a focu., and hore one finds the densest rural populations and the largest city." ucnsca^ ^ "Seven Cities Pass 100,000 Population Mark " J^nSlH^aJJg-tp^ X (Winter, 196i|..1965) , 'll-12 • 'j-^arrcro V^l^l^uelaj, SusJi^^^^ p. 206; Venezuela Caracas and * t|e^|™ ^Caracas: HUr^ .t-EFI^-STm^i-^'^^,,,

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31^ The Coastal Zone, the narrow strip of land betv/een the mountains and the sea, is the smallest of the geographical regions of Venezuela. It broadens out tov;ard the west to leave roora for Lake Maracaibo, and toviard the east for the Orinoco Delta. Maracaibo, the largest lake in South America, is 96 miles long and 7^ miles vjide, and it is connected with the sea by a 25-mile-long channel that has been dredged to allov; for the passage of large oil tankers and other deepdraft ships. Its two margins are now linked at the lake's narrowest point by a five -mile-long bridge. Important cities and ports — Maracaibo, Cardon, Punto Pi jo, Amuay, Puerto Cabello, La Guaira, Puerto La Cruz, Guanta, Cuman^, and Carupano — are located in the coastal region, where 18.$% of the country's population lives, occupying 7% of its area. Cocoa grows in the warm valleys near the sea, and farther inland there are large plantations of sugar cane, bananas, and coconuts. The attractive Venezuelan island of Margarita lies near the coastal zone end has become a tourist center of major importance, while the island of Gubagua, today practically deserted, was the seat of one of the first Venezuelan towns. The topography of these islands, some of which are quite mountainous, is unlike that of the rest of the coastal zone, despite their closeness to it. g ^Marrero, Venezuela y__Su3 Recursos, pp. 1^9-160. 230; Luis Fernando Chaves, £argarTp'"7~sirRegi 6n Seca (Caracas: Universidad Central de VeheiueTaT 19^. )

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35 Mai-acaibo, the country's second largest city, is the best known and most important center in the coastal region. A trading and shipping center, Maracaibo serves Zulia State, which is one of the leading producers of oil, sugar, bananas, rice, cott'^n, cattle, and hogs in t'le country, as well as the Andean states farther weot. Among its most important industries are petroleum refineries, building materials, paints, beer, clothing, candies, soap, and paper products. More than 2,000 wells have been drilled in the lake and from them, over 700 million barrels of oi3 are pumped. The oil industry attracted capital as well as population; Maracaibo, which had only about 15,000 inhabitants i|.0 years ago, in 1966 had over 50C,000.-'-^ The Mountains Region and Coastal Zone contain the five largest cities in the country--cities that have witnessed a tremendous gro^;th from 1936 to 1966 as can be demonstrated in Table 1. In contrast to the Mountains Region and the Coastal Zone, the remaining regions of Venezuela are relatively sparsely populated. The Llanos, flat and wide expanses of land, are partly cleared savannahs end partly dense Jungles. Occupying apprcxim.ately 36^ of the area of Venezuela, the Llanos have only about l^.^fo of the total population of the country. The Llanos are drained by the OAR. Mr, ^.'^^-^^'^'^O' X^2eziLcl£_X^us Recursos, pp. 6II . 26^~ y3n^}L^l^_U2zl2::$^^_te, Xl (winter, 196)|-1965), 9-10. .

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36 TABLE 1 GROWTH OP THE FIVE LARGEST VENEZUELAN CITIES, 1936-1966 (in thousands)^ Cities 1936^ 191;!^ 1950^ 1961^ 1966 (est.) Caracas^ 25IJ..I 69ii-.0 ± ) . \j 1 Ann n Maracaibo 110.0 121.6 236.0 I1.2I.I 500.0 Barquisimeto 36, 1^ 51^.2 105.0 199.7 250.0 Valencia ij.9.2 89.0 136.6 200.0 Mar a cay 29.8 32.9 61;. 0 110.5 150.0 Total 607.6 1,188.0 2,231.0 2,700.0 % of Total Venezuelan Population 13.1 21.6 29.7 33 Sources, Marrero, Venezuela y S us Recurso s, passim,* Information Service, Eiabassy of Venezuela, V/ashington," D~'CT; Venezuela, Minis terio de Fonento, various census. Figures correspond to the respective census. Caracas here includes v/hat the Venezuelan government considers as the metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as "greater Caracas." Apure, the Arauca, end other tributaries of the Orinoco and are crisscrossed by countless canals and streams . ''^ Cattle raising is the area's chief industry. The incidence of malaria during the v/et season V7Gs until recently one of the •'-'Ludovico Nesbitt, Desolate Marches; T ravels in * 51 York : HarT3uFtr~BFac e ,

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37 reasons for the sparse population in the Llanos. Until irrigation and v;ater control systems become widespread in this area, the Llanoa will not support large population centers. There are sharp contrasts between the rainy and the dry ser.son. Prom April to Octcber the rivers flood largo stretches of land. The cattle seek shelter in high, unfl coded places, but many perish in the torrent. Travel by land is made difficult or impossible except on the main highways. In the dry season, many rivers cease to exist, pastures wither, and cattle starve. But in spite of these difficulties, the economy of the Llanos, traditionally the cattle country of Venezuela, is undergoing a period of transition and rapid development. The governments of Betancourt and Leoni initiated a number of flood control projects at the same time that they encouraged modern methods of agriculture and cattle breeding. The Jeep is now replacing the horse as a means of transportation and shortening the distances and the roar of airplanes is breaking the quiet of the vast expanses. The Guayana Region, covering roughly half of the national territory ikSfc) , had been until very recently a remote and thinly populated area (2^) lying south and east of the Orinoco River. But the legend of El Dorado''-^-12 n "H®^'® is a Resmae of the Geography of Venezuela." VeHqz uela Up-to-Date . XI (V7lnter, I961A965) , ^.^^"^^^'^-^^^ 13 Edward Ward, The New E ldorado: Venezuela (London; Hale, 1957). ~ ' ^^"^^ . ^

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38 usually associated with the Guayana — -is fast becoming true and, as a result, the Guayana Region promises to be a new focus for dense population. Gold and diamonds are still occasionally found, but it is the iron ore — with an average ferric content of 58?^--tha'in now transforming the northern areas on either side of the Caroni (a tributary of the Orinoco) into an industrial and population center. The Venezuela government's claim that this region is likely to become the most important industrial complex in Latin Am.erica is not a hollow prediction, Along with iron, bauxite and manganese deposits are being explc;red; largescale agriculture as well as a promising livestock business is also beginning to thrive. Upon crossing the Orinoco from the Llanos, a geologically different land is found; in place of the soft alluvial soil of the Llanos, granite masses crop up sometimes containing petroleum, cr are replaced by igneous rocks, v:hich are often associated vrith metal -bearing formations. Here is Bolivar Range, a veritable iron mountain. El Pao, and other deposits still untouched. Further south is the Gran Sabana. The Gran Sabana, a 1);, 000-square-mile plateau, is larger than either Belgium or the Netherlands. The plateau marks the source of nine great rivers, countless creeks. para la Guayana, I963 ) ;^Guayana, " New York Times, sec. 12 (May 26, I963), p. 8. . "^^La Re gi6n de CrTifiYPjia ;_JLTnfl Gama de Oportun^ dades ra la Inversion (Caracas : CorTor7rHIS7rvW?ol'in^"de

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39 and spectacular waterfalls, Including Angel Falls, the highest (3,212 feet) in the world. Beyond the plateau, touching Brazil and Colombia, lies Venezuela's Amazon Territory, still in largo part outside of the effective national territory of Venezuela. '"^ A land of jungles and rivers, the Amazon Territory is inliabited by a sparse population that lives off a profitable trade of rubber and perfumes and, occasionally, gold and diamonds ."'^ From this brief geographical survey some major conclusions and implications stand out. One is impressed by the relatively large size and diversity of the country as well as by the undisputed wealth of its many regions. Furthermore, the vast Venezuelan geographic area has traditionally not been integrated into a modern, unified nation state. Each region tended to have its own way of life, and historically there was little contact between the separate regions. Little sense of nationalism, of common purpose, could grow in this context. Tliese conditions have had implications for the organization and for the progrnTnc. of the Venezuelan political parties.^'' Acci<5n Democrat ica, on ono hand, has sought to bridge these regional gaps and to overcome Venezuela's geographical barriers to national unity. AD, from its ii> Jaiaes, liitin^merijca, pp. 90-91. I6w Marrero, Veii_3£ueJ^^_Sus^ pp. 136-1!|.2. sequent chapters?'''' ^^^^^^^^ in detail in sub-

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1|0 . , . inception, has been av;aro of the necessity of extending its organization throughout the country if it wera in fact to gather a truly broad base and integrate and unify a large 18 nation. Most of Venezuela's 650 municipalities, 1$0 districts, 2nj states, 2 federal terrioories, and the federal district contain a party unit."*"*^ The fundamental base of the party remains the Junta local — a small group of no more than 100 party members in a certain ward ( barrio ) or hamlet ( caserio ) and these can be found surprisingly v;ell spread throughout tha country, from t":].: federal district that embraces Caracas to the Ziruma ; :dian) section of Maracaibo and it is here that most p9JTy members get their first and perhaps only taste of c\ ;ive participation in politics--through indoctrination i.oetings, through social activities, through petitions and voicing of grievances, thi^ough the obtaining of jobs or enrollment in government vrelfaro programs.^^ The wealth of natural resources of Venezuela has meant that its political parties when making promises to improve the welfare of all— a theme commonly sounded throughout the world by politicians-'-have indeed a chance 18 ^ See Accion Demccr&tica, Acclon DemocrStica: Doctrina y Jr^rama (Caracas: SQc•-QT^Ta~W^IS^^~do Propaganda, T962;, pp. 57-71. 19 See Accion DemocrStlca, Estatutos (Caracas: 20„ See supra , chop. V and Appendix.

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to do so through the further exploitation of these natural resources and the taxation of those vrho exploit these resources. In the case of Accion Democrfitica, the accent has been on the taxation of its most intensively exploited resource, petroleum, together with an expanding program to exploit other natural resources (diversification) such as iron and hydroelectric potential, at the same tine that it seeks to enlarge the number of those actively engaged in tilling the extensive fertile areas of the country.^-'in this light, the Venezuelan regions in their vastnoss and variety, can be seen as a challenge to political parties in their efforts to reach the potential voters across the country, while the wealth of these regions can be seen as a means to fulfill the parties' promises to these potential votsrs, Fopulation--Increg.singly Plomogeneous and Ur ban All the various Venezuelan regions give the country an area the size of Texas and Oklahoma corabined-352, 150 square miles^^-with a population slightly over 9 million. ^3 21 • Acci6n Democr&tica, Acci6n Damoc-pStica^Co^ "a; ^ fullest implications. The populaphrase "Tenemos aue sembrer el petrol po" (w^ t,,^^-^ petroleum) was coined by Arturo'^Ssl :;!?ietrr Presx'dJnt ' Medina Angarita' 3 secretary in 19k2. See Ser4^.r a^?-Democr^tica of V ^rr^^n^u^. p. 5. Ser^ner, Accion 22 Pan American Union, Venezuela, p, kl1966 bv fhoT^^""^^"? estimated at 9,189,232 in December of 19b5 by the Venezuelan government. See "Ve-na-yn^ip Glance/, veno.uola gp^g^e, .Xli (Wnt jr?,^?): 16.

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k2 This population remains concentrated along the coastal and Andean Regions, leaving the Orinoco Llanos only sparsely settled and the groat part of the lands south of the Orinoco and its delta the domain of unassiwilated Indians virtually outside the national culture. Except for some Indian tribes and for a few concentrations of people of almost pure Negro ancestry in the coastal region, the process of ethnic amalgamation is relatively advanced. Ethnic labels for groups are little used, and indications are that most individuals consider themselves "Venezuelans" rather than blancos or ^ardos. It is true that in the social sense there remains a correlation between racial descent and class, with strong predominance of whites at the upper levels. But persons of all degrees of mixed ancestry are found at all levels; not by sheer coincidence, former President Betancourt probably had a strain of Negro blood and the present chief executive, Raul Leoni, is of Italian extraction. On the other hand, the Goajiro and Motilone Indians have so far defied government attempts to assimilate them. The miserable Goajiro shacks form a unique section of the petroleum capital, Maracaibo, and not far fron the international airport one can see their women in bright -colored long robes and their men sipping chlcha as they rest on hammocks. Yet, oven they ^spoak mos.iy Spanish and profess Catholicism, both y Africanos^L^'^^f?^ Saignes, Element^^ Lgenas

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^3 universal traits in Venezuela except among a few rain forest Indians and a small mwiber of aliens who are usuallyEnglish-speaking and Protestant. The population of Venezuela increased from 5 million at the time of the 1950 census to aVout 9,200,000 in 1966, an increase of betv/een 3 and per year.*^^ This rate of increase is one of the most rapid in the world and it has been caused by a very high birth rate, a death rate greatly lowered by better sanitary conditions, and a large immigration from Europe since World War II of people v;ho were attracted in part by jobs in construction, mining, and petroleum. This growth of the population can be strikingly illustrated by Table 2. Another characteristic of the Venezuelan population which renders it quite different from most Latin-American populations is its high degree of mobility. The search for jobs and the attraction of bettor living conditions have led to a large-scale migration from the countryside to the cities, causing serious urban overcrowding, particularly in the Caracas area, and a corresponding decline in the portion of the population devoted to agriculture and production of foodstuffs in general. According to official figures, in 1950, one in every five Venezuelans was living in a different 25 fr, ^ , '"^^^ United Nations, Statistical Yearbook, 1965 (New York: United Nations, 19l^lTY'.~SW7~'fhrFS:tt-^^^ population increase in Venezuela is given as 3.kfo annuallv anf r?/?'' increase^f 1.1,^ fofVru^tf^' and 3.2% for Colombia.

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TABLE 2 POPULATION OP VMEZUELA, 1830-1966 (in millions)^ 1830 . . . .0.7 1910 ....2.6 I8i|.0 . . . .1.1 1920 2.8. 1850 . . . .1.3 1930 3.1 i860 . ...1.6 19k0 3.8 1870 . ...1.7 1950 5.0 1880 . . . .1.9 I960 6.9° 1890 . . . .2.1 1961 7.5 1900 . . . .z.k 1965(est)8.7 1966 (est.) 9. 2 Sources: Venezuela, Ministerio de Pomento, Pocket Atlas of Venezuela (Caracas: Ministerio de Pomento, 195'7T7 p. 12; Venezuela, Ministerio de Pomento, Direccion General de Estadlsticas y Censos Nacionales, Noveno Censo General de Poblaci on (Caracas: Ministerio de Pomento, 19^m J Venezuela, Ministerio de Pomento, Diroccion General de Estadlsticas y Censos Nacionales, Octavo Censo General de Poblac ion (Caracas: Ministerio de Pomento, '"l95ST;~'^Venezuela~at a Glance," in various issues of Venezuela Up-to-Date. ^It is in the decade of 1920-1930 that the start of an increasingly effective oil exploration takes place. See Edv;in Liouwen, Petroleum in Venezuela: a H istory (Berkeley, Gal.: University of CalTfornia Press, lf3n;T^ ^The decade 19li.5-1955 is characterized by en influx cf European immigrants, liberal immigration policies, and attraction of immigrants for the burgeoning construction trade. state from that in v;hich he had been born. This remarkable degree of internal migration has not, however, followed strictly a farm to city pattern. More 26 As to internal migration, the Federal District (v;hore Caracas is located), and tho states of Zulia, Carabobo, ^rarua. Portugucsa, Monagas and AnzoStegui have received the larrost nvunber of migrants from other Venezuelan states. These stat-s have been made centers of attraction because of a combination of opportunity for jobs, good land, and oil exploration. The major sources of migration have been the states of Miranda— whose population is irresistibly attracted by the contiguous Poderai District; Lara, Trujillo, Nucva Esparta, and Falcon. Nueva Esparta a state made up of densely populated and rather arid islands has seen more than half of its population go

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generally, it can be described as a shift from centers of low economic activity to the more prosperous areas — areas where jobs in raining, commerce, petrolevun vfere available, where the farrilands held a better chance for profit, vrhere living conditions were more attractive — through schools, hospitals, free social services, all of which inevitably have been concentrated in the cities until very recently. Remarkable also has been the degree of urbanization which increased greatly between 1950 and I96O (see Table 3). TABLE 3 DISTRIBUTION OF THE VENEZUELAN POPULATION BY HABITATION, ... 1950-1961^ Type of Habitation Per centage of Population 1950 19^1— Cities over 100,000 16. 6 2^ k Cities 50,000 to 100,000 5.2 11 0 Cities 20,000 to 50,000 9.1 10*7 Cities 2,500 to 20,000 16.9 l5*k Villages 1,000 to 2,500 6.0 5*0 Less than 1,000 1^.6. 2 3 2*5 Totals 100.0 100.0 ^Adapted from official reports of the censuses of 1950 and 1961. The urban population— off icially defined as the combined elsewhere in the Republic. See Marrero, Venezuela y Sus pp. 232-23!]., and John FriedmannT'"El CredKrrSKto Economico y la Estructura Urbana do Venozuela," Rovista de £&mgg ^a Latinoame rj,cana [Caracas], XI ( April -JuBTri9'53T7 Pr.««,c ifl??"^'' Licuwen, Venezuela (London: Oxford University

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1|6 population of all cities and towns of more than 2,500 inhabitants—increased from in 1950 to 62.5^ in I961. While the national population increased by k9 in this period, that of Caracas increased $9% and that of Maracaibo by 78.6^. By 1961, I1..3 million Venezuelans, nearly 60% of the total population, were living in 128 cities of at least 5,000 population. Though $Gfo of the total population still resided in small cities of less than 100,000 inhabitants, the long-term trend was toward a greater convergence of the country's population upon the larger urban centers. Except for the oil center of Maracaibo and the comnercial and communication center of Barquisimeto, all of the cities over 100,000 are in the eastern coastal range. Most of the 12 cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000 are also either in this strip or in the oil region. Vmilc the density of population is only 22 persons per square mile and the country is sparsely settled,^^ about one-third of the total population or about 2.5 million people live in the 8,330 square miles constituting the Federal District and in the small states of Aragua, Miranda, and Carabobo which comprise about one-fortieth of the Marrero, Vene^uel^v_^ pp^ 22[,-29ij.. for comparable estimates. i~i^f™°iLi_i:V55, p. 88,

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country's total area. Of these, more than half live in the immediate area of Caracas. Other areas of high population density are found in the high Andes, in the island state of Nueva Esparta, in the neighboring state of Sucre and in the oil-rich Ltke Maracaibo Basin. In contrast to such countries as Peru and Ecuador, where txro or more disparate cultural traditions--Spanish and Indian— continue bo exist side by side, Venezuela has only one national culture, basically Hispanic, but with considerable Indian and African influence.^"'" The census-takers of Venezuela do not solicit information concerning race, but an estimate places those of mixed blood at 65%, white at 20%, Negro at 8%, and Indian at 7,^.^2 ^j^g mestizos are dispersed throughout the country but the more racially pure elements tend to regional concentration-the whites in the large cities of the Andes, the Negroes in the coastal lowlands, and the Indians in the Marrero, Venezuela_j?^^ pp, 2k0-2k.7 Obviously, both Negro and Indian havp> +v,^.-« mark on the basically Hispanic culture orVenlzue^a La yovmi^Un'^Tr-v^;em:5\:tt,„il,i,i.^^i° Carlos Slso, by the Venezuelan povernnant «,.» i Estimates made at less than 2% o/°ItTctll po^ulafio,.!""'

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remote forests of the Guayana highlands and the Sierra de Perijd. There are also large numbers of pure Indians living on the outskirts of several major cities, especially the Guajiros around Maracaibo. Their degree of acculturation to western ways far exceeds that of the smaller and isolated groups of primitive tribes living in the back country or jungle in the Territory of Amazonas . -^-^ TABLE k DISTRIBUTION OP INDIAN POPULATION BY STATES, 1936-1966^ (in thousands) States 1936 l9i^.l 1950 Census 1961 1966^ AnzoStegui 6.0 1.2 0.3 Apure 13.2 ll+.O 6.6 3.5 3.0 Bolivar 17.9 18.0 ij..O 3.5 Mo nag as 0.9 Sucre l.k 0.5 0.3 0.1 Zulia 15.5 15.0 10.0 k.o 3.8 T.P. Amazonas 39.5 35.1 20.0 18.0 T.F. Amacuro 9.0 9.0 Totals 103. i^ 100.6 56.7 31.8 23, k a« oources: Adapted from official reports of the var^ouq censuses rirecci6n General de Estacistica y Censos, ffinIs?e°io de Pomento; compare with Marrero, Venezuola\ Sus R^cg^l ^ Estimate. Naciona 33Absal6n J036 Bracho, "Karacaibo al Dla." Fl nal (October Ik, 1965), p. D-7. ' ~

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1^9 Available information indicates that the Indians are a disappearing element. In I8OO thoy reportedly made up 13^ of the total population; this percentage had dropped to less than 2% by 1950.-^^ The Negroes malce up rol^ghly the same percentage rf the total population t jday as they did in I8OO. The only group tending to become a somewhat larger percentage of the total population is the white. This is mainly due to European immigration after V/orld War II--Venezuela received more refugees after 19i|.5 than any other Latin-American country except Argentina. At the beginning of I963 the foreigners not nationalized residing in Venezuela numbered 683,500 or Q,S% of the national population and they originated from 75 different countries. The largest national groups were, in decreasing order, the Spaniards, the Italians, the Portuguese, the Americans, Colombians, Cubans, British, German, and French. Tile bulk of these immigrants were small farmers, craftsmen, and businessmen who cane to Venezuela seeking economic opportunity. Many came under contract with governments preceding that of President Betancotur-t to fill special needs in the country's economic development, particularly in the construction of governmental projects such as highways, hotels, hospitals, etc. Others, like a group of Germans, had been in Venezuela for a long time and had built up their own i£^M3-I^^^22^ov Venezuela (Washington. D.C.: Government Printing Office, 195"in7'pprTr-69 . 35 Lieuwen, Venezuela, p. 12. A significant number of ;?on,^"®'''' ^^^^ al£.o been attracted by tho oil boom from the 1920 's on.

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50 coiiununlty, Colonia Tovar, not far from Caracas. While Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have urged the immigrants to become producers of food crops, their efforts have been only moderately successful, for the majority of nevjcoraers still prefers industrial "nd commercial pursuits in the cities. On the positive side of this nev; policy, more farmers are found in the newer immigrant groups, particularly Spaniards from the Canary Islands, many of whom now farm in the states of Aragua, Yaracuy, and Lara. But in spite of all efforts, the greater concentration of immigrants in the large cities continues. In 1962, 62.6^ of the foreigners in Venezuela lived in Caracas, with the remaining 37 -kfo scattered throughout the country but again showing greater concentration in the more industrialized states—Miranda (a state in the immediacy of the Federal District) had 7%, Zulia (Maracaibo, capital) had 6%, and the comiuorcial state of Carabobo (also not far from the capital) had 5^.^"^ All these foi^eigners, with few exceptions, appear well on the way toward.-, co.iplete integration into the Venezuelan nation. Intermarriage is common and, more often than not, it is taken as a symbol of Improvement of status, especially for the pardos (Venezuelan mulattoes). The Guajiro Indian smuggler is a proud father when he marries off 36 ^ n 'V *^olonia Tovar, Un Pedazo de \p Renania r-.T>^o de Caracas," Tamanaco (1965), pp. ll^-iy. «enania Cer.a 37 Harrero, Venezuej^j^Sus Re curses , pp. 232-23

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51 his daughter to an Arab nsrchant. In high society, one is never shy about announcing one's fanily connections with real or mythical European nobility. Yet, of far greater importance is the fact that all nevjcomers to Venezuola-from the Negro slave to the tvjentieLh century oil field workers-have merged in txie matrix of Spaniards and disappearing Indians. From this matrix they have taken the language, the religion, the costumes, the government and have added to it their own modif ications--words , rites, color. The progressive economic intogi.tion and a gradual liberalization of the ethnic structure hava made it possible for all Venezuelans, regardless of their racial or national origin, to consider themselves as one people, rather than a mosaic of distinctive ethnic groups, each proudly and rigidly clinging to its own little community rather than viewing itself as a vital portion of the greater national whole , In summary, then, Venezuela has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. This population is remarkably young~-in I96I more than Sl^fo was younger than 19 years of age.^^ Unevenly distributed in the various regions of the country, it shows a high degree of mestizage , a diminishing Indian contingent, and an unusually large, by Latin-American standards, influx of European immigrants. 38 Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recurso s, p. 223.

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^2 Though with varied national and racial backgrounds, Venezuela has become lergely homogeneous and this progressive racial homogeneity as been greatly aidod by the country's high rate of mobi ity and urbanization. In tarn, this homogeneity ha„ been an asset for all political parties in Venezuela. In contrast to those parties in countries that are deeply compartmentalized in terms of race and/or. language and/or religion, the Venezuelan politicians are not obliged to v;ork around or deal with these compartraentalizations; they can address their fellows in a language that is practically universally understood and they can forego appeals to ethnic minorities. Further, the great degree of urbanization of the Venezuelan population has meant that parties can reach large groups of people easily. Finally, the relative youth of the population, combined with the high degree of mobility, have been factors for the openness of this population to various ideological appeals and by the same token, its small attachment to rigid traditionalism. This has forced the Venezuelan political parties not only to avidly compete for the votes of young people— and the right and Poli^?^? n^;;!i^°''^'^'^J ^""^ (eds.). Political Parties tS^-S-^^^^^^--^^^^^^ £^^J JJyron WeiniFT-pTrty-p^ri-S-s in^dxa C?i^ N.J.: PFfHS-eton University JF^E^tWjT^' M|s^^,; Mackenzie and Robinson (eds.), Five Elections 'in ^ Airica , passim . — — — Sitn«.iAn ^''''P Ahumada, "Hipotesis para el Diagnostico de une LaUna rS.^^^^f "^2°?^^^= P Caso de Venezuela," Am.6rica Latina [Rio de Janeiro], VII (April»June, 196[i.), 3-lIi~-~

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53 to vote includes all those 18 and over--but also to give their programs a higli tono of social reform A"*" Accion Democrdtica, which has dominated the political scene for three decades, has sorely tried to retain its appeal to the J6vene3 while, at the same time, it has proclaimed itself a party for all Venezuelan clases,^^ with a program "truly revolutionary. "^3 Transportation and Communications Extensive networks of transportation and communication have been other factors contributing to Venezuela's relative homogeneity, mobility, and urbanization. In all Venezuelan regions transportation consists of a wide variety of means. According to an official surrjnary. Plane service between cities and towns is maintained through 63 airports, including four internat j onal airports. For surface transportation by bus and automobile the country has a network of 7,000 miles of superhighways and f irst-claiDs paved roads linking every city, town, and village. ^4i-h^« ""^^^ ^® further examined in the course 01 this dissertation. ^^Accion Democr&tica, Acci6n Democrdtica; Doctrina y Pru^^ra^m PP. 5:8, 11-71, 22S::^y~'^^~m^TT-'s^l^^h la Nacion," Polltica, V, September, 1956, 5-13; Luis Bei?r5n Prieto Pigueroa, Tareasj^ara la Juventud fgarnn... c,.!^^^^;,. l^^^l-l^^r^^ Edicioneo "La Est?ei!i; en mra, I960); Manuel Alfredo Rodriguez, La Universidad v p1 (Winter, kTITsu ll.^ i^HiS-laJlE^Date, XI

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A more detailed survey of transportation conditions reveals that the all-weather road net in the north and west is extensive, but roads are almost nonexistent in the State of Apure and the Territories of Araazonas and Delta Amacuro and are only beginning to penetrate Bolivar State, through which a highway is now being built from El Dorado to Santa Elena on the Brazilian border. Reflecting the location of most roads, the official Ifepa do Garret eras (Road Map) leaves out almost half of Venezuela. A four-lane highway leads from La Guaira, the country's principal port, through the mountains to Caracas. From the capital, the paved, modern Pan American Highway runs through the fertile valley across the northern piedmont of this range overlooking Lake Maracaibo to the Tachira gap and then crosses the Liberator Bridge to join the Colombian portion of the highway noar Giicuta. This highway is tlie most important part of the Venezuelan road system, which totals over 18,000 miles, including 200 miles of auto£l_sta (superhighway), over 6,000 miles of paved highway, 5,000 miles of gravel roads and the remaining 7,000 miles of dirt roads, jn addition, there are some 5,000 miles of cart and pack trails. i-v,« Aojnr '^^'^ map Shows only the national territory north of the eoiiO" parallel; see Repi^blica do Venezuela. Kaca d^^ Carretera^ (Caracas: Ministgrio de ObrarKiblicllfDfloc''i6de Carbografia Nacional, 1962). -i-L^aa, L»irec^io.. ^^r«>^o Mar-roro, Venezue3^2_Sus Recursos, pp. 537-56)i'

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TABLE 5 GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL ROAD SYSTlilM, 1938-1966 1938 1962 1966^ All Roada 1,860 miles 17,100 miles 20,800 miles Paved Roads 12k miles 6,200 miles 7 ,k$0 miles Marrero, Venez uela y Su a Recursos , p. 53?-; Embassy of Venezuela, Venezuel a' ( V/ ashingt on , D.C., I966). ^Estimate The means of transportation ere as varied as the types of roads encountered. Besides the traditional mule, horse, and ox carts, the Venezuelan roads teem with an assortment of bus it OS which run all the v;ay from the most modern, airconditioned buses to trucks converted to public transportation. A popular and effective means of transportation is poi' puest o, a taxi that carries five passengers for a very nominal charge. In all, Venezuela has one of the longest — if not the longest — system of paved roads in South America as well as the highest number of motor vohiclos in use. The latter has increased tremendously in recent years as shown by Table 6. ~ Venezuela has fev; railroads and they carry mostly freight. Most of them were built during the rule of GuznSn Blanco, between 1877 and 1893 » by British and especially 1l7 German concerns. In 1963 the stats-owned railroads covered ^ James, Latin A merica, pp. 7i|.-75.

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56 TABLE 6 MOTOR VEHICLES IN USE, 1938-19614.^ (in thousand units) 1936 19U8 19^8 i960 196i|. Passenger Cars 10.0 1;0.6 I86.O 268.? 352.1; Commercial Vehicles 12.0 88.1 100.? 1145.6 ^Source: United Nations, Statistical Year book 1965 , p. 14.32; Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos . p. 5SBT only 14.55 miles, while since 1914-5 some I4.35 miles of railroads had been abandoned. Three ferrocarriles make up the rail network--one linking Caracas to Valencia; another connecting La Fria to Encontrados, the Tachira Railway; and a third linking Puerto Cabello to Barquisimeto . The last ferrocarril, though little used, has ono of the most modern terminals at Barquisimeto. Besides these f errocarriles are the short railroads found around the sugar mills and the mining enterprises, especially iron. ^ Water transportaticn--inland, coastal, and ocean-is very important, and internal transport in the Lake Maracaibo and the entire Orinoco basin is heavily dependent on the waterways. The latter is of particular significance because it is almost the only means of transportation— aside from a few scattered airports— for tho southern portion of Venezuela not served by any extensive network of roads. Along the Cx-inoco, all sizes of craft sail, from the largest iron ore carriers to small sailboats carrying freight and

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57 produce from port to port. Old river tovms have grown into busy ports and nev; cities have sprung up near the river to house thousands of nev^comers attracted by mining and industrial operations, among them Ciudad Bolivar and Santo Tom6 de la Guayana. The only barrier to continuous navigation on the Orinoco are the rapids below Puerto Ayacucho, capital of the Amazonas Territory. Othervdse, navigation would be possible from the Gulf of Paria, on the Caribbean, through the Orinoco and the Amazon, to the mouth of the latter river in the Atlantic. The vision of jiist such super vraterway is by no means ignored by the Venezuelans.^^ As v;ith transportation, there is little doubt that the Venezuelan people are v;ell served by formal communication facilities. For a population of a little over 9 million, there are around 50 major daily newspapers with a total circulation close to 1 million. In I963, I7 major daily newspapers, with a circulation of 633,000 copies, provided 78 units per 1,000 of the population. This compared favorably with most Latin-American countries. All Brazilian newspapers, for example, provided only units per 1,000 population; Colombia and Ecuador newspapers provided $2 units per 1,000 population; Haiti's four major dailies provided only 6 units per 1,000 population.^ Venezuela probably had more television receivers I o "Bodies of Water," pp. 9-10; Marrero, Venezuela y Sus R ecursos, pp. 551-560. United Nations, St£ais^t^*xa3^_Yej^^ pp. 725.

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58 (591,000) and more radio receivers (1,651,000) in I96I4. than fjO any other South American country. On a national basis, radio has been the most effective means of nass communication in Venezuela and politicians have used it to promote themselves and their programs. Television debates among candidates have also become usual occurrences. Although the precarious financial situation of many in the lower class, especially the campesinos . would prevent the purchase of a radio, contact with the outside world is almost certainly established in public places --no bar, no matter how run down, will survive without a battery radio— or the homes of friends. It is customary, for example, for the patron to allow his farm hands to listen to some programs he' may deem interesting or educational The lack of professionalization among reporters and radio television personnel, aligned with an extensive affiliation of these mass media monitors with extremist political factions, however, has made the coimnunications network in Venezuela less than an ideal vehicle to transmit news and programs. For its part, the government has intervened often and at times drastically; during the ^°Ibid., pp. 733, 735. 51 305 ^'^* Area Handbook for Venezuela , pp. 28352 P^ez Celiz, "Evaluacion de las Omisiones v de la*Defunciones do los Peri6dicos I936, 191,1, y l9?o " Lv?c,Z^ deJPomemto [Caracas], I (March 30, 1962) 67^80 • "Er^dl^o de Etica de la Televisi6n Venezol^na " Tiempo Econfnr'co^ [Caracas], I (September, 196[^), 1/|-15. l-^~^^^^B2IIbS2.

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59 administrations of Betancourt and Leoni censorship of the press ranged from moderate to the extreme. The Caracas press, in turn, has often carried vitriolic attacks on the government and the government has retaliated by temporarilysuspending publication of the offend'.ng journals and detaining their editors. In this fashion, the Venezuelan communications media network, though one of the best in Latin America in absolute terms, has not always worked for harmonious relations among the government, the people, and the communication media personnel themselves. It doos, nevertheless, provide the governiaont with a channel for communication to the people, to the various regions, and betvreen the capital and the interior; especially because the government is the Diajor news source, it has its own powerful stations, and it regulates whatever else is permitted to be broadcast or disseminated elsewhere. In addition, Acci6n Democrdtica has been closely associated v:ith the daily La Republica . created in I96I, which has a fairly wide circulation (37,000 throughout the country) and which gives the AD party leadership and pronouncements extensive coverage. The popular magazine Memento has also been favorable to Accion Democrdtica and usually gives that party a broader coverage than it does 53' 286 ^*^* Army, Area H andbook for Venezuela , pp. 285M Pasquali, Comunicaci6n y Cultura de 3. a Cul-EI^r-iir ^ -as Rcgionos^^^^Su^arr^adas.^^pugr^Joc^ (Caracas: bniversidad Central de YGneE^I^l^-l^^jj-^ 1-

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60 for other political organizations. The s oraischolar ly monthly Politica , which publishes background articles on the Latin-American democratic Left (oopecially AD) and progress reports on AD goverriinent programs, is another channel bet\.ecn the party and the individual Venezuelan citizen. The Venezuelan Constitutional System The conflict between the ideal of freedom of expression in the communications riedia and the frequent need to curtail this freedom to prevent the undermining of the government-^ is paralleled by a similar conflict between the ideals of the Constitution and the Venezuelan political reality. The various Venezuelan con3titutions--f rom the time of the Independence — describe the form of the government as democratic, responsible, elective, representative, and 56 federal. This description has not been altogether accurate; the ideals of the Venezuelan constitutions often have represented goals and have not yet become fully operating reality in the country. This point is illustrated by an examination of the problems of federalism in Venezuela especially as they reflect upon the powers of the executive. 55 Admittedly, Venezuela is not unique in this respect see Luis Castario, "El Desarrollo de los Medios de Infoi^macion en America Latina y el Crisis do la Libertad de Expresion," .^1gA^i^:_ZoA^ ticas y So ci al es [Mexico], VIII (April -June. 1962), 291-^06. , ^ , ^^Venezuela, Socretarla General de la Presidencia de la Republica, ConsUiyaci_6r^^ (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional. 1961), republished in English by Pan American Union, Constxtutipn of the Repubjjcaf Venezuela, 196I (V/ashinc^tcn. D.C.: Pan American Union, 19^3)".'

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61 In turn, the executive, because of its powers, becomes all the more attractive--and crucial — for the Venezuelan political party. If the party can obtain control of the executive, its program has that much more chance of being implemented, thus satisfying electoral promises as v;el3 as giving jobs to party members and sympathizers. Fulfillment of programs as well as the sharing of the spoils of office eventually means the strengthening of the party--and the possible retaining of the executive in subsequent elections. In this fashion, the actual operation of the Venezuelan "constitutional" system is intimately related to the way a political party (such as Acci6n DemocrStica) itself operates and can fulfill its program through control of the executive. — ^ From the declaration of independence in I8IO, through more than a century of virtually uninterrupted dictatorship, followed only in very recent years by a turn to liberal democratic government, the country's constitutions have preserved a federal form that bears great resemblance to the United States constitution which served as their model. They outline a federal government composed of semi-autonomous states; separation of pov/ers; the tripartite division of government into legislative, executive, and judiciary; checks and balances; provisions for admission of nev; states; and a 57 Alexander T. Edslman, Latin Arisrican Government and Polit ics (Homev/ood, 111.: The Dorsey Press, 1^6577~ppr~37"5^ and 37ST

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62 list of private rights. This form has shoi-fn little substance through the years and through the various administrations in 58 Venezuelan history. Thus, v;hile the federal union of Venezuela is said to consist of 20 states, a federal dist^^ict, tv;o federal territories, and 72 island dependencies, these entities have in reality been subordinated to the pov/er in Caracas. The states have always occupied a v;eak position in the basic governmental structure, a fact amply demonstrated by the number of territorial changes they have suffered since the adoption of the federal system in lQ6l\.. Thus, the Congress of 1856 created a territorial division embracing 21 states. In 18614. the number was 20; in l88l it dvfindled to 9; in 1899, 20 again, in 190k, 13; and in 1909 back to 20 states. State sovereignty was respected in none of the changes, the initiative coming in each case from the national congress, acting on orders from the president. The states, in a further shov; of their weakness, have unaniinously ratified the territorial See Juan Vicente Gonzalc?., La Constitu cion y el Fusil (Caracas: Presidencia de la RepuFTTca, 196jrrppT~l139. Though this book presents a collection of articles dealing almost exclusively with the nineteenth century situation, it is still applicable to the present. For more recent maneuvers to bend the Constitution to the presidential wishes, see A. Arellano Moreno, "Las Siete Reformas Constitucionales del General Juan Vicente Gomez," Politjca, III (September, I963), 31-72. The overall constitutIona'r~hic,tory of Venezuela reiursins Jose Gil Fortoul, His tori a Const itucional de Venezuela (3 vols.; Caracas: Editorial Sur Amsrica, 1930^ For comparisons with other Latin-American countries, see James L. Busey, "Observations on Latin American Constitutionalism," Ar^ricas, XXIV (July, I967 ) , ij.6-66 and J. Lloyd Mecham, 'Latin American Con3titution3--Nomina] and Real," Journal of Politjxs, XXI (Hay, 1959), 258-275.

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.63 changes requii'ed of them. Furthermore, the sparsity and isolation of the population in some states (e.g., Bolivar state) make them inlierently weak as semi-autonomous units in a federal system. They have no choice but to look tov;ard Caracas for the satisfaction of most of their economic, social, and political needs. The operation of the Yeneauelan governmsnt since 186[|. has been marked by a pronounced trend tov;ard concentration of power in the national government and, in particular, in the national executive. In l86ij., in response to the socalled federal revolution, the states gained important powers of their own and, in theory, possessed all powers not granted to the national government. By 1953 they had lost all but those powers permitting them to write their own constitutions, change their names, and administer the revenue thoy received from the national treasury. The I96I constitution continued those powers and restored to the states the right to defccrmiuo the organization of their public powers, municipalities, and police forces. It also restored the reserve powers clause, but this meant little in the face of the extensive grants to the national government which continued to appear in the 1961 chart. ^° 59 VP^^.n.-'o|'^^^'^/-
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V Another innovation of the I96I constitution v/as the restoration of a provision that v;ould permit the people to choose their state governors. This innovation has remained theoretical until now; as in the past, state executives continue to be chosen or at the very least tolerated by the president. The v/eakness of the state governor in the Venezuelan federal system is at bested by the fact that bet\;een 1936 and 1953 there were 262 governors out of which 20? were in office less than 15 months each and I06 held power for less than 6 months. The national constitution itself places the state governor in an ambiguous position--it declare him to be an agent of the national government charged with executing faithfully all the national laws, while at the same time he is charged by the state constitution with the task of preserving the autonomy of the state against "all" encroachments. It is not surprising that governors have always been chosen more for their loyalty to the national caudillo of the day than for their administrative ability. If P^rez Jim6noz had not been overthrown in 1953, the national dominance might have become practically total. Shortly before his ouster, a special congress under the dictator's orders elected the rasmbers of all state legislatures and even all members of municipal councils in the country.' 62 Wr'.lliam S. Stokes, Latin A.ucriean Politics (2d ed rev.; Now York: Thomas Y. Cro'.v-ell &'~C5;7"r9'6'l4:)';~p'.~"ii.92 . 62 f ^ ^ ^ ,5'!? ^* "Venezuela," in Martin C. Needier y'^-^' ££l±li£?i_S2^tens of Lati n Araorica (Princeton. N J • D. Van Nostrand~C^T96ir)TTr255r~

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65 The vestiges that reriain in the Venezuelan constitutional system of a "federal" form seem to point more to a division of po;ifer between national and municipal governments than to a division betvfeen state and national governments, ^ Wliile the s"cates have lost most of their power to tax, the municipalities do have a more or less well-defined fiscal basis. States not only are excluded from all fields taxed by the national government, but they are also forbidden to levy taxes in areas granted to the tov:ns and cities, v;hich deidve their income from taxes on public entertainment, commerce and industry, certain types of licenses, urban real estate, and municipal services. The control of a dependable source of income, a necessary condition for autonomy, is thus denied to the states and is instead divided between the national government, which takes the lion's share, and the municipalities.^^ Both states and municipalities lost whatever say they ever had on the judiciary when, in 19i{.5» the states surrendered their last major power and ratified a •^Salvador M. Dana Montano, "El Regimen Municipal en la Nueva Constitucion de Venezuela," Revis ta de la Pacultad de Derecho [Maracaibo], I (September-December, l^STTT^SJ^^' The Constitution of 1961 provides that the national govornmsnt shall distribute 12.$% of its annual estimated ordinary revenue to the states and that this minimum figure shall be increased at the rate of O.^fo each year beginning in 1962 until it reaches a minimum of 1^%. This is offset by tl^e exigency that states cooi'dinate their budgets and expenditures with directions issued by the national government, which suggests appropriate ways to utilize the funds to fit in with national plans for development. Sec Pan American Union, ^B^ji-^^L^-QP, P^'_._th e Republic of Venezuela, 196 l. Title VIII, chaps. I and II. "

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66 constitutional amendment v;hich conferred upon the national government exclusive control of the judicial system. The actual transfer of power from the stf.tes to the national government did not occur until November, 19ij-8, in the early days of a decade of dictatorchip and further encroachments upon the last remains of "federalism." A nationalizing decree abrogated all the state judicial codes and statutes and promulgated the national one in their stead. A ministry of justice v;as created in 1950 to supervise not only the unified judicial structure, but alro all penitentiaries and other correctional institutions. Again, although Venezuela is technically a federal state, in practice and in fact the judicial system is entirely controlled by the national government; hence there are no state courts. The net effect in practice has been that the states, though called autonomous, actually have very narrov;ly restricted residual powers limited to such as do not infringe upon those pertaining either to the nation or to the municipalities.^^ The almost fictional character of the Venezuelan federalism v/as frankly admitted by the framers of the 1961 constitution \^hen they clearly implied in their report that they had chosen to retain the term "federal" in 65 Edelman, Latin American G overnment and Politic s, pp. k^l, [;52, l^^k, II56TTi377"T69 ; Loo B. Lott, "The llatfonalization of Justice in Venezuela," I-iterAm erican Economic Affairs , XIII (Summer, 1959), 3-19T 66 See Leo B. Lott, "Venezuelan Federalism: A Case Study in Frustration" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, 1951; ) ^specially pp. 2, 5, 7, 15, 16, 19-23, 35-37, i.L3"85, I69,

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67 deference to the long standing and popularly accepted tradition of providing at least a vestigial autonomy of the states. As a specialist on Venezuelan federalism concluded, Federalisii is a fiction in Venezuela. What has always existed is a centralized, unitary form of governmont, and the Venezuelans are perfectly aware of it. It may be that their devotion to federalism is to the principle and not to practical application, and that in the final analysis it remains in existence only as a response to the emotional idealism of the Venezuelan people who see in it the unattainable goal of local self-government .6? This somewhat "fictional" character of federalism, which is perhaps more pronounced in Venezuela than in the other two Latin-American federal countries, is accompanied by a very real ej_e_cuti^sta character, a not uncommon trait in Latin America. Taken in the aggregate, the executive powers endow the president with sweeping authority and completely overshadow the fairly small grants to the congress. If there is any one section of the I96I constitution which can be said to faithfully reflect the nature of political power in present-day Venezuela, it is that which deals with or Tof-^ "Venezuela," Needier (ed.). Political Svstems fiO^Unjyaerica, pp. 238-268. The quotatioH~l-i-on 157-2^^ 68,. J'f? ?• Lott, "Executive Power in Venezuela." 4f^^£anPolit3^_^ X. (June, 1956), 4?2-likl. It should also be noted thafc— itll recently, ther^ w^re three other federal countries in Latin America : Brazil n^""^' "^"^ ^^^^ Brazilian constitSuon ' Iti l' f€.ei.is to indicate that that country should nff^''-^?^^^ ^^'^-^idered a federal state. In fact, m^ny R!r'?t^-/?r^^^f'^^-^ ^onsev bear the "Estados Unidos do Brasxl'' letterhead but simply "Brasi"'.." ^ ^^uoa uo

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68 the executive pov;or. A vital part of the chief of state's pov;er lies in his control of the armed forces. The president as commander in chief is charged with its organization and operation. He fixes the Sa.ze of the military estab..ishment and controls the appointment of officers. He is charged vjith the defense of the national territory and the sovereignty of the Republic, in event of an international emergency. Since 1958 the Venezuelan civilian presidents have held a firm--if uneasy and tenuous at times--proponderance over the armed forces. This is a novelty in Venezuelan history, but there are guarded hopes that it may become part and parcel of the 70 actual pattern of politics. The president is also responsible for the enforcement of the Constitution and the 3aws and therefore ultimately responsible for internal lav/ and order in a national sense. He is authorized to declare a state of emergency and to restrict or suspend certain constitutional guarantees in the event of internal or external conflict or whenever there ^*^Lott, "Venezuela," Needier (ed.). Political Systems of Latin America , p. 257. 70 Oral. Mar bin Garcia Villasmil, "Las Fuerzas Armadas de la Republica," rolitica, IV (August-September, 1965), l6l169. The director of the "military school of Venezuela declares in this article that "the respect for the constitution and the national lav.'s, which has been evident in the present day [military] institution, has been a very important factor in the consolidation of the republican democratic system in Venezuela," (p. 166). He goes on to underline the military support for the freely elected constitutional officials. See also Edv;in Lieuv/en, Gener als vs. P residents (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1965) , pp. 66-91.

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69 is good reason to believe that such way occur. Guarantees which may not be suspended are those forbidding the holding of persons incoraiTranicado , perpetual imprisonment, torture, and the death penalty. The state of emergency, the guarantees suspended, and the reasons for the action must be announced by a decree of the Council of Ministers and be authorized by Congress in joint session or, if not in session, by the Standing Committee. Less specifically limited is a provision of the Constitution v/hich empowers the president to suspend constitutional guarantees, either totally or in part, when in his opinion and that of his council of ministers, situations arise v;hich could lead to "national or international emergencies." The power to suspend parts of the constitution has been an effective v/eapon in the hands of presidents v.'ho have used it to harass their political enemies. Terroristic activities which plagued the Betancourt regime from its inception in 1959 made it necessary for him to suspend certain constitutional guarantees from November, I960, throughout most of his administration. President Leoni has not needed to use this power to such an 71 For justifications of Betancourt 's actions, see two Accion Dcmocr5.tica publications: Braulio Jatar Dotti, Inhabilitacio n de la Extrom a Igquierda x Guerrillas Corianas (Caracas: Coleccion ^Pueblo y ParlairiontoT^ 19"53l7""and~JeFu? Angel Paz Calarraga, Viol_encia^y SUoponsiCn de Garantias (Caracas: Coleccion ^'ueblo y >arlaraentF,'^'~19"?'3rr"FoT"' Galarraga, who has been mentioned as a possib] e' presi dential candidate in 1968, was secretary general of Accion Democritica for seven years and was its first vice-president in I966

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70 extent as his government has been less thr-eatened by terrorism and subversion from either Right or Left. The presidential legislative powers are also sweeping in their scope. Although the main body of law rests upon legislation passed by congress, the ^-resident and his staff have been the authors of most of it. More importantly, the executive's "decree" powers are almost unchecked in practice. Thus, the president can create and suppress public services he has created such executive departments as the rainis"tries of agriculture and livestock, of health and social welfare, of justice, and of mines and hydrocarbons, and a rash of autonomous institutes or au tar quias as the National Agrarian Institute, the Venezuelan Airmail Line, the Venezuelan Corporation of the Guayana, to name but a few. These traditional decree powers of the presidents have made them reluctant observers of the niceties of executive-legislative relations prescribed by the various constitutions. This pattern has been somewhat altered in more recent years. The Congress traditionally had almost no initiative at all and was considered an assembly of employees--af ter all, the congressmen had all been "elected" through the good will or at least the tolerance of the caudillo president of the monent. They usually limited themselves to ordering the erection of statues and to conferring nev; honors and titles on the chief executive. Legislators were expected and in fact did enact into lew, speedily and without modifications, vjhatever proposals came from the president.

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71 Budgets passed year after year vdthout any congressional revision and the 1953 constitution in fact indicated that the national budget would go into effect on July 1 of every year, with or vjithout congressional approval. Siuce the fall of the dictatorship in 1958, Venezuelan presidents have been confronted with an unprecedented situation in vrhich congressmen have indeed exerted some initiative and have gone so far as to frustrate — and even re ject--niany of the president's proposals. But since this situation has prevailed only ;-jhile the presidential party was not in full control of both houses of congress and because the president still retains many of his decree powers in practice, one can hardly speak of a trend away fron the e jecutiv ista orientation in the Venezuelan goverraiautal system. Federalism has alv/ays in the Venezuelan context meant weak state and local units and a strong executive* while legislative-executive relations have traditionally been dominated by the president. For sll these reasons, the Venezuelan executive is a prize to be coveted, for in terms of executive pov;ers granted by the constitution and even more in the practical operation of the Venezuelan constitutionalism, whatever party can attain the presidency will have in its hands the coveted challenge of pushing Venezuela further along the road of modernization. The geographical regions of the country v;ith their impressive physical resources, the relative homogeneity of the

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72 population, the extensive transportation and conimunications systems all can be seon--ancl used--as factors for the political integration and economic modernization of the country. How have the Venezuelan political parties responded to this prize and to this challenge*

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CHAPTER III ACCION DEMOCRATICA IN TEE COmKiT OF VENEZUELAN POLITICAL PARTY HISTORY Latin America is becoming ever more complex politically. One of the indications of this recent complexity is the emergence of modern political parties. The traditional caudillis mo of the region is declining while politics is becoming increasingly a clash of interests, of programs, of ideas, and less a mere struggle for power among charismatic leaders.^ This trend toward political complexity, with the passing away of the monopoly of power held by the very few and the emergence of political parties imbued with a devotion to the masses and to their deraands for greater economic development to be shared by all, is particularly true in the case of Venezuela. Robert J. Alexander, "The Emergence of Modern Political Parties in Latin America," in Joseph miev and Richard v;. Ueatherhead (eds.), Politics of Change in Latin A merica (New York: Frederick A.'Tfaerger , T%Tl)\~^7~10'T-~ Jorge Ahumada, "Hap6tesis para el Diagnostico de una Situaci6n de Ccnbio Social: el Case de VenG-^ueT a, " A'^'orSca Latina [Rio de Janeiro], VII (April-June, 19^^), 3-l^;^^3c7;tt , Political Parties and Folicy-Making in Latin America," in La Palonbara and V/einer (eds.). Political Parties and Poli t1 c al Do V o l opm^ent , pp. 33I-367. " 73

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7k The emergence of modern political parties in Venezuela can be seen as a reflection of the basic economic and social changes that have taken place during the last two generations. With the development of important middle groups in bocioty, politics is no longer, as it was during the first century of independence, merely a game played among rival cliques of a small ruling class. Today Venezuela is cha. acterized by increasing industrialization, urbanization, and a population ever more homogeneous. Transportation facilities link the most remote regions and the communications netvrork is capable of reaching all parts of the country. The old social molds, built in an era when all wealth, education, and political power vjsre the monopoly of a small landed and commercial aristocracy, are being swept away. As a result of these changes, the organized urban workers, the rapidly growing professional classes, the students (who nov; come more and more from the lov;er rungs of society), the new industrialists, and even the peasantry, are now playing a part in political life. Each of these groups has concrete objectives that it is seeking to obtain through political activity. Each seeks to mold the process of change in its ovm way. At the same time, conservative elements remain strong and seek to resist the process of change or, at the very least, to have a measure of control over it. Finally, the whole process of social and economic transformation of Venezuela is taking place at a time when ideologies have polarized groups of countries and when no

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75 country can bo considered v.'holly at the margin of the clashes betv;een these polarized groiips of countries. All this created in Venezuela a fertile ground for political ideas and philosophies from abroad. Throughout Venezuelan history, the political parties that existed have mirrored the patterns of povjer--at first they were the exclusive preserve of the privileged few, as they now attempt to respond to the demands of the enfranchised masses. They have shoi'jn the primacy of various interest groups at various times; they have reflected the clashes of political philosophies; and they have taken a wide variety of points of view concerning the basic issues of social and economic change. Yet, Accion Do^nocratica has been more durable than many other parties for it, unlike the others, has based its ideology and its programs in Venezuela's foremost hero. Bolivar, at the same time that it has sought to adapt his thoughts to the demands of twentieth century Venezuela.-^ This reinterpretation of Bolivar has prompted Accion Deraocratica to view always its role as one of attempting to overcome the legacy of Spanish rule and the long shadow of dictators that followed the trauma of independence. ADhas consistently sought to reaffirm its devotion to the substance of Bolivar's thoughts as they may apply in the transformation of today's Venezuela. It is thus fitting for us to place Accion Democrfitica in the context of Venezuelan political party 3 . * Accion Democr^.tica, Acci on Demccratica: Doctrina v Progr ama , passim. ^-

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76 history in order that we may better perceive the ideological trends that have existed for centuries and that have left their mark on present day Accion Domccr^tica, as well as newer aspects of this party that nay signal significant breaks v/it*x the past. The Spanish L egacy The Spanish colonial regime in Venezuela, as in other parts of Latin America, was a mixture of neglect that helped in the early appearance of a spirit of independence among the crio llos (the sons of the Spanish colonists) and of arbitrary government that was to serve as a model for the criollo leaders once independence \-ja.s achieved.^ The Venezuelan region was the first on the South American mainland to be explored by the Spaniards. Pearls and gold brought to Spain by Alonso Nino in 11^99 enticed the first European adventurers. Settling on the Island of Cubagua, where the city of Nueva Cadiz was founded in 1523, they soon spread their explorations to the mainland and in fact abandoned the city by 1550,^ But this wave of Europeans soon dwindled to a trickle and the Venezuelan region became a backvmter of the Spanish ^C. Parra P6rez, El Regimen Espafiol en Venezuela (Madrid: Cultural HispSnTca, 19SinTFri*nk J. KoTSnST"^he Spanish Colonial System: A Functional Approach, : Western Political Quarterly. XK (June, 196?), 308-32O, 5 Comision de Turismo del Estado Sucre, Una Invitacion a Conocer al Estad o Sucre (Cumana; Editorial UnJ versPJi^ii — Oriente, n.d.).

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77 colonial empire. The pearl fisheries v;ere soon exhausted and little gold or other precious metals v/as found. Its soil did not lend itself to the exploitation of sugar on a large scale as did the islands of the Caribbean and the northeast coast of Brazil. Especially after che conquests of Mexico iu 1519 and of Peru in 1532, with the discovery of their rich gold and silver mines, Spain practically forgot the existence of Venezuela. Its disinterest was so great that Spain "rented" the government of Venezuela to the German bankers Welsers from 1528 to l$k^.^ Venezuela was then made a distant dependency of Santo Domingo and later, after 1550, a minor part of New Granada, now Colombia. It never attained the dignity of a viceroyalty but kept the subordinate status of captaincy general. Perhaps for this very reason, neglected by the Spanish authorities and far from the centers of colonial power, Venezuela developed a strong feeling of identity and of separateness before many other parts of the Spanish Empire. Here the mixture of Spanish, African, and Indian peoples was more thorough than in some other colonies. Further, as landholders employing slave labor, the succeeding generations of American-born criollos won considerable fortunes, forming a society not entirely dependent upon Spanish connections. Also, their distance from the great 6 Marrero, Ven ezuela y Sus Recursos, pp. 157-I6O; J. M. Siso Martinez, HistofiXTe' Venezuela (iith ed.: MexicoEditorial "Yocoima, " iWHTvpTlJ^T.

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78 vice-regal capitals, to vihich the Spanish-born sought assignment, produced opportunities to avoid the raore onerous controls from the mother country. At the saw© time, French, Dutch, and English smugglers provided an alternative to trade with the S^-anish. More often than aot, they also brought to the Venezuelan shores nev; ideas and concepts of government at variance with that of Spain. Theirs, however, was a snail ideological flovj v;hcn compared with the much greater influx of nev/ ideas and experiences brought home by the sons of 7 the criollos who had spent their formative years abroad. But Spain, in spite of its neglect and its remoteness, vras to leave indelible marks on the makeup of Venezuela. Hers \ms the language, hers vras the Church, and hers were the outline?, of government as well as the major strains of white blood that were to mix v;ith Indians and the 8 Negroes. To encourage settlement, the Spanish governors distributed the available Indians in groups ( encomiendas ) to the c onquistadores to work tha mines and to cultivate the fertile lands of the valleys. V/ith the establishment of towns and cities, civil government appeared in the form of town councils ( cabildos ) . Since the mayors and councilors •7 Victor Andre? Belaunde, Bolivar_ and the Po litica l Thought of th e_ Spanish Ame rican Rovolu t i c n Tb s Itlmo're : The Johns Hopkuis Pre^o, 193^1', especially its chaps. I-V. ^See Parr a P^rez, Kl_R6j^;imen Es psnol en Venezue la. passim ; Rafael Caldera, Aspe ctos" Soc iologicos de la Cultura en Venez uela (Caracas: Unfversidad Central de Venezuela^ n.d.), especially pp. 7-12.

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79 ( alcaldes and regidores ) were usually appointed by the royal representative from the Spanish settlers or on the recoimnendation of their descendents (criollos), the cnbildo became a form of oligarchy drawn from colonial aristocracy. The cabildos did draw up and publish m\mlcipal ordinances and handled local matters of law enforcement so that the successors of the conquistadores became accustomed to a measure of local government. V/riters of the nineteenth century America, in fact, praised the cabildos as democratic or semi-democratic bodies and as elected representatives of the 9 people . Higher justice in the New V/orld was handled by the royal tribunals ( audiencias ) , v;hich also partook of the functions of a council of state for the executive. V/hatever the title of the chief executive of a region, he v;as also president of the audiencia~-if one were allotted to his seat of government. All major executives were forced at the end of their appointment to account for their official conduct at a public hearing ( residenci a) which probed their fiscal and administrative policies and which was usually held by a senior member of the audiencia. The Crown might also, at its own initiative, send r visltador at any time to inspect the affairs of the colony. These measures of control were often nullified by the ambition and greed of the inspectors, who might accept bribes for a good report on a bad 9 Belaunde, Bolfvar and the Political Thou ght of the Spanish American Revolution , pp. Z-^fl •

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80 administration or castigate a good one with a view of succeeding to the position. There v;an a similar gap betvreen the intention of the encoraiondas--created to protect the Indians--and their use in the colony, for the Indians were exploited ooth by Spaniards and criollos. In a similar manner, early laws ordered that governraental positions should be filled preferably by the descendants of the conquistadores, discoverers, and settlers. In spite of this, the practical policy of Spain was precisely the contrary; the criollos were seldom appointed to high positions such as viceroy, captain general, or judge. In this manner, criollos grew with the daily experience of seeing a formidable and well-intended code nullified in practice. Further, their impotence before the realities of Spanish rule and the overwhelming powers of executive Spaniards remained one of the bases of the remonstrance of the criollos, a factor in the wars of independence. Diffie summarizes the prevalent situation in these words: Despite all efforts of the Crown to remedy abuses and centralize colonial government, a great divergence persisted between the intent of the laws and their execution. . . . Royal laws were further weakened by many conflicting authorities in America. Proquent^y it was not clear vfao had jurisdiction in a specified case. . . . Added to this confusion of administration, there was open corruption. The system of the visita and the re£idenci_a was not always effective, sJncTThe judges themselves wight be suborned. . . . Finally there was no real public opinion to enforce good goyerni.ont. Government was in uhe hands of a mino>^ity . which had got its position through privilege or heredity Property was a requirement for citizenship and tho possession of an office was frequently regarded as an

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81 opportunity to turn public funds into private pockets. "'•^ In 1726 Spain formed her own trading company to which all trade \ixth Venezuela vrould be allotted. The Compan£a Guipuzcoana \^as organized, staffed, and financed principally by Basques. This economic monopoly, in v;hich the colonists had no voice, quickly became Immensely unpopular. In 17[}.9 a spontaneous revolt against this monopoly broke out. This was finally suppressed but the extent of its popular support showed that the Venezuelan criollos were growing increasingly restive under the restrictive Spanish controls. When the Compania Guipuzcoana failed and was liquidated in nQk> Venezuela was authorized free trade with the other Spanish possessions--the last colony to receive this privilege. But while landowners rejoiced, some merchants protested the increased competition and decreased profits that free trade would bring them. Both groups wore made more than ever aware of how completely they were at the mercy of Spain. Their increasing discontent took place at a time when a sizable portion of the British colonies in North America were successfully waging wars of independence and at a time when French philosophes were spreading their libertarian doctrines .'^ rnir^n.-o/!^^-"^!^.!!* ^^f^f^^' Latin American Civilizat ion; £^ ?-ti (Harrisburg,' Fa.; Stacgp^Sons, , 11 .r. n Charles Griffin, Los Temas Sociales y Econ6micos II vh ? ^ Barbosa, "o^so de la Dominaci6n Espanola en Venezuela," Revista_de la Sociedad Bolivariana [Caracas! nlktelT^^"l%' 19^3311 WrrendHTf mmm^^^^^ Loon! ' i:iShters_j^orj^^ Bolivar (New YorkDodd

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82 The First Political Party ._ — I— The history of Venezuelan political parties begins with the emergence of the Patriotic Society, founded at the root of the events surrounding the 19th of April, iBlO, when Venezuelans openly challenged Spanish rule. Formed as an imitation of the "clubs" that existed during the French Revolution, directly inspired by the thought of the philosophes 22 and revolutionaries, this Society constituted a center of conspiracy and political activity. There one would find the best of the Venezuelan youth in the Colony — Miranda, Bolivar, Garcia de Sella, Goto Paul. These men were at the forefront of those who decried the vacillation of the Congress of iBll and v7ho constantly asked for an immediate and clear declara13 tion of independence. At first the Society admitted only selected members; Mead, 1962); R. A. Humphreys and John Lynch, T he Origins of L_aji^ . Amorica n Re volutions, I608-I826 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., if SIT) ; Diffie, Latin American C iv ilization ; Colonial Period, pp. 28I1-312. " 12 The philosophy of the eighteenth century did not imply the direct acceptance of revolutionary ideas. But the ideas of the philosophes, combating, as they did, tradition and authority, opened the vmy to revolution in France and in the United States, and by reflection, in Spain and Spanish America. • -In respect to Rousseau, it is evident that few-if any ---other authors were so widely read in Spanish Amer^ica. Rousseau was the intellectual idol of Rodriguez, the teacher of Bolivar, and some of the leading ideas of Bolivar are entirely Rousseauistic . Or the eJJ^_e_inJ^ec^ see Ramon Diaz Sanchez, Paissje_^His_tprico de la Cultu.F e~Ve"nozolan& (Buenos Aires: Editorial UniversTtaria de BuenosAires". 1965), pp. 71-71;.

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83 later it became open to all who called themselves patriots and v.'ho were ready to challenge Spanish rule. Even a few Negroes, Indians, and women were reported as participants in the Society's secret msetings, hut by and large it remained mostly made up of the criollo elite ;-outh. If, however, it never became a truly popularly based institution, the Society was significant for having its oxvn extensive partisan structure, its leaders, its members, and its meetings v/here all themes were discussed, among them strictly political questions as well as religious and military topics. Its well-educated and upper-class nature was advantageous in that it imparted upon the Society a force, a power, prestige, and effectiveness far out of proportion to the small numbers it included as members. In its name representations were made--often with positive results--bef ore the Congress, the Courts, and in the streets. The Society might have eventually emerged as a more widely based partisan organization, but this never came about. Its members and leaders soon left the realm of polemics and went into the battlefields to fight and to die for the independence of Venezuela. ^'^ Because the leaders of the Society spoke and thought in terms of the absolute revolutionary and libertarian doctrines emanating from France, the discussions in the Society meetings and later the vrritings of its outstanding members vxere surprisingly modern in their tone and in the ~ Ik Manuel Vicente I-fegallanos , Partido s Fol iticos yenez.olanos (Caracas: TipografJ.a Vargas, I960), "pp. 25'-32.

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8U issues thoy covered. Goto Paul was for anarchy and he called "for a blessed demagogy to revive the listless Congress . ""^^ MuKoz Tebar, like the Society's central figure Miranda, wanted above all complete independence from Spain; once all bonds were broken, the "people" would choose the new nation's form of government. These and other ideas enlivened the Society meetings; but the greatest ]^ as a do r of the group was destined to be Bolivar. Bolivar wa ; to include in his writings a call for the abolition ox' all types of slavery; for the integration of the Indian in the social and political life of the nation; for the improvement of the living conditions in the country: for educational and agrarian reform; and for the pursuit of Pan-Americanism. For the Libertador , the greatest of the social problems was that of education. He sought to bring foreign educators to the new country and he often linked the right to vote for those v;ho had become sophisticated enough to "understand" its significance.'^'^ On the international level, he dreamed of a union of the American Republics and he himself held the ruling position in Gran 15 Quoted in Siso Martinez, Historia de Venezuela, p. 278. 16 Ibid. On the Society, see also Guillermo Moron, t^Jrl^I^.^JL^:Il^It2^'^^> trans. John Street (London: Grace Allen & Unwin Ltd., ISbh,) , pp. IO3-IO5. George I. Sanchez, Th e Dev elopment of Educa tion in Venezuela (Washington, D.C.: Departr:3nt of HoalTJhT^du^T^n and Welfare, 19o3), pp. 6-20; Tulio Chiossone, Los Prob lemas ' ^^^2:3l:^^SLj^±J}>SJ!B.S:^^'^ del. Est ado Venezolano (Caracas":" Grdfica Americana, 195/4. ) ,~pp'.~I[.3-69 .

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85 Colombia, a complex that included present day Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador,-'-® To achieve these domestic and international goals. Bolivar believed in the advantages inhei-ent in an "effective government,'' "one that produces the maximum of felicity, of social security, and of political stability. "''^ This "effective government" v;ould not only fulfill the mate ial desires and needs of the population but \^'ould also lead this population to greater creative enterprises. P-ocause it would fulfill the population's demands, this "ef: ctive government" would merit their support and thus it would enjoy stability. Further, it was Bolivar's contention that this "effective government" would become feasible not through complicated legalistic structures but tht'ough the will of men bent upon the daily tasks of helping and leading their fellow men.^O The Trauma of Independ ence-^i e appearance of Pol itical Parties Bolivar's ideals, though tempered by a great deal of political realism, were crushed by the terrifying costs of the prolonged wars of independence. Venezuela suffered more r, ^^Humberto PernSndoz Auvert, "Realizar el Ideario de Bolivar, un Deber Continental," Revi.ta de la Sociedad g^livariana [Caracas], 7JCIII ( Oc t^b^F" PTrrT9Wr"530-i;39 ' B^Ti^HHi-, Bonvai:_a^^ Thought of the Spanish American RevolirEio n, pp. ^59-270'; i^ii—^^i-ii^ 19 It, ^' Salcedo-Bastardo, Vis."' on y Rovision de Bonvmr (Buenos Aires; Imprenta L6pez, 195gTr'p": ilT. ^"-r^-Am 20 ^ , . PP109-115; Joso Carrillo Moreno, "Bolivar y^el^NacioHSTTsmo Cientlfico," Polltica, V (Augus?, 1966)1

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86 than any other Latin-American country. Eleven years of warfare had cost the lives of one-fourth of her entire population, among them the best educated and most capable of her youth. A great deal of the actual fighting to liberate the northern portion of the South American continent took place in Venezuela, and it vjas in Carabobo, just v;est of Caracas, that in June, 1821, the Spanish resistance was decisively PI broken. The Venezuelan social structure, furthermore, had been rent by class vmrfare which the mother country had encouraged as a desperate attempt to v/reck the Venezuelan 22 independence movement. Her economy had been ruined in the fighting. Caracas lay prostrated by the formidable l8l2 earthquake. All this combined with the general anarchy to bring normal civil government to a condition of collapse. Spanish colonialism, sometimes harsh, sometimes paternalistic, vjas exchanged after independence in 1821 for the even less restrained absolutism of local ceudillos and for a long Ramon Diaz SSnche?;, "Carabobo, Marco para una Victoriosa Agonia," Re vista de la Sociedad Bol ivarian a [Caracas], XXIII (October 2ST~19W)7T95-5l2'. 22 . The Asturian, Jose ToraSs Boves, was extremely successful for a time in gaining the allegiance of lower class Venezuelans against the patriotic but aristocratic leaders of the Independence. Plis soldiers were specially recruited from the mestizo horsemen of the Llanos and other lov;er classes. He freed slaves, promoted moiitizos to high military ranks and jmbued them with a spirit of blind vengeance againjt white, well educated, or aristocratic Vorjesuelans . See Moron, A History of Venezu ela, pp. 118-120; Siso Martinez, Hisror ia de Venezuela , pp. 52i;-336. !

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87 chronicle of the personal rul 3 of dictators, during v;hich little political, social, or economic development took place. Bolivar's ideal fora Republic of Gran Colombia was soon challenged by regionalistic tendencies, personal rivalries among his lieutenants, and difficulty of communication and control in this far-flung territory. Basically an idealist, Bolivar refused to assume dictatorial powers that might have kept Gran Colombia together. Penally, v:hen he acceded in August of I828, it was too late. Regional chieftains could no longer be successfully challenged and the Liberator's dreamsof viable government for the expansive Gran Colombia Republic were shattered. Shortly after, in 1830, Bolivar died. A long parade of dictators was to follow him. 23 During the approximately 20 years that the wars of independence lasted, nothing in Venezuela existed that could be considered a true political party. In the early decades after independence, the veteran military officers constituted a closely knit but not too well-organized pressure group in the modern technical sense. Their sole basic agreement lay in their feeling that "they had created the Venezuelan state, and therefore they should lead and control it."^^ 23 n /.c,^"^?^^*? Hijares, "La Evoluci6n Politica de Venezuela (1810-1960)," in Mariano Picon-Salas et al., Venezuela Independier4;e_^^ (Caracas: Fundaci^H-lKrgenl^ Mendosa, 19o277^p. 23-156. ^ ' Gilf^i^-t'o* Cau_dillism and Militarism in V|.gez^l.^^..l8lO-1910 (Athens, Oh£Z"r-olKo~-mi^sTtf-rF^s,

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88 After the separation from Gran Colombia, Jose Antonio Paez governed with the su-pport of ths conservative oligarchy. In 1831 he was elected the new Republic's first president. For the next I8 years no actual political opposition appeared. Paez was eic^her president or, becauso of his control of the army, the power behind Soubletto, v;ith whom he alternated in the presidential chair. The Venezuelan Constitution of I83O v;as dravm up by men of property and the professions. A raodeat property qualification for the voter and a substantial one for the holders of political office was introduced. "Political crimes," vaguely defined, could be punished by death. The Church was shorn of many of its special powers and privileges. The Constitution's conventional provisions for executive, legislative, and judicial branches were only lightly observed. In practice, the distribution of power was invariably and heavily weighted in favor of the executive. From Paez until the appearance of Juan Vicente G6mez in 1908, one properly speaks of the era of caudillism, a time when the person and ambition of the caudillo, around whom power revolved, were preeminent in the national theater. The era of caudillism v/as associated with an overwhelmingly agricultural as well as ranching and extractive economy. The most complete v;ork on the Venezuelan constitutions remains Gil Fortoul, Historia Constit ucional de Venezuela. For this early peFio'd, see Its Vol. II.

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89 . • complemented by a foreign-trade oriented financial and commercial sector. The classes of this strongly manorial and pastoral society were related to such contrasting elements as market and subsistence parts of the economy, the ruling groups and the governed, the educated and the uneducated. Although the correspondence was not ;molly exact, the upper and middle sectors of society were identified with the market economy, the ruling groups, the educated. Thoy possessed social and political authority in Venezuela. The remainder of the population was generally illiterate, denied a direct political role, and tied to a subsistence economy. Often political violence, impunity for crime, and the pervasive avjarenoss of race and class tensions contributed greatly to the continuing social disorder J.n the nation. The Spanish authorities were no longer around--but nothing emerged to take their place except the feuding ciiudillo militias. Venezuelan pressure and interest groups j such as they were, provided no stabilizing framework in the society during the caudillo era. Independence had dissolved the special jurisdictions (fu eros ) which had given the pressure and interest groups consistency, place, and function in colonial society. The Church had lost many of its privileges and powers, including tithing rights, tax imraunities , and the monopoly of education. The veterans of the viars of independence v/ere kept in close i6 . Gxlmore, C audi H i am an d Mili tarism in Venezuela, pp. 19 --20.

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90 • check by the caudillo of the day who feared — probably with reason--that they v;cre his most portentous rivals. The eroding trauma of independence had obliterated the beginnings of political organization; it was left for the caudillo to spawn and subvert a series of pseudo political parties in the decades that followed separation from Spain and the emergence of Venezuela from the brealoip of Gran Colombia. No political party, in its modern sense, was destined to appear in Venezuela until the second quarter of the twentieth 27 century. ' Traditional Parties in the Era of the Caudillos Between the time of Paez and the emergence of Gomez as the undisputed national caudillo in 1908, Venezuela sai^ the emergence of several political groupings that could be placed under the general category of "traditional parties" for the sake of convenience as well as to differentiate them from the full-fledged "modern political parties" that began to flourish after the death of Gomez in 1935. Several things make these two categories distinct from each other--dif f erences in national scope, in ideological inclination, in membership, in organization, and in ability to survive beyond the electoral canpaigna. These differences become quite apparent in the following survey. Paez was the supreme leader cfter I83O on the basis Augusto Mljares, "La Venezuela Marginal," El Nacional (April 10, I966), p. A~i|.. —

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91 of his unrivalled prestige among the fierce l laneros .^^ his military record, and his leadership in the secession of Venezuela from Gran Colombia. There was almost no element to oppose him. Higli society in Caracas and the provinces was badly lepleted by tho wars for independence to vrhich it had contributed most of its youth. The llaneros inspired a degree of social panic on che basis of their past record--it was difficult to forget that before they supported Pdez and the independence movement, they had supported Spaniards and had impaled many of Bolivar's soldiers on their lances. A strong military force was regarded as no better than the llaneros; besides, P^.ez was intent that no such force emerge and threaten his own following. Fuji'thermore, the few prominent Caraguenos who had survived longed for peace— a peace and tranquility that only the llaneros could proraise. Out of mutual need, the old and ;he new orders of leadership, landed aristocracy and Paez militia, were drawn together into a working alliance that lasted vintil IQI^S.^'^ Around l8i;0 two tendencies appeared in the civilian '28 Llanerq, an inhabitant of Venezuela's central plains P^aosIn this region, local chieftains emerged with their amorphous but fanatical rollowors. With a minimum" of tS^Sf 1 • f^""^^" ""^^^""l battle, many of thorn distinguished themselves in tne wars of independence, thus attaining nstiona] notoriety. Paez, brave and largely self-taught, was destined to be considered by many historians one of the best presidents ?L v^'^-r*?:^'. See Uilliam D. and Amy L. Marsland, Venezuela l^^^^^tor^ new York: Thonas Y. Crowell ci.— 95577^ SlLtfrc:.!\1i;6f^^^^^^^^ pp^ Caudillism and Milita rism in V.w-.P.s..np.i o ,

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92 oligarchy that supported Faez. One advocated the introduction of "new men" in the handling of political affairs and reserved for itself the name of Liberal Party; the other, favoring the status quo, cano to be knov/n as Conservative Party, also sometines referred to as the "Godo" *^arty. The Conservatives, primarily concerned with opposing the Liberals rather than presenting any original programs of their own, never attained the prestige or the popular support of their rivals. Conservatives were the commercial men of Caracas and the provincial capitals, the large hacendados (farmers), some of the aristocratic groups that had supported P^ez. The Liberals claimed the allegiance of the professionals and a popular following that had formed around Antonio Leocddio Guzman, of the periodical El Venezolan o, The Liberals had a greater popular following than the Conservatives, though neither group ever became the focus for pressure from the Venezuelan lower classes, being, as they were, almost exclusive creatures of the Venezuelan elite, especially in Caracas. In fact, the two denominations "conservatives" and "liberals" existed only to designate two personalistic groups that struggled for power. Godo is usually taken as a pejorative term, though at tim.es simply indicating one's affiliation with the Conservative Party and later vjith the Constitutional or Centralist Party. Godos originally had been t?iose who had sided v;ith or helped the Spaniards during the v;arL of Independence. 31 Mijares, in. Picon-Salas et al . , Venezuela Independiente , pp. 67-98.

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93 The Liberals, formed as a more formalized political group in 181|0, were quite skillful in handling the discontent that grev; within the email clique that surrounded Paez. Denial of public office to veteran officers of the army of independence, the unyielding grip of Paez and his entourage on public office and policy, the unsuccessful efforts of the Caracas aristocracy to win political independency from P^ez, -and the recurrent discontent of the ambitious and the intellectuals helped the Libere 1 Party to appear as the focus for all opposition. In the meantime, El Venezolano became an effective periodical for the dissemination of the party's propaganda. A Conservative's reaction to thrise of the Liberals, their propaganda, and the impact of their doctrine is well svimmarized by a contemporary: With the doctrine of El Venezolano the harmony between the ha_cendados with their peons d'lsappeared as well as the concord between the proprietors and their tenants". . arousing insatiable hopes of sudden fortunes, ambitions tha. could not easily be satisfied, and claiming rir-hts thcv said were usurped by those who helped maintain" order and justice. ... [It] confounded the beliefs men . . . infusing them with the idea that reoellion against those leading them alon^r tb«nX ^ofality and work would improve their condition and the state of their families. They would acquire l''-^ ? ^•f'''^^ rented and full possession and enjoyment of privileges and prerogatives . 32 Guzman, the editor of El Venezolano was accused of preaching social revolution, of "declaring the proprietor a tyrant over the lazy and the vagrant; of calling on these to destroy Venezuela^T's?.'" ^audmism^

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91^ the Republic and in exchange for their votes offering them wealth and social position. "-^^ Yet, once in power, from I8I1.8 to I89O, the Liberals did little, if anything, to live up to their promises or to the fears tLcy had arouse 'i among the hacendados . A compromise between the oligaxchy and the new masters of Venezuela took place. The spoils of the victory, made possible largely by the popular appeal of the Liberal program, wore shared between the oligarchs and the Liberals. The Liberal program itself was easily rorgotben for the convenience of the few who counted; the majority of the people who had been taken in by the Liberal promises became ever more miserable and impotent to challenge the government. The so-called Liberal Era was anything but what its label might imply. A succession of military dictators vied with each other in corruption and treasury-raiding. From l8ii.8 to 1858 the MonSgas brothers alternated in the presidency. Their regirae vms notorious for many things bat noteworthy for only one, the emancipation of the slaves. First suggested by Bolivar in I8l9, it was finally carried out in 1851}.. By 1858 two new groupings had become more formally organized. The Constitutional Party backed the government and its membership v;as made up mainly of bureaucrats. Its •JO -"^Juan Vicente Gcn^^dlez, in Ramon J. Velazquez (ed.), Pensam iento Politico Venezol^no del Sig lo XIX , III (Caracas: Editorial Arte, 196T) , llli-ll^:^

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95 adversaries classified it as "godo," oligarchical, conservative, central, or centralist. Those opposed to the government called themselves Federalists. The Federalist Party was actually a variation or extension of the old Liberal Party. It was founded by a group of exiles, among them Antonio LeocSdio Guzman and Antonio Guzmdn Blanco. Their programa de gobierno included freedom of the press, universal suffrage, secret and direct election of all legislators, popular election of justices, and restrictions of a permanent army for the sole purpose of external war. In the v;ords of Magallanes, With the Federalists . . . the revolutionary movement in Venezuela appeared more impetuous and v;idespread than ever before. . . . The Federation vfas an episode in the continuous process of democratic struggle, a process that had shown itself clearly during the vrars of Independence and that renewed its povrer once more , in the liberal movement in spite of the conservatives.^^ This highly favorable estimate of the Federalists is not shared by many. More generally, it is felt that the Federalists and the Centralists were both far more Interested in enjoying the profits inherent in being the party in po\«7er rather than in fulfilling their vague and grandiose programs. There is no argument, hov/ever, over the fact that the struggle betvjeen Federalists and Centralists once more drained Venezuela of much of her most promising youth and caused severe social and econorulc disi-uptlons . -^^ 3k Magallanes, Parti dos Pollticos Venezolsnos, pp. kl].Diaz Sanchez, in Picon-Salas et al . , Venez uela Indepe nd icnte , pp. 2i|5-255; Mijarcs, in ibid. , pp. 111-125.

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96 The Federalists achieved victory in I863, The next three decades followed the familiar pattern of Venezuelan politics — rule by dictators who gathered enough support to keep themselves in power for a time, vjho paid lip service to high-souading constitutions, but jho were mostly concernec' with benefitting themselves to the utmost. Eventually this corruption alienated enough of those who either vrished to benefit themselves from the national treasury or who maintained a devotion for a better type of government to overthrov; the current ruler and set themselves in power. The cycle repeated itself. The first of these dictators v;as General Juan Falcon, who gave lip service to the Liberal program and who proclaimed a new Constitution that guaranteed universal suffrage, greater autonomy for local governments, and freedom of the press. But since political opposition vms suppressed, universal suffrage meant only the right to vote for government candidates. Greater local autonomy in effect made each local caudillo supreme in his area. Meanvihile the new administration proceeded to loot the Treasury. By I868 conditions deteriorated so much that one group of disgusted Venezuelans proposed giving the country in tinast to England. The Falcon government was overthro\-/n by a coalition of Liberals and Conservatives. General Guzm.ln Blanco emerged as the nev; military dictator in I87O and was to control Venezuela for the next I8 years. An a^J^owed Liberal, GuzmSn Blanco has been the subject of either unmitigated diatribe or eulogy: for his political friends and later for his admirers.

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97 there were never enough adjectives to use in his praise. His adversaries found all deprecations too mild to affront him strongly enough. Uslar Pietri gives a more balanced apprai when he tells us that Guzman Blanco is a naii in v;hom a variety of the features of the caudillo phenomenon is combined with a kind of reflexive moderation. He is primarily an academic civilian who, to further personal plans, becomes a militarist. He is a man of culture, enamored of some liberal ideas, \vrhoso action reflects an obvious wish to contribute to the nation's progress. His hardness is calculated and his cruelty more ostentatious than effective. Along vrith his greed appears his undeniable ability as an administrator. All this makes his personality more complex and analysis of it more difficult. 37 Like most of his predecessors, Guzmdn Blanco amassed a fortune; but while enriching himself, he did demand honesty and efficiency in his government personnel. He pacified the country, restored its credit, and proclaimed many reforms. Hostile to the Church, he virtually destroyed its remaining power in Venezuela. The archbishop was exiled, church properties were confiscated, and ecclesiastical privileges ceased to exist. Ruling the states through subservient n a balanced characterization of GuzmSn Bronco, see George S. Wise, Caudillo; A Po rtrait of Antonio Gvvvlk Blanco (New York; CoCT^i-i-TiiKiFirtTPi^slTT^ 37 Arturo Uslar Pietri in Wise, Caudillo^. p. vi . OA A ^i?^^ Mecham, Church and State in Latin America (?d ed. rev.; Chapel Hill, N^T" Ca?oiInr;--ljHrvc:^it^-^F^

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98 appointees, he effectively negated the autonomy granted by the Federalist Constitution. He carefully suppressed all opposition, but his frequent trips to Europe and his growing lack of contact with the centers of pov/er in Venezuela eventually proved his undoing. His ov;n picked candidate turned against him and in 1888 Guzm&n Blanco became an exile. A society under the name of Democratic Union was founded in May of 1889 and began publishing a periodical called The Democratic Party ( El Partido Deraocr&tico ) . Besides the usual generalities common to all previous political organizations in Venezuela, the society's program called for the adoption of the homestead plan and for proportional representation. The Democratic Union made a noticeable impact in its beginnings, perhaps because of the great enthusiasm of its leaders as well as the support of well-known writers and politicians of the tino. Its influence, however, diminished greatly after the election of candidates who had supported portions of its program. The elections over, the society dissolved itself. Its members and sympathizers either abandoned the political struggle or became participants in the government. The Democratic Union never became a political ciSnoho, ^y^" Guzman and the Liberals, see also Ramou Diaz Sanchez, Guzml^ Ambici6n de Foder (CaracasLdxtorial Eaxme, 19^; franrHi-^^G^zIIiTlJura^^^ ^2atem£orano^ Vols. VIII-XI (Caracas,^!!?!^

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99 party; in fact, its own program carried this declaration: "The members of this society . . . consider it contrary to human dignity . . . that a citizen drovm his personality in the collectivity of a party. "^^ Two civilian presidents follcwed the overthrow of Guzman Blanco and then the pattern of military dictatorship was resumed with General Joaquin Crespo. Personally honest, Crespo made an inept president. He permitted corrupt advisers to raid the Treasury and contract ruinous loans. His term came to an end in I898 and, in the fight over the election of his successor, he was killed. Meanwhile, a surge of political activity unparalleled in Venezuelan history was taking place. The RepublicanFederal Party was founded in 1893 and adopted a program very similar to the old Democratic Union. Like the Democratic Union, however, it had a very short existence. That same year, another group, made up mostly of former supporters of Guzman Blanco, colled for the reunification of the Liberal Party xxnder the leadership of General Crespo. As elections approached, the Liberal Nationalist Party was founded in 1897 to promote the candidacy of General Joso Manuel Henriquoz, better known as El Mocho. This party and its candidate marked an entirely new approach in Venezuelan politics. Born in a Caracas slum, El Mocho undertook an extensive political campaign. For the first time, a pp. l4.8-i4.9°^''°*°'^' ^^^S^^lanes, Partid os FoHticos Venezo lanos.

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100 presidential candidate, instead of confining himself to conferring with caudillo.5 in Caracas, traveled throughout the country and held innumerable public meetings. Everywhere he was acclaimed a truly popular leader and there is little doubt that about nine-tenths of the population became his f ollov/ers It is certain that El Mocho won the elections but, follo\7ing the traditional pattern, the government declared its own candidate president. The Liberal Nationalists, certain of their popular strength, decided to fight for their candidate. Even though President Crespo died, the Liberal Nationalists lost. General Cipriano Castro came to power and initiated one of the most corrupt governments Venezuela has ever known. Political parties ceased to exist. Only factions with ambitious chieftains remained and these were easily controlled through threats and bribery. The sole voice of opposition came from the writings of Pedro Maria Morantes, better known as Pio Gil. From the safety of exile, Pio Gil succeeded in introducing into the country his political tracts, denouncing the corruption and challenging the regime. Cipriano Castro had assumed the presidency, but the fighting did not end for two years, while regional caudillos ^""Mijares, in Picon-Salas etal. , Venez uela Irdependiente , pp. ll(4-lij.6. -~ ^%is novela El Cab ito is considered one of the best descriptions of the Venezuelan society during Castro's regime See Jose Carrillo Moreno, Pio Gi l (Caracas: Biblioteca "fiocinante," 1955). —

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101 contested his rule. Finally, with the aid of his Tachirense supporter Juan Vicente Gomez, Castro vanquished all opposition in a vigorous campaign. Venezuela sank under the dictatorship of a supreme egotist, v/ho held Venezuela as a prize to be exploited for his personal benefit and who involved the country in discreditable and costly "nationalistic" squabbles with the foreign powers--mostly through the mistreatment of foreign businessmen and diplomats, Cipriano Castro's dissipation forced him to seek a cure for ill health abroad and he left for Europe in 1908, leaving his vice-president, Gomez, in charge. Though Gomez had been loyal to Castro for many years, he realized this was his chance to take pov;er and within a month he assumed the presidency. The next three decades engulfed Venezuela in the longest dictatorship it had ever experienced. Uniquely adept in the control of power and in the subjugation of all Venezuelans, Gomez was to see only minor opposition during his lifetime, the most important of which comes as late as 1928. Only after his death in 1935; do we find the first serious and more lasting attempts at the formation of political parties. ^^ariano Pic6n-Salas, Los Df as de Cipriano Castro (Caracas, 1953) > exalts Castro 'F'^nTtTonalTsm'^^^ time that it points out his many personal weaknesses. For an official, and therefore highly favorable collection of documents (speeches, congressional messages, correspondence, etc.), see Luis Correa, El Ge neral J. V. pocumentoa Pa^^a A^_Hi storia de su Gobierno ("5ar ac a s : Litografia del Comercio, 192T) . ^ For equally unbaj'anced views of Gomez (in this case, entirely negative), see Thomas Rourke, Gomez, Tyrant of the Andes (Garden City, N.Y. :

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102 Gomez ruled by a combination of energy, cunning, and ruthlessnes3. He put his many relatives and Tdchira supporters in most of the key posts but these too were known to die or disappear under mysterious circumstances if they crossed the dictator's will. Gomez' first concern was the army and, after he had shifted the top commanders to suit himself, he reorganized, modernized, and expanded his armed forces so that no would-be revolutionary dared to challenge him. He began the prof essionalization of the military by establishing a military academy and by bringing in experts from abroad. To facilitate military operations he opened a system of roads that could carry his troops to quell insurrections wherever they occurred. An efficient spy system was developed and covered all branches of the government, including the military and the foreign service. Incipient opposition to his regime was promptly checked by arre^st, imprisonment, and torture. Wienever it suited his wishes, the Constitution was either rewritten or amended and thus he could always boast that his government was legally justified in its various moves. By censorship, ?hJnro-^r'^' ^^-93^^ ^ and Jose Rafael Pocaterra, Gomez, Tao ^h^.or_jMerxoa.^ (Pans: Andr6 Delpeuch, 1929) "l^e b'alfn-ed ~%sr) 'Inl tr'"'^ ^ilil/fi-fe (New Yo;^^ Pag^^rif i^ress, i9i)l+;, and the anonymoili^ "Juan Vicente Gomez. Un Penomsno Tolvirico," signo [Caracas] (October i,, l95i); pp 915. Laur-eano Vallenilla "Lanz • Cesirismo Democktico Nd ^d • Caracas: G^rrido, 1952), soughFT^lE^lBr^rr^:?^^!as ^ ani '"^^^ '•"-?^-'-^-/3trongmoS"--suiS as G^zmln^BLnco ?Sf cZtt'^ T"'^Manuel Arcaya, v;ro?e ^-^W^h~~fn— (Washington, D.C.: Sun Printing Co., 1936), also praising El Beneraerito and explaining hie, ^ actions in sociological cerms. explaining nis stituclo^^t;/^!^'?'''^ Moreno, "Las Siete Reformas Con(Sep1:mb;r!'l963l ,^T?2^ '''^'^'^ "

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103 propoganda, and the forcible pacification of the people, G6inQz made Venezuela appear peaceful and progressive both at home and abroad.'^^ G6mez could, indeed, claim to be quite an improvement over the chaotic Cipriano Castro regime. The financial conditions i^hich he fostered did much to restore economic prosperity in the country and present an attractive field for foreign investments. Gomez scrupulously paid all foreign and internal debts; he kept Venezuela's currency hard. When he died in 1935, the country had a surplus of nearly 100 million bolivars. It was Gomez vho, in the early years of the twentieth century, welcomed the oil prospectors who were to make Venezuela a very rich country and Gomez the richest Venezuelan. ^t^''' The profits served to pay off the country's foreign debts as well to enrich the dictator and his friends. But 'those outside the small clique of presidential favorites gained little— if anything— from the millions that poured Into Venezuela from the 1920 's on. The Marslands explain the G6mez tecbjiique thus: Gomez .. . shared the good things with his supporters, one of the reasons why he stayed in po;;er so long. .... All positions carried with them the tacit right to pilfer funds from the public pocket. . . . Army Xxvii Lavin, A Halo for G6mez, chaps. XV through hi of th^ noit-f^?'"'""'^ °^ discovery, exploration, and some of the poliuxcal consequences of oil is Lieuwen, Petroleum In Venezuela; A Hi story, passim. — "

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10k commanders absorbed salaries of "imaginary" soldiers. Civil officials owned stock in contracting companies which vjon public works contracts. Kickbacks, taxes, bonuses, and direct raids on the Treasury added to the staggering total the Gom^cists stole. Petroleum changed the economy from one primarily agricultural and pastoral, producing most of its own food and other basic needs, to an economy v;hich after 1920 v/as dominated by the extraction of oil.^^ Prices rose and agricultural production by small farmers fell off as high wages offered by foreign companies drew people to the oilfields and the cities. The large estates produced mostly export crops such as cacao and coffee, Venezuela began to import food in ever increasing quantities. Little of the new wealth was expended on education, health, diversification of agriculture, or the establishment of local industries. The new money made the Gomez machinery ever more efficient in its repressive tactics. A ntmiber of attempts at uprisings and invasion by those v;ho were lucky enough to escape the government's vigilance came to a complete and sv/ift failure and cost the lives of those involved. The dictator with his netv-;ork of spies and his modern and loyal army vias more than a match for all opposition. Thus in 1935 — over a century after independence had been achieved — Venezuela still had not developed _^ Marsland and Marsland, V enezue la Through its Histoid , p. 236. [,9 "Petroleum Transforms Venezuela into an Industrial Power," Now York Timq_s_ (May 26, I963), sec. 12, pp. James, Latin America , pp. 93-96.

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105 anything resembling a modern, integrative, well organized, programmatic rather than personalistic political party. The seeds for such a party had been sown during the Gomez era by the rising labor elements, the emerging middle sectors, ani the discontented studei.ts; by changing values and new ideas; by the erosion of the old traditional society. The seeds had been sown during the Gomez era--but a modern political party did not emerge for another decade. Venezuelan Student s Feder ation--Seedbed of Modern Political Parties If, on the one hand, the revenues from petroleum helped G6mez to perfect and to reinforce his machinery for the repression of political opposition, they also undermined the status quo by giving birth to a proletariat of skilled workers who were to become ever more conscious of their crucial position in the tapping of the mineral riches. Petroleum also v;as to attract skilled workers from other lands, often v/orkors who had long been exposed to the ideas of syndicalism, anarchism, socialism and communism. To add to the unprecedented influx of revolutionary ideas from abroad, the Venezuelan students were becoming aware of successful student movements elsevjhere in the American continent. This atmosphere contributed to the uprising of Pobert J. Alexander, Comm'\nism in Latin Am erica (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 19^777^ pp. 253-255; Partido Comunista Venoz.olano, La Vida Rov olucionaria de Gustavo Machado (Caracas: E.T.C.A., 19[[.FJT '

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106 greatest importance during the long Gomez dictatorship and the one destined to have a lasting impact on Venezuelan politics. The student revolt of 1928 had its origins in the formation, in 1927, of the Venezuelan Students Federation (FEV), an organization that reflected the students' awareness of the revolutionary ideas of the Mexican Revolution in 1910 and of the Prussian Revolution of 191?.^^ These students were also painfully aware that students elsev/here in Latin America had already shovm an independence of mind and of action that they hitherto had failed to demonstrate effectively.^^ Students in Argentina, in Peru, in Chile had risen and had demanded academic reforms v;hich had been granted sometimes after violent strikes. Attempts at student organization with similar aims in Venezuela failed in 191I|, 1918 and 1922 because Gomez suppressed them at once. The FEV was not a political party--that would not have been allowed by Gomez-See John D. Martz, "The Generation of '28: Genesis of Venezuelan Democracy," Journal of Inter-American Studies. VI (January, 1961^ , 17-33. 52 Serxner, Accion Democratica o f Venezuela , p. 1. There are Venezuelans' v;ho feil the Mexican Revolution was strictly a national affair and did not have any impact outside of Mexico. See "El Dr. Escovar Salom Hablo in la Mendoza Sobre los Cambios en America Latina," El Nacional (March 7, 1965), p. D-3. Dr. Salom was Venezuelan~Minl'sTer of Justice at the time cf this article. 53 Jovito Villalba, "La Federacion de Estudiantes y la Reforwa Univorsitarla en Venezuela," in La Refor^ma UniversUarl III [La Plata, Argentina] {lWnT'v~260~ 264; Romulo Betancourt, Veiiezuolja : Politica y Petroleo (Mexico: Fondo dc Cultura rJcoh6mi~c•,™195F}~"py.~~67-To^

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107 but in practice it acted as one. Among its leaders v;as Pio Tamayo, who, with heterogeneous political ideas allied with a youthful fervor, would become the first theoretician of the group. He, along with Jovito Villalba and Romulo Betancourt, made the leading speeches of the Students V/eek celebrated in February of 1928, speeches that vjere open challenges to the oppression and brutality of the Gomez regime, Betancourt, years later, would describe the events thus — In Vene'/.ucla reigned an atmosphere of oppression and collective apprehensions. It v;as in this atmosphere . , . that the generation of the 1928 acted, . . . The v;inds of change that tossed the v;orld viere finally reaching us, winds that reflected the disrupting historical episode of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the social changes that had taken place in V/estern Europe at the conclusion of World VJar I. The nev7S of the Mexican Revolution, then in its highest resonance in America, came to us as a powerful stimulant. In sci.ie magazines vie would read . . . the nev;s of the university upheavals in Cordoba .[Argentina], the street demonstrations in Lima, the energetic beginnings of the struggle that would eventually free Cuba. ... It was under the influx of this insurgent restlessness that moved the rest of American youth that v;e decided to organize the Student Weok.^i; Gomez retaliated at once. The most important leaders were imprisoned, among them Betancourt, Villalba, Tamayo, Guillermo Prince Lara. The latter two were destined to die in prison or from bad treatment. To tlie surprise of everyone, other university studen^s-Betancourt, Venezuela; ^ 'P ol^txo&_]r_l^S^l2SLP« 67«

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108 many of them frora Venezuela's "first families "--protested the jailing of the four leaders and hundreds filled the streets to demonstrate and were likewise jailed. The people incensed by the high-handed tactics of the government rose spontaneously in an unexp^^cted gesture of solidarity. A general strike was called, an unprecedented challenge to the government in a country that did not even have the rudiments of a trade union movement .-"^-^ This massive popular pressure provoked another unprecedented reaction--the doors of the jail were opened. By this time, another unique event took place--a number of young officers joined the student movement. The freed students left jail more intent than ever to struggle against Gomez. On the evening of April 7, 1928, in connivance v;ith those young officers, the presidential palace was taken over. But Gomez, as usual, was at his estate in Haracay, outside of Caracas, The insurgents next tried to take over the San Carlos base, where a rich arsenal was kept. They were soon overcome by the fire of the troops, the majority of which had remained loyal to Gomez. This effectively -^-^Even Lsvin, v^rho is far from being extremely critical of G6mez, admits that "despite all his high-sounding propaganda to the contrary, Gome:', did almost nothing to better the lot of the common v;orking man and his children. V/ith the exception of the 'Confederation of V/orkers and Artisans of the Federal District,' workers' unions were not permitted. The 'Confederation' . . . was in reality a social organization whose^president was a loyal Gor,iscista . " See Lavin, A Ha lo for Gomez , ^. Ihh' 56 The troops, after all, had long been pampered by G6mez, who was the first Venezuelan President to give them a professional status.

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109 crushed the revolt. A student strike was called but Gomez closed the university, rounded up the students and sent them under guard to build roads in unhealthy, malarial regions, most of them paying with their lives for their daring. As Gomez declared in the official daily El Nuevo Diari o, "Since they did not want to study, I'm teaching them to work."^''' Other insurgents were given indefinite prison sentences and died within a short time. For others, like Betancourt, it was possible to elude the police and leave the country.^® At this stage, both the imprisoned and tho exiled did not have a deep doctrinaire or ideological orientation. They were simply infused by youthful fervor and a desire to imitate other university students vjho had risen elsev/herc to protest against governmental oppression. Betancourt confesses that nihilism appealed to him and his companions the most. In his words, "we did not feel historically compelled t6 sacrifice ourselves for the country's liberation. . . . V/e were a bunch of wild Jacobins in a world in vfhich two currents were polarizing themselves into two irreconcilable fronts — antihistorical reaction and social revolution. "^*^ 57 Quoted in Betancourt, Venezuela: Politica v Pctr^leo, p. 60. 58 _ The various fates of the student leaders are vividly described in a semi-autobiographical novel by Miguel Otero ^^-'-y^* /4^^1^i-il2yi>2^..de_La Revolucion Venezolana (Caracas: Minist6rio io Educacion, 19611. Qtl7oTlTTB~^R-^B.mong the insurgents, many of whom, like him, belonged to distinguished Venezuoj.an families. Still one of tho major novelists of his country, Otero Silva has often admitted links with the Communist Party. 59 Betancourt, Venozixe3,aj__Po2^ca^ pp. 68-

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110 Yet, even if the events promoted by the Students Federation lacked any devotion to doctrinaire principles beyond a desire for free expression and a wish to challenge the governmental authority for its cruel arbitrariness, they marked the first political adventure in the lives of a number who were destined to appear, years later, as the leaders of Venezuelan political parties. Among the members of the FEV who participated in the Student V/eek were Betancourt and Rai5l Leoni, later presidents of the country; Jovito Villalba, to be the leader of the Republican National Union (URD), for a time the second largest party in Venezuela; Gustavo Machado, to be the leader of the Venezuelan Coirjaunists , and countless others of later prominence--Gonzalo Barrios, a probable I968 presidential candidate; Ruiz Pineda, leader of the early resistance against the Perez Jimenez dictatorship; Otero Silva, Gabaldon Marques, Raul Montilla, to name only a few. Further, there is little doubt that the insurrections of 1928 marked a new davm and a new goal for the democratic struggle in Venezuela. For the first time in the country's history, the people became a decisive factor in the events that moved tho nation. The frustrated attempt at a popular movement by El Mocho at the end of the nineteenth century had left little noticeable impact. In contrast, the FEV was 60 „ 13 1 ^-^ ^ ^^'"^ P.Kornilndez y ^,93 Reformas de 1901;/' Boletxu_del Ar>^^ Himf lores [Caracas], V ( July-Uecember, l'-)b3Yr^l9'f^30: ^ i> ^

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Ill destined to becorae the seedbed of most of the contemporary Venezuelan political parties. In the words of Juan Oropeza, 1928 becomes the crucial year in the life of the nation. . . . The spontaneous strikes were a protest against the mass imprisonment of the students; more than that, they were a protest against the continuous arbitrariness and brutality of the dictatorship. . . . A new generation, born in a climate of dictatorship, had reached its age of reason and began asking questions for which Venezuela, long surrounded by a wall or censorship, could find no answers. "1 Revolu tionary Left Gro up The students who were lucky enough to escape Venezuela and Gomez' reaction to the 1928 events settled mainly in Aruba, in Curagao, in Colombia, and in Costa Rica. The most active group settled in Colombia and from there began to contact other exiles and to promote the formation of a revolutionary group devoted to the study of Venezuelan problems and to the overthrovr of G6iiiez. Their discussions allegedly prompted them to write the Barranquilla Plan that came to be considered by the Venezuelan authorities as the best proof that its authors vievo "radical Marxists." Seen in today's light, the Plan was indeed radical for the Venezuela of 1931 J but it was not necessarily an expression of "radlcsl Marxism." The Plan, put forward by the Agrupacion Revolucionaria de Izquierdas (ARDI, Re volntionary Left Group), called for the revision of oil contracts and concessions, for the ^"Q^ucted in Hagallanes, Partidos Politicos Vene z olanos , pp. 67-68.

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112 reduction of foreign debts, for the nationalization of water falls, for State or municipal control over public utilities. It recommended the convocation of a Constitutional Assembly to elect a provisional government, reform the constitution, revise the existent laws, and seek sulutions for the political, social and economic problems. A "truly structural revolution in Venezuela" was the Plan's key goal. At the bottom of the Plan, added in longhand, was this promise: "Those who subscribe to this Plan promise to fight for the ideas outlined here and to become active militants in the political party that vrill be organized on its basis." It was reportedly signed by Betancourt, Valmore 62 Rodriguez, Raul Lecni, and Ricardo Mont ilia, among others. Vene zuelan Revolutionary Organ izat i on (ORVE) Aside from the efforts of the FEV and later of the ARDI, no other attempts of similar consequence occurred for There is much controversy about the authenticity of the Plan. Magallanes seems certain of its existence and its authenticity, though he is obviously partial for the Plan's proposals: Magallanes , Parti dos Pol iticos Vcnezolanos, pp. 69-71. Critical of it', for its "Marxist radicalisln" is Eleazar Lopez Contreras' El Triunfo de l a Ve rdad (Mexico: Ediciones Genlo Latino, lTtl9 ) , 'p^assim. RamorT David Leon, in Por donde Vamos; Hi st oria de un Fe to Politico ( Ceracas : Tipcgraf ia C'arrido , 193^) , pp. 29"3J> aTso^ s'cr i b e s a series of letters from Betancourt to Valnore Rodriguez, both of the FEV, virglng a revolution in Vene^'uela. Serxner, Ac c ion Democrc^.tica of Venezuela , p. 2, questions the autKehtTcity of the Plan. Betauoourt, Venezuela; Politica y Petro leo, passim, concurs in this opinionj though he adr.iits having entertained some of the ideas proposed by the Plan.

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113 the rest of the Gomez administration. Only the dictator's death from natural causes on December 17, 1935 brought an end to the regime. The reaction to the death of Gomez v/as at first one of incredula.ty--f or too many who haa long suffered under his rule the old Tachirense seemed immortal. Incredulity was followed by a sense of relief and thanksgiving when it became clear that the tyrant's death was no wishful rumor. However, as the news spread that G6mez had indeed died, the sense of relief turned into popular uprising. Mobs attacked many Gomez supporters; their properties were looted and a few, unable to flee from the wrath of the populace, v;ere massacred. Oil companies and their foreign employees came under attack. The wild public demonstrations went on for a time without any check; there was even speculation that they would lead to a social upheaval similar to Mexico's after Porflrio Diaz was ousted. What might have become a popular revolution failed to develop as such, however. The people had no organizations or leaders to defend their interests and the army, under the control of Gomez' appointees, continued to be the best integrat8d--and armed-— institution. ^ The oligarchy for so long associated vdth the dictator--the generals, the large landholders, the oil speculators, the g omocista congressmen and governors --moved to preserve the order. The Cabinet Gilmore, C audillism and Milita rism in Venezuela,

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Ilk quickly appointed Goraez' minister of war General Lopez Contreras to act as President. This choice was confirmed less than two weeks later and at the end of 1935 the Congress elected Eleazar Lopez Contreras acting president. Lopez Contreras proved to be a shr'ev/d politician. His relative moderation and conciliatory spirit in dealing with the ant i -government opposition during the 1928 events had not been forgotten. Furthermore, he had discreetly maintained contact v;ith some of the exile groups. All this would be particularly helpful in Lopez Contreras' gaining popular support while Gomez' many relatives, especially the cruel cousin Eustoquio, governor of Lara State, were feared by the population as well as distrusted by the emerging military professionals.^^ The acting president released many of the political prisoners and invited the exiles to return to Venezuela; he removed the most hated gomocistas from the governmental payroll. He acceded to students' demands for an end to censorship and he followed this act with a liberal labor law. In April Congress elected him a full-fledged president. L6pez Contreras' efforts to stave off the demands of the Gcimez relatives and to gain his own supporters had paid off. Further, the wild, popular demonstrations of December had in ^^^^Q^ol^'o Luzardo, Nota3_Hist6rico-E^ 19232-963 (Caracas: Editorial Sucre7"T9T3T7~ PP . ' 37 ^Q—HTi^^FT^ Ailen J^^e^^^la a^^^^^^ (New Yoikr^^ioubledayf Soran'^ ?h;;,i^^^' y:^'' ^^t-^'^^' interesting, »rri9|6\%'^l939'!^"'^^' ''''"^'^ ^"^^^^^^ ^~

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left the propertied interests fearful and shaken. It night have appeared to them that the best and perhaps only choice was to support L6pez Contreras, who was of humble origins but predictably able to enforce order because of his military f:)llowing. The returning exiles found that Venezuela had changed a groat deal since their departure in 1928. The country was no longer predominantly agricultural; instead, oil was now the major and almost sole source of governmental revenue. A proletariat, born or expanded during the oil era, had emerged especially in the cities. The population itself had become av;are of its own potential power and the relatively successful uprisings following Gomez' death had only whetted the popular appetite for more power. The exiles themselves had changed from romantics into realists. Most of them, after a short idyll with Marxism, had become convinced that no extraneous and rigid doctrine could redeem thc'r country, that only a truly Venezuelan solution would bring democracy and prosperity to their people. They read with renewed interest the works of Bolivar and sought to adapt his thoughts to what they considered to be Venezuela's contemporary problems. (lAc^^r. Hi^^^"' Krehm, Dqmocracia y TiranXas en el Caribe (Mexico: Edi tores y IrapvcsoTorTS^xT'd:=^^±T^ — Y q hq ) ^ S^-iff-'-'^n °' PBetancouib Venezuii~ Pollt ica y Fetr5l_eo. pp. 79-83. — ' 66 Magallanes, iHlli'^^^Pol^^ic os Venezolanos . pp. 73-

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116 With this new ideological orientation, the young exiles began to seek every opportunity to raake their ideas known to the people: through the nevrspapers, through public meetings, through conferences and debates. Along with this propagandibtic activity, they devoted a great deal of energy to fomenting the basis for political parties, labor unions, student associations, and cultural and professional groups. The old Federacion de Estudiantes Venezolanos (PEV) was reorganized under the leadership of Luis Lander, later a prominent meraber of Accion Democrdtica.^® An "Association of Former University Students" was attempted, but without great success. Oropeza Castillo, another AD leader, was active in the organization of an Asociacion Nacional de Empleados (National Association of Employees). Jovito Villalba and Raial Leoni cooperated in the formation of a short-lived Anti-Imperialist Front. The "Union Democratica" and the "Somatgn Urbano-Clvico" were the labels given to two small and very transitory parties. In contrast to these rather inconsequential organizations, others were destined to prove themselves hardy enough to survive many sti-uggles. The Partido Republican© Progresista spread Communist ideas in Caracas under the leadership of Acosta Saignes and Rcdolfo Quintero. Far more Rn fio ^s^^'^^o'^^t, Vene: :ielai_. _P^litica y Pet^roleo , pp. tju— 03 • 68 ^^?, ^^^^^^^ "La Doctrina Venezolana de Acci6n Democrdtica, " pp. 20-39,

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117 widespread was the Organizacion Venozolana (ORVE) led, in great part, by a number of returning exiles v;ho would later be also among the founders of Accion Democrdtlca. Although ORVE was not properly speaking a political party, it vas a political movement that sought to incorporate in its ranks all Venezuelans v;ho desired to bring the mass of the population into the governing of the country. Ideologically flexible and encompassing many points of view, ORVE could claim adherents from many social classes. This aspect was already apparent in a letter, dated Ai.-.ust 2, 1935 (thus prior to Gomez' death) in which Betancourt reviewed the bases of ORVE's functioning. The key to ORVE was then said to be the coalition of all antidictatorial sectors in a single popular front. For this reason, the slogan "to search for all that unites us and to avoid anything that might divide us," proposed by Mariano PiconSalas, became the rallying cry for all those joining ORVE.'^^ This movement exerted a great influence upon the population. From its inception it sought to capitalize on some of Lopez Gontreras ' concessions, such as his naming of R6mulo Gallegcs as minister of education. Gallegos, closely associated with ORYE, was to effect a substantial advance in the educational system of Venezuela.'^-'Significantly, too, Kagallanes, Part 5 do a P oliticos Venezolanos, pp. 79. 90; Serxner, Ac.cjx^r^Dem^ 70 Magallanes, P artidos Pol^ti cos Venezolanos , p. 90. 71 "~ SSnchsz, 22l£j^vo?.opment of Educat ion in Venezuela. pp. 32-33; Serxner Ac_Li^n_D6mocrrtica, p. 2Tl-T7-G~r[^T^ Baquero, Amtlisis a el Proccs o KilTtor'i'^o de la Educaci6n

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118 ORVE stressed its raulti-class nature and sought to orient the people and to shov; them how to obtain redress to their grievances and how to iraprove their living conditions. ORVE devoted its attention as vrell to the economic problems and to the protection of tne national resources. Critical of what it considered Venezuelan cultural and political backv;ardness and widespread misery in spite of natural riches, it attempted to find solutions for these problems. It asked for the democratization of the regime and for complete public freedom. All these topics in ORVE's program were intimately related to its nationalistic doctrine, a doctrine that sought solutions for those problems unique to Venezuela and that should be solved within a Venezuelan, rather than an international frame of reference, as advocated by the Communists. This preoccupation with nationalistic solutions v;as characteristic of many ORVE leaders, some of whom had ' abandoned their early connections with Coiomunist movements precisely because these movements did not fulfill Venezuela's needs and were primarily aimed at those countries where a strong proletariat with a well -developed class consciousness and organization already existed. Besides Betancourt and Picon-Salas, ORVE's leadership included Raul Leoni, Gonzalo Barrios, Luis B. Prieto, Carlos D'Ascoli, and Ur„^lHJLjie_laJWncf^^ (Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1962}, pp. 1-223. "^^^-l

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119 Andres Eloy Blanco.'''^ Many in ORVE had been heavily influenced by Marxism in their thinking and their concern v;ith the economic basis of politics clearly showed this background; what distinguished theiii from the Venezuelan Communists was their preference to seek solutionsfeasible within the national context as v/ell as their desire to appeal to all classes of Venezuelans, not only the relatively small but growing proletariat of the country. ORVE, the Uni6n Kacional Republicana and the Partido Republicano Progresista forKcd a coalition named Bloque de Abril. The Bloque's purpose \vas to orient and mobilize public opinion around concrete formulas to be submitted to the National Congress for incorporation in the Venezuelan legislation. The Bloque sought the passage of measures that would eventually lead to the consolidation of public freedom as well as the elaboration of the necessary legislation for th-e improvement of the political and economic life of the nation. Thus, beyond having a program., the Bloque was interested in achieving its realization through the existent legal channelsNov; that L6pez Contreras v;as allowing a measure of public freedom, the Bloque did not want to endanger these emergent democratic trends by proposing to bypass the 72 Kagallanes, Partidos Politicos Venezolanos, r>p. 8385. ~ 73 Gonzalo Barrios, Bloqite de Jvbrll (Caracas: Lit. y Tip. Vargas, 1936). Barrios^ whcT wals minister of interior during most of Eotancourt's and Leoni's regimes, continued very active in AD and was a possible presidential candidate for the 1968 elections.

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• 120 existent governmental machj.nery. To challenge this machinery at this time would be sheer folly; the Bloque leadership understood well its own v/eaknesses and the paramount power of the government. The only possible avenue for the Bloque to obtain Its demands appeared to bu to work through Congress and to advocate a gradual change of the government's nature. The proposed changes \
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121 "plataforma de lucha" was launched on March 31, 1936. Carlos Irazabal and Carmen Gorao signed it as representatives of the Partido Republicano Progresista; E. Belacio Blanco and A. Fuenmayor Rivera for the Union Nacional Republicana; J. S. Gonz.dlez Gorrondona and Rai^l Leonl for the ORVE. Nat ional Democratic Party (PDN ) The aims of the Bloque were soon frustrated. Its proposals were too broad and too revolutionary and it was clear to Lopez Contreras and his Congress that acceptance of any of the Bloque 's demands v;ould mean their own political demise in the near future. Further, the President was in full control of the country; his Congress was in full accord with his viev:s and his restrained gestures to\>rards democratization; both President and Congress counted v/ith the full support of the oligarchy, the armed forces, and the oil entrepreneurs. Finally, in comparison vrith the governmental forces, the Bloque had a distinguished but divided leadership. The product of a coalition, it was torn from the beginning betv;een the moderate, gradualistic , and constitutionalistic approach of the ORVE and the radical, revolutionary, and Marxist approach of the Partido Republicano Progresista. It lacked a broad popular basis, though it contained much that should appeal to the Venezuelan people. Further, most Venezuelans at this time seemed content with ''^^Magallanes , Par ti dos Po li ticos Venez olanos , pp. 91-93.

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122 the freedom Lopez Contreras allowed them; after all, following the long years of the Gomez dictatorship, Lopez' rule v;as mild indeed. With the vanishing of the Bloque, another attempt was made to form a united front, this time under the name of Partido DemocrStico Nacional (PDN). Again the central idea was to gather in one group all the democratic sectors contained in the various parties and thus perhaps form a front capable of challenging the government and those who sought to keep the status quo in Venezuela. This group would encompass the ORVE, the PRP, and the Bloque Nacional DemocrStico of Zulia State. The legalization of the PDN vras sought in the Federal District but the government v;as understandably reluctant to aid the fusion of all the forces that v;ere openly or covertly opposed to it. The legalization was denied. An appeal was made to the Federal Court in 1937 with the same results. In January of that year an oil strike was broken with the imposition of a decree that made compulsory the return to work. With this strike the "honeymoon" period of liberalization that had follovred the death of Gomez came to an abrupt end. The strikers, demanding constitutional reforms and other measures, had been supported by PDN leaders. Their involvement precipitated a series of repressive measures by the President---ORVE and other parties Allen, Venezuela, especially its chaps. I-VII and xxix-xx>:.

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123 had to be dissolved and much of the PDN leadership had to flee the country. Romulo Gallegos resigned as minister of education in protest to Lopez Contreras' actions. Yet, in spite of all these legal impediments and repressive .neasures, the opposition ^as able to participate in electoral campaigns and to gain some seats in m micipal councils and legislative assemblies. In Caracas, operating through the party Accion Municipal, organized for purely electoral ends, the opposition obtained 19 out of 22 posts in the city council. It was also able to obtain the designation of a number of leading members of democratic parties for deputies and senators, even though their selection was not, at that time, direct or popular. These victories only prodded the government into renewed and stronger reaction. Lopez Contreras violently condemned political parties, student and professional organizations, as well as trade unions. He depicted the leaders of these organizations as radicals, Communists, or dangerous extremists intent upon destroying Venezuela's peace and prosperity. An executive decree dissolved the ORVE, the PRP, and the Bloque. Scorer, of labor and political leaders were jailed and sent into exile. The Federal Court of Cassation annulled the election of democratic councilmen and 77 pariiamentarians . 76 Betancourt, V enezuela; Poli tica v T>^t-.T^^_i^, pp, 90^, . . '^It ^c^s beon charged that the Court annulled the ?i?'''!T%n''r? p^^'^^'v -^'^ ^'^l^lf^^'^^ Krehm, DemocSacia y OilMe^:~iT^ ^^""^^-^onvt, Veng^u era-T—pon-trL

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12k A fev/ of the leaders, among them Betancourt, though ordered expelled, were able to evade persecution by hiding and began an underground activity. It was at this time that the organization o.f the PDN as a clandestine group 78 began. jtn the v/ords of Betancouro, The PDN ... in its beginning was an orgajiization in miniature. It was born clandestinely in a country where recurrent despotisms made difficult the political education of the people or the emergence of trained leaders for the tasks of organization and propaganda. But the PDN grevj in membership, political leaders appeared to lead in tasks of organizing the workers, the students, and the professionals. . . . This was possible because the PDN had its own doctrine, a doctrine eminently nationalistic, and because it had a militant membershir) that v;as determined to spread the party's program. '° Operating under cover from 1937 to 19iil, the PDN managed to accomplish a surprising amount of propaganda. Its handbills and an irregularly published periodical, Izquierdas , denounced Lopez Contreras ' administrative incapacity, his repressive tactics against the opposition, and his alleged subservience to the "international oil consortium." "The PDN never ceased to attack the reactionarv nature of the regime, its incapacity to give an affirmative answer to the many questions in the political, economical, fin and cultural life of the ration. Betancourt, with the 78 Accion Deraocratica, Accion Democratica: Doctrina y Programa , pp. 57-58. ~ 79 Betancourt, yenezucD.a; Poli tica y Petroleo , p. 9lt.. 80 Alberto Carnevali, quoted in Valmore Rodriguez, PiiI£Eltas_jobrc^oj^ezuela (Mexico: Edi tores e Impresores Beatriz de Silva, 195o'r, P. 19.

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125 help of friends, was able to contribute a regular column to the Caracas daily Ahora. In those columns he underlined the PDN's criticisms and the Party's proposed program. Though persecuted, the Party survived through its organized cells, committees of five members who came together for 81 secret discussions every v/eek. Like the ill-fated Bloque de Abril, however, the PDN suffered from trying to encompass too many divergent political tendencies within its structure. Dubbed "the political minestrone," the PDN was rent by internal strife that began to strain its unity. Its Communist members, who wanted to preserve their own identity and impose their ideas upon the rest of the members decided, after a few arguments, to abandon the PDN ranks. But they left i^ithout a bitter dispute and with the understanding that a joint committee of their leaders and those of the PDN xrould be maintained. With the exit of the Communists, only those who had a marked democratic and nationalistic tendency remained in the PDN.^^ With the PDN restrained by its clandestine existence, another try at legalization of a democratic party was made through the Partido Democrata Venezolano (PDV). When parties were banned by decree in February of 1937, General Jose Rafael Gabaldon had the idea of organizing a party that would 8l„ S3rxner, Acc i on Do moc I'a t i c a . p. 3 g2 106. -^^eallanes, Parbidos^PoUticos Venezolanos . pp. loi-

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126 "gather in a single cause all the forces truly and indisputably democratic of the country. "^3 Besides Gabaldon, Andres Eloy Blanco, Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso and Luis B. Prieto--three outstanding AD leaders in another decade-were active in the formation of the PDV. According to the PDV's manifesto, it intended to become legal and to serve as a channel for popular opposition to any form of tyranny. It stressed its nationalism and its opposition to the subordination of national resources to foreign enterprises. It considered itself • a multiclass party, but it promised greater attention to the least privileged sector of the Venezuelan population, the canpesinos. It insisted that it would never permit personalism, which it considered the traditional curse of Venezuelan politics, to pervert or overshadow its hallowed intents. But all this remained only a project because, like the political groups it sought to replace, it too was never granted legality, thus being dubbed by Ramon David Leon, "the political miscarriage."^^ The PDV's failure, however, should not overshadow the fact that it did elicit a measure of popular interest 83 Quoted in ibid. , p. 107. General Jos6 Rafael Gabaldon, El "Partido Democrata igJie^Ql-^n^ y 3u Proces o (Documentos) ( CaracaTT"' EdTt"Srrar Elite, 193c). " 85 . , David Leon, Por_donde_Va.n^ passim.

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127 and support. Indeed, when Medina Angarita, Lopez Contreras successor, sought to form his own political group, he named it Partido DemocrAtico Venezolano (PDV), thus trying to confuse and to capitalize on the original PDV appeal. Needless to say, Medina Angarita's PDV had no linlcs whatever with Gabaldon's party; it was purely a government party for the promotion of candidates approved by General Medina and his followers. Betancourt, who had given himself up to the authorities in 1939 and gone into exile in. Chile, vrhere he wrote his first full-fledged analytical book, Problemas Venezolanos , returned to Venezuela in 1914-1 with the intention of aiding the clandestine PDN's preparations to launch an active campaign against Lopez Contreras' handpicked candidate. The government's choice. General J-Iedina Angarita, another Tachirense , had been serving as Minister of War. In the well-established tradition of Venezuelan politics, it was a foregone conclusion that Medina Angarita a 86 Partido DenocrStico Venezolano, La Libertad Economica y la lntorvenci6n__de]._Esta_do (Caracas: Tip. L Nacfon, 19^^ ,~PartTdo Democratico Venezolano, Proyecto de Bases y Estatutos del Partido Demo cratico Ve n e z o 1 ano (Trujillo, 19^4-3); Betancourt, V enez uela; PontTca"v" Petroleo , pp. 1 63 -165. ^ fi7 Romulo Betancourt, ProbJemas^Vejiezolanos (Santiago, Chile: Imprenta y EditorTal >aturH',~T9ll.O ) . ^'^'^'^ written several polemic tracts, de E^^Ji^:^:^^11?^^^1£l_I23^^ (Santo Domingo, D.R., ]929); Romulo Betancourt, Una__Repub]J^a _en_Vo^ (Cnracas, 1937); Romulo Betancourt, C_o_n_Quien Estam.xs y Conbra Qui6n Estamo: (San Jose, C.R., 1932 ».

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128 would win the electoral contest. In spite of Medina's assured victory, the PDN decided to present a symbolic candidate, Romulo Gallegos, Venezuela's internationally acclaimed novelist and one who had taught many of the PDN's leaders in their days at the Lyceo in Caracas. Using Gallegos' name as a rallying point, the PDN conducted a widespread campaign. But Gfllegos' prestige and the intensive campaign promoted in his name could not surmount the government's determination to make Medina Angarita president. The Lopez Contreras-controlled Congress, met on April 28, I9I4.I} and cast 130 electoral votes for the official candidate and 13 votes for Gallegos. The election had been lost but the campaign had produced fruits. The PDN had contended on a national scope and had attracted the attention of many. Its program had been publicly debated and had become a rallying point for the growing opposition. Shortly after Medina's election, the PD.I v;as legally recognized under the name of Accion Democratica. Acci 6n Democrat ica; An Ou tgroV'/th of the PDN The PDN, which had existed clandestinely since 1937, 88 Betancourt explained his party's choice of Gallegos thus: "We wanted to honor tlie man who had been our teacher in worldly as well as academic life. ... We knew we were not going to win the election but . . . vfe accomplished what v;e set out to do: to dispute the idea of ' continuismo ' and stir public opinion." Quoted in Luis Enrique Osorio, Democr acia en Venezuela (Bogota: Editorial Litografia Colombia, T%3T, p. T5^. For Gallegos' ovm interpretation, see Romulo Gallegos, Una Po s i c i 6n on 1 a V i da (Mexico: Ediciones Humanismo, l93TiTi "pii. I7O-I7I.

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129 became a legal party under the name of Acci6n Democratica (AD) on September I3, 19i|l. Thus the history of AD actually begins with that of the PDN and much of its ideology and structure is go borrowed from the earlier group. ^ It was in the PDN that the AD vanguard h?:! been formed under tl^e expert political guidance on , of Betancourt,^ Valmore Rodrxguez, Paz Galarraga, and Raul Leoni. They appealed to all social classes of Venezuelans, though they concentrated their organizative efforts particularly in those broadest--and most neglected--sectors of the society, the campesinos, the workers, and the middle class . Leonardo Ruiz Pineda called Betancourt "the supreme activist of the PDN" and he explained. He evades the police persecution — a unique case in our political history--and takes charge of the titanic task of building a party in the underground. ... He formulated the theory and the program of the PDN, an organization of the Left, an instrument at the service of the democratic revolution. ... He began his crusade with groups of students and v;orkers--we were a group of young students, moved with the fervor of youth, and a group of worlcers under the banner of social justice. Betancourt gave us the ideological background, the programmatic basis for the struggle that lay ahead. 91 Romulo Betancourt, "Evolucion Historica de Venezuela," Boletin de la Union Panamericana . LXXX (July, 191+6), 376-352; Domingo Alberto Rangel, '^Explicacion Historica de la Revolucxon Venezolana," Cuadernos Americanos [Mexico], VI (May-Juno, 19/j.7 ) , 7-20; Accion~De"mocrariFa7"Acci6n Democratica; Doctrinj9i_y Programa, pp. 5-51. 90„,' , ~" Romulo Botancourb, Romulo Betancourt: Semblenza i^-^JPollti c,o_Po2.ul ar , ]. 928 -19W"(c aFa'^;s~~W-^ionFs~ Caribe, .l^IiB ) . 91 Quoted 3.n Hagallanes, Partidos Politicos Vonezolajios, pp. 123-12ii. Ruiz PTEidiTr'i^prominent AD leader, led tne underground fight against P^rez Jimenez and died at the hands of the dictator's secret police.

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130 Magda Portal saw Betancourt's approach to the Venezuelan problems as an insightful adaptation of the approach of her own party, the Partido Apriata Peruano, to Venezuelan conditions.^ She added, Betancourt, under the irapact of the economic doctrines of the times, with a dialectical mind and a realistic sense, tries to find solutions for the unique needs of his country. . . . Today, after having contributed to the creation of the instrument for the liberation of his homeland--a political party that joins tocethor the workingmen and the intellectuals of Venezuela-Betancourt continues preaching ... the program and the doctrine of the PDN, preparing the people for the time when his party will accomplish its mission in power. Vj5 There is no doubt that Betancourt had profited from his familiarity with the APRA and with other democratic 92 1 ' -4.. Various other authors have underlined the similarities between the APRA and the AD, though their labels for these parties vary. See Harry Kantor, "The Development of Accion Democrdtica de Venezuela, " Journa l of In ter-American Studies, I (April, 1959), 237 -255r'R5biFt-j7Tleirrndil7^^ f'rniS f^^f^^f^ ^P^^Pjt I^^^ti^s>" Zolitlcal Quarterly, XX (July-September, 191^9), 236-2i|7; G^^?E^W^Ek^-eirr'''?olitical ???TTo'\^%'j?of'"rr' M2^can_Political Scieice RevieS? LII (March, 1959), 106-12?; Willi^l^rTre7i^n-CT-TaTO^ G Gil, f2vernm|gtso^ McGraw!HiirBooi ^o., 19^(), pp. 3IO-320--8II of whom call APRA. AD and c-.-mnm^ groups, "modern parties." Silvert, The ConfUct Society: ReaxOiona^R^^^ AmeH-^Tr??r22B^-Jho calls them-^ocial dei,:ocr?riPTAihiFN7 cL isteLen "•l e General Nature of Political Parties in Latin America " Tn ^.enous nationS?:tic"^and'^ir{m?A,^TufAm:tL''"" Gov|_rmi^^ p. 350, who cailFtfer^^Isi^ ideoWiSars?T^^ thrbasic iQeoiogiCdi similarities that make it possible to consider such parties as AD and APRA under a single heading? 93 Quoted in Romulo Gallee-o-^ pioi rAt»„o,-, Democrati ca (cSFSoas: Edrt5riai-soHr;-t9-S5lt^p:"'S3-67.

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131 parties in the hemisphere. During the 1930' s and the long exile years, Betancourt had lived in various Latin-American countries and had made valuable contacts with democratic groups. From these contacts he had evolved the idea of creating an international organization that v.'ould permit the various democratic political parties in Latin America to help each other. With this in mind, he had promoted a 19l|0 meeting in Chile of leaders of the PDN, of the Paraguayan Partido Febrerista, the Cuban Partido AutSntico, the Peruvian Partido Aprista, and the Chilean Partido Socialista. No permanent organization had emerged from the meeting but the democratic leaders had pledged themselves to fight against all forms of dictatorship and to promote the betterment of the conditions in their respective 9k countries through democratic means, ^ The pedenistas ' pledge to fight against dictatorship was not a mere gesture. The PDN, though forced to operate underground, had been active in the formation of small groups of party activists. These groups of five members gathered together for weekly discussions and each member was called upon to help in the formation of similar political groups among his professional colleagues. In the trade unions, student associations, and similar entities, the PDN members were expected to exert their influence and to mak'further 9ii Harry Kantor, "La Colaboracion Entre los Partidos," Panoramas [Mexico], II (November-December, I96I4.), 67-76.

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132 members for the party. Further-, the pedenistas were in charge of the mass distribution of party literature and of the constant recruitment of now party supporters. Through these efforts the PDN had grov;n slowly but constantly throughout Venezuela. The eniall political committees or cells spread throughout the main cities and successfully attracted labor. Meanwhile, its program had become familiar to many Venezuelans. It called for universal and direct suffrage, for public freedom, and for individual rights. It called for harmonious relations with all nations, especially those in Latin America and in v;hich social, economic, and political backwardness prevailed. It insisted on getting a fair share from the exploration of natural resources, especially petroleum. This "fair share" would, in turn, be used for the diversification of industry, for the democratization of rural property, and for the 9^ improvement of living conditions. The organizational activities of the PDN experienced a new surge with its ] egali^ntion under the name of Accion Dem.ocr^tica. Perhaps ironically, these organizational activities which had become possible because of the liberalization introduced by President Medina, in turn undermined the presidential grip over the country. Medina himself was torn between the authoritarian pattern of the past and his ''-'Accion Democratica, Accion Democraticat Doctrina y Programa , pp. 9-51' :

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133 96 ov/n inclination for greater democracy. In the pattern established in 1899, the new president was another man of Tachira State and predictably he had announced his intention to carry on the policies of his predecessor. Once in office, hov;ever, he shovfed that he preferred to ignore the Tachira clique and he chose capable and efficient aides, among them, the economist and v;riter Uslar Pietri. Political prisoners were released; exiles were allowed to return. Medina x^rent as far as permitting free speech, freedom of association and freedom of the press. Seeking popularity for his party, the government passed more liberal legislation than had ever previously existed, including provision for women's suffrage in municipal elections and the eventual direct popular election of congressmen. All these measures worked to undermine Medina's pov;er. His attempts at popularization of his ov/n party, the Partido Democrdtico Venezolano, proved a complete failure. Aside from the backing of civil servants v/ho were compelled to join the official party, the PDV had few other 97 followers. On the other hand, his liberalization program 96 , . Isalas Medina Angarita, Cuatro A nos d e Democracia (Caracas: Pensarilento Vivo, C.A., Editore"s, 19o3 ) ; Karsland and Marsland, Venezuela , pp. 251-252. The Marslands are not alone in saj^ing that Medina was one of the most liberal presidents Venezuela ever had. Among many others, see Mor6r., A His tory o f Venezuela , pp. 207-213. Betancourt himself admittea tliat; the years of Medina's government viere peaceful; see Betancourt, Venezue la; Polftica y Petroleo, p. 13l|. 97 This charge, made by several students of Venezuelan politics, ^is vehemently denied by Medina Angarita. See his Cuatro Anos de I^ewo^acia.. pp. 25-31, especially

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13l|. was far from satisfactory to the ever more powerful and popular AD. But Medina's liberal attitude towards AD was sufficient to allow AD's continued growth as v;ell as--and perhaps more importantly---to irritate old Gomecistas who began to cluster around Lopez Contreras. To further complicate the situation for Medina, the apparent presidential inability to fully embrace either Lopez Contreras or AD led many of the younger military officers to draw av/ay from him. Some of them desired a return to the old, stable v/ays of the Tach: I'a dynasty; others envisioned AD as the eventual ruler of the country and therefore wished to jump on the bandwagon; finrlly, some were genuinely attracted to the AD program. These disgruntled military men joined together in the Union Patriotica Militar (UPM), a clandestine group 98 opposed to Medina. Lacking the full support of the army, Medina tried to build power upon other groups. His Partido Dcmocratico Venezolano having proved a complete failure, the next step was to court the labor unions. The Coranunists, unable to muster sufficient strength to name thoir own candidates, pp. 28-29. On the PDV program, see Partido DemocrStico Venezolano, Proyecto de Bases , passim . 98 Luzardo, Notas^_Hi_s t or 1 c o Ec o norai c a s . pp. 86-120. Moron, A Histor y of Vene zuela, pp. 213-2'lTi:7~e'stimates that those involved numbered about l^'O of the 900 active armv officers. ^ 99 Inter-American . Ill (October, 19^i|.), 8-10.

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135 supported an alliance with Medina, while AD continued to oppose the president, to seek control of the labor unions, and to follow the nationalistic program outlined by the old Tm.^°° An election in 19kh gave Medina a foretaste of things to come. This election, to be held in April, v/as to choose municipal counciltnen and state assemblymen who, by the provisions of the constitution then in vigor, v;ould elect the congressmen v/ho, in turn, would elect the president. Actually, in practice -ixe congressmen always had chosen as the new executive vib jmever the incumbent president indicated. The elections, for these reasons, assumed a significance all out of proportion to the posts directly involved. By this time AD felt strong enough to hope for its eventual capture of the presidency and this hope spurred it on to great electoral efforts during 19^1-.''"*^"'" To make things more difficult for Medina, there v;as some other less organized opposition x^hich centered in disgruntled landholders — many of the old-time Gom.ecistas — many businessmen and industrialists, some middle class elements who feared communism, and pro-Lopez '^'^JRobert J. Alexander, Organized Labor in Latin America (New York: The Free Press, 195J) , pp. 3--2[^^^J^152; Betancourt, Venezuela; Politica y Petroleo , pp. llj^9153 • 101 Austin F. MacDonald, Latin Ame rican Politi cs and Government vNew York: Thomas Y. Crowell, "T9Tr9 ) » pp. T22^ — ^23.

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136 groups in the army.-'-^^ Although Medina's candidates won the 19kk election, Accion DemocrStica made a very strong showing. Betancourt won the post of councilman of the Federal District, the first publiQ office he ever held. The Chamber of Deputies contained a highly vocal minority of AD members and sympathizers, all the more effective because of Medina's decision not to reverse himself on his course of liberalism. He was far more concerned about the traditional conservative groups supporting Lopez Gontreras--the owners of the great estates, the senior army officers, professional people, and to a great extent the Catholic Church, which had been shaken by Medina's legalization of the Communist Party in 191+5 • However, these conservative elements seemed to be the only hardcore opposition to Medina, because the president and AD leaders had held negotiations and had come to a compromise and an agreement for the joint support of a liberal candidate, Diogenes Escalante. The situation changed rapidly, hoT:ever, in the early fall of 19i|5. Unfortunately Escalante fell ill just tvjo months before the elections and had to vjithdraw. The Medinacontrolled PDV convention then nominated the minister of agriculture, Angel Biaggini, as a substitute. To Betancourt and other AD leaders the substitute, a complete stranger to most Venezuelans, seemed no more than a puppet for Medina, 102 Marsland and Marsland, Venezuela, pp. 252-253.

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137 who had never earned the adecos ' complete trust. AD withdrew its support for the new official candidate. Medina, still largely unconcerned about AD's power, continued to concentrate on averting a takeover by the conservatives, perhaps under Lopez' leadership. While threats were being exchanged between Medina's supporters and the conservatives, suddenly on October l8, 19k5, the government was unexpectedly seized by a coalition of junior array officers of the secret UPM and the AD.-^°^ Seizing the railitary academy and the presidential palace and barracks in the early morning and fighting it out with the police and loyal troops, the rebels were in control by nightfall. Medina was forced to resign and he and Lopez Contreras were ordered into exile. Betancourt became the provisional president and organized a governing Jjillta of seven men, only two of whom v/ere army officers. The October, 1914-5, revolution was the most fundamental in Venezuela's hlfbory. This was no palace revolt of the type characteristic of the country's past. Tv;o things made it unique"~the military and a popular party had joined together in the removal of a military-directed regime; the popular party, unique in itself in the context of Venezuelan political 103 . . AD was quite hesitant about a joint action with the military, tne very elements it had condemned for their monopoly of power in Venezuela. ThU topic will be broached later, though an explanation appears in Ana Mercedes Perez, tfLlHlli_InedJ^ (Caracas: Editorial Artes Gr&ficas, 19ii7). For Betancourt 's record of the events preceding the 19k^ coup, see Betancourt, Venezuela: Poll tica y Petr<^leo, pp. 185-197. '

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138 history, had a well developed program that aimed at the restructuring of Venezuelan society and possessed an extensive organization that sought to embrace all sectors of that society. '^^ No matter vjhat their motived, the military had joined a popular party in the removal of a military-directed regime. This was unique in the history of Venezuela. It was something more than a contest for power among the caudillos or a reversion to the days before Gomez. It v;as also more than a shuffling of positions among former Gomez supporters, as it had been in the selection of Lopez and later of Medina Angarita. In this case, the newly professional military had tipped the scales and yet, instead of usurping victory from the hands of its popular ally as would have been expected from the context of Venezuelan history, it had given the first fruits of victory to these popular leaders and had reserved for itself, for a time at least, a rather limited and discreet role. Thus, as in the past, the military had been crucial in the changing of the guard at Miraflores Palace; but, in contrast to previous occasions, it had handed over power to civilian leaders. Of greater significance, and again a break with the past, was the fact that the October Revolution was broadly '"^^Venezuela, Junta Rovolucionaria de Gobierno, El__Gobier;w__Rexqlu^ ante su Pueblo (Caracas: Imprenta iNacional, 19T|:6T7 VenozFelaT" Junta" Revolucionaria dc Gobierno, La Revolucj_6n Venezolana an^.e (Caracas: ' Imprenta~Na^onaT,~T9lt6T

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139 based and received the support of various sectors of the population in various parts of the country, not only the oligarchy in Caracas. Accion Democratica, the leading force behind the revolution, was coiniriitted to a drastic alteration in the relations among the various social group to giving access and voice to sectors of the society which had never been allowed a role--specif ically, the peasants and labor. The revolution had narked the assumption of political power, for the first time in Venezuela's history of a party with a v;ell developed popular program and an extensive organization which claimed to represent all Vene zuelans. It is to this ideology and organization in the conteict of the contemporary party system of Venezuela that we next turn our attention.

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CHAPTER IV I ACCIOK DEKOCRATICA IN THE CONTEXT OF CONTEMPORARY VEl^EZUELAN POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND PROGRAMS As the survey of Venezuelan political history has shovm, the organization of Accion DGiaocrfi.tica signaled the emc-i^gence of a modern political parby that in a relatively short ':ime was able to captui'e the country's government. Acci'ii Dcmocr&tica vias unique among Venezuelan political parties for its preoccupation v/ith evolving an ideology that would not only satisfy long-range goals for Venezuelan political, social, and economic deJvelopment , but would also bo flexible enough to adapt itself to changing circumstances and to changing demands. Further, from the days of its precursor, the Partido DemocrStico Nacional, AD had carefully nurtured the formation of leadership and membership cadres destined to survive beyond the limited electoral campaigns. These characteristics of Accion Democrdtica distinguished it frora previous transitory political parties that had existed in Venezuela. Political parties in Venezuela had been ephemeral bodies from the time of independence to the death of Gomez. The flourishing Patriotic Society of Bolivar's youth had enjoyed a shoi life in spite of its advanced social program llj.0

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for bringing about economic and political independence for Venezuelans and in spite of its sponsorship by many of the Venezuelan elite. The struggle for independence from Spain had obliterated the idealism of the Liberator; it had left in its vake a prostrated Venezuela, an easy prey for the authoritarian caudillos who ruled perhaps even nore harshly than had tho Spaniards. In the era of the caudillo, the party, like everything else, v;as a prop for its master; a toy to entertain him, a tool to reinforce his power and provide more riches for himself and his favorites of the day; a mere label without substance, an almost fictitious superstructure with no popular base, with a totally imaginary program v^hich had no possibility of ever being fulfilled. Tho meaninglessness of party activity had reached its climax during the G6mez regime, which did not even find it expedient or necessary to carry a political banner or to appeal to the people.^ But Gomez hitaaelf assured the eventual demise of his type of authoritarian rule when he permitted the exploitation of petroleum, v;ith the inevitable consequences of tho formation of a growing proletariat as well as an ever-increasing urbanization and migration of Venezuelans. This nex-r proletariat, pampered with privileges for its crucial rolo in ^Oom^z reportedly believed that "political excitement (i.e., political parties) necessarily brings on civil war." Laviii, A Halo for Gomez , p. I4.22. In the perspective of past Venezuelan history", ',;hon political party labels served as banners for warring caudillos, G6mez may not have been entirely wrong in his assessnont.

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Ik2 sustaining the prosperity of G6mez and his henclimen, was to grow in class consciousness and becotae exposed to trade unionism and the Marxist ideas of the day. In the vjords of the historian Guillerno Mor5n, "whereas in the nineteenth centui'^ guerrilleros and caudillos sought the support of the country folk in order to turn thein into warriors [to do battle for their cause] . . ., nov; politicians sought to win over the oil worker to their parties." The oil fields became magnets for an impoverished rural population and peasants traveled for miles in the hope of obtaining employment and a better living. At the same time, Caracas v;as no longer the sleepy tov;n it had been for centuries. It too attracted the campesinos, the foreign entrepreneurs, the landed elite. In spite of Gomez' censorship, disturbing ideas began to filter into Venezuela. University students began to hear of successful student movements elsev;here in the Americas and they too became familiar with Marx and with the accomplishments of the Mexican revolution. Similarly, when G6mez moved to replace the various regional caudillos' militias with a national military loyal to him he was also assuring the eventual emorgence of a professional class of military men vrho would no longer countenance obedience to ser.dliterate men like Gomez hiiTiself Moron, A Hi s t o ry oX J£gH£iB.glg. • P« 198' ^In the estimate of the Marslands, "the days when a roan could successfully wage a revolution by leading a few hundred badly-armed bandits over the hills had passed. From now on, revolutions would eru.pt within the army itself. .

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These younger officers, though pampered by Gomez, were no longer willing to suffer the vagaries of regimes which often overlooked merit for the loyalty of henchmen when promotion time came around. Venezuela had endured from Ll908 until his death in 1935 the long and brutal dictatorship of Gomez. His death had set off a series of blind and bloody disturbances which resulted in eventual further repression under G6me2' successor. But neither Gomez nor L6pez Controras could control the forces they had been at least partly responsible for unleashing. Appealing to the workers, to the peasants, to the students, to the growing middle class, parties now formed underground and to such an extent that in 19i;l President Medina thought it expedient to sanction them, including the most popular, Acci6n DemocrStica. This party, following its long-held program, was to seek the integration of all Venezuelans in the political, social, and economic life of the nation. AD was so effective in its efforts that by 191^3 General Medina found it necessary to establish an official party to counteract AD and later, in 19]4l^., was left v;ith no choice but to seek a coiapronise with AD in the selection of a presidential candidate. This arrangement failed. The overthrov; of Medina by AD and disaffected members of the military took place on October 18, 19i|.5. Students and workers, many of them active in Acci6n Democrdtica, poured The era of the caudillo was over. After Gomez, power in Venezuela would belong to officers of a professional array." Marsland and Marsland, Ve nezuela Through its Histor y, p. 23]

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into the Caracas streets. Bitter figliting v/ith the Caracas police force continued for two more days, but by this time the police were unable to quell the popular uprising. Police resistance was futile before the mass support for the AD-led overthrov; of President Medina.'^ The army officers of the secret lodge Union Patriotica Militar (UPM), v;ho joined forces with Accion Dertiocritica in the overthrov/ of General Medina, had varying motives for their actions. Some were apparently influenced by the stagnation of the array in which they found themselves. Gomez had been primarily responsible for the creation of a professional military in Venezuela; those p>rof essionals were nov restless against G6nez' successors, men v;ho held them back and still favored their old, untrained, unprof essionalized, military cronies.^ Othera, especially in the lower ranks, wanted increased pay and more rapid promotion. A fevr, among them the respected Captain Mario Vargas, were sincerely idealistic and sought to help the ushering in of a new era of democracy and social justice in Venezuela. Finally, there were those (and in this group v;as probably Major Perez JimSnez) ^S. E. Finer, The M an on Horseback (London: Pall Mall Press, 1962), pp. S^-ijTTTa'S^JBT "Betancourt, ycnezuela; Poll t ica_ y Pe troloo , p. 190 tells of some officers' \irho~"paTrrE"ed a* picture of an army where not even the superficial modifications introduced into the civil admirlstr-ation in 193^ had been implemented, where the arbitrary methods . . . for the conduct of the armed forces and the selection of comr.ianders and officers still continued alive and active."

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who were shrev;d enough to realize tho v;ide popularity of Acci5n Democr&tica and who felt the days of Medina v;ere numbered. These ambitious roilitary officers may have joined with AD in the overthrow of Medina in the belief that AD would assure the coup a popular base, at the same time that they would eventually be able to control AD, in the traditional fashion of Venezuelan 6 political history. The AD-railitary entente was short-lived and, as many times before J a dictator soon intervened in tho process of democratization of Venezuela. In contrast v/ith other times, however, AD d3.d survive the dictatorship; more than that, repression forced the strengthening of its programmatic lines, the testing of its organizational structure, and the prompting of its coalition x-jith other political parties. It is to those 19li.^-to-date events that ve devote our attention in this chapter. In so doing, we shall attempt to place Acci6n Democratica in the context of the major contemporary Venezuelan political ideologies and programs. The Democratic Left The programmatic orientation of Accion Denocriitica is 7 usually considered democratic Left in its nature. This orientation involves a belief that the maintenance of ^£dv;in Lieuv;en, Ajimo and Politics ^ Iji L aiin A meric a (New York: Frederick A." Plc'"aegerT lT6o"')7 p. 12? 7 See supra , chap. Ill, n. 93.

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11^6 democratic order is indispensable and that the economic structure has to be changed so that the living conditions of the population vjill be improved. The agent of change is a popvilarly elected government; the vehicle for the obtaining of such an elected government is a political party that encompasses all sectors of the society. In schematic form, these key issues dominate the party literature: (1) a multiclass party \jith an explicit but flexible program and with a national organization (2) political and economic transformation of the ^ Venezuelan camp o (agrarian reform) (3) political and economic strengthening of the . . Venezuelan labor force (I}.) nationalistic petroleum policies as catalyst for industrial diversification and welfare improvement (5) firm but rational international policies based on Bolivarian principles. ^ In order to implement its key objectives, AD had pushed for the development and strengthening of agrarian reform and industrialization; for the intogration of the production g What edecoc like to call the Party "theses" are welldefined prograra:aatic issues that invariably appear proninontly in the Party periodicals such as /uD . , Ahora, Polftlca; in Betancourt's writings and speeches; and~Trrthe~v5TuTHnous party tracts. In all these sources it is stressed that though all issues are equally relevant to the transformation of Venezuela into a modern, integrated nation, none can be denocratically^ realized without the proper vehicle for popular representation"-a rnultj^cl^j^^^^ par:y, a party that is stroug enough to win elections and to gain control of the government and, as governr.ient, to push for the fulfillment of its program (theses ) . ^ &

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of petroleum into the rest of the national economy; for the utilization of unexploited natural resources; and for the extension to the whole population of opportunities in education, employment, and social security. In other v;ords, AD had called for an involvement of the citi^.en in the affairti of the state and for a governmont that would be responsive to the people's needs and that would bring about a greater and more intensive utilization of the human and natural resources of the nation through democratic and evolutionary, as opposed to authoritarian and revolutionary, 9 means. ^ In the pursuit ofthese key objectives, prior to 191|5j Accion DemocrAtica had worked at two levels — one, its grass roots organization had attempted to involve the various groups in Venezuelan society in the formulation of the party's immediate program; two, AD was profoundly avmre that its organization and its program, no matter how extensive and how good, had little chance to achieve the party's objectives if the party failed to capture the Venezuelan executive. This awareness had prompted AD's attempt to v;ork with President Medina Angarita in order to have some influence in his traditional privilege of picking his successor. When this attempt 9 Acci6n DemocrStica, Acci6n Democrdtica: Doctrina y IZiefilHia' £assim; Acci6n DemoTrTticlTr^Ef^a^Tireosr p^sTrnf " ' Lander, La Doctrina Venezolana de ^ccr6irii)5H5"cr6u] "SITT nS^r v?/w^°r'' °' J'^ajority Party," Venezuela |£zt£iDaJ^ XI Winter 1963-1961!.), 3-k; "Conv^rTro-FfFmado entre los Paruidos Acci6n Domocrdtica (VG) y Alianza Powlar pr325-33Sr'' P-OC^^-Bntos (Juiy-LpteLer! 1962)'

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11^8 failed, AD, though it had long been calling for civilian rule through elections, had bent to the necessity of v;orking with highly placed military officers to overthrow Medina and then imposing itself as the dominant element in the ruling Junta. "'"^ Once in power, Accion Democr4iica was able to retain the Venezuelan executive for only three years. V/hy? Ifeny well-founded reasons have been put f orvmrd,-'^but only one v/ill merit our attention at this point. Accion Democr&tica' s assumption of povjer in 19^+5 signaled a break with the past. The traditional elite, the Tachirense military, the hacendados the business elite, the foreign and foreign-aligned entrepreneurs had been replaced in the government's favor by the still heterogeneous and largely uneducated and politically unsophisticated elements in Venezuela, v.'ho had long existed at the margin of national events. Accion Democrdtica had concentrated its organizing efforts among these elements, but it could not claim to have brought them fully within the reach Betancourt, Venezuela; Polltic a y Petroleo , pp. l88 20k. Alexander in his The V enezuelan Dcnocratic Revolution , pp. 3k-k^> feels that the social legislation of the Junta and of the Gallegos' government had "gained exceedingly wide popularity for the party . . . [but] had disturbed the top officers of the Army, including several who had been instrumental in putting Acci6n Dorvocratica in pover." The immedj ate cause of the dov,'ufall of the AD regime is seen as the lack of political experience and astuteness on the part of novelist-president Gallegos in dealing with the insurgent military. Jose Rodriguez (ed.) in qui en Dor-roco a Galle gos ? (2d ed.; Caracas; C.A. Tip. Garridb, 1961 ) , p*. 7, places much blame on the "Venezuelan reactionaries," the Catholic Church, the military, the Medinistas and GCmo z 1 o p e c i s t a s , the pro-American interests^ all led by the socia]~cKrIs*tian party CO PEL

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Ik9 ) of its organization and of its political indoctrination — thus it could not, and it did not, count on their support at tho time of tho fatal crisis in 1948. The coup that took place late that year to unseat the popularly elected President Gallegos piovoked a meager aiuount oi' demonstrationc and protests. \Aiile the people had been touched by AD b-.-t had not been fully imbued with a loyalty to tho government dominated by that party, the traditionally pov/erful elements in the Venezuelan society had been unnecessarily alienated from AD by tho revolutionary government's uncompromising stand in many instances. The AD-sponeored social legislation, at times vague but always far reaching in its unsettling implications for the status quo, could only be seen as a continuing threat to those who had long benefited from that status quo. The trials of many elite members and the confiscation of property of many who had indeed been associated with the Tachirense dynasty but viho had been largely honest in their public dealings, could only prompt further bitterness toward AD. Thus, from the very early days of the Junta, the elite began to actively seek ways and to form alliances in tho hope of overthrowing the AD-dominatcd 12 government. Whether a more conciliatory attitude on the 12 , ^ luzardo, IToto^ Ms^t^rico-Econoinicas , I928-I963, pp. 135-165; Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, Escrit^~a^!55ro'rra (Mexico: Editorial MazatlSn, n.d.), pp. l-lii.2. '

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150 I part of AD was possible at this time is difficult to say; what can be said on the basis of voluminous data and of personal interviews is that AD's inflexible and perhaps persecuting attitude tovrard the traditional elite assured the elite's deterruination to v;ork for the replacement of those it considered its mortal enemies ."'"•^ The ultimate result of AD's inf loxibility toward the elite at this tima was AD's inability to serve as an inte grativo element. Instead of helping bridge the gap between the masses and the elite, AD had, during the trienio, in practice kept them bitterly fighting and distrusting each other. Though the lov/er classes (represented by the ADdominated government) v;ero on top and the elite vrere for the moment the outsiders, this pattern of nonintegration botxveon sectors of the Venezuelan society was in practice a continuation (even if in reverse) of the traditional pattern of compartmentalization of groups that had alvrays characterized Venezuelan political history. It vjas also in the traditional pattern of Venezuelan history that the military in 19i|.8, as they had been in 19l|5 and ever before, v;ore the pivotal element in the overthrow of the government. When the highly placed officers decided to break with the constitutionallyelected President Gallegos--no matter what v/as their '^sae, for example, I. F. de Medina Angarita and Arturo Uslar Pietri, "Prosentacion y Prologo," in Medina Angarita, Cuatro Ano s de Dijmocracia. pp. 3-12; Boersner, "El Proceso Electoral Venezolr.uo , ""pp . 73-96; Moron, A History of Venezuela, pp. 21I.t-2l5; Marsland and Marslahd, ySil?AHpia„^HLOil^ jiJL story, pp, PS\.-2$Q; Lavin, A Halo for G 6moz, pp. [^Sl^^jiS^, l^Z'-^ol,

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151 motivat3.on"-the overtlu^ov,' of tho governiaent soon became a fait Rccoinpli. The 19l|-8-1958 dictatorship of Perez Jimenez was a futile attempt to reverse the pattern of politics and to return to that existent during the Goraez days vn.th its characteristic arbitrariness and disregard for democratic procedures. Tho gradual liberalization which had taken place since 1936, however, could not be undone, no matter hov/ powerful the repressive machinery imposed on Venezuelans. Furthermore, tho spectacular construction programs undertaken by P6rez Jimenez for the capital and other major cities served to increase tho influx of rural elements from the campo to the ciudad where they, though largely unskilled and unprepared, hoped to find jobs and a better living than in the traditionally neglected campo. The granting of new petroleura concessions, the few and grandiose industrial complexes, and the grovjth of the governmental bureaucracy inevitably entailed the expansion of the proletariat and the middle sectors. Finally, the unsettling experiences of the campesinos in the cities, the clandestine organization of the proletariat and middle sectors by the oiitlav;ed AD, all helped create the conditions for insurrection--these elements no longer wanted to remain at the margin of national political life--after all, they had tasted political involvement and the fruits of a welfare-inclined government during the trienio--but were eager to press for concessions from the

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152 i Ik dictator. To counter the underground offensive, P^rez Jimenez had formed his ov/n political party, the Frente Electoral Independiente (FEZ), v;hich soon proved to be totally unappealing to most VenezueJans, Its small nerbership was made up almost entirely of the dictator's cronies and a fevx bureaucrats ."'^ The dictator's national labor federation-staffed by many Comm[ianists , including for a time, Rodolfo Quintero as president--^^ also failed in competing against AD trade union leaders. In the meantime, the growing governmental repression eventually provoked the open criticism of 17 the Catholic hierarchy. His f avoi'itism, his continual ^Ahumada, "Hypothesis for the Diagnosis of a Situation of Social Change; The Case of Venezuela," in Bonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.). Studying the Venezu elan Polity, pp. 25-58. — — 15 For an official record and appraisal of the P6rez Jimenez regime to 19514-, see Ladislao T. Tarnoi, El Nuevo Ideal Nacipnal de Venezuela , Vida y Qbra do Marcos Perez JimFrieF THadrid: E^iciones VerdadT," I'^'B^T, espec'iany~p'pT"9T-r3T/'"''" The question of Communists in Perez Jimenez' labor federation is further examined in supra, chap. VII. Ample documentation appears in Robert J. Alexander's Communisin in (New Brunswick, N.J,: Rutgers Unll?ei^rty~P??s s , l^fV, especially pp. 267-263. See also Rollie E. Fopino, Interna t J^o^al CotmyAnism in La^.in America (IJow York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 19611 f, pp. ?^8'; "Robert J. Alexander, Or.gsjP:Zed Labor in Latin America (Nevr York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1965), pp. Ip-ijs'; U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela, pp. i;l5-l|.l6. 17 Mecham, Church and State in Latin America, p. 310; Hi spani c A..ier ican Report . X "Uuly, j.937*)7"309'I

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153 disdain for democratic processes (the 1952 "elections" are considered a complete farce by most observers ) helped alienate the students, even though he finished for them a magnificent university campus which had been started in the AD trienio. His creation of a dreaded secret police and his granting of extensive powers and monies to it served only to sow distrustamong the military who began to fear that the Seguridad was slated to outrank them in power and in organiza19 tion. The withdrawal of support by military officers, combined with the growing popular discontent and the Church criticisms, culminated in the overthrow of Perez Jimenez in early 1958 by a united front of the underground forces led by Acci6n Democratica. In the period of 1958-1968 AD's ideology and program were characterized by a spirit of pragmatism and prudence. It seemed to have accepted the fact that its total goals could not be implemented immediately and that the transformation of the country should proceed at a rhythm sufficiently gradual so as not to lose the concurrence and the collaboration of l8 o-,/ rr example, Moron, A History of Venezuela, p. 216; Hubert Herring, A History of Latin America frnrrthft gg£HLQjJlS_s Jo, fchg Present C?.d ed. rev. rNew~yo"rkl — ATfFed~A. Knopf, Inc., 196^T7TpT~I+90-l|91 . 19^. rpv, V ^J'^^J^Ii^IiJf^Riy^^K' PP136-138; Alexander, The Venezuelan Dei^ocra tic Jjjs^voj^jijrni^^ pp. [1.5-I4.6. Pm?^^ ^rT^l'-'t Jo^^^-^ne^ ''El Proceso Electoral Venezolano," Politica, HI (October, I963), 73-96; John D. Martz, "Venezuela, in Ben C. Burnett and Kenneth P. Johnson (eds.), -j-oliticalrorc^^ __pimensions of the Quest l^^^^^Mj^^^^out, Cal.: Wadsworth l\ibTishing "cST" 1965), pp. 199-230. ^ '

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other gi'oups, less socialistically oriented, but still democratic, and valuable supporters of the experiment uith constitutional government. This cautious strategy, expressed and implemented by the AD-domxnated government coalition, did not fail to produce some problems within the large AD membership. For a revolutionary party, used to opposition and to resistance, it was not always easy to govern and to defend the established order, even when this order vms democratic and reformist. The spirit that produced the extreme Movimiento de Izquierda Rovolucionaria (MIR) was a result, in part, of the revolutionary impatience tl:iat"-had not the external influence of Communism and th.-^ Cuban issue intervened — could well have acquired a character of constructive criticism within AD. Thus, inevitably, as the party in power since 1958, AD has been the target of criticism not only from the parties outside the governmental coalitions but also from some of its own followers. Impatience with the progress of the AD reform program and the party's anti-Castro stand resulted in the defection of some party leaders and alienated some members. ' Others were mainly motivated by personal ambitions to take over the AD national leadership. In this case, they formed the AD-OP (Opposition) but they cloaked their own motives in protests for the need of greater and faster reforms. Accion DemocrStica was able to weather both types of defections; it seemed that as long as the AD "Old Guard" or government

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party (AD~Gob) retained its image as the principal organizer and protector of rural and urban labor, its political pov^er was assured. Finally, the Old Guard was in control of the executive — alv;ays an advantage in Venezuelan politics. It should be stressed, hoi-zever, that fundamentally the majority of internal divergencies have been resolved democratically vjithin the AD structure. There have been no irreconcilable currents for the government or for th e revol ution , as if these were completely antithetical positions. Once the MIR and the AD-Op drained a fairly small number of AD militante s, the groat mass of adecos seemed to view the AD coalition governments as the channel for the gradual but certain transformation of the country. The opinion appeared to be that "reform" and "revolution" were not opposite categories, but rather variants and components of the same historical process. At the AD~Gob party convention in early June, I963, Ratil Leoni, an old party stalwart, ^^^on enough support among the delegates to be named candidate for the presidency on the second ballot. Leoni, tv^o years older than President Betancourt, seemed to lack charisma and reportedly was not the choice of Betancourt. But Leoni had long worked within the party ranks--he had been president of the Student Federation of the "Generation of 1928" and in later years head of 21 Philip B. Taylor, Jr., "Democracy for Venezuela*?" ^^^J^Al^ll^rX' LI (November, 1966), 28ii.-290, 310: Martz! AccigirDemocr&tica , pp. 365~38ii.. > ^ > ^ , iiai;,^, .

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156 I the party's powerful labor bureau. His image as the workingman's friend vras reinforced by a popular feeling that he was also interested in the vjelfare of the campcsino and that he j would carry on Betancourt's programs . This included the extension of the welfare program, agrarian reform, and an Increase of the national share in the development and marketing of natural resources. Lebni stated the broad goals of the AD during his formal acceptance speech and he gave further details in his 22 subsequent Program of Government . As the standard bearer for the government party, Leoni placed strong emphasis on the maintenance and consolidation of the democratic system. Extremist parties could be reintegrated in the national political life once they abandoned their subversive and terroristic tactics. The AD platform further* urged the strengthening of international cooperation, defense of the principle of self-determination, and determined opposition toward totalitarian systems of the Right or of the Left. By implication, the Betancourt Doctrine of nonrecognition of unconstitutional governments vjas upheld. There was also a continuing commitment to government intervention in the national economy, the responsibility of the government in the promotion of economic development, expansion of social security, and in the strengthening of labor's rights. Agrarian reform would bo continued and -i 22 Accion DemocrStica, Programa de Gobiorno (Caracas: Italogi-dfica, I963). '

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157 ^ expanded. Indus trdaliz at ion x^ould ain at a curtailment of imports at the same time that it v/ould mean greater employment of Venezuelans and the utilization of the country's resources. Finally, institutional reforms were to include an adminiscrative strengthening of the states, as Leoni often reiterated during his tours through the interior. This program and its candidate and party sponsors were embraced by the Venezuelan electorate. The feared Communist-inspired boycott of the elections did not take place and Leoni called the general quiet atmosphere a demonstration of civic patriotism. His victory, however, pointed to a lessening of AD's hold upon the populace from its 1958 height. The continuing domination by the stillundefeated Accion Democratica was sharply reduced. Leoni, though an easy winner, received only 32.8^ of the total vote in comparison to Betancourt's 1958 victory with I|.9.2?o of the votes. This general drop was matched by congressional returns, with the party falling from lj.9.5^ in 1958 to only 32.2^ in 1963. Acci6n Dem.ocratica held 21 of Senate seats and 65 of the 1?? in the lower house. This v;as a drop from 1958 's 32 of 51 in the Senate and 73 of the I33 in the Chamber. These results could also indicate that AD's return to power through overwhelming electoral choice in the late ^^E i Universal . December 1, I963, p. 1. (D3ca.bof yri%3):'p' " published in a Jaoional

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158 1958 elections was somovrhat deceptive in that it obscured the differences existent in the ideological orientation and the organizative bases^^ betv/eon this party and other relatively large partisan entities in Venezuela and with which AD had worked closely during the underground struggle. In 1958 the overv;helming vote given Betancourt could be interpreted not only as a tribute to his leadership, his political acumen and popular appeal, but it could also be seen as a victory granted Accion Denocrdtica for its position of superior strength among the other political organizations in the resistance to Perez Jimenez. In 1955 AD was reaping the fruits of its efforts to integrate elements with various ideological orientations into a united struggle to undermine The literature on AD's origins, ideology, and structure is extensive. Among them, Accion Democritica, Accion Democratica; Doctrina y P rograma ; Accion DemocT'^tica, £iii£i^^ion__de_^i^^ Orientacion Prog ramati ca I°-^"^^iI2Aj.e„AD (Caracas : Secret aria de Prensa y Propaganda7~ 1930); Rodolfo Jos^ Cardenas, La Insur recci6n Popular en Venezuela (Caracas; Ediciones Catatumbo, l95r)~-irc"rrtTcal view, heavily favoring COPEI (i.e., social-Christian Party, Comity Pro Organizacion Popular Electoral I-idependiente) , over AD; Gabaldon, El "Partido Dqm6crata_ Vei: ozola no" y su Procoso iDocumanto^'l JoaquFn Gabaldon L^S^oTTTrchlvor' d e una Ing uietud JVenezolgiia (Caracas, 1955); GalTegos et_a2^. , Ronuao ^etancourt^Int^^ su Doctrina ^P-l^^ILI.MB^..^^£^:^^'y "David h^BnT Por_d6ndT VmToi:^~crrti cal , pro-Lopez Contreras; Lopez Controras; El Ti'i'^f6~de la Verdad— critical, supporting the general's vie^TTThav ^D~wi^'TFtuSlTy undemocratic and Communist -leaning; Magallanos, Partidos £^2J±.h±9,^..JSJl^^S^ Martz, Action DenccrStical Evolution llAJ^jor.". ?^9.lili^±^z^7; osorio, mi^R^r~i^Y^^;^}:K: Servicio Secreto de InvestigaciSn, Ls' Ver^^Tdl'TaTTcTivTd'ades £gPiH}jjMg.-^JL Vpne zuel a . Rel aci 6n y" Parte dTTs~lIuHSlF5•i[ Acerca de la Reandad^jLe^^^S^^alTd^^^ Pais (Caracas: Litografia y illpogCTTa^dir-^^ IZl^lt^ document the links between ORVE and the Comunists; Serxner, Accion Democ rat ica _of Venezuela t Its Oi^igin and and, of course, thT'S^rtiTIS'ive vn-it ings of-Somulo Betancourt, already cited in the course of this dissertation.

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159 . and unseat the dictator. By I963 the ideological and organizative differences betv;een AD and other influential Venezuelan political groupings had come to tho surface in a vigorous campaign for the presidency and for the Congress. It is for this reason that a critical exanination of AD in the context of Venezuelan conternr)orary political ideologies and institutions can be focused justifiably around the events culminating in the I963 electoral context and casting their shadov; on the Lconi goveri:iment . The general elections that took place in Venezuela in December, 1963, differed from those of 1958 in that they constituted not only a reaffirmation of the democratic representative principle and thus a repudiation of dictatorial formulas but also a transcendental decision that the nation took on what path the democratic regime should now proceed in the social and economic aspects. In 1958, at the overthrow of tho dictatorship, Venezuela's population appeared unanimous in its desire to prevent a return to despotism, no matter at what cost of each of the several political parties v:hich. had fought, side by side, in the underground. Thus, the differences in the appreciation of the social and economic content of the new regime were releg ated to a secondary level, while to the forefront bl' forces wT bhln In laZa '^°^> • ^^~^kA realignment is r:vL«d"in'l^?aroiaps!'v! P^-^-^-'-l election, fpproachod

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160 1 caraa the overwhelming desire to assure "forever" at least the minimum of freedom and popular representation. The national unity that prevailed during the 1958 provisional 27 government of V/olfgang Lorrazabal, and the so-called Pact of Punto Fijo — through which the three most important parties (AD, COPEI, URD) committed themselves to collaborate with each other after the elections, no matter who would be the 28 winning candidate --were a clear reflection of the popular determination to free the country from its tormented past, a past torn between chaotic government and despotic "order," between local caudillos and national military strongmen. In 1963 Venezuela found itself in a distinct situation from that prevailing in 1958. The democratic system of representation appeared to have been consolidated in the preceding five years. In spite of subversive movements bent upon bringing the country back to a dictatorial regime of the Right or of the Left, the majority of the population went to the polls and overwhelmingly selected candidates 27 'Numa Quevedo, El Gobierno Provisor io; 19 58 (Caracas: Pensamiento Vivo, 19637, especially pp. 9T-II8, 179-193. Quevedo was interior minister in the interim government that ruled Venezuela betv/een the fall of Pdrez Jimenez and the inauguration of constitutionally elected President Betancoui't . 28 Acci6n Domocratica, Pacto Suscrito el 31 deOctubro ^J-5L58, y DecJLa^axJ^ y jPrograiin51iTrmo~ae~"^ ^il^i®£?.2_^^l2^__Cand^^ ca eiLla._Elec^^pn del Dla 7 de P i c i e mb rT'dTT9l>'8nRrar La Nacion, 195377 ~~~ — ~

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161 presented by the three largest and most moderate parties, the AD, COPEI, and URD. These three parties had also made up the governmental coalition, for all or part of the 19591963 period. In contrast to 1958, the question in 1963 was not to vote for democracy against despotism, but to determine which type of democracy would be the most desirable to the majority in a subsequent period. In 1963 different classes and social sectors in Venezuela freely expressed their particular interests and orientations. The need to maintain a unity of purpose and of action had disappeared; in 1958 this need was cru.cial, in 1963 it co\ald be dispensed with. Thus, at first glance, it would appear that the nation was more divided in the electoral campaign of I963 than in that of 1958. Yet, these very divisions of opinion could be taken as a symptom of maturity and as an indication that Venezuela had advanced in the democratic path sufficiently that it could now permit itself the luxury of allowing free rein to internal di Terences. While in 1958 such divisions might possibly have signaled the disintegration of the newly emerged constitutional system, in 1963 they were an essential expression of this same constitutionalism. This new political atmosphere is at the core of the following survey of the major political ideologies and programs in present day Venezuela. A central theme to be pursued is that though differences of opinion flourished

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162 as to priorities and methods, there was in I963 enough of a consensus on the desirability of tho form of political activity experienced betv/een 1958-1962 to ensure the continuation of this same form, a form that contained not only a vigorous party structure but also a recognizable body of principles that governed this structure internally as well as in its relations with other party structures and party ideologies. In summary, the Venezuelan voter could choose in 1963 from the following alternatives; (a) a turn to the Right and tox^'ard a preponderance of the sector of private capitalism (b) predominance of a social Christian political current (c) obtaining of pov;or by Center-Left currents, then in opposition to the government (d) a turn tov/ard positions similar to Fidel Castro's Cominunism (e) a reaffirmation of confidence in the governmental party, AD, of the deraocratic Left. 29 Th.o Right During most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries "^Peter Snow, "The Political Party Spectrum in Venezuela," Caribbean Studies, IV (January, 1965), 36-i|7. 30 Tho author, somewhat arbitrarily, vdll use the terms Right, Left, and Center. Though considered vaguv and impressionistic by some political vrriters, these terms have the advantL.gc of brevity, use by mauy scholars, and genui-al popular acceptance and underfitanding. To avoid confusion, as used hero, they can be further clarified. By Right we mean the socioeconomic forces that give priority to the principles of authority and order above those of equality and^popular self -deter-mlaation, and that affirm that the national economy should be ruled by private rather than

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163 the conservative forces in Venezuela acted at the margin of constitutionality, imposing their will or fighting for power through conspiracy or coups. These forces carried various labels — Conservative and Liberal being the best known and most durable but these labels had liutlo descriptive value as a means of clarifying their ideological and prograirmatic orientation. Almost without exception, these forces represented the landed aristocracy, the victorious caudillo of the day, and the Catholic hierarchy. Almost without exception they governed by and for themselves. Since the terminology of the French Revolution was in common and v/idespread usage, these forces too used that terminology to cover their own interests or to cloak their own means to achieve and retain power with the respectability of legitimacy, of power emanating from the people. Thus, no matter which Conservatives governed, they all exalted the patria , the pueblo, and liber tad; they all called for democracia , for federal ismo , for justicia . More often than not, rival conservative groups battled each other using these terms as their banners. No one seemed overly concerned to seek what was meant by these slogans, much less how they public power. By Left v;e understand the forces that stress equality and the dominance of tho int erests of the lower classes and that advocate an economic order in v;hich the public sector predominates over the private sector. The Center is a position situated betweei these two extremes and taking some characteristics from both. The author further' wishes to stress that her usage of these terms agrees with their usage by Venezuelan writers. See Boersner, "El Proceso Electoral Venezolano," pp. 73-96.

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16k. could be adapted to the Venezuelan reality. After the death of the dictator Gomez in 1935» the conservative elements tried for some tine to act through the Partido Nacional and tlirovigh the Asociaciones Bolivariana.i which had appeared in t] e political scene in order to fight the leftist movements, most particularly the AD precursors — the ORVE and the PDN. There is little doubt, hov;ever, that in general the latif undista groups or those of the financial oligarchy tenc3ed to mistrust any partisan organizations using pressures, of an economic kind, or even personal or military pressures to make their viewpoints prevail over the governments that succeeded Gomez. Thus, under the regimes of Generals Lopez 4 Contreras and lledina Angarita, the defenders and holders of economic and social privileges acted largely as pressure groups rather than as formalized political parties. 'The overthrow of Medina Angarita by Accion Democratica and a group of dissident military officers inaugurated a period of experimentation with mass democracy. For the first time in Venezuelan history, the 19ij.5 coup made it possible for the people to participate in the governing process; there 31 Venezuela, Presidencia do la Republica, P ensamiento P olitic o Vcnezolano del Si glo XI .X, Vols. I-XV (CarFcasl E^itM^ial. Arte, iWTTTSjares , "^La Evoluci6n Polltica de Venezuela {I8IO-I960) , " in Pic6n"Salas etal. , Venezuelan Independiente, I8IO-I96 O, pp. 23-156, ^'^Eduardo Pic6n Lares, Ideolo g.ta Bolivaria na (Caracas: Editorial Crisol, igWfj Lopez Gontrera~s7 El Triunfo de la Verdad , passim. —

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165 was a conscious effort at political propaganda, at holding of election campaigns, at making the masses aware of their nevj role in government, no longer as passive subjects or bystanders, but as participants in the new order. Challenged by this powerful and eminently successful organization of labor and peasants by Accion Democrdtica, the conservative sectors sought recourse in their traditional role of conspirators and ultimate determiners of Venezuelan governments. But along with this time-honored device, these forces emulated AD by organi?,ing themselves within the framework of partisan politics. They grouped themselves mainly around the Social Christian Party COPEI (Comite Organizacion Popular Electoral Indcpendiente ) , -^^ which had s. Rightist character at the time. This partisan organization of the conservative forces was an innovation in Venezuelan history for they had until then preferred to protect their interests on an individual basis or, at most, as a pressure group . From this rightist stance, COPEI was destined to evolve to more progressive positions in relation to social ^-Venezuela, Junta Rovoluclonaria do Gobierno, El Gobler no Revoluc ionario de Venezuela^ ante su Pixeblo; AccTon Deraocratica , AccTon Demo era tic a : 'Dbctrina y Prosraraa. pp. 1-71. — ; ' ^ The Right in Venezuela has historically t)referred to view itself as politically "indci^endent . " This' preference is reflected in the original party label of the Social CnriEtians and is apparent again in other political groupings, with a rightist character, which will be discussed subsequently.

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166 justice and economic equality. Several factors contributed to this move toward the center of the political spectrum. With the advent of Perez Jimenez, the dictatorship absorbed the most militant and intransigent rightists within COPEI,^^ leaving this party in the hands of elements v;ho favored a modern and progressive policy of social justice for all Venezuelans. These progressive elements many times found themselves fighting in the underground along with AD. Finally, in the late 1950 's and early 1960's COPEI was heavily influenced by the reformist papal encyclicals of John XXIII-^ and by the leftism characteristic of other social Christians, especially those from Chile. ^"^ In short, all these factors--alienation of far-Right elements within its ranks, emergence of a younger and more progressive-minded group of social Christians who had suffered during the P^rez Jimenez dictatorship, and the impact of Church doctrines and of other Social Christian parties largely id -''^There seems to have existed an overall good understanding betv;een Perez Jimenez and COPEI during most of the 19i|8-1958 dictatorship. See Vallenilla Lanz, Escr ito de Memoria, p. 177; Rodriguez (od.), QuiJnJ)j3rr^oco^ pp. 11-225. For points of divergence betv^een COPSI and Perez Jimenez, see Alexander, The Venez uelan Democratic Revolution, pp. 38-I1.2. ' ~ ~ 36 W. G. Gibbons, Great Papal Encyclicals (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 196[j.), pp. l-207~~2'03-25irr 37 23P^^.^'i^.J:}}^^"J}fi^2:pn^eB Democrata-Cristianos (Santiago; Editorial del PacTfico, 19F?*)T~£assIm ; Robert J. Alexander, 'Tlie Rise of Latin American Chris tian~DemocracY. " New Politic^, III (Pall, 19Sk) , 76-8]j.. . .

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167 concerned with social v;elfare — transforned COPEI from a conservative party with strong Church ties and with a preoccupation with "order" and "private" rather than "public" enterprise to an essentially pragmatic and even reformist party after 1958."^^ This evolution was destined to push COPEI from its original rightist position to one perhaps best classified as center-Left. Reflecting the new trend, the statements of the Social Christian leaders after 1958 have shoivn a startling contrast with their restrictive preoccupation vxith Churchstate relations that marked the earlier stages of the party ideology. Rafael Caldera, who has long been the foremost national leader of COPEI, speaks in a tone illustrative of the new orientation: Today, as Latin America stands at a dramatic fork in the road of history, Christian Democrats are spokesmen for the distress-and hopes — of millions of Latin Americans. The social dilemraas of our continent cannot be solved by half -hearted reforms, nor can we wait until a gradual revolution brings the social justice that our masses demand with increasing vehemence. 39 COPEI has worked hard in its attempts to change the impression of many Venezuelans that it is a reactionary and Church-oriented organization. Again Caldera has been the ^ John D. Martz, "Political Parties in Colombia and Venezuela: Contrasts in Substance and Style," V/estern Polit ical Quarterly, XVIII, Pt. I (Juno, 1965) ,~3 2^-330 ; Boesner,~^'El Pro'cerio Electoral Venezolano," p. 75. Rafael Caldera, "The Claris tian Democratic Idea," America, CVII (April 7, 1962), I3.

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168 most outspoken in these attenipta — Christian Democrat parties are not confessional. Among their members are citizens of many religious faiths and even agnostics. For all cf them Claristianity is a source of inspiration and a stimulus to new approaches to the service of mankind. It most certainly is not an ecclesiastical discipline to be imposed upon political parties .'^^ It should be noted, however, that not all copeianos have concurred with Caldera. The change in the character of COPEI from a moderately conservative Catholic movement to an evolving Christian Democratic party in the internationally accepted sense of the vrord has not been immediately or unanimously embraced by all the party's members. In the first few years after 195&» a considerable residue of conservatism persisted, especially on the state and local levels. This residue was often buttressed by clerical attacks upon the nationally dominant Accion Democratica and their exhortation to their parishioners to avoid the "AD-comunistas" and to vote for COPEI candidates VHiile this rightist current has persisted, in another wing of the party, especially the youth movement, an opposite tendency has been manifest. It is felt that of the tv;o, the latter has steadily grown more dominant in the national councils of the party and that it has been greatly responsible for pushing the center of gravity of the party slowly to the Left, Caught between strong pressures from the national party ^ ^Ibid ., p. 15. ^''Personal interview, Alberto Nevnnan, Merida (ADCES President), October 1^, 1965. See Appendix.

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169 leaders above and from the militant youth below, parochial sentiment has steadily declined while the social content of the party platforms and programs has increased. The overall consequence from an ideological viewpoint is that since 1958 COPEI no longer has been the true representative of conservatism, and once more the Right in Venezuela has found itself without an organized political expression. Meanwhile, as COPEI ceased to be a spokesman for the Venezuelan Right, the governmental programs of President Betancourt of necessity came to clash with powerful established interests. The nationalistic oil policy of his governraent, by denying new concessions and imposing controls upon the activities of the oil companies, implied a relative v;eakening of the propertied sectors before the State and also an inevitable discontent of the powerful internationalistic groups which had until then dominated rather freely the national economy. Also, the great expansion in power and in numbers of the labor movement under the auspices of the democratic government could only worry all entrepreneurs in general, although it is to be noted that the Venezuelan workers defended their class interests v;ith considerable Alexander, Tho^yeneauelan Demo cratic Revolution , pp. 8l.i.-88; Gonzalo Alvarez, "La "Crisis" de Gopei," Mo:aenuo", XXXVIII (Juno 19, 1966), 33~39. oee also Rafael Caldera, Liber tad y Dcm ocracia Su_ Vi f^enc i a y P royeccion Social ( Caracas : Iinprenta Nacional ,~ 19^1) . Caldera was, at this time, a member of the AD-URD-GOPEI governing coalition and his book was published by the official press.

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170 moderation. The AD government's ec;rarian reform program, in spite of the generous compensations it gave the expropriated latifundistas , did not fail to alarm those v;ith a semifeudal mentality. Even the educational program, which resulted in a doubling of the number of schools and teachers* caused fear among a minority of the "high society" who viev/ed here yet another encroachment by the "mob" or who feared the total secularization of the educational system. Finally, it was becoming increasingly evident that economic nationalism, development of national industry, and the relatively modest raises in the income tax would come to challenge and to sow panic among various commercial and financial circles. To complicate matters for the once all-powerful and at times monolithic Right, in the governments of Betancourt and Leoni, a significant phenomenon came to the surface-the division betvreen the enterprising manufacturing sector, partisan of AD's program for economic nationalism and the expansion of the internal market through structural reform, and a commercial, banking, and mining sector, beneficiary of the previously prevailing order. While the first tended to show itself favorable to tho AD governments' experiments, the second constituted the main basis for the conservative opposition to the government and a firm adversary of the ^-^Al exander , The V e nezue l an Democ ratic Revolu tion, pp. 233-214-5; Mnuro Barrene'chea, "^Unionism in Venezuela,'^ America, CVII (August I3, 19S2), 626.

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171 Betancourt-Leoni brand of economic policy. This division in Venezuela's traditional Right might well have been the main factor in prompting those opposed to the AD governments to attempt to rival AD by constituting their owi political party. Thus, after I96O certain political leaders initiated a move to attract and to organize the disaffected conservative elements, those who no longer felt at home in COPEI and vrho still remained opposed to Accion Deraocrdtica. The Independent senator Ram6n Escovar Salom created his Movimiento Republicano Progresista (MRP), an organization v/hose ideological orientation could be classified as Center Right, ^ Escovar tried to form a new political alliance based on the dissatisfaction of the conservative entrepreneurial sectors with those middleand labor-class people \^ho felt the brunt of the recession that took place in certain sectors of the economy during Betancourt's first years in office. ^^There is evidence that some of the adversaries to AD's econo'.iiic policies became less obstinate in their stand by the time President Leoni initiated his administration. See "Venezuelan Private Enterprise," Latin American Times , October 12, 196^, p. 3. D. L. Busk, "The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution," International Affa irs [London], XLI (October, 1965), 776~77S. ^^Movimionto Republicano Progrosista, Kanif ssto Constitutive del Hoyiniento Rep ubli cano Prog rosTst'a "(HHP) (Caracas : Socretai-Ia Kacional de Prensa y Propaganda, 1961). Escovar Salom characterized the MRP as "oppositionist and centrist," Documontos (April-June, 1961), p. 723.

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172 Escovar's ai^ticles and speeches favored a greater participation of private entrepreneurs both in economic policy making and in the government itself. A second conservative movement formed vms the Asociaci6n Venezolana de Indepondientes (AVI), founded byimportant businessmen. The AVI, at its inception, did not pretend to be a political party but rather a group for public orientation and pressure and as such contained diverse currents and tendencies viithin itself. This continued true even after it began calling itself Prente Deraocrdtico Nacional and presenting the organizational structure of a full-fledged political party. Besides a minority of doctrinaire economic liberals, disciples of Wilhelm Roepke, of Ludwig Von Miees and of Hayeck, there was a majority within AVI-PND v;hich stressed above all the desirability of a sociopolitical order in vrhich the role of free enterprise would be more prominent than that accorded it during the Betancourt and Leoni regimes. ^^"^ Whether associated v/ith the I4RP, the AVI, or truly "independent" by virtue of nonassociation with any particular Tb.e label chosen by the AVI group is significant in itself. Since the Venezuelan Right is not used to having its ovm political p arty , it tends to favor a government by "indepondonts , "~ v;ho are supposedly nonpartisan and undogmatic. An AVI press release concluded that "AVI considered indispensable to remain distinct from political parties. . . . The basis of it J power lies in that it ij able to represent national interests and not the interests of groups or of factions." Docuiaentos ( January -March, I963), pp. 717-718. The label Prente Democr&tico Nacional, later assumed by some Bll^^^^^* again seemed a shying away from a party label and a prei'erence to consider itself a more or less loose organization or front.

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173 group, the Venezuelan sectors orientod tov;ard private capitalism as opposed to state control or the socializing gradualism advocated by Accion Deraocratica, found their leader and national candidate in the person of Dr. Arturo Uslar Pietri. The reputation of this brilliant economist and author was well known in and out of Venezuela As Escovar Salom had done before him, Uslar Pietri declared that Betancourt's "dogmatic" programs were harmful to the nation and that the best vmy would be to proceed pragmatically, doing the best possible with the use and the help of all sectors of the society. He stressed the need to attain "the possible Venezuela," a Venezuela in which both free enterprise and government would share the tasks of developing the nation's resources and of improving the living standards. He specified that there should be no ideological persecution, and it is possible that he would have extended the olive branch to the proscribed terrorists 5l and the political exiles.-^ He devoted much time during his ^See Uslar Pietri «s preface to Medina Angarita, Cuatro Anos de D emocracia , pp. 7-11. Ii9 Uslar Pietri 's aversion to Botancourt is quite apparent in his critical review of Edv/in Lieuwen work on Venezuela. Lieuwen has generally been favorable to AD. See Arturo Uslar Pietri, "La Venezuela de Lieuwen no es, Ejscbamente, Venezuela,^ ^ La Nueva Dernocracj^g^ [New York], XLIII (April, / Some of Uslar Pietri 's idea?, on the role of private enterprise appear in "La Imagen Publica de la Empresa Privada," E££S2I?ia [Bogota], j (1961;), 22ij.-230. ^ ^^^^ ^^^^ Uslar Pietri was stating that the problem of the guerrillas in Venezuela could only be solved through 'politics" not through "police." He seemed to feel that negotiations. should be undertaken with Cuba and that the

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m carapaign to calling attention to the importanco of Venezuelan youth and its need for vocational education as well as for the utilization of vjomen's talents on a raerit basis. His "policy of sovereignty" called for better public administration, prof easionalization of the armed forces, closer relations v;ith the countries of the Caribbean and all of Latin America, devotion to democracy and peace, and an enlightened policy of trade with foreign enterprises as well as utilization of foreign capital. Six main groups cane to the support of Uslar Pietri in 1963: the MRP of Escovar Salom; small political groups of rightist orientation; independent personalities with links with former president Medina; independent professionals and entrepreneurs; some reactionary elements identified with the historical current of Gomez-Perez Jimenez; and the peasant electoral committees created by Ramon Quijada, former peasant leader of AD, who had left that group in December of I96I. The members of AVI, the majority of whom individually favored Uslar Pietri, decided not to support him collectively. "pacification" of Venezuela could be obtained by negotiations with Cuba and with the guerrillas themselves; see "Disposicion a Negociar la Paclf icacion, " El Naoional , November 2?, 1966, p. A-1. 52 Arturo Uslar Pietri, "La Impostergable Reforma de Nuestra Educaci&n, " Boletin do la Acad emia Naciona l de Hi s tori a [Caracas], XLVI (April -June, 19^3), 270-27o^ -'-^Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Elections of December 1, 1963. pt. II, ippT~ys-w' :

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17^ as he probably had counted upon. In their convention in early Septenber, 19^3, the Av istas decided not to support any candidate as a group. This may be explained by the fact that many Avistas felt that a vote for Uslar v/ould be a "wasted" vove, since his possibilities of success seemed small when compared with the great electoral power of the large political parties such as AD, COPEI, and URD (Union Republicana Democr&tica) . Thus, the main forces on which Uslarismo could count were those from the capitalist sectors and of the middle class, who saw in this candidate the personification of their ideal of order, moderation, and economic liberalism. It seems clear that Uslar failed in ha.s attempts to penetrate deeply into the political awareness of the urban (especially in cities other than Caracas), rural, and labor groups in spite of the considerable efforts of Quijada in this respect. Uslar Pietri ran fourth in the presidential election of 1963, receiving 1+60, 2i|0 votes, or l6.08^ of the total 51. votes cast. Although defeated for the presidency, he vras reelected Senator from the Federal District of Venezuela. To underline the Venezuelan Right's difficulties in acquiring and maintaining a national spokesman for its interests, Uslar subsequently (1961|.) joined the gobiei^no de ancha base of President Leoni. Tlius, this writer, academician, and brilliant ^^l-The 1963 election results that appear in this section are the official returns as published in El Nacional, December ' 1963, pp. A-lff.

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176 Venezuelan economist who had held key posts during Lopez Contreras' and Medina Angarita's administrations, was now working in cooperation with the political party most responsible for the overthrov; of Medina's and Uslar's o\m temporary political eclipse during most of the 19l|0's.^^ VHiile the najority of the conservatives failed in their efforts to protect their a,nterosts thi^ough support of the candidacy of Uslar Pietri, a minuscule band of perez.Uraenistas on the Far Right formed the electorally insignificant Partido Nacionalista Autentico (PAN).^^ Another extremist faction followed German Borregales, nominee of the Movimiento de Accion Nacional (MN). This small party, v/hich had been carrying on an intense vilification campaign against the Botancourt regime on the grounds of its alleged "communism, " completely failed in attempting to convince many to accept its conclusions--Borregales received less than 0,^2% of the total presidential vote (9,321; votes). When Uslar Pietri broke vrith Leoni in 1966 over the debate on new taxes, the Venezuolan Right found itself vrithout any sympathizer-spokesman at the highest levels of government administration. That the Leoni government was able to weather this break, with certain sectors of the Right finding themselves fi-u-ther isolated, seemed to indicate that the popular basis of the Leoni government was broad enouph and counted with enough military support to withstand the frank hostility of these Rightist sectors. See New York Times, December 9, 1966, p, 31. • — * 56 „ . . '^^<5 I'AN, along with other minor parties, the Movimiento Rcpublicano Progresista, the Movimiento Electoral Nacional Indopendiente, Opini6n Ilacional, Partido Sociallsta Venezolana, and Cruzcda Electoral Popular Agrupacion Social received only 1.3^ of the total congressional vote.. Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The VgHo^klg^lan Elections of Dec ember lj^_196j^. Pt. II, p. l! 5? Alexsnder, Tjlg_y^Qp zuel a n Democra tic_Revoluti on ,

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177 In summary, v;hen vievjod in the context of Venezuelan political ideologies and programs, the Right represented a very small portion of the spectrum. With COPEI leaving the Right and moving toward a Center-Left position, and with its most promising spokesman, Uslar Pietri, lost for a time to an Accion Democratica governnental coalition, the conservatives in Venezuela found themselves relegated to a minor fraction of the electoral vote. On the other hand, their electoral weakness should not obscure their very important role in the determining of policies at the national level and it has not been coincidental that both Betancourt and Leoni have gone to great lengths to avoid a complete showdovm v;ith conservative elements and organizations. Some of the key ministerial positions have been filled with men kno^^^n to bo acceptable to the oil-business-landholding elite. P'or their part, these conservative elements and organizations have tempered their most extreme demands and have sought a mutually advantageous modus Vivendi with Accion Democrdtica.-^ Only diehard perez jimenistas and others of extreme rightist sentiment have sought to undermine or overthrow the government, either on their own, or through an alliance with disaffected military pp. 1314.-133^. Borregales has contributed regularly to the Caracas daily La Eaf era, ovmed by Miguel Angel Capriles. Capriles, a millionaire opportunist, has at various times supported Perez Jimenez, Betancourt, and again the far Right. His paper vas closed for a period d'-ring the Betancourt administration because of its vitriolic articles inciting the people against the government. 58 Further aspects of this Modu s vivendi betv/een AD and a large part of the Venezuelan Right are explored in subsequent chapters.

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178 59 (especially Army and Air Force) elements . The C e nter-Lef t In the Venezuelan elections of I963 there were three candidates I'hose ideological orientation was essentially democratic-reformist and v;hose program did not differ substantially from that of COPEI or AD, but who nonetheless criticized certain aspects of the AD government and who accused the AD coalition of having failed to fulfill its many promises. These three candidates v;ere Dr. Jovito Villalba of the Union Republicana Democr5tica (URD), Dr. Radl Ramos Gim^nez of the oppositionist faction of AD, and vice-admiral WoD.fgang Larrazabal who became the presidential candidate of the Frente Democratico Popular (FDP) and of certain independent sectors. Larrazabal, who had attended the U.S. Naval School in Miami and who had been retired for a short time after the I9J+5 revolution, emerged suddenly on the Venezuelan political scene on January 23, 1958. A series of circumstances, which he himself probably had not expected, led him to become president of the Junta that ousted Perez Jimenez. A capable naval officer, Larrazabal had been able to keep himself from any personal commitment to the dictator, in whose overthrow he actively participated in late 1957 -early 1958.^° 59 The latest attempt camo in October, I966. "ProJim6nez I^ilitary Coup Fails in Venezuela," Washington Daily News (October 3I, I966), p. 21; Virginia Pr elFi^ttT^^Hiillel a ' s Leoni IS Solid Denpite Rumors," V/ashington Daily News (November 7, 1965), p. 25. . ^^Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, a close adviser to the

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179 Initially of a moderately conservative orientation, Larraz&bal had moved toward tho Center-Left as the 1958 revolution pushed the provisional government to take more democratic and socialistic positions. Ho had the undisputed merit of presiding over and coordinating the Junta's rule and the early preparations to^'^ard free elections. At the same time, his colorful personality--he liked to play the guitar — exerted a powerful fascination for a large number of lower-class C araquenos . His martial and youthful bearing, his friendly and uninhibited manner, made him appear to the Caraquenos as the symbol and the personification of the freedom and hope that had been born on the dawn of January 23 with the crumbling of the dictatorship. Not so much from demagogic calculation as from an ignorance of economics, Larraz&bal used to listen to and to personally satisfy the most diverse requests for help. This attitude was largely responsible for his "emergency plan, " a financially ruinous program under v;hich the government gave food and help to thousands of unerqployed. Instead of solving the unemployment problem, it served almost solely to attract a new influx of rural migrants to the cities at the same time that it practically exhausted the treasury. Having resigned from the Junta, Larraz&bal cam.paigned as a presidential candidate v:ith the support of the URD and the then-legal Communist Party. He won overwhelmingly in Caracas but received few votes elsewhere. His performance as dictator, had no favorable cominsnts to make about Larrazabalj see Vallenilla Lanz, Escrito de Kemoria , p. 213.

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180 a provisional president had attracted for him the strong support of the poor in Caracas — those who v;ere the major beneficiaries of the "emergency plan" — as well as the support of those v:ho backed him in order to undermine Betancourt's chances. To the latter, made up of certain sectors of the bourgeoisie, Betancourt was by far the greatest threat to their interests. Thus, as in previous occasions in Venezuelan political history, diverse groups from the Right, from the Center, from the moderate and democratic Left, and from the extreme Left united behind a flexible candidate in the hope that they could bend him to their ovin peculiar ideologies and to their o\-in pai'ticuiar interests. What united these various groups in 1958 '.^as antiadequismo, a fear that once in power the AD would XAndermine or neglect their interests. Having received 35^ of the total vote, largely from Caracas, Larrazdbal, to his credit, urged his followers to accept the election results and to consider Betancourt the President for all Venezuelans. After serving as an ambassador during the Betancourt administration, Larraz^bal returned to the country and decided to become a presidential candidate in 1963. He received the support of independents, some conservatives, and a party of the Left, the Pu.erza Democr5.tica Popular (PDP), created by Jorge Dager, a former adeco and later active in the Movimiento do Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR). Larrazabal's I963 platform, reflecting perhaps the

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181 diversity of those supporting him, contained soiuev/hat contradictory statonents. On the ono hand it called for general amnesty for all ; on the other hand, it expressed the need to prevent acts of terrorism. It would eliminate the police force--as vrell as reorganize the police department. It would preserve the juridical system-"as v;ell as place the country in a state of constitutional emergency until it could effectively follow the laws. Freedom of religion vxould be granted--but special consideration v;ould be given to the 61 Catholic Church. Larraz^bal's avov;ed program contained several ideological strains, ranging all the way from the far Left (e.g., a clear call for relations vrith all Latin-Amorican countries, presumably including Cuba; amnesty for the terrorists) to Center (support of the Constitution, social security, moderate reforms) to the far Right (special concessions to the Catholic Church). It reflected the diversity of his support, but his showing at the polls seemed to indicate that his support had become extremely shallow. His long absence from the country had made him lose his former close contact vzith the people. Perhaps more significantly, in contrast to 1958, in the I963 campaign LarrazSbal no longer had the support of the URD. His votes, 275,301; represented only 9.i4-^ of the total cast. The FDP ^^Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Elections of December 1. I96 3, Pt. II, pp. kl-Sk'

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182 and the MENI (the small Movimiento Electoral Nacional Independiente headed by LarrazSbal's brother retired Admiral Carlos Larrazabal) managed to elect only four senators and 16 deputies and finished well behind AD, COPEI, URD, and Uslar Pietri.'^^ It was obvious that many Car a queries who had formerly given their votes to hira now preferred Uslar Pietri^-^ while in the countryside Larrazabal failed again to win any measure of widespread backing. As early as the fall of 1965 he had decided to run in the presidential ©lections in 1968, but his chances of doing any better than previously seemed very slim. Another contender of the Center-Left Opposition in 1963 was Raul Ramos Gimenez. Ramos GimSnez and his followers had initially made up a distinct opinion group within AD. Since 19li.7, when for the first time thoy had come in conflict with the Old Guard in the leadership of AD, they had been unofficially designated the ARS group"-a reference to a well knovjn Venezuelan advertising company that used as its slogan "pernj t us to think for you." The arsista s , young and npibitious, felt themselves called upon to replace the so-called Old Guard which surrounded 6? Al ex and er , The V e nezuelan Dem ocratic Revolution , pp. 133> 135; Movimiento Electoral Kaciohal IndopenTrcnte, Normas para^ la Oric nta ci^n Qrganizat iva del Conlt^ ^Ciatuche '^~pr'o "Can di datura del Contra-Almiran to V/olf gang Larraz^bax a la Presidencia Const i oucion al de la Republica TG"aracas, -^This was confirmed in personal interviews in Caracas, Spring of 19^h-l see Appendix.

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183 Botancourt, Leoni, and other party stalwarts. They claimed that they could better understand the Venezuelan youth (vjhich, incidentally, made up over half the country's population) and that it was impossible for the AD leaders of the 192fa Generation vintage to communicate with this large sector of the population. Expelled from the AD in 19i|.8 for indiscipline, the arsistas had rejoined the adeco forces during the underground struggle against P^rez Jimenez. In this struggle they fought side by side v;ith Old Guard elements and they too suffered many casualties in their ranks. Some young activists who would later follow former AD loader Domir>go Alberto Rangel in the formation of the Movimiento de Isquierda Rcvolucionaria were at that time closely associated with the arsistas. After the liberation of the country in 1958, the arsistas, who during the 19lj.7-19i|8 period had argued with the AD Old Guard over questions relative to federalism and to the role of the military, found new motives for dissidence. At the national AD convention of 1961, the arsistas became the spokesmen for those who were less than happy with AD. These were people who resented the fact that AD, as the party in power, could no longer talk of "liberation" but rather of "consolidation." They also resented the need of governmental coalitions and, above all, they wanted to seize the control of AD and, eventually become the leaders and the candidates in the I963 elections. Thus, when the arsistas split from AD in 1961, the clash came not because of basic

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181| ideological differences, but as a consequence of strong personal divergencies between the Old C-uafd led by Betancourt and the young men led by the ambitious Ramos Gim^nez. As Acci6n Democrdtica in the Opposition (AD-Op, later also known as Vanguardia Revolucionaria Nacional, VRN)* Ramos Gim^nes' follo-.;ors, along with the peasant loader Ramon Qui jada--;^ho later abandoned the VRN to support Uslar Pietri-unleashed a strong campaign against the government, against Betancourt,. and against Leoni. They accused them of disloyalty to their electoral promises and of abandoning their revolutionary faith. Ramos Gimenez and his party continued using the style and the language of AD, and for this reason, their criticism of the government party v.'as often contradictory. Further, this ambiguity makes it difficult to ascertain whether the Ramos Gimenez group is actually more to the Left of AD, that it should be considered more revolutionary than the governmental party, or simply that it is a vehicle for the ambitious young men. Most observers seem to agree that the latter is closer to the true nature of the VRN. AD-Op directed its efforts toward gaining the same ^^Personal interviews, Caracas, Spring, I96I4.; see Appendix. In Docu me ntos (October-Decembar , 1961), pp. $61588, 766-771 one finds extensive docvimentation on the ADARS split. Reliable sources also rfiported that prior to their own split with AD, the arsistas were the most insistent that the leftist adecos led by Rangel be expelled from the AD. The bitterness between the miri .stas followers of Rai'sel and the arsistas v;as particularly evident in the youth sector •

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18^ electoral clientelle that provided the "basis for Acci6n DemocrStica — the peasants and ].abor--but failed miserably in this campaign. It seemed as though the strength of the arsistas resided in their ability to organize from above and to create the apparatus for direction in a relatively short time. But they remained incapable of bringing or unwilling to bring into being a substantial militant basis from belov;, in spite of the considerable efforts of the peasant leader Quijada before he went over to the Uslar Pietri camp. In part the arsista failure could be explained by the fact that labor leaders remained overv:helmingly loyal to the AD Old Guard, to the government party that vras nov; providing better conditions to the v;orking men, end to the very same party that was destined to choose as its 19^3 presidential candidate an old labor leader, Raul Leoni. For the arsistas, the inability to steal any support from AD backers meant a dismal showing at the polls. Ramos Gim^nez obtained 66,837 votes or of the total cast. His party elected one senator end • ^ 66 six deputies. Far more important in the I963 Center-Left Opposition 65 John D. Po'i-.'ell, Freliminary Rep ort on the F ederacion Gam pesina de Ve nezuela ; Ori gins, Organizlation, Leadership ~an5' Role in The Ag rarian Refo rm Program (Madison, Wis . : L&M" Tenure Center, 19'6i|), pp. 26-31. 66 El Nacional , December I3, I963, p. A-lff; Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Elections of December 1, 1963, Pt. II, pp. 53'-6l.[..

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166 than Ramos Giraenez or LarrazSbal, was the old democratic leader J&vito Villalba, v/hose strong Unl6n Republicana Democrdtica (URD) was destined to be a serious contender in the election campaign. Villalba, like Betancourt, Leoni, Gonzalo Barrios, Beltran Prieto, Gustavo Machado, and other important political leaders, belonged to the famous "Generation of 1928" which marked the vmtershed of Venezuelan political organizations. He had been prominent in the student group that in 1928 had fomented the most important 68 revolt against the Gomez dictatorship; with Betancourt and Leoni he had been a militant member of the ORVE and the Partido Democrdtico Nacional (PDN, the AD immediate predecessor) that had been formed shortly after Gomez' death in 1935. Villalba, in contrast to Betancourt and Leoni, had supported the government of General Medina in the 19li-0's. After Medina's overthrow, a number of Villalba' s friends had formed the URD in March of 19ii6. Among those men were Ellas Tore, Isaac Pardo, Reyes Baena, Inocente Palacios (a former PDN member and adeco and later considered a Communist) v;ho v;ere instrumental in inviting Villalba to become tha Secretary General of the new party. Lato in I914.7 the founders of the URD v;ithdrew from politics; it was widely rumored at the time that they had left URD because thoy resented Villalba' s intransigence in the 67 Martz, "The Generation of 1928: Genesis of Venezuelan Democracy," pp. 17-33, Villalba, 'La PederaciSn de Eotudiantes y la Reforma Universitaria eu Venezuela," pp. 260-26i|.

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187 69 running of the party. To compensate the loss of his former friends, other seasoned political figu.res remained at the sid of Villalba — Ignacio Luis Arcaya, later a Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice, Jorge Pigarolla, Humberto Bartoli, and Juan 70 Manuel Domlnguoz Chacin. The elements that made up the basis of the URD member ship came from former pedcvist as (members of General Medina's party, the PDV), as v;ell as from other political currents. This attraction of the UKD to pedevistas was not surprising in viev; of the fact that the URD leadership had supported many of the policies of the former president. Under the slogan "government of integration," Villalba campaigned extensively throughout the country in order to build up the URD. In spite of his efforts, the bulk of support remained in the Oriente, the eastern section of Venezuela from which Villalba and many other u rredi stas had originally come. Climaxing the 19'47 campaign, the URD was able to gain four seats in the Chamber of Deputies and two in the Senate. It did not present a presidential candidate at that time.'''-^ Following the coup of November 21}., 1914-8, and the 69 Magallane.3, Partidos Politicos Venezolanos, pp. 165-168. ' — 70 Dominguez Chacin became the historian-theoretician of URD. See J. M. Dor.iinguez Chacin, El Fartido Politico; i^^iiSJL^ii^LJL 0.^'Rani zacio n de_ Union Republic ana DemocratTca (2 vols.; Jaraoas, '1961 JVand Mor6n, A History of Venezuela, pp. 219-220. 71 Magallanes, Partidos Politicos Venezolanos, pp. 167-170.

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186 overthrov; of President Gallegos, URD as v;ell as COPEI had been consulted by the new government and both parties were permitted to continue their activities, v/hile AD was proscribed. Two days after their meeting with the military Junta, the JRD made public declarations to the press calling for the iriunediate holding of elections. Later, when a Commission on the writing of electoral statutes had been formed, URD leaders Villalba and Arcaya i;ere present as representatives of their party. In 1951 1 a consequence of certrin criticisms of the political repression of the government, URD leaders and members became targets for governmental persecution. Until that time the URD had been cooperating with the regime and had joined the government in the denunciation of the underground opposition made up largely of AD members. The only break had come on November 1950> the day after Delgado Chf.lbaud's assassination, when the URD had clandestinely circulated a manifesto critica]. of P^rez Jimenez. This in turn had provoked the government into detaining the URD National Directory for 1$ days. The year 1952 marked a more complets break v/ith the dictator, following contacts betv/een Villalba and Leonardo Ruiz Pineda in late 1951. Pineda, the secretary general of AD, v;as considered by all the chief of the underground activists. These contacts had led to a pact of "coincidental actions" between AD and URD, in v;hich both groups xvould mutually support each other. V/hen Pineda was assassinated in late 1952, the URD vms responsible for

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189 the v/ide distribution of a comniunique condemning the govern72 mental violence. When the ruling Junta Mil i tar de Gobi or no called for elections in November, 1952, the URD presented a full slate of candidates. Shortly before polling day, the underground organization of Accion Democratica decided to throw its support behind the URD. The AD voted for URD everywhere except in the mountain states where they reportedly voted for COPEI. At least pai'tly because of this backing, the URD V7on the election overvfhelmingly . Predictably, hov/ever, it v;as not 73 allov;ed to enjoy its victory at the polls. Its leaders v;ere rounded up by Perez Jimenez and sent into exile where they remained until the overthrovx of the dictatorship early in 1958. During their exile, some contact v:as maintained between the leadership of both URD and AD, v;hile at homo, members of both parties were active in the underground resistance against the dictator. URD had appeared on the political scene in 19li.6 as a liberal reformist movement, favoring the unification of all classes in order to obtain a national democratic and nonsocialistic transformation of Venezuela. Having a more flexible 72 Another secretary general of AD, Antonio Pinto Salinas, v-ras also assassinated by the secret police. The list of known victims of the Seguridad is a long one and among them were several AD leaders ."'"""See Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic hevolution, pp. 1|.0, [(.8. 73 See Vallenilla Lanz ' Escrito d e Memoria, pp. l59179 for his interpretation of the events preceding and following Perez Jimenez' "elections" of 1952.

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190 structure than AD and a less explicit doctrine, URD gained, in the course of time, the support of rnon both in the conservative as well as in the revolutionary sectors. Villalba, for long the undisputed supreMe leader of URD, constituted the axis of its Center-Left orientation, radical but not socialist, around which dissiinilar groups and personalities have gravitated. But Villalba has now been showing signs of aging and seems less interested in politics; his heir apparent, Ugarte Pelayo, having committed suicide under mysterious circiunstances , the future of URD is far from certain. ''^^ The URD, as it emerged after the fall of Perez Jimenez, contained a variety of elements— as it had been the favorite political organization of the people of the Medina Angarita regime in the 19.'4-5-19ll.8 period, it now became the refuge for lower echelon officeholders of the P(5rez Jimenez regime after its overthrow in 1958. There were urredistas • who had collaborated with the military junta in the repression of Accion Democr&tica and those v;ho were also anti-labor. There were those who had welcomed the votes from adecos in 1952, votes which had been decisive for the electoral victory of urrcdista candidates. On the other extreme, there were those who took part between 19145 and 1952 in a dissident ^^Now York Times, May 20, 19 ->6, p. 9; Philip B. Taylor, Jr., "Pl'-ogress in Venez.uola," pp. 270~27i\., 308 . Taylor concluded that "URD . . . seemed likely to be insignificant in the [1968] elections." (Quote on p. 21k.)

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I 1 191 Communist Party, the Partido Revolucionario del Proletariado or "Black Communists, ""^^ and who in I963, although by this time members of the URD (the Conirranists had been banned from running in the elections), continued their adherence to Marxist-Leninist ideas. Led by Luis Miquilena, v;ho became secretary of organization of the URD, this group played a leading role in the councils of the party in the early post-dictatorship period. Miquilena broke with Villalba in the early 1960's and was later imprisoned after being implicated in a Comraxmist plot. Finally, a large group of young people who had become politically active during and after the dictatorship years played an important part in the URD during the provisional government of Larrazabal and the earlier portion of the Betancourt governmental coalition. Like the youngest generation of AD, these urredistas had also worked closely with the Communists during the latter part of the dictatorship and vjere much influenced by the ideas and policies of the PCV. They had a youthful enthusiasm for Cuba and Fidel Castro and a naive hatred for everything American. These attitudes were not shared by most of the older leaders of the URD; the solid group of Center-Left leaders--prominent among them Villalba and Arcaya-~continued to exert an overriding moderating influence v/ithin URD. A party such as this--more to the right of AD in its "^Alexander, Communism in Lati n America , pp. 263268.

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192 doctrine and less explicit in the measures of iimnediate reform that it proposes — is capable of attracting diverse groups. In 1952 it had won the elections v;ith a good assist from Accion Democr§.tica as v;ell as benefiting from the popular reaction against Perez Jimenez. In 1958, v.-hen its presidential candidate had been the colorful and popular Larrazabal, it had shovm itself capable of attracting large numbers of the chronically unemployed, which had been brought to the capital by the rural exodus characteristic of the dictatorship years, as well as those v/hc had become the prime beneficiaries of Larrdzabal's emergency plan. URD always failed, however, in its attempts to attract organized labor, which remained loyal to AD. It also had failed in gaining widespread peasant support, another mainstay group for AD. Essentially a party of leaders , it had been unable to compete v;ith AD or even with the Communists in winning a largo number of members in the labor and peasant sectors. The various elements making up the URD have not been held together by a common philosophy or ideology. Some of the URD members characterize themselves as "liberals," while others are quite openly Marxists, and still others are forever confused about Just what they are. Personal differences with leaders and members of other parties, and the desire for public office have been more important factors in keeping the 76 Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Elections of December 1, 1963. Pt IT

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193 URD together than ideological consistency. During the I963 camxjaign, it was difficult to differentiate the electoral program of Jovito Villalba from that of Raul Leoni, except in the sense that the AD candidate made more detailed and explicit programmatic promises. URD continued to be strong in Caracas, in its middle class sectors, as v;ell as in the capital slums; it remained v/eak in its labor and peasant sectors. URD's program seemed to indicate that the party was avmre that it would be these very sectors, labor and peasant, that would decide the 1963 elections but its promises carried little weight or made a small impact upon these sectors which continued loyal to AD. J6vito Villalba trailed Leoni and Caldera with 551,120 votes, or l8.9^ of the total. 1!he URD elected 7 senators 77 end 29 deputies, again coming behind AD and COPEI. Following the elections and COPEI 's decision no longer to be a partner in a governing coalition with AD, President Leoni persuaded Villalba to help in the formation of a new cabinet. Perhaps to the surprise of both adecos and urredistas, their two parties have remained together until now (early I968). There are, however, evident pressures from both sides for a severance of the alliance. Among the issues behind these pressures have been the government's policies toward the extrerae Left. '''' Election results from official returns published in El Nacionai, December I3, 1963,pp. A-lff.

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19k The E x treme L eft In the 1963 elections, the forces of the extreme Left were not permitted to present their own candidates, since the parties that embraced this ideological tendency--the Communist Party and tne Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) — were banned from running by an executive decree. This did not moan, hov;ever, that the extreme Left did not have a very 7R strong and marked indirect influence upon the elections. The Communist Party was among the oldest parties in Venezuela. Communist agitation and organization had begun before the end of Gomez' dictatorship. As early as the 1920 's there is record of a Venezuelan who had fled the Gomez repression and v;ho had become active in the U.S. Communist Party. This exile, Ricardo Martinez, participated in the Commintern's Sixth Congress at the end of 1928. He subsequently was chosen as the Latin-American resident representative in the Moscovf headquarters of the Red International Labor Unions (R.I.L.U. ) ."^"^ The Communist Party V7as officially organized in Venezuela in 1931 • It had its origins among a group of students of the 1928 Generation, many of whom had been deported from Venezuela and lived in exile throughout the Americas. 0ns of the principal figures in this movement was 78 Eupartment of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, V/orld Strength of thjo_ Cjoramm^^ Party Orga nizat ions (Washington, D.C.: 'Department of State, I^'S?), pp. i13iF^"BB7~ 79 Alexander, Communism in Latin America , pp. 2^32^Ij-.

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195 Roraulo Betancourt, who had sought rofuge in Costa Rica v;here he took an active part in forming that country's Comiminist 80 Party. He quit this group in 1932. Other exiled students were instrumental in the forming of the Partido Revolucionario Venezolano, headed by Gustavo Machado, vrhich became a part of the ConiT/iunists ' continental anti -imperialist front . , . 81 organization. Betancourt and Machado came to personify the differences betv;een the groups of Venezuelan revolutionaries. One current was socialistic but also nationalistic in its orientation, the other became over more identified with ftp Moscow rather than with Venezuela itself. To both currents, however, the major block to expansion vms Gomez. The possibility of any political activity was extremely limited as long as the dictator lived. V/ith Gomez' death 80 , Romulo Betancourt, Con Q ui en Es tamos y Contra Qui6n Estamos (San Jos6, 1932), This was Betancourt 's explanation of~his break wit;h t?ie CP. There are soroe authors who feel that Betancourt never "really" broke with the Communists; see, for exaiTirae, Lavin, A H alo for Gomez , especially pp. kS3-k^7 and Vallenilla Lauz, Es cr i to de M e mori a , passi m. It should bo noted, hov/cver, that ValTeniria Lanz v;as a close associate of Perez Jimenez and that Bavin's interpretation of the 19l\S-19SkVenezuelan history is, to say the least, open to many questions. 81 Partido Comunista Venezolano, LnVida Revol uciona rj a de Gustavo Machado (Caracas: E.T.C.A,, T^I^FJT ATexana'Ur~ Commun ism in L atin Ame rica, pp. 2)^^-2^l^.. 82 Betancourt, Ven ezuel a_:_ Poll tic a y Petroleo, pp. li|.9-l5C, l\.7lh points out iovii^ Ox"^ne f unaarnenl'aT~differenccs betv;een the two groups; Moron, A History of Venezuela, pp. 218, 221.

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196 in December, 1935> the Lopez Contreras' go\rernment began to permit a considerable degree of political activity as well as the return of many of the exiles. Most of the opposition elements Joined in tho formation of the Organiiiacion Revolucionaria Venezolana (ORVE) and its successor, the Partido Democratico ITacional (PDN). As tho PDN became more active as an opposition movement, the L6pez Contreras' government became more intent in curtailing it. Many of its leaders were expelled again and the PDK failed to become a legal party. In addition to the difficulties with the government, the PDN was beset by its own internal conflicts between its Communist and noncominunist members. The men around Betancourt insisted that a socialistic revolution or a fundamental transformation of Venezuela could be effected through a representative democracy which sought to fulfill the needs and aspirations of the Venezuelan people. Further, they felt that all ties \Ath the international Communist movement should be broken, an issue that determined the open split betv/een Betancourt and the Machado followers within the PDN. Leaving the PDN and openly proclaiming themselves members of the Partido Comunista de Venezuela, the Comimnists supported almost unconditionally the government of General Medina ( 19Ul-19]|5 ) • As the Union Popular Venezolana, the Communists v;ere free to organize. The 19i|5 Nedina-sponsored constitution allowed them to appear under their ovm name. In their support of medinismo . the Communists were aligned

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197 with a nuiJiber of Center-Left elements, including Villalba's followers, all of whom were unanimous in their opposition to Accion Democr&tica. When the AD became instrumental in the overthrow of Medina in 19^$, the Communists defended the pi'esident and opposed the AD-dominated Junta. At that time there were tv;o rival Communist Parties in Venezuela, both legal--the Partido Comunista Vonezolano led by the brothers Gustavo and Eduardo Ilachado and the Communist trade unionists Luis Miquilena and Rodolfo Quintero (the so-called Machamiques ) ; and another faction headed by Juan Bautista Puenmayor.^^ Both factions were agreed in their opposition to the coup d'etat and took up arms to defend the Medina regime, at least in the initial stages. Later, the Fuenmayor faction withdrew from the fight and declared its neutrality; the Machamiques persisted in fighting until it became clear that the AD uprising was entirely successful. Once in power, the Betancourt Junta jailed some Machamiques for a time.^^ To both Com.niunist groups Betancourt declared that they would be allowed "legitimate political activities" (i.e., nonsubvcrsive)^^ but he stressed he did not desire to form a front with them. For their part, the Fuenmayor 83 In T.i-^r. ,^"''°^.^®tails on this split, see Alexander, Communi sm iri Latin America , pp. 276~ New York Times . December 1, 194.5, p. 12. Ibid., December 12, 19li.5, p. 15.

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198 group agreed to support conditionally "progressive acts of 86 the . . . government"; the Machainiques, on the other hand, continued to follov; an extremist policy, using their power in some unions to call strikes whenever possible and refusing all contacts with the Betancourt regime. In spite of efforts to unite the factions of th=5 Venezuelan Communist movement, it remained split throughout the AD trienio. The Fuenmayor group came to be known as the "Red Communists," since they adopted that color as their inisgnia for the 1914-7 elections while the rival group, led after the defection of Gustavo Machado by Quintero and Miquilena, came to be known as the "Black Communists" for their use of black as their electoral color. ^"^ The Black Communists also came to call themselves Partido Revolucionario del Proletariado, ultra-Left, and were denounced as Trotskyists by the PCV, in spite of the fact that they never had any organizational ties with the I+th International. On November 26, 19li.6, President Gallegos was overthrown by a military coup led by three officers who had originally cooperated with AD in the 19ij.5 revolution (Colonels Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, Marcos Perez Jimenez, and Felipe Llovera PSez) and who formed a military Junta to run the government. As had previously been the case, the Commianist factions took different positions with regard to 06 Hoy [Havana; a Communist paper] February I3, 19iL6, p . 1 . 87 Alexander, Communism in Latin America , pp. 2$Q-26$.

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199 the new government. One Taction opposed the dictatorship, the other sided with it. The Red Communists v;ent into opposition and saw their newspaper, Tribuna Popular , suppressed by the regime and their party outlawed. In spite of their attempts to work with AD in the labor sector, the Red Communists' overtures vjere not welcomed by AD. AD was equally unenthusiastic about accepting the Reds' offer to form a united front with AD 88 against the military Junta. The Black Communists, on the other hand, although not openly supporting the military regime, did give it their tacit approval. For its part, the military government permitted the Black Conununists a great deal of activity, particularly in the labor movement, where the military was above all interested in undermining the previous overvjhelming dominance enjoyed by AD. When the government created its own trade union group in 1952, the Kovimiento Obrero Sindical Independiente de Trabajadores (MOSIT), it was largely staffed by Communists.®*^ Those Communists who joined the resistaxice against P^rez Jimenez, gave valuable support to the underground movement, though the largest and most dynamic group here remained Acci6n Democrdtica. In m.any cases, in their fight against the dictator, close links wore established between the youth 88,. Venez u ela D emocratica (April, 19^^). -n ^2 Tb^o was a regular AD publTcTtT^rriHexile. This particular issue was published in Mexico. uxai issae ^zo ^^Alexander, Comrauni^m in Latin Amsrica, pp. ?67268; see also supr a, chap. IV71T'.1"5';^ ~ '

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200 sectors of the PCV and of the AD and these links later contributed to the fact that a good part of AD's youth took doctrinal stands far closer to those of the CoranuniGts than the large majority of other AD sectors. Whea the dictator was overth..-ov/n, the Communists proclaimed the usefulness of a united front of all popular parties. This spirit of accord and its support of constitutional government did not last long, hov;ever. In part, the Cominunists were otiboldened to take up an independent and radical course because they vrere undisputably stronger at the end of the dictatorship than before. In the 1950 's an expert on Latin-American CoKimuniots and Communism could assert that "the Communists remain a comparatively minor element in the political life of Venezuela. "^^ But their successful play of "dual Communism" — the support and the rejection of dictatorship by different Communist f actions--plus the dictatorship's favors towards Communists in order to undermine AD helped them to strengthen their ranks. The ultimate result was that at the end of the dictatorship another export on Latin-American Comjniunists could affirm that "the Party ... is one of the strongest on the mainland of Latin America. Party membership has more than tripled to at least thirty thousand and the Communists have demonstrated their ability [in the 19^8 elections] to elicit over five times that many votes from the electorate 90 Alexander, Communism in Latin Am erica, p. 269.

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201 ..91 at large. Though the Cominunists did relatively well in the elections, their strength vras not comparable to tl_ ;t of Accion Dernociatica vjhich remained the overwhelroing popular choice. After failing to gain an influential voice in the Betancourt aclid.nistration, the hostility against AD as a powerful and successful rival popular movement led the PCV to become increasingly oppositionist. In the meantime, Cuba had been talcen over by Fidel Castro and after 1959 the Venezuelan Communists follov;ed the practice of making tendencious comparisons between Cuba 92 and Venezuela. They contended that while Fidel's was a "true revolution," the social democratic governments of Betancourt and Leoni actually served the purpose of diverting the people from a true revolutionary position to a position of eventual capitulation to American interest.3. As the Cuban revolution gradually gravitated tovrard Communism, the campaign of the PCV against Betancourt increased in tempo and in bitternoi^s and became more clearly proCastro. On the other hand, the fascination that Cuba exerted over widespread youth sectors vms perhaps the most 91 Pop i no, I nternational Com munism in Latin America, pp. 7-8. The PCV polled over lFo,000 votes, better than 6% of the total, to place two of its members in the Senate and seven in the National Congress. 92 See, for example, comm.entaries attributed to Venezuelan Communists in Timothy F. Harding and Saul Landau's "Terrorism, Guerrilla Warfare and the Democratic Left in Venezuela," Studies on the Left, IV (Fall. 196[j ) . 121-128. . ^ '

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202 important factor in the rebellion of Harch, I960, when the pro-Coranunlst minority within AD split and formed the 93 MIR. The Marxist plans of Domingo Alberto Rangel and his follo;>rers ceased to be made, as previously, v;ithin the framevTork of AD's internal discipline, and acquired more and more a character of an open defiance to the authority of AD's National Executive Committee. Encouraged by the Cuban example and the pronouncements of the PCV, the partisans of Rangel forgot that the Venezuelan situation demanded a cautious and gradual approach on the part of tho — like Betancourt — v;ho wanted to transform the country without bloodshed and without use of violent and totalitari means . When it became clear to Rangel that tho majority of AD was behind the Betancourt approach, he became even more vehement in his accusations. In April of i960 the MIR group, after having been expelled from AD, became a fullfledged political party. ^^IInitially, Rangel and his followers tried to maintain a political line independent of -"Documentos Incautados al Partido Comunista y al Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, " Docu mentos (July-September, 1965), pp. [!.00-i^.0[^. ~ 9h. ^"Estatutos del Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria," Documentos (Hay-August, I960), pp. l^in k52; "Cronologia Nacional," in ibid., pp. 565-571; Ramon E. Ruiz, Cuba's Shadow over the Americas," Massachusetts R^vieH* IV (Spring, I963), hSS~\lS' .

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203 that of the Partido Comunista, with vrhoiii they had certain doctrinal differences, but these differences v/ere obliterated and the tv/o movements of the extreme Left became almost identical in every respect. The MIR lost its doctrinal independence and made itself an echo to all Communist H2IH-^5l5i22IlL'^^' '^^^ contradictory and yet sincere Rangel still managed to piirsue an independent lino from time to time, but hi;? MIR had become submerged within the larger Communist front. This larger Communist front, for its part, continued to suffer from divisionism. Since the mid-1950' s the Communists have been forced to adapt their tactics and their strategy to conflicting influences from international Communist sources and to changing conditions in Venezuela. They have officially espoused the doctrine of "peaceful roads to socialism," whereby a "democratic front of national liberation" might come to pov/er by parliamentary means. At the same time noncommunist Leftists have been increasingly prone to cooperate with some Communists in using violence to achieve political ends, as in Venezuela, while Chinese Communists, later joined by the Cubans, have advocated guerrilla warfare as the appropriate device for placing Comraunists in or near the seats of povicr. In October and November of I960, the first openly insurrectional acts on the part of the PCV and the MIR took •^Carlos Lopez, "The Communist Party of Venezuela and the Present Situation," VJorld Marxist Review, VII (October, 1961}.), 20-2?.

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201; place, at the same time that the verbal attacks of the Cuban government against the Venezuelan regime multiplied. The political tension was further aggravated in 1961, as the identification betv/een Castroism and the Soviet Bloc became more open. Above all, it was the external factor-the Cuban policy of Betancourt--more than internal considerations, that led the Venezuelan extremists to an actual fight against the government. Such a fight took on crucial importance when relations between Cuba and Venezuela vjere broken at the end of 1961. At this time there had already been constituted in Venezuela a terrorist organization known as the Fuerzas 96 Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN). In the course of 1962, bloody riots took place in Cariipano and in Puerto Cabello, in vjhich the collaboration betvresn the forces of the extreme Right and of the extreme Left in the core of 97 the same insurrectional apparatus became clear. The hatred against the social democracy personified by AD and the government of coalition had led the Venezuelan extreme Left to collaborate v;ith the traditional defenders of the status quo. By 1963, the international llnlcs of the FALN had The FALN vras formed to coordinate guerrilla activity initiated by student revolutionaries. Its militants included youths from the MIR, the PCV, and even from moderate opposition parties such as UHIj, cv '''These serious military revolts wore partly a result of personal resentments and power struggles within the military but some young officers supportc;d them in the unrealistic hope that a "Kasserist" coup could speed up reforms in Venezuela.

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205 become undisputed. For the most part, its leadership was made up of Communists and pro-Communists responsive to broad guidance from international Communist leaders and to direct orders from Cuba. This situation v.'fn revealed clearly in February of I963, when a wave of tei^ror and sabotage was unleashed in Venezuela in response to commands oA issued in Havana. V/hile the old Communist leadership still publicly at least called for the pursuance of the peaceful road, the revolutionary activities of the younger Communists led the government to outlav; all Communist factions late in 1962.^"^ The illegalization decree against the parties of .the extreme Left (MIR, PCY) vms issued as a reaction to their armed insurrection and prohibited them from participating in the I963 elections. The government and the coalition parties declared the possibility of an eventual return of the MIR and the PCV to legal existence so long as they renounced the use of violence. The parties of the extreme Left, for their part, have insisted that they should be allowed to carry on all their activities as v;ell as that they be given equality with the governmental parties ."''^^ 98 Popmo, International Co m munism in Latin America, pp. 187-188. ~~~ 99 For a justification of Betancourt's actions, see the AD-spjnsored publications, Braalio Jatar Dotti, Inhabilitac ion de l a R-c trema l2; quiei-da y Guerrillas Corianas TCaracas: Goieccion '^"Pueblo y Parlaia3ntor"~19'o3J7"and Jests' Angel Paz Galarraga, Violencia y Suspension de GajmntX^a (Caracas; Goieccion '''Pueblo "y Parlamsnto," 19c3). ^*^^See "La Posicion de Accion Democratica ante el

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206 At the start of the electoral campaign of I963, the extreme Left parties sustained conversations v/ith the partisans of Larrazabal, as well as v?lth the representatives of URD, concerning the possibility that one or the other would accept them in their electoral plans and would later accord them a position in the government, in case of their victory. But Larraz&bal and URD rejected this compromising and risky support that could lead to embarrassing obligations later on. Thus, at election time, a conflict developed between the extremists and URDj and the pro-Communist and Communist currents found themselves more isolated than ever. Not only had they lost their former status as a respectable political force, but now they also lacked any great influence in the mass movements--labor and peasant leagues-which were led, in their overv7h:)lming majority, by AD men. The terrorism led by the PALN continued v;ith increasing tempo for the purpose of discrediting the Betancourt administration and preventing a valid election in December of 1963. The terrorists appeared to hope that the military would take over by a coup d'etat and that in the ensuing chaos 101 they could seize power. The Venezuelan electorate dealt the insurgents a major psychological blow vjhen they flocked to the polls in disregard of Communist demands for electoral Problema," Documentos (January-March, I963), p. 61}.6, and "Texto de un Documento Incautado al Partido Comunista de Venezuela," in the sane issue of Docu mentos , pp. 6I4.7-667. 101 Alexander, The Ven ezuelan Democratic Revolution, pp. 87-117.

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207 abstention and threats of physical violence to participants. Failing in their efforts to prevent the elections, the extreme Left has been less sure of its ovm po\>rcr and some attempts at finding now avenues to pouer other than violence 102 have been considered. During 196i;-1965 the PCV emphasized "prolonged struggle" by guerrilla forces in the countryside, and in 1966 it openly began to reduce emphasis on insurgency in favor of "democratic peace," the formation of a broad leftist front, and eventual recovery of legal status. The Communist movement is now deeply split botv;ecn the present party hierarchy and the Communist dissidents who are determined to press forward with armed insurgency in defiance of the official party lino. Membership in the movement — v/hich was never large or proletarian based--has also declined considerably. The dissidents are led by expelled Politburo member Douglas Bravo and supported by Castro. A stepped-up dissident -Communist campaign of terrorism in late 1966 featured a pattern of deliberate attacks against military personnel. It precipitated government intervention in the national universities in Decembor, ending the inviolability of university premises in mabters of public order and particularly the use of the Central University in Caracas as a terrorist saf ehavon.""'^-^ 102 , "^"--^ Errors," Studies_qn Jbhe L^ft, IV (Pall, 1961+), 129-131; leda S. "wiardi," "The Paising of the Extreme Left?" Caribbean Monthly Bulletin, m (August, 19oo;, 5-6. 103 ^ Department of State, Wo rld Stren gth of the Communist Party Orpianizations . p. iTiQ". — —

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^08 PCV recruitment is concentrated in the metropolis and other urban areas, and Among university and secondary school students. In the national universities, where political agitation and participation are as much part of life as education. Communist indoctrination is carried out by an aggressive Communist minority of both faculty and students. In this climate, student elections are violently competitive affairs and assume a significance of national proportions. Only recently have COPEI students been able to counter some of the Communist victories in those elections. Acci6n Democr^tica has remained in the minority since its split with the MIR faction in the early 1960's.-^^^ Intellectuals, artists and journalists are also well represented among PCV members and sympathizers. Terrorism, however, has cost the PCV some of its strongholds. Thus, the Communists lost control over the Radio and Television Union v/hich had been in their hands or those of extreme Leftists since 1911-3, and in 1962 the Communist head of the Venezuelan Newspapermen's Association was voted out of office. The guerrillas have not been able to build up any support among the farmers, most of whom strongly back the government. The labor unions have never wavered in their support of Presidents Betancourt and Leonl and continue to •^^^Sanchez, The ^D^v^lgjoment of Education in Ve nezuela, pp. 107-110; Rieck Bonnet Hannifin, "inf iltraci'on" Comunista en los Centres Educacionales de America Latina," Este & Oeste [Caracas], IV (November 15-30, 1965), 1-11.

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209 be largely Accion Doniocratica-oriented."'"^^ There is little doubt that the Communists in Venezuela are presently deeply divided, that the guerrilla movement has caused more antagonisra than support for the Communist cause, and that Communists have failed to make any large inroads amon^^ the workers and the peasants. On the other hand, the threat posed by their subversive activities to the government certainly cannot be ignored. The many causes for discontent, particularly unomployment and a slov/-moving agrarian reform, are fertile subjects for Communist propaganda. There is always the possibility that the campaign of insurgency will stampede the military into a coup against the constitutional government v;hich would enable the Communists to transform their insurgency into a popular cause supported by non-Communists . Last but not least in this rich country, are the large United States private investments and the presence of American management and technical personnel evident to all and constant targets of the Communists and even many noncommunists, in whose lexicon anti-Yankeeism is synonymous v/ith nationalism. American tolerance toward Perez Jimlnez (he and his secret police chief were even accorded some of the highest condecorations fi-om the U.S. government) resulted in an extreme reaction against any American officials immediately following the overthrow of the dictator. During 10^ •^See chap. VI. 106 Vice-P/>esident Nixon's visit to Venezuela in I958

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210 the Betancourt and Leoni administrations the Communists have exploited every instance in which the U.S. government has recognized and supported military Juntas throughout Latin America. The Communists in these instances have an easy task in posing as the "true democrats" while those friendly towards the U.S., like the AD leadership, are painted as being lenient towards all authoritarian regimes of the Right . In summary, though beset by internal divisions and still suffering from their failure to prevent the I963 elections or to wage a successful guerrilla campaign, the Communists could exploit a number of internal and external problems of the country in order to enhance their own 107 party in Venezuela. After nearly a decade of ADdominated administrations, however, the Comraijinists remained unable to gain a crucial stronghold in the largest sectors of the Venezuelan population--thc camposinos and the workers --which were still the almost unchallenged preserve of Acci6n Democratica. The failure of the Communists as well as of the was the focus of such a widespread manifestation of antiAmericanism that it almost ended in tragedy. See Richard M. Nixon, Six Orizes^ (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1 Voc j , pp. c09"'23ti« 107 *Tv. 4.. E'^ Cuban issue is reviewed In chap. IX; Georres Albertini, "La Subvorsi6n Extrcmista en Venezuela y su 1966K^l-9''^''''^' Este_&_Oeste [Caracas], IV (April I-15,

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211 extreme Right parties to exercise any more influence than they have in recent years reflects the fact that Acci6n Democratica has successfully captured the broad middle-ofthe-road in the Venezuelan political system. It is interesting to note in this connection that the Venezuelan political party spectinim as "a whole lies more to the left than is true of the North American, Western European, or Old British Empire countries. That is to say, on a spectrum from Left to Right, the middle of the Venezuelan political party spectrura--and of public opinion generally-is considerably farther Left than would be the case in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, West Germany, and so on. Thus AD, which we have labelled democratic Left and v;hich in the U.S. context would probably be considered socialist, in reality has been able to occupy the cente r of the Venezuelan party spectrum. Occupying the center and with immensely skillful leadership, AD has been able to expand its basis of support and achieve--for the first time in Venezuelan history^-a measure of national consensus. In this way, AD has further helped integrate the diverse groups and vievrpoints in the national political system around the center and thus helped prevent the polarization of political forces around tvo extremes wiiich in the past had often led to constant upheavals, alternating periods of chaos and dictatorships, and societal breakdowns. A broad middle ground is emerging in the Venezuelan system, and AD has benefited from the fact that it occupies

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212 and dominates this center position. In the I963 elections, for example, the AD presidential candidate received over 32% of the votes. These votes, if combined with those cast for parties with which AD has worked in governmental coalitions (COPEI, URD, FND), amount to nearly 88;;^ of the total, with the small balance going to a number of vrhat could be considered more extreme Right and Left parties. Thus, by capturing the middle and by working with other moderate, middle-of-the-road but reformist parties representing the vast majority of the Venezuelan electorate, AD may be viev:ed as a factor for national integration and for the inclusion of a wider number of people and forces into the mainstream of Venezuelan politics. To better understand how AD has served as an integrating factor and how it has secured the loyalty of diverse groups, vje subsequently review how the organizational apparatus of Accion Deraocr^tica is structured in order to attract the largest number of Venezuelans and how the AD-dominated administrations of Betancourt and Leoni have sought to fulfill the needs and demands of a broader spectrum of Venezuelans.

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CHAPTER V THE PARTY ORGANIZATION Acci6n Democraiiica pronouncements consistently stress that AD is a "democratic, wulticlass, popular, and revolutionary party. The Party has consistently v^orked to incorporate these characteristics in its organizational structure. Prom its inception, AD has itiade detailed provisions for the democratic selection of its leaders by the membership. It has likev;ise opened the Party to all Venezuelans regardless of class. Further, once a Venezuelan has shown interest in beloiging to the Party, he becomes the center of attention of the local Party leadership. He participates in a series of meetings in v;hich he beconos acquainted not only with the Party theory but also ho . this theory has been translated into programs to solve particular Venezuelan problems. The Party structure is depicted to him as one v;hich dates back several decades and v;hich has evolved and been modified in order to better serve its functions as a channel between the people and the governiiient . "'"'Iccion Dewocrfitica, Acci6n Democrlit ica ; Doctrina y Programa . p. 5?. 2 Accion Democratica, La_Cartilla d el Mi litante (Secretaria Nacional de PropagandaT~lT5T)~. 213

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21i| When Acci6n Denocr^tica emerged as the Partido Democratico Nacional (FDK), it was forced to operate underground. The restrict 5.ons imposed by the government of Lopez Contreras and the clandestine nature of the Party made it imperative that the Party begin its existence in the form of very small political cells. These cells were made up of five members who gathered together to discuss Venoziuelan problems and to seek v/ays in which the incipient Party could bring about their solution. Frequently these cell meetings took place in an old car of one of the participants, a stratagem that proved very useful in eluding police vigilance.^ Political cells rapidly spread throughout Caracas; students and vjorkers vere. largely responsible for their formation end organization in the state capitals. Tlie National Executive Committee (Comit6 Ejecutivo Nacional, CEN) which served as the directive organ in Caracas soon was aided by Regional Executive Committees (Comites Ejecutivos Regionales, CEP.) which served similar functions at the regional level. Both the CEN and the CER, at their respective levels, oversaw the work of the individual cells, where the doctrine and the character of the Party emerged as the product of regular discussion and study meetings. In defiance of the governmental persecution and the banning of political activities, national conventions took 3 Rodriguez, Ba^onetas_£obre_Venezuela, pp. 15-20; Betancourt, Venezuela; P"ontica y Pet75 le"or~pp'. 90-97

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215 place in secrecy. These conventions provided a forum for further discussion c f the party organization and ideology. This exchange of viov/s proved a great asset to the democratization of the PDN proceedings. Thus, in spite of its cell organization and the vertical structure imposed by the demands of clandestine existence, the PDN maintained its democratic nature by providing constant consultation within the political cells through the weekly meetings and betvreen these cells and the directive organs through the national conventions. The CEN and the CER functioned through separate and specialized secretariats--a general secretariat, a secretariat for organizational matters, a secretariat for press and propaganda, and other secretariats for financial and labor matters. A disciplinary tribunal was in charge of maintaining the Party discipline and of weeding out those members v.-ho might endanger or weaken the Party structure. A political bureau had the power of decision in regard to the political life of the Party in the interira period between conventions. Tlie CER secretariats were often less numerous and often combined tv;o or three functions in one body. With the legalization of the Party in September of 19kl under the name of Accion Democr^.tica, the restraints imposed by clandestine life were ended. AD grew rapidly around the snail PDN cells and used as its rallying cry the slogan, "Not a single district, not a single municipio

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216 (township) without its party headquarters."^ A wider and a more deliberative system thus became possible. The CEN secretariats v;ere enlarged--Press and Propaganda v;ere split in tv;o; Youth and Women Secretariats were added; and the Labor Secretariat was nov; placed in charge of agrarian matters as v;ell as of labor of affairs. National presidencies and vice-prosidencios of the Party were instituted. The CERs were now called the Sectional Executive Committee (Comit^s Ejecutivos Seccionalos, CES, usually corresponding to a state -wide organization). The Disciplinary Tribunal added more members, and the cells were replaced by Juntas (which could encompass ne ighborho odbarr i o -group s or those of a vrhole communitylocale 3 ) . A system of assemblies was introduced at the various levels--local , state, end national~-and in which matters affecting each level of the Party v;ere discussed. This expanded organizational system permitted the establishment of Party headquarters in practically all state capitals and in the majority of the cities and towns. Party members aided their leaders in recruiting new members in their particular professions and places of v;ork. These efforts led to the formation of Party branches or fraccio nea in various professions. The organization of the workers into unions sympathetic to AD, for example, was eminently successful and this event spelled the decline of Communist ^Betancourt, Voji ezuela; P olitica y Petr61eo , p. 135.

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217 influence among the emerging Venezuelan proletariat . The organization of campesinos into leagues, hov;ever, in the early 19lj.0's was not nearly as intensive or as successful.^ The 1914-5 coup that toppled General Medina Angarita and placed Roraulo Botancourt, AD's lider supr emo, at the head of the governing Junta, gave tho Party an unprecedented opportunity to put in practice some of its programs at the same time that it tremendously increased the demands made upon tho Party organization. These demands were particularly acute in three main areas. First of all, the Party had to handle the enorMous growth in its ranks; an estimate put the Party membership in 19i{-3' at no mors than 20,000 and the control of only three seats in President Medina's Congress.*^ The following year, in elections for a constituent assembly to write Venezuela's most liberal constitution, AD polled a million votes out of 1,300,000. At the end of the AD trienio in 19i|8, the Party was said to have at least 700,000 o members, and this appears to be a conservative estimate. This phenomenal growth stemmed not only from the new Alexander, Organ ized Labor in Latin America, pp. Il|.2-152. ~ 6 Powell, Prelimina ry Report o n the Federacion Ca mpesina de Venezuela; I t_s Orig ins , Qrg ani z a t i on , Leadership and~Ro le~in the A^ ^rarlan Reform Program, pp . T^. The labor and peasant sectors are considered in greater detail in subsequent chapters. 7 Marsland and Marsland, Venezuela Through its . Histor y, p. 2S[\.. a Ibid . , pp. 257-258; Moron, A History of Venezuela, p. 218.

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218 democratic climate that had been ushered in by the Betancourt Junta (a rash of political parties had emerged and all 9 claimed substantial memberships; ) » but also from various elements who wanted to join the Party if for no other reason than to share in the spoils of office. These opportunist elements were well aware of the advantages v;hich had traditionally accrued to those identified with the governmental party. Whatever the motive, the new members, v;hile greatly increasing the potential electoral power of AD, at the same time strained the Party facilities and overtaxed the Party leadership. This problem was especially evident in those states where the Party had been small and weakly organized prior to 19i|-5. On the positive side, the new members made possible a great increase in the number of fracciones among various professionals and technicians. In this they were helped by the national organizational secretariat. A second major problem stemmed from the fact that many Party leaders were now burdened with the responsibilities of governing the country. These Party veterans-Betancourt , Leoni, and others --were now filling the most important governmental posts. Their attention was naturally centered on fulfilling their governmental tasks rather than on Party matters. This meant that the top Party leadership at the national and at the state level had to be filled by a secondary 9 Alexander, The Venezu elan Democratic Revolution, pp. 32-34.

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219 and less experienced group of leaders. Thirdly, the assumption of power by Accion Democratic in 1914-5 had come about through a series of circumstances and accidents rather than a step-by-step campaign culminating in the capture of the national executive. Many problems that now faced the adecos in their governing tasks had indeed been discussed in the Party meetings and had also been analyzed in the Party programs. But it was one thing to discuss and to analyze solutions to national problems and quite another to put them into practice. Further, while the Party program had indeed concerned itself with the major problems of Venezuela, it had not--and perhaps it could not have--envisased their solution in detail, much less the detailed implementation of remedial legislation. Thus, between 19I4.5 and 19ii-8, the adeco leaders in government, though guided by the broad lines of Party doctrine, had to make their own decisions and improvise in method, in timing, and even in substance of governmental programs. . In order to lessen some of these problems, study groups and special committees were rapidly formed within AD. Technical and parliamentary comraissions appeared and were given the task of assembling data and of helping the adeco government. Orientation sessions were held with adeco congressmen and members of local and state councils. The goal of all these activities was to reinterpret the Party doctrine in the light of the daily problems facing the men now entrusted with the country's government. The problems

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Tl 220 and discrepancies that might arise between the Party and the government viere handled by a newly created Secretariat of Relations. A basic organizational problem--the overtaxing of the Party leadership by, the treraenlously increased rierabership--defied solution, however. Botvjeen 191+1 and 19i;5 the preparation of the leadership cadres had been undertaken with a great deal of care. There v;as a great deal of sentiment in the Party that the leaders, freely elected by the membership, should be educated and trained so that they might prove themselves worthy of the trust of those who had selected them. The 1914-5-1914.8 trienio, however, made this gradual and painstaking training and educational period an impossibility. The large influx of nev; members demanded the hurried selection and preparation of Party leaders. Political indoctrination could no longer be conducted in small groups and even the larger groups of members were assisted by hastily prepared leaders. There was less chance to hear the members' opinions, or to debate the Party doctrine, or to explain the government's decisions. The growing gap between the vast membership and the overtaxed leadership in the government and in the Party were contributing factors in the overthi^ow In 19l}.8 of adeco President Romulo Gallegos after only a few months in office. -"-^ Betancourt, Ve nezuela; Polltica y Petrcleo, pp. l|.5l-l;75. '

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221 The 19li8 coup and the banning of Acci<5n Democratica meant a return to many of the organizational tactics of the PDN period. " The free debate of issues with a view of transmitting Kembers opinions to the national leadership could no longer be permitted. Instead, once Party programs had been adopted at the national level, they v;ere transmitted to the local Party units for discussion and suggestions. Party decisions, however, remained in force until the national leadership decided otherwise. In order to maintain a measure of freedom within the Party, local Party leaders were consulted as often as possible before the national leadership arrived at a decision. The CSN assumed the supreme command of the Party, V'hilo the CDN was suppressed and the Conventions were suspended. The Political Bureau of the CEN was strengthened and in its hands now rested the fundamental political decisions of the Party. A special Secretariat of Internal Security was created in order to protect the Party against infiltration by government agents end to watch over the membership. The Secretariat of Relations took over control of the fracciones. A functioning system of communication between the various underground Party xxnits was established and worked reasonably well throughout the country. 4.-. .^'t?^'^^ first decrees of the military Junta outlawed the Party dissolved it, closed its meeting places, and suspended the distribution of its publications." The full decree text appears in Documentos Oficiale s Relatives Oficina ilucional de Inf ormaciones y FablT^a^HeT, 19li9). pp. I-I5. '-I-'/*

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222 During the 19i|8-1958 period there v;a.s a return to the grupos de base, the political cells, as the fundamental unit of the Party. This unit, in turn, was reduced to a skeleton organization of devoted activists. Due to the imperatives of clandestine life and Party security, the grupos de base and the fracciones became practically the same in the labor, the peasant, the professional, and the student sectors. Special grupos de base v/ere established among the imprisoned adecos. President Gallegos v/as exiled to Cuba. Betancourt escaped the army's dragnet and fled to Kaxico. Leoni, at first imprisoned, later was allovjed to leave for the United States. Betancourt and Leoni, aided by a large number of exiles in various countries, worked to maintain, contact among AD members and for their eventual return to Venezuela. Among the exiles, discussion groups were formed under the leadership of a Comite Coordinador Exterior (CCE). Special regulations \iere in force in the CCE grupos. The activities of the exiles and the support the AD underground received from other democratically-inclined organizations in the Hem.isphere underscored the ideological bond that united Accion Democr§.tica to many other political parties. There was an iiicreasing demand that this ideological bond be made more formal and that an entente of popular democratic forces be created. "^-^ 12 Serxncr, Accion D 6mocrat^j.ca__ of Venezuel a, p. 26; Dr. Raul Leoni (Caracas: Bohemia' LTbre Internacional , I96I1.), p. 7. . 13 Kantor, "La Colaboraci6n entre los Partidos," pp. 67-76.

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223 At hone, however, the close working relations between a few adecos and merabers of other political parties in the resistance to the Perez Jimenez dictatorship came about with a heavy price. "'"^ Some of the younger and never members of AD had had little chance to become thoroughly familiar with the democratic and multiclass nature of their Party's ideology and structure. The strains of clandestine life made these adecos easy prey to the ideas that only violent, revolutionary change could possibly help the situation of the Venezuelan people and that only certain groups (i.e., the proletariat) v;ero capable of leading this revolutionary change. Further, many of the more experienced adecos were exiled or in prison and thus could not maintain close contact with large sectors of the Party. Two secretariesgeneral of tho underground AD, Leonardo Ruiz Pineda and Antonio Pinto Salinas vjere killed by the secret police. A third top AD official, Alberto Carnevali, died in a • • prison hospital for lack of adequate medical care. The list of AD veterans v/ho suffered a similar fate became ever longer. ^'^ The ultimate result was a growing alienation between certain sectors of the Party--especially its student and youth sectors--and the veterans, tho "vieja guardia" of AD. This ^It should be noted that tho AD leadership at home and abroad maintained its opposition to a formation of a "united front" with the Comiipanists . See, for example, Betancourt, Venezuelr; Politica y Petrol eo, p. 81|9 . 1^5 -'Alexander, The Vene zuelan Democratic Revolution, p. 1^8. —

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22k "generational conflict" caused organizational difficulties during the decade of dictatorship and was to thj'eaten the very core of the Party in subsequent years. Such a conflict was a key factor in Domingo Alberto Kangel ' s split from the AD and the formation of the leftist MIR.-^^ With the overthrow of the dictatorship in. 1958, the Party again was allowed legality and it soon assumed its activities in the open. It v/as necessary, however, to retain some of the organizational modifications that had been instituted during the dictatorship and the underground struggle. The exile leaders were reincorporated in the Party as were those freed from the prisons. The Women's Secretariat, which had disappeared between 19l|8 and 1958, resumed its functions. A general secretariat was created and included leaders who were called upon to cooperate with the Party leadership at the national level. Various commissions were formed under the national secretariats. This provisional organization, approved by an assembly of leaders in May, 1958, was in force until the meeting of the Ninth National Convention of Acci6n Democr^bica and until the Convention decided upon a more definitive form of organization. ^7 The present organisation of Accion Democratica is a slightly modified version of the system approved in 1958. "'•^ ^^Boesner, "El Proceso Electoral Venezolano," pp. 86-91. ZX-^£aml!"p1?"5????'"''' = ^' Moi6n,Demo^^^ Accion Democr&tica, Estabutos (Caracas: Departamonto

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22$ f The "sovereignty" of the Party is said to reside in the Party's membership, grouped in its basic organizations and exercised tlrirough its assemblies and conventions. The "supreme authority" of the Party is the National Convention and as such it is the only organ that, can modify the Party doctrine ( teses ) , programs, statutes, and principles. Membership In order to be an AD member, one must be a Venezuelan, 18 years of ago or older, enjoy a good reputation, and identify with the doctrinal and programmatic principles of the Party. The applicant must not belong to another political party and he may be accepted as a member after fulfilling the membership requirements. He must, among other requirements, fill out a membership application that is then signed by himself and by two members of the Party. Final action on the application is the responsibility of the appropriate CES, though the CES can and usually delegates this task to a lower executive level. Any rejections, vrhich occur infrequently, must be explained to the applicant in v/riting. Those accepted are given a credencial , a temporary document that identifies them as Party members. Within a year this credencial is exchanged Nacional de Prensa y Propaganda, 1965). This is the principal basi3 for the fcllov/ing survey. 19 » r Accion Democratica, S ol i c i_tixd do Inscripcicn (Caracas Secretaria Nacional de OrganizacTonT"n."d. )~

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226 20 for a permanent carnet or card issued by the CEN . Once accepted as a member, the new adeco is expected to actively participate in his grupo de base and also in whatever branches or fracciones that might apply in his case. He is expected to regularly attend Party functions, to learn the Party doctrine, and to respect the Party discipline. He has the right to criticize Party resolutions within the Party structure; criticisms made outside the Party may be considered grave offenses against the Party and be punished accordingly. While the Party resolutions are in force the member is expected to respect them until they are repealed or modified. He has the right to be elected to or to elect any Party member to any Party post. The member is expected to pay dues on a monthly basis. No sot amount is fixed, but ideally his contribution is based on his income. Dues need not be paid while the member is unemployed, but in other cases, a special plea for nonpayment must be made before the Party authorities. Besides these dues, the Party finances depend on contributions from Party members who hold administrative Jobs or elective posts; special contributions from Party sympathizers; social activities such as dances, entertainment, etc., that are held by or at Party headquarters throughout the country; and, indirectly, government contributions.^"'20 Accion Democr&tica, Solicit ud de Carne t (Caracas: Secretaria Nacioup.l de Organizacfron, nTdTT^ 21 Direct subsidies are not usually mentioned by either government officials or Party leaders but the government places a number of its advertisements and communiques

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227 All Party moneys are administered, depending on each case, by the president of the Party, by the general state secretaries, by the secretaries of organization or district secretaries, through the respective Finance Departments. Tne Party member is encouraged to be a Party propagandist and recruiter at all times and it is through his individual efforts that fracciones are often formed. He is likewise urged to discuss freely all matters in the Party meetings. But while "internal democracy" is a recurrent theme in the partisan literature specially 22 designed for the nev/ member, there is an equal stress that Party discipline is indispensable if internal democracy is to prevail and if the Party is not to be vitiated by factional disputes and personalism. Although the Party literature and files do not provide detailed information on the social, educational, or economic background of its members, an idea of the geographical distribution of the Party membership can be obtained from Party censuses, such as that of 1962 shown in Table ?• Internal Organization The internal organization of Accion Democritica in the Party periodicals; a number of these periodicals are prominently displayed for sale at government buildings; and the national printing presses are often used to publish Party literature. 22 See Accion Democrdtica, La Cartilla del Militante.

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228 TABLE 7 AD MEMBERSHIP, 1962 CENSUS a Sectional (State) Membership Anzoategui l4.8,600 Apure 12»3^l4 Aragua 2'L\.,00]j. Barinas 10, ^'(o Bolivar 33', 7 35 Carabobo L|.l,330 Cojedes 1)4., 14-62 Cumana 50,303 Carupano lj.3,i|-9i| Libertador (Fed. Dist.) 2ii.,999 Vargas (Fed. Dist.) 8,6?9 Falcon $k,^-'0 Gudrico ^^8,682 Lara 8l,92i[ M^rida 29,320 Miranda 36,911 Monagas 56,1] 71 Nueva Esparta l8,i4.73 Portuguesa 3S>2C)7 T^chira 33,214-9 Trujillo 14.6,328 Yaracuy 21,979 Zulie 116,561 Amacuro (Terr.) 7,825 Amazonas (Terr.) 1,396 Total 903,282 0 Source: Corait^ Ejecutivo Nacional, "Accion Democrdtica, " La Rep\S blic a (July 25, 1962), p. 1; the same figures appeared D.n J^_Ns_cio'^l?i (July 25, 1962), p.A-1. Note that conversations with non-adccos in 196I|. indicated to the author that AD's official census might have understated the true strength of the Party. has as its major organs at the national level the National Convention, the National Directive Comraittee (CDN), the National Political Committee (CPN). and the National Executive Coronlttee (CEN). At the state level the Party

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229 is subdivided into seccionales which correspond in general (though not alviays) to the political-territorial divisions of Venezuela; that is, to the various states. For geographical or other reasons, hov;ever, the CDH may combine or further subdivide the state unit. The supreme authority of the Party in each seccional is the Regional Convention, which is expected to keep all its decisions v/ithin the frame\>'ork adopted by the National Convention. The directive organs of the seccionales are the Comitd Directive Seccional (CDS) and the Comit^ Ejocutivo Seccional (CES). Further, in each seccional there are found whatever executive, district, municipal, and local committees that may be determined by the Party statutes. The membership of the Party is organized at the lowest level in grupos de base (basic groups) and in assemblies under the leadership of a local committee. The structure of the grupos, as well as their coordination, may be adjusted to the particular circumstances and demands of their location. The National Convent ion As the supreme authority of the Party, the National Convention is empov/ered to make decisions that are not subject to appeal. All other organs and Party members — at the national, rtate, and local levels--t.re bound by the Convention's decisions. Only a subsequent national convention can override or reverse a previous convention's resolution. Similarly, the basic Party program and the statutes can be

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. 230 modified or adapted only by the National Convention. The National Convention ordinarily meets every year on the date and place chosen by the CEN. It may also meet extrf.o,rdinarily whenever convened by the CEN, by the National Political Committee, or by a special resolution of the National Convention itself. Convention delegates usually nuraber some 700. They are the members of the CDN, ordinarily 120; the 10 TDN (Tribunal Disciplinario Nacional, the supreme disciplinary organ of the Party) members (5 principales and 5 suplentes ) ; about 60 delegates who are also the secretary-generals, the labor secretaries, and the agrarian secretaries of the CES (Comit^s Ejecutivos Seccionalos ) . The members of the national secretariats or bureaus of youth, education, and professionals also attend, as do al.l AD parliamentarians as well as those adecos that exercise important national functions. The CEN may also invite other Party leaders besides those already mentioned, so long as their number is not superior to 10;^ of the regular Convention delegates. The bulk of the delegates, however, come from the 25 Sectional Conventions that precede each National Convention. The Sectional delegates are chosen by their respective conventions in the ratio of one for every 3,000 duly inscribed members and one more for each fraction of 1,500 or more. In those sections where the membership is inferior to 3,000, one delegate will be elected. Voting during the National Convention is on an individual basis and state delegations are not compelled to

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231 cast a bloc vote, though that usually occurs. Procedural rules are approved in a preparatory session before the official opening of the Convention. At this preliminary stage, a 12-man group is selected to conduct the actual Convention m.eeting. Besides being in charge of the basic Party program and t}ie Party statutes, the National Convention has in the past designated the candidate that the Party will present as the presidential candidate for Venezuela. Late in 196? a system of primary elections for the selection of presidential candidates was set up, with the various state conventions indicating their preferences and these preferences being later put before the 1968 National Convention. At the time this primary system was adopted, the contention was that it would further help toward the democratization of the Party structure, with a greater chance for the individual members at the local levels to express their choice. In theory, the system would also make it more difficult for a single personality to dominate the National Convention and eventually to obtain the presidential nomination simply on ~ the basis of charisma or personalism.^^ 23 . -^SmcG no National Convention or presidential elections have been hold since the adoption of the primary system, it is_ impossible to gauge what lasting effects and what implications the system will have upon the Party structure or even upon the AD nominee for the presidency. It is already clear, however, that the new system has provoked some tensions withm the Party; and some adecos have defected and formed their newly named Movimiento Electoral Popular, for commentaries on the new primary system, see "Venezuela, 1?67? Q''"2^^V^i ?' Domingo], VI (October 16 1967), 9, Doctor Prieto Pigueroa," El Nacional (December 17

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232 The National Coiivontion' s prerogative to determine the program of national governmental action that members of the Party will be expected to fulfill in their function as members of the government continued unchanged. It still decides vjhat legislative actions the adeco parliamentarians will take. It nominates the members of the CEN, of the CPN, and of the TDll. It can approve or disapprove the actions of the Party organs, of the Party members, and of adecos serving as government officers at the various levels. The National Directive Committee, CPN The Comity Directive Nacional, CDN, is the supreme authority of the Party in the interim period between meetings of the National Convention. In this interim, it is up to the CDN to fix or to modify the strategic lines of the Party; to designate the members of the Commission of Control and Vigilance; to fill the vacancies that may occur in the Comity Politico and in the Tribunal Disciplinario Nacional; to oversee the implementation of the resolutions of the National Convention; to dismiss from their posts those members of the directive organs that have failed to fulfill their obligations; to hear appeals from the decisions of the Tribunal Disciplinario Nacional; and to exercise ^.hatever other duties the Party statutes may assign to it. 1967), p. D-1;; Cesar Garcia Lovera. "Ma^ Pnvnr.nV,Tr. io -d Venezuela," pp. 270-27l|, 308. ' ^ -> rrogrcss in

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233 Some 120 individuals form the msmbership of the CDF. Among them are the members of the Comite Ejecutivo Nacional. of the Comite Politico Nacional, the president of the TDN, the presidents of the labor and agrarian committees, the general secretaries and organization secretaries of the CES's, and one delegate each for each sectional, chosen by the respective sectional convention. Certain other individuals may also attend-"the members of the national youth, education, and professional bureaus or secretariats, the national directors of departments, and ten members specially invited by the CEN. Ordinarily the CDN meets twice a year, although it may meet extraordinarily at any time by resolution of the CPN or the CEN, or v;hen such a meeting is requested by a majority of the sectionals. The CDN meetings provide an opportunity for the hearing of special reports and of the president's "state of the Party" message. The Secretary General reports on electoral matters. The president of the country, if an adeco, also sometimes attends and may present his own report on the state of the country and on the general political situation. ^For example. President Betancourt addressed the XII National Convention of Accion Deraccratica on January I3, 1962. It is noteworthy that two national conventions were being held at the sane time--that of the "official" Accion Democrdtifa (led by Leoni, Paz Galarraga, and other AD veterans) and that of the so-called AR3 faction (Ted by former AD member Raiil GimSnez). The fact that President Betancourt chose to address the former convention rather than the latter was further proof that he— both as president of the country and as indisputable supreme leader of AD— had cnosen to throw his support to the party faction controlled 1962)°''?; %l\ fl^"' 222Hientcs (January-March,

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23[|. National Political ConiiT. ittee The Comite Politico Nacional, CPN, is composed of members of the CEN, of the former Party presidents and former Party general secretaries, of 15 political secretaries chrsen by the National Conv intion, and of the General Secretary of the CES that functions in Caracas. It meets at least once a month--often on a vreekly basis-~and it represents the Party authority betv;een the semiannual meetings of the CEN. This makes it, in practice, the most powerful decision-making Party organ. The CPN is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the programmatic principles and the strategic and tactical lines decided upon at the National Convention or, subsequently, at the CEN meetings. It is empov;ered to formulate the Party's position in relation to national and international events. Within the norms established by the National Convention or the CEN, the Comite Politico Nacional can make decisions about the Party's participation in coalitions or other forms of governmental or political organization. It is in charge of overseeing the internal unity of the Party and it can temporarily exclude those Party officials v/hose mistakes endanger the Party or who fail to fulfill their Party obligations. These Party officials are then submitted to the National Disciplinary Tribunal. Finally, the decisions of the CEN may be revised, modified, or revoked by the vote of two-thirds of the members of the CPN.

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235 National Executive Committee The Coriite ;:jecutivo Nacional (CEN), the supreme executive organ of the Party, is made up of a president, two vice-presidents, and the members of the Secretariado N acional (national secretariat), all exercising their functions for one year and assisted by a full-time office staff. The CEN convokes the National Convention, the Comite Directivo Nacional, and the Comity Politico Nacional of the Party. It implements and oversees the Implementation of the Party resolutions by the various Party organs. It maintains constant communication with all the lower organs of the Party and regularly submits to them informative material and guidelines. In turn, it receives communications dealing with matters that primarily concern the grupos de base as \iell as the intermediary organs of the Party. All activities of the CEN are regularly reported to the Convention and to the CDN. Among these CEN activities are the supervision of all organs of the Party, the nomination of the directors of the national departments and of the advisors for the Party's peripheral organs, and the temporary replacements for the CEN's ovm members who may have resigned or died. The CEN is further empoweredto decide which matters it considers of such importance that they transcend the responsibilities of the CDN. These matters are then submitted for a referendum by the

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236 seccionales. Finally, the CEN is the responsible organ for the maintenance and leadership of Party relations with the government and governmental officers. The internal functioning of the CEN ai.d the powers of each of its members are determined by the Party statutes. The Party president officially represents the Party and has the power to delegate such a representative role to one or more of the CEN members. He interprets and seeks the implementation of the ganeral policy of the Party in conformity with the recommendations of the National Convention and the CDN. He orders the implementation of the decisions of the Comite Directive Nacional, of the Comite Politico Nacional, and of the Comite Ejecutivo Nacional. He signs the Party correspondence and documents. He authorizes the extraordinary pronouncements of the Party at the recommendation of the CEN. He supervises the activities of the CEN and oversees the maintenance of Party discipline. The Party president is aided by two vice-presidents who, in the order of their election, can replace him whenever necessary. The Secretariado Nacional is an administrative rather than policy-making organ. It is essentially the bureaucratic core of the Party and it is composed of a secretary general, a subsecretary general, and a mimber of administrative secretaries. In order to oversee the continuous tasks of party organif^ation and routine activities, the Secretariado meets every 15 days. Thus, while the other members of the CM are essentially policy-makers, those

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237 that belong to the Secretariado are essentially Partybureaucrats. An exception, however, appears to be the functions of the secretary general himself. Though his primary task is to oversee the Secretariado Nacional, in practice ho may be in many ways second only to the Party president and he may, in fact, have as much or more prestige than the president himself. Occasionally this post has been the most powerful within the Party, as v;hen it was held by Romulo Betancourt. The secretary general is responsible for the overall coordination of the CEN and for the operation and coordination of the Party branches or fracciones. At the same time he must work with the Party president in the maintenance of internal discipline. He periodically transmits to the CES's the political linos laid down by the CEN. Significantly, too, the secretary general is in charge of overseeing the Party relations with other political, economic and social organizations outside the Party structure. The Secretary of Organization is also an important figure within the Secretariado Nacional. He is responsible for the registration and control of the Party membership throughout the country. He decides where new Party units should be formed and he coordinates the v;ork of the CEN with the seccionales. He keeps in touch vdth the seccionalos through circulars and special instruction letters as v/ell as receives information from the seccionales to" be

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238 transmitted to the CEN. Pour secretariados have a functional character; they are the labor, agrarian, youth, and education sectors. The labor and agrarian committees or secretariados meet every \$ days and they may also convene as a united body that attempts to coordinate labor and agrarian policy. The combined meeting Uijually takes place once a month. The youth secretary and his aides concern themselves with matters of particular interests to the youth sector of the Party. The education secretary not only concerns himself with matters of political education, establisliment of party libraries and social centers, issuance of pamphlets and books, but he also coordinates the work of the educators who are members of the Party. Technically, these four secretaries are chosen by the National Convention. In practice, however, the National Convention simply ratifies the choices of each Party ' sector's conventions ( plonos ) . Thus, the Party agrarian convention, the pleno agrar io nscional , chooses the members that make up the agrarian secretariat, jtist as the labor sector chooses the members of the labor secretariat, and so on. The Secretary of Relations is in charge of overseeing internal matters of the Party such as the coordination of various branches, the relations between national and local -^Octavio Lepage, "La Secretarla Nacional de Organizacion, " A.D. (July 5, 1958), p. 7.

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239 units, etc. He is also in charge of developing and promoting the activities of the peripheral Party organizations, especially the professional fracciones. He is responsible for relations between the Party and the government at all levels and he serves as the main intermediary between these two institutions. Four political secretaries participate on the labor, agrarian, and youth secretariados . They also advise and assist all Party organs in the fulfillment of their assigned functions which in practice means that they act as troubleshooters and coordinators in whatever matters the Party president and secretary general so decide. The Secretariado de Propaganda is in charge of disseminating the Party doctrine among members and nonmembers. It oversees the preparation of books and other material that deals with Party doctrine and programs. The Secretariado dc Imprenta deals with the national press, arranges for press releases, etc. The Press Secretary is the editor of the v/eekly Party periodical A.D . and he informally v;orks with the pro-AD newspaper La Repiiblica and the more scholarly monthly Polltica. For the better functioning of the CEN, this body is further subdivided into a number of departments that ere in charge of specific jobs in certain areas. These are the departments of professional organs, of social service, of 26 Document OS (April -June, 19d1), p. 718.

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214-0 international affairs, of parliamentary and municipal affairs, of study and indoctrination, of press and propaganda, of finances, of public relations, of women's affairs, of community development, of economic and technical matters. Each of these departments is advised by a number of experts whose number and organization is determined by the Comite Politico. Each department is headed by a director designated by the CEN and the CPJN also decides when coordination and discussion meetings should take pl..ce among the various secretariados and the national and sectional department directors . Sectio nal (State) O r ganizations The sectional (usually meaning state) organizations are comparable to those found at the national level. Thus, in each sectional, the direction and control of the Party and the application of the program and tactical lines decided at the national level ere entrusted to the sectional conventions, to the sectional directive committees, and to the sectional, district, and municipal er.ecutive committees. The seg.^. jo a 1 c o n ve n t j^p n_s meet annually except when the CEIJ, the 01)3, or the CES call for an extraordinary meeting. A majority of the district committees can also obtain an extraordinary convocation of the sectional convention. The convention delegates comprise tv;o representatives of the CEIT; the members of the sectional directive committee; the members of the agrarian, labor, youth, and education committees; members of the disciplinary tribunal

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2kl and of the commisaion of control and vigilance (in both cases, the principales , not the suplentes of each organization); the directors of sectional departments; and special guests invited by the CES with the right to vote in number no larger than 10% of the effective delegates. Beyond these and forming the bulk of the sectional convention participants are delegates chosen by the district committees. Each district committee has the right to a delegation of l^. members for each 1,000 inscribed members or fraction of more than 500 members. These delegates are elected by the respective district conventions. The Sectional Convention elects a sectional executive committee, a sectional disciplinary tribunal, a delegate to the CDN and the delegates to the National Convention. It fixes the political line to be follovjed in relation to regional events — always within the framevrork established at the national level by the national convention and other superior organs of the Party. It discusses political, organizational, economic, and social problems that concern the particular sectional. It hears and criticizes reports of sectional leaders. It debates resolutions taken at the national level and holds ref erendumson those questions placed before it by the CEW. The Sectional Directive Committee (CDS) meets twice a year and has similar powers to those of its national counterpart, the CDN. Vmile it is not in session, the directive organ with sectional jurisdiction is the sectional

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.2^2 executive coinraittee (CES). It is made up of a general secretary, a secretary of organization, and agrarian, labor, youth, education, and political secretaries as designated by the sectional conventions. The members of the CES have, in their respective sectionals, the same responsibilities and powers as those of the members of the CEN, but on a regional or state scope. Further, the CES has a similar system of departments and committees as envisaged for the CEl'I, but in number no larger than those of the CEN and varying according to the needs of the particular state. Beyond this, the CES is in charge of maintaining permanent communication between the superior and inferior organs of the Party, of regularly submitting informative and doctrinal material to the membership, and of canvassing the grupos de base on issues of locrl, state, and national interest. It must regularly inform the CEN on the economic, political, and social problems of its region or state. The supreme authority of the Party at the district level is the District Convention v/hich regularly meets once a year. The District Convention comprises delegations from each municipal committee on the basis of four delegates for each ^00 members or fraction superior to 2$0; two representatives of the CES; the CED; the two delegates of the District Committee to the Sectional Directive Committee, and the Directors of the District Departments. Its powers and duties are the same as those of the sectional conventions, but on a corresponding district level.

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2143 The continuing direction of the Party on 8 district scale corresponds to the District Executive Committee which is nominated by the respective district convention for a year. It has the same attributions ao the CES on a district scale and it is made up of an organizational secretary, and labor, agrarian, youth, and education secretaries. District Departments may be established by the CED according to the CED's particular needs. On a municipal level, the directive organ is the Comite Ejecutivo Municipal (Municipal Executive Committee) with a membership chosen by the grupos de base of the particular municipal unit. Ba lloting and Elections The decisions of the various conventions, directive organs, and party assemblies are decided by an absolute majority of the votes of the members present. The primary elections of the Party are those in v;hich the membership chooses the members of the municipal committees and the delegates that make up the district conventions. The primary elections are regulated by rules set up by the National Convention and which guarantee the right to vote to all members . Balloting is done on an individual basis. An absolute majority is required unless three ballots have been takerx and no candidate has such a majority. Then the candidate with the most votes wins. The balloting for the election to directive posts and for posts of popular representation is secret, except

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2kk in those cases when two-thirds of the delegates of a particular convention decide to have a public vote. The choice of candidate to the presidency of Venezuela, however, is always done through secret balloting. The teraporary vacancies of the members of the various directive organs of the Party are filled by the same organs in which they occur. The vacancies occasioned by death are filled by the organs immediately superior until the respective convention proceeds to fill the vacancies. In order to occupy a post of leadership in the Party, leadership experience is required — an experience that is acquired in the political organs of a lower level. Six years of membership are necessary to be elected to a national organ; four years to a sectional organ, three years to a district post, and one year to the directive organs of local and intermediary level, such as municipal. The same respective experience requirements apply v;hen one considers candidates for delegates to the conventions and to posts of popular representation, except that in special cases, due to Party needs, these requirements may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the respective convention delegates. Elective and Public Posts No member of the Party may present himself as a candidate to an elective office (urually referred to in the Party literature as a "popular representation" post) nor accept a public post of political character or of administrative responsibility without the previous express

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authorization of the respective directive Party organ. Without such authorization the Party member may be expelled. The choice of candidates for Congress, for legislative assemblies and for municipal councils are regulated by the Party and implemented by the respective organs involved at the various levels of the Party. Further, the programs and platforms of these candidates must receive the previous approval of the particular convention. The National Political Committee may, at any moment, decide which AD members should resign their posts either temporarily or permanently and the CES has a comparable power in respect to state and municipal posts. Party members who are candidates for posts of popular representation or who will occupy bureaucratic posts in vjhich public moneys are administered, are required to make a sworn and notarized declaration of their possessions. A copy of this declaration is sent to the Party direction at the national level. Further, members of the Party vho fill political or administrative posts are required to send to the national Party headquarters an undated resignation letter The conventions and the executive committees may, on their own initiative or when solicited by other Party members, make the resignation effective whenever the member involved infringes progranmiatic or statutory dispositions. Party Discipline and Control The failure to carry out duties assigned by the Party and the disloyal or dishonest practices of public or private functions are considered to bo contrary to Party

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246 discipline and morality. The abandonment of lerdership posts without justified reasons and irregularities committed in the exercise of public or elective posts are also considered indiscipline on the part of the member involved. The misappropriation of Party goods and property is considered both an act of dishonesty and of Party disloyalty. In order to oversee the Pai'ty morals and discipline there are commissions of control and vigilance on a national sectional, and district level. These commissions are made up of five principal members ( principales ) and five substitutes (suplentes) in the national level, and three principales and three suplentes in the sectional and district levels. These commissioners are designated by the national, sectional, and district directive committees, in their respective levels. Their task is to investigate Party members in order to see that statutory dispositions are fulfilled as well as that the lines laid dcx^n at the national level are carried out. To judge cases of Party indiscipline or moral faults there are tribunals at the national, at the sectional, and at the district levels. The Tribunal Disciplinario Nacional (TDN) stands at the head of the Party judicial organs and it is the final arbiter, except in those cases which can be appealed to the National Convention. All Party membors may be brought before the TDN on charges of disloyalty or violation of Party discipline. There are various degrees of sanctions, running all the way from

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general admonition to final and definitive expulsion from the Party. The TDN is made up of five principales and five suplentes; the tribunals at the sectional and district levels have three of each. The members of the disciplinary tribunals are chosen by their respective conventions and exercise their functions for one year. Relations Betv/een the Party and the Governmen t The Party has established various coordinating commissions in order to provide for good working relations between the Party and the government as vrell as for harmony between Party and public functions. The National Coordinating Commission includes some members of the CEN and the various ministers and directors of government institutes who are also Party members. The Sectoral Coordinating Commission is made up of members of the Comite Politico Nacional and the members of the various departments as well as high functionaries of ministries and institutes who are Party members. The Sectoral Coordinating Commission studies problems that are of particular relevance to the various Party sectors, etc. Sectional, District, and Municipal Coordinating Commissions have similar composition and function as their national counterparts. The interrelations between the Party and the government are particularly striking at un informal level not spelled out in the Party statutes. As the Party with the largest number of deputies and senators (though not a majority) for the past decade, Accion DemocrStica leaders

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214-8 often hold the highest and most important posts in Congress. Thus, for several years, the President of the Senate and of the entire National Congress was an old time adeco. In 27 such a position, according to constitutional dispositions, he could become the acting president of the whole country in case of the chief executive's death or until new elections could be held. This same adeco leader often headed the AD parliamentarians* weekly sessions v;ith the president of the country, served as editor of AD publications, and chaired countless study coramissions for both Presidents Betancourt and Leoni. He travelled exteri;;ively throughout Venezuela both as an AD leader and as a government spokesman as well. In these travels he often met with state governors--all of them appointed by the president and many of whom were AD leaders in their own respectivu states. If he visited an agrarian reform project, he vms likely to meet with the local president of a peasant league who, more often than not, doubled as president of the local AD unit. In turn, the president of the peasant league, who might also be the elected mayor of the municipality, is always the preferred channel between the National Agrarian Institute--a government entity — and the peasants and it is through him that the peasant demands become known (and fulfilled) by the government . 27 Pan American Union, Constituti on of the R epublic of Venez uela_,_19oj^, Title VI, chap. I, art. IbT:

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2kS These types of inuerrelations between the Party, the goveimment, and the individual Venezuelan--as citizen and/or as adeco — can be illustrated ad infin itum. It thus becomes clear that AD is a well organized Party. Its organizational structure and its chains of coimnand and of linkage exist not just on paper but in reality as well. The entire organization, in fact, actually functions, for the moat part, according to the organizational plans laid out in the Party's statutes. More often than not the interrelations betx-^een the Party and the government reinforce rather than weaken the organizational structure of the Party and the bonds that unite Party leaders and Party members, Some Implications of the Party Organization The very elaborate Party organization spelled out in the Estatutos was in many vrays a careful attempt to minimize personalismo , the imposition of a charismatic leader that overshadowed the Party membership and iaeology. The element of personalismo had been behind the appeorance-and the demise"-of countless Venezuelan political parties. These parties seemed to have emerged around the figure of an influential caudillo at election time and had ceased to exist once the caudillo had obtained his major goal, 29 political power. 28 The links betv;eon the Party, the government, the party membership and those out s i do the Party structure are further detailed in subsequent 'chapters of this dissertation. 29 See £UDra, chap. Ill; Magallanes, Partidos Pollticos Venezolanos , passim.

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2^0 In AD's organizational apparatus there has been a conscious attempt to let any Venezuelan enter the Partyranks, become a full participant, and eventually have as good a chance as anyone else to ascend in the Party hierarchy or to be nominated for an elective post. It is true that the attempt to avoid personalismo and at the same time to make the Party a truly democratic organization has fallen short of the statutory ideal. What is remarkable, however, is that the attempt has been as successful as has 30 been the case. Many, for example, can easily find ways in which Betancourt imposed his personality upon the Party. What can be as easily proven, hov/ever, is the very remarkable fact --a rarity both in the Venezuelan and the Latin-American context — that Betancourt did n ot succeed in prevailing upon his Party to accept his choice of a presidential candidate in 1963. Whatever charges of personalismo have been made against the AD leadership, one must look at the situation in perspective and in the particular Venezuelan context. It would be easy, for example, to substantiate that both Betancourt and Leoni have left their indelible marks upon the Party apparatus. It is no mere coincidence that even 30 Ronald K. Shelp, "Latin American Leadership in Transition: Legitimacy vs. Personalismo," SAIS Review. X (Winter, 2 966), 27-3^1-. 31 Boesner, "El Proceso Electoral Venezolano," pp. 73-96. This is abundantly documented by practically all students of Venezuelan politics such as Alexander, Martz, Taylor, etc. See also the various issues of Documenbos for 1962-1963. ^

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2^1 now, four years since the close of the Betancourt administration, there are elements in Accion Democratica that are identifiable primarily as betancouristas rather than adecos. On the other hand, beyond Betancourt and Leoni there has existed a strong leadership cadre within Accioii Democratica. Thus, the names of adecos who could obtain the Party nomination for tho presidential elections in 1968 is by no moans narrowed to one or even a couple of individuals (both Leoni and Betancourt ar© not constitutionally eligible for reelection in I968). This contrasts sharply with the vast majority of Venezuelan political parties. Barring death or similarly catastrophj c occurrences, it is already .clear who will be the standard-bearers for COPEI, for FND, for URD--not to mention the standard-bearers for smaller parties and parties that are clearly more personalistic entities than "modern mass parties" as defined previously. Finally, the Accion Democratica organization has not only avoided the most blatant aspects of personalismo but it has also been successful so far in capturing the loyalty of a large membership basis. The organizational structure itself has been an important factor in the development of AD as a modern, democratic, and integrating force in the society. ,lts victories in various elections bear this out as does tho fact that other political parties have sought to achieve similar victory at the pol3s by copying the adeco organization. m the words of Martz, "an interesting sign of the Party's success in this area

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252 [i.e., orgouiization] has been the extent to which younger Venezuelan ;)arties have copied it. Despite variations in detail, th^' skeletal forms of the other parties are con32 sonant with the AD model." For all these reasons, Accion Democratica is not like the various ephemeral, v/eak, and personalistic parties of the country's past; its strong, prograrnmatic orientation me am that the Party vdll almost certainly remain a pov;erful force even after the personalities of Betancourt and of Leoni have passed from the scene. Further, because its organizational apparatus has served as a sort of "inatri:c" for the apparatuses of other Venezuelan political parties, the influence of Accion Democratica is likely to go beyond the existence of that Party itself, AD may thus see itself supplanted at the pells at a future date, but the type of political party apparatus it originated— an apparatus committed to the ideals of multiclass membership, of a chance for membership ascension in the Party hierarchy, of primacy of Party over personality, of intimate links and accecs between Party and government--is likely to continue to apply. Just as the AD Party apparatus has served as the 32 Martz, A^cci6n_^e3q£r^ica, p. 1)1^8. For comparisons with AD's own, see the organizational structur-es delineated in Partido Social -Cristiano Copei, Estatutos (Caracas: Partido Social-Gristiano de VenozueTaTTQ^liT and Domlnguoz Chac£n, E]^artidc^__PolItico , passim/ The latter explains and presents the URD striTcture.

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253 matrix for the structural organic; at ion of other political parties, its key policy areas of agrarian reforra, of labor, of industrial diversification and welfare improvement, and of international relations have served as matrices for other Venezuelan political parties' programmatic stands. In such a context, it will be appropriate for us to look at AD's key policy areas not only as they have reflected that Party's ideology and as they have influenced the administrations of Presidents Betancourt and Leoni but also as they have affected groups and parties outside the Accion Democratica fold, thus bearing out AD's contention that it has been a factor for the integration of diverse forces within the rapidly modernizing Venezuelan society.

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CHAPTER VI ACCIOII DEMOCRATICA'S INTEGRATING AGRARIAN REFORM The Agrarian Reform Program of Presidents Betancourt and Looni has been hailed as their most significant contribution to the economic and political democratization of Venezuela."^ VJhile major and minor difficulties have been encountered in the program's P. implementation, there is little dispute that the program has aroused a great deal of hope among those most directly affected by it--the campesinos—and that it has provoked a great deal of interest in and out of Venezuela. In this chapter our concern will be to examine the prograri's evolution as a response to the Venezuelan agrarian situation, the program's political background, and its relations to the Acci6n DemocrStica' s govornnents of Betancourt and Leoni. There are many v;ho concur vith this estimate. See, for example, Raymond J. Penn and Jorge Schuster, "La Keforma Agraria de Venezuela," Revista Interamericana de Cien cias S oclales , II (January, I963I , 29-39. The authors consider the" agrarian reform law "destined to improve the welfare of the rural popxilation as iirell as to be viev,:ed by other countries as a model program." Quote on p. 29. 2 For a review of sotae of these difficulties, see Alexander, The Venezuelan De mocrat ic Revolution, pp. 173-

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The Venezuelan Agrarian Reform Lav; that went into effect on March 5» I960, was the culmination of many years of study and represented the synthesis of many attempts at a solution of the agrarian problem. The Law, promulgated by President Roi.iulo Betancourt, was hailed by him and by other Acci6n Democr^tica leaders as the fulfillment of the i deals of Bolivar, as an application of the pro grammatic b a s e s of AD, and as a break with the practice s existent for centuries in the Venezuelan agricultural system,^ The agrarian reform promulgated by President Betancourt had enormous historical and political significance. Historically, it represented a break with a past characterized by agrarian feudalism and it put forth a blueprint to transform the Venezuelan social structure. Here lay its political significance--by seeking to bring the campesino into the mainstream of a rapidly industrializing and modernizing Venezuela, the agrarian reform program aimed above all at the integration of the campesino into the political life of the nation. The peasant was promised land as well as participation in the political process and access to governmental decision-making. This signified that the Venezuelan rural soci^il structure would no longer remain rigid as it had for ceniuries--a pyramid of power in which 3 Institute Agrario Nacional, Reforma Agraria en Ve nezuela; Una R ovoluci6n dentro do TTLeY^CCarac^' — £2^H££i^^j:,9Q. ^_P_0Ct^'^^a y P rograma. passim.

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256 the terrateniente and his descendants ruled undisputed over the vast and silent mass of illiterato, landless, disfranchi campecinos. Given land, the means to make it productive, and the vote, the Venezuelan campesino in I960 was at the threshold of becoming "the free rnai." envisaged by Bolivar in his more idealistic moments over a century and a half The immonse historical and political significance of the agrarian reform program put in relief the enormous problems of the campesino. He had existed in misery and squalor for centuries; his hopes had only too often cost his life--how many times had he not volunteered to fight for a caudillo v;ho promised him land? It v/as now necessary, the AD leadership urged, not only to rekindle those hopes but, more importantly, to fulfill them and, at the same time, make the campesino aware that he himself was the only one who could ultimately bring them to full realization. For what was promised him in I960 v/as not a modern version of the centuries -old slogan of tierr a para los campesi nos but it was an attempt to give the campesino a voice in the councils of government, a government that sought to be representative of all Venezuelans,^ terrateniente and oil ^Salcedo-Bastardo, V1^3i6n X-^^visJ^n ^de_Bolij/a£, pp. 185-20I|; Juan Ernesto RotEe7"^'l3oIIvar , Precursor de la Reforma Agraria en America," Lotcria [Panama], IX (October, 196]^), 78-87. . " ~ . See, for example, one of many Betancourt's affirmations of this principle in "Plan de Gobiorno del Presldonte Bctancourt," Documentos (May-August, I960), pp. 379~i|.l|0, especially p. "5^6,

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257 men, campesinos and workers. It was this central idea, a determination to make the" campesino an integral participant in the emerging and modernizing national system, that justified labeling the Venezuelan version of agrarian reform an integ rating one,^ In this chapter v;e examine the extent of the agrarian problem in Venezuela, how it has been approached by the Accion Deraocrfitica governments of Presidents Betancourt and Leoni, and to what extent-"if any — does it justify its label of being an integrating factor betv;e©n the Party membership and leadership, with those outside the Party structure, and v;ithin the nation as a whole. The Agrar ian Question The struggle for land has a long history in Vene7 zuela, and at its roots lies the nature of the ownership "Integrated Agrarian Reform," Lett er f rom Veno zue^a,, I (November, 1965), 9. This is a publicatToH'^of the OfrcTna Central de Informaci6n, Caracas. See also V.'ilson J. Rojas, Razon y Objetivos para la V ig encia de la Reforma Agraria e n Venezu ela TCaracas; Institute Agrario NeTional, 1962) ; "La IntogracTon Vertical: Una Solucion para Kuestros Problemas Agroindustriales , " Tiempo Economico [Caracas], I (September 3, 196I|.) , I4.-6 ; Vio tor Tianuel Gim^nez Landinez, Objectives and Requirements of an In b egral Ag rarian Reform TCaracas: Tall. G rlTf dil MAC, 19^27, pp. l-"l57"Victor Manuel Giin^nez Landinez, La Ref o rma A grar i a Int egral (2 vols.; Caracas: Ministerro de Agricultura y CrXa, 1963) . Gimenez Landinez was President Betancourt 's Minister of Agriculture. 7 The best source on the history of agrarian reform in Venezuela is Luis Troconia Guerrero's La. Cue sti 6n Agraria en la Historia Na ciona l (Caracas: Editorial Arte, 1962 f. See also Miguel Parra Le6n, El Pro blema Agrario en Venezuela (Caracas: Presidencia de la Ropabfica, 1959"),* JosFTfeHa Franco Garcia, "La Cuesti6n Agraria en Venezuela," ARBOR [Madrid], LVIII (June, 196ij.), 56-79; and Ramon FernSndez y Fern^dez, Ref orma A graria en Venezuela (Caracas: Las llovedades, l<^T]BYr

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258 of land. Land ownership derives from the legal institutions and usages of the conquest, the colonial period, and the Spanish empire, and the nature of human labor upon this land — which for centuries, in one form or another, has been that of debt poonai^e, sorfdom, slavery, or nearslavery. Latifundisra, the ownership of vast tracts of land, has been the traditional mode of rural property. Latifundia emerged from rep artirdentos (original land grants by the Spanish crown) end from encomiendas . Repartiwienlos and encomiendas were destined to vitiate the whole history of land ownership and of land iTaprovemont . Th.ey established the foundations of the economic and social structure of colonial society, a structure that was, v;ith minor changes, perpetuated on into the Republican decades. In turn, a direct effect of the latifundiat system has been the small farm, the minifundium. the Venezuelan conuco — a small plot of land of a few acres which the sharecropper holds at the pleasure of the landowner. This land is cultivated by the most primitive m.ethods and usually suffices only to provide the minimum food needs of the family. Thus the campesino g The oncomienda, a i-rord for which there is no adequate English equivalent, was the legal device under which the Crown entrusted specified numbers of Indians to deserving Spaniards, the er^comend^^ who thereby won definite rio-hts over their Indians ancT incurred equally specific obligations to them, ihe royal intention in establishing the encorlenda was merciful, but in practice the tncomienda becemean euphemism for the enslavement of Indians. See Herring, AJ.^|t|rjrofI^ 190-191; Diffie, Latin American Civilizati on, pp. 57-103.

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259 has by tradition been half farraer and half farm laborer. His work has been divided between that on the estate of the landowner and on his small, uneconomic patch of ground, which in almost all cases, has been granted to him under conditions thrt ksep him and his family in 9 virtual bondage to the landovmer. Along with the problem of land, then, the problem of the peasant has also existed from the beginnings of Venezuela's liistory. In spite of Bolivar's devotion to an enlightened form of government — a modified form of democracy to suit the Venezuelan reality of the iGOO's — and his desire for the abolition of slavery, it was not until l85i|. that President Grcgorio Konagas decreed emancipation. At that time, the total Venezuelan population was estimated at 1,756,000, of which 13,000 were slaves and 27,000 were f reedmen."*^^ The abolition law that freed the slaves and aimed at incorporating them into the national life vms in practice an inliumane and uneconomic measure, for it was not complemented by an indispensable agrarian reform. 9 The literature on the latifundist system in Latin America and m Venezuela and on the various attempts at ffJ^f example, Clarence Senior, La^^orm_aj2^^ (Gainesville, Fla.; University of Jlorida Press, 195B^rrospecially pp. l-]2, 89-I6I: T Lvnn llJ^th, 4|£arianRcform^^ (^ew yorkl Alfred A. r^Za I TrJ^^^^Losada Aldana, "Concepci6n y Caracterfsticas del Latifundio , " Ecor ...ia y Ciencias le-T-^-^rif ni^ ( January. jnH-e,-TOiTTaW-Salvador fle J... P^;^^aj Reforma_Agra_^^ en Venezuela: Obletivos y Evaluation ( Caracas ; Uni versTd^FciFtFilTTsT^^^ . VenezueS";!'25!° Nacional, noforma_Asra^en

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260 Thousandr. of slaves and frcodraen, v/ho devoted themselves almost exclu ively to agriculture, were thus given their freedom without concomitantly being given a chance to use this freedom to become a productive and dynamic force. Without weans, they soon becarae virtual serfs, often for their former masters — r.nd frequently found themselves worse off than before. This situation of human misery coupled vjith exploitation in an inefficient latifundia system continued unabated through the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth century. The governments changed frequently, but the condition of the peasant and of agriculture remained as backward as ever. The exploitation of the camposino vras condoned by the various governments, and many times the so-called Liberals were at least as guilty in this respect as the Conservatives. Gu?.mdn Blanco, the most prominent Liberal leader, v/as a gran terrateniente .^"^ The unlimited use and abuse of the executive powers, fiscal solvency, and international security were the sturdy mainstays of the long dictatorship of Juan Vicente G6mez (1908-1935). But his regime of omnipotence and of exceptional duration was above all made possible because it had a solid baso--agrarian feudalism, a feudalism which had existed in Venezuela since colonial times and which, despite the new emphasis on oil, had become more consolidated than ever during Gomez' government. The illicit use of the ''Wise, Caudill o. passim.

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261 nation's treafjury, tho ignoring of idghts and guarantees, the employment of monopolies and othor consequences of the regiric, permitted the dictator and many of his lieutenants to create gigantic fortunes in rural estates. The dictator's estate alone v;as cntimated conservatively at approximately $65 million in 1936. Those associated with him also possessed large and valuable tracts of land throughout the country. ^'^ To this day one can travel for hours through richly planted farms formerly owned by G6raez and his friends. Of equal importance and also largely responsible for the latifundia was the unchecked usurpation of tierras ejidales (public lands), some taken by Gomez, others by the various oil companies through friendly arrangements with state governors and the tolerance of the national government, Tho oil companies turned part of these lands over to the governors' personal use. All these methods resulted in the still greater expansion of the latifundist system during G6raoz' administration. The system had its origins in the colonial period but it had been perpetuated and become oven more consolidated during Venezuela's independent history. The system of latifundia v/as thus expanded during the wars for independence and during tho nineteenth century era of civil wars and successive dictators; but it became even more 12 Luzardo, Notas Hist 6rico-Econ6niican , pp. I7-36 and Botancourt, Venezue la: Pol ftica "y~Pe"trSTeo . p. 3^.9 substantiate the charge that~Gom5z~and his familiar and political clan had taken over the best lands in Venezuela. See also Lavin, /Lil?LliLJL^iL£^]ii£L5.> PP* 187-207.

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262 firmly entrenched during the Gomez years. An agrarian census in 1937 revealed this situation: TABLE 8 RURAL OVmERSHIP AND RURAL POPULATION, 1937^ (1) k'h-f^ of rural proprietors owned 2,705,888 hectares 96.6^ of rural propiuctors owned 731,795 hectares (2) 10.6^ of the camposino population had its ov/n land 89.4^ of the camposino population worked on somebody else • s land (3) the rural population (defined as that which livod in localities of less than 1,000 inhabitants or who lived scattered through the countryside) reached a total of 2,272,786 persons at a time when the country's population was estimated at 3,850,771 persons. 13 ^Source: Institute Agrario Nacional, Re for ma Agraria en Veneauela . p. 28. An unsettling change had been taking place in the meantime. In spite of all difficulties, agriculture and livestock had been the backbone of Vonozuela's economy until the commercial exploitation of oil early in this century. V/hen the latter took place, a complex transformation in the econoiay occurred. The rural population abandoned the land and inigrated toward the oil fields and toward the cities, drawn by the need of labor in the production, refining, and marketing of petroleum and its allied industries as v;oll as by the opening of new service jobs. Agricultuie was soon relegated to a secondary position. The T, ir^-Compare these figures with Betancourt, VenezueDa: £22J:.^J^'LI^^^oleo> p. 350. One acre=0.1|0[i. Ha (TiiFti?itr one square mfle-^S9 Ha. h1v xw;,

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263 Venezuelan currency, the boltva r , became "strong" for the first time and it became easier and usually cheaper to import foodstuffs than produce thorn at home. The production levt Is of the large estates fell and the profits from agriculture became very limited."''^ Thus, the expansion and consolidation of the latifundia system during the Gomez period was not paralleled by prosperity in the national agricultural sector; rather, the decline in agricultural production became more accentuated during the dictatorship and was accompanied by a critical influx of the rural population into the nev.'ly opened oil fields and the flourishing cities. "^^ At the same time, the diraension of unused lend became more pronounced; the urban population grov/ while loss and less food v/as produced to sustain it. The great differences in urban and rural income distribution al^io helped stimulate the migration from the country to the city; and in the last decade of Gomez' rule, Venezuela was fast becoming more urban than rural. This sudden shift in turn contributed to cultural dualism, and it would be accurate to say that Venezuela's cities became '"'^Ramdn David Leon, Do Af!;ro-Pecuario a Petr61eo (Cnracas: Tipografia Garrido, 19l|l0 ; Si so Hartfnez', Historia de Veno zuela, pp. 6ij.7 -614.9 . l^J Pola E. Ortiz and Yoland D. Shaya, "El Exodo Rural Venezolano: Sus Causas y la Acci6n para Resolvorlo," Pollt lca, III (September-December, 196[i.), 93-111; Anibal Buitron, Exodo Rural en Vene zuela (V/ashington, D.C.: Pan American UnToh, 1953T.

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26J^ populated by rural people. People migrated, but neither at their origin nor at thoir destination were there mechanisms or institutions to accelerate the change of attitudes that could ameliorate the differences between traditionalism and modernism."'"^ Further J the nev; economic bases, supported alr.iost solely by the oil revenues, created new wayy of life. In place of the old, austei'e, restricted and uncertain life, there came another v;ith its own x-rays and its ov/n problems that had to be attended to. The country was clearly divided into tv;o distinct spheres--that of the people who lived from the nev: extractive industry, and that of those who vegetated, with difficulty, in the mold of the traditional economy, incapable of meeting the demands of a more complex life. Agriculture and livestock were increasingly abandoned, and it became steadily more difficult to correct the imbalance and distortion v;hich occurred in the traditional sources of the country's wealth. The concentration of capital, industry, and labor in the cities was not accompanied by a comparable advent of nev; farming methods nor a change in the age-old relationships between landowner and agricultural labor. Agricultural production continued to fall far belov; the level needed to satisfy national '•^Ahumada, "Hypotheses for the Diagnosis of a Situation of Social Change; The Case of Venezuela," in Bonilla and Silva Ilicholena, (eds .), Studying the Venezuelan Polity , pp. 25-i|.0. — ^ — —

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265 demands, and more than half the population became submerged in a sort of sub-economy. To aggravate the status of the campesino, his political rights continued to be practically nonexistent--he could not vote and he v&a not asked to vote. No one atterapted to organize him and thus perhaps give him, in collectivity, a measure of povier and influence over his own destiny. In the stifling atmosphere of the G6mez dictatorship the meager efforts toward organization that were made concentrated almost exclusively on the urban elements;"'"''' the cait^esino remained, as in the days of the Spanish and in the days of the caudillos, r. political nonentity. The First Agrarian Reform Programs --PRP and ORVE The situation created by these social, economic, and political conditions was brought into sharp focus by the death of G6mez in 1935* The country vras jolted brusquely into a new era of freedom and open expression. The political leaders who flocked back to Venezuela from exile returned with a broader economic, social, and ideological perspective, and they immediately began demanding from the government a reshaping of the rural economy through agrarian reform. From 1936 on, peasant unions, associations, 17 G. D. H. Cole, A History of Socialist Thought, Vol. IV, Pt. II: Commu nism a nd So cial p.? m o cracy , _19jLit--193i. (London: Macmillan, 19^rn"pp. 750-7B1; Lavin, A H&lo for Gomez, p. lk.l\, Lavin explains that "Gomoz associated labor unions v/ith Communism. . . , Thoir very existence . . . would engender anarchy and lead to the inevitable overthrow of government." Ibi d. , p. lj.26.

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266 and leagues were organized in tho oovuitryside, with the ultimate goal of obtaining land for the peasants, improving their working conditions, and giving the carapesino a voice in the government. The Partido Republicano Progresista (PRP) and the Moviiiiento de Organizacion Veneziolana (ORVE) had emerged shortly after the death of Gomez and the impositicn of a leas strict dictatorship by General Eleazar Lopez Contreras. The PRP, made up of a number of workers and students, adopted more radical positions than the ORVE and was later considered a full-fledged Communist group. The agrarian question vias amply covered in the PRP prograra--parceling of latifundia, distribution of lands, abolition of hereditary debts and of payment in kind rather than cash, the elimination of serfdom, governmental credit for the campesino, application of modern agricultural methods, raising of the rural standards of living, regulation of rural settlement and the influx of imraigrants, etc. The ORVE program v;as not as explicit, even though its political orientation and basis were very similar to those of the PRP at this time. These two political groups diverged also in their attitude tovrard the government of L6pe3 Contreras. The PRP declared its opposition to the government while ORVE's position v/as that L6pez Contreras could indeed claim to ^^Magal lanes, Partidos Pollticos Venezolanos, pp. 79-90. ~~

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267 have brought a measuro of liberalization in comparison to the undiluted dictatorship of Gomez. In addition, ORVE did have some of its leaders, merabers, and sympathizers working for the Lopez Contreras government. Gallegos, who would later be the Acci6n Democr^itica candidate for President, was Minister of Education at the invitation of L6poz Contreras. ORVE's support, however, v;as never unconditional and as the government moved tov/ards renewed repression, ORVE became increasingly critical and oppositionist.^ This second phase of ORVE is of particular interest because it is at this time that this political group becomes more explicit in its agrarian reform proposals. ORVE's general assembly met in July, 1936, in order to ratify a program vjhich had emerged from consultations and discussions with various groups. Iliis program dealt with the agrarian problems in considerable detail and made suggestions for their solution. Among these was a call for legislation prohibiting the sale of the comraon lands (ejidos) and, instead, their lease to campesinos, v;hlle ownership remained in the hands of the state. Investigating commissions would be created to check on the legitimacy of possessing unused lands and the retaking of such lands by the state. A national land survey would be undertaken in order to provide the necessary statistical data for agrarian 19 Serxner, ACiCi_6n_ pemocr§.t ica of Venezuel a, pp. 2-1^.,

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268 reform prograi-is and use of the ejidoa.' The State v/as to provide the peasant the necessary tools and seeds as vrell as to stimulate the creation of cooperatives for the processing of agricultural products. Agricultural colonies would be established to handle the raising of those crops that needed extensive land. These colonies would be provided with the necessary irrigation, electricity, and means of transportation. Needless to say, this ambitious program was never implemented. It did, hovjever, contribute to a new awareness of the dimensions of the agrarian problem. Tlie Constitution of 1936 had nothing to say on the matter of 20 This suggested use of ejidos was not a novel idea by any means and it may have been borrowed from the Mexican agrarian reform. See Henrik P. Infield and Koka Freier, iS.9R^±J-SLj^l^? (i^ew York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1951].); Andres Molina Enrlquez, LaJRevj3liAci6n_Agr aria de M exico (5 vols.; Mexico: Talleres Grlficos del Museo NacionaT~de Arqueologia, Historia, EtnografJa, 1933-1937); Eyler K. Simpson, The E.1ido --Kexico ' s V?ay Out (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University oTYov^ Carolina Press, 1937); Frank Tannenbaum, Tlie J^exican^Agrej^if^ (New York: The Macmillan Co., 192977" There is evidenc'e that the Mexican agrarian reform had a perceptible impact \).pon agrarian reform ideas of adcco leaders and later in the AD-sponsored agi'arian reform la\;s of 19i|.8 and I96O; see Rrf;;el Silva Guillen, La Reforr.vA_Ai^ra ria en Ven ezuela (Caracas: Institute Agrario Nacional, 1962); Robert J. Alexander, "Nature and Progress of Agrarian Reform in I,atin America," Journal of Econcniic Historjr, XXIII (Deceraber, I963), 559-573; and" AFiF'DiTBiiT Panorama de la Reforma Agrarit Integral en Anorica Latina," ^iiH^£.i£^fL^nista [Moxico], XXIII (I963), 15-38. Betancourt in his Venezuela; Pol ^jjsa ^v.:rtr^no . pp . 353 and 1^.05 affirms that the agrarian refoa-ra proposed by AD used to advantage the Mexic:.n experience in this policy area. A comparison between certain aspects of the tvro agrarian reforms appears in Peter P. Lord, "The Peasantry as an Emerging Political Factor in Mexico, Bolivia, and Venezuela" (Land Tenure Center, University of V/3 scons in. Hay, 1965), pp. l-LO, 8999 . ( Mimeographed . )

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269 improving the campesino's lot or of reversing the general decline of a^^ricultural production. But interest in land reforn, a long dormant issue during the Gdmez dictatorship, was revived. Lopez Controras was compelled to declai'e that there was a need for the colonization of unused or virgin land and he created a coruuission to study and to implement such a plan.^"^ The Agricultural Thesis of the Partido Democr&tico Naci onal The ORVE had a short life once it became oppositionist and bolder in its presentation of a program that challenged the long-established pattern of agricultural exploitation. It was succeeded in 1937 by the Partido DemocrStico Nacional (PDN), au organization that survived and expanded underground until 19ij.l, when it was permitted to fimction openly under the name of Accion Democrdtica, AD. It was during this period following 1936 that the beginnings of carapesino organization took place. Future campesino leaders Ramon Quijada and Tomds Alberti, as v;ell as R6mulo Batancourt himself, began to make themselves known in the interior during these years, thus laying the foundation for AD's future labor and campesino movements. A first step towards formal organization was taken when Francisco Olivo was named the PDN peasant movement secretary. 21 Luzardo, Notas Historico-Economicas , pp. Vl-Vk* Allen, Venezuela_, PprT6-5^1727T:^"B^2irr M5F6n, A History of Vene:-.uela , pp. 203-20?. ^— — 22 Magallanes, Pa r tide a Politicos Venezolanos. pp. 73-112. ~" *

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270 What L6pez Cont.reras considered "extremist politicians," among them pedcnis tas, continued to keep agrarian discontent alive. These "extremists" were responsible for the presentation to the Congress in 1939 of a comprehensive agrarian reform law project. Heated debate ensued, v/ith the pedenista deputies calling for the expropriation of lands "badly cultivated." This vague terminology undermined their efforts because, as the government -majority in Congress was quick to point out, raost of the Venezuelan lands could indeed be considered "badly cultivated"--f rora the inefficient subsistence plot of the campesino to the unmechanized latifundia used in extensive agriculture or in cattle-breeding. Thus they accused the opposition in reality of threatening a_ll landowners for the sake of a vague agrarian reform program. The opposition further weakened its case by threatening to "bring the peasants to the Chamber to impose the Agrarian Law." Such a thi^eat, which vrould have been iripossible to carry out since the campesinos were ntill largely unorganized and leaderless, served only to substantiate the government's 23 -^Lopez Contreras, El Triunfo de le Verdad . passim . The political and programmatic bases of the PDN, including its agrarian reform proposals, appear in Accion Democr5tica, Acci6n Democr&tica; Doctrina y Programa , pp. 9-51. 25 Luzardo, Notas Hi3t6rico-5 con6 micas , p. 72.

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271 charge that the agrarian reform project was in reality a cover for "Ccinmunisin. " It would be a mistake, hovrever; to view the PDN's debate of the agrarian issue as without any impact. Not only did it bring to the front of the nevrs the seriousness of the campesino's plight, but it also forced the government into creating its ovm National Agrarian Party (PAN) to organize caiiipesino support for L6pez Contreras. The PAN program called for preventive legislation against the creation of latifundia (but not their parceling) and the avoidance of minifundia; the construction of storehouses throughout the countryside; the establishment of enterprises to process raw materials; and the selective distribution of government lands. It implicitly rejected any type of expropriation and limited itself to stressing the social function of the land unit. Besides the usual list of relatives of L6pez Contreras and government officials, the PAN included among its founders Arturo Uslar Pietri and Manuel R. Egana, both of whom v;ould later cooperate with or be part of the AD.^"^ 26 There are no official figures for a reliable estimate of the number of organized peasants at this time. Luis ^forillo, a long time organizer of campesinos and a founding member of ORVE, PDN, and AD estimated that in I936 there were about 200 leaders in the First Venezuelan Congress of Workers, who represented 100,000 semi-organized campesinos. These figures are considered inflated; see Powell, Preliminary Report on t he Fedex-'aci6n Campo sina de Venezuela , ppT~T~8^' 337 27 Luzardo, Notas Hist6rico-E oon6mic8j^. p. 73.

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272 The first national convention of the PDN took place in September of 1939 and devoted its attention to a sumDiary of what it considered the major Venezuelan problems, and to a program for their resolution. It concluded that for Venezuela to overcome its baclcwardncss and its subordination to international capital as i.-ell as to eyitirpato the latif \.\ndiEt "cancer," it \ms necessary to undertake a profound transformation in the econo:iic and political structures of the country. Such a transformation would allov; the productive forces of the country to come to their full fruition. In order for this transformation to take place it was essential that there emerge in Venezuela a political organization that was popular and multiclass. This organization would channel the popular desire for freedom and direct that desire towards the economic and political transformation of the country. Such a political organization vras embodied in the PDN since all other political organizations then existent failed to compare with it in its truly democratic character, open to all sectors of the Venezuelan society. The Par tide Nacional, made up of the few beneficiaries of the status quo, represented those sectors that were the exploiters of the great majority of Venezuelans. A center party such as the PAH was unable to bring about such broad transformations since it called for only limited reforms and also because its basis was very narrow. A class party such as the Communist also was unqualified to undertake the task of bringing about the modernization and liberalization of Venezuela. The rigid

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273 programs, ths adherence to IIoscov;, as well as the fact that the Venezuelan proletariat was still relatively small, prevented the ComtJiunists from becoming, as AD did, the channel 28 between all Venezuelans and their government. The PDN's agrarian vctovxa program included these ma jo:' points: (1) Parceling of confiscated lands that formerly had belonged to Gomez as well as those that had been acquired through graft and corruption during his regime. These lands would be given in usufruct to the campesinos. Intensive promotion of immigration. Planned creation of mixed agricultural colonies of immigrants and natives and of natives only in v?ell-selected plots. Creation of cooperatives of agricultural and animal production for transaction of essential businesses in order to free the campeslno from the exploitation by creditors .29 (2) Legislation to limit the size of land plots and their parceling for the maximum benefit of the true producer--the campesino. Recovery of those lands which had formerly belonged to the State and grant of common lands (ejidos) for those municipalities that never had them. Creation of agrarian communities and land grants to Indians. Incorporation of the Indian in the national life and special legislation for his protection. (3) Protective measures for campeiino debtors; thoir liberation from perpetual indebtedness to exploiting landov/ners. Cessation of payment of the campesino through tokens in kind rather than cash and of the campesino 's obligation to pay for his debts through personal services. Abolition of those debts that had been passed from generation to generation of campesinos through the unscrupulous practices of landovmers and creditors. Use of idle lands for socially beneficial ends. Accion Democrdtica, Accion Democr&tica; Doctrine y Prog rama, pp. 11~1}.1. 29 The cooperatives envisaged by the PDN decades ago have novr been realized; see American Institute for Free Labor Development, Cooperative Mov ement in Vene z uela (V/ashington, D.C. : AIFLD, 19^3).

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21k ik) Pi'ovision by the State of seeds and tools to poor peasants in coordination with a system of credit in agriculture and breeding. Preferential treatment by the governirient to peasant leagues and similar organizations. (5) Planned irrigation systcins. Roads to facilitate the exchange of products between rural and urban centers . (6) Modernization of agriculture. Creation by the State of agricultural schools and research centers. State help in the obtaining of Piachinory and fertilizers . 30 This comprehensive project was further refined by the PDN and by its successor, Acci6n Deraocrfitica. AD, though coming to power in 19ii5» v;as unable to pursue the agrarian reform project to its fullest implications and had to wait until a decade and a half later to implement it in a comprehensive manner. In the interim, a number of events took place that would leave their impact on the i960 Agrarian Reform Law sponsored by AD as well as provide that law v;ith many institutions for its administration. Agrarian Ref orm in the Accio n Democ rdt lca Trienio During General Medina Angarita's government (19i|.l19i;5), the agrarian question became ever more publicly dis31 cussed. It was no longer possible for the government to ignore the problem altogether or to support only very limited 30 This is a summary of the PDN agrarian reform program which appears in Acci6n Democratica, Accion Democr&ti ca : Doctrina y Pro^rama . pp. L.7-l|8. ~ '• 31 Medina Angarita, Cuatro A'rlos de Democracia, pp. 63-7i|..

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27^ measures. AD leaders persevered in the organization of caripesinos at the same time that thoy insisted that there was an urgent need to iiaprove their conditions. The pressure mounted and while in May, 19k.^, the government "categorically subscribed to the thesis that an agraiian reform law should not be promulgated [that] year,"-^^ by September it was publishing a Ley Agraria . •'^ Thus, the organizational efforts and the insistence of the AD leadership, together with the more liberal and democratic leanings of President Medina himself, had led the government to promulgate an agrarian reform law which, although it was never implemented, constituted a real triumph for the adecos. Since the Medina government was succeeded by an AD-led Junta less than a month after the Agrarian Lai>f was promulgated, it is not necessary to go into detail here about that piece of legislation. Suffice it to say that it did not satisfy anyone; the government supporters, especially the landowners, resented a possible threat to their status; the opposition assailed the law as pitifully limited in its scope. The adecos contended that the Ley Agraria de 19k^ was an inadequate instrument to solve the agrarian problem since it encouraged land speculation, restricted land distribution, and continued to deny the campesino a voice in ^'' La Esfera (June, 19).}.S, p. 1. 33 -^^ Gacet a Oficial (ntSmoro extraordinario lk9) of September 20, 1914.5: Hor6n, A History of Venezuela , pp. 207-213.

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276 the handling of his affairs. Thus, a law which had aroused great interest and hope through its debate, failed in fulfilling any expectations. The October, 19li-5> coup brought to power those v/ho had been fighting for agrarian re.fovm for years. Betancourt made a point to toll the campesinos that they nov; enjoyed rights and guarantees that v;ould bo respected and fostered by the new government. Further, the campesinos were told that they were guaranteed the land they already worked on. Campesinos, some led by adecos but raany others on their own initiative, seized large estates they considered rightfully theirs. Credit was extended by the Agricultural and Livestock Bank, which from its founding in 1928 onwards had granted credit only to large landowners. The regulation of rural working conditions, which had been on the books since the L6pez Contreras' administration but vxhich had never been enforced, v/as now implemented. In addition — and perhaps most important — the October coup ushered in the beginning of government by political party and of the electoral enfranchisement of the people. The AD-controlled revolutionary Junta introduced a new electoral law in March, 19i}.6, providing for universal suffrage, thus removing voting restrictions against i^omon and illiterate (most Venezuelan campesinos could neither read nor write at -"-^Armando R. GonzSlez P., Agrarian Reform as Seen by the Labor Movomont in Ag ricultuFo. pp".~i4.-''^ . "

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277 that time). The 191^7 Constitution pertaittod election of the President and of the Congress directly 'by the people and guaranteed the right to orgo.nize. Assisted by the Ministry of Labor, which had been created in 19lj-5» the farm labor movement expanded its organizing efforts and the Peasant Federation of Venezuela (PCV) vjas officially established in June of 1914.7.^^ Thus the framework was laid not only for the electoral participation of the vast majority of Venezuelans but also for the organization of the worker and the peasant as new political pressure groups. New elements had been introduced into the body politic. For the first time campesinos were being organized and urged to vote, to participate in discussions involving their own affairs, and to select their own representatives before the government. The trienio also witnessed the creation of the Consojo Economico Nacional (National Economic Council, CEN), an agency provided for in the 1936 Constitution but never established by intervening governraents . The Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento (CVF, Venezuelan Development Corporation) was empowered to invest in and aid both agriculture and industry. Concentrating principally on the former in the adeco trionio, the CVF sponsored better methods in the production of meat, milk, and sugar. Since the adecos envisaged an evon greater activity by the CVF, it was given Lieuwen, Venezuela , pp. 71-78; Federaci6n Campesina de Venezuela, La Cuesti6n A graria Venezolana ; Tesis P olltica y Program'Stica de la_ Fe deraclon G am pesi~na de Venezuela (Caracas;' Tipogra'fia Araoricana, 19T|B') .

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278 37 a minimum of 10% of the government's annual budget.-^' Additional funds wore given to the Banco Agrlcola y Pecuario (BAP) and the Banco Industrial, both of which had been established prior to 19li-5. The capital of the BAP was increased by three and a half times between 191+5 and 19i|.7, -while that of the Banco Industrial rose 2^0% in the same period. The BAP paid particular attention to small farmers, and although the total credit extended by the Bank rose little more than 100^ betv/een 19lj.6 and 191-1^8, the number of beneficiaries of the Banl'C's operations rose almost 14.00^ during the same period. The government also spent considerable srims for the mechanization of agriculture and completed several small irrigation projects.-^ All these efforts paid off in increased production--sugar rose from 1.95 million metric tons to 2.37 between 19l|5 and 19il-8; peas, from 8,000 metric tons to double that amount; 39 potatoes from 9»l85 metric tons to 16,000. The studies on agrarian reform ordered by Boto.ncourt were chiefly responsible for the provisions contained in the 19i4-8 Agrarian Reform Law, passed by the newly elected Congress, dominated by Accl6n Democr&tica deputies and 37 Marsland and Marsland, Venezuela Through its History , pp. Betancourt, Vene zuela; P oli t ica y Peti'6 1eo, pp. 236-259, 311;-358. ~' 39 Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento, Cuader nos de Inf ormacion (Caracas: CVP, May-Juno, 1950), cited by Betancourt, Venezuela; Politica y Petroleo, p. 328.

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279 senators. This Law provided for better working conditions for the peasant and for the expropriation of private land needed for the agrarian reform. The owners would receive compensation partly in cash and partly in government bonds. The Institute Agrario Nacional (IAN, National Agrarian Institute), was empoviered to grant land to colonies of peasants, v7ho would own their land plots, but vjho would not be empowered to sell them viithout permission of the IAN; to cooperatives, in which land vrould be communally ov;ned; and to individual peasants v;ho would enjoy full property rights. This Law, having been passed on the eve of the overthrow of the Gallogos regime, did not go into effect. It served, hov; -ever, as the basis for the agrarian reform lav/ that was enacted in i960 by the Betancourt government. Some have suggested that this far-ranging agrarian reform law and the campesino agitation that preceded it, with the seizure of land by peasants, were major reasons for the overthrow of President Gallegos a few months after he had been duly elected to succeed the Betancourt Junta. This is a moot question, though, undoubtedly some landliolders ^ This again has much similarity to the Mexican agrarian reform. See supra, chap. VI, n. 20. For the I9I1.6 Law and its debate, see El Nacional (September 15, 19ij-8), pp. A-lff. Luzardo, Notas Historico-Economicas , pp. 135165, especially p. T59T Lord concIuHed~'Ehat "the agrarian reform may have been the stravi that broke the conservatives' back" and became one of the primary causes of the 1914.8 coup. Lord, "The Peasantry as an Emerging Political Factor, " p. 67.

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280 became violent in their denunciation of Accion Democratica when they felt a real threat in the AD-led campesino leagues and in the AD-sponsored agrarian reforn law. It is also probably true that some military elements saw the campesino seizure of land as the first step tov/ard public disorder and perhaps the eventual emergence of a campesino militia which would, in turn, threaten the regular military.^" On the other hand, caiupesinos themselves had reason to be less than completely satisfied with the AD accomplishments in the trienio and its agrarian law. There had been many promises, but their fulfillment took time.^-^ Many other problems besides the agrarian question beset the Junta led by Betancourt. Some of these problems appeared more formidable and required more immediate attention. Furthermore, it had alvmys been AD's contention that agrarian reform should be undertaken only after careful preliminary studies that vrculd outline a long-range program dealing with all aspects--economic , social, political--of the agrarian question. Thus, while Betancourt found himself Vallenilla Lanz, Escrito dg Mem oria , pp. 109-136: Marsland and Marsland, Venezuel a Thi'ough its" History, pp. 255-258. — ' ^— ^' k3 Betancourt always insisted that a successful agrarian reform in Venezuela had to be gradual, that studies had to be undertaken, and that land and credit, seeds, machinery, irrigation, etc., had to be"-considered; Betancourt, Va5.|?23|ifbPoJLi!^^ p. 1|05. The extreme ;w,i^ ''J'"''},'' P^n' insisted that Eetancourt's methods showed cowardice" and "a concession to the reactionaries." See Fern?.ndez y Fernandez, Reforma A graria en Venezuela, p. 72. ^

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281 immersed in the day-to-day lunning of the government and in the sheer struggle to survive the increasing opposition by the military and political groups, the agrarian question was being studied. It was not until 1914.8 that an Agrarian Reform Law was passed; but before it could be y\xt into effect. President Gallegos was overthrown by a Military coup and the government changed hands once more."^'^ Agrarian Reform in Rever se With the 191+8 to 1958 regimes of Delgado Chalbaud and P^rez Jimenez, the auspicious start given to agrarian reform came to a virtual halt. V/ith the ouster of Gallegos, the possibility of implementing the 19l).8 agrarian reform law disappeared, for the new government represented the interests of the oligarchy and large landholders and it based its poxver on the subjection of urban and rural labor to greater and more efficient exploitation. The process of agrarian reform was thus reversed. In 19i!.9, by decree of the Chalbaud military Junta, the IAN was char-ged with primary responsibility for colonization and land settlement. It was empowered to use lands from leased municipal ejidos and to purchase or kk 00 Alexander, The_Venezuelan D emocr atic Revolution, pp. dd.-jo. — — — — ' Interview with Armando Gonzalez, FCV President Caracas April 1, 1951,.; Befcancourt, Venezuela: PoMUca' JLletroleq, pp. 6l9-fc>25. For a dif fiFc^Ht^i^T^H^^iTr---^ feHBi, E2_Nuevo.Wea^^

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282 expropriate idle or inefficiently used privately owned lands of over 7I4.I acres. The avovred purpose was to establish a rural middle class and to prorcote settlement of owner-operated farm units upon productive lands. The IAN vms further empov/ered to provide various community services for each settlement, including education and health measures. While on paper the decree was similar to the Accion Deraocrlltica program; in practice it actually reversed the process of agrarian reform that had been initiated during the trienio. Colonization measures were limited to settlement of immigrants and displaced persons after V/orld War II, but many of these immigrants abandoned their land for more lucrative city jobs.^^ Thousands of Venezuelan campesinos fled to the cities where the construction business acted as a magnet for the unskilled and skilled landless peasant. There were indications, further, that the latifundia system was extended while misuse of public funds earmarked for agrarian purposes proliferated. P6rez Jimenez initiated some spectacular agrarian projects but those, like so many of his undertakings, seemed more for propaganda purposes than for actual benefit to the campesino. A United Nations agricultural expert who visited Venezuela during 195^ and 195? was highly critical of the ostentatious and poorly planned agrarian projects. Often costly and useless, some of those projects were already ^ Marrcro, Ve nezuela y Sus Rocursos, pp. 319-320. ] i

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283 in disrepair though thoy had been erected only prior to his visit. This expert concluded that the traditional latifundia system, uneconomic and unfair to the peasant, had been buttressed by the dictatorship.^"^ In nearly every respect, agrarian reform became stifled or v;as perverted during the dictatorship years. The agrarian reform law of 19i4-8 vms formally annulled in 1952 and replaced by an agrarian statute which provided a legal basis for the abuses and arbitrary actions committed against the peasants. The farms that had been handed over to the campesinos during the AD trienio v/ore seized, the regulation of farm working conditions vms abandoned, and peasant leaders were throxm into Jail.^® By the government's own figures, the expenditures on agriculture in a typical year (19^3) were 5.31?o less than they had been for a typical year during the trienio. ^'^ Just prior to the overthrow of Perez Jimenez, the latifundia system compared with that encountered 20 years earlier. If anything, the new figures seemed to show a ^ ^ Dumont, La nds Al ive, trans. Suzanne and Gilbert Sale (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1965), pp. 19-29; Alexander, The_ Venezuelan Democratic Revolution, PP« 37-50. — Gonzalez, A grarian Re form as See n by the LaborMove ment in Ag ricurtuj^^ — ^ ^ , llg£i0^a__del Banco Central (Caracas: Banco Central, 195T)7TriTTrr 50 Supra , chap. VI, Table 8.

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281+ further expansion of the system: (a) The approximately 30 million Ha under exploitation in Venezuela were divided into 398,000 estates. (b) 6,759 estates possessed a total of approximately 22 million Ha; that if, an average of 3,11+3 Ha per unit. That is, less than 1.70^ of the total number of farms. (c) In view of this latifundist concentration, a corresponding number of peasants cultivated munifundios: 320,000 campesinos cultivated munifundios totalling an area of less than 1,220,000 Ha. That is, 80^ of the Venezuelan a gri cult ores possessed only minimum and uneconomic and inefficient plots of land of an average area of less than 3.5 Ha. The result of this socially unfair land distribution was the worsening of conditions in the countryside and the further extension of the twin evils of latifundia and minifundia. V.1iile on the one hand landownership became even more concentrated in the latifundia, on the other the number of plots v;hich were so small as to be uneconomical also increased; both latifundia and minifundia were extended at the expense of the more medium-sized property holdings. To further aggravate the situation, not all those 320,000 campesinos cited worked on thoir own rainifundios. In fact, of the total of almost 398,000 units bT plots in Venezuela, only 2^% were worked by their owners while almost half (1+9^) of the plots were worked by people who did not have •^^Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos, p. 320. Marrero was quoting froF ofncraT-i^u^Hirrnd his appraisal is the same of many others, such as Mor6n, A History of Venezuela , pp. 235-21+0.

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< 285 a full title to the land and another Z% were full-fledged sharecroppers . The consequences of this system were pernicious to the whole Venezuelan economy. The constant influx of campesinos to the cities continued unabated: between 1920 and i960 Venezuela changed its urbanrural ratio from 1:3 to 2:1; Caracas, a city of barely 90,000 in the 1920 's was nearing the 1.5 million mark in the 1960's.^^ Early in i960 it was reported that tho unsanitary ranches remained the universal dwelling for these transplanted peasants; that les! than 13J^ of the campesino families received an annual income of approximately $200 (compared to the more than $800 for the total national average) and that 20^ of the campesino families received no more than approximately $100 a year. This same source pointed cut the steady decline of agricultural production and the parallel need to import food. A total of Bs \^Sk million of agricultural products, mostly foodstuffs, had been imported in 1957.^^ While agricultural production declined and the importation of foodstuffs became a routine procedure, Pgrez Ra^l P6rez Pereda, "La Reforraa Agraria y la ^Tf^''l 1^^^''^^'" E°-H12IllLa^_Ci enciag Soclale s FOar.... IV (September-December, 19TITr~Sl^£rr~" " — l'-^^^°as 53 111. ^ "^^ ^^^^1 Vonezolano," pp. 93Sk . P>,™.*. ."^^^to-^^Gim^nez Landlnez, Exposici6n de Motives al

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286 Jimenez' projects were almost exclusively concentrated on the cities. The fev; that v;ere built in the carapo seemed to be only incidentally concerned with the practical needs of the campesino. With the peasant leagues banned, the campesino had no recourse before t.ie overpowering government in Caracas. Hope for better conditions in the campo, however, re-emerged in 195^8 when Perez Jimenez vjas overthrown and Acci6n Democr&tica reaffirmed its determination to push forward again with the task of agrarian reform, a task barely begun a decade earlier during the AD governmental trienio. The Integ rated Ag rarian Ref orm Lai^ of I 960 In every respect, agrarian reform seemed to have been stifled and reversed during the dictatorship years. With the overthrov; of Perez Jimenez on January 23, 1958, a new democratic era dawned in Venezuela. There was an immediate revival of peasant organizations which had survived clandestinely for years. Campesino unions and leagues once more made their voices heard; they had been repressed but never dominated by the dictatorship. The injustices they had suffered during almost ten years of iron rule and the miserable economic situation in which they had been kept led peasant elements to a series of excesses in the struggle to regain their rights. They invrded farms which they had owned during the 19U5-19ii.8 trienio, returning without due -'-^Alexander, The Ve nezuelan Democratic Revolution, pp. 159-172.

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287 authorization but perhaps with the complacency of ADcampesino leaders to the lands thoj had occupied before, from which they had been ejected by P6roz Jimenez -backed landlords. The critical economic and political situation of the country was most clearly reflected in the fact that of the population suffered the worst possible living conditions in the wealthiest LatinAmerican country. The peasant agitation and seizure of land could very well lead to a counter coup supported by landlords and military still loyal to Porez Jimenez. A similar situation had contributed to the dovmfall of President Gallegos in igi^a*^ and now, in 1958, in the fluid and chaotic weeks that followed the overthrow of the dictator, it could again rob the popular forces led by Accion Democratica of their victory. Now, even more than during the trienio, it was imperative that the agrarian question be settled. Any delay might prove f atal--either the campesinos would be crushed in their demands through a rightist coup or the campesinos would take matters in their own hands with fm-ther land seizure— with again the spectre of a rightist reaction not far off. Understanding the implications of the agrarian question, the new provisional government established a 56 AiA ^ Ahumada explains that in 191+8 "the economic sector did not accept the economic and social reforms promulgated by AD and some array officers found irresistible the rewards it M^i,n!?r^ ^ofJ^-^""^ governraent through whose hands fi S ^? ""^r ^^^"^ °^ national income." Ahumada, zuo?«n'i\'-r^ ^'VS Michelena, eds.. Study i ng the Ve ne' . zuelan Polity , p. — ^

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288 National Commission of Agrarian Reform in late September, 1958, and instructed it to start work immediately on a draft for a new agrarian reform lav;. Perhax^s remembering the fate of the 19i{-8 law v^hich never had a chance for implementation, the government made a serious attempt to bring into this Comission various points of view.^''^ In the Commission discussions, there was far more than the mere question of a now legal measure to be drafted. An honest and sincere attempt was made to deal with and to try to find a solution to the country's deep economic and social problems aggravated by political factors.^® There was an effort to have all interests represented in the Commission and to give the draft law the character of a. national undertaking aj.med at meeting a fundamental problem toward x^hose solution the entire community contributed. The Corrcnission was subdivided into four subcomraissions — social, legal, economic, and agronomic. Among those active in the preparation of the draft were the Caracas archbishop Hon, Rafael Arias Blanco, as v;ell as representatives of the Federaci6n Campesina, of the Ascciacion de Hacendados, and many others. The resulting draft was to reflect the views which prevailed in the sub-commissions, with the social, political, and institutional aspects, however, having become 5? Interview with Armando Gunzc^lez, FCV PresidentCaracas, April 1, 1961].. 58 Venezuela, Ministerio de Agricultura y Cria, Comisi5n Nacional de Roforma Agraria, Reforma Agraria (Caracas: I4AC, I960).

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289 dominant in the law. The Federacion Campesina de Venezuela (FCV) made clear that the agrarian reform law should not he limited to a reform with the sole objective of overcoming the production deficit through the use of modern techniques and tools in crop cultivation. If this had happened, the misery and the general living conditions of those k^fa of the population who lived in a marginal state in the campo would have continued to be the same as before or worse. The relationships betv;een peasants and landowners would merely be replaced by a new set of relationships betx-^een landovmers and salaried workers. The country would have been freed from the necessity of importing food but the market would have continued to be confined to the same population and the growth possibilities of industry i^ould have been hamstrung in turn by the lack of rural purchasing power. The hacendados, for their part, were most interested in being assxired that no expropriation take place where lands Tfiere being profitably used. A compromise was reached between these two views by making the law flexible to suit the varying circumstances. ^%eorge Coutsoumaris , "Policy Objectives in Latin American Land Reform vrith Special Reference to Venezuela," Inter-American Economi c Affairs, XVI (Autumn, 1962), 25-1+^. Mr. Coutsoumaris, a foriiier advisor to the MAC, concludes that the "recent land reform policy in Venezuela has been based on an . . . integrated approach, . , . one seeking a thoroughgoing change in the existing.; structure. Tlie result has been that social and political objectives, swch as great equality in the distribution of income and wealth and social and political stability tVirough vddespread land ovmership . . . were mixed v:ith aspirations for economic progress and for improved agricultural productivity." Ibid . , p. 33. ^^Venezuela. Congreso Nacional, La Ley de Ref orma

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290 The Agrarian Reform Law of March, I960, was notable for its coverage, for it dealt not only with problems of land tenure, but also with other aspects of a comprehensive agricultural policy. Thus, the label integrated agrarian reform, a label which has been employed in many government publications and in various private studies of the agrarian question, is appropriate. The Law assigned a social function to land ownership and the right to hold land was made subject to this condition. ^"^ Under the concept of "social function of the landed property," only three kinds of land are subject to expropriation: uncultivated land; farms worked indirectly through renters, sharecroppers, and other intermediaries; and lands suitable for cultivation but devoted to natural pasture for extensive livestock raising. A further provision states that private lands can be expropriated only if no publicly-owned properties arc available in the same area. The law also fixes the absolute size limits below which private land cannot be expropriated. Hov;ever, in certain cases of serious land pressure, land can be expropriated 62 without regard to size and land use criteria. This final A graria en las C4maras L eg islativas (2 vols.; Caracas: Congreso Nacional, l^otTT": • 61 „ "Integrated Agrarian Reform," p. 91; GimSnez Landinez, Lg_ J^o f or ma Ag :" ar i a I nt e g '"al , pp. l-55> Coutsoumar '.s , "Policy Objectives, "~pp. 2S>-L\J4; Armando Gonzalez, "Reforma Agraria y Superacion Nacional," Folltica, III (SeptemberDecember, 196I[.), Z^-kk.; Pedro Paris Montosinos, "Proyecciones . Socio-Econ6micas de la Reforma Agraria en Venezuela," Ensayos [Quito] (August, 1963), 32-U.O; Romulo Betanccurt, Frente a Probl emas del Campo Ve nezolano (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, 1939); Alexander, The Vcne z uefa n Democratic Revolution, pp. 169-170. ' ^-^Vonozuela, Institute Agrario Nacional, Manual de

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291 clause has not been pushed by the AD governiTients . Under the lavj, present occupants, tenants, and agricultural laborers will be given first preference to land parcels. The lands taken over are to be paid for in cash up to Bs 100,000 (approximately $30,000); above this the payment is to be partly in cash and partly in bonds. Payment is to be made at current market value. The sales price to new owners includes the cost of purchase plus improvements, and the payment can be extended over a period of 20 to 30 years, with annual amounts not to exceed $i> of gross income from sales of produce. In some cases land can be distributed free of charge. Once the application for land has been accepted by the IAN, applicants are required to form an administrative committee to handle local affairs and to act as liaison with the IAN. Often these committees are, for all practical purposes, made up of the same people who form the PCV unit in a particular locality. Provisional titles are extended after one year. Permanent titles are issued once the farmer has paid for his land in full. At the end of 1966, 131,250 families had received land from the lAN.^-^ In addition to setting forth these new regulations controlling land tenure, the law contains provisions for the imposition of graduated land taxes in order to force owners ,^f;oce^'i"iiento3j;)ara^a de Fincas (Caracas: IAN. PoHtica, VI (February, 196?), 86.

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292 of large farms to cultivate their properties more intensively or to sell them. Further articles deal with farm credit, marketing, extension services, cooperatives, peasant leagues, land development, and other supplementary measures. The cumulative effect of all these measures — dealing with economic, social, and political factors-justifies the label given to the Venezuelan law as being an integrating agrarian reform lav?. Not surpri5:ingly, to implement all these objectives, a host of agencies is directly involved. Agencies for Agrarian Reform Imp lementation Action in planning, coordination and development in agriculture has been assumed almost exclxisively by the government— more specifically, by the executive branch. This has given added pov/er and prestige to the president; and if it is true that he may be blamed for the failures in the agrarian reform program, it is equally true that he is the first and foremost in reaping the praise--and the votes-from those v;ho have in any measure benefitted from the program. Thus, his central role in agrarian reform and the political profits derived from it is another reason why the presidency is such a coveted prize for all Venezuelan Venezuela, Ministerio de Agricultura y Cria, Exposici on do Kotivos al Proy ecto do Ley de Ref ornia Agraria. Ley de Roro rma A p.raria (Caracas; mc, \961); InsTituto Agrario Nacional, Loy de Reform a Agraria (Caracas: IAN. 1960). Both have the full text of the Law.

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293 parties. By the same token, the opposition parties find it particularly advantageous to try to undermine the agrarian reform program — the more the program fails, the greater becomes the chance for the opposition to attain the presidential chair, come election time, /inally, where agrarian reform becomes so deeply Involved in the political process, as it does in Venezuela, the ci-ucial necessity of having a widely-based politic al support for agrarian reform is understandable if it is to be given a chance to survive long enough to be implemented and to eventually become part and parcel of the central political issues of the country. It is to these topics that we devote the remaining portion of this chapter. The Venezuelan executive, in addition to setting goals of grovjth and carrying out the "integrated" agrarian reform program, has taken an active part in capitalization, technical study, and in some cases actual operations, in order to raise and improve the standard of living of the rural population and to incorporate it into the nation's economy. The general government planning agency, CORDIPLAN, includes agricultural planning in its scope. The three governmental agencies which in practice bear most of the 65 See supra, chap. II; Shelp, "Latin American Leadership in Transition:' Legitimacy vs. Personalismo , " pp. 27-3l|. ^^See chap, VIII; John Friedmann, Ve ne z_u e 1 a , from Doctrine to Dialogue (Syracuse, N.Y. : University o? Syracuse Press, 1955")T' Friedmcnn argues persuasively that CORDIPLAN is an outstanding example of an agency for democratic planning.

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responsibility for planning and executing agricultural development programs are the National Agrarian Institute (IAN), the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MC), and the Agricultural and Livestock Bank (BAP). Other agencies such as the Ministries of Health, of Public Works and of Education, are in charge of certain aspects of the program while the Peasants' Federation (FCV) is the most 67 Important nongovernmental agency involved. ' The IAN, according to the Ley Agraria, is the main agency in charge of the administration of lands. Its directorate must plan and implement the settlement and agrarian reform projects. The Institute acquires and purchases land and decides the amount to be paid for the land the size of the land parcels, and the identity of the beneficiaries. The law provides that the IAN be run by a directorate consisting of a president and four directors, two of whom represent campesino organizations and another who is a professional agronomist. All the members are appointed by the president of the country. Between i960 and 1^6$ the IAN distributed land to 108,093 families. It also made large investments in land clearance and grading, drainage and irrigation, public services and utilities, technical assistance, farm credit and marketing facilities connected v;ith its settlement program. During the first nine months of 1966, 2,885 'Victor Alba, "La Reforme Agraire au Venezuela," Re vue S ocialiste [Paris] (February, I963), II4.7-151.

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hectares of land v;ere brought under irrigation, at a cost of 26.7 million bolivars; 362 miles of access roads v/ere built in agricultural areas and another 715 miles were repaired or reconstructed, at a total cost of I8 million bolivars. During those nine months land was distributed to 11,291 rural families. The IAN is aided in its agricultural colonization program by numerous other agencies. If the land is virgin, the Ministry of Public V/orks (MOP), may have to build penetration roads. In most cases, when the IAN distributes land to the campesinos or charters a cooperative, it plans for basic utilities and either provider the .power, water, schools, and houses itself or calls in other agencies. The MAC is the coordinating center for other governmental and private agencies engaged in agrarian reform. It is concerned with production factors such as output projections, productivity of resources, rural mechanization, cooperatives and extension services and research. Thus the Ministry not only has the main responsibility of providing technical assistance to the producer through the Extension Service, but also of obtaining data and promoting research to improve and train the extension service agents themselves. Inter-American Development Bank, Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America (V/ashinston D C ^f^ri^-^rSSr ^^^^T^e^mi^rrWrrrpy3Bi: mter-Amencan 69 pp. 25-1^4. "Reforma Agraria y Superaci6n Nacional,"

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296 The BAP concorns itself with loans and credits to farmers and livestock producers. It is active in carrying out the agrarian reform by providing credits for seeds, tools, and living expenses to the campesinos. It makes loans or gives credit to individuals and cooporatives . The campesinos usually pledge a portion of their crop at a supported price as collateral, and the BAP subsequently markets the crop or stores it for the next year's seed. 70 The BAP also offers loans to the larger commercial farmers, but these loans are administered by the MAC. Other activities include an intricate and graduated price support program for staple products, and the operation of storage facilities, such as grain elevators, dryers, and warehouses. In addition, the BAP has sole authority to import agricultural products; it exercises this right only v/hen the 71 domestic crop fulls short of internal demand. In addition to the three entities mentioned above, there are also bimonthly meetings of a coordinating committee, comprised of representatives from the MAC, the IAN, and BAP, and the FCV. The Minister of Agriculture and 70 In fact the BAP was originally created for the purpose of making loans to large agricultural and livestock enterprises. This is not generally known and the fact that the BAP makes such loans is a source of frequent criticism of the agency. 71 Giro Mujica, "Planif icaci6n del Cr6dito dentro de la Reforma Agraria, " Polltica, III (September-December, 1961|), k^-Skl Ricardo De Sola, ""Almacenaraiento y Conservaci6n de Productos Agrlcolas," Polltica, III (September-December, 1961|), 55-76.

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297 Livestock is the president of the Coordinating Cornmitteo and has the duty of giving direction to the agrarian reforra and insuring efficient joint effort. The success of this body is in some question, since politics and group Jealousieb tend to hamper the making of decisions. The role of private capital in long-range development has been small and generally confined to service activities. The Rural V/elfare Council has been active in area and development studies and in technical services on a contract basis. The emphasis has been on studies of needs and problems v/lthin a particular field which have usually not taken the whole farm as an integrated economic unit, but rather have considered separate segments of its activities. The Shell Service for the Agriculturalist has been instrumental in popularizing insecticides and fungicides, for example. The tobacco companies have also been active in extending advics and credit to the tobacco growers. Government efforts to secure a more active participation of private capital in agriculture recently induced the Creole Investment Corporation (CIC) to acquire a 1^8% share in a model breeding ranch and also to enlarge a plant for the development of hybrid seed corn. Perhaps the most intensive activity of the private sector has been in technical and extension services .""^^

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298 It is generally concoded that the Venezuelan agrarian reform 'program did not move as fast as Acci6n Democr^tica leaders had hoped that it v/ould.'''^ Besides the natural difficulties of implementing any ambitious and broad program such as that provided for in the i960 Agrarian Reform Lav;, the problems of judicial procedure for granting provisdonal titles to land, the political problems, the lack of trained personnel, and tho lack of agencies appropriate to implement and to coordinate the program all contributed to the lack of total success. The IAN, the BAP, and the MAC all had been inherited from other administrations and all of them had been refashioned to suit P^rez JimSnez. They had served purposes very different from those for which the AD regimes needed them, and the process of transforming thorn into organizations capable of carrying out a fundamental change in the economic and social structure was not easy. With a critical scarcity of trained personnel, it was neither feasible administratively nor wise politically for the AD administrations to pare or strearoline these institutions. Coordination of the activities of the agencies administering the program presented further complications. This situation was aggravated by the fact that these three agencies were controlled by different political combinationrcombinati ons which became further strained with the breakdown pp. 181-193!^''^''^^'** £he_Vene^uela n Demo cratic Revolution.

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299 of government coalitions and splits within AD itself. The IAN \^as dominated from the beginning by Acci6n Democr§.tica, though COPEI and later URD wore represented in its directorate. The MAO was in the beginning in the hands of COPEI, later coming unde..^ URD during the Leoni government. Reportedly, Leoni's refusal to allow COI'SI to remain at the head of the MAC stimulated that party's departure from the governmental coalition that had existed during Betancourt's administration.'''^ The BAP was headed for the first two and a half years of the Betancourt administration by an independent, under whose administration the Communists and the MIR had a great deal of influence. It finally passed to AD hands in the middle of I96I but it was then faced with a problem of not having the necessary funds for its operations.'''^ Aside from political considerations, the bureaucratic separation of the throe chief organs of the agrarian reform was found to lead to overlapping and to confusion and disputes over jurisdiction. There has been talk of placing all responsibility for the agrarian reform program under one single agency, but this has not been implemented and the prospects of such a move are not very bright. To add, in 7 1 leda Siqueira V/iarda, "Leoni's First Year in Office: Gobierno de Amplia Base," Carib bean Monthly Bulletin. II (April, 1965), 5-6. . — — • 75 ^'^^^^^'^^^f ^^?-J^®^®£y^iLS_2§^o°i''ati° Revolution, p. Iti6._ As late as 1965npolitical~?i^hiF~tHaF^l^^ aiderations seemed to be behind an effort by the Congress to limit BAP'S functions.

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300 only a few states has the governor undertaken to coordinate the agrarian reform program in his area. Finally, all these agencies have suffered frora cuts in their budgets, cuts determined not only by a recession during the first half of the Betancourt administration but also by cuts made by the opposition in Congress especially since 1962. Just as serious has been the lack of trained personnel to man the reform, especially its extension sez^vice aspects. The slovmess in providing final titles to the settled peasants and inadequate marketing facilities have proven to be other sources of frustration and friction vjithin the agencies of agrarian reform, "^^ Political Support Tlie difficulties in program implementation and program coordination are further complicated if one takes into consideration the question of political support for the type of program undertaken by the Accion Deraocratica administrations. Political rivalries and arguments between the members of the various political parties and even within AD itself have resulted in the slov;ness and sense of frustration that at times appear to characterize the agrarian reform program. Often at the state and at the local levels differences have erupted between members of parties that have formed the coalition at the national level. In the few places where the Communists and other opposition parties have some influence 76 U.S. Army, ig£ea Jlan^boolc f o r V e ne zu e 1 a , p. 370.

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301 on the peasant movement, they have attempted to use their peasant follov^ers to embarrass the government. The extreme Left opposition parties, as well as URD during most of the Betancourt years, violently attacked the official program and sought to discredit it in the eyes of the peasants. They accused the government of purposely delaying land redistribution, of leaving the latifundia system intact, and of failing to provide sufficient credit or technical aid to the beneficiaries of the reform. The opponents from the Right likevjise have found grounds to denounce the government program. They have exaggerated the number of instances in which peasants have illegally seized land and have argued that they themselves had the constant threat of expropriation hanging over them thus making it impossible to press any improvement on their own properties. This in turn undermined, as occurred in the first few years of the Betancourt administration, the confidence of the business community in the country's future. Inevitably, the agrarian reform operations have been affected by the turbulent political crosscurrents in Venezuela that plagued the Betancourt administration and that later strained the Leoni government. A fluid situation has been caused by the fashioning and refashioning of governmental coalitions--f irst vdtb. the departure of URD early in the Betancourt administration, then the MIR and the ARS splits within AD. Leoni had to work with URD and with Uslar Pietri, and later with URD and AD alone after the

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302 departure of Uslar Pietrl from his government; and the situation reicains unstable. Once the original URD-AD-COPEI coalition broke down and the AD splits took place, the Betancourt and Leoni governments were faced with a minority in Congress with insufficient votes to appropriate the necessary funds for the agrarian reform operations. In fact, the opposition parties have found here a handy weapon to use against the AD-government . Debates have sought to foster the impression that the government has been both slow in pushing the reform forward and corrupt in 77 going ahead with the projects already under way. These charges have not been substantiated, but they nevertheless have damaged the government efforts at the same time that they have served as a convenient excuse for the opposition to refuse to appropriate the necessary funds for agrarian reform projects. It is important to point out, however, that in spite of the opposition moves--at times successful — to frustrate AD-sponsored projects, the opposition has not openly been against the agrarian reform program per se. In fact, perhaps the most significant accomplishment of the AD-leadership efforts in this particular policy area has been the political support within and without the party for agrarian reform. 'Arturo Uslar Pietri, "El Dilema Nacional," El Nacional (Novcriber I3, 1966), p. A-i^. This critical "essay by Uslar Pietri appeared after h© had abandoned the Leoni governmental coalition. See also "Deshabitadas 1^0 Viviendas Camposinas que Costaron dos Millones," El Nacional, (April 10, 1966), p. D-7.

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303 Since 1958 no political party has dared oppose agrarian reform — the conflicts have existed on the form and the timing of variovxs aspects of this reform as well as the manner in which to bring the campesino into the mainstream of modern Venezuela. This tremendous difference betv/een the years in vjhich the advocacy of agrarian reform v;as considered irrefutable proof of a party's "communistic" tendencies and the present when all parties support it and only vie with each other in offering plans to make it more effective in a shorter time, is a difference greatly to be credited to AD's forthright position in this regard as well as its relentless efforts in realizing and carrying out its program. The agrarian reform law of I960 was the result of painstaking studies undertaken by the Agrarian Reform Commission, composed of technicians as v;ell as representatives of various socioeconomic and political sectors of Vene78 zuela. The bringing together of various shades of political opinion was further underlined at the time the Law was promulgated at the historical Carabobo Battleground. Among those leading the celebration were Betancourt and Leoni from Accion Democratica, Victor Gim6nez Landinez and Rafael Caldera from COPEI, and j6vito Villalba, secretary general of URD.*^*^ 78 Venezuela, Comision de Reforma Agraria, Informes d e las Subconisio nos (ij. vols.; Caracas: rdnisterib de Agricultura y Cria, 1959). 79 The full text of their speeches appeared in Institute Agrario Nacional, Ref orma Agraria en Venezuela, pp. 37-53. —

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30k Betancourt viewed the Law as a fulfillment of the political ideals of Bolivar, among them national independence, abolition of all forms of slavery, and democratization of the nation's v;ealth and resources. The latter ideal, he said, could become a reality only througFi the agrarian reform lav;. Gim6nez Landinez stressed the "integrating" character of the reform, a reform that would be attained through unified political effort. The same theme of unity as essential for the accomplishment of agrarian reform was echoed by Leoni and Caldera, who named it "the law of [political] unity." Villalba underlined the Venezuelan character of the attempted program. Caldera was to later link the "carta magna del campesino" with the papal fin encyclical Madre j Maestra, v;hile the president of the Federacion Camposina de Venezuela was to call it "a national undertaking . . . not a charitable operation ... to correct social injustices, but a patriotic, nationalistic and progressive program aimed at integrating Venezuela's economy into a cohesive and sound structure." This demonstration of political unity behind the agrarian reform law of I960 was the result of Betancourt 's early recognition that no agrarian reform law could be passedmuch less implemented-unless it reflected the views of many 80 Quoted in Rafael Silva Guillen, La Re forma Agraria en Venezue la, p . 1 . 81 Armando Gonzalez, Agrari an Reform a s Seen by the Labor Movement in Agriculture , p. T^T.

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505 leading politicians of various parties as well as allayed the fears of the landholding elite that its property would be subject to outright e;'.propriation. On the other hand, this moderation and gradualism on the part of Betancourt and later of Leoni, have made them targets for criticisms from the absolxitists who claim that the only real land reform is instantaneous redistribution of all land. Among these extremists \iere those who insisted that the 1958 overthrow of P^rez Jim6nez without immediate land reform had become a "revolution to no purpose" because no 82 spectacular expropriation of latifundia was taking place. The administrative difficulties, the obstructive maneuvers of the opposition, and the criticism of the agrarian reform program have stopped short of totally undermining the program itself. The program's resilience seems to be due to its gradualism and, above all, to the um-7avering support given it by the Federacion Campesina do Venezuela. Although not a part of the administrative machinery that implements the agrarian reform program and although it characterizes itself as a nonpartisan entity, the FCV has played a crucial role in the political support that has sustained the AD-sponsored program.®-^ 82 Duraont, Lands Alive , pp. 28-29; Paul H. Finch, "Senalan Fallas Reforma Agraria de Venezuela," Listln Diario [Santo Doiaingo, D.R.] (August 3I, 1961|.), p. 1. 83 The best study of the FCV is Powell's Preliminary Report o n the Federacion jCampeslna de Venezuela. For the FGV's relations to the"" Venezuelan labor movement, see chap. VII.

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306 In the 1958 elections, AD received a large rural vote in part because it was able to identify itself with the well-organized and vridespread Federacion Cainpesina. It is usually granted by adecos and the opposition alike that it v/as the strong rural vote and not the urban vote that \-jix3 decisive in those elections. Thus, it was not surprising that the PCV v;as prorainent in the drafting and in the implementation aspects of the Ley Agraria of 1960.^^ The law specified that two members of the 5-raan IAN directorate should come from the PCV, Furtherinore, beyond this direct influence on the policies of agrarian reform, FCV locally has a tremendous impact. V/ithout the assistance and discipline of the FCV organization, this program could not have been put into effect with the relative order and absence of disruption of overall agricultural production which it enjoyed.®^ Thus, because it is often the only organized entity in the rural community, the local of the FCV is responsible for drawing up the petition for subdivision of individual plots. At other times members 8^ Institute for the Comparative Study of Politica] Systems, Venezuela Election Factbook (Washington, D.C.: ICOPS, 1953 J. It shourarbe notTd~fcHat the rural vote seems to have been crucial even in the early elections held between 191^5 and 19i;-8. Betancourt clairas that AD won these elections because of "massive rural support." Betancourt, Venezuela; Folltica y Pe troleo. p. 355. 85 A. Curtis Wilgus (ed.). The Car ib bean; V enez uelan Developmen t (Gainesville, Pla.: University "61'"" Florida Press, 196'3), pp. 203, 205, 217, 232-?33.

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307 of the FCV participate locally in convincing a recalcitrant landlord that he should sell his land. Often also, the PCV members are given the task of supervising the clearing of the land, the tractor work, technical assistance to agriculture, etc. In order to do all these things, the FCV is heavily subsidized by the government. It is not surprising, then, to see that the FCV has been of enormous political importance in the planning and executing of the agrarian reform program. Until now it has exerted a commendable influence and has been credited with much that has been accomplished in agrarian reform as well as in providing for political stability and government support in the 86 campo. FCV President Armando Gonzalez feels that the FCV has channeled the campesino demands through the legally established agencies and, thus, it has strengthened these agencies at the same time that it has shovm the campesino that he indeed has a voice in the solution of his own problems. The FCV has, for example, presented some 11-0,000 land petitions to the IAN, of which 70,000 had been answered positively by late 1961}.. The Federaci6n has also actively participated in the programming, planning, and execution of the agrarian reform through its representatives in the IAN 66 Perm and Schuster, "La Reforma Agraria de Venezuela, 'p. 36; Lord, "The Peasantry as an Emerging Political Factor "p. 91^. This topic will be further examined in cnap. VII.

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308 directorate, in the coranissions for agrarian reform, in the MAC, and in the state and local levels. It has founded "escuelas de capacitaci6n, " of which four are already in operation. These schools are in charge of creating a core of peasant leaders who are thoroughly familiar with the agrarian reform program and v;ho are able to use the peasant leagues as a raeans of access to the governmental machinery. The ultimate objective of the Federacion is to become independent from government subsidies and to promote its own financial means through cooperatives, housing projects, and the like. It is felt that this independence will give the FCV further bargaining power with whatever political party happens to be in charge of the executive and of the agrarian 87 reform program at any given time. Gonzalez and most campesino leaders, although recognizing the difficulties encountered in the implementation of the agrarian reform program, argue that the program is basically sound and that, given time, it will prove itself. This judgment on the part of campesino leaders appears correct. Thus, the Venezuelan farmer is earning 10 times more today than he did 22 years ago. Agricultural production, moreover, has increased 1% annually since the late 1950's, well ahead of Venezuela's 3.6^ population growth. Expansion of agricultural production in the early 87 Gonzalez, "Reforma Agraria y Suporacion Nacional," pp. \\2-\\.'}>\ Armando Gonzalez, "Los Campesinos y La Reforma Agraria," Politico, VI (February, I967), 5-12.

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309 stages of agrarian reform is the exception rather than the rule. Venezuela's experience seems to be unique at least 88 in the Latin-American context. Land reform had placed 1)4.3 >8l7 families on 3,685»l50 hectares of their ovm land up to the end of 196?. By the end of 1968, v;hich coincides with the end of the current four-year economic plan, it is expected that l57jOOO families will have been settled, 57,000 more than originally programmed. At the end of I967 there v:ere about 750 farming settlements (ase ntamientos ) in Venezuela where settlers worked their lands on a cooperative basis with the help of the IAN. To house them, IAN built 1|2,6L|.9 dwelling units under the current program on 3OI settlements. By the end of 1968, 12,000 additional units are scheduled 89 to rise on 1^2 settlements. The significance of these figures is attested by many students of Venezuelan oconciTiics and politics. Alexander affirms that "although the Venezuelan agrarian reform has been beset with problems, its significance in the general pattern of thr country's democratic revolution is un90 questionably groat. Ho was not alone in this 88--, For comparison, see Inter-American Development Bank, Spcio-Ec onomic Progress in Latin America , passi m. 89 New York Times , January 22, 1968, p. 66. 90 Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution, p. 192.

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310 conclusion. Various surveys have stressed that the land distribution program is already bringing about a long overdue improvement in the economic and social structure of the country. It is establishing a class of small landholders who will be able to put into production large parts of the nation's arable land never before used. These small landholders v;ill in uany cases have a money income for the first time, and will provide a grov/ing market for the goods manufactured by now industries established as a result of industrial diversification, another phase of the Acci6n Democr^tica's governmental program. Available figures indicate that the agrarian reform has already brought a op noticeable increase in the output of agricultural products. Aside from these considerations, an indicator of the slow but steady progress of the agrarian reform program is the degree to which the parties that have led the government coalition have been able to keep the loyalty of the peasantry. Judged on this basis, the agrarian reform program See, for example, Rai5l Looni, "View from Caracas," Foreign Affairs, XLIII (July, 1965), e^li-Si^.^,* Victor Alba, , Alliance without Allies (New York: Frederic A. Preoger, 1965), pp. 92, "152, I6I4., 177-178; Claudio Veliz, "Obstaculos a la Reforma en America Latina," Foro Internacional [Mexico], IV (July 15, 1963), 379-396. ; 92 Alexander, The Venez uelan Democratic Revolution , pp. I83-I6I4.; Alejandro M. Osorlo, "La Agricultura Venezolana en el Desarrollo Econ5mico del Pais y la Reforma Agraria," Polttic a, IV (August-September, 1965), 35-U8. Osorio has at various times been professor of agrarian lav/, supreme court Justice, director of the BAP, and minister of the MAC. See ^Iso Polttica, VI (February, I967), 86 that shows the grov;th both^ in the number of landovmers and in agricultural production since the introduction of the agrarian reform proo-ram. The same issue carries an editorial, "Los Campesinos y la" Reforma Agraria," pp. 5-12.

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311 cen be considered fairly successful. The overwhelraing majority of the peasant unions throughout Venezuela have reraained under the control of Accion Democratica, in spite of the MIR and lat .r the ARS splits. The only states where AD did not control the majority of organized peasants were the Andean states of M^rida and T^chira, where local units of the FCY were led by COPEI elerc3nts--and COPEI was aligned with AD throughout the Betancourt government years and has played a "loyal opposition" role during the Leoni administration. When URD came into the coalition with Leoni, it brought its few ligas and sindicatos to the AD-dominated 93 FCY. The fact that in several instances the camposinos were at the forefront of the government's struggle to suppress the guerrillas seemed to be the clearest proof of all that the campesinos had faith in the government and felt that the agrarian reform, even if slowly implemented, did hold the promise of a better life for them and their children. Prom all accounts, both AD presidents, Leoni and Betancourt, received the core of their political support from the campesinos, especially those who had been organized by the FCV or who had benefited in some measure from the AD-sponsored agrarian reform program. This becomes very clear if one looks at the states where the core of the AD vote in I963 (though substantially reduced from its 1958 93 t«^tr,r fv.^' r"'^ detailed examination of the FCV in the context 01 the Venezuelan labor movement appears in chap VII

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312 landslide victory) v;as conceritratod~-in Lara, in Portuguesa, in Yaracuy> in Barinas, in Apure, in Guarico, in Anzoategui, in Monagas, in Sucre states and in the Delta Amacuro territory--all considered "rural" areas. Accl6n Democratica has won every free election since 19/|8 but its margin of victory has declined in each election. In 1958 AD had of the vote; in I963, 32,7fo. In 1958 AD had a majority in only five of the ten largest cities; in I963, it had a plurality in only five and won more than 30% of the vote in only two of these. Accion Democratica received only 13.6% of the vote in Caracas in I963. The party won its plurality in the interior and specially in the solidly rural areas. About 55^ of the total AD vote was compiled in the countryside and in towns of less than 5,000 inhabitants."^^ COPEI, the party with the second largest proportion of the vote, and a partner of the AD-governmental coalition during 19591963, achieved 31% of its vote in only three states, the largely agricultural Andean states of Merida, T&chira, and 91, Alba, Alj^igiice W ithout All ies, pp. 92, I77-178: Alexander, The_Venez uelan Dgi^I^^ ?im~R^vo1 ut1 on ! T>a;sim: Institute for the Comparative Stnid7-5r-p5ritT5•l SyitiHs, V^nezuelaj_^^ passim; Institute for the Comparative Study of PolitTS•l SyitiHs, The Venezuelan gl£2i^ng_of, December 1,..1963, Pts. I, iTrm-Tlirt^ssim. 95 vni-o -Jn ^^v^^^ "^""^ arrived at by calculating the AD vote in municipalities so classified in the 1950 einsus: l^l ^M^i^? ^"^^^ ""^^^''^^ Venezuela as a who?e are still in the process of being published, ihis mav. however, understate the rural percentage since ru^aH^ecmcts near large towns have not been counted.

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313 Trujillo. In short, the two top parties in Venezuela, because of the fragmentation of the urban vote among other smaller parties, are dependent for the bulk of their support on the rural voters. In order to maintain power one may say that AD must maintain, campesino loyalties, v/hile the other parties, unless they are able to present a solid front in the cities, will have to undercut AD strength in the rural areas. The consequence for the campesino is that the government, especially Accion Democratica, has a vested interest in moving him into the mainstream of rapidly modernizing Venezuela. These conclusions are buttressed by the author's interviews with over 100 AD leaders and members of various socioeconomic backgrounds. Thus, when asked what they thought of the agrarian reform and what they would like to see modified in it or added to it, the adecos questioned gave their overwhelming support to the program: TABLE 9 AD MEMBERS VIS-A-VIS THE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM Approve 88^ ikk members) Disapprove 6^ ( 3 members) Don't Know 6^ ( 3 members) 96 The question asked "what do you think of the agrarian reform program?" See Appendix.

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31J4TABLE 10 AD LEADERS VIS-A-VIS TPEE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM Approve 93/^ iBk leaders) Disapprove 5^ ( 3 leaders) Don't Knov; . 2% { 1 leader ) The modifications desired would not signify a complete overhauling of the program, only more of it in every 97 aspect, except, perhaps, more personnel. These were the modifications desired by those questioned: TABLE 11 MODIFIGATIOIJS DESIRED IN TflE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM AD Members AD Leaders More Credit More Education More Land More Personnel More Political Organizations (Ligas) More Machinerv V (Tools, etc.) {1^2 members) 76^ (38 members) 92% (I4.6 members) 6% ( 3 members) Q2fo (lj.1 members) 78^ (39 members) 88^ (51 leaders) 89^ (52 leaders) 67?^ {k.9 leaders) 56^ (33 leaders) 91^ (53 leaders) 72% ik2 leaders) 'The question asked "x,rhat would you like to see changed in the agrarian reform program?" See Appendix. Both members and leaders often gave a series of modifications they would like to see made, thus the noncumulative character of the percentage points in the table above, mxat these mean is, simply, for example, that while 92% or i}.6 of the members mentioned "more land," only 6% or 3 members mentioned "more personnel" among the desired modifications. Notice should also be made of the fact th-it "expropriation" per se did not appear as part of the "more land" type of response and the few times this cropped up openly in the interviews occurred in renponses obtained in major cities such as Maracaibo and Caracas and in every instance the respondent vras no t a camposiuo.

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Thus the priorities for change would seem to be: for members — land, credit, ligas, machinery, education, and personnel, in that order; for leaders--ligas , education, credit (these three clustered very closely together), machinery, land, and personnel, in that order. One would seem justified in concludinj from these responses that both AD leaders and members interviewed were fairly satisfied with the agrarian reform program in that they gave it such overwhelming support and only had suggestions for more of the same. The low priority given *° personnel seemed to be part of an overall reaction against the bureaucracy, a ne-ative reaction already found by a number of other observers of the Venezuelan society^^ and aptly stated by a former Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, The unjustifiable in our agrarian reform ... is that the IAN spends more than Bs 70 million annually in its administrative bureaucracy; that the BAP spends more than Bs 72 million for the same purpose; and that the liAG spends annually Bs 62 million, or almo£!t 2/5 of its total budget, in personnel salaries for twice the number of employees it really needs, . . . All these are not only un lustif iable occurrences but also they are acts of treason, dialectically speaking, to the Agrarian Reform. In effect, economies in personnel could be made that . . . would result in an additional Bs 60 million becoming annually available for the settling of at least 15,000 more campesino families in a presidential term of office (five years). 99 96 n •Sonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.), Studying the Venezuel an Folj^tjv. £aj&3im. ^ — ^ — 99 Osorio, "La Agricultura Venezolana," p. 1^6.

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316 The perhaps surprising degree of ax^proval of peasant leagues as a means to 3.mprove the agrarian reform program seemed to indicate that adecos truoted the FCV as a channel of communication between themselves and the government. In the course of the interviews it was often remarked by the respondents that it was in the liga meeting that they discussed their grievances and sought recourse from the government. It was also often the case that the local adeco leader v;as also the agent responsible for agrarian reform in that particular place. ''"^^ Prom a detailed examination of the literature on the Venezuelan agrarian reform program (both AD-oriented and independent), there seems to be substantial basis for affirming that the program has indeed been successful in eliciting a high degree of support from various sectors of the Venezuelan society . In this sense, it has been an integrating element in that polity. The differences as to form, substance, and timing of the program have not vrrenched apart sectors of the society, for example, the campesinos and the hacendados, or led to an extreme type of militancy among the campesinos themselves. There are indications, furthermore, that the Federaci6n Campesina de Venezuela has played a moderating role by giving the campesino a sense of leverage, of power before the government because of his political militancy (and vote). The FCV has also served as a channel of communication between the campesino and the See cnap . VII .

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317 governmental agencies responsible for agrarian reform implementation. For their part, the AE governments of Betancourt and Leoni have been thoroughly aware of the crucial role played by the rural vote in their electoral victories. Their long interest in the agrarian question, both from an historical as vjell as from an economic point of viev:, has led these leaders to act with deep political insight in pushing for the implementation of a comprehensive agrarian reform program. Economically and historically the campesinos have been the lowest men in Venezuela society, the most neglected by scores of governments, from the days of the Spanish regime until very recent decades. In the popvilar literature, the campesino has always been depicted as the Juan Bimba (John Nothing) par excellence --used and abused by the caudillos and in perpetual, if somewhat bevrildered misery Yet, in spite of the exploitation they have been subject to, the campesinos appear today to be still hopeful about the agrarian reform program and they seem still trustful that the government, at long last, is indeed taking an interest in A very popular poet tells how "Juan Bimba had tv/enty horses, the Revolution took ten; to pursue them, the government took the other ten; and .v/hen no more remained, they took Juan Bimba." Andr6s Eloy Blanco, "Juan Bimba," in Sus Me jores Poemas (Caracas: Ediciones Populares Vonezolanas ,~ n.d. ) . "

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318 ... ^ . 102 their fate. By tackling the agrarian problem in a comprehensive manner and yet avoiding a breach among various groups of Venezuelan society, by evoking political support as well as by providing channels of communication between campesino and gobierno through its implementing agencies, the ADsponsored agrarian refonii can fully justify the label of an integrating program. From the more purely economic viewpoint, the AD agrarian reform has been of revolutionary importance. Production has never failed to rise, and reform has created no economic dislocations. On the contrary, the agrarian reform program has been integrated smoothly with the traditional agricultural system. The rapidly diversifying system of agriculture is becoming a principal source of raw materials for domestic industry and has already cut perceptibly into imports of these products. Growth has been such that Venezuela is today among the very few nations of the world whose agriculture is expanding at twice the rate of its population — and the only one in Latin America. For the Venezuelan campesino, active participation in the peasant leagues has made him one of the most politically active elements in society and one of the most effective in exerting a positive pressure on the government. 102 J. R. Mathiason, "The Venezuelan Campesino: Perspectives on Change," in Bonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.). Studying the Venezuelan Polity , pp. 197-251;.

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319 In this context, it is not sui'prising that the campesinos, who have objectively the smallest stake in the national system economically (they still earn the lowest income of any of major occupational groups in the country) are attitudinally its greater: t supporters and that they can be seen as the balancing element helping maintain the Venezuelan political system. It is as though the campesinos were beginning to feel that they had a stake in the system, because that system was beginning to give them concrete benefits. This involvement of the campesinos in the political and economic life of Venezuela parallels a similar involvement on the part of their urban counterparts, the obrero s and trabaja d ores .

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CHAPTER VII LABOR IN POLITICS ACCION DEMOCRATICA AND TliS VEK^ZUELAN LABOR MOVEMT Organized labor, both rural and urban, was the first pressure group to develop in a century and a half of Venezuelan independent history capable of challenging--sometimes successfully--the role of the armed forces as the sole arbiter of politics. Under capable leadership, notably from Accion Democrat ica, the trade unions demonstrated in 191^.5 and again in 1958 that they could play a key role in the overthrowing and in the selecting of governments. Since 1958 they have become the mainstay of two popularly elected presidents; their support has been at times crucial and is always considered essential by the presidents themselves. The power of organized labor is almost without parallel in other Latin-American countries and it is a very recent deve.lopment within Venezuela itself. "' The political power of the trade unions has meant that their members have— directly and indirectly--gained oi -.lo ^Al'^xander, Organized Labor J.n Latin America, pp. 3dl^, lij.2-152; Serafino Romualdi, "^'Libor anS DemoSFS^ in Latin America, Foreif^JlJTairs_, XXV (April, 19i+7 ) , U77-l;89; Discurso del Presidente de la Republica, Dr. RaiTil Leoni, en el V Congreso de Traba jadores , " Folitica , IV (Februaryharch, 1965), 9-18. " 320

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321 access to the government. They, like othei' sectors of the Venezuelan society such as the military and the Catholic hierarchy, have played a role in policy-making and policyimplementation. In this fashion, the Venezuelan trade unions have become participants in the socio-political system of which they are a part and, like that system, have been undergoin2--as v;ell as contributing to--a series of changes attendant upon the modernization process that is taking place in Venezuela. In this chapter we look at the origins of the Venezuelan labor movement, its involvement in the politics of the country, and the role AD has played in making this labor movement a prime factor in the whole integrating and modernization process. Origins of the Venezuelan Labor Movement The labor movement did not achieve the present degree of political importance overnight or without challenge, and Venezuela itself was a late-comer in having anything that could be labeled a trade union. VJith an almost exclusively agricultural economy until well into the twentieth century, the organization of labor was further curtailed by the long and restrictive Gomez dictatorship (1908-1935). In Venezuela, as in most Latin-American countries, attempts to organize labor were met with ruthless suppiession. Gomez associateJ labor unions v/ith Communism; their very existence, he maintained, would engender anarchy and lead to the inevitable overthrow of the

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322 p government c The governments of Lopez Contreras (1936.191+0) and Medina Angarita (19l.!-l -1914.5) v/ere far leas restric3 tive than the Gomez administration. The political elite was broadened somewhat, persecution of opposition elements was relatively laild but the control of the political power remained in fev; hands. While the years 1936-19ij.5 formed a transitional period during v/hich middle sector opposition groups were sporadically permitted to organize,^ labor---both rural and urban--'./as kept effectively at the margin of the political process by constitutional restrictions. Thus, the President of the country was chosen indirectly by the national Congress, which in turn was chosen by state legislators and municipal councilmen voted for by an electorate restricted by the 1936 Constitution to literate males 21 years of age or more.'^ It was not until after 19i|5, the Venezuelan executive now in the hands of Acci6n Democratica, that a new constitution enfranchised the vast majority of working-class Venezuelans.^ 2 Lavin, A Hale for Got.qz , p. !;26. 5 -^L6pez Contreras, El_Triu nfo de la Verdad . passim ; Allen, Vqne^zuela , A Dem ocracy, passim ; Medina Angarita, Cuatro Anos d e De mocracia, passlnu ^See supra, chaps. Ill and IV. 5 John D. Kartz, "Accion Democratica: The Evolution of a Modern Political Party" {unpv;blished Ph.D. dissertation. Dept. of Political Science, University of North Carolina, 19*^3), p. 49; Venezuela, liej_de_C enso Elector al y de Elocciones (Caracas: Edici6n Oficial, Imprenta KacilHiairT935']': ~ Tn,r... r,, t^^" '"^^^-^ V. ^^^^-^HgioH do 5 Julio d o 1914.7 (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, 19i|Y ) . —

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323 I Even though unenfranchised for so long, labor has from its inception been involved in politics in Venezuela just as in the rest of Latin America. It was modeled on the European pattern in which ideological considerations were of paramount importance. Not even today has it come close to the traditional North American "business unionism." principle of confining its activities to securing economic benefits through collective bargaining with a minimum of 7 involvement in party politics. European labor influences first appeared in Latin America in the early mutual benefit societies and semipolitical organizations of anarchists and socialists during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. In both types of organizations, European immigrants and Latin Americans familiar with Europe were prominent as founders and leaders, but this early phase of unionism bypassed Venezuela for all practical purposes and appeared, instead, only in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Though dominated by anarchosyndicalists , these incipient labor organizations were also heavily influenced by the socialijit o followers of Marx. 7~ Needier, Latin American Politics in Perspecti ve, pp. 51-56; Antonio Penichet Gomez, "Er~MovTmIento Obrero en Cincuenta Anos," America, XLI (December, I963), 1+8-56; Charles A. Page, "^'Labor's Political Role in Latin America," Virginia Quarterly Review , XXVIII vAutumn, 1952), i.8l-l+9[|.. For an excellent theoretical study soe Bruce K. Millen, "The Political Setting and the Union," chap. Ill of his The P ol it ical Role o f Labor in Develop ing: Countries ( Washington , TdjT." The Brookings Institution, ~T953)7~ ^Alexander, Latin A me rican Politics and Government, pp. 97-99. ~

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321+ The long reign of Gomez, who permitted no political organization to challenge his absolute authority, insured that Venezuela would receive only a minimal impact of the ferment of the Mexican and later the Russian Revolution, both of which carried with them messages of high significance to rural and urban populations everywhere. But even Gomez was powerless to completely shut Venezuela off from the currents of change; and Venezuela, like the rest of Latin America, was stirred by the new ideas. The discovery of petroleum and its exploitation in ever greater measure from the 1920' s on further insured that G6mez' manorial society could no longer continue to exist wholly at the margin of world events. In this period, the anarchosyndicalists lost their dominance and the socialists and trade unionists came to control the incipient LatinAmerican labor movement.^ Communist parties sprouted in several countries. R5mulo Betancourt, an exile from Gomez' repressions, was active in the organization of such a party in Costa Rica in I93O; and his own country saw the emergence of a Comrrranist Party in 1931. Both Communists and trade unionists, however, showed little grasp of the social, political, and economic realities of Latin America in general and of Venezuela in particular. By overstressing vague "anti-imperialist" feelings and the AT.5^^n. /ff^^^^co P6rez Leir6s, El Movimiento S^'ndical en A2i£i£a_La_ty2a (Buenos Aires: La^Vl^nillBrFdi^rm^^^

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325 class struggle, thoy were harbored in their organizational efforts. Their acceptance, further, of a doctrine of revolution in which the working class alone was to play a revolutionary role"^^ made them oblivious to the fact that even in the more advanced Latin-American countries, the industrial workers vjere far outnumbered by peasants and landless laborers, among whom hardly any organization ever existed — much less a "class" consciousness. The crucial question in Venezuela, as in all Latin America, was inevitably the land question — and this was a question which most of the socialists were singularly unable to handle to their advantage. They worked on the basis of a theoi^which assigned to the industrial proletariat the sole leadership of revolutionary forces, and were prepared to accord the peasants only a subordinate place under this leadership. Mostly urban, often European educated if not European born, they were all too apt not only to ignore the peasant but also to despise him and to regard him as a potential reactionary V7henever his lot improved a little. Thus, in theory and in practice, these socialists were unable to adapt themselves to the realities of Latin America and contributed practically nothing to the embryonic labor movement in Venezuela. "'"^Alexander Lozovsky, El Movimiento Sindical Latino Americ anq__Sus Virtudes y SuslD ef ectos (Montevideo : Confederacion Sindical Latino Americana "C.S.L.A.," 1928); Alexander, Organized La bor in La tin America , pp. 2I4I]. 2)4.6 .

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326 The outstanding exception to this rule and one which represented a real attempt to devise a specifically Latin-American conception of socialism applicable to the prevailing conditions was that of the Aprista (from APRA, Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Amei'icana) movement founded in Mexico in 192i|. by the Peruvian exile Victor Haya de la Torre. Instead of a movement under exclusively proletari.cn leadership, Haya called for a common front of v/orkers, peasants, intellectuals, and the middle sectors against the landed aristocracy and its allies, the foreign capitalists and their native supporters. He further rejected the separate nationalisms of the various Latin-American countries, and favored common action on a continental scale in Indo America (as he liked to call the American continent), including public ownership of land and the development of a continental system of social security. In its methods of organization, Haya's group had m^ach in comraon with the Communists — it underlined the need for a strong and disciplined party under centralized direction and control; and in Peru, and later in the APRA -influenced PDN in Venezuela, the aprista or ganiaaci6n de base was a cell or unit with small membership and secret meetings. But in this respect the apristas were again follovring the dictates of necessity; no open political organization v;as allov.'ed to emerge or to long ''"Haya de la Torre has x-rritten extensively. For the best summary and analysis of the APRA, see Harry Kantor, The

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327 survive in the Peru or in the Venezuela of the time. Aprista ideas, however, were to have a considerable impact in Veneznela, chiefly through the exiles--later Acci6n Democratica 12 leaders . Since the APRA avowed to be a multiclass organization, an alliance of workers, peasants, middle class, and indigenous owners of capital, against the landed aristocracy and foreign capitalism and imperialism, it set out to improve labor relations betvieen native obreros and native ££L^IP-5Ss. and thus came into conflict v/ith the other militant trade union groups, especially those led by the Communists. In spite of all difficulties, however, in Peru APRA managed to become a mass movement, with cells and groups in the towns as well as in the countryside, with a considerable following among Indians, whom it managed to reach on a scale previously unicnown. It also won a substantial following in Paraguay, Cuba, and Venezuela. In the latter country, the PDN and its successor, the AD, were often labeled "par tide apristas . "^-^ It should bo stressed, however, that in spite of Aprista-oriented underground leaders, the labor movement 12^ r„^v,4r * Chaps. Ill and V; Kantor, "The Development of Accion Dercocritica of Venezuela, " pp. 237-251. 13 P+. XT Co3e , ^ A History _of_Socia]J_Rf-. Thought, Vol. IV, ^^.11: %I2i5H|ism and_S^^ y^0_ //-^'.y. * ^* ,^9iali£« and Fascism, 1931 -19 39 (LondonMacmillan, I960T, PP~2T8'::2r9: IJ^ondon.

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328 in Venezuela was firmly kept in an embryonic stage by the forceful repression of Gomez. In his hands and those of his family and favorites, was a large proportion of the nation's best lands. Soldiers were often used as laborers in his h aciendas , while officers served as their foremen. The oil workers, the only laborers vho could be called a truly proletarian group, were few in number and were effectively atomized, isolated, and kept unorgani?;ed. There was also a huge surplus of unskilled laborers — the rural peasants who were only too willing to exchange their miserable lot for that of the comparably well-paid v/orkers — and the fact that they were readily expendable further retarded the growth of a strong labor organization. Ruthless toward any opposition, G6mez made certain that no trade union movement would be organized independently from his control. Perhaps to enhance his own standing abroad as an "enlightened" dictator, Gomez allowed the creation of the Federacion Obrora de Venezuela (FOV) in the late 1920 's and pressed for its affiliation with the International Labour Organization (ILO). But even this official labor federation achieved no significant importance and its claim of 25,000 members seems grossly exaggerated.^^ The "Confederation of Workers and Artisans of the Federal District," typical of if . , T>A ^ .-v'^^^r^f? Poblete Troncoso and Ben G. Burnett, The £l2±_o£__E£ieJ[^^^ Labor Movement (New York: B5'o"kman Associatesri9f0], P rWrTT-B rFSTorsSliLs , "El Memento Obrero en Acci6n DemocrStica, " A.D, (Septembei ^3, 1961). P • ip •

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329 v/orkers' "unions" of the Gomez years, was in reality purely a social organization v/hoao president was a loyal Gomecista. Tv/ice during the Gomez regime articles appeared in the press advocating unionization of workers, and in both instances 15 the author vras thrown in the dreaded prison La Rotunda. On July 23, 1928, Venezuela's first labor law was enacted. Accident compensation and death benefits were specified; maximum work hours were set at nine, but no minimum wage was set. Petroleum workers had to be eighteen years old. According to the law, labor disputes could voluntarily be submitted for arbitration to state governors from whose decisions a final appeal could be made to the Minister of Interior Relations. Workers were allovjed to set up unions, the law stated, but might not affiliate with foreign organizations. Pines were levied for spreading Communist propaganda. Another law decreed the construction by the government of housing projects to alleviate the housin problems of workers, but no action was ever taken to put that law into effect. The labor code itself became a dead letter when the government provided no enforcement machinery. Venezuela had no unionist tradition, and G6mez discouraged it. Not to be blamed on the dictatorship was the labor leaders' failure to create any effective links between urban workers and the peasants. The few labor leaders interested-Lavm, A Halo for Gomez , p. li|4. 16 Gaceta Oficial . July 23, 1928.

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330 and brave enough--in organizing; the viorkcrs were usually overly concerned with thoory and ideology and, coming from the cities, shov/ed little inclination to try the much harder task of arousing the illiterate, scattered, and povertystricken peasantry. Development of the V enezuela n Labor Movemen t Before the death of President Gomez in December, 1935> the development of labor had been seriously restricted by the dictator's tight control over all aspects of national affairs. Events of the period are rather obscure, partly because the newspapers were seldom allowed to publish more than social events and apologies to the perennial dictator. It is thus difficult to ascertain the activities of the Venezuelan Labor Federation (FOV), the government-sponsored organization; it is even more difficult to speculate concerning the activities of organizations not sanctioned by 17 Gomez. Indications are, however, that organized labor membership and influence were minim.al. Gomez' death ushered in a new era, and the incipient Venezuelan labor movement had its first chance to emerge from underground. Workers in the mutual benefit societies, oil workers, and returning exiles brought home the ideas of 17 Pocaterra, in his Gomez, The Shame of A merica, p. XX3. makes an appeal to the 'T/orkl ngmerTfT Fe d e r a tT3n7" but there IS no further attempt by the author to clarify what constituted this Federation or who were its members.

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331 political action groups and began to thinlc in terms of 1 o organizing themselves into one major labor federation. At first their efforts were aided by L6pez Controras' more relaxed handling of the presidential powers, and by the freer atmosphere he allov/ed all Venezuelans . In 1936 a new and exceptionally liberal labor code v;as promulgated. Reflecting the most advanced modern .thought, it forbade child labor, regulated v/orking conditions for women, provided for an eight-hour day and a forty-eight-hour week, housing and medical attention, arbitration of labor disputes, and the establishiDent of minimum wages, profit sharing, and 19 the right of labor to organize. This progressive and advanced labor code carried a key restrictive clause, however. In the words of Lavin, To protect itself against "certain elements (radicals and Communists) who abuse the privilege of democracy," the Lopez administration incorporated into the Labor Law a handy provision: unions \ieve allov/ed to establish industrial and comraercial schools, libraries and clubs, but the Labor Lav; specifically barred them from engaging in political activities and empov;ered the government to dissolve any union so engaged. 20 18 Valmore Rodriguez, who later distinguished himself as an adeco leader, helped found the first independent union of petroleum vforkers in Cabimas, in February, I936. For this and other episodes of the early phase of the Venezuelan labor movement, see Jesus Prieto Soto, El Chorro : Gracia o Mal dicion (Madrid: Industrias Graficas EspafTa, I960). 19 'Allen, Venezu ela, A De mocracy , pp. 235-314-3. Lieuv;en contends that "ostensibly the law applied to all Venezuelan labor; actually it was pointedly framed for the petroleum worker, for an elite of 25j 000 --for less than 2% of the working population." Lieuv;en, Petroleum in Venezuela, p. 8I. Lieuwen might have added that the employers affected were also an "elite," and a very special one at that, since they v;ere almost exclusively the foreign ov;ners and operators of the oil industry. 20 Levin, A Halo fo r Gom ez, p. ij.27.

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332 At the start of the Lopez Contreras administration, the stress appeared to be on liberalization and enforcement of the positive side of the labor code. The government, furthermore, shov/ed a favorable attitude tov;ards labor and recognition of its problems through the institution of numerous public works projects designed in part to alleviate unemployment. Soon after the passage of the 193^ Is-vi, there was a rapid organization of workers, especially among the Maracaibo Basin petroleum workers. Unions were formed at each of the principal oil camps, labor organizers established ties among tho locals, and the first labor congress was held in Caracas. More than 200 delegates, claiming to represent 150,000 workers, examined the status of the Venezuelan labor movement and of the nev/ social legislation, but they failed in their major aim--the establishment of a permanent, unified labor confederation.^-^ The v/eakness of the incipient labor movement became more apparent vrhen agitation and strikes in the oil fields provoked L6pez Contreras to put an end to the liberalization measures of the previous year. In December, 1936, when union leaders failed to get satisfaction from the oil companies on various demands, a general strike vfas called. To the amazement of both government and industry, 20,000 21 Luzardo, Notas Hi st6ri co-Economicas . pp. 37-38; Poblete Troncoso anT"Burnett, The Rise of t he Latin American Labor Movement , pp. 9i|.-95.

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333 workers left their jobs. Production dropped and this, in turn, caused a serious drop in the royalties the government received from the oil exploration. At this point, President Lopez Contreras invoked the restrictive clause in the labor code and accused the unions of engaging in illegal political p-j activities. Scores of young political and labor leaders were imprisoned or exiled. All anti-Lopez political parties were suppressed; the government was the only political force openly allovjed on the scene. A labor conference scheduled for 1938 was banned. Nevertheless, a measure of central organization was achieved through the secret establishment of a national coirjuittee on labor organizations. Meanv/hile, two political tendencies gained dominance within the grovilng Venezuelan proletariat. At this point the largest and most important strain was oriented toward the Partido Covaunista de Venezuela, a member of the Communist International and particularly effective in gathering support from the oil field workers. The other tendency leaned toward 22 Ahora [Caracas], December ll]., 1936, p. 1. 23 Prieto Soto, El Chorr o ; Gr acia o Mald icion, p. 6. The government's viev;point towards the strikes v;as expressed Cr_Uica, December ll{., 1936, pp. 3--9. See also Lieuwen, Petroleum in Venezuela , pp. 8I-83. Betancourt, though ordered into exile, managed to hide from the police for several months. Living in the under ground, Betancourt continued his efforts towards the eventual organization of a political party. It is to L6pez Contreras' credit--aiid another proof of his relative moderation--that Betancourt 's "Economy and Finance" column, vjhich friends mailed to the Caracas daily Ahora , continued to appear regularly.

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33k the Partido Democr^ltico Nacional (PDN), led by Betancourt, a party of the Democratic Left. The PDN, though proclaiming itself a multiclass organization, was deeply interested in the Venezuelan obreros and campesinos. It devoted a large portion of its program to an analysis of their problems anc the finding of possible solutions. It called for the implementation and the expansion of the benefits proclaimed in Lopez Contreras' Labor Code and for the establishment of a comprehensive social security system. It stressed the need for better sanitary conditions and education for the working class and it favored collective bargaining between labor unions and management .^^ Moving from theory to practice, the PDN leaders began to challenge the Communist organizers and took the initiative— hitherto unknown in Venezuelan history— in approaching the peasants and in encouraging them to form action groups to obtain less harsh treatment from the hacendados. Their task was made easier when the presidency passed on to Isaias Medina Angarita. Though a Tachirense like G6mez and L6pez Contreras, General Medina was one of the most liberal presidents Venezuela ever had. He allowed opposition parties to function freely, gave women the vote, and respected freedom of speech and press. His administration P^^^"^ first social security and income tax laws and y Program!f pp?%!?^r'''''^"' Acci6n_Democ^^

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335 26 charted an ambitious land reform redistribution program. The PDN was allov;ed to emerge from the underground and to becorae a full-fledged legal party in 19i4.1, under the name of Accion Democratica. Unions were also allowed a great degree of freedom and their numbers grew considerably; collective bargaining was more often employed than violence. The Communists continued to lose ground in their organizational efforts partly due to their rigid ideology, which was not suitable to Venezuelan conditions, and partly due to the aggressive tactics of the shrewd, flexible, and dedicated adocos. Both Communists and adecos maintained relations v;ith the V/orkers ' Confederation of Latin America (Confederacion de Trabajadoros de America Latina, CTAL, led by the Mexican Vicente Lombardo Toledano), an interAmerican organization affiliated with the Communist -leaning V/orld Federation of Trade Unions (V/FTU). At a 191;!; CTAL conference, Rodolfo Quintero for the Communists and Mallav6 Villalba for AD agreed to unite their efforts. Subsequently both groups cooperated in the establishment of the Federation of Venezuelan Workers (FTV), with its headquarters in Caracas. The Communist-AD collaboration, however, did not last long. When the Communists refused to grant equal representation to both groups on the executive committee of the FTV, the adecos withdrew. In a surprising move. President Medina 26 Medina Angarita, Cuatro Anos de Democracia. passim; Marsland and Marsland, Venezu^laJP^^^ pp. VdMoron, Ji^istovX-2LJ^^

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336 Angarita sided v/ith the adecos and took away legal recognition from those unions v;hose delegates remained in the PTV congress after the AD-faction's departure. No one has ever been able to explain the President's decision, especially because he had been most criticized by the adecos vjhile the Communists had often cooperated v/ith him. In another ironic twist, the AD leadership in turn condemned Medina Angarita for this action. Raiil Leoni was so critical as to assert that the President had arbitrarily threatened, by this move, to destroy the v;ork of several years of union organization.^"^ V/hatever his motives, Medina Angarita failed to gain any one labor group's support for his move; and this dissatisfaction with the President was another factor in his 191+5 overthrow by a group of military officers and AD leaders. The coup and the events which followed it further confused the labor picture. AD, from its early stages--as the Organizaci6n Venezolana (ORVE) and later the PDN--had clearly espoused the cause of the working class and had advocated the right to strike, the need to bargain collectively, and the benefits to be gained from organizing without the government's paternalistic— and re3trictive--protection. Once in power, hoxvever, Betancourt, a long-time adeco and now provisional President, suspended the right to strike, outlawed the ^"^AiD. (April 1, 19i|J.|.), p. 1. It is likely that AD feared the official blessing might destroy the independence of the unions and eventually signify their complete domination by .he government. This had happened in the case of the incipient _labor movement of the neighboring Dominican Republic

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337 lockout, and imposed a system of compulsory arbitration. Yet, in spite of these sanctions, the labor faction led by MalavS Villalba gave full support to the new government. Under the Betancourt-Gallegos administrations, which lasted for 30 months until November, 1%Q, organized labor, regardless of decreed sanctions and controls, in practice flourished as never before in the country's historj. Accion Democratica, with government backing, gained a dominant position in the majority of the unions. AD endeavored to make the party the spearhead of every union. It aimed to build up a large, disciplined body of supporters who would thwart any attempt to put it out of power. Huge AD-sponsored mass meetings were held to familiarize the workers with the government's program. Workers, especially when it seemed as though the government were being threatened, spontaneously paraded through the streets in order to advertise their allegiance to AD and to the AD government. In turn, the government often arbitrated between labor and management and usually granted the majority of labor's claims. The creation of a Ministry of Labor under AD veteran Ra6l Leoni further cemented the bonds between the unions and the government, since the Ministry was empowered to recognize unions legally, AD, through Leoni, found itself in an enviable P^"^'^^^ ^-^^^^^ "^^i^h unions would be allowed government Hlstcv, j>T25rZ5Tf ThPcu.h lt..<,

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338 backing and often also subsidies. The number of legally recognized unions more than quadrupled. A large number of agricultural unions v/ere organized and recognized, a unique event in Venezuelan history. In less than one year after the overthrow of Medina, 261}. syndicates vdth close to 15,000 carapcsino members were registered in I9I4.7 and 19t4.8.^^ AD leaders and organizers fanned into the remotest parts of the Venezuelan campo in order to form, with the government's blessings, new peasant leagues and syndicates. Their activity was so aggressive and so successful, in fact, that it provoked a v;avo of unfounded inimors by the opposition. Chief among these rumors were that adecos v;ere inciting the peasants to seize lands--which occurred occasionally--and arming the peasantry to undermine the regular armed forces an unfounded affirmation. There was little doubt that the government in the trionio put pressure on employers to grant wage increases and to facilitate unionization of the employees. With the 29 Lieuwen, Pgll^'oleum in Venezu ela, pp. 100-105 Vn^Sr*' i' ^^^'''''^''^A,''^ .Prophets orthe Revo lution (Now ^? ^Q) A ^r^^^''' ' wenti-^Hi-thSFTy-thi-middle tLl^l' I '"'^''^ . -'^^ agricultural workers' unions and that the total number of union members rose to 125,000 The Labour -r .;.:Tice, F reedom of Associa tion and Conditions _ o f ^J^orkJ^ enezuela^G^gHiTil rL07~r9W7~FpT lOii105, quooes figures su. :>lied to its Mission by the Venezuelan Ministry of Labor in lc-:9 'xich indicate that by 191^8 agrfcSltural trade unions numb5l5, with a membership of k3,302 although 1. observes th union sources claimed that tJtil ' trade union membership v. as more than double this figure. 30 . Vallenilla Lanz, E^crito de Memoria . pp. II6-I36.

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339 labor minister's support and with the help of a dedicated number of organizers, among them Malave Villalba and Ramon Quijada, AD gradually built up regional and occupational federations which culminated in the formation of the Confederation de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV) in 19lj.7. The phenomenal growth of labor unions during the AD trienio is clearly illustrated in the follov;ing table: TABLE 12 LEGALLY OPERATING LABOR UNIONS AND MEIffiERSHIP^ Date Total Unions Members 18 Oct. 'ii.5 213' 2I|.,366 31 Doc. 2J|8 1;8,789 31 Dec. 'l|.6 763 99,525 31 Dec. 'kl 93k 109,592 31 Dec. '1.8 1,0^.0 (est.) 137,310 (est.) Source: Venezuela, Ministerio de Trabajo, Memorias (Caracas: Ministerio de Trabajo, 191^6, 19l|7, 19il-8). Wote that there is evidence that many labor unions were operating before the 191.1-5 coup but had not been legally recognized by the government--thus, in a short time after the 19l|.5 coup, the number of unions more tl-an doubled and the membership encompassed more than tripled. Approximately half of all unions were made up of peasants. The Comi^iunists, for their part, were divided among themselves. The Blacks, led by Rodolfo Quintero, openly opposed the AD government and the AD-dominated CTV. They establishod their own Federation Workers of the Federal District, v/hich contained a small minority of the unions in the Caracas area.^^ The Reds,, led by Juan Bautista Puenmayor, 31 Alexander, Communism in Latin Ameivica.. pp. 257-260.

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worked within the CTV and its affiliated unions, but relations between Communists and noncormnunists were strained. The uneasy alliance came to an open break in 191^-8 when the Communist oil v;orkors broke away from the Federation of Petroleum Workers (FEDEPETROL) over a dispute about the renewal of a contract. The Communists accused AD of controlling the CTV for its ovm ends. Employers became more vocal in their criticism as well and asserted that the CTV's strength in the labor movement was sufficient to provoke unchecked abuse of union privileges. There v/ere claims that the Confederation dictated collective agreements in which demands exceeded the possibilities of the economy to satisfy them. It was further alleged that leaders of independent (i.e., non-CTV) unions were jailed and their followers discriminated 33 against in obtaining jobs. V/hatover the truth of these accusations, the fact remained that during the AD trienio the labor movement in Venezuela \ja3 accorded a position of power, a chance to participate in the drafting of labor laws, a position in which it could present itself before the employers knowing its demands v;ould be supported by the government. The CTV gave strong suppoi^t to the government and the government. 3? U.S. Array, Area Handbook for Venezuela , p. y ' -'-^Luzardo, Notas Historico-Economicas , pp. 135-165.

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2kl for its part, chairxpioned the cause of the v/orkers and assisted the CTV in its organizational efforts. The close relationship beti-;een the government and the labor movement meant that they mutually supported each oth3r--labor in receiving special consideration from the government, the government in having the loyalty of a labor sector ready to go on strike whenever a coup seemed imminent . -^^ This show of support from labor apparently averted the possibility that the various crises could culminate in the overthrow of the AD government. On the other hand, the intimate relation between the CTV and AD came with a heavy price. Whatever abuses were committed by the CTV, they were always blamed directly on the AD government. The government, for its part, was too busy trying to survive the daily crises to give as much attention to labor as many in the CTV felt labor deserved. The open favoritism of the government towards all unions dominated by AD alienated those unions which were independent or Communist-led and they too joined the growing group of those who wished to overthrow Rcmulo Gallegos, the popularly elected chief executive. The final crisis took place vihen military elements presented an ultimatum to the President for drastic revisions in his government's personnel and policies and Gallegos refused to call upon the workers to go out on a general strike to show support for his rule. Refusing to accept the 3^ Lieuwen, Petr oleum in Venezuela, p. 105; El Pais (February 11, 1911.8), p . "yT ETpilF lTiirf "H . 19l{.8),' p. 3' . " -

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314-2 ultimatum or to call upon labor to back his stand, Gallegos ensured his own downfall. X'lhen some unions, particularly in the oil fields, did finally strike, their effort, coming after the presidential ouster by the military, was too late.-^-^ Once in power, the military Junta justified its action by accusing AD of attempting to set up a state within a state through the establishment of a politically oriented labor movement. Recognizing the power of organized labor, however, the Junta stated its intention of continuing a program of social progress and gave assurances that labor gains during the trienio would remain intact. The liberal Labor Code of I9I4.? was declared in force, but even this failed to allay labor's fears. Most of labor viewed the military coup of November 2l\.i 191+8 > as a fatal blovr to the position of privilege and power the unions had enjoyed under the provisional government of Betancourt and later under the popularly-elected Gallegos. Labor's offer of support for Gallegos in his final hours was certain to provoke further enmity from the ne\} rulers of the country. Finally, in the Junta's ovm words, the Venezuelan labor movement v/ould henceforth be "apolitical." 35 "^ Alexander, The Vene zuel an Democratic R evolution, pp. 22-36. There are others v.-ho "feel" that even If labor had struck before the coup, it had no practical possibility of averting a military take-over. See John D. Martz, "The Growth anl Democratization of the Venezuelan Labor Movement," Inter-American Economic Affairs, XVII (Autumn, I963), 9. ^^Tarnoi, El Nuevo Ideal Nacional de Venezuela, pp. 263-270. By Perez Jimenoz' own account, only fourstrikes took place between 19li.9 and 1952 (ibid. , p. 26'6).

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Labor's fears of reprisals cane to be fully justified. As the labor union movement had been principally the vjork of AD labor leaders, the new regime moved to check its influence. One of the Junta's first moves x^^as to outlaw Acci6n Democr^tica. Basing its actions on a clause of the 19J+7 Labor Code which prohibited political involvement by labor, the Junta ai-rested and exiled many labor leaders and froze the funds and removed the assets of their unions. The strikes which occurred in the oil fields in Zulia in support for the overthrovjn Gallegos viere quickly crushed and more arrests follov7ed. VJhen the CTV reacted against the Junta and the important typographical union in Caracas staged a strike which spread to other areas of the country, the government countered by dissolving the CTV and its affiliated federations. The labor movement vms thus reduced to a fragmented collection of unassoclated unions which could be easily controlled or crushed by the military Junta, Although the existence of the individual unions was not affected, all members of the executive committees in office before the CTV dissolution were ordered deposed from their positions. A government circular called for the election of new executive committees. Unions were compelled to obtain prior authorization for their meetings which were 37 Ricardo Temoche Benites, Los Sindicatos y la Amenaza Totalitaria (Mexico: GRIT, 1955); Serafxrro Romualdi, "Venezuela Criashe'r! Labor," American Fe derationist , LIX (February, 1952), 23-2[j., 30; Pager~^Labor ' s Political Role in Latin America," p. l|.81|..

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3hh restricted to discussing certain approved "nonpolitical " topics, and which were open to government officials. The CTV leaders who escaped imprisonment were sent into exile. V/ith the aid of various international labor groups, they set up a CTV-in-exile vihich became a founding member of the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (Organizacion Regional Interamericana de Traba jadores , ORIT).^^ Raul Leoni, former Minister of Labor and a founding member of AD, was very active in ORIT and the CTV-in-exile, and in this capacity he travelled extensively in Latin America and made contacts that v;ould later be valuable to AD and his own administration. Meanvrhile, in Venezuela, the labor movement continued to suffer further restrictions on its activities. The government allovied the supervised reorganization of most unions in urban centers; but the peasant unions, v/ith their scattered and smaller membership, their greater vulnerability to local suppression, and their limited financial means, found it almost impossible to meet the operating requirements imposed so by the dictatorship's labor inspectors. AD, the Red Communists, COPEI and URD all maintained inform.al and International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Organiz.acion Regional Interamericana de Traba jadores , The tiniggl£_of__the_ Free Trade U nion Movement against Latin American Dic tatorsliips T'Mexico: ICFTU-ORIT Special Publications, June, I960 jilnter-American Regional Organization of V/orkers of the ICFTU, El Movimiento Democrati co Internaclonal contra la Dictadura Ve riizolana (MexTcoT"" 1955) . 39 Alexander, Organize d Labor in Latin America, pp. l]i.2-ll|.7.

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underground labor groups under their control, but these groups vjore easier to maintain in the large cities than in the campo. On the other hand, the same factors which made the rural labur movement a more vulnerable target for the suppression of overt, legal union activities made it a more difficult target for the suppression of clandestine political resistance to the dictatorship. The local campesino leaders managed to escape the government's vigilance by living in reraote areas peopled by a peasantry ready to defend them because they had received land and beneficial treatment during the AD tr-ienio.^^ The Black Communists were allox%'ed to carry on their activities v^ithout governmental interference or difficulties. The Communist -dominated Federation of V/orkers of the Federal District was granted legal recognition by Perez Jimenez. With headquarters in Caracas and in Anzoategui state, its leaders enjoyed freedora of movement throughout the country. This group v;as led by Rodolfo Quintsro who, in 1954> became an official of the Conf ederaci6n de Trabajadores de America Latina (CTAL), a Communist-oriented organization based in Mexico.^''' liO Gonzalez, Agrarian Ref orm a s Seen by the Labor Movement in Agriculture , pp , ST-F". ^"Conf ederacion de Trabajadores de America Latina, Qu6 es la C.T.A.L.? (Mexico City: Universidad Obrera, l9l|I}. )T Confeo.eracion de Trabajadores de America Latina, Res oluci ones de s us A samb leas, 193 8-1914-8 (Mexico City: C . T . A . L . r~r9/|8 ) r~Rodolf o Quintoro ,"~'T.os Sindicatos en Venezuela," Tiempo s Nuevos [Moscow], XXII (December l6, 196ij.), 2k-26-. ,, ,

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In the absence of experienced leadership and the povrer of large centralized organizations and cut off from government subsidies, the conduct of union activities, such as bargaining and recruitment, V7as severely impaired. An International Labor Organization (ILO) mission sent in 19l;9 vjas highly critical of the labor situation. The 19l|9 ILO mission report v;as one of the many pressures that prompted Perez Jimdnez to seek a better international image by posing as a friend of labor. A labor federation v.'as crested in 1952 not only to show the critics that labor was "free" in Venezuela but also to serve as the dictator's channel to the v;orkers v;ho, in spite of harassment, continued loyal to Accion Democr&tica. The government labor federation, the Movimiento Sindical de Trabajadores (MOSIT) was given a luxurious headquarters. Trade Union House, in Caracas and in the interior of the country similar lux^irious buildings appeared. P^rez Jimenez' favorites and Black Communists staffed MOSIT. In I95I4. MOSIT became the Conf ederacion Nacional de Trabajadores (CNT) presided over by Communist leader Quintero for a time. The pattern of military-Communist cooperation which had existed at other times in Venezuelan history thus emerged again in the ^^International Labour Office, Freedom of Association and Con di tions of Work in Venezu ela , passim . '^-^U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela , p. I\.l6.

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3k-l government-controlled labor federation. The CNT became an affiliate of the Agrupacion de Trabaj adores Latino Americanos sponsored by Angentine military strongman Juan Peron. But P^rez Jira6noz' efforts to court Venezuelan labor and to compensate for the ILO condemnation by affiliating hxs CNT with a Latin-American organization were futile. The only Venezuelan vjorkers viho responded to the dictator's appeals v/ere the few who were aligned with the Black Communists of Quintero. The Red Communists, led by Machado, vjhether motivated by tactical purposes or by a real distrust of the dictator, joined the AD labor elements in the underground efforts to overthrovr Perez Jimenez. ''^^ Their efforts were aided by the alienation of other members of the Venezuelan society--members of the aristocracy who had little taste for the dictator's debauchery, businessmen and industrialists Mho began to feel the decline in the oil market after the 19^6 Suez Canal crisis was over, the Catholic Church which could no longer remain silent before the cruelty of the secret police, and finally military officers who also viev/ed ^Partido Comunista Venozolano, La Actuacion de los Partidos (Caraca;:;, 1952); Charles A. Page, "Communism in the Labor Movements of Latin America," Virginia Quarte rly Re viev? , XXXI (Summer, 1955), 373-3G2; Ben Burnet t7~"Communist^trate'gy in the Lstin American Labor Movement," Social Scien ce, XXXV (Spring, I960), 105-113. Mecham, Church and State in Latin America, p. 110. It is intoresting to note^'that Ai'clibT&hop Rafael Arias of Caracas, in his pastoral letter of May 1, 1957, supported labor's right to freely organize and to share in the country's riches. See ELspanic^ Ame i-i can Report , X (July, 195?), 309.

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3U8 with alarm the growing power exercised by the secret police.^' In the events ..hich preceded and followed the overthrow of P^rez Jimenez on January 23, 1958, labor played a key role. A labor committee was formed and it contacted the Junta Patri gtico^, a united front of the four largest political parties set up to overthrow the dictatorship. This labor committee called an effective general strike which acted as a catalyst in arousing the people and further encouraging those already opposed to the regime. The strike committee, once P6rez Jimenez was overthrown, was reorganized as the National Unified Labor Committee (Comit6 Sindical Unificado Nacional, CSUN). Its purpose was now to restructure the labor movement v;ith the aid of labor leaders who were returning from exile, were freed from jail, or could now emerge from the underground. Party lines were disregarded and for a short interval the Venezuelan labor movement included all shades of ideologies. Within a year the CSUN gave way to a reactivated CTV. The Third CTV Congress claimed to represent 685 industrial and commercial unions and 1,2^0 peasant letigues. The total membership v/as said to encompass over a million workers. Of the 1,065 delegates to the November, 1959, Congress, the AD represented the largest group. AD claimed 5^1 delegates, the Comiaunists 210, the COPEI 152, and UKD, 1[|.2. The CTV executive committee was made up of three Comriunists, two each ^^Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic RevoDution. pp. 37-50. — —

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from COPEI and URD, six adecos, and one unaffiliated.^ This multiparty coalition in the CTV paralleled the attempt among the various political parties which had been instrumental in the overtlirovi of Perez Jimenez to forget their differencej and to work together fo^'' the survival of constitutional government.^ Thus, from 1936 to 1959, the Venezuelan labor movement had completed a full circle --it had emerged in the days when Communist and socialist elements had collaborated in the formation of a labor federation, it had leaned toward the democratic Left represented by AD in the days of the trienio, and it had again encompassed a number of variously inclined members and leaders who conspired to bring about the overthrov7 of dictatorship. This last goal accomplished, the unity of the labor movement was to be tested, as it had been in the AD trienio, by the personal ambitions of its leaders and by the ideological inclinations of those in charge of giving the movement a political orientation. I4-7 'Information about the Congress, its delegates, and the speeches made is found in Jos5 Gonzalez Navarro, Disc ursos de la CTV (Caracas: Litografia Barcelona, I960), and Confederacio'n de Trabajadores de Venezuela, Recopilac ion de Inf or mo s , Acuerdo s , Resolu clones y Recomendacion es; III Congreso de Traba jadVres do Ven ez\iela (Caracas : ~ Imprenta Nacional, I960) , See also Martz," "I'he Growth and Democratization of the Venezuelan Labor Movement," pp. 8, 11. The Peasants' Federation, PCV, incorporated into the CTV as one of its industrial f adorations . It claimed over 714.3,000 campesinos organized into 3 5l2i|syndicates. This figure is disputed by Povjell , Preliminary Report on the Fe deracio n Campesina de Vcnezu:Ta7 P» 13, v;ho thinks [^37,000 campesTno members is a more accurate assessment. Nevertheless, the FCV probably docs represent about one -half of the total CTV membership; see Lord, "The Peasantry as an Emerging Political Factor," pp. 76-77. 't-^Accion Deraocratica, P acto. Suscri to el 31 d e Oc tubre de 1958 , passim . '

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350 Political Asp ects In spite of legal provisions vrhich prohibit the association of unions with political parties, ^1-^ the maintenance of open but informal alliances among these organizations has been charf;.cteristic of tne Venezuelan labor movement since the first significant activity began in 1936. In fact, distinctions among the various factions vithin the trade union movement are most easily made on a political basis. Alignment has been determined by the i.nclinations of labor leaders who, as persons of inflxienc© within a highly politically conscious society,'^ have inevitably become politically involved. In a very real sense, then, the Venezuelan labor movement is "in politics," no matter 51 what the labor code sanctions or v;hat the labor federation and the political party statutes have to say on the matter. Typically, the top leaders of the CTV are also members of the AD labor bureau, which by virtue of the Venezuela, Ministerio del Trabajo, Ley de l Traba jo (Caracas: Ministerio del Trabajo, D.959 ) . Curiousry enough, party literature also stresses the need for independence of labor from partisan aD.ignments; Accion Democratica, Doct rina y Prog rama, especially pp. 137-li|0. This has been tlie position taken by the CTV President; Jose Gonzalez Navarre, Discursos del Fresidente de la Conf ederacion de Trabajadores de Ve ne zuela (Caracas; Publicaciones de la CTV, 1961), pp . G-6~. ^^This quality of Venezuelan society is a major conclusion of a massive recent study. Bonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.), Studying the Venezuelan Polity , passim. 51 Conf ederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela, Estatutos (Caracas: Publicaciones de la CTV, 1962).

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3^1 party's dominance is the real locus of powor in the labor movement. Significantly, the labor bureau has also been a major center within the party. By no coincidence, reportedly against President Betancourt's personal wishes, the AD candidate in the I963 presidential elections, Raiil Leoni, had been Minister of Labor in the trienio and was a long-standing labor leader. Further, the intimate relations between the CTV, the AD, and the AD-dominated governmental coalitions have had far-reaching implications for all throe--at times overlapping--enti ties . Some illustrations will clarify the type of implications that might result as well as underline the highly political character of Venezuelan labor. The Question of Internation al Affiliation The 1959 Labor Congress which reestablished the CTV was faced vjith the issue of affiliation with an international labor organization. AD had a majority in the Congress; but in keeping vrith the political unity program then prevalent, the AD did not have a comparable majority in the CTV executive coJimittee where the Communists, the socialChristians, and UKD vrere reprer.ented completely out of proportion to their real strength in the Congress itself. Many adecos had v/orked closely with ORIT during their exile and woulil have liked to see the CJV align itself with that inter-American labor organization. For other adecos, especially those who had acquired a more leftist orientation during the underground struggle, affiliation with GRIT

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352 would unnecessarily identify the CTV with United States trade unionism. The Communists vashed an association with the CTAL, the affiliate of the Communist-dominated V/FTU. A compromise was reached in the decision to explore the possibilities of establishing a nev; regional labor organization oriented toward the Left; and after the 1959 Congress, the CTV for this purpose proposed a meeting of the ORIT, the CTAL, and the Latin American Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (Conf ederacion Latinoamericana de Sindicatos Cristianos, CLASC), a member of the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions, IFCTU) . The CTV suggestion was supported by the CTAL but rejected by both CLASC and ORIT. The CTV, hov;ever, continued to pursue the matter and in i960 approached the Cuban Labor Federation on the possibility of forming a nev/ labor alignment in Latin America. The exchange of view's on this subject did not produce any definitive results because the CTV--like the AD itself — was becoming more and more disenchanted with the Cuban Revolution. As Venezuela and Cuba noared an open break, the CTV's talks 52 with the Cuban Federation ended in I96I. In the summer of 1962, with the leftist and pro-Castro elements within CTV already expelled, the CTV formally affiliated with ORIT. The CTV President Jose Gonz&lez Navarro explained the Apparently the CTV and the CTC (the Cuban Workers' Federation) did conclude a "pact of mutual assistance"; see Document OS (April-June, I96I), pp. 55ij--555. For whatever it was" v/orth,^ this pact was abrogated by the IV Congress of the CTV in December of I96I; see Documentos (October-December, 1961), p. 768.

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353 affiliation with ORIT because this or^^anization, like the CTV, was "a purely working-class organization . . . without to any political obligations."-^-^ The Question o f Political Party Affj liation During the first three years after the overthrow of Perez Jim6noz, the labor movement played a crucial role in helping the AD government v/ithstand constant throats by ambitious military men often supported by both the Venezuela extreme Right — those who wished a return to their days of privilege and favors before the government --and the extreme Left — those who desired a radical and immediate transformation of the whole Venezuelan social structure. This curious alliance of the extreme Left and of the extreme Right had occurred at other times in the country's history and reappeared nov; among those dissatisfied with the AD electoral victory and the reformist policies of President Betancourt. The coup attempt by General Castro Leon in April of I960 and the bloody uprisings at Carupano and Puerto Cabello drew support from both the extreme Left and the extreme Right, and all failed in large measure due to the firm support given the constitutional government by labor. Castro Leon's coup, ^^Jose Gonzalez Navarro, "La CTV Esta en los Mas Altos Niveles de la Vida Kaclonal y Int er nac iona 1 , " Poll tica , IV (February-March, 1965), 19-14-14-; the quotation is on page l4.'3 Earlier in the article Gonzfilez Navarro explains that the Cj.V is not apolitical because it does participate in all the actTvities of the Venezuelan society--in.cluding the political but it is not partisan because it does not affiliate with any single political party (ibid., pp. 20-21). Sk „ A.. A. Berle, 'Venezuela: The Achievement of Don Romulo," The Reporter , XXIX (November 7, 1963), 33-311.

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for example, was countered by a general strike that helped show the popularity of the Betancourt government and became a total failure when the general wai> apprehended by mobilized campesmos.''-^ At the time of a barracks revolt at Barcelona in June, I96I, campesinos from surrounding stat.cs were mobilized by their leagues, converged on Barcelona, and set up road blocks to contain and suppress the revolt. The crucial labor support for the Betancourt government is explained by a student of Venezuela politics in these words: Betancourt based much of his administration's support on two previously disenfranchised groups, the laborers and the peasants. During his administration . . ., the labor force was organized, protected, and controlled by ^ the AD party, and the majority of the unions were oriented towards the Betancourt administration. Betancourt succeeded in giving power to these grouxis by closely linlcing their organization to the party* which was virtually synonymous with the government. He also sought to keep these groups firmly behind him by promoting agricultural reform for the peasants and by promoting wage increases and better workinp conditions for the laborers. 57 Less publicized, but perhaps just as crucial were the battles fought and won by AD for the control of the CTV. Early in I96O,. a dissident group from AD, led by long time adeco Domingo Rangel, formed their own party, the Movimiento 55 T.^.^ • -, Barrios, Los Dlas y la Politica (CaracasEditorial Arte, I963), pp. T?— 37"^fe7T~2B9~::29TT American Report. XIII (June, 1950), 251 '252! ^^-^^ 56 Factor," p"?°82' '"^^^ ^^^^^"^^""^ Emerging Political 57 T^„,-H-^ Shelp, "Latin American Leadership in Transition: Legitimacy vs. Personalismo, " p. 32. ii^xL-xoa.

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355 de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR). It is possible that the brilliant but erratic Raugel desired to follov; a leftist but independent line, but the MIR gradually joined the PCV in ^8 violent opposition to President Betancourt .'^ In November, I960, both the PCV and the MIR led the serious riots that took place in Caracas and other major cities. They called for a general strike and for the overthrow of the constitutional government, but in neither case did they receive any significant backing from the vast majority of Venezuelans. In fact, their acts of terrorism prompted a joint communique by labor and management groups, a unique event in Venezuelan history. Further, the PCV and the MIR actions resulted in the AD and COPEI members of the CTV deciding to discipline their leftist colleagues by suspending them from the CTV executive committee. This was followed by a concerted effort throughout the country to win control of the local unions. Rival slate of candidates v;ere presented by AD and COPEI on the one hand and by the MIR, the PCV, and the URD (novr also in opposition to Betancourt) on the other. Betancourt used all his skills as a politician and throvj the weight of government support behind the AD-COPEI candidates; and although the union 58 "El MIR: Cuatro Anos de Historia," Memento [Caracas], XXXVI (August 23, 1961|.) , 39-l|2; Boersner7~"El Proceso Ej-ectoral Venezolano," pp. 73-96. 59 The communique was jointly signed by FEDECAMARAS, Asociacion Pro-Venezuela, and the CTV. Documentos (AprilJune, 1961), p. 721.

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356 elections were free and honest, the government-favored slates won a smashing victory and gained control of approximately of the local unions and all the national federations, 60 except one. When the CTV Congress met in late 1961, the defeated urredistas , n.iristas , and comunistas did not attend and were removed from the leadership of the CTV.^''' The local unions followed suit by removing those elements from posts of any importance; the unions controlled by the opposition retaliated by purging adecos and copeyanos . Since these opposition unions v/ere few in number, small in membership, and now outside the CTV, they v;ere effectively cut off from exerting any significant pressure on the government. They were further weakened by the fact that they were no longer eligible to receive the usual government subsidy and, perhaps more important for the individual union member, they could no longer count on the government's support in placing their demands before the employers. The government's victory in the CTV becomes more impressive yet if one takes into consideration that at the same time that AD-COPEI viere reasserting their dominance over the labor movement, they were also managing to show a similar ^'^Hispa. nic A m erican. Report, XIV (February, 1962), 1106. ^"''Jose Gonzalez Navarro, Ante el IV Congreso d e Traba J ador es de Ve nezuela (Caracas: Imprenta NacionalT 1952'); "Conunicado del Euro Sindical de AD," Documentos (October-December, 1961), pp. 575-579.

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3^7 position of strength within the most important of the CTV affiliates, the Federacion Campesina de Venezuela (FCV). V/hen it became apparent that the moderates \^ithin the CTV, under the determined leadership of the Federation's president, Jose Gonzalez Navarro, were prepared to isolate the labor extremists, the FCV president, Ramon Quijada, decided not to participate in the CTV Congress. Quijada 's personality and impatience with the gradualistic approach to agrarian reform had increasingly led him to clash with AD and break CTV-FCV discipline. He decided to join in the ARS split, confident that the campesinos would follov; him. Ho apparently also felt that the estimated half million rural votes for Betancourt in zip 1958 were actually his. As it turned out, Quijada far overestimated his own strength and underestimated Betancourt 's political skills, Furthei', Quijada was no match for the pressure of the AD organization during the first half of 1962. Thus Quijada 's demagogic, personalistic leadership, which had been so important in welding together the campesino movement and reviving it again in 1958, gave v/ay to younger and more orderly and sophisticated leadership. The moderates vrithin CTV, taking advantage of Quijada' s absence in their Congress, moved to replace him with Armando Gonzalez as the agricultural secretary on the executive committee of the CTV. Going further, AD and COPEI 62 Enrique Rodriguez, "El 'Affaire' Quijada," Memento, XXIII (October 8, I96I), 26-23; Martz, "Acci6n Democr^tica, " pp. 399, I1OI4., I4.O6.

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358 delegates mustered enough support in the CTV Congress's plenary session to declare the PCV intervened and ordered it reorganized under Armando Gonzalez' leadership. When the FCV had its own congress, barely six months later, the Gonzlilez forces were clearly predouiinant . Here again a number of factors were involved, not the least of which v/as Betancourt's personal campaign throughout the campo in favor of those committed to the Gonzalez group. ^-^ In a last-ditch effort to bolster their cause, the oppositionists in the labor movement joined in the creation of their own federation, the CTV-no-Gubernamental . In 1963, in the Fourth Congress of the V/orking People in Caracas, all unions identified v;ith the so-called National Liberation Front of Venezuela (members of the MIR and of the Communist Party) as well as with the ARS and the URD established a nev; labor federation, the Central Unica de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CUTV). Rodolfo Quintero claimed that the CUTV included over [j.00 unions, about one -eighth of the legally recognized labor organizations then existing in the country, representing 2[|.0,000 members vs. the l|50,000 members represented by the CTV.^^ Quintero 's figures are ^^Powell, Preliminary Re port on the Federaci6n Campesina de V enez uela , pp. 3O-3I. ^^Rodolfo Quintero, "Los Sindicatos de Venezuela," Tiempos N'levos [Moscov;], XXII (DecDmber 16, 19614.), 2l\.-26. Quintero blamed labor's split on the "bourgeois policies" of Betancourt and the influence of ORIT's Serafino Romualdi .

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359 probably inflated, but the CUTV unions were indeed strong among white-collar workers, er-pecially in Caracas, and in some oil and iron industries. With the inauguration of President Leoni in 196i|., the political alignment in the Venezuelan trade unions became more complex still. COPEI chose not to participate in the Leoni government. Jovito Villalba, el lider maximo of URD, made a complete break with his former close associate Miquilena who had become too involved with extreme leftists. The URD entered the governmental coalition and UI?D-controlled trade unions left CUTV and rejoined the CTV. Villalba 's support of Leoni, however, did not go unchallenged within his own party and there were reports that the URD heirapparent Ugarte Pelayo would have preferred to keep the party outside of the governmental coalition. With Ugarte Pelayo 's death in 1966, the position of Villalba seemed to have been strengthened for a time. On the other hand, indications wore that COPEI and AD, although no longer partners in government, were continuing their amicable collaboration within the labor movement. Gonzalez Navarro, the CTV president, praised the social Christian labor leaders in his speech before the Fifth CTV Congress and envisaged continued cooperation between AD and COPEI within the labor federation. 65, U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela , p. ij.22. 66 A ^^''^-f-}""/' Navarro, "La CTV Estg. en los mas Altos NIvelos de la Vida Nacional y Internacional, " pp. 19-20,

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1 For how long this cooperation would remain in effect was an opon question. COPEI's desire to form an oppositionist front in order to obtain the presidency in the 1968 elections and its growing criticism of Leoni^"^ was likely to bo reflected in strained relations between copeyanos and adecos within the CTV. These relations between AD and COPEI in the labor movement are further complicated because some Catholic workers also have their ovm organizations outside the CTV. Thus, until the formation of the CUTV, the most important labor organization unaffiliated with the CTV was the Committee of Autonomous Unions (Comite de Sindicatos Autonomos, CODESA), an independent organization of a little over 20,000 workers. CODESA, which started as the Labor Circle of Caracas in 19ij-5, did not become a full fledged labor organization until 1958Only after I96I did it constitute a labor confederation for, with the exception of T^chira vrhere a state federation had been formed, member unions were directly associated on a national basis. Many in CODESA simultaneously belong to the CTV for the effective assistance the large confederation can render in strictly labor-related matters such as collective bargaining and social legislation because of the ties between the CTV and the government in power. 'Rodolfo Jose Cardenas, "El Terrorismo en el Cuadro Politico Venezolano," E l Nacional (December I8, I966), p A-h Tnis COPEI leader closed his article predicting an electoral victory by a united opposition led by COPEI over a "gray incompetent, agnostic, and adeca AD." Adeca is here used in a pejorative sense, meaning that "AD is" communist."

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361 The COPEI party, in turn, has its own labor section the V/orkers' Front (Frente de Traba jadores Copeyanos, FTC). The FTC, organized in 19i|8, has worked vdthin the CTV but recently it has also established closer relations with CODESA. I'he t\io Catholic organizations have remained separate and distinct, however. CODESA has called itself "apolitical" while the FTC is expressly an organ of COPEI. The two groups have more recently striven to vtork together, especially in the area of leadership training for labor leaders, under the sponsorship of the Unified Committee of Christian Trade Unions (CUSIC). The FTC is affiliated, on an international level, with the CLASC, the inter-American confederation of Social Christian trade unions, and the IFCTU, the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions. The small differences that divide the Catholic workers and the far more pronounced differences that divide the rest of the Venezuelan labor movement all underline the fact that labor is very much "in politics" in that country. There is no doubt, for exarr.ple, despite laws and regulations to the contrary, that deep bonds exist between the labor unions and the various political parties. In thi context, it is easy to comprehend why the unity of the Venezuelan labor movement lasted for only a very short time after the 1958 reemergence of the CTV under the sponsorship 68 Anna-Stma Ericson, Labor Law and Pract ice in Ve nezuela (Washington, D.C.: Department of Labor, 1962), pp. 20-21.

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362 of labor leaders from a full range of political parties. In fact, it seems to have lasted only long enough to insure the survival of the fledgling constitutional government. Once this constitutional government had allowed the free interplay of politics by all parties, the divergencies came to the surface again, divisions deepened, and labor movement unity was shattered beyond repair. The unity vias shattered by a number of factors. Ideological differences seem to have been predominant in the question of international affiliation and in the cases 69 of the MIR of Domingo Rangel and in the creation of the CUTV. Policy differences seem to have been the crucial factor in Quijada's abandonment of the CTV; personal ambitions were probably the key in the case of Ramos Gim^nez's ARS split. During the Betancourt administration, COPEI and AD elements had managed to gain control of the CTV, to lead it to affiliation with ORIT, and in general to The grov/ing leftism of Rangel is well illustrated in two publications; see Domingo Alberto Rangel, Una Teoria para la Revolucion Democratica (Caracas: Editorial Arte, 195^ ) > and Domingo Alberto Rangel, Venezu ela; Pais Oc upado (Caracas: Pensamiento Vivo, I960), Ironically, perhaps, some five years later, Rangel was being accused by the Venezuelan leftists as having become too moderate; see James D, Cockcroft and Eduardo Vicente, "Venezuela and the FALN Since Leoni," Monthly R eview, XVII (November, 1965), 29-1+0. % late 196? the MJ.R seemed to have been irreparably split on this "moderation" or "nonviolence" issue. The speculation was that the moderate elements in the MIR wished to run in the 1968 elections and that as long as the MIR remained devoted to a policy of violence it would not be permitted a legal status as a party. See El C aribe [Santo Domingo, D,R.] (January 1, 1968), p. 12.

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363 steer it toward a moderate course of gcvernmGnt support. Under Leoni URD elements had been brought back to the CTV, but whether COPSI would continue playing a collaborative role i-jithin that federation was an open question as the 19t»8 electoral contest grew near. Involved in this case vms not so much partisan differences as the high stakes existing betxrfeen control of the government executive and control of the Venezuelan labor movement. The Question of the Government Role in the Labor Movement While Venezuelan labor law recognizes the right of persons to organize industrial or craft unions or associations, it also requires that all unions to be recognized as such must receive legal authorization from the Ministry of 70 Labor. Whether in the hands of Perez Jimenez or of Betancourt and Leoni, this requirement gives the president, through his Minister of Labor, the povrer of life and death over labor, organiaacions in the country. He can--and does-favor certain partisan alignments in unions and this favoritism is reflected in the number and nature of unions that are legally allowed to operate. V,'ith obvious satisfaction, President Leoni revealed in 1965 that the progovernment CTV, in spite of the splits since 1959, then controlled over ^0fo of the Venezuelan unions l egally 71 recognized. 70 Ericson, Labor La w and Practice in Venezuela, pp. 12-19. " 71 "Discurso del Presidente de la Rcpiiblica Dr. Raul Leoni en el V Congreso de Trabajadores , " p. 9.

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Along with the recognition power goes the president's ability to subsidize those unions he favors. Union finances come frora member dues, govei'.iment subsidies, and from political parties. Figures are seldom given, but the financial part played by the government and by the parties is not denied and it is usually taken for granted.'''^ More openly exercised is the government's role in collective bargaining. The right to bargain collectively is recognized in the Constitution, and is regulated by the Labor Code. Well avmre of the AD government's pro-labor stance, employers have shown great responsiveness to union demands. Although initially it was feared that labor, seeing itself as long-suffering under the Perez Jimlnez dictatorship, would make exorbitant demands, that fear has not been realized. Labor has tempered its demands because of ' In 1961, for example, the Labor Ministry budget provided Bs 1,252,000 ($373»731) for the FCV and Bs 360,000 ($107,J4-62) for the CTV, which according to the report of the CTV's Fourth Congress, represented 90^ of its funds for that year. In addition, a number of unions maintain their headquarters free of charge in Union House (Casa Sindical) in Caracas, built by the P^rez Jim6nez government and sxibsequently administered by the AD governments. Similar casas sindlcales are found in many other cities. U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezue la, p. lj.20. Other governmental help cones in the form of free use of official presses for the publication of union literature, etc. 73 Pan American Union, C onstitution of the Repu blic of Venezu ela, 196I, pp. Ii;-l5. 7'" 'Mauro Barrenechea, "Unionism in Venezuela," Americ a, CVII (August 13, 1962), 626; Carlos M. Lander, "PJl Pr ogre so'" del Trabajador Venezolano," El Farol [Caracas], XXIV (April-June, 1961.), 12-16.

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365 political considerations and seems to have understood that the government cannot afford the embarrassment of social and economic crises engendered by prolonged labor-management litigations or by showing too much favoritism toward labor at the expense of management. The 19i].8 experience is still fresh, especially among the labor movement leadership, Augusto Malave Villalba, the CTV secretary general, is candid enough to openly admit that too much pressure from labor on the constitutional government may result, as it did in 19^.8, in the overthrow of that government and the subsequent loss of privileges from which the Venezuelan labor movement has so greatly benefited.'-^ This awareness on the part of the CTV leadership has the important implication that few labor disputes have resulted in strikes. As the Ministry of Labor participates directly in the procedures vjhich must precede a call to strike, subsequently acting largely as an umpire in labormanagement disputes, compliance with the l^w is carefully followed. Before a strike may be held, the means of conciliation must be exhausted; and throughout these proceedings representatives of the unions, of management, and of government take part. All matters not handled by these methods are 7^ '-"Interview with Augusto Malave Villalba, CTV secretary general, Caracas, April 6, 1961|.. It is interesting to notice th:.t in his speech before the Fifth CTV Congress, Malave Villalba stressed the fundamental link in the labor movement's task to defend its ovm interests as a class and its needs to defend the democratic institutions (i.e., the AD governments); Augusto Malave Villalba, "Extraordinario Portslecimiento de la CTV en Esta Etapa Sindical," Politics. IV (February-March, 1965), ij5-56 . '

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366 taken to the labor courts, the judges of which are appointed by the President. On occasion, the government has employed its prerogative of ending a strike by executive decree if it endangers the national health or social and economic welfare. In view of the close relations among AD, the CTV, and the governments of Betancourt and Leoni, a strike is not so much averted by the complexities of the Labor Code or by the President's prerogatives as by the fact that labor has means other than the strike to obtain its demands. The most important means at the disposal of the labor movement is its direct involvement in politics. Party leaders estimate that at least $0% of the total AD vote in 1958 came from the labor movement and they credit the labor vote with giving Leoni first his nomination for the presidency and subsequently his I963 presidential victory. Their estimate is reinforced v;hen one realizes that the two major labor organizations, the CTV and the PCV comprise over 1,14.00,000 members--and the total I963 elec76 torate numbered slightly over 3 million. There is little doubt that labor, Accion Democratica, and the governments of Betancourt and Leoni have mutually supported each other. When 52 adecos v:ere interviewed (25 labor members and 2? labor leaders) by the author,''''^ they 76 Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, Venezuela Elections Factbook, passim; Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Elections of December 1, I963 , pts. I, II, and III, pa ssim . 77 In the "labor" category vrere included 11 campesino leaders and 12 campesino leaders. The balance (li; members

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367 were questioned about what were their party preferences Their responses indicated these preferences; TABLE 13 PARTY PREFERENCE BY LABOR AD COFEI URD MIR Others Members Leaders 12% (18) 71^07?^ (20) 12/^ (3) 11.1^ (3) (2) 11.1^ (3) h% (1) h% (1) 3.7^ (1) These same adecos, when asked where they had their first contact with AD replied that, in most cases, it had been e.t their union meetings. TABLE 11^ UNION AS ENTREE TO AD MEMBERSHIP Labor Leaders 85-5^ (23 leaders) Labor Members 81].^ (21 members) Finally, these adecos v;ero asked about their voting record in 1963: and 15 leaders) came closer to the U.S. concept of "labor" (i.e., they were bricklayers, oil workers, etc.). We arrived at party preference" by asking the respondents, in specific instances, which other party would have done better than AD? We arrived at "union as entree to AD membership" by askmg the respondents what had been their first contact with AD. Finalj.y, vre asked the respondents about their voting record to arrive at the way they voted in the I963 elections. See Appendix.

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368 TABLE 15 VOTED FOR AD IN I963 ELECTIONS Labor Leaders 88.8^ (2l| leaders) Labor Merabers Q0% (20 members) In their responses, those interviev;ed often mixed up AD, the CTV, and the AD-dominated governments as the agency which had provided them benefits or services or the agency through which they could obtain redress of their 7ft grievances. This confusion may be understandable if one keeps in mind that throughout Venezuela, the local party chieftain may also be the local government official (the mayor, the agrarian reform agent, for exan^le) and the local CTV or FCV leader. It is not unusual for these leaders to wear the party hat for one day, the labor or peasant hat the follovjing. The interdependence of these structures enables the AD leadership to better mobilize and secure its f ollowers--as well as to serve as a channel for local demands and government fulfillment of these demand In viev; of these responses and interactions, the surpri;>ing thing is that the AD, the CTV, and the Presidents See Appendix. It was also noted that many times respondents mentioned "la epoca de la democracia" either meaning the governments after Perez Jimenez or the times in which AD had the government executive; likev;ise, "democracia at times was the equivalent of the English "democracy, " at other times it was used as a label for AD. Compare this observation with those of Powell, Preliminary P.eport on the Feder aci6n Campesina de V enezuela, passim; and Lemer, "Conflict and Consensus in Guayana," in Bonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.). Studyin g the Venezuelan Polity , pp. ij.79-

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369 Betancourt and Leoni consider themselves independent of each other; that though each supports the others, they are not formally bound to each other; that each has its own tasks and domains and roles to perform and to fulfill. While the actual independence of these several organizations may be questioned, the fact remains that since 1958 they have all managed to support and reinforce each other and yet maintain their separate entities and separate existences. It has thus been possible--and ef f ective--f or AD to continue to express its cherished claim that it is a multiclass party, that it is the party for all Venezuelans, and that the CTV is a workingman's and not just a partisan organization. This perception by organized labor of its own independence, in spite of its obvious Involvement in politics as a means to improve its position, is more easily understood if seen in the nature of the context in which labor has developed in Venezuela. As the central government, in paternalistic fashion, has been able to define labor's position through the promulgation and enforcement or lack of enforcement of legislation, labor has found it necessary to develop political influence in order to give its demands greater force. Initially, in the days of Generals L6pez Contreras and Medina Angarita, favorable legislation was the result of official generosity rather than labor pressure because at the time only a few, weak unions existed. Later, when labor

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370 expanded and increased its strength largely through the concerted organizational efforts of Acci6n Democratica, it offered a valuable source of political collaboration in the overtlirow of Medina Angarita. The ensuing AD governmental trienio was characterized by expanded benefits for labor as well as the rapid organization of new unions throughout the country. But these benefits and this organizational drive v/ere undertaken, perhaps, at too fast a pace. for the Venezuelan society of the time. The proletariat had certainly grown since the 1920' s, but two decades later it was still in its infancy especially as far as political sophistication--and the need for moderation-were concerned. The business, landovming-extractive industries elite was still more than a match for labor; and when this elite obtained the concurrence of the military, the days of the AD pro-labor government were counted. The decade of dictatorship was marked by a curtailment of labor's legally allowed activities but, at the same time, by a continuing underground effort to recruit labor in the offensive against Perez Jimenez. This period witnessed the blurring of ideological party lines; and at the time of the dictator's overthrow, the Venezuelan labor movement experienced a brief interval of unity. When attempts were made for a return to a military dominated governmenb, it was labor which showed the strongest support for the government, and which, through clearly political strikes, helped it survive these crises. Labor had begun to play an

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371 effective role as a countervailing balance to the military. But the survival and the strengthening of constitutional government, with tho possibility for the free interplay of political groups, led to open divergerjcies among the parties and their labor branches. The intensified--at timea violent--opposition to the AD-dominated governments led to a closer working arrangement between that party and the largest labor confederation in the country. Since then, the labor majority has shown loyalty to Accion Democratica; while the chief executives, .jefes supremos of that party, have repaid labor by helping it satisfy its demands upon management . In this nox-J democratic phase, the gains obtained from government have no longer been a question of "generosity" — as they were in the days of Lopez Contreras and Medina Angarita--but reflected the government's deep awareness of labor's role in the interplay of political forces in Venezuela. Labor, for its part, has used its new strength moderately, fully realizing that the experience of constitutional government in Venezuela is still a tenuous one and that its ov/n pov.'er is more than matched by the pov;er of other sectors of the society, such as the military. Thus, in Venezuela, labor is fully "in politics" — but the political realm is, by no means, its private domain. The realization of its involvement in politics has given labor an awareness of its povrer, its chance to play a crucial role in a mutually responsive relationship between gobiorno

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372 and obrero . By the sane token, labor's realization of its political limitations has served as a moderative factor in this relationship. Only by realizing both its strength and its weakness has labor, especially v;ithin the CTV, served as an integrative factor in a rapidly changing Venezuelan society. The AD-governments ' response to labor--in the form of welfare legislation--has reflected a realization of these strengths and weaknesses.

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CHAPTER VIII RESOURCE UTILIZATION AND WELFARE IlIPROVEI-iENT UNDER ACCION DEMOCRATICA GOVERNMENTS One of the secrets of Accion Democrdtica' s success in staying in power for almost two consecutive constitutional terms--a unique event in the country's history--has been its ability to help pass legislation and to undertake projects that are beneficial to many sectors of the Venezuelan society.^ Thus, while AD and the labor and the peasant sectors are closely associated, the party leadership in the government has pushed for programs that are beneficial not only to these tv;o sectors but to others as well. A major tenet of the AD program has always been the need to utilize the country's immense physical resources for the improvement of the welfare of all Venezuelans.^ In so doing, the AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have been able to retain the loyalty of various groups; to help many; 4. 1 4 "^^^5^^, major conclusions of several students of Venezuelan politics. See, for example Ale-ar.dfiT' TheVenezu^^ Taylor, J^» 'fe^cracy for VcH^niiTa?-^'"cTI?Fent History, LI (November 3966), 28i;-290, 3IO; Fred D. L^^-iT E^onimic in Venezi^ (New York: Frederick A. Priefr^T^ IVoO), passim . * ProBra.a !'ga3slm°"°°°'""°"' ^^^^^ DemocrAtlca: Dootrlna 373

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. 37k and yet avoid alienating, at any one time, too many of the traditional forces such as the hacendados and the military or the newer breed, the industrialists. In fact, whether by chance or by design, the AD programs have so far divided rather than united the opposition. Its industrial diversification program, for example, has effectively gained the approval and the backing of many in the business sector, while its oil policies have not aroused a concerted attack from the moneyed classes. The same can be said of its programs of agrarian reform, education, and even foreign policy. In every instance there has been a great deal of compromise betv/een the ideals of the party program and the realities faced by the chief executive. The need to compromise has fallen short of fatally splitting the party, although splits have taken place over revolutionary and reformist principles. Thus, one may attempt to look at AD's programs in resource utilization and in welfare improvement as integrat ing factors since they benefited adecos and non-adecos and helped avoid a complete polarization betxireen those who favor the programs and those who oppose them. In this sense, AD is living up to its claim of being a multiclass party. At the same time, by attempting to even out the income levels throughout the country, AD can indeed proclaim that it is giving special attention to the traditionally neglected campesinos and traba jadores . Finally, many of these programs are likely to have a profound impact upon the Venezuelan

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375 social structure, to make it less rigid, more modern for more Venezuelans.^ It is in this context of integration and modernization that we look at some of the AD governments' projects and accomplishments. Tne adecos Betancourt and Leoni have sought to put into practice what their party long preached was necessary in order to bring about a modern and integrated Venezuela. Their governments, in this respect, signified a break with the past. To a generation of governments prior to 1958 (with the exception of the AD trienio), the swelling tide of "black gold" had appeared as a virtually inexhaustible treasury in comparison to which all other economic opportunities shrank into insignificance. This had been the predominant governmental attitude and it had proved nearly disastrous because it created a highly sophisticated industry (oil) v;hile leaving untouched the traditional economic basis (agriculture ) . The Acci6n Dsmocratica idea was to use the profits of the petroleum industry as a basis for the oconomic--as v;ell as political — integration of all groups in the Venezuelan society. This was a response to social and economic maladjustments which had reached an intolerable scale in the wake of the corrupt and narrovfly based p6rez Jimenez dictatorship. Accion Democrdtice , \}ith a wide populaibasis and with a reformist program, was destined to capture the Venezuelan executive in fair and honest elections held in Sugra, chap. I.

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376 1958 and I963. Presidents Betancourt and Leoni, once in power, made a serious--and largely successful — attempt to fulfill their party's programmatic ideals. Betancourt and Leoni 's program as de gobierno centered on the same basic principles of their party: a comprehensive agrarian reform,^ development and protection of labor rights,^ a nationalistic but flexible and pro-democratic international policy,^ and a program of industrial diversification and of social welfare. It is to the latter two that we devote our attention next. Acci6n Democr&tica and the Industrial Diversification of Venezuela In spite of Perez Jimenez' avowed desire to diversify 7 the Venezuelan economy, the decade of his administration was marked by a further dependence on petroleum as the sole means of governmental revenues and by the stress on magnificent construction projects (superhighways, colossal public buildings, super housing projects, etc.) rather than on what is usually considered the infrastructure of economic progress (e.g., agrarian reform, secondary or farm to market roads, education, etc.). Thus, at the end of the P^rez Jimenez administration, Venezuela was essentially a monoculture. ^Supra , chf'p. VI. -^Sugra, chap. VII. ^See chap. IX. 7 Tarn&i, El Nuevo Ideal Nacional de Venezuela , pp. 2l;3-262. '~

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377 The petroleum sector, which had transformed Venezuela from a sleepy, agricultural economy into the world's largest exporter of petroleum, vjas still the sole driving force of the economy. Despite the avovred policy of diversification and given the realization of the inevitable eventual exhaustion of its major resource, in 1959 petroleum still accounted for more than 90^ of total exports, contributed 60^ of public revenues, and generated more than one-fifth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The economy remained heavily dependent upon foreign trade-~exports accounted for 30 to 3,$% of GDP thi^oughout the 19^0' s. As already indicated, petroleum accounted for better than nine-tenths of total exports, v/ith iron ore accounting for most of the rest. Nearly half of all consumer goods v;ere supplied from abroad in the 1950' s, including more than one-third of total food consumption. Imports of machinery and equipment never fell below 85^ of the total gross investment in those goods betv;een 1951 and 1959 and, in fact, averaged about 95^ of the total over the period. "These figures can be obtained in Banco Central de Venezuela, Info rme Econ6mic o (Caracas: Banco Central de Venezuela, TW2) , p. 100; B'anco Central de Venezuela, Informe Economico (Caracas: Banco Central de Venezuela, I963)", p. 110; Banco Central de Venezuela, Memoria, 1959 (Caracas: Bsnco Central de Venezuela, I960), pT35ir; Venezuela, Oficina Central de Coordinacion y Planif icacion, Plan de la Nacion, I963-I966 (Caracas: Oficina Central de Coordinacion y~Planificaci"Bn7~1963) , passim . Tue economic situation encompassed by these figures led a Venezuelan economist to conclude that "the [Perez Jimenez] administration was characterized by a lack of coherence in economic policies, by a notable disequilibrium in the grovrth of different economic sectors, by an accentuation of the differences in income distribution, and by the strengthening of the general dependency

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1 378 The governments of Presidents Betancourt and Leoni not only made diversification a key to their economic policy but they have also gone a long way towards institutionalizing and realizing this policy. The national economy is gradually becoming lass dependent on petroleum as the sole source of revenue. Thus, in his last message to Congress, Betancourt disclosed that the gross national product reached Bs 30,114.0 i million (Bs 1|..5 = $1* approximately) in 19^3 as against Bs 2l4.,327 million in 1958, representing a yearly increase of 1|.5^. The groivth of the gross national product at the rate of $,Bfo in 1963 was particularly gratifying to the President because it occurred when the rate of growth of the oil sector was hardly 1.5^. That could be a strong indication that Venezuela was indeed in the process of economic diversification, for to attain an overall growth of $.8% in I963, it had been necessary for other sectors to grow at an average rate of 7%.^ On March 11, 1966, President Leoni could report further signs of diversification. VJhilo the rate of increase of the oil sector was 2.3^* industrial production increased 11^ in 1965 over 1961; and the participation of the industrial of the Venezuelan economy on exterior or foreign factors . " D. F. Maza Zavala, "La Economia de Venezuela: Un Sinopsis General," Caribbean Studies , VI (January, 196? ), 21}.. 9 "Last Message as President Presented to Congress," Venezuela-Up-to-Dat e. XI (Spring, 196ii.), 6-?; Albert P. Williams, ""industrial Diversification and Venezuelan Public Policy" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, I963').

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379 sector in the gross national product was l6%. During that year, 316 new industrial projects, representing an investment of Bs 201 million v;ero registered. Agricultural production increased 7 »S% in 1965, mainly accounted for by larger yields or rice, sesame, plantains, cotton and sugar cane. Sugar production became one of the largest agricultural activities in Venezuela; but although there v;as a surplus of 73,000 tons, only 17,000 tons were e..ported to the U.S. because of a quota system. "^^ More than 100 concerns produced plastic in 1965, but could not meet tiio growing internal demands. The production of iron ore increased by 11^ in 196[}.-65; and so on down the line for almost every item. A v;hole nev; industry-"petrochemicals — was hailed as a major success of the Leoni administration early in I967 . Up to a few years ago the field of petrochemicals, considered a natural for any oil-producing country, had been neglected in this country which was the world's number one oil exporter. Now Union Carbide, along with W. R. Grace, Allied Chemical, and several equally important European companies, were concluding deals with the newly created government agency, the Institute Venezolano Petroquimico (IVP), to spur petrochemical In the 1950 's large amounts of foreign exchange had been spent for obtaining sugar abroad. See "Pollov; the Example of the Venezuelan Sugar Industry, " New York Times (January 22, 1968), p. 66. 11.. Mensaje Presidencial , " El Na cional (March 12, 1966), p. A-1. '

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development . 380 12 To accomplish diversification, Betancourt and Leoni 13 chose several methods. They adopted a policy of protection for manufacturing through the devices of high tariffs through absolute prohibition or limitation of imports by 111 decree, and through the establisliment of exchange controls. This method was largely responsible for the groi^fing Venezuela based automobile industry and for the outstanding expansion in the textile, food processing, and pharmaceutical industries.^^ A second method employed to promote diversification was through the reactivation of the Corporacion Venezolanade Fomento (CVF) and, through it, the investment of considerable 12 New York Times, January 23, I967, p. $6; Antonio Ledesma Lanz, C oncien cla^ Nacional del_Porvenir Petr'o qulmico (Caracas: Oficina Central de Infer mac i'SnTTD^^) , PP. 1-11X7 A generally favorable reaction from private Venezuelan sectors towards this governmental plan is found in Asamblea de la Camara de Industriales , "El Plan Gubernamental de Expansi6n de la Industria Quimica Venezolana," Produccion [Caracas] (May, 1965), pp. 15-21. •^-^Leopoldo J. Bello M. "Algunas Observaciones sobre los Procedimientos Utilizados para Proteger la Industria Nacional," Produccion [Caracas] (September, I963), pp. 2031. Ill , Romulo Betancourt, Confianza en e l Presento y el Porvenir de Venezu ela (Caracas: Imprenta Hacionar7~T959T.' 15 "Speaking of Business and Finance," Venezuo la-Up to-Date , XII (Spring-Summer, 1966), 16; "Volkswagen de Venezuela,'" El Nacional (October 16, 1965), p. D-l?; "Politica de Protecci^ a la Indus ..ria Textil," El Universal (October 9, 1965), p. 51. .

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381 suras to aid private investors in various manufacturing fieldes. As originally constituted by Bctancourt in I9I1.6, the CVF was supposed to aid the developiiant of both agriculture and industry; subsequently, during the Perez Jimenez period, its activities were confined to the urban economy, largely to manufacturing and power. Up to 1958, CVP aid to industry and agriculture did not amount to much--B3 million — particularly when compared with Bs 1.7 billion granted in loans, mainly to industry, between 1958 and 196lj.."^^ More recently, the Corporation has shifted from a passive to an active policy to hasten the economic diversification process. Instead of being content with waiting for loan requests, it nov; goes as far as making, after comprehensive surveys, concrete and detailed plans for the creation of certain industries regarded as useful to the country's economy, and submits them to business interests, along with assurances of financial assistance. A procedure has been devised whereby CVF builds plants and installs equipment to be leased to small and medium-sized industries with enough working capital to start For terms of comparison, see Ricai'do Gonzalez C, La CVF y.^sxi^ Doctr ina Econo mica (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, 195^ ) , "and Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento, Obras de la Corporac i 6 n Venez plana de Fo;Tiento, 2lj de Noviembre de" 19^8 a 2 de PTciembre de 1953 (Caracas ' Editorial Bellas Artes, i953)> both published during the Perez Jimenez administration, and "La Corporacion Venezolana de Fonsnto Contribuyo Decididamente a la Vigorosa Polltica de Industrializaci6n del Regimen DemocrSticoi Memoria I963," Carta Informativa de la CVF (April 15, 1961;.), p.s.n. An overall recent assessment appears in "Venezuelan Development Corp. Invests Heavily in Agriculture and Intermediate Industries," New York Times (January 22, 1968), pp. 65, 68.

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382 operations. After ten years, when over ^0% of the building cost has been paid, the lessee may purchase the entire property by paying the balance. Equipment may also be bought within a five year loan period. Under this program, l8 plants were built in I96I4. and 32 started construction in 1965. As to the larger industries, the CVP presented 1$2 proj cts requiring an investment of Bs 3[|.2 r/iillion to a group of businessmen associated with the Federation of Chambers of 17 Commerce and Production in April of 19^5. A third method used by the government to diversify industry is to make itself the "catalyst" by supplying the principal elements of the infrastructure of the econcmy-electricity, transportation, and othors--and establishing and maintaining the principal heavy industries in the nation, including steel, petrochemicals, and aluminum. This method, because of its far-reaching implications and because 18 of its magnitude, deserves a more detailed survey. Enrique Tejera Paris, a long time AD leader, economist, and later ambassador to the United States, v;as largely responsible for the original conception a;>d organization of 17 Venezuela, Secretaria de la Comision Nacional de Financiamiento do la Pequefia y Mediana Indixstria, Pro grama de Financiamiento a l a Pequena y Mediana Indu3t ria~(Caracas : Tipografia Vargas, n. d'7T;~^Cndus tries Expanding Faster than Anticipated," Venezuela Up -t o-Date , XII (Fall, 1965), 6. 18 ' i'''or more detailed treatment of CORDIPLAN, see Friedmann, Venoz-aola, From Doc tri ne t o Dialo gue and Fred D, Levy, Jr., "''Economic Planning in 'Venezuela, '' ^Yale Economic Essays , VII (Spring, 1967), 273-321. .

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383 Venezuela's system of national planning in which the govarnment--at the national as well as at the local and regional levels — v;ould be the catalyst for diversified industrialization. The Office of Coordination and Planning (CORDIPLAN) emerged aa the key institution in this process in 1958. V/hen CORDIPLAN was created, an atmosphere of extremo political and economic uncertainty pervaded Venezuela. The newly elected government of Romulo Betancourt was not seriously expected to survive its constitutional five-year term; indeed, no popularly elected Venezuelan government ever had. The fall of the Perez Jimenez dictatorship in January, 1958, coincided with a severe weakening of the world petroleum market, which combined with the uncertain political situation to bring a decade of vigorous--if distorted by its overemphasis in certain sectors, especially petroleum--econoraic growth to an abrupt end. A primary goal of CORDIPLAN was not only to renew and expand economic growth but also to devise ways of 19 better using all Venezuelan resources. The tasks allocated to CORDIPLAN v;ere manifold. Established within the Office of the Presidency of the Republic, CORDIPLAN was made responsible for preparing studies on national development, making alternative projections and keeping the general social and economic development plan on schedule, maintaining overall consistency in programming through consultations with the private sector, preparing the 19 tn S^^^?^® Tejera Paris, Dos Elementos de Gobierno (Caracas, I960), p. 339. ~

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annual program budget in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, proposing guidelines for the planning and location of physical facilities, coordinating through sectorial agencies the preparation of regional and local plans, assisting the President in supervising the execution of programs, directing the training of planning officials, and coordinating techniques of planning in public agencies to ensure uniformity. In 1959, CORDIPLAN was further entrusted with coordinating all technical assistance activities in the country, exercising general supervision over programs and projects and evaluating their results. To coordinate the activities of the many government ministries and independent agencies dealing with economic and social problems, CORDIPLAN has organized a series of committees to deal with specific problems in vjhich more than one governmental agency is concerned. All agencies dealing with a given problem are represented on a committee by a high-echelon official. These committees meet regularly and seek to v;ork out general policies and strategies in order to avoid duplication of effort and expenditure. Industrialization, medical and health problems, and the agrarian reform have been three of the fields in which CORDIPLAN committees have been active and in x^hich it has had some success— perhaps in a descending order. In agrarian refom particularly, political differences and difficulties in budgeting and personnel have resulted in limited CORDIPLAN success. 20 ^, . .Sse su£ra, chap. VI; Fred D. Levy, Jr., "Economic ^in?''^?^ ^'^P^^^^i^ ' (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Economics, Yale University, 1965), joassim.

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38^ The preparation of the budget has offered CORDIPLAN better opportunities to coordinate the activities of the various government agencies On long-range planning, this agency has also been made responsible for the elaboration of "four-year national plans" that set forth general goals in terras of economic and social development for a determined period of time. Theae national plans are "rolling" or "revolving" plana, in the sense that every two years the plan period is extended by another two years. Thus the first plan covered the period 1960-19614., the second plan I9631966, and the third plan 1965-1968. At each of these throe points in time the national plan is revised in order to keep it as close as possible to accomplishments and to new 22 projections . In drawing up the national plans, CORDIPLAN was required by law to consult with the private sector. With regard to the business community, this consultation was minimal during most of CORDIPLAN 's first four years. Business vias initially apprehensive of the Betancourt regime and interpreted planning to imply greater government incursions into the private sphere. On the other hand, 21 Antonio Ugueto Trujillo C, "Evolucion de la Estructura del Presupueoto Vcnezolano en los Ultimos Diez Anos," Revis t a do Hacienda [Caracas], XXVI (OctoberDecember, 1962), 31-37. . . 22 Mustafa F. Hassan has v;ritten extensively on this topic. See, for example, his "High Growth, Unemployment, and Planning in Venezuela," E conomic Development and Cul tural Change , XV (July, 196777 k52-l\.6^..

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386 CORDIPLAN technicians believed that productive coirununication would not be possible, since none of the business leaders had been trained in economic planning or understood what "national planning" meant. In order to comply with legal requirements, CORDIPLAN did consult with the business community, but such consultation came after the n-itional plans had been drafted. Small modifications might then be made on the basis of these consultations. Less formal linl:s between CORDIPLAN and the private sector did exist, hoxvevor, and should not be overlooked. The national plans were widely discussed in the public media. Further, CORDIPLAN maintained close ties not only with the AD leadership but also with the Christian Democratic Party (COPEI) and the ministries controlled by them. At the close of the Betanccurt administration, these ties with the private sector had been considerably strengthened. Levy explains this more intimate relationship in this fashion: By that time, the business leaders wore coming to realize that CORDIPLAN vms not promoting the extinction of the private sector, and that, planning may mean no more than the greater governmental efficiency that they themselves had always advocated. Furthermore, led by native industrialists who saw their own futures in the development of the country, businessmen were becoming more and more convinced of the necessity for a national development effort combining the energies of both private and public sectors. At the same time, CORDIPLAN was increasingly realizing that the private sector must be made an active participant in the planning process if its activities were to be coordinated in the national effort. 23 23 Levy, "Economic Planning in Venezuela," Yal< Economic Essa ys, p. 28l.

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387 On a more specific level, CORDIPLAN has elaborated a "National Highway Development Plan," it has supervised the Community Development Office (for community action in necessary local public works) and because of CORDIPLAN' s insistence on regional programs, it has been intimately associated with the development of the Guayana region. The overall philosophy that has guided CORDIPLAN in all its activities encompasses what it considers to be the fundamental goals of Venezuela: (1) The greatest possible welfare for all Venezuelans, to be achieved through full employment of the labor force and through an equitable distribution of wealth, using the expanding resources of the several regions of the country in the most efficient v;ay possible; (2) Economic independence, through an adequate diversification of the economy and an optimal grovjth of the national product, especially on the basis of the best possible utilization of the income obtained from the just participation of the nation in the extractive industries .25 In this early statement CORDIPLAN had echoed some 26 of Accion Democrdtica' s major programmatic themes and soon these were translated into plans and policies of national. ^Oficina Central de Coordinacion y Planif icacion. Division Desarrollo de la Comunidad, Community Deyelp pment in Venezuel a ( Vlashington, D.C., 1966)'; 0 fTcXna'" C e nt r a 1 de Coordinacion y Planif icaciun. Division Desarrollo de la Comunidad, El Desarrollo Comu nal .com o una Politica Generadora de Empleo (Caracas; CORDIPLAN, ' 25 -^Venezuela, Oficina Central de Coordinaci6n y Planif icaoion. Plan de la Nacion, I963 -I966, p. XII. ?6 See supra , chap. IV.

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388 regional, and state significance. Eventually CORDIPLAK asserted its position as the key agency in regional planning and development. It established a framework for localnational coordination in these more geographically restricted projects and it became involved not only in the selection ox* sites for regional corporations but also in budget allocation for these complexes. The Guayana program, the regional project that has existed the longest, is usually taken as the model of Vene27 zuelan planning to achieve greater diversification. In this program, the AD governments undertook their major effort at coordinated resource development in a distant and hitherto little known part of southeastern Venezuela. Several goals were encompassed in this effort--di version of urban migration from Caracas -Maracaibo to a much smaller city, Santo Tom6 de Guayana and its satellite tovms; diversification of industry by the development of iron, pov/er, and several other large and small industries; expansion of better opportunities to thousands of Venezuelans who v;ould participate in the program and have a voice in the running of the nev; city end in the future of the program itself.^® 27 John Friedmann, Regiona l Development Policy; A Case Stud y of Vena zu e 1 a (Cainbridge, Nass . : Massachusetts InstituteoT Tecnnblogy Press, 1966). Other regional programs have emerged and have been patterned after the Guayana model. See "CORPOANDES, " El Nacioi.al (December 2, 1961).), p. D-1. These programs have alT' been placed under the general direction of CORDIPLAN. ^° La Re gion de Guayana ; Una G ama de Oportunidades para la Inv ers ion "(CaFacas; Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana, l^BJJi Alexander Ganz, "Regional Planning as a Key to the Present Stage of Economic Development of Latin America; The Case of the Guayana Region, a Frontier Region." Paper

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389 A beginning had been made a few years earlier byputting into operation tv;o iron-mine concessions under the management, respectively, of the United States and Bethlehem Steel Corporations. At about the same time, the government had undertaken the construction of a steel mill and a 350»000 kw hydroelectric plant on the Caroni River. But these had been treated as only isolated projects. Though they related to each other — the steel mill would be a major consumer of both the iron ore and the electric energy produced in the region — the manner in which the Guayana scheme would relate to national economic development was only vaguely stressed and it did not appear to be the prime motivation behind the governmental plan.^^ It vxas left to the governments elected after the overthrow of Perez Jimenez to articulate a new program in v;hich the development of Guayana 's resources was seen integrally as a part of a national program for industrialization and the region itself as a permanent, structural element of an expanding read before the First Latin American Regional Science Congress, Caracas, November 12-lk., 1962. 29 'The iron deposits in the region (El Pao) had been discovered in the early 1930' s, but transport problems in getting the ore from the mine to the market were not solved until 1950. The rich Cerro Bolivar deposits were discovered by an aerial survey in 1946. After eight years of exploration and construction v;ork, a U.S. Steel subsidiary, the Orinoco Mining Co., began to exploit and export the iron ore. See Lieuwen, Venezuela, pp. II8-II9. 30 See Tarnoi, E l Huevo I deal Nacional de Venezuela, pp. 23, 2Ss-2$9, 308-312: :

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390 inter-regional system. Economic, social, and physical components were to be fused in planning for the region so that a unified conception might take shape. The nevr task was to go beyond industrial production to the creation of a new region deep in the interior of the country which but a few years earlier had been a virtually unpopulated geographic space. The city of Santo Tom$ de Guayana was to be the focal point for the series of interrelated industrial complexes that would, in time, transform the region's potential wealth of natural resources into a steadily rising level of living for the local population. At the same time, it would contribute to the long-term strategy of national development in the form of diversified foreign exchange earnings and intermediate product supplies to an expanding national market. Five such complexes were found to be potentially suitable to the area: iron and steel products, electrometals, electrochemicals, heavy machinery, pulp and paper. In addition, the region was to become the principal supplier of electric power to the rest of the nation. Related to these ambitious prospects, heavy investments were to be undertaken in mining, construction materials, agriculture, forestry, and tourism. Projection? of the region's economi". 31 Corporacion Vonezolana de Guayana, Guayan a ; Cornerston e of the Development of Venezuela (Caracas: cvG, 19^37: ;

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391 basis appeared to favor a possible expansion of the city of Santo Tome de Guayana to more than half a million inhabitants before the end of the century. Thus, from the inception of the Guayana development under Perez JimSnez to the 1960's project under the AD government, the vjholo Guayana program had been reorionted-from a narrovi exploration of iron ore for export to the conception and undertaking of a far-ranging plan for the utilization and improvement of the various natural resources. The program would novr have a strong welfare orientation and would be carried out vjithin the context of a national development plan. Commensurate with this vision, the Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) was created as an autonomous agency in I960, modeled in some respects on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Responsible for the overall planning and coordination of the scheme, the CVG was given far32 reaching powers to do the job. The Guayana program fit v;ell into the goals and ideology long proclaimed by the AD leadership. Guayana was to become the shovrpiece of a new regional emphasis in the design of government policy. Hence, the focus of the project v;as to be the economic and social development of the traditional Guayana and the city of Santo Tom5 de Guayana was to become the principal gateway to this region. The long-held 32 Venezuela. Presidencia de la Repiiblica. Decreto No. li.30 (Caracas, December 29, I960), chap. XI. ~~~

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392 AD tenet of diversification was here underlined with the development of other indigenous rasources such as iron and water power. This developraent \vas intended as the ADgovernment ' s concrete demonstration of its diversification policy. To man this huge, diverse program, a veritable stream of people have been attracted to Guayana. It is estimated that an average of 800 people a month come to Guayana, mostly from the over-populated and impoverished Oriente . It was estimated that by 1975> 1^00,000 inhabitants will be living in Guayana and that by that time 1|.0^ of the region's resources v;ill be under exploitation. ^3 Favorably located with respect to the resources that v;ere to be brought into the scope of the national economy, Guayana was to become the country's principal base for heavy industry. The nationalistic orientation of Acci6n Deraocratica provided another reason for the strong interest Presidents Betancourt and Leoni displayed in the future of the region. For as long as Guayana vjas simply en exporter -of ore concentrates, it v;ould remain an essentially colonial economy, an exclave, dominated by foreign interests and almost completely at the mercy of foreign markets. The Guayana program, on the other hand, v/as to be a national effort, conceived and carried out by Venezuelans and involving the in-site production of many items — especially 33 Americo Fernandez, "La Realidad y el Future del Complejo Industrial de la Guayana Venezolana," El Nacional (June 20, 1966), p. D-9.

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393 machinery — sorely needed for Venezuela's entire expanding economy. The most ambitious construction project in Venezuela became the Guri hydroelectric plant v;hich, when its final phase is completed, will produce 6 million kv; of cheap power for all of Venezuela and even for some of its neighbors, Trinidad, Guayana (formerly British Guiana), Brazil, and Colombia. This project, when finished, v;ill compare with the Krasnoyars project in the U.S.S.R., which was also designed for a similar kw capacity. Guri, in its final phase, will have three times greater output than the Aswan project on the Nile, The primary purpose of the Guri project is to open up a large region to agriculture and to population. Thus, the first stage in the project development calls for the creation of a lake covering 80,000 hectares (Ha.) of virgin land to hold 17,700 billion cubic meters of water. At the completion of the Guri project, the lake v;ill cover 328,000 Ha and store 103,000 billion cubic meters of water. While Guri, it is conteriplated, will produce power equal to the total amount now being produced in all of Brazil, the potential of the loiwv Garoni River — the final 210 km of the stream above its confluence with the Orinoco River in the Guayana Region--is estimated at 10,500,000 kw. This project has also been sttidied and surveyed and is ready ^^"Garacas V/ants in on the Action," Mew Yo rk T imes (January 22, 1968), p. 70. .

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391^ for execution when needed. This is believed to be the largest hydroelectr j.c potential on the South American continent and one which augurs well for the industrial expansion of the whole area. In addition, the region holds perhaps the highest concentration of natural resources to be found any^fhere in the world. Economic strategy during the Betancourt and Leoni administrations has thus revolved around the highest possible investment of public funds in basic heavy industry along with necessary social services and agricultural improvement. It has required a concentrated effort to create wealth from activities other than petroleum, an effort that has focused largely on the overall development of the Guayana Region. Hence the phrase "to sov; the petroleum," the motto used in many of the Accion Democrdtica pronouncements, has meant the use of the profits from the oil industry in the creation of nevr industrial complexes. The petroleum wealth, which is still the greatest source of investment capital in the country, is being plowed back into 36 the ground. Impressive examples of this policy are the "Power for Heavy Industry in Guayana," New Yor k Times (January 28, 1966), p. 71; "Venezuela El octFic "Output to Double," St. P etersburg Times (February 11, 196ij.), p. 6-A "Venezuela Boom Draws JoblessT^n^li ami Herald (February 9, 1965), p. 8-A; "Home-Grown Ruhi-,'^^ew3v;e"eFTFebruary 22, 1965), p. I4-8; Jose Montes Escalona"^ ^~E1 Reoortajo: El Progreso Economico de los Paises so Hide por el Consumo de Energia Electrica, " Polltica , IV (August-September, 1965). 325-331+. , . 3^Thomas J. Abercrombie, "Venezuela Builds on Oil," Nat i onal Gcogr aphi c Magaz_i ne . CXXHI (March, I963), 3ij.i;-307; Michael Bamberg erT^^nezuela ' s Oil," Venture, XVIII (September, 1966), 19-23; RaiSl Leoni, ^^AnlliTis de la

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395 Venezuelan state-ovmed steel industry on the Orinoco River and the mixed investment aluminum industry, both part of the Guayana Project. The steel plant, built X'jith governraent revenues largely from petroleum ta:xes, is designed for an eventual production of 1,200,000 tons of finished products annually. Production has nov; reached 750»000 tons per year, some of it used in Venezuela and the rest shipped abroad to Latin countries and else^^^here. At the same time, the increasing production of electric energy, coupled with abundant bauxite deposits, is facilitating the emergence of an aluminum industry. A mixed enterprise of the Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana and Reynolds Aluminum is nov; completing a commercial plant which went into production in 1967, at a cost of Bs 120 million, 60$^ of which was being financed under terms very beneficial to Venezuela . -^"^ Overall, the government had spent $$06 million in five years (1960-1965) on the giant Guri dam, a steel mill, hydroelectric and aluminum plants, housing, schools, highways, and other works. By 1970 the government investments in the Guayana will reach $1.5 billion, financed partly from petroleum royalties and partly from loans from the World Polltica Petrolera," Economia y Administracion [Maracaibo], V (January-March, 196ET, 157^66": " 37 Rafael Alfonso Ravard, "El Desarrollo de Guayana," Polltica , IV (August-September, 1965), 111-128.

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396 Bank . In charge of the development is Rafael Alfonso Ravard a Venezuelan army engineer with the rank of general and a graduate of the Ifessachusetts Inctitute of Technology. For Ravard, the human factors are the most important in the whole Quay ana project — The human resources are the most important factor in all development process. All the natural v/ealth and the v;ork of man--the forests, the hydroelectric production, the induiitrial plants, the construction of cities — acquire significance only when they are placed harmoniously in service in function of the human factor. The basic ob iective of the hum.an development may be definecl as t he promotion and stimuiati on of the active partic i pat i'bn and coo pera ti o n in t he proc e ss" of a eveloping" the whole reg l" on~\)y all persons and groups In all" s ectors of t he p o pulation . 37 In order to achieve this objective, the Corporaci6n . Venezolana de Guayana has stimulated a number of studies designed to obtain better information about the region's people — their situation and their needs. It has pushed for the improvement of technical skills througli trade schools and special classes for the large number of obreros v;ho, for the most part, have only the rudimentary skills required of a subsistence farmer. The Corporacion has also backed the building of hospitals, sanitary centers, and recreation units It has stimulated the strengthening and the development of local government institutions, by alv/ays bringing the On a yearly basis, the CVG receives 10^ of the Venezuelan annual budget of $2 billion; New York Tim es. January 23, 196?, p. 56. [ 39 Ravard, "El Desarrollo de Guayana," p. 126; our underlining.

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397 locally-elected officials into the CVG's discussions of new projects and plans. It is of interest that at least for the tine being, the CVG's attempts to fulfill the ideal of "human development" as defined by Ravard have been crowned v/ith success. A recent detailed survey of the Guayana population found that Guayanans, though not unqualified in their satisfaction with all of the CVG's aspects as they affect them personally, were appreciative of the improvemont of their own private lot. Further, and perhaps more significantly, they viere extremely optimistic about their public and private future. When asked to forecast their situation five years hence, 77% of those interviewed declared that it would be "better" as compared with a mere who said it would be "worse." When asked to project the situation of Venezuela as a whole 20 years hence, optimism was higher--86^ affirming that it vfould be "better" contrasted with 3% saying "worse." Optimism reached a peak when respondents v:ere asked to contrast the opportunities available to children now with their own opportunities as ch.\ldren. Over 90^ considered their children's opportunities to be "more" (of whom about half insisted on saying "much more") as contrasted with saying ^^This method of bringing the locally-elected officials into the CVG's discussions and plans is similar to the "cooptation techniques" employed by the TVA and referred to by Philip Solznick, TVA a n d th e Grass Ro ots; A Study in the Sociology of Formal Organizatio n "(Berkeley, Cal.: UniversTty of California Press, 19[|.9 ) , passim. It is also interesting to note that a number of former TVA officials have acted as consultants to the CVG.

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398 "the same" and yfo who said "fewer." This extraordinary optimism about the future, especially their children's future, was again apparent in their overwhelming belief that capable young Venezuelans had practically unlimited chances in the near future to gain high positions--in government, the military, a largo economic enterprise, in the professions, or in politics.^"^ In a similar vein, AD leaders and members who were interviewed by the author showed a v/idespread av;aroness and approval of the Guayana project. Of the 58 adeco leaders questioned, of them (93.1?^) approved of it; all 58 had heard of the project. Of the 50 adeco members questioned, 36 of them (72^) approved of the project, while a total of i|.0 of them (80^) had heard of the Guayana project. All those questioned came from various backgrounds -1 awyers , obroros, campesinos, clerks, small merchants, etc. Another writer attests further that the "majority of opinion [in Venezuela]" sterns to share this optimism and this approval of the Guayana project. He concludes that What the Venezuelans are doing in the Guayana region is carving out their own El Dorado which holds out much hope for diversifying this nation's resources at a time when few Latin American nations have made much headv/ay ^^Daniel Lerner, "Conflict and Consensus in Guayana," in Bonilla and Silva Michelena (eds.), Studying the Venezuelan Polity, pp. I1.79-512. The optimism of the Venezuelan's stands in marked contrast to the sense of hopelessness felt by the people of many Latin American countries. See the series of attitude studies conducted by Lloyd A. Frec's Institute for International Social Research, Princeton, New Jersey. ^%or details on the interviev/s and a breakdown on those polled, see Appendix.

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399 in the effort. If successful in the long run, the plan could serve as a pilot project for other Latin American nations. But right now, Venezuelans here are much more concerned v/ith making the Quay ana plan a workable and viable instrument in their nation's economic and social development .M-3 Of equal interest has been the CVG's as well as the whole AD diversification program's success in avoiding the concerted opposition of the business community. V/ithout that community's active participation, in fact, plan targets, policies, and projects would likely not be attained. Peasant and labor organizations could bo considered politically "safe" and could be more or less relied upon to go along with AD's national programs. But many businessmen in 1958 were suspicious of the AD government's intentions to the point of hostility. Only by gaining their support-or, at the very least, their acquiescence--could the AD Presidents avoid a repetition of the I9I1-8 events. Fortunately for Betancourt, conservative business groups remained v/ithout organizational backbone until 1962. At that time AVI (Asociaci6n Venezolana de Independientes ) was formed, evidently to exert influence on the national elections scheduled for the following year, AVI did not claim to be a political party as such, although it did frequently behave as one. It was financially powerful and basically distrusted the "Ifew Dealish" philosophies espoused by the major parties, especially Accion Democratica.^^ AVI, ^•^ James Nelson Goodsell, "Industrial El Dorado Glitters in Venezuela," Christian Science Mon itor (November 11 1967), p. 9. . ^^"These conservative business groups found their

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1|.00 hov;evcr, did not present a completely unified front, even under pressure of the 19o3 elections. A "Liberal" wing within AVI exerted a moderating influence on many of its policies, thus blunting its attacks on the government programs . The so-called progressives in the business community tended to coalesce around another "nonpolitical" organization, Pro -Venezuela, which had been founded in 1958. Basically the organization was sympathetic to the AD government, although it maintained a public stance of nonpartisanship . Its membership v;as much more broadly based than AVI, including on its National Council most of .the important organized groups in Venezuela such as the Church, professional associations, the military, newspapers and women's groups. But businessmen predominated, not only in its membership but in financial support as v;ell . ProVenezuela spoke chiefly for the new industrialists, commercial farmers, and small merchants throughout the country. In contrast to AVI, its position was more nationalistic and among ^ts primary goals was the rapid industrialization of Venezuela's economy. "Buy Venezuelan" became its favorite spokesmen among the reporters and editors of the publications La Esfer a and Observa clones Economlc as of Caracas, both of which frequently cited Ludwig van Mises and Friedrich Hayek as their ideological sources. See supra, chap. IV. — ^ k5 ^2££» chap. IV; Boesner, "El Proceso Electoral Venezolano," pp. 73-96; Documentos (July-September, 1962), p. 718; Documentos (January-March, I963), pp. 717718 .

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k-Ol slogan. It raaintained constant contact with the government, especially through the Ministry of Development (Ministerio de Fomento), but communicated as well with other major agencies of the government and also with Presidents Betancourt and Leoni. This flow of communication has not been unidirectional, however; the government has often requested the opinions of Pro-Venezuela.'^^ Significantly, the progressives within the business community derived their main strength from provincial areas such as Aragua, Carabobo, Lara, Portuguesa, Zulia, Anzoategui, while the conservative stronghold remained in Caracas. Coincidentally, it was from the provinces, from the periphery rather than Caracas, that the main support for Accion Democratica came. Further, this alignment of interest reflected the changing character of Venezuela's economy ^"^ — its industrialization, the incorporation of the provinces in the economic life of the nation, the critical importance of government in economic development, the need for a protective nationalistic policy during the period of economic transition the increasing interdependency of economic institutions. These differences between progressives and conservati 1^6 P^o-Venezuela receives a monetary contribution from the Venezuelan government, which represents about one-fourth the association's annual income, the rest being contributed by Its members. An account of the organization's many activitiescan be found in Asociaci6n Prc-Venezuela, OrlFen, Doctrina y Agci on de k Anos (Caracas: AsociacioirT?^ Venezuela, 1962). Julio Cotler, "El Proceso de Cambio de la Elite jSno!°1965), r3~^^^^^ Janeiro], VIII (April-

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l|.02 in the Venezuelan business coiriTnunity are further clarified in this schematic summary visualized by Friedmann CONSERVATIVES PROGRESSIVES Sectors Geographic Focus Doctrine Nationalism Large commerce Industry, commer'-ial (especially in importfarming, smalland export lines) and bankingmedium-scale business finance Caracas Free enter-prise; anti-wlSb-Care; anti -government Weak Organizational AVI (after '62) Focus enterprises Provinces Recognition of the role of the state in economic life; acceptance of welfare; progovernment Strong Pro-Venezuela (after '58) Progressive and conservative elements in the business community often find themselves working side by side as members of the large Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEDECAMARAS ) . As the name implies, FEDECAMARAS is a federation of virtually all of the regional and sectoral private economic organizations in tho country and, as such, is considered the high level representative and spokesman for the nation's private business interest. Annually, the member organizations gather together to discuss the major issues of national economic policy, ^ Friedmann, Venezue la; From Doctrine to Dialop iue, . h3This is a slightly modified version of the Friedmann P scheme .

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li.03 such as industrial diversification, the national plans, etc., and to formulate a united position in their regard. Business' positions on the major issues ere then submitted to the President, to the various ministers, and to other relevant agencies, public and private. Because of its size and economic povjer, FEDECAMARAS is a voice that must be listened to, either directly or indirectly, in the formulation of overall economic policies. On the other hand, the potent5 al power of FEDECAMARAS is greatly diminished because its "positions" are often compromises betv;een the demands of progressive and conservative elements as well as divergencies betvreen the regional and national interests the organization seeks to encompass. Early in the Betancourt administration, an attitude of mutual antagonism seemed to exist between FEDECAI-IARAS and the AD. Many businessmen had cooperated closely with General Medina Angarita, whom the AD had conspired to overthrow in 19h^' For their part, many adecos blamed the business "oligarchy" for the long life of tho P^rez Jimdnez dictatorship which, in turn, had overthi'own the AD government in 191^-8. This mutual antagonism started to give way to better communications v/hen President Betancourt began to actively seek the advice of business leaders on various legislative projects and when the business community itself saw less reason to fear "expropriation" in the case of agrarian reform, "nationalization" in the case of the oil industry, or "socialization" in the case of private enterprise. Further, with the passage of tine, many businessmen and entrepreneurs

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began to benefit from the government's economic policies and thus found themselves closer to the views expressed by the AD than to the views which had been traditionally expounded ij-9 by FEDECAMARAS. By recognizing the differences that divide the Venezuelan business sectors, Betancourt and Leoni have been able to use these differences for their ovm political advantage. Many technical and administrative positions have boen filled with progressive elements, even when they are not members of the ruling party. Uslar Pietri, closely associated with AVI, was a member of the Leoni coalition government for several months. The overall "national plans" have been used as a basis for consultation with all qualified sectors^^ — business as well as labor, government as well as technicians. The same process of consultation has gone into the drafting of major legislation, such as the agrarian reform law. Thus, in a variety of ways, sectors of the Venezuelan society have been given a chance to participate in--as well as to benefit from--the AD governments' determination to diversify and to integrate the country's economy. Improvi ng the U elfar e of All Venezuelans Education In less than a decade, the democratic governments of ^%ievy, Econoiu ic Planning in Venezuela, pp. 39-li.O, 58-61. Luis Fernando Ycpez, "FEDECAMRAS y el Plan de la

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Venezuela have achieved spectacular advances in the field of education, so much so, that their literacy program has been the object of great interest on the part of developing 51 countries with similar problems. Despite enormous difficulties, both quantitative and technical, all educational services have substantially expanded and improved since 1958. Several men in the high echelons of Accion Democrfitica and in government have expressed their deep awareness that the long-term success or failure of their efforts to establish a democracy in Venezuela, together with a healthy and stable nation, depends as much on their ability to educate the people as it does on their ability to govern. In 1959 there were l,09l+,000 pupils enrolled in preschool and primary classes and in 1961|-1965 this figure had Nacioi^.," El Nac ional (July 16, I963), p. A-I;. In this article. Hector Hurtado, the CORDIPLAN director in I963 is quoted as saying that "this consultation ... is the beginning of a rational and democratic planning of public expenditures." This, incidentally, is the major theme of Friednann's Venezuela; From Doctrine to Dialogue . 51 "Illiteracy Rate Second Lovxest in Latin America," Venez uela Up-to-Date , XII (Winter, 1965-1966), 8. Two UNESCO officials were reported as saying, "In the world drive against illiteracy, Venezuela is a pilot country in the Latin American area. The experience gained by that country will be incorporated into the program, sponsored by LTJESCO for other countries." See also "Venezuela: Laboratorio Pedagogico," Ercilla [Chile], XX>:iI (June 15, 1966), 3I-36; "Venezuela: A National Literacy Project," UNESCO Chronicle, XII (September, 1966), 33i;-337. 52 Eiuardo Rivas Casado, "Deterrollo de la Educacion Democratica en Venezuela," Pol f.tica , IV (August-September, 1965), 75-86; J. M. Siso Martinez, Alf abetizacio n y Desarrol lo (Caracas: Ministerio de Educacion, n.d.), pp. 1^7" ~~

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increased to 1,395* 000--up 27.5^. At the same time, 32.7^ more teachers were employed. The number of schools increased from 9,650 in 1959 to 13,329 in 1961^.-1965. In secondary education, enrollment jumped 92.1\.% between 1959 and 1965. The number of secondary education buildings during the same period rose 65^ and faculties by 81.2^.^^ For the 1965-1966 period, pre-school and primary students numbered l,i|.8l,353 under 14.3,368 teachers; secondary students numbered 189,583 under 9,097 teachers. The national government during the Perez Jimenez administration spent an annual average of 6.1^ for education while the annual average for the Accion DemocrStica governments amounted to 12.9^.^^ The industrial diversification of the country demanded a rise in technical instruction and this, in turn, created a greater need for teacher training as well as new buildings solely for this type of education. -^^ In 1959-1960 there were ~ 53 Rivas Casado, "Desarrollo de la Educati6n Democrdtica en Venezuela," pp. 75-86. ^ Inter-American Development Bank, Socio -Economic ZT-Ogre s s inj^tj^ America , p. 380. The discrepancybitten primary and secondary student enrollment reflects the fact that Venezuela, like the rest of Latin-American countries. '"'^'^^ dropout rate at all levels of edication. The average educational attainment of the population is estimated at about three years of schooling (ibid., p. 379). r« 4A Venezuela, Ministerio de Hacienda, Evolucidn de los IfLjtos d^Gobie^^ TCar-iciTT Mmisterio dTHacienda, 19To7T VeHrzlIilTTMTnisterio de Hacienda, Resumojijd^l_Prqyec^^ Fresupuesto 1966 (CaracasMxnisterio^J^ Hacionda"r9'F5r: — ^^a^^cas. 56 r.^ . ' ^^^^ Lerner de Almea, "Las Finalidades de la Educacion y Nuestro Systems Actual," Universalia [Caracas], II (January-February, 1965), 13-16; "pTiTrdi~G^b-iirno del Presidente Betancourt," Documentos (Kay-August, 1960), pp. 379-lUl-O, especially p. 1;2X » 7 u;.

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k07 l,9khinstructors in 135 technical schools, v;hile in I96I1.1965 there were 4,188 instructors teaching in 232 schools with an enrollment of 82,100. The number of these students grew to 93,088 in the 1965-1966 period.^''' The university enrollment in the 11 Venezuelan universities underwent an even greater expansion at the same time that courses in economics, engineering, and chemistry became as prestigious as those of "philosophy and letters," and law and medicine. Faculties expanded --there vrere 2,797 members of university faculties and 2ij4 of normal schools in 1963-19611., and many of these were, for the first time, on a full-time basis. The university enrollment rise is clearly shown in this table TABLE 16 UNIVERSITIES AND NORIl^L SCHOOL ENROLLMNT INCREASE, 1957-1958 to 1965-1966^ Universities Normal Schools Years 1957-1958 1965-1966 1957-1958 1965-1966 Students 10,270 37,637^ 3k^ 12,831° Sources: Rivas Casado, "Dosarrollo de la Educacion Democr&tica en Venezuela," p. 83; Inter-American Development Bank, Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America , p. 38 0. Does not include 6,312 students in private universities. ^Includes students both in private and public normal schools. . Inter-American Developmont Bank, Socio-Economic P rogress in Latin America , p. 380. ~~ —

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koQ V/hile these figures are gratifying to AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni, their greatest feeling of pride seems to stem from the governments' accomplishments through the National Institute for Educational Cooperation (INGE) and the spectacular gains through the literacy drive. The INGE, created in 1959 as an entity v;ithin the Ministry of Education, v;as organized with the support of government agencies, business, and labor organizations. Its purpose is to improve the skills of workers and give them broader educational opportunities through direct training at plants, and indirect instruction at specialized institutions. It also maintains training programs for young men and v;omen, many of them unemployed. Between 19^5 and 1968 it planned to aid a total of 367,000 individuals. Under INGE's "ordinary program," students are trained through direct, practical instruction in training centers and cooperating business enterprises. The funds for this program come from private enterprise, workers, and the State. This nationwide program offers courses in professional formation to "workors-in-service"--course3 in mechanized agriculture, collective bargaining, carpentry, public administration, to name but a few. The "workers-in-service" can be salaried employees, managers, peasants, management supervisors, or simply illiterate workers. An "extraordinary program" was instituted in 196I|. to provide job training for both employed and unemployed youths. During 1965, 62,000 employed and 16,000 unemployed

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14-09 youths attended these special INGE courses. This prograra was aimed at an accelerated training of persons between 16 and 2$ and was totally financed by the State. The mushrooming operations led INGE to begin its own teacher training in order to produce faculties to man its courses. In a related prograra, the Center for Development Studies at Central University in Caracas began holding specialized seminars for planning and for the preparation of development projects and the University of Oriente in CumanS began to expand its basic science and technology facilities to train specialists for the development of the eastern part of the country (which includes the Guayana . > 58 region). The literacy program, carried out x^ith a great deal of imagination and through a variety of means, has scored spectacular achievements. By mid-1965, the illiteracy rate was only 10.9^ of the total population above 15 years of age. Only Argentina, with an illiteracy rate of 10^ outranked Venezuela in Latin America. This v;as accomplished through an intensive drive in v^rhich more than one and onohalf million people were taught how to read and vrrite after 1958, when the illiteracy rate was 38.14.^. The poor education 58 Oscar Palacios Herrera et al. , "El INGE en el Proceso de Desarrollo Econonico del Pais," Polltica, IV (August-September, 1965), 95-109; IWCE, El lI CE~y "Sus (Gai^acas: INGE, 196?); Inter-Amer'rcan^^ivelopment Bank, Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America, pp. 380-381":^ '

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l|.10 record of the Perez Jimenez decade (1914-8-1958) also becomes clear when one realizes that in 1914-8, 1^.0% of the population was illiterate. In contrast, the AD governments plan to make their superb educational record even more striking by turning an additional 3^0,000 adults into literates between 1965-1968, at the rate of 120,000 a year. The program was being carried out by 2,727 centers , divided into several categories. By the end of 1965, 163,300 adults wore receiving instruction under [j.3, 552 teachers, of v/hich 3l;,820 were l egionaries alf abetizadores -students of normal and secondary schools, and of the last tv;o grades in primary schools--v/ho volunteer to work in their spare time. These made up the backbone of the program. In the cities, illiterates over years of age may start at any of [:.53 Popular Cultural Centers. After learning how to read and -.jrite, they were taught a trade and four elementary school courses. In rural areas, they attended Collective Literacy Centers, of which there were 397; and when ready, they were taught arithmetic, Spanish, geography of Venezuela, natural science and principles of sanitation. Reflecting the Acci6n Democrfitica goal of integrating the peasant into the cultural life of the nation, nearly 70% of j.nter-American Developmenu Bank, Socio -Economic Progress in La tijoj^mei^a , p. 379; "Illiteracy in Veriei^la Cut Sharply m Decade, ^Iew York Tims s (February 11, 1968) p. 26. The latter source pointed out"that the national ' educational budget had gone from roughly Bs 3ij.2 million in average years of the Perez Jixn6nez administration to Bs 1 li billion annually in the AD decade.

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1^11 the public schools were located in rural communities of less than 1,000 inhabitants. The purpose of 682 Cultural Extension Centers, each under a certified teacher, was to expand the education of the literates, although anyone else could be admitted. Radio Schools were an innovation introduced by the Office of Adult Education in 196Li. to improve the level of the rural population. From a broadcasting station in San Fernando de Apure, educational talks, literacy lessons, and musical programs were broadcast daily to I4.27 centers equipped with receiving sets. Programs ran from i; to 9 P.M., and were designed to reach the campesino after he had completed his day's work. Five hundred forty-seven Mobile Teachers were especially trained as supervisors to travel by automobile and call on literacy centers in order to control and guide the vrork of voluntary literacy teachers. Farming Schools had a double purpose--educational and social. They gave a basic academic education and trained young people years old and over in farm work, in a way as attractive as possible, v;ith the purpose of encouraging them to stick to the land and prevent their migration to the cities. Eight schools of this type were in operation at the end of 1965. The one in Apure State, which is typical, had grown around a regular community and had 15 farmhouses, barnyards, pigpens, rabbit vmrrens, and 75 acres of land planted in cotton, plantains, beans, and vegetables. Similar in purpose to these farming schools were four Farming and Cattle Breeding Training Canters. The Centers

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kl2 trained large numbers of adults in farming and cattle raising practices, so that they might cooperate in the execution of agrarian reform programs. Available to women were 23 centers where, after becoming literate, they could learn a profession, a trade, or any branch of the fine arts such as designing. Women could also receive training in the Popular Cultural Centers in sewing, garment making, book binding, commercial art, drawing, home economics, or secretarial v;ork. That the literacy figures and the means to achieve them were no mere creation of a propaganda-minded Ministerio de Educacion was underlined by the fact that the Venezuelan educational program, especially its literacy projects, was being closely examined and follov/ed by other countries. Some of them, like Nicaragua and El Salvador, adopted the program in its entirety, while Venezuelan teachers demonstrated their technique in Bolivia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and PanamS. Even Spain publicly announced its intention of employing some of the methods used in the Venezuelan program. Our own conversations v/ith over 100 AD leaders and members clearly showed that both groups considered Betancourt's and Leoni's educational programs as major achievements. Education was mentioned as an essential part of the AD program in the responses of ^3 leaders (91^) and I4.3 members (86^). VThen ^^miiteracy Rate Second Lovrest in Latin America," p. 8; Sanchez, The Development of E ducation in Venezuel a, passim .

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kl3 asked vfhat was the best vjay to achieve greater literacy, leaders and members actually asked for "more of the same" — schools, teachers, technical schools, craft training centers, etc. The 108 adecos interviewed came from various educational 61 and economical backgrounds. Our findings seem confirmed by a recent survey of Venezuelan labor leaders-pro-AD and otheCT f ise . Not only did these leaders consider education an essential factor, in improving one's personal condition as well as that of the country, but they also felt that the educational system as devised by the government v/as far superior to that of private schools. They viewed education as crucial in gaining access to better jobs and positions — jobs and positions which they optimistically considered "open" to all qualified Venezuelans. They seemed to concur wit}i the INCE's slogan "there are no underdeveloped peoples, only undereducated peoples." ^'"See Appendix. ^^Prancisco de Venanzi, "Los Lideres Sindicales y la Educacion," El Nacional (April 10, I966), p. A-i;.. The survey reported by Venanzi was undertaken by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Center for Developmental Studies of the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1963-196i|. Other revealing details of the survey: 82% of the labor leaders had confidence that they could ascend socially if properly educated and trained; 90fo felt anyone could educate himself and become a laviyer--a profession well 'respected in Venezuela; 23% felt the highest cor-ipliment was to be considered an intellectual; ,95.5% considered teaching an important activity and 57.9^ felt that university students did what was of importance to the country. The survey polled 200 leaders of the governmentoriented Conf ederaclon de Trabajadores Venezolanos (CTV) and 96 of the Central Unica de Trabajadores Venezolanos (CUTV), more left-oriented than the CTV and including Communist organizations.

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Housing The AD governments' record on housing is not as spectacular as it is on education and in part it reflects the seriousness of the housing shortage at the end of the Perez Jimfenez administration. The housing projects of the dictator entailed a monuwental construction program largely confined to the metropolis and which served to further attract thousands of peasants to the capital. ^ Carapesinos flocked to Caracas in the hope of finding a job in one of the public construction programs, and a home in one of the public housing projects. More often than not, their skills were insufficient to obtain a job and they found themselves forced to live in the abject poverty of the ranches. More than 65,000 families, vjho represent a fifth of the Caracas 611 population, live in those hovels even nox'/. The improvement of housing conditions, seriously aggravated by a population explosion and rural-urban migration, did receive President Betancourt's attention, although he has often been accused of failing to tackle this problem and of concentrating instead almost exclusively on rural problems. V/hatever the merits of this accusation. 6 7. ^FoT an official account of the P^rez Jimenez record on housing from 19i48 to 19Sk} see Tarn6i, El Nue vo Ideal Nacional de Venezuela , pp. 283-286. ^^''Inter-American Development Bank, Socio -Economic Pro gress in Latin America , p. 377. ^^"Last Message as President Presented to Congress, Venezuela Upto-Date, XI (Spring, 1961;), 6-7.

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there is no doubt that housing became one of the cornerstones in President Leoni's governmental program. With a certain exaggeration but also with a great degree of truth, it has been said that "for the first time in its history, Venezuela [under Leoni] has a defined policy concerning housing. "^^ From the moment that he v;as sworn into office, a major preoccupation of the new president was to provide housing for all Venezuelans with insufficient means for immediate purchase. Leoni 's first step was the appointment of a commission to prepare a housing 67 and urban reform program. The Commission report, completed in early 1965, .stated that the housing shortage v;ould reach 800,000 units by 1968, taking into consideration both the population increase and existing homes needing replacement. The Commission submitted a housing program requiring an annual expenditure of Bs 1.22 billion ($268 million) and advocated the centralization of all government agencies dealing v.'ith housing and sanitation services. The nev; centralizing agency, forecast by Leoni in his inaugural address, was to 66 "The Achievement of Venezuelan Democracy," Nevr York Timos (January 28, 1966), p. 73. . / 7 'It should be stressed that this commission had the benefit of much preliminary work done during the Betancourt Administration. See, for instance, Banco Obrero, Maracaibo ; Estudio del^ Pi;obl ema de la yivj.cnda y de sus Servicios C omp 1 e me htari o 3 ("Caracas : Banco O'Frer'o, l^'GJY.

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l^l6 68 become the National Institute of Housing. On the basis of the Commission report, the Congress acted by providing for the building of homes for 75^ of the population earning less than Bs 1,200 monthly, with the following provisions: (1) the cost of services to be recovered through quotas by the buyers; (2) the land where the house stands to be leased, but the buyer having the option to purchase the land and pay for basic sanitary services; (3) the house to be sold outright on terms as long as 30 years at k.% yearly interest. That the program was specifically directed tox^ard all those families in the lower income groups became apparent in other provisions as v;ell. Thus, prices of homes would range from Bs 6,000 to Bs 17,000 ($1,320 to $3,7l|.0 respectively) , with monthly payments between Bs 28 and Bs 82 ($6 to $19). Private capital would be invited to build these types of homes and offered inducements such as exemptions from municipal and other taxes, government assistance for land acquisition, and a government guaranty on mortgage payments. "New President Outlines his Government Program," V e n e zu e 1 a Up 1 o -D a t e , XI (Spring, 1961}.), 3-5. See also President LeonT' s report on the progress being made in his National Housing Plan, El Nacional (January 2, 1966), p. A-l. To date, however, the housing program has not been centrali^-od under a single agency and the Banco Obrero (Workers' Bank) remains the principal sgency concerned. Other entities directly involved arc the Ministry of Health, the National Agrarian Institute (IAN), the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) and the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG).

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Mediumincome groups were also included in the housing program, though under different provisions. They would get a chance at hone ownership through the Savings and Loans Associations which, though receiving official support and guarantees, are private enterprise undertakings. Higher income groups needed no government assistance to buy homes; their purchases could be easily financed by the regular mortgage banlcs and other credit institutions. The overall housing program called for the con"struction betvieen 1965 and 1968 of 1^0,300 homes for one million' people in the low-income bracket, at the cost of Bs 1.5 billion and 30,000 homes for middle-income families 69 at the cost of Bs 1.17 billion. Of the 1^0,300 low-cost housing units, 67,000 are to be built in cities of over 25,000 inhabitants; 12,300 in towns of 10 to 12,000 inhabitants, and 71,000 in small communities. Between the start of the housing policy and the end of 1966, ij.8-059 housing units of all kinds were ready for occupancy, vrith I6,l|i|.l4. units still to be completed. The total, therefore, of 614., 703 units exceeded original goals for the first two 70 years of the plan. These figiires did not include housing units built under the National System of Savings and Loan Associations and entirely private enterprises or by the Rural 69 ''Ambitious Housing Program Launched," Venezuela Up-to-Date . XII (Pall, 1965), 5. . 70 "Housing Expands Rapidly under New Financing Programs," New York Times (January 22, 1968), p. 67.

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1|.18 Housing Division (DVR) of the Department of Mariology and Environmental Sanitation. The DVR erected 22,703 homes in more than 600 rural communities between 1961 and 1965, \Tith. the help of a U.S. $12 million Inter -American Development Banlc (lADB) loan. In 1965 the DVR undertook construction of another l8,C00 units, financed in part by another lADB loan of U.S. $10 million. At the end of 1966, 13,830 houses had been completed and 1,320 were under construction. In most of its programs, the DVR successfully made use of self-help 71 and mutual aid methods.' It would thus seem accurate to say that the housing gap in Venezuela, estimated as one of the most serious in Latin America, was gradually being narrowed. The construction indxistry, which had gone into decline after the overthrow of Perez Jimenez and the stoppage of large building 72 projects in the capital, again showed great activity.' The overall housing picture thus contrasted with the rather meager accomplishments of the Betancourt government in this respect,'-^ in spite of that president's desire to improve 73 ' Inter-American Development Bank, So cio-Economi c Progress i n La tin America , p. 377. The Rural Home BuildTng Program is conducted in coordination with the agrarian reform progr im. 72 "Building Again," Daily Jour nal [Caracas] (October 3, 1965), p. 8; N ew York Times , January 23, I967, p. 63. 73 Alexander, The Venozuolan Deriocratic Revolution , pp. 271-281, especially p. 279.

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i|.19 living conditions for the Venezuelan people. Further, Leoni, with his balanced plan, was clearly atterapting to avoid P^rez Jimlnez ' penchant for super-apartment buildings concentrated almost exclusively in Caracas"^^ and Betancourt's apparent predilection for rural housing projects.'''^ "^^Romulo Betancourt, Viyiendas para Todos; Definicidn de una Politica (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, 1959 H I" La Esfera (July 3I, I96I), p. 6, it was reported that Perez Jimenez had built 97 su perbloques (huge multiple dwelling projects) in Caracas alone, with apartments for 180,000 people in 1956-57. The Banco Obrero spent Bs 700 billion in these Caracas projects. These spectacular buildings have proved highly unsatisfactory as a solution to the housing problem. Usually many stories high, not all of them are equipped with elevators, and the water does not always have sufficient pressure to reach the higher stories. People were often forcibly moved from their slums to these buildings, but many times slums vere razed faster than superbloques were built. The living conditions in the superbloques, furthermore, has deteriorated to such an extent that the author was told that the superbloques were v/orse than the ranches (slums), that the police did not venture inside; and that repairmen risked their lives--as well as the sure loss of their tools-whenever they worked in one of the superbloques. This critical appraisal can be substantiated in various sources. See, for example, Alexander, Th^_Venezuelan Democratic Revolution, •pp. 27l\.-27S; Moron, A History of Venezuela, p. 2^3; Marrero, Vene z u e 1 a j^Sus^Recursos , pp. 287-291; and D. F. Maza Zavala, 5§£^^ii|.J^en3zolanas (Caracas: Talleres Graficos "Mer sTf r 1 c a ,^1959Trpp . ?7il-275. The most detailed (and critical) evaluation of Perez Jim-Snsz' superbloques is probably contained in Venezuela, Banco Obrero, Proyect o de Eva luacion de los Superbloques (Caracas: Banco O^bver 67^19^977^ — 76„ ^ Betancourt stated his feelings thus, "The Banco Obrero is constructing them [houses] throughout Venezuela and is cnangmg its policy. Plitherto, in the thirty years that the Banco Obrero has existed [from 1928], 75^ of its construction has been concentrated in the macrocephalie city of Caracas, and only 2$% in the provinces. This must be reversed, because if not, a city will continue to grow which we well know does not have the conditions required for a manuf acturincr center, since its land is very costly and it does not have water. It should be a government and commercjal city. We are not going to abandon the city of Caracas, ... but the situation must be reversed in which more than 60fo of the budget is spent m one city, thus multiplying its problems, as has

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14-20 Leoni's program was designed specifically (though not exclusively) for lovjer-income families throughout Venezuela. These would be families who would otherwise be unable to bear the costs of obtaining a house through private channels. At the same time the government indirectxy helped the private housing companies through tax privileges and by granting special loans for middle income level families x-jho wanted to buy on the private market. By early 1968, then, Venezuela could indeed claim to be one of the very few Latin-American countries which had a comprehensive housing policy. More importantly, in Venezuela this policy was being implemented. Both policy and implementation seemed to reflect the sentiment of AD party members and leaders who, in conversations with the author, placed housing second 77 only to a high cost of living as Venezuela's major problem. Yet, in tackling the housing problem, Leoni had clearly marked out the government's role — to help directly the lowerincome families, to assist indirectly the middle-income families, to stimulate the housing industry through special loans, tax exemptions, and the like. Health, Social Welfare Services, and Public Utilities A clear-cut case of successful accomplishment can be occurred in the capital of the republic." Romulo Betancourt, Dos Afios de Gobierno Democratico 1 9 59-1961 (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, 1961), p. A similar statement appears on p. 105. 77 See Appendix.

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k21 made for the improvement of health conditions in Venezuela during the presidencies of both Betancourt and Leoni. If it can be said that the Venezuelan democratic revolution has made itsoll felt in all aspects of national life, the health of the people, the improvement and expansion of social services and child care, especially, have received priority attention. It is not difficult to substantiate this assertion. The national government during an average year of "the P^rez Jimenez administration spent Bs 32l|..6 million in health and social assistance, a sum which corresponded to 6.2% of the total governmental budget. In contrast, during an average year of the Betancourt-Leoni administrations, the national government spent Bs 667.6 million for the same purposes, a sum v/hich corresponded to 10. 35^ of the total governmental budget. The budget of the Ministry of Health alone rose from the 1959 level of Bs 365 million to Bs $27 million in 1965 and the 1966 budget envisaged the expenditure of Bs 68[|. million for health.*^® In 1959, public hospitals, 109 in number, had 20,k.$6 beds. By 1965 this figure had increased to 21, 1 51 beds in 137 centers. The ratio of hospital beds per inhabitant increased 7R Venezuela, Ministerio de Hacienda, Evolucion de l os Gastos del Gobiorno Nacional, 195^/55-19 58/59? passim ; Venezuela"^ Mino-sterio de Hacienda, Memoria, T953" (Caracas: Ministerio de Hacienda, 196I|.), passim; Venezuela, Ministerio de Hacienda, Resumen del Proyecto de Fresupuesto 1966 , passim .

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k22 from 3.1k. ^cr thousand in 19^9 to 3.3I per thousand in 1965-and these figures did not include private facilities, many of which have been built with government help. The I965-I969 hospital construction program calls for 7,120 additional beds. In 196Ij., new he:i.lth centers started serving Colon, Tovar, Cumanacoa, and Rio Caribe. During 1965, hospital services were inaugurated in Acarigua, Maturin, Quibor, Villa de Cura, Ciudad Ojeda and Upata. A large health center also opened its doors in Caracas. Nutrition has also improved notably during the years since 1959, not only tlirough various special educational drives, but also because of better distribution of individual incomes. The school lunch program expanded from 1|.09 units in 1959, feeding 72,900 pupils, to over 2,500 lunchrooms serving some 75^,000 students in 1965 . The Patronato de Comedores Escolares plans to increase its services until all indigent students vrill be able to eat in supervised school luncl-irooms and receive other health benefits as part of the 79 Government's policy in child welfare. The Venezuelan Children's Council (Concejo Venezolano del Nino), the principal organization for assisting underprivileged children, especially from the moral and social point of view, helped 62,599 children in 1965 through preventive programs and 11,691 through rehabilitation programs 79 Domingo GuzmSn Lander, "Democracia y Salud Publica," Politica , IV (August -September, 1965), it.7-63. Inter-American Development Bank, SocioEconomic Progress in Latin America, p. 378. ^

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1+23 in fully equipped centers and under expert technical assistance. Camping for city children and sanitation and social programs for all children but particularly those in the .... 80 rural regions are part of the Concejo's many activities. The number of deaths from diseases related to environmental sanitation and lack of vaccination has declined appreciably during the Betancourt-Leoni administrations. Significant decreases have been noted in contagious diseases and those traceable to contaminated water supplies. Massive "anti-polio drives have virtually eradicated the disease in Venezuela. The dangers of gastroenterites , likewise, have dropped so dramatically that deaths, which formerly stood at 101.1 per thousand cases in 1959, were reduced to 72.3 per thousand in 196^. Kuch of the credit for these improvements can be attributed to better living conditions, better child 8l care, and to rehydration centers. Some 3k municipalities, covering an area of 132,000 km2, came under malarial and other insect control programs in 1965. A half million ranches and chozas (substandard dwellings) were disinfected during 1966 to bring protection to over 1,100,000 past or potential victims of Chagas disease. Strong sanitation measures have constantly been fin "Consejo Venezolano del Nino Informa," El Nacional (January 8, 1966), p. C-8. This is one of the regular information bulletins of the CVN. See a^so Consejo Venezolano del Nino, Kj^qnseio Venezolano del Nino y l a Obra Pro-Menor en Venezuela (Caracas : Editorial Sucre, 195ST^ ^^Marrero, Venezuela y Sus Recursos , pp. 235-239.

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maintained against yellov; fever, human cases of which have not appeared for years. Similarly, malaria, which had long been a scourge for thousands of Venezuelans, has not been registered as a cause of death since 1962. This achievement is all the more remarkable when this fact is compared with a yearly average of 7»000 reported deaths 30 years ago when as many as one million people were affected by the disease. Malaria was Op then one of the first three causes of death in Venezuela. It is true that this does not mean that the scourge has been entirely eradicated in the country. Even with the progress made, it is estimated that 5>000 people are still suffering from malaria. But the prompt treatment of malaria patients has caused the death rate to drop to zero. Though the fight against malaria was started in Venezuela in 1936, shortly after Gomez' death, when the Malariology Division of the Ministry of Health was created, it did not gain momentum until I9I+6. At that time, the discovery of DDT and Betancourt's determination to improve health conditions transformed the Division's efforts into a major anti-malaria crusade. Workers were deployed all over rural Venezuela to spray DDT on every wall in every house, a project that is still in full operation because Venezuela's neighbors even now have large malarial regions. In contrast. ^^ Ibid ., pp. 236-239, 2i].3, 276-290, 2Sh; InterAmerican Development Bank, Socio-Economic Progress in La tin America , p. 378. ~~~ ~ 83 Allen, Venezuela, a Democracy , pp. I3I-I62.

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1^25 Venezuela is today the third country in the world with the largest malaria-free area in relation to its population (the first is the U.S. and the second, the U.S.S.R.) and the first auong all tropical countries. This has made Venezuela's program a model to be copied by several other countries plagued with the same trouble. Another sanitary program that has been greatly improved during Betancourt's and Leoni's administrations is that of providing pure v;ater to all cities and towns in Venezuela. Betv/een 1959 and 196li., 3^4-2 rural aqueduct systems were installed. In 1959 only 726,000 inhabitants had water service but by 196l|. this figure rose to 1,573*000. In 1965* 7O/0 of the rural population in communities betv;een 500 and 5,000 inhabitants and Qjfo of urban residents had potable water. In 1958, only 1,676,000 people had public water service in tovms over 5,000. By I963 there were three million people thus served, and by 1965 four million. Thus, the goal of providing potable water to all cities end towns in Venezuela vrithin the immediate future appears to be perfectly reasonable.®^ ^"Malaria Control Program Copied by Other Nations," Venezuel a U p-to -Date, XII (Spring-Summer, 1966), 15; Alexandoi The Ven ez uelan De mocratic Revolixtion , pp. 287-292. 85 "Inversiones en Obras Publicas Como Factor del Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela," Politic a, IV (August-September, 1965), 196-201^. An lADB survey conclude:: that "water supply in Venezuela is better than in most Latin American countries," Inter-American Development Bank, Socio Economic Prog ress in Latin America, p. 378.

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1^26 Along with these programs, the recent governments of Venezuela have devoted great attention to improving the welfare of the population. This marks a break with past policies. Thus, traditionally the sphere of private interests, most specifically of the Catholic Cnurch, welfare activities today are predominantly state-maintained, with Church participation chiefly in the field of education. Social consciousness on the part of the government made a first timid appearance after Gomez' death, with model legislation aimed at protecting the worker, improving and expanding the educational system and maintaining facilities for the supervision of public health. It was at this time that the Ministry of Health and Social Service came into existence, along with other government entities charged with 87 the execution of social service programs. In general, the realization of plans has not been in complete coordination with the high goals set by the progressive legislation. Most fruitful by far have been the periods in which the Accion Democratica, with a socially 88 oriented party platform, has been in power. The Constitutions promulgated during AD administrations reflect this 0/ Isidore Alonso et al . , La Ipil esia en Ve nezuela y Ecuador (Bogoti: Oficina Internacional de Investigaciones Sociales PERES, 1962), pp. 35-56. ^''^ Medina Angarita, Cuatro Ahos de Democracia, pp. 123136; Mor6n, A History of Ven ezuela, pp. 203-213. 88 Acci6n Democratica, Accion Democr ;itlca ; Doctrina y Frograma , pp. 230-233; U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Ven ezuela , pp. II8-II4.O.

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1^27 basic concern. In the 1961 Constitution, an entire section is devoted to social rights, I'/hich include the right to work and to an education and the protection of health. The State also claims the responsibility of protecting the family and 89 insuring its moral and economic well-being. Although the Ministry of Health and Social Service bears the main responsibility for welfare programs, one of the oldest social welfare agencies--social security--is associated with the Ministry of Labor. The Institute of Social Security, which operates as an autonomous agency with funds independent of the National Treasury, is governed by a directive body comprised of government, employers' and 90 employees' representatives. Very recently, as envisaged by the 1961 Constitution, the whole social security program has been expanded. The new law, prepared with the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO), was scheduled by the Venezuelan Congress to go into effect beginning in 196?. Under the new system, more workers are covered; old age and death pensions are added to the full medical assistance given to the Venezuelan worker and his family provided in the old system. The new law covers also all government employees--f ederal , state, and municipal. Benefits for disability and old age are provided for them, but not medical 89 Pan American Union, Constitution of th e Republic of Venezuela, I96I . pp. 12-15. 90 . Ericson, Labor L aw and Practice in Venezuela, pp. 32-31;.

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k2Q assistance— for the time being--until the agencies from which they now receive these services are incorporated into the expanded Social Security System. Through its provisions for old age pensions and death benefits, Venezuela is trying for the first time to give some kind of protection to a sector of the population unable to take advantage of private insurance policies because of its low income. The Social Security System of Venezuela is financed by employers and workers paying a tax on the latter 's salaries, and by a government subsidy. With the new law in effect, employers pay an initial tax of 7, 8, or 9%, on their employers' salaries, according to the risks involved in the work, whether minimum, medium, or maximum. Employees pay a flat 1^.% tax. The government provides whatever else is necessary to run the System out of special funds. With fexv exceptions, everyone who works for wages and every professional must pay the Social Security tax, no matter how much he earns, but benefits are only enjoyed on the first Bs 3,000 (approximately $137) of any monthly salary or income. Domestic servants and temporary workers are not yet covered. ^^"^ The original Social Security Law v/as passed by the Venezuelan Congress in 19^1-0, but it was not until l^kk-f during the Medina Angarita administration, that the System began operating, first in the Federal District (Caracas). '^•^"Social Security to Cover All from Birth to Death," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XII (Fall, 1966),

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U29 The AD trienio attempted to expand and restructure the System, but without exper5.ence or traditions to go by, the new programs in social welfare had to be developed by trial and error. Clinics \^ere improvised, beds rented from private hospitals, doctors paid a fee for each case they treated. Gradually, hospitals began to be built, equipment improved, doctors hired on a salary basis, and the System expanded to other areas . Complete figures for the Perez Jimenez administration are not available, but he did build major hospitals both in Caracas and in Barquisimeto and his publicly-expressed intentions were to follow the lead of the AD trienio in the realm of social security legislation.^^ After 1958, the National Plans closely followed the AD goals of planned expansion in terms of coverage as well as of geographic areas served by the Social Security System. The System now maintains 26 dispensaries, lj.2 clinics and 16 hospitals with 1,650 beds, in addition to another 63O beds rented from government-supported hospitals. Three hospitals are under construction in Caracas, Valencia, and Barquisimeto, with a total of 1,130 beds, but even when they are finished, over 1,000 beds will be needed. The number of employees is about 8,000 including l,8ij.5 doctors. The combined facilities 92 Tarnoi, El Nuevo Ideal Nacional de Venezuela, pp. 263-286, *~ — — 93 -^Antonio Leidenz, "Hacia la Ampliaci6n del Seguro Social en Venezuela," Polltica , IV (August-September, 1965), 65-73; Levy, "Econoriic Planning in Venezuela," Yale Economic Essays , pp. 296-299. "

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1|30 and personnel, however, are adraittedly insufficient to meet demands. The National Government pays for the construction of hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, and for equipment and administration out of the budget of the Labor Department, under which the Social Security System operates, V/ith the inclusion of thousands of new v;orkers, income was estimated to reach Bs 700 million (about $31 million) in 196?. Other v/elfare activities are administered by the Division of Nutrition of the Ministry of Health and Social Service. Besides the school lunch program already mentioned, the Division of Nutrition maintains over 800 stations where PL, a capsule combination of proteins, minerals, and vitamins is distributed free of charge mostly to children and pregnant women. These stations most frequently operate at Rural Medical Stations, dispensaries, and Mother-and-Child Centers. A number of public dining rooms also exist, mainly in the cities, which offer balanced meals at low prices. Under CORDIPLAN, a well advanced National Community Development Program has evolved for the execution of mediumsized public works under the supervision of government technicians. The cost of the program, v;hich is aimed at the improvement of rural conditions, is borne jointly by the National Government, by the state and municipal governments, by private organizations, and by the Agency for International 9h. ^The figures quoted are from "Social Security to Cover All from Birth to Death," pp. i|.-5; for earlier programs see Erxcson, Labor Law and Pra ctice in Venezuela, passim; U.S. Army, Area Handbook for Venezuela , pp. 135^13^; TarnoT7~ET Nuevo Ideal Nacxonal de Venezuela , pp. 277-283.

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k31 Development (AID). Between I960 and 1965, 1,^1-81 communities with a population of some 2 million inhabitants participated in the program. In 1966, 255 schools for 19,000 students, 993 homes for 5»55l persons, Ql\. aqueducts serving 182,581^inhabitants, 63 medical dispensaries, and ll5 community centers were constructed. Other projects were also carried out, including construction of small bridges, sewerage systems, community workshops, feeder roads, and school lunchrcoMS.^^ In the realm of public utilities, the administrations of Betancourt and Leoni have been particularly concerned with the development and expansion of the Venezuelan hydroelectric system for the improvement of living conditions, especially in rural areas, as well as for industrial diversification particularly in the Guayana region. The electric power supply is considered to be sufficient to meet present needs, according to a detailed study undertaken by the International Bank of Reconstruction and 96 Development (IBRD). Hov;ever, to keep pace vrith the increasing demand for electricity arising from rapid population and industrial growth, particularly in the urban centers, the government has prepared extensive studies and plans for the 9^ ' Inter-American Development Bank, Socio -Econom ic Progress in Latin America, p . 382 . 96 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The Econom i c Development of Venezuela , passim.

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11-32 utilization of the hydroelectric potential which exists in the Guayana Highlands and the Andes and has devoted considerable attention to electrification in its four-year 97 economic plans. From 1950 to 1961, the generation of electrical energy increased at a curaulativo annual average of iQfo, considerably higher than that of other Latin-American countries. In fact, Venezuela leads Latin America in the amount of electricity per capita. Thus, Venezuela shov/ed in 1965 a ratio of 803 kwh per person; Chile, 701 kv;h/hab.j Trinidad-Tobago, 67O kwh/hab.; Uruguay, 61$ kwh/hab.; Argentina, 555 kv;h/hab.; Paraguay, 55 kwh/hab.; and Honduras, 5i| kvih/hab.^^ In Venezuela itself, the growth of electrical consumption had been extremely fast in the past few years as Table 17, based on official figures released by CORDIPLAN, indicates . Conclusions In the realm of utility expansion as v:ell as v/elfare and industrial diversification programs, the AD governments of Betancourt and Leoni have sought to spread the burdens -^^Hector Hurtado, "El Plan de Venezuela, I963-I966," Politica, III (September, I963), 11-29. 98 Venezue la a la Cabeza de America Latina (Caracas: CADAFE, 1963') ; Montes Escalonaj ''^1 Progreso Economico de los Palses se Mide por el Consume de Energla Electrica," pp. 32533h'

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433 TABLE 17 GROWTH IN ELECTRICAL CONSUMPTION^ . 1950 1963 1966^ Industrial Consumption (million Icv/h) 186 3,578 5,300° Nonindustrial Consumption (million kv;h) J. f y±X Total (million kwh) U57 5,1^89 8A90 Population Served (million hab.) 1.9 5.5 6.7 Consumption per capita (kwh) 87 705 998 Installed Capacity (thousand kwh) 180 l,k-79 1,728 Sources: Marrero, Venezu ela y Sus Recursos. p. I1.99: Itica, IV (August-September, 196F), pp. 3^-3W^ Pol b Estimate . c Notice the tremendous increase registered in the and the benefits--to all sectors of the Venezuelan society. Important legislation such as that of agrarian reform has been passed only after the government had made a serious effort to obtain the viev;s of widely diverse groups of interests, not only the campesinos and the hacendados, but also the industrialists and the clergy. The "national plans" have been used as moans of consult£.tion rather than as rigia guidelines to be followed for years. Further, each national plan is constantly reviewed in order to reflect better the trends and the demands of the immediate situation. The

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h3k CORDIPLAN has acted not only as the highest planning agenjy within the government but also as a focal point for the discussion of projects and as a forum where various economic and political interests can be heard. Diversification has meant the protection of national industry as well as an open door policy for foreign investors who, along with the government and Venezuelan entrepreneurs, can make major capital investments in large industrial complexes. The development of the Guayana region has attempted to pull human migration away from already overcrowded Caracas at the same time that it will provide the capital city v/ith the necessary electricity for its exploding population. In housing as v/ell as in social v/elfare, the government has striven to avoid infringing upon those areas that can be served by private enterprise or private insurance plans. Education has been reoriented with the aim of reducing illiteracy and providing those already literate with the kind of technical training they most need in order to participate actively in and benefit from a rapidly industrializing society. In every instance, and at ever,/ stage, there has been a great deal of consultation, compromise, and moderation. If this gradual course has alienated some more revolutionary elements from AD, it has made it possible for AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni to obtain the support — or at least the acquiescence — of the business and industrial sectors. This has enabled the AD governments to avoid thus far a repetition of the 19ii.8 events and, at the same time.

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k3$ has made it possible for Betancourt and Leoni to claim that they are Presidents for all Venezuelans, not only the caiiipesinos and the trabajadoros who have supported them most loyally. In this sense, too, Acci6n Democratica has had a chance to prove that it is indeed a multiclass party — a label it perhaps failed to live up to during the trienio when too much may have been attempted in too short a time for the apparent benefit of only certain restricted sectors of the Venezuelan society. Further, the AD governments' diverse and geographically widespread programs have been beneficial for the entire society and have thus contributed to increased national integration. In short, in resource utilization and in welfare improvement, Betancourt and Leoni have steered a middle course of compromise, of consultation, of gradualism that has emerged and developed from a wide spectrvun of participants, that has resulted in benefits for many sectors, and that has produced no concerted opposition. A similar middle course has been attempted in the realm of foreign policy, where the slogan has become "firm and rational nationalism" in dealing with other nations.

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CHAPTER IX INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS UNDER AGO ION DEMOCRATICA GOVERKIffiNTS The international relations of Venezuela during the Acci6n Democrdtica governments in the trienio and since 1958 have reflected that Party's preoccupation with displaying a "firm but rational nationalism."^ This has meant an attempt to find the roots of Venezuela's relations with other countries in the actions and ideals of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, as well as a constant striving to bring these ideals to bear upon current foreign policy problems and situations. Fortunately for both Presidents Betancourt and Leoni, the problems and situations confronted by them have so far fallen short of those that confronted Bolivar, v;ho lived to see most of his national and pan-American dreams utterly shattered. Similarly, Betancourt and Leoni have been fortunate in that their foreign policy decisions, though at times creating strains within their party, have strengthened ^Demetrio Boesner, "Guayana Esequiba: Una Reclamacion Firme y Sensata," Polltica , IV (March, 1966), 21-26; Leoni, "View from Caracas , " p'p7~5'39-6l!.6 , where the president speaks of his foreign policy in terms of "will, courage, and a high sense of responsibility"; Accion Domocrdtica, Accion pemocr^tica; Doctrina y Programa, pp. kkf ^35-231; Romulo Betancourt, Hacia AmeFica LatTna De mocr&tica e Integrada (Caracas: E"3Ttorlal Senderos, 1967), gassfmT RaTn~Leoni, "Un Nacionalismo Firme y Sensato," PolftTcaJ IV (April, 1966), 93-101;. 1^36

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k37 their own stand as Presidents for all Venezuelans and enhanced their country's international standing in the Hemisphere and in the world. Firmness has been exercised in dealing with Venezuela's oldest international probleras--those involving border questions. In the case of the Venezuela-Guayana border, this firmness may well result in an eventual compromise that will meet Venezuela's claims at least half way. Firmness, coupled with rationality, is helping to solve the difficulties betv;een Venezuela and Colombia, as negotiations proceed towards joint ventures beneficial to both countries. This same combination of firmness and rationality has been employed in dealing with questions of a more economic and ideological nature. Outright nationalization of foreign enterprises has been forsaken at the same time that native industries have been protected and promoted. An open door policy toward foreign investors has been coupled with a conscious stimulation of mixed enterprises in Venezuela. "An ti -Communism" has meant a continuing coolness toward Castro — but also the embrace of reformist movements similar to AD itself throughout Latin America. And if these stands have meant the loss of radical nationalists and f idellstas within AD, they have, on the other hand, brought to Betancourt and Leoni the sympathy of conservative elements throughout the whole country and the active support of the military. This sympathy and support have been crucial in the survival of constitutional govei*nraent in Venezuela. By

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the same token, the policies that have evoked this broad, nonpartisan spectrum of sympathy and support have served to integrate diverse elements within the Venezuelan society at the same time that they have enlaanced the country's prestige among its peers in the international realm. Boundary Questions--01d Problems and Nev; App roaches^ In the late eighteenth century, Venezuelan patriots sought recognition and material aid from the United States and the principal European powers. Miranda and Bolivar 2 won sympathy and some unofficial support in the U.S. and elsewhere, but it was not until the end of the Napoleonic V7ars that the Liberator vms able to attract trained foreign soldiers and some military supplies to aid 3 him in the struggle to end Spanish rule in Gran Colombia. Bolivar's dream of a federation of Spanish American States vms also frustrated. His prestige and forcefulness were sufficient to unite Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador in a short-lived Republic of Gran Colombia, an entity that broke apart before Bolivar's death. The Liberator also attempted in vain to promote a confederation of all LatinAmerican States, an idea that lay dormant until the creation 2 Arthur P. Wliitaker, The United S tates and So uth America . The Nort hern Re publics' (C'ambridgo; Harvard University Press, 19l|B7. Documentos de Can cillerias Europeas sobre la Independenc i a Venezolana (2 vols . ; Caracas: Academia National do Historia, 1962); J. Fred Rippy, Latin America , A Modern Histor^^ (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 195B~)', pp. 11^6, 150-155.

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k39 of tho Pan American Union (PAU, later renamed the Organization of American Stateo, in 1914-8).^^ While these ambitious plans of Bolivar had to wait many years for at least a partial iKplerii8ntation--as in the Joint norchant fleet of Colombia, Vonazuela, end Ecuador in I9I1.7 or tho creation of the PAU in 1889— the legacy of vague boundaries dating from the days of Independence eiid even earlier, from the Spanish colonization period, was to cause immediate and recurring friction between Venezuela and its neighbors. The most serious, bitter, and prolonged boundary dispute has been with Great Britain over the joint frontier with British Guiana.^ Tho Dutch, tho French, and the English attempted settlement and Tought each other in that northern portion of South America. Since the Dutch and English ^0. C. Stoetzer, Tho Orp:anizat ion of A me rican States (New York: Frederick A. T?raeger7T9S'5') , pp. T^l^ ^The literature on the Guayana-Venezuelan border dispute is voluRiinous . It includes Grover Cleveland, The Venezuelan Bou ndary Co n troversy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 191371 Marcos Falcon Briceno, La Guest ion de Limites ejntre^ Vongzuela y la Guayana Brit&nica (Caracas; Mnisterio de Fvol'acionos Extoriores, r952TrVenezuela, Ministerio de Relaciones Extoriores, Los Ll nites de Ve nezuela con la Guayana Brit&nic a (Caracas: Ministerio de Rolaciones Exteriores, 19^; Venezuela, Hiotoria Ofici al de la Di 3cu3i6n entre V enezuela y la Gran Br o tafia s obre s us LIm ites e n la Guay ana TNew York:^ WeTss, 189517' Venezuela, Ministerio de Relacfonos Exteriores, El^L ibro Am arillo (Caracas: Ministerio de Rolacion?is Extoriores, iB9]D • It is important to note that British Guiana was renamed Gu;^ana after the territory's 1966 indepondonco. Do not co'nfuse tho country of Guyana with tho Venezuelan region of Guayana where the Guayana Project is now under way.

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plantations were located mostly on the east side of the Esequibo River, there was little contact with the Spanish, whose eastern outposts were near the mouths of the Orinoco, far to the west, although the Spanish claim, based on discovery and exploration, reached to the west bank of the Esequibo. V/hen in l8ll|. the Dutch ceded the western part of its Guiana territory to Great Britain, the British aggressively took advantage of Venezuela's weak position and the chaos following Independence. Their settlement v;as pushed westward and by 1835 the British, resting their claims on de facto occupation and control, had a German explorer, .H. Schomburgk survey and mark a westei'^n boundary that gave British Guiana l\.,920 square kilometers west of the Esequibo River. VJhat Venezuelans claimed was a "falsified Schomburgk line" later gave the British 167,830 square kilometers west of the Esequibo by I887. Venezuelan protests in the meantime had resulted in a succession of alternative proposals but no agreement; and Great Britain refused to submit the matter to arbitration. After the discovery of gold and diamonds in the disputed area, disagreement led to an open break. In 188? Venezuela severed diplomatic relations with Great Britain and made a strong appeal for the good offices cf the United States to settle the question. Between 188? and 1897 Great Britain presented its maximum claims over the disputed territory. By this time

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the Schomburgk lino had been pushed furthei' west and a total of 203,310 square kilometers west of the Esequlbo were mapped as belonging to British Guiana. The northern terminus of the line rested on the eastern mouth of the Orinoco, giving the British a position of strategic control over that river. ^ This aggressive expansionism by Great Britain touched off a series of incidents in v;hich both parties claimed violations of their boundaries. In 1895 Venezuelan border guards arrested two minor British officials and charged them with violation of Venezuelan territory. Great Britain countered by threatening to send warships to protect her subjects and her interests. Public opinion was aroused, not only in the two countries directly involved, but also in the United States where a denunciation of the British meant satisfaction of jingoistic sentiment and votes. President Cleveland, in an address to Congress stated that it was America's duty under the Monroe Doctrine to determine the boundary and to resist British aggression beyond that line, even at the risk of war. Fortunately, Great Britain was then so involved in competition with France and Germany in Africa and the Middle East that the British leaders were disposed to viev; the Guiana boundary question as a minor, if annoying, incident. Arbitration was agreed upon, and in 1899 the tribunal handed ^"La Linea Schomburgk en la Cuesti6n de Limites entre Venezuela y la Guayana BritSnica," Polltica , IV (March, 1966), l[(.5-li|.8; Herring, A His tory of Latin America, p. 799. ^-

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hk2 ) down a decision establishing a boundary that gave to Guiana 159,500 square kilometers west of the Esequibo, and Venezuela received control of the strategic area at the eastern mouth of the Orinoco. Both sides accepted the decision, but Venezuelans have continued to feel that their rights were not v;ell protected, especially since, having invited the Chief Justice of the United States to present their case, they were not represented on the tribunals by one of their own nationals. Furthermore, while the Orinoco was no longer threatened, Venezuela had in fact — by Schomburgk's own original line--lo3t over 150,000 square kilometers to Guiana between I835 and the time of the award, in 1899.*^ Accion Democrdtica has been a firm advocate of a revision of the 1899 award. A partisan editorial sums up AD's attitude toward the compromise-"there was no arbitration, only a political patchwork that was prejudicial to Venezuela. . . . The American judges, who were themselves forced to agree to the award, indicated that Great Britain had taken away an extensive and important territory to which o she did not have the slightest right." In his speech on March 21;, 1966, President Raul Leoni declared himself the spokesman for and the executor of "a 7 "iiaudo Arbitral de 3 Octubre 1899 que Fijo Limites j-jl T „ — ^ . . , . .. _ 9( 8 entre Venezuela y Guiana Britdnica," Documentos (JanuaryMarch, 1962), pp. i|.01-l{.07. " T,r /„ Esequiba, Tierra Venezolana," Politica, IV (March, 1966), 8-9.

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101.3 firm but i^atlonal nationalism." In the same vein, his predecessor, Romulo Betancourt, proclaimed during his 19^8 electoral campaign that his policy toward the great powers would be alv/ays characterized for its "nationalistic firmness, without provocating arrogance."^ Both presidents acted in conformity with these definitions and their handling of the Guiana question is a good illustration of their firmness and rationality in issues that touch deeply the rising tide of Venezuelan nationalism. All the Venezuelan governments betvreen 1899 and 1958 had either conveniently forgotten the Guiana question or had simply used it as nationalistic bait to attract votes. No plans had been devised for a revision of the 1899 line, much less had there been any concerted effort to give tack to Venezuela what appeared to be justly hers. Once in power, Betancourt called for detailed and systematic studies of the Guiana question. A number of international legal jurists were asked to devise a strategy to bring the 1899 line back to the discussion table. By the end of 1962 the AD government had concluded the first phase of its task — the compilation and classification of all historical data concerning the boundary dispute. With solid juridical and historical arguments, Venezuelan representatives to the 9~ Quoted in Boersner, "Guayana Esequiba," p. 21, Dr. Boersner has been an adviser to the Venezuelan foreign minister during the negotiations with Great Britain over the Guiana question. See also "Informe de la Cancilleria Acerca de los Llmites de Venezuela con la Guiana Britanica," Document OS ( January-Marcix, 1962), pp. i4.O7-ij.O8.

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Twelfth General Assembly of the United Nations in November of 1962 were able to bring about an agreement with Great Britain to initiate a tripartite examination of all the documents relative to the Guiana question. ''"^ A year later, the first conference took place in London, with the participation not only of Venezuela and Great Britain, but also of representatives from Guyana, The Venezuelan government had insisted on the presence of this third party as an insurance against a possible later claim by an independent Guyana that she could not abide by an agreement reached without her full knowledge and participation. In the 1963 conversations Great Britain had assumed a firm position against the full reexamination of the 1899 award, but Venezuela began to arouse public sentiment at home. Teachers were asked to tell their classes "the full story" about the 1899 line of demarcation. Early in I965 the government asked for the printing of a new map of Venezuela which showed the disputed area within the confines of the country. Stamps depicting such a map \ieve issued and a Commission for the Recuperation of Guayana Esequiba was formed to further propagate the Venezuelan claims. Throughout this campaign, the government kept pointing out that its arguments vrere with Great Britain, document OS (October-December, 1962), pp. G2l\.626, 713« '"'"Boersner, "Guayana Esequiba," pp. 21-26.

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a povjer greater than Venezuela, and not with Guyana, a weaker power and one which deserved all of Venezuela's good vjill. This strategy proved very effective. Nev;3papers, magazines, radio and television programs in Venezuela kept the theme before the public. At the same time, Great Britain was beset with domestic economic troubles that made it more difficult for her to continue her "hard" line, especially due to the fact that her trade with Venezuela was particularly significant. Between December of 19^5 and February of 1966 this campaign was intensified. President Leoni expressed, in categorical terms, his determination not to compromise what he believed were Venezuela's just demands. The Venezuelan Congress and all the state legislatures issued pronouncements in a similar vein. The Colombian Congress expressed its solidarity with Venezuela, as did the Panamanian Congress and similar entities throughout the Americas. As a result of this skillful and intensive campaign at home and abroad, the ministerial negotiations at Geneva were resumed in a changed atmosphere on February 15, 1966. The Venezuelan position remained firm in its basic demands but flexible in regard to the details; Great Britain, on the other hand, was now prepared to concede the v/isdom of a reexamination of the 1899 agreement. A mixed commission was created and empowered to seek a solution within four years. Great Britain, Venezuela, and the representatives

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from Guyana took part in this agreement, an agreement that envisaged the possible active role of the United Nations 12 general secretariat in all the steps of the proceedings. V/hile the preliminary agreement has been hailed at 13 home and abroad, the outcome of these negotiations will probably remain in question for the next few years; and, in the meantime, some Venezuelans will likely criticize the government's decision to take the longer route of international consultation rather than solve the question, once and for all, by forcing its solution on the newly independent Guayana. On the other hand, the position taken by Presidents Betancourt and Leoni, the skillful public campaign for renegotiation, and the prospect of regaining lost territory have, for the time being, served as a rallying point for an outpouring of nationalistic sentiment throughout Venezuela. '^ 12 Coverage of this campaign is extensive. We may cite here "Acuerdo de la Camara de Diputados; 1; de Abril de 1962, " Gaceta Ofici al (April 6, 1962), p. 3; Ignacio Iribarron Borges, ""La Question de Limites entre Venezuela y la Guayana Britanica" (Caracas: Radio and Television Speech, September 16, 1965) (Mimeographed); several articles in Ve nezuela Up-to -Date and Politica and in the various Caracas dailies, especially in the AD^^^orTented La Repu blica ; "Como Nacic la Guayana Britanica?" Revista ^FTas P'uer zas A rmadas de Venezuela [Caracas] (January-March, 1966), pp. 'S^^HIf; El Lftlgio ~d"e la Gua yana (Caracas: Oficina T^cnica Mindefensa, 1965), ppTT^ 13 New York Times , February 2, 1966, p. 22. ^^See Ignacio Iribarren Borges, "Reclamacion de la Guayana Esequiba y el Acuerdo de Ginebra," Revista Hacion al de Cultura [Caracas], XXVIII (March, 1966),' 90-96.

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The Guiana dispute was not probed as a part of the author's questionnaire/^ but it came up during conversations v;ith Accion Democr&tica leaders and members in 1965 and 1966. Its mention seemed to indicate that the governmental campaign had been effective in reaching the people. One of those interviev/ed mentioned that, with the printing of a map of Venezuela showing the Esequibo region as part of the country, how "Great Britain knew it couldn't keep a stolen piece of land." An AD leader felt that the invitation for the United Nations to participate in the renegotiations showed Venezuela's good faith and fairness in the matter. V/hen asked about the "rhetorical" chance of a negative finding, he admitted that it would hurt AD candidates, especially at the national level. As he put it, "the adeco campaign had raised high hopes; too many speeches had been made, too many people had waived flags for Guayana Esequiba to forget and accept a disappointing result." Boundary disputes with Brazil have been resolved through amicable negotiations. Limits were defined in '^Infra, Appendix. It is interesting that at the time of the author's 196lj. visit to Venezuela, the Guiana campaign had not fully gotten under way and therefore the question did not seem to be a crucial issue. It did not come up in the course of conversations in I96I4. — it did in the course of conversations held in 196^ and 196F7"

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agreements signed in 1859 and 1905> and much of the border has now been surveyed and marked by members of mixed commissions. Negotiations with Colombia have been more prolonged 16 and more involved. The principal controversy revolved about the source of a small stream, the Rio de Oro, which empties into Lake Maracaibo. This dispute and another over an area south of the Meta River and west of the Orinoco and its tributaries, led eventually to an agreement in I88I to accept arbitration by the Spanish Crown. A decision was rendered in I89I but it was not until 1932 that the boundary was marked. Until 1952, relations with Colombia continued -to be complicated by the question of the ownership of a small group of unoccupied islands, the Los Monjes Archipelago, just off the Guajira Peninsula. In November of that year Colombia withdrew her claim in favor of Venezuela. Since 1958 Venezuela has made a determined effort to align herself with her former Gran Colombian partners. Her extensive frontiers with Colombia, which so often in the past were a source of friction between the two countries, are now being thought of as a factor of integration rather than of separation. The change has been hailed as "radical, pregnant 16 Gordon Ireland, Boimdaries, Possessions, and Con flicts in Latin America (Cambridge! Harvard University Press, I93OK pp. la'B'^WL, 206-219; Maria T. Pulido Santana, La Dipl omacia en Venezuela; Contiendas Ci viles y Reclama clones Internacionales (Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela^ — 1953), pp. 1-157 .

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hk.9 17 of hopeful results." This move tov;ard new regional trade and political ties was one of the underlying currents in the August, 1966, meeting in Bogotd of the Presidents of Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, and the presidential delegates from Peru and Ecuador. V/hile economic questions were uppermost on the meeting's agenda, broader political questions were not ignored and the final commtxniqu6 urged a peaceful settlement in Vietnam."'"® A result of the I966 Bogot^^ meeting was the formation of the Andean Development Corporation for which Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela signed an agreement to set up a $100 million fund to speed their economic integration. The pi*eamble to the agreement stated that the signatories were "animated by a mutual desire to bring about, in the shortest time, the economic integration of their countries in order to accelerate the social and economic development of their people," Reflecting the Venezuelan leadership in pushing for the agreement, the new supranational agency will have its headquarters in Caracas. 17 'German Arciniegas, "La Sorpresa de un Cambio Radical," El Caribe [Santo Domingo, D.R.] (August 6, 1966), p. 15-A. See also "La Frontera como Factor de Integraci6n (El Case Colombo-Venezolano ) , " Boletin de la Economia y Finanzas del Banco de Venezuela , S.K ~, [Caracas], VI (January, 19o3l , 9-11; Eduardo Frei, "El Deseo de Unir," Polltica , V (August, I966), 129-13318 "Five Years of the Alliance," Nev; York Times (August 18, 1966), p. 32. . [ 19 New York Times . February 10, 1968, p. 7.

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A more immediate result of the 1966 Bogota meeting was the inauguration of a joint Colombian-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce by Presidents Leoni and Carlos Lleras Restrepo. The presidents took advantage of the occasion to declare that their countries, neighbors in South America's northern tier and commonly united in the days of Simon Bolivar, were taking the initial steps tov;ard limited integration of their economies. The Bogota Declaration included an immediate action program pinpointing eight main areas for joint industrial development: metallurgy, chemicals and petrochemicals, fertilizers, food, electronics, timber, cellulose, and manufactured metal products. Officials of both countries expressed the desire to draw Ecuador into 20 this grouping. The inauguration of the Colombian-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce marked one more step in the economic integration of the two countries. An agreement had been signed in June, 1961;, for the joint development of their borderlands. This was the outcome, in turn, of a meeting held in August, 1963, between Presidents Betancourt and Valencia of Colombia in San Cristobal, near the Colombian border. The 1961j. agreement was based on the report of a mixed commission of 20 Juan de Onis, "Latins Promote New Trade Ties," New York Tijaes (August 16, I966), p. 12; "La Declaracion de Bogota; Documento," Politic a, V (August, I966), IO7-II7. 21 „ Integracion Fronteriza Colombo-Venezolana, " Comercio Exterio r de Venezuela [Caracas], III (May, 196I;) 6

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451 the two countries and the Inter-American Development Bank (lADB).^^ It will affect 1,670,000 people living on 56,000 square miles of territory along the 1,380 mile long frontier. The zone includes the arid Goajira peninsula in the north, an expanse of fertile land in eastern Zulia, the mountainous Andes region in the center, and the plains in the south. The objective of the project is to foster the economic integration that has been taking place in the border area as a natural effect of the common characteristics of the people and the land. Except for the small Goajiro and Motilon Indian tribes in the north, the population on both sides of the border come from a common stock, and the economies of the neighboring lands have grown at the same level. The goal is to improve the social and economic conditions of both peoples by giving them the means to work together. It is interesting to point out that the 1961|. agreement, signed by the Presidents of Venezuela and of Color.ibia, was also signed by the President of the lADB. He stated that the Bank was interested in the project because this was one of the few areas in Latin America where economic and social integration already existed to a certain extent and the new efforts to push this integration further, if successful, 22 "Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo Presenta Informe sobre Integracion Pronteriza Colombo-Venezolana, " Boletfn dfe la JJamara de Comer cio de Caracas, XLII (June,. T9bl4.), I7277-ir2Bcr; see also ^Venezuela, Direccion de Comercio Exterior y Consulados, Integraci6n Econoraica de la Zona Pronteriza Colombo-Venezuela (Caracas. 196b). pp. l-Ij.9.

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k^2 could serve as a model for other Latin-Ainerican countries. A recent "Act of San Cristobal" underlined the goal of economic and social integration of the two countries bypledging to provide the "basis for interrelations between professional, cultural, scientific, and social groups" in Venezuela and Colombia.^^ Thus in the Guiana case, the AD governments of Betancourt and Leoni have used an old dispute as a means of rallying nationalistic sentiment. The appeal to the United Nations and to international law, furthermore, meant that Venezuela would reap not only national gains but international prestige as v;ell. In the Colombian-Venezuelan case, the two AD presidents had sought to viev? the extensive borders not as possible sources of friction but as a means towards greater economic and political integration betv;een the two countries involved. In the Guiana case as in the Colombian-Venezuelan case, the boundaries posed old, difficult questions, but the solutions attempted certainly represented new approaches. The Economics of Venezuela's Foreign Relations Just as boundary questions have assumed a new-and different — aspect in recent years, so has the country's 23 "Economic Integration: Venezuela-Colombia," Venezu e la Up-to-Date , XI (Fall, 1961|), 8. "Declaracion de San Cristobal," El Nacion al (January 8, 196?), p. D-7. '

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foreign trade become a crucial factor not only in the expanding total economy — and the efforts to diversify it-but also in foreign affairs as v/ell. This is not surprising if one keeps in mind that exports in any typical recent year amount to approximately half the total national income. Petroleum and iron exports alone account for about 90% of the country's foreign exchange earnings. Also of great importance is the presence in Venezuela of about $6 billion in foreign investments, of which two-thirds comes from the U.S. and the rest almost exclusively from the Netherlands and Great Britain. About 90fo of the foreign investment is concentrated in the extractive industries of petroleum and mining, where investment is still predominantly of foreign origin. Foreign trade has made the bolivar a strong currency--almost a rarity in Latin America-and it has also given Venezuela leverage for dealing with certain countries, as in the case of the (formerly British) Guiana dispute. Petroleum and its derivatives account for nearly 90fo by value of total exports and, despite increased government programs of development and diversification of exports, the country is still basically dependent on the export of petroleum. Although petroleum is expected to continue as the major source of foreign exchange for some years to come, its position relative to the country's total trade will 25 Tomils Enrique Carrillo Batalla, La Economla de l Comercio Internacional de Venezuela (Caracas: Editorial" Mundo Economico, 1963). ~

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decline with the deve leprae nt of other sectors of the economy. Ironically, perhaps, the petroleum revenues largely provide the financing behind this industrial diversification pro26 gram. In contrast to most countries in Latin America, Venezuela has maintained a favorable balance of trade and her exports far outstrip her imports. Though her external commerce has steadily grown since the 1920' s, with the commercial exploitation of petroleum, it is the last decade (and incidentally the years covered by both the AD trienio and the Betancourt-Leoni governments) that shows the most spectacular gains. While imports have maintained relative stability, the exports have nearly doubled as shovm in TabD.e l8 . The importation of consumer goods has decreased; and the days when even eggs had to come from Miami, as during the 27 P^rez Jimenez dictatorship, are now part of history. ' Import of capital goods has increased — and this again has been made possible in great measure by the exchange earned through petroleum. The country is gradually becoming able to supply many of its domestic foodstuff needs and it is believed that the agrarian reform program is positively helping in this 28 area. 26 Supra , chap. VIII; U.S. Department of Commerce, Principal Manufacturing Industries in Venezuela (V/ashington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, I965 ) , especially pp. I-3. 27 Mor6n, A History of Venezuela , pp. 223-250. 28 Supra, chap. VI.

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1+55 TABLE 18 EXTERNAL COMMERCE OF VENEZUELA (1936-1965)^ Year Exports Imports Commercial Tm Vol. Million Bs Tm Vo? . Million Bs Balance (million Bs) Active Passive 1936 23.1+3 788.5 0.36 211.6 576.9 — 19l|.0 26.81 860.9 0.58 • 311.2 51+9.7 191+5 1+5.11-8 1,107.9 0.87 80ii..9 303.0 19li8 67.53 3,1+8I+.1+ 2.12 2,809.8 67I+.6 — 1955 111+. 55 6,277.7 2.20 3,165.1+ 3,112.3 — 1958 11+3.1+ 7,770.6 3.00 1^,798.7 2,971.9 — 1962 171.2 8,688.6 2.30 3,93i+.0 I^,751i-.o — 1965 208.1 ll,03ij..2 2.50 l+,30ii..O 6,730.2 — ^Source: Marrero, V enezue la y Sus Recursos, p. 582; Letter from F. J. Lara, Director, Institute of Information and Culture, Embassy of Venezuela, V/ashington, D.C., January 3I, 1967. Until 1957 the country maintained a balance of payments equilibrium and accumulated large reserves of foreign exchange; but between 1958 and I96I there v/as heavy pressure on the balance of payments, and foreign exchange reserves dwindled to practically nothing. There was an exodus of capital from the country caused by the end of the petroleum boom after the Suez crisis v/as settled, by restrictive import quotas imposed by the U.S. , by political uncertainty over the prospects of Betancourt being able to finish his term of office, by budget deficits incurred in part for extensive

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social welfare programs, by lack of confidence on the part of the business coniraunity, and by excess liquidity. Betancourt was forced to impose exchange controls that resulted in multiple exchange rates. It was not until 1962 that the highly favorable balance of payments was restored and Venezuela again piled up a healthy surplus of foreign 29 reserves. For the next few years Venezuela enjoyed such an enviable balance of payments position that she was able to pay ahead of schedule a loan from the U.S.-^ Another serious flight of capital occurred in the second half of 1966. Again it jolted Venezuela's economy and brought about a retrenchment in certain government programs--as well as a forced postponement in Venezuela's claims against the foreign oil companies . The transfer abroad of an estimated $2^0 million, which coincided with a worldwide shortage of credit, affected particularly the smaller and undercapitalized manufacturing and retailing companies. The government placed the blame for the flight of capital and the economic slowdown on the political opposition, but Venezuelan businessmen blamed attempts 29 Mustafa F. Hassan, "Capital Flight: Venezuela 1958-1960," Inter-American Economic Affairs , XVII (Autumn, 1963), 53-73. 30 Venezuela's favorable exchange rate, her rapid economic grov;th and diversification, as well as the "strength" of the bolivar made her the first prospective lender in the Latin-American region; Miami ?Ierald , August 15, 1965j p. 3'+-C; Carlos Conde, "La Alianza para el Progreso Da Fin a Ayuda a Venezuela," El Caribe [Santo Domingo, D.R. ] (September 16, 1967), p. 6-A. ^•^ New York Times , January 2!|, I967, p. 56.

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to raise taxes for pork-barrel projects, which they claimed would be terminated just in time for the 1968 electoral campaign. The foreign oil companies were more v/illing than their Venezuelan counterparts to see some merit in the 32 government proposals. Whatever might have been the causes of the economic retrenchment, it was quickly brought to a halt by the 196? Arab-Israeli conflict and the subsequent curtailment of oil shipments from the Middle East. It may seem strange but, together with Israel, Venezuela profited immensely from the war. Nasser's Arab allies stopped sending petroleum to the U.S. and to West Europe, and the Suez Canal was blocked. Consequently there v;as heavier dependence on Venezuela's oil output, which jumped more than 10% in 196?. Instability in the Middle East was also greatly responsible for an unexpected capital investment program on the part of the oil companies. Thus, when stringent air pollution measures were adopted in the United States, Venezuelan government circles were at first dismayed. It seemed as though the oil companies would prefer to invest in the "purer" Middle Eastern oil and that Venezuela would lose its 32 "All Concerned Satisfied with Oil Settlement," Venezuela U p-to-Date, XII (Pall, 1966), 7; "Venezuela Oil," Economist [London] . CCXXI (October 15, 1966), 283; Juan Jorge Walte, "Venezuela's Proposed Tax Reform Makes Tempers Flare," Gra nd Rapids Press (August 16, 1966), p. 9. 33 C. L. Sulzberger, "Foreign Affairs: Oil for the Lamps of Progress," New York Times (September 29, 196? ), p. ij.6. ~

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U.S. fuel oil market, which takes about one million of that country's 3.5 million-barrel-a-day production. The unreliability of the Middle Eastern producers, however, prompted the oil industry to reverse itself and to schedule investments of $200 million at a time when President Johnson was urging curtailment of overseas investments. All major companies in Venezuela have begun expansion programs in the construction of plants to reduce the sulphur content of fuel oil to levels acceptable to the U.S. market. The Venezuela governraent, for its part, has continued and expanded its efforts to promote foreign investment as well as to see that the foreign investment is equitably and smoothly integrated with local capital. The government has assured foreign investors equal treatment with domestic investors, provided that foreign capital contributes to the development of the country and does not displace domestic capital. Furthermore, it favors the association of domestic and foreign capital in joint enterprises.^*^ ^1 Carlos Conde, "Estiman Discriminatoria Politica sobre Petr6leo," El Caribe [Santo Domingo, D.R.] (P'ebruary 12, 1967), p. 6-A. -It ' -'•^"U.S. Curbs on Pollution Held Boon to Venezuela," New York Times (January 28, 1968), sec. 3, p. 1. -^^ New York Times , January 22, 1968, p. G$. 37 Supra, chap. VIII; Manuel R. Angulo, "Comments on the Status of Foreign Business Corporation under the Commercial Codes of Argentina and Venezuela," I nter-American Law Review , IV (July-December, 1962), 159-1B51

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Various organizations dealing with some aspects of foreign trade and foreign investment have been established in recent year's, more particularly since AD has been in control of the Venezuelan executive and has attempted to implement its programmatic goals in this area. The Council of Foreign Coimnerce (Consejo de Comercio Exterior), representing both the public and the private sector, is charged with studying the major aspects of Venezuela's commercial policy and with presenting recoimnendations to the government. The Venezuelan Association of Exporters (Asociacion Venezolana de Exportadores ) was formed in 1962 as part of the government's efforts to develop foreign markets for a growing list of Venezuelan products. Since I963 the CW (Corporacion Venezolana de Fomento) has evolved plans to assist in the financing of exports. One plan calls for the extension of credit for the processing of raw materials and the other for refinancing payment for exported products. It has also v/orked on developing commercial information and providing services and technical assistance to industries interested in exportation. Betancourt and Leoni have supported the Latin American Coffee Agreement of 1958 and 1959 and its more See, for example, Venezuela, Direccion de Comercio Exterior y Oonsulados, Int_ercambio Co mercial entre Venezuel a y los Palses Suranericano s TCaracasT Direccion de Com8rci"o * Exterior y Oonsulados, 19^3), pp. 1-59,* "Nueva Politica de Exportaci6n, " Mundo Econ6mico [Caracas] (May, I963), p. 10.

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i;60 widely based successor, the International Coffee Agreement,-^'^ But of all these efforts, organizations, and agreements to further foreign trade and investment, none are as important to Venezuela as her participation with other oil rich countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and her entry in the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA). The Venezuelan objective in forming a united front, back in I960, v:ith the Arab countries was also to maintain the price of the product they all export, petroleum. Betancourt's initiative was largely responsible for the formation of the OPEC and a similar organization for ironexporting nations has been under consideration.^^ The OPEC had as its "principal objective . . . the unification of the petroleum policies of the member countries and the determination of the best means of safeguarding the individual and collective interests of the member countries . "^"^ The resolutions of the first OPEC conference, held in Baghdad ^'^Simon G. Kanson, "The International Coffee Agreement," Inter-American Economic Affa irs, XVII (Autur.m, I963), ^^Venezuela, Secretaria General de la Presldencia de la Repiiblica, Venezuela and OPEC (Caracas; Imprenta Nacional, I96I); Venezuela, Ministerio de Mlnas e Hidrocarburos , Venezuela an d OPEC; Documents, Speeches, and Venezuelan and World Views "R elatin g to t he Antecedents and Creation of the OPEC (Caracas; Imprenta Nacional , 1961") , p"? . l-lTjli.. ^''Article IV, Resolution No. 2 of Baghdad Conference, published in OPSP; O rganizaci5n de Patses Exportadores d e Petroleo (Caracas; OPEP, 1961), p. l^T.

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1^61 with the presence of Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela in September, I960, were ratified by the Venezuelan Congress on May 22 of the following year. Meanwhile, the second conference, held in Caracas in January of I96I, adopted further resolutions, admitted Qj;tar as a member, and established a permanent headquarters for the OPEC in Geneva. Libya and Indonesia later also entered the Organization.'-*-^ OPEC, an ambitious undertaking, has encountered noncommital reception from the oil companies themselves. Of greater importance as a possible embarrassment to 01 EC's stated objectives is the fact that the Soviet Union and the other nonmember Eastern European prodxxcers can flood the markets with oil at prices belov? those set by OPEC.^^ Both Betancourt and Leoni have stimulated discussion of this problem with the Russian leaders but so far their efforts have proved inconclusive. Another difficulty has been the tendency for the oil companies to install refineries in the consumer countries rather than in the producing countries. Juan Pablo P^rcz Alfonso, "Organizacion de Paises Exportadores de Petroleo (OPEP)," Po li tica , IV (January, 1906), 7-19. Perez Alfonso is an TiTternationally recognized authority on petroleum questions. Minister of Mines and Petroleum during the Betancourt Administration, he is considered the principal architect of Accion Democratica' s oil policy. ^•^There are those v/ho disagree with this view (see, for example, Alexander, The Venez uelan Democratic Revolution , p. 231), i-nd argue that the Russiaii oTl is destiTied for markets not open to Venezuela or commercially desirable to her. See also Juan Pablo P^rez Alfonso, "El Petr6leo Ruso no es una Amenaza para Venezuela," Mundo Economlco (September, 1961), pp. 7-10; and Documentos (April-June, 196lT, p. 71ij..

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1^62 such as Venezuela. Finally, the basic problem facing OPEC — and admittedly outside its control--has been the low price of petroleum, at its lowest point between 1953 and 1966. This problem receded after 1966~-but again, the increase in the oil price had occurred completely independent of OPEC's efforts.^ V/hile Venezuela pioneered in the formation of OPEC and has probably been its most active member, its attitude toward the so-called Latin American Common Market has been far from unqualified support. Venezuela finally joined the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) late in 1966 and pledged its active participation beginning in January, 196?. Formed in i960, LAFTA already had several participating countries-Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil among them. The trade among the LAFTA countries was estimated to reach $800 million in 1965 or 5^ of the total Latin-American trade. But the trade involved had been largely traditional exchange-Argentine wheat for Brazilian coffee, or Peruvian sugar for Chilean foodstuffs. Due to continuing high tariff walls, only minor expansion has been made in the sale of industrial products ^^"Pierden la Industria de Refinacion Los Paise's Productores de Petroleo," El Nacional (January 22, 196?), pp. c-1, c-13. 14-5 Venezuela Up-to-Date, XII (Fall, 1966), $. By the time Venezuela became a full member of LAFTA only Bolivia, of the South American countries, remained outside that group.

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among the Latin countries, Venezuela has several times postponed her entrance into LAFTA, and even as she prepared to become a full member, a great deal of hesitation was still apparent. Ever since the beginning of the negotiations that ultimately led to the signing of the Treaty of Montevideo that formalized LAFTA in I960, successive Venezuelan governments were faced with a dilemma. On the one hand, Betancourt, Leoni, and the AD had often stressed the need for closer political and economic ties in the Hemisphere.^''' They v;ere also aware of the opportunities for accelerated growth that participation in a scheme of regional integration might offer to their country. On the other hand, all realized that Venezuela, a country with very high labor costs, might be placed at a disadvantage compared with other Latin-American countries. l^6 For good recent studies of LAFTA see Sidney Dell, A Latin American Common Market ? (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), and Miguel S. V/iomczek (ed.), Integracion de America Latina (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 196lirf. For Venezuela's relations with LAFTA, see Braulio Jatar Dotti, "Adhesion de Venezuela a la ALALG," Economia y Administracion [Maracaibo], V (January-March, 1966), 166lYi), and Aaron Segal, "Venezuela and LAFTA," Caribbean Studies , VI (January, 196?), 37-59. See, for example, Betancourt, Hacia America Latina Democr&tica e Integrada , passim . U8 The explanation for the high cost structure of the Venezuela economy is found in the fact that the level of industrial wages is determined essentially by the productivity of the petroleum and iron ore sectors. These sectors are so productive as to be able to pay relatively high wages and this tends to influence the wage levels of those sectors whose productivity is much lower. Consequently, while wage costs per unit of output might be low in the sectors producing

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An even more complex barrier to participation in LAFTA has been the fact that the Venezuelan economy is structurally distinct from that of most Latin-American countries, and Venezuelans consider that their economic problems and opportunities differ fundamentally from those of their neighbors. Venezuela, with a population of around 9 million has the highest per capita income in Latin America, a volume of exports l\.$fo greater than Brazil, which is the second largest exporter in Latin America, a persistently favorable balance of trade, and foreign exchange reserves greater than any other Latin-American country. Venezuela is the most urbanized country in Latin America, is able to engage in capital-intensive industrialization and mechanization of agriculture, and represents the largest single internal market in Latin America for imported capital equipment and consumer durables.^ Many groups within Venezuela, for these very reasons, were less than eager to embrace LAFTA. As a Bank of Venezuela spokesman pointed out in 19^0, Any common market . . . will leave us producing nothing but petroleum and iron ore, and importing everything else. Our textiles cannot compete vrith Brazilian textiles, our coffee cannot compete with Colombian coffee, and our meat cannot compete with Uruguayan meat. For us a free trade area is Utopian at the present time.50 petroleum and iron ore, they are very high elsev:here. This has meant that Venezuela can very well find herself in an inferior competitive position in relation to other LAFTA countries except for petroleum and iron. L9 ^'Charles V/. Anderson, Politics and Economic Chan ge in Latin America (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand Co., 19t"7X pp. 251-259. 50 Quoted in Dell, A Latin American Common Market? p. 1^.8.

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1^65 As late as the fall of I963, the outgoing Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Marcos Falcon-Briceno pointed out that Betancourt had created a Commission in 1962 to study the economic integration of Latin America and that, although his country viewed "with interest the growth of LAFTA, . . . for Venezuela to join [it] calls for a decision that would not only bind her to comply with the maximum commitments set forth in the Treaty of Montevideo, but also to adopt new criteria in the overall economic policy of the nation." For these reasons, the government of Betancourt took the view that participating in a common market would not be possible without special treatment that would allow for the particular circumstances in which Venezuela found herself. Because of the exceptional gap in productivity between the petroleum and iron sectors and the rest of her economy, Venezuela had been maintaining an exchange rate overvalued in terms of almost every other export except those two. Further, since most of her trade was vdth the U.S. and Europe, Venezuela could hardly be expected to restructure her entire economy to suit the other Latin-American countries, with v;hom she maintains little trade. This remained the situation 51 "Minister Tells U.N. Delegates About Venezuela," Venezuela Up-to-Date , XI (Fall, I963), 5. 52 For a fuller discussion of these problems, see Dell, A Latin A merican Common Marke t? pp. The LAFTA, excepfTor special e'scape clauses for the small members just beginning industrial development, is based on the "most favored nation" concept, requiring area-wide tariff concessions, and not restricted favors between groups of member countries. To complicate Venezuela's position, one must remember that she is also now very interested in promoting

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lj.66 throughout the Betancourt adroinistration. The Betancourt government's reluctance to enter LAFTA was compounded by the lack of any immediate impelling motive. Thus, while virtually every LAPTA member except Mexico experienced a major economic crisis, often with political implications, Venezuela seemed free of the pressures vjhich had prompted other countries to turn to LAPTA as a possible salvation for economic ills. The recession in the early years of the Betancourt administration had been relatively mild, trade balances continued to be favorable, per capita income increases were greater than population grov/th, foreign reserves grew, and inflation was kept under control. Outside the government executive, there was indifference and hostility to participation in LAFTA. The political parties, the military, and public opinion were largely indifferent to LAPTA. In the words of Segal, The issues involved v;ere too complex, the consequences too difficult to determine and too remote from popular concerns to involve large segments of the public. The government, lacking a majority in parliament, would have to build its ovm more powerful coalition of interests and/or win ever some of the opposition in order to achieve LAFTA entry. 53 The opposition to LAFTA coalesced around FEDECAMARAS. There, Venezuelan industrialists, particularly in textiles and and participating in "subregional groupings," referred to earlier in this chapter. Such groups bring new dimensions but also new problems for regional integration in the LAFTAmodel. See Braulio Jatar Dotti, "Los Instrumentos de Integracion Econ6nica en Latinoamerica, " Politica , V (June, 1966), 31 "51. ^Segal, "Venezuela and LAFTA," p. li-O.

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I^67 foodstuffs, and Venezuelan merchants vdth exclusive franchise; for the import of North American or European goods voiced their deep concern over possible price competition from LAFTA imports. Venezuelan bankers feared that entry into LAFTA would result in inflation and the flooding of Venezuela with "soft" or nonconvertible currencies from other Latin-American countries . This atmosphere of indifference and hostility began to undergo a marked change soon after the inauguration of President Leoni. The attention given by Leoni to the industrial diversification of Venezuela and his deep interest in furthering economic and political ties within the Hemisphere made him a more likely candidate than Betancourt to push more firmly for the country's entry into LAFTA. He did so firmly--but also very cautiously. Recognizing the very real reservations against such an entry by the Venezuelan private business sector, Leoni went out of his way to allay their fears and to promise their full participation in all the discussions. He promised that entry would not take place without taking into consideration business objections and that only conditionally vjould Venezuela enter LAFTA, in any case. Speaking to the Tvfentieth Assembly of FEDECAMRAS in June, 1961;, Leoni clarified his position: The Venezuelan Government believes that joining the Free Trade Zone, first stage of a future Latin American Common Market, may be effected vjithout disturbing the nation's economy. ... I want ... to announce the Government's decision to join the Association v:ithin a few months. I want also to announce the creation of a special commission of government officials and private individuals, to prepare the

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basis for the negotiations to be conducted, so that the resulting agreeraents will strengthen the trade with other member countries of LAPTA on mutually profitable conditions. Leoni's attempt to obtain the private investors' approval of his plans to enter LAPTA did not meet with immediate success. Consultations betv/een the government and business leaders went on for several months. In the meantime, a barrage of articles explaining LAPTA and the benefits to be derived from participating in it appeared in the press--in the AD literature, in business journals, end in government publications. Asociacion Pro-Venezuela seemed to favor entry so long as the country obtained some concessions from LAFTA;^^ but as late as October, 1965, the ^^"President Announces New Plans to Aid Economy," Venezuela Up-to-Date , XII (Fall, 1961+), 3. ^^FEDECAMARAS initial reaction was the issuance of a critical pamphlet, FEDECAMARAS, FEDECA MARAS ante la ALALC (Caracas: FEDECAMARAS, October, 19"S5T. It argued that the LAPTA experience had not contributed to the economic development of Latin America and that Venezuelan industry would be particularly damaged by the ruinous competition from other countries in which labor costs were considerably lower than Venezuela ' s . ^^Several issues of Politic a carried articles on this topic throughout 1965-1S^^5T See "El Funci.onamento del Comorcio entre los Paises de la ALALC," Producci6n [Caracas] (October-November, 196I4.), pp. 2k-2Q. 58 Eddie Morales Crespo, "Venezuela y la Integraci6n Latino-Americana," Ciiad ernos de la CVP , I (April-June, 1961.|.) , 17-27. 59 Asociacion Pro-Venezuela, "Consideraciones sobre el Ingreso de Venezuela a la ALALC," Cuadernos de la CVF' , I (April-June, 1961].), l65-19t|.. . ~

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469 Board of Directors of FEDECAMARAS declared that an unconditional entry into LAFTA would be highly prejudicial and that their organization would therefore have to oppose it.^^ The Venezuelan government apparently concurred with the view that concussions were essential; and negotiations between Venezuela and LAFTA continued to take place, usually with the presence of the Foreign Minister. If, on the one hand, the government wanted to implement the Bolivarian (and adeco) ideal of greater political and economic integration within the Latin-American bloc, it also perceived the necessity of balancing that ideal against the practical necessity of protecting many of its infant industries from the competition of cheaper exports from other countries. The government was likewise interested in supplying a greater share of the Latin-American iron and petroleum needs. The overall planning agency, CORDIPLAN, was again called upon to study specific cases of Venezuelan industries that might be affected by entry into LAFTA. ^*^"Debe Ser Condicionado el Engreso en la ALALC," El N8 clonal (October 10, 1965), p. A-1. It is interesting to point oilt that reportedly FEDECAMARAS' own economic advisor was in favor of LAFTA. ^'"Convccada Reunion Urgente de la Comision de la ALALC por el Canciller, " El Nacional (November 27, 1966), p # A — 1 • 62 See, for example, Oficina de Coordir.acion y Planif icacion, Comisi6n de Estudios sobre la Integracion Economlca LatinoarcGricana, "Informe Preliminar sobre la Industria Automotriz," C uadernos de la CVF. I ( Apr^il-June . 1961;), 119-llj.2. • ^ '

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470 A number of young economists in and out of CORDIPLAN were frankly in favor of LAFTA and used economic arguments in their attempt to convince FEDECAMARAS elements of the advantages that v;ould accrue from integration. Many of these economists were on the staffs of several autonomous stateowned corporations and they had a continuing chance to present their case in dealing with Venezuelan entrepreneurs who depended on these state corporations for some of their transactions. Support came also from the Ministry of Finance, certain labor loaders, and a fe\
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1^71 strong supporter of LAFTA. Through his efforts, the Venezuelan unions have taken the lead in promoting an organization of a new Latin-American regional trade union organization which will be linked to LAFTA. Trade union backing for LAFTA further helped the government to take the political risk of confronting FEDECAMARAS' initial hostility to integration. Those sectors of the business community that agreed with the government's position toward LAFTA were expanded when developments within LAFTA itself made satisfaction of some of Venezuela's conditions possible. There had been, from the early days of LAFTA, a loose alliance between the smallest members, Paraguay and Ecuador, and the largest members, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. These countries objected to any flexibility that might make it possible for Venezuela to enter LAFTA. The medium-sized countries — Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Uruguay--had been inclined towards a flexible approach for they, like Venezuela, were in a good competitive position in certain products and not in others. When Ecuador was added to this group, a more sympathetic view of Venezuela's position became possible within LAFTA itself. At the same time, Chile, under President Eduardo Frei, was becoming very active in strengthening the relations between his country and Venezuela; and the same became also true in ^^Braulio Jatar Dotti, "Los Trabajadores en America Latina y el Mercado Comun Latinoamericano , " Politica, VI (October, 196?), 11-31^; Francisco A. PerdomolfofiH^ "Notas Economicas," Politica , VI (September, 196?), 79-83. 65 "Perspectivas de Intercarabio Chileno-Venezolano, "

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the cases of Colombia and Peru. For their part, the major countries wore becoming divided into tvio groups--Mexico , which could indeed profitably maintain export-import relations with Venezuela, stood apart from Brazil and Argentina, both of which did not manifest great interest either in considering Venezuela's peculiar position or in furthering their trade with her. Their position grew harder as Venezuela severed diplomatic relations with them on the basis of the Beta:. court Doctriiio vis-^-vis military coups. In this new situation, the overall chances of more flexibility and of more sympathy tov;ard Venezuela's entry into 66 LAFTA became possible. With this in mind, it is possible to say that in the LAFTA case, Venezuela's entry was probably the result of a combination of several factors, among them the government's efforts to bring the business community's views into all the negotiating stages, the ADPresidents' desire to pioneer greater economic and political integration within the Hemisphere, and LAPTA's own change of position to one more flexible and understanding of Venezuela's situation. La Republic a (October 6, 1965), p. 6. It is interesting to point out ohat in the conversations between Chile and Venezuela both government and business leaders, not necessarily adecos, took part. 66. "Venezuela en la ALALC," Politica, V (November, 1966), 5-10; Jorge Medina C, "Argentinir"y Uruguay en las Antlpodas Pollticas , " PolUica, V (November, 1966), 105110.

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k73> The fact that Venezuela delayed so long its entry in LAFTA may actually prove to Venezuela's advantage. In order to win over the business community, a mmber of commissions and organizations \^ere established with the specific task of creating a link between government and the private sector in questions relating to trade. Studies were undertaken with the specific goal of envisaging and avoiding problems that might arise once Venezuela entered LAFTA. Whenever deemed necessary, new governmental and private agencies emerged to handle the unavoidable problems as well as to help in the smooth integration of Venezuelan and LAFTA interests. Thus, perhaps ironically, the prolonged debate on entry enabled Venezuela to establish an impressive national organization for LAFTA affairs which could be of considerable use later. The irony lies in that LAFTA 's original members did not have the same need for extensive discussion, and consultation to rally support for LAFTA and are in some respects not as internally well organized to 67 take advantage of LAFTA as is Venezuela. Venez uela and the Inter-American System It was the great Venezuelan patriot and liberator, Bolivar who first proposed the idea of Hemispheric cooperation which was to culminate in the Pan American Conferences which lea to the formation, first, of the Pan American Union in l889 and, eventually, of the Organization of ^"^Segal, "Venezuela and LAFTA," pp.

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m American States (OAS) in 19i+8 . At the first Conference, held in Panama City in l826, Venezuela, then a part of Gran Colombia, was represented. In the next two conferences, held in in Lima and in 1856 in Santiago, Chile, respectively, Venezuela and many other Latin-American states were absent. However, starting with the first conference called by the United States in Washington, D.C., Venezuela, except for one occasion in 1906, has attended regularly. It has taken a full, if cautious, part in the development of the policies, acts, and charters by which the OAS seeks to promote inter-American peace and friendship, mutual defense against aggression, and economic, social, and cultural progress in the American region. In furtherance of these purposes, Venezuela supports and participates in the several subsidiary councils and specialized organizations of the OAS, such as its Economic and Social, Cultural, Peace and Juristic Councils, and its organizations concerned with agriculture, health, vjomen's, children's and other affairs. Along with other Hemisphere nations, it joined in 19l\.2 the Inter-American Defense Board which, like the Pan American Union itself, was absorbed into the OAS in 191^8.^® In spite of its historical ties with the OAS, 68 For a study of the OAS from the perspective of recent events, see John C. Dreler, The Organization of American States and the Hemisphere Crisis (New York: Harper & Row, 19627.

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l|.75 Venezuela did not become deeply involved in questions affecting the inter-American system until the fall of Perez Jimenez and the inauguration of an Acci6n Democratica government in 1959. The traumatic experiences of many adecos during the decade of dictatorship made them champions of democracy for all Latin America and sv/orn enemies of all 69 forms of coups to unseat duly elected governments. This attitude, in turn, has been reflected in Venezuela's pressures, v/ithin and without the OAS, toward the rejection and isolation of all those Latin-American governments that have come to pov;er by means other than the ballot box. Thus, Venezuela withheld recognition of regimes which seized power by unconstitutional means in Peru in 1962; Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala in 1963; Brazil and Bolivia in 1961|.; and Argentina in 1966. This nonrecognition policy, better known as the Betancourt Doctrine, is simply a modern version of the Tovar Doctrine proclaimed by an Argentine decades ago. The Doctrine was applied during the AD trienio and has been adhered to by both Betancourt and Leoni governments, even on those occasions when the immediate practical repercussions--as with Brazil in 69 See, for example, Romulo Betancourt, "America no Puede Vivir sin Justicia y sin Libertad," Reper torio Americano , XXIX (November, 191+8), 209-215; Romulo Be t anc our t7~" P anor ama — in Somber Colors," The Nation, GLXIX (July 30, 1949), 101lOLi-; "La Opinion Continental Frente a la Conferencia Interamericana, " Cu adernos A mer icanos [Mexico], XII (SeptemberOctober, 1953), 7^; Luis Lander ,~^a Doctrina Venezolana de Accion Democratica," pp. 20-39.

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196I;--were unfavorable to Venezuela frora the strictly com70 mercial point of view. The fact that Betancourt himself never claimed to have been the Doctrine's originator has not diminished its prestige in the party literature. Other Venezuelan political parties besides AD have also tacitly or openly embraced 71 the Doctrine, and this makes unlikely its complete abandonment at the present time. The Betancourt Doctrine's apparent acceptance at home has not been matched by a similar acceptance abroad. It has been viev/ed by some countries as an attempt by Venezuela to "interfere" in the domestic politics of sister nations. More importantly, it has failed to gain enough support from other Latin-American countries to make it effective as a tool of democracy within the inter-American system. Finally, the evident increase in the number of de facto regimes in the last few years--some of them "constitutionally" succeeded by handpicked governments, as in 70 The Betancourt Doctrine has been the topic of many articles, in and out of Venezuela; R6mulo Betancourt, "Comunidad Interaraericana sm Dictadura," Combat e [San Jose, C.R.], II (July-August, I960), 7-9; Roraulo Bet^court, "The Democratic Revolution in Latin America; Possibilities and Obstacles," MnjrXers ity of Co nnectic ut Bulletin (June, 1965), pp. 5-26 especially pp. 22-26; Jose A. Vafbuena, "Venezuela y la ' \5^^^'^?P\'''^'" Bohemia Libre Portorriq uena [Caracas], LV (May 10, 1961;), 10-13; 06^^10 Facio, ^ ' HQ-^JTBehe Reconocer a los Goblernos Opuestos a la Democracia y a las 29!°1963)," ^u^lT^ ^^^""^ Port orriquena [Caracas], LIV (December 71 See Institute for the Comparative Study of Political Systems, The Venezuelan Electio ns of December 1, 196"^ Pt tt passim . ~~" •— — ^

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h77 the case of Brazil --makes one V7onder whether it will be Venezuela that will find herself isolated, not the de facto regimes she has condemned. On the other hand, her subsequent acceptance of regimes born out of spurious elections-the case of Brazil again comes to mind--leads one to question the significance of the Betancourt Doctrine in a practical 72 test case of Venezuelan foreign policy. More clear-cut have been the uses by Venezuela, during the AD governments, of the inter-American system in cases in which Venezuela herself had national and domestic interests at stake. The tv;o most prominent instances have involved the Dominican Republic and Cuba, countries against which Venezuela had well-founded charges. Rafael Trujillo, the Dominican dictator, had long been a bitter enemy of Betancourt and his party. Trujillo welcomed the 19kB anti-Accion Democrdtica coup and maintained friendly relations with fellow dictator Perez Jimenez. In fact, when Perez Jimenez was ousted he first sought asylum in Santo Domingo. From then on, Trujillo became actively 72 Manuel Tapia Brea, "La Doctrine Betancourt; La Diplomacia Pierde Una Batalla," Ahor a [Santo Domingo, D.R.], (January 16, 196?), pp. Iij--l6; New York Times, December 31. 1966, p. 3. ; 73 * See Rspublica Dominicana, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Libro. Blanc o (Contiene u na De claracion d e la £ajicn. le rl^3._ Domi"nI c ana Prove c ad'i ~poFTo s"~Re c i e nt^es^TEaau e s d e 1 s r . Ror^ul o__B ]c_t8^^ court c ontra eT Gobrer no y el Pueblo Domini can"o3T rcTu-dad"Tru.iillo ; Prensa Nacional, 1^^.

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involved in Venezuelan politics with the aim of finding and supporting elements dedicated to the overthrow of President Betancourt .'''^ It was not difficult for him to find such elements especially among those who had profited from the P^rez Jimenez dictatorship. A retired Venezuelan general, Jesus Maria Castro Leon, v/as given false Colombian passports in Santo Domingo and managed to slip into Venezuela through Tachira, Perez Jimenez' hone state. He and a handful of companions gained control of the garrison at San Cristobal and launched an appeal to other prominent Tachirense officers throughout the country to follow suit and rebel against the Betancourt government. Communications were difficult, however, and in many instances the appeal did not get through. In other cases, the officers distrusted Castro Leon and preferred to remain loyal to the President. Finally, armed peasants and a threatened general strike in support of Betancourt helped save the day and the Tru jillo-backed attempted coup turned into a miserable failure.'''^ This failure, instead of discouraging Trujillo, seems only to have spurred him on to bolder ventures to do away with Betancourt once and forever. Only three months after Tk The Trujillo involvement in attempts to overthrow President Betancourt is documented in Organization of American States, Report Submitted to t he Committee of the Council, Acting Provisionall y as Organ of Con suTtatiTTn^i nr tHe~C ase Presente d by Venezuela, to Comp l y with the Provis ions of~th e Third_ Paragraph o f the Resolution of July cj ."jjgo ^ (Washington, D,C.: Pan American "Union, I960) . — 75 '^Supra, chap. VII.

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k79 the Castro Leon fiasco, Trujillo, with the connivance and aid of some Venezuelan civilians and military men, conceived a plot to assassinate the Venezuelan president. The plot nearly succeeded--but the one ultimately most deeply hurt was Trujillo, not Betancourt. Ironically, perhaps, Betancourt's courage in the face of the nearly successful attempt to kill him earned him the respect of both civilian and military elements, some of whom had shovm little sympathy for the adeco president up to then. IVhen, still suffering from severe burns, he took to the radio only hours after the attempt, Betancourt reassured the people concerning the government's stability. This gesture was widely hailed as the act of a macho, a man v;ho is not easily bent by circumstances, no matter hov; painful they 'beJ'^ Before long, the Venezuelan police uncovered the connections between Trujillo and the assassination attempt. With conclusive evidence on which to base her case, Venezuela presented official charges in the OAS against the Dominican government.'''® A Conference of American Foreign Ministers convened in San Jose, Costa Rica, in August of 76 Harry Kantor, "The Destruction of Trujillo' s Empire" (Seattle, Washington, 1962), pp. 3-5. (Mimeographed.) 77 ''Victor Manuel Reinoso, "6 Anos del Atentado de los Proceres," E lite (June 25, 1966), pp. 28-36. 78 For the OAS report on the Venezuelan charges, see Organization of American States, Repor t of the InterAmerican Peace Committee on the Case Presented by Venezuela (WpshrHpton D.C.: Pan American Union7~jLrj:y~77~T^^ot) )'. '

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1;80 I96O; and for the first time in the OAS history, a member state was condemned by the Organization and j.t was agreed that diplomatic and economic sanctions would be levied against it. These sanctions and Trujillo's disrepute in the Hemisphere v;ere contributing factors in the dictator's demise in 1961.'^'^ By this time, Venezuela was becoming increasingly more concerned with the events in another island republic, Cuba. At stake here, as in the case against Trujillo, was not so much a policy of following the Betancourt Doctrine of nonrecognition of undemocratic regimes or an interest in promoting a more active OAS as it was Castro's deepening involvement in Venezuelan domestic affairs. In the case against Cuba, however, Betancourt vms to emerge both victor and loser — the same, incidentally, applied to Accion Democratica and to the AD-coalition government. The tensions between Castro and Betancourt had begun a fev; years earlier and represented a reversal of their former close ties. Castro's guerrillas had received substantial aid in arms end ammunition from the 1958 Venezuelan '^For a treatment of the important role played by the OAS as a contributing factor in Trujillo's demise, see Dreir, The Organization of American Stat es, pp. 97, 101; Kant or, ^The Destruction of Trujillo's Empire," pp. 5-6; J. Lloyd Me Cham, The U nited States and Intor-American Security, 1889 1960 (Austin, Tex. : University of Texas Press, 196l') , pp. ij.l9-ij-?l; Frances R. Grant, "Heraisphcre Repudiates Trujillo," Hemis pherica, IX (October, I960), 1-2; Serafino Romualdi, "Trujillo on the Carpet," Inter-Ameri can Labor Bulletin, XL (March, I96O), 1; Jerome Slater, ''YhFUnited States, the Organization of American States and the Dominican Republic, 1961-1963," International O rganization. XVIII (Spring, 196i|), 286-291; GonzaloTTTacio, "si^H^iones al Regimen de Trujillo," La Republi ca [San Jos6, C.R.l (August 13, I960), p. 31.

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1^81 provisional governraent. Many Venezuelans had been active opponents of Fulgencio Batista, and Rorrailo Betancourt himself had been a prime mover in the signing of the "Pact of Caracas." This document, agreed to by virtually all groups fighting the Cuban dictator--including Castro's 26th of July Movement --pledged the cooperation of all signatories in the struggle to reestablish a democratic governraent in Cuba.^^ The overthrow of Batista in January, 1959, was hailed in Venezuela as an event of groat significance for all democratic forces in Latin America. Venezuelans felt particularly close to Castro, not only because he had seemed to follovj their example in building up a popular movement to overthrow a dictator, but also because many of them had personally fought at Castro's side. Fabricio Ojeda who, for a brief moment presided over the Junta Patriotica that ousted Perez Jim6nez, could boast of his personal experiences with Castro in the Sierra Maestra days. Ojeda was by no means ^. 81 an exception. All this helps explain Castro's wild reception in Caracas when he visited that capital a month after his victory in Cuba. He came to thank Venezuelans for the help they had given him; but even as he did so, he was already 80 Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution , pp. IkS-lly^. 8l Eloy Enrique Porras, "Fabricio Ojeda," El Mundo [Caracas] (June, 1966), p. 1; Juan Sanchez, "La Verdad sobre el Asesinato de Fabricio Ojeda," Bohemia [Havana], LVIII (July 22, 1966), 7k-7^.

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sowing the first seeds of enmity between him and the adeco leadership. His less than complimentary remarks about Betancourt shocked his hosts and vrhen his brother Raul visited Venezuela later in 1959, Betancourt refused to receive him. To further strain relations, Castro jailed David Salvador in May of I96O. A leader of the Conf ederacion de Tr aba j adores de Cuba and a man whom many adeco s had closely known and cooperated with, Salvador had been among the promoters of a pact of cooperation signed between Cuban 82 and Venezuelan labor unions. The first clear break between the two countries, however, came when Major Ernesto "Che" Guevara openly urged a group of Venezuelan students visiting Cuba to organize a guerrilla movement and to convert the Andes into another Sierra Maestra.®-^ Betancourt reacted to this challenge by instructing the Venezuelan delegation at the San Jose Conference of American Foreign Ministers (August, I96O) to sign the resolution against Cuba adopted by the Conf erence 82 It should be remembered that during 1959 the ADoriented Conf ederacion de Trabajadores the Venezuela (CTV) had been considering some joint enterprises v;ith its Cuban counterpart, the CTC. See s upra , chap. VII and Guillcrmo G. de Marmol, "El Proceso Laboral en Cuba Comunista," Politi ca, III (June-August, 196k), 11-31. Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution , pp. li|5-ll4-6. ^^See Organization of American States, Sixth Meeting of Consultation of Mini sters -of Foreign Affairs Serving as Or gan of Consultation in Appl icat ion of the Inter-American Trea ty of Reciprocal Ass i s tance, San Jose, Costa Rica , August 16 21; Final Act Twashinpjton. D.C.: Pan American Union, 19^0T.

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This decision by Betancourt, in turn, was criticized by his own Minister at the Conference, Ignacio Luis Arcaya, who was quickly recalled home. The disagreement between Arcaya and Betancourt brought into the open the deepening tensions between Arcaya 's Union Republicana Democrdtica (URD) and Accion Democratica. Shortly thereafter URD departed from the URD-COPEI-AD governmental coalition. The final break between AD and the f idelistas came a few months later, at the end of I960. Several AD elements rallied around Domingo Alberto Rangel in calling for a "true 86 government of the people," a clear call for insurrection against the popularly elected government of Romulo Betancourt .These adecos seemed to have greater loyalty toward Fidel Castro than their own party leader and were eventually expelled from AD. With some revolutionary elements from URD, Rangel and other adecos formed the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR), pledged to bringing about 87 a f idelista-type regime in Venezuela. ' 85 -^The deterioration of Venezuelan-Cuban relations is related by Romulo Betancourt in "Venezuela Supo Dar Ejemplo," Life en Espanol , XXIV (September 28, I96I4.), l8-2ij.. 86 Domingo Alberto Rangel, "Hacia un Cambio de Gobierno," Izquierda [Caracas] (October II4., I96O), pp. 2-3. 87 See supra, chap. IV; Paz Galarraga, Vio lencia y Sus penci6n de Ga rantias, passim , an AD publication] "Estatuto del Movimiento de IzquTerda Revolucionaria," Document 03 (May-August, I960), pp. l^\^l-l\.S2; Department of State, Wor] d Strength of the Communist Party Organizations ,

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m A year later, in November of I96I, the Betancourt regime formally broke relations with Cuba. At the Punta del Este Conference of American Foreign Ministers in January of 1962, Venezuela supported the move to suspend the Castro government from the OAS. In October of that year, during the crisis over Soviet missiles based in Cuba, Venezuela supported President Kennedy's moves and some of her ships took 88 part in the blocade of Cuba. Castro countered Betancourt 's actions by giving active support, training, and materiel to Venezuelans pledged to the undermining and overthrow of the AD government. Cubans took advantage of the extensive Venezuelan coastline to smuggle agents into the country who brought with them arms, ammunition, and money to help the grov/ing guerrilla movement. A persistent propaganda campaign was beamed to Venezuela with the message that Castro's was the "true" revolution while Betancourt 's was in fact only a front for the Yankee imperialists. Castro's efforts were particularly effective in attracting Venezuelan university students to pledge themselves to the struggle against a government they felt was reactionary. A terroristic wave of violence took place, concentrated especially in Caracas and aimed mostly at subsidiaries of U.S. businesses but also at creating a general 88 For the Venozuela-Cuba-U. S . interactions see ?oj-f III (June-August, 1961}.). The whole issue is entitled "Vision de Cuba." Documents pertaining to the I96I1962 events can be found in the various issues of Docum entos for those years. ~

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On atmosphere of uncertainty. ^ The terrorists seemed to argue that this uncertainty would at once prove the "powerlessness" of Betancourt as well as provoke a sharp reaction from the military against Betancourt 's "moderation." Ultimately, if the military took over — as it had usually done in previous crises in Venezuelan history--then the guerrilla elements could undertake a full-fledged campaign against a government 90 without any popular base or electoral legitimacy. The terroristic campaign in Caracas was a prelude to bolder adventures by Castro and his Venezuelan sympathizers They felt strong enough to threaten openly all those who dared. vote in the scheduled December, I963, elections. Perhaps to lend substance to this threat, Cuban elements managed to bring to Venezuela a formidable cache of arms. This initial success, however, v;as to prove costly to the guerrillas and to Castro himself. A week before election day the Venezuelan government announced the discovery of the Cuban arms in Venezuela. President Betancourt asked the Hemisphere nations to take "joint, energetic, and definite action to isolate and put 89 Terroristic incidents were many, and so vrere articles on them. See, for example, Albertini, "La Subversion Extremis ta en Venezuela y su Realidad Actual , " pp. 1-9; Keith Botsford, "Revolution and Counter-Revolution : or, Venezuela Revisited," Diss ent, XIII (July-August, I966), 377-390. 90 Alexander, T he Venezuelan Democratic Revolution , pp. 297-319; J. Paria, "After the Government Crisis in Ve"nezuela," World Marxist Review [Ontario], IX (June, I966 ) , 51-55.

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91 an end to the Comin;inist bridgehead in our continent." Charging Cuba with aggression, Venezuela initiated a process that ultimately led to the convening of the Ninth Conference of Foreign Ministers in the summer of 1961;, the vindication of Venezuela's charges, and the condenination of Cuba by the GAS.*^^ Throughout the whole procedure, Venezuela insisted that she was not engaged in a fight over the ideological nature of the Cuban government— that was the exclusive and sovereign concern of the Cuban people and Venezuela was against any kind of intervention, whether direct or indirect. What Venezuela was protesting in the OAS was the evident aggression of which it had been victim by another ^ 93 country. If, however, on the international level Venezuela stood vindicated and backed by the OAS in its charges against Cuba, on the other hand, at home, its differences Mh Castro ^'"President Urges Strong Hand Against Communism," Venezuela Up-to-Date , XI (Fall, 1963), 3. "Cuban Intervention in Venezuela; Excerpts from Report," Americas , XVI (April, 1961;), 10;; "OAS on Venezuela' s Charges Against Cuba; Text of Act," Current Histo ry, XLVIII (January, 1965), I;0-lU;; "OAS Approves Rio Treaty Measures Against Castro Regime; Text," De partment of State^ Bu] let in, LI (August 10, 1961;), 17i;-l81;. For the Accicn Democrdtica position, see the editorial in Politica , III (June-August, 1961;), 5-9; pertinent documents appear in the same issue, pp. 117-114-0. For a Communist reaction, see "Cuba, Venezuela, la OEA y los Inquilinos Biliosos del Edificio," Politic a [Mexico], IV (March ll;, 1961;), 15^^"Cuban Aggression Against Venezuela Confirmed," Venezuela Up-to-Date, XI (Spring, 1961;), 11.

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1^87 continuGd to be a source of political friction in and out of Acci6n Democratica, a topic more fully discussed elsewhere. Cuba, for its part, had hardly been dissuaded by the OAS vote from its campaign against the AD-governments of Betancourt and Leoni. It was evidently involved in the continuing guerrilla movement in Venezuela, and the terroristic campaign had brought the military to the verge of staging a coup against Leoni. Only Leoni 's forceful response — in the form of suspension of certain constitutional guarantees and permission for the military to stage an all-out campaign against the guerrillas-had apparently saved him from being overthrown. Thus, Betancourt 's and Leoni 's attitude toward Cuba, their responses and the reactions they provoked in and out of the government coalitions and in and out of their ovm political party, could hardly be considered clear-cut victories for the presidents or clear-cut triumphs leading to the strengthening of Accion Democrdtica itself. The variety of opinions tov/ard Castro within AD itself became quite apparent in the author's conversations with that party's leaders and members in 196!4.-1966. One of the questions posed was "Is See supra , chap. IV; Roberto Rodriguez, "Solidarity with Venezuel aT*^ Tri cent i nen t al Bui 1 e t i n , II (November, 196?), 5-9. Cuba, for its part, has seon~Its~own share of internal dissensions because of its involvement in Venezuelan affairs; see Kevin Devlin, "The permanent Revolutionism of Fidel Castro," Problems of Communism , XVII (January-February, 1968), 1-11, especially pp. 3-5* Devlin concluded that the Venezuelan guerrilla struggle, on v^hich Castro had placed such high hopes, was faltering and becoming a source of intraparty dissension in Cuba as well as in Venezuela. 95 New York Times, December 22, 1966, p. 32.

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1;88 Fidel Castro a Communist?" The position officially taken both by the government and by AD on this question was that Castro indeed was a Communist and, as such, was an advocate and promoter of violent revolutions in Latin Anerica. The responses, however, were as follows: 60^ of the AD leaders interviewed (35 out of a total of 58 leaders) thought that Castro was a Communist; only 14-6^ of the AD members interviewed (23 out of a total of $0 members) agreed. Another question inquired as to whether or not the Venezuelan guerrillas were aided by Castro (or Cuba). AD leaders responded in the affirmative in 86^ of the cases (50 out of a total of 58 leaders); only of the members (20 out of a total of 50) concurred in such an opinion. V/hen asked "what should be done about Cuba," apparently there was not much agreement either. "Dlodcade" was mentioned by 65^ of the leaders interviewed (38 out of a total of 58); hk% of the members interviewed (22 out of a total of 50) expressed the same view. When further pressed on the question of Castro, most could not decide whether the best solution would be blockade, boycott of countries trading with Cuba as was being suggested 96 by the Conf ederacion de Trabajadores Venezolanos, or simply "to leave him alone. "^^"^ *^^See "Venezuela, EE.UU. y Mexico Integran Comite que Estudiard Aplicaci6n de Sanciones Portuarias a Cuba," El Nacional (March II4., 1965), p. D-1; "Conf ederacion Venezolana Gestiona Boicot a Barcos que Comercien con Cuba," Listin Diari o [Santo Domingo, D.R.] (September I3, 196L|.), p. IG'. 97 See Appendix.

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1^89 Acci6n Democrdtica has, in contrast, received nearly unanimous support at home for its stand in the OAS toward the 1965 Dominican Republic crisis. AD's position in relation to the U.S. unilateral intervention was clear from the beginning. Speaking to the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom in Nev; York, former President Betancourt denounced "the armed unilateral intervention. . . . This intervention, without any previous discussion in 98 the OAS is an act that must be repudiated." Later, he joined Jose Pigueres and Luis Munoz Marin, two other prominent leaders of the democratic Left in the Hemisphere, in declaring themselves "at all times ready to serve the cause of peace in the Dominican Republic in terms of a return to constitutional democracy secure against both Com99 munism and military dictatorship." • The Venezuelitn Congress went on record conderaning the U.S. actions and in support of President Leoni ' s call for a special meeting of the OAS to seek the cessation of hostilities by both sides. '^"'^^ Leoni subsequently elaborated "Venezuela's Ex-President Raps U.S. 'Intervention,'" Miami Herald (June 5, 1965), p. lO-A. The text of Betancourt 's speech appears in "Documentos , " Politica , IV (June-July, 1965), 161-163. See also Betancourt, Hacia America Latina Democritica e Integrada , pp. 206-209. 99 "Letter from Betancourt, Figuerss and Munoz Marin," in Institute for International Labor Research, Dominican Republic: A Study in thw Ho w Imperialism (New Yoi'k: Institute for International Labor Research, n.d.), p. 57. ^^^"Documentos : Acuerdo del Congreso Nacional de Venezuela sobre los Sucesos de Santo Domingo," Politica, IV (June-July, 1965), 159-160. .

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1^90 on the Venezuelan position: conderination of unilateral actions by OAS members and reaffirmation of the Betancourt 101 Doctrine of nonrecognition of de facto regimes. He, along with the other AD leaders, argued that if the Doctrine had been invoked by the OAS in 19^3 at the time of Dominican President Bosch's overthrow, the Dominican Republic might have maintained a popularly elected government. This, in turn, would have avoided the "need" for the 1965 civil 102 war. The Dominican episode seemed to have provided a poignant example of the differences that do arise between the United States and the Venezuelan viev/'points concerning a specific issue--diff erences which arise in spite of Venezuela's firm stand against Cuba or the U.S.' repeated affirmations of good will to^^rards Venezuela and its present 103 government. In fact, when examining Venezuela's position in the whole Inter-American system, its peculiar relations "'^^Radl Leoni, "View from Caracas," pp. 639-6I|.6. 102,, "El Drama de Santo Domingo," Po lltica , IV (JuneJuly, 1965), 7-11; Alberto Baeza Plores,~^a Crisis Dominicana y el Dilema de Amirica Latina," Polttica, IV (June-July, 1965), 13-20. Baeza Flores, a Chilean, has been a close friend of many in the AD leadership and has contributed a number of articles to AD-oriented Folitica . 103 U.S. Army, Area Handb ook for Venezuel a, especially pp. 312-31)+, 523-5I1.8; Venezuela as Partner in Alliance for Progress," Venezuela U p-to-Dgte , XII (Fall, 1965), 3. The latter article has a message from President Leoni to President Johnson reaffirming Venezuela's warm support for the Alliance and the United States.

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k91 with the United States merit a separate treatment, Venezuela is not alone in this regard. The economic position, political influence, and military pov/er of the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere are so great that the relations of the other 20 republics with the outside v;orld and even their domestic affairs to a certain extent are perforce predicated in large part on their relations with the "colossus of the North." The increasing commitments of the U.S. as a world power during the last three decades and its interest in having the support of the Latin-American nations, first in the World V/ar II and later against the Soviet Union, have made this problem particularly acute for all the LatinAmerican countries. In the case of Venezuela, its relations with the U.S. have been peculiarly colored by the intimate economic ties between the two countries. This is not surprising V7hen one considers that American-owned companies largely dominate the petroleum industry, which provides 90fo of the country's foreign exchange and almost 60$;^ of the government revenues; that U.S. firms control the burgeoning iron mining industry; and that the bulk of Venezuela's trade is conducted with the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. has long supplied most of the materiel for the Venezuelan armed forces, has trained these forces, and maintains a large military mission in the country. Traditionally Venezuela has tended to align itself with the U.S., regardless of what kind of government was in power in either republic. This does not mean, however, that the positions of the two countries have

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11-92 always coincided on the sphere of international affairs, that their relations have always been unstrained, or that Venezuelan domestic policies have always been looked upon with full approval by the U.S. and its citizens--and viceversa. United States-Venezuelan economic relations in the twentieth century have been primarily concerned with oil. Production and development under Gbxnc/.' concessions v/ere controlled by British, Dutch, and U.S. companies, with the U.S. participation increasing rapidly and eventually becoming predominc-.nt ."^^^ By 1928, Venezuela had become second only to the U.S. in oil production. After Gomez, Venezuelan policy was aimed at changing the original concessions to obtain the maximum possible revenue from the oil companies. This the companies resisted, but theexample of expropriation of the oil companies in Mexico in 1938 and the advent of V/orld V/ar II which made Venezuelan oil essential to the Allied war effort, worked to aid Venezuelan claims. Also, under the aegis of the "Good Neighbor Policy," the U.S. government was insistent in impressing upon the oil companies the importance of renegotiating the concessions in Venezuela's favor. New agreements were concluded in 191+3 which increased Venezuela's royalties from 11^ to l6-2/3^ and -nrovided a more favorable basis for the calculation of Venezuela's share. This agreement-, coupled with new taxes on the oil companies, was 10l|-o See Lieuwen, Petroleum in Ven ezuela; A History, passim . — —

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li-93 designed to produce revenues for Venezuela equal to the profits of the companies. Also, the companies were required to build refineries in Venezuela within five years. All concessions were renewed for ^.G years. The friendly atmosphere engendered by the Good Neighbor Policy, more favorable terms for Venezuelan oil, and the vrartime cooperation with the U.S. did not last long. Acci6n Democratica' s commitment to a sweeping program of social reforms, protection of national resources, and a "firm but rational" nationalism in dealing with other nations brought it into open and covert conflict with the United States. Thus, during the Accion Democratica ' s 19i|5-19i|-8 .trienio, the aggressive measures taken by the government to curtail the profits of the oil companies — mostly U.S. owned; to deny them the right to obtain ne\i oil leases; and to start on plans to develop Venezuela's own oil company were viewed with regret and outright anger by some oil executives, long accustomed to a hands-off policy on the part of the various Venezuelan governments. Whether these executives pressured the State Department into not intervening in favor of President Gallegos is an open and much debated question. There are those in Venezuela, however, who feel that the military coup that toppled the popularly elected President only months after his smashing victory at the polls had the backing or, at the very least, the sympathy 103' See Medina Angarita, Cuatro Anos de Democracia , pp. 77-88.

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of U.S. elements. The attitude of the United States towards P^rez Jimenez could only bo viewed with distaste by the adecos. While the dictator often cooperated with Venezuelan Coramunists, he imprisoned scores of adecos under the pretext that they were the Communists and thus a menace to Venezuela and all of Latin America. PSrez Jimenez was often praised in official circles--an adulation that climaxed with President Eisenhov:er ' s grant of a special commendation in 19$k. to the Venezuelan strongman. Further, the man most responsible for the adeco persecution, the hated head of the Seguridad (Secret Police) received a medal from the United States for his "anti-communism. " The U.S. attitude toward P6rez Jimenez aroused much resentment among those persecuted by the dictator and this resentment found a release in the violent reception and attack upon Vice-President Nixon, who visited Caracas shortly after Luis Colmenares Diaz, La Espada y El Incensario (Caracas, I96I), pp. 5-7. He alleges U.S. recognition and tacit approval of the Perez Jim6nez dictatorship was repaid in Venezuela by the granting of new economic concessions for the U.S. companies. In turn, the dictator personally prospered by receiving "gifts" from these companies--and praise from the U.S. government. For a different repoi-t on tlie reaction of U.S. business circles to the Gallegos ' ouster, see "It's Hot in Venezuela," Fortune (May, 1914-9), pp. 101107, 150-16[|.. This article (perhaps surprisingly) reports that many U.S. businessmen v;ere — or had reason to be--dismayed at the military coup of 19ii.8. Subsequent issues of Fortune , hov;ever, printed letters from U.S. businessmen in Caracas v;ho expressed a contrary view and a deep-seated distrust of AD and of Gallegos.

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P^rez Jimenez' overthrow — at a tine when the political situation vms still very fluid and the provisional government was still unable to give the necessary security coverage to the U.S. visitor. President Eisenhov;er ' s reaction, ordering certain American troops and warships on the alert for Nixon's protection, if needed, only increased Venezuelan resentment .'"^'^ U.S. decisions in 1958 to restrict imports of foreign oil and Venezuela's action that same year raising taxes on the companies operating the oil concessions further strained the already tense relations. Another undercurrent was the suspicion in many official and unofficial quarters that the newly elected President Betancourt had not completely broken away from his early connections with the Communist Party. Fortunately for both the U.S. and for Venezuela, a series of events helped improve the strained relations. V/ith the advent of the Kennedy administration and its avowed policy of coolness toward dictators and friendship for popularly 107 Luis Alberto Sanchez, "El Vice Presidente Nixon en America Latina, " Cuadernos [Paris] (September-October, 1958) , pp. 75-81. Nixon's version of the incident appears in Nixon, Six Crises , pp. 209-23i|.. 108 ^ Information made available to the author on a confidential basis by some of those involved lends support to the thesis of many adecos that as late as 1958 some U.S. officials--including the ambassador--still suspected Betancourt of being a Communist. Less signif icant--and also more predictable--are the conclusions of certain conservative American groups. See American Opinion, Ant i -Communis t Liberation Movement of Venezuela. Proof of the Communist Dominationof Venezuela (Belmont. Mass.; American Opinion , 1959) . This is a conservative polemic which seeks to prove that the AD is a Communist organization.

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11-96 elected governments, Betancourt found a comrion ground with his own attitude as exemplified in the Doctrine that bears his name. The U.S., perhaps not as enthusiastically as some Venezuelans might have wished, nonetheless supported the Venezuelan-sponsored • i960 move vrithin the OAS to impose 109 sanctions on the Dominican dictatorship of Trujillo. The Venezuelan charges against Cuba received the full support of the U.S. Meanwhile, President Kennedy's announcement in March, I96I, of the Alliance for Progress, a 10-year economic and social development program of aid to Latin America, was generally well received in Venezuela, especially after Adlai Stevenson's visit to that country ."^'''"'^ In June of the same year, the U.S. District Court ruled that Perez Jim6nez, who had been arrested in Miami in 195)9 at Venezuela's request, should, be extradited and turned over to the Venezuelan authorities for trial. This ruling improved relations as did the final denial of appeal and the extradition to Venezuela of the former dictator in August, 1963.''"'^"^ Much 109 Department of State Bulletin , XLIII (September 5, I960), 3^7. ''^"Venezuela as Partner," p. 3; Benjamin A. Frankel, "Venezuela y los Estados Unidos: Ayuda, Alianza y Asociacion, " Boletin Hist6rico [Caracas] (May, I96I4.), pp. 2I4.-36. Ill "Venezuela Gets Perez," St. Petersburg Times (August 17, 1963), p. 1-A; George Natanson, "Perez Jimenez Case Helping U.S. Image," St. Peters burg Times (August I8, 1963), p. 2-D; "Incidente Perez Jimenez,: Panorama [Maracaibo] (October 8, 1965), p. 38. These are only three of a vast volume of articles dispatched on the Perez Jimenez case in Venezuela and in the U.S.

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1^97 improvement in relations resulted also from the warm reception of President and Mrs. Kennedy on their visit to Venezuela in iJacomber of 19^1. With the U.S. announcement in October, 1962, of the discovery of Soviet missile bases in Cuba, the OAS unanimously approved quarantine action and the use of enormous pressure to enforce withdrawal of the missiles. Venezuela, on October 27, 1962, was the first of the Latin-American republics to order the mobilization of its armed forces in support of this action and Venezuelan naval vessels participated in the qusrantine patrol of Cuba. In spite of the intensified Comraunist campaign of terrorist activities against U.S. installations in Venezuela, President Betancourt v;a3 able to return President Kennedy's visit in February, I963, and found a most cordial reception and assurance of continued U.S. cooperation with 112 Venezuela and the OAS. With the U.S., Venezuela has treaties of amity, extradition and the pacific settlement of disputes. There are agreements on aerial mapping, atomic energy, air transport, customs, maritime matters, passports, technical cooperation, telecommunication, and trade and commerce. Special agreements provide for U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force missions in Venezuela. Far more important, however, than these treaties and missions remain the informal relations betv/een 112 Docume ntos (January-March, I963), pp. 719-721, 728-730.

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14-98 the two countries. The U.S. gesture in the extradition of Perez Jimenez mde a great impact on Venezuelans, as did Kennedy's idealism as expressed in the Alliance for Progress, or the American oil companies' compromise on the tax questions. All these left a reservoir of good will-which the U.S. unilateral intervention in the Dominican 113 crisis undermined to an, as yet, incalculable measure. Conclusions In each of these instances--the Trujillo attempt to assassinate Betancourt, the Cuban support for subversive elements in Venezuela, the Venezuelan denunciation of unilateral actions taken against a sister republic in the Dominican crisis, and Venezuela's qualified friendship toward the U.S. --the guiding principle seems to have been Venezuela's own interests rather than her adherence to abstract, rigid doctrines of nonintervention or nonrecognition. In both the Trujillo assassination attem.pt and the Cuban subversion, Venezuela's interests were clearly drawn. In the Dominican crisis of 1965 these interests might have been less clear until one remembers the circumstances of the I9I4-8 military coup against AD-supported President Gallcgos or until one recalls the close relationship of many adecos and the "constitutionalists" of the Dominican civil war. liam L. Ryan, "Venezuelans Fear U.S. Role in Revolt LBJ's 'Bay of Pigs,'" Miami Herald (May 25, 1965), p. 12-A.

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But if we may consider Venezuela's position in all these instances as one guided primarily by her ovrn national interests at that particular moment in time, one must also add that other factors were also very much present and very much part of the policies adopted. At times, Venezuelan national interests, objectively viewed, coincided with her expressed ideals; while at other tim.es the ideals did not seem to be viholly in accord with the country's best interests. The mixture of idealism and hard-he ad edness has most often benefitted Venezuela, but has sometimes led to confusion-as, for example, in her recent relations with Brazil. Thus, when one examines the presidential speeches and messages concerning each policy decision, one becomes very much aware of their attempt to place the decision in a broad f ramev7ork--as thought they were in fact and in deed seeking to follow Simon Bolivar's ideals. In this framework, Trujillo must be sanctioned not so much because he almost killed Betancourt but because his action renders the bond that should unite all America. Castro must be isolated not so much because he is a Communist or even because he aids Venezuelan terrorists as because his ideology is extraneous to America (i.e., not Bolivarian by any broad interpretation) and because he violates the sovereignty of a duly constituted government. Petroleum companies muv'^t be pressed to pay higher taxes and invest more in Venezuela not so much because they are foreign enterprises as because all enterprises must work for the aggrandizement of the Patria .

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500 This combination of hard-headedness and idealism that appears to underline the "firm but rational nationalism" in dealing with other nations has left an impact at home that is again a combination of idealism and practical politics. The policies followed in the Guiana dispute, for example, have so far produced a favorable reaction at home as well as abroad. The same can be said in relation to projects toward greater interchange in trade not only ^^rith Colombia but now also v/ith all the participants of LAFTA. If the policies toward Cuba have alienated some adecos, they have given the AD party and the AD governments the greater support of the more conservative elements of Venezuelan society. It might not be too much of an exaggeration to suggest that, had not Betancourt and Leoni been willing to lose a few adecos sympathetic to Castro, they might have suffered a much greater loss by failing to maintain the loyalty of the military or the acquiescence of the more traditional elements in the society such as the Church or the hacendados. Thus, in their conduct of international relations, AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have been able to work with the challenges posed not only for the greater prestige of Venezuela among other countries but also for the cementing, the integrating of Venezuelan elements at home.

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CHAPTER X CONCLUSIONS The Acci6n Democrdtxca Party of Venezuela, as wg know from our introductory remarks, has been the subject of a number of articles and books in recent years.''' An early monograph by Serxner confined its scope to AD's origin and devolopmont in the pre-1958 period. He did not have the benefit of intervieu data or in loco observations.' Alexander subtitled his own work "a profile of the regime of Romulo Betancourt" and made only a limited attempt to stress the manifold interactions between the AD-party and the AD-government . Further, his study, though meritorious and bringing to light much information personally gathered by Alexander in Venezuela, lacke:! a theoretical framework that might possibly give some perspective to his account.^ Martz' book did have such a theoretical framev.'ork in that he looked at AD as a "modern political party. But though '"Among them, Snow, "The Political Party Spectrum in Venezuela," pp. 3^-h7 > Taylor, Jr., "Democracy for Venezuela?" pp. 28i;-290, 310; Busk, "The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution," pp. 776-778. 2 Serxner, Acci6n D emocrdtic a of Venezuela . ^Alexander, The Venezuelan Democratic Revolution . ^Mart". , Acci6n Democrgtic a; his definition of a modern political party appears on pp. 9-13, . 501

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502 published in 1966, most of his research was conpleted in 1963, and little attempt was made to use data from subsequent years. Further, Martz ' book was chiefly concerned with the historical and structural aspects of Accion Deraocrdtica. In the opinion of his reviewers, Martz failed to probe deeply such topics as the relation between the party and the govcrnrient in the making of decisions or the links between the party, its branch organizations (cam] .sinos, labor, for example), and entities outside the party stricture (business groups, for example) in government decision-making and policy-implementation.-^ Our own study was an attempt to combine charac.teristics of these previous works, as v;ell as to bring the information up to date and, more importantly, to place it in a distinct theoretical framei^ork. A recapitulation of the theoretical framework in the light of the body of information heretofore presented and the sketching of some tentative conclusions vfith regard to the Venezuelan political system and the relevance of the Venezuelan experience for other countries seems nov/ in order. In the area of political integration and modernization, we have argued, no single agency is of greater im. portance than the political party. Political parties have "^Anderson, "Reviev; of John D. Martz," pp. 10l|8lOlj.9; Bcnilla, "Review of John D. Martz," pp. I8O-I82.

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503 been closely associated with the modernization of Western societies and, in various forms, have become the instruments of modernization in many of the countries of the developing areas. In these countries, further, it is often the case that a party has been largely instrumental in mobilizing the populace--serving as a channel between the government and the governed and integrating various sectors of the society--in the struggle for modernization.^ The party becomes the agency which seeks to bring within its own Jurisdiction the various sectors, individuals, and geographical regions--it seeks to become the crucible or focal point where all these different factors come together in a common search for power or the means to fulfill their own 7 particular dv.iands. For those more developed countries where political parties and a party system have been in existence for a long time, where the population is already literate, participant, mobilized, and integrated into national affairs, the chief functions of political parties are to organize public opinion and test attitudes and to transmit these to government officials and leaders so that the ruled and the rulers, the public and the government, are in reasonably 6 nc^ Hodgkin, African _Pol i tic al Parties , especially 7 r,r.r> V . ^ ^-aPalowbara and Weiner (eds.). Politi cal Parties and Political Development , passim . " i-Si.'ii^

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501^ close accord. The entire representative principle of governg ment rests on this relationship. But for the political party and the political leader in a modernizing system, the representativeness of the party must be complemented by its ability to lead. Democracy must thus be defined not only in terms of the classic freedoms, but also in terms of the ability of the government to secure a better life for all elements in the society. In the wake of the "revolution of rising expectations," democracy has come to be understood as involving a variety of economic and social objectives: the expansion of national output and national income (in the Venezuelan case, industrial diversification and the leveling of income differentials); a more effective mobilizing of labor and the peasantry; a more rapid development of power, communications, and welfare services; the elimination of "back'.-jardness" and illiteracy through mass education. Thus the slogan "democratic freedom" actually becomes "the freedom to enjoy the blessings 9 of a Western standard of subsistence." Confronted with such a broad, all-encompassing definition of democracy, coupled with the need to develop the basic social and economic requisites in order that democracy o See Sorauf, Political Parties and the American System , erpecially pp. 10-33^ 9 Hodgkin, African Poli tical Partie s,. pp. 1$$-16Q; Apter, The Gold Coast "l.n Trans xti on^ chaps . V-XIV; Accion Democr§.tlca, Accion Democratica; ~ Doctrina y Programa , passim.

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505 may be viable and function effectively, the party in a modernizing system can hardly afford the luxury of limiting itself to the more or less passive role of transmitting private wants to the makers of public policies. Nor is the party solely an aggregative device, collecting various expressions of want, of belief, and of outlook. The party cannot simply present candidates and run an election campaign periodically--as is most often the case in the more developed nations. On the contrary, the political party in a modernizing society is compelled to play an active entrepreneurial role in the formation of those ideas and in the linking of the public and the leadership in such a way that power is generated, mobilized, and directed. Viewed in this manner, the party not only repres ents the membership at the same time that it forms a linlc beti^een the government and the governed, but it also leads those it repi'esents by actually articulating and developing for them nev; goals and interpretations of modernity and of national integration.^^ Lipset, "Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy," pp. 69-105. It is interesting to recall in this connection that Bolivar's "effective government" was defined as "one that produces the maximum of felicity, of social security, and of political stability." To Venezuela's foremost hero and political thinker, this "effective government" would not only fulfill the material desires and needs of the population but would also lead this population to greater creative enterprises. Because it would fulfill the population's demands, this "effective government" would merit their support and thus it would enjoy stability. Further, it was Bolivar's contention that this "effective government" would become feasible not through complicated legalistic structures but through the will of men bent upon the daily tasks of helping and leading their fellow men. See Salcedo-Bastardo , Vision y Revision de B olivar, pp. 109-115. Apt or. The Politics of Modernization , pp. 179-222.

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506 In devolving these "representative" and "leadership" functions, the political party is restricted by the entire sociopolitical framevrork of the society in which it operates. ^ It depends upon the society's physical, demographic, and historical setting; it requires a constitutional and governmental framework congenial for its ov/n very existence and functioning (i.e., the type of political party system allowed to operate), and it depends upon the groupings in the society for its membership. On the other hand, the political party itself has an equally important impact upon the entire context in which it operates. A party is, after all, a subgroup in the system v/ith its own means of generating power. In terms of this aspect, v^hich is the most critical in a developing nation, the party is often seen as the microcosm of the future i society. Society and government become dependent upon i party organization and leadership for their transformation into a modern and democratic entity and system. In this view, a party is not merely the passive transmitter of opinions from the individual to the marketplace of collectivity. As Aptcr puts it. They [parties] represent a set of . . . variables that drastically affect social stratification, while giving concrete expression to grievances and relative scarcity of particular issues. Hence, in modernization, political parties play a critical role jn building a system arourd themselves, by 12 1 Duverger, Political Parties , £assi_m; McDonald, The Study of Political Parties , pp. 3k-3^71-lacridis and I Brovm (eds.). Comparative Politics , pp. 182-22?. | i I i 1

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507 becoming a modernizing device manipulated by political entrepreneurs . 13 When examined in this context, the Accion Democratlca Party of Venezuela, in order to fulfill its role as an integrating and modernizing factor, (1) must have been able to attract and to maintain a membership and a leaderslup that represented a broad spectrum of the society (i.e., it must have been multiclass in Its nature) j"^^ (2) must hav had a I'j flexible program to tackle the country's problems; and (3) must have achieved and maintained a position of dominance in the government so as to put its program into action. If it did not have (1), a multiclass nature, especially if traditional and pov;erful forces coalesced against it — such as the military, the Church, other political parties, labor, etc. --it then would not have been able to achieve or to maintain (3), its position of dominance, and would thus not have been able to put its program into effect. 13 ^Apter, The Politics of M odernization , p. 222; see also Dovms, An Economic Theory of Democracy , passim . Ik Acci6n Democratlca, Accio n Dem ocratlca; D oc trina y Programa , pp. 57-61; Snow, "The PoTTtTcal Party Spectrum in Venezuela, " pp. 36-l|7. 15 Acci6n Democratlca, Acci6n De mocratlca ; Doctrina y Programa , passim ; "Plan de La Transf ormacl6n Democr&tica de Venezuela," Polttlca , III (September, I963), 155-169. Accl6n Democrfitlca, Accl6n Democrtitica ; Doct rina y Programa , passim ; Lett, "Executive "Power in VenezuelaT^'^ pp. 1+22^1; and Pan American Union, Consti tution of the Republic of Venezuela, I96I , especially itsTritles VI, VII, and IX":

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503 If it did not have (2), a flexible program, it would have been faced with the task of governing a country and at the same time finding itself corapletely out of touch with the causes and possible solutions of certain crucial problems at a particular momnt. Without such solutions, no modernization process could be sustained for any lengthy period of time. This, in turn, might well have led to a situation in which the Party would no longer have hold the respect and the allegiance of large or powerful sectors of the population. Under such circumstances, the Party's claim to being an integrating force would be meaningless and it would also be extremely susceptible to an extraconstitutional ouster from power. Government, in other vjords, must not only be representative but it must be effective as v;ell . In theoretical terms, this means that the modern political system must not only perform the input functions — political socialization and recruitment, interest articulation, aggregation, communication-but it must also perform the output function — 17 it must be able to make its programs and decisions felt. Without having (3), the administration in its hands, ^'''David Easton, "An Approach to the Study of Political Systems," World Politics, IX (April, 1957), 383-^00; and Almond, "Introductfonl A Functional Approach to Comparative Politics," in Almond and Coleman (eds.) The Politics of the Developi n g Are as , pp. 3"6li.. One of the major crlticisms ot the Almond arid Coleman book is that it does not treat adequately or give sufficient importance to the output functions.

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509 without the patronage, spoils, and rewards for loyal opposition as much as for its own nerabershlp and coalition partners, vfhich control of the government entails, the Party again would be at a disadvantage. It could not maintain a large following for a long span of time and, more importantly, it would run the risk of seeing its program become a mere theoretical or rhetorical contribution to the scores of similarly ambitious plataformaa de lucha \7hich have been so prevalent in Venezuelan history. Again, in such a situation, the Party's contribution tovmi'd Venezuela's modernization and integration might have been negligible. But this triad of multiclass membership, program flexibility and effectiveness, and executive dominance that undergirds our study of Accion DeraocrStica as an integrating and modernizing factor in Venezuela was not seen statically or simplistically, but rather as a dynamic triad with manifold implications. By the same token, the Party acted and reacted to the milieu in which it found itself and only in relation to that particular milieu did it become fully comprehensible. A summary reexamination of Accion Democritica within this dynamic and complex framework will underline some of the conclusions that were reached throughout the present study. After nearly a century and a half of existence as an independent nation, Venezuela had not moved much beyond the economic and political systems inherited from the colonial days. Until a fev; decades ago Venezuela was i!

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510 basically an agricultural country, with few industries beyond those of rudiraentary processing of raw materials such as cocoa, sugar, tobacco, or coffee. Tlie political scenario had not experienced drastic modification either; the conquistador had been replaced by the criollo and, after the chaos of Independence and protracted civil disorders, by the caudillo. All political and economic power resided in a fe\j hands; there were no links betvreen those in pov:or and those out of power, between those who governed and those who were governed. No intermediary or secondary associations were formalized, for only a fevr Venezuelans really mattered in any economic or political sense. There were no voters to be courted and the masses of campesinos not only unenfranchised but remained scattered, illiterate, unorganized, with no other vision beyond that of the patri a chica , the small plot of land where they were born, lived miserably, and died. Without a vision of a better future and without a voice in national affairs, these masses could be easily and safely ignored by those v/ho retained the 18 political and economic power in the country. This compartmentalization of the Venezuelan society with its attendant concentration of power began to give v;ay with the discovery of petroleum and the ever increasing 1 ft On the importance of vertical 3 ink3--intermediaries or secondary associations--between government and governed see V/illiam S. Kornhauser, The Politics of Mas s Societ y (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1959T7 PP. 7i|--7o'.

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511 exploitation of the black gold from the 1920' s on. Until then, in the Venezuelan case as in every traditional society, political and economic power was monopolized by a very few. From 1908 until the end of 1935 the country 19 was governed by the Gomez dictatorship. Gomez was a man of humble origins who gained political power by force and cunning and who, in order to consolidate his regime, destroyed the economic power of his opponents and created his own loyal economic elite. He also eliminated all the regional military leaders and united the country under the hegemony of Caracas. Until the advent of G6mez, the regional military forces had provided almost the sole access to national pov;er. The Tachirense caudillo, though himself a beneficiary of this system, took pains to destroy it so that other regional caudillos might not grow strong and 20 eventually topple him. G6mez prohibited all political party activities-.he did not even find it necessary to maintain his ovm political party — and although a Congress existed, it was dominated by men of his own choosing. An extensive spy system in and out of the government kept the opposition povrerless and in constant fear for its ovm existence. But 19 See chaps. Ill and IV; Lavin, A Halo for Gomez, £assim; Moron, A Histo ry of Venezuela, pp. l^-26]j,; Pablo EmlTTo Fernandez, Gomez, el Reha 'oili tador (Caracas, 1956); Vallenilla Lanz, Cesarismo DomocrA'ticq , passim.

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$12 though Gomez kept a tight control over the political life of Venezuela, he opened the country to foreign investors and 21 entrepreneurs. From the 1920' s on, Venezuela was fast becoming one of the world's greatest producers of petroleum. The exploibation of petroleum meant the influx of foreign investors--and also the arrival of specialized labor, many of whom had been exposed to socialistic ideas. The profits from oil made possible a growing middle class which became increasingly insistent on a larger participation in government. Thus, though G6mez was clearly an authoritarian caudillo, underlying social and economic changes took place during his rule which would have enormous implications for .the modernization of Venezuela — the old traditional agrarian and semifeudal order began to give way to newer, more modern societal groups, industrialization, and changing values. By the end of the 1920 's the incipient middle class, the growing number of university students, labor, and intellectuals felt strong enough to become openly critical of the lack of political freedom and access to government. A number of attempts to overthrow Gomez took place, the most daring of v^hich lasted for a brief but unforgettable moment in 1928.^^ But it was only with G6mez' death in 1935 that political party activity became possible. It was at this 21 Lieuwen, Petroleun in Venezuela , passim . ^^Martz, "Venezuela's 'Generation of '28,'" pp. 1?33.

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513 time also that the parties that possess the greatest influence today came to life, Gomez' death did not, however, result in the immediate destruction of his political system. The Congress controlled by his supporters chose the Minister of War as his successor and then in I9I4.O chose Medina Angarita, another Gosoclsta general, for a period of five years. Medina, though a Tachirense like his predecessors, seemed to have a much wider vision than theirs--a much greater preoccupation with forging a strong nation, not solely of benefitting the Tachirense clique. He was also influenced by the revolutionary trends of the twentieth century and by the worldwide democratic spirit ushered in by the Allied effort against fascism during V/orld War II. Medina undertook some economic reforms and permitted free political activities, although he still refrained from completely opening up the avenues for full political and electoral participation. Accion DemocrStica, with a socialistic orientation, profited from the period of comparative freedom under Medina and organized a large political machine encompassing members of the middle class, the v;orkers, and the campesinos. Several other parties were also organized, but what is significant is that none represented the interests of the traditional holders of economic power. There is a plausible explanation for the indifference to party organization by the economically powerful groups. Their traditional alliance with the army, they felt, assured

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their domination of national affairs v/ithout the need to enter the political arena. Also, as long as the electorate remained limited by various regulations and qualifications, as long as the major elections remained indirect, as long as political parties included only small gi'oups of militant members, these economically povrerful groups could maintain their terras for an alliance with the army and, through this alliance, control the government. However, the bases of their army alliance v^ere also being eroded. G6mez had broken dovm the caudillo system and in the process had begun the prof ess ionalization of the army. A more rationalized military organization had been created and, after Gomez' death, advancement through the ranks was becoming increasingly less arbitrary. But the process had gone only part v/ay; G6mez' successors had not removed the high ranking officers whom G6mez had appointed--largely semiliterate cronies from Tdchira. The result was the creation of an increasingly frustrated group of younger officers. Their frustrations coincided with those of the emerging political leaders. From this coincidence emerged an alliance between Accion DemocrStica and the armed forces that overthrew Medina at the end of 19l<.^, The new government immediately took steps to consolidate its power by electoral means and through the intensive organization of economically underprivileged groups that would enlarge not only the Acci6n Democrfitica ranks but would also give support to its government. To do this, the government

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515 modified the electoral system, giving the vote to women, to illiterates, reducing to l8 years the minimum age for voting, and simplifying the procedures for electoral inscription. It also modified labor legislation, establishing in the Constitution the right to strike and the machinery for collective bargaining. It raised taxes on the petroleum companies and the income tax rate. As a first S'tep towards an envisaged comprehensive agrarian reform, it helped campesinos to organize themselves into peasant leagues and often these leagues succeeded in forcing the big landowners to rent or sell land to farm v;orkers. All these governmental measures benefited and enlarged the AD membership and hence increased that party's power at the same time that it extended the popular support for the AD government. In the presidential election at the end of 1914.7 » hence, a member of Accion Democrdtica won by an overwhelming majority. Political power had finally passed to the hands of the economically deprived sectors of the Venezuelan society~--to those v/ho had always made up the bulk of the country's population but who had traditionally been excluded from participation in the nation's affairs and from a share in its growing affluence. Yet, the first president ever elected v;ith mass participation and by direct vote held office for only seven months. He was overthroim by a new alliance of the army with the traditional holders of economic power. This development was not surprising if one takes into consideration the

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516 circumstances of the time. Accion Democr^tica had taken steps to expand the electorate and to consolidate its electoral pov;er, but it had not firmly established elections as the only proper or accepted vmy to achieve pov;er--af ter all, AD itself had come to pov;er in not because of civilian leadership, not through elections, as the party doctrine had for so long argued was the "right way, " but through its own form of a coup d'etat and its own alliance with the military. V/hile betvjeen 19i|5 and the ouster of Gallegos in 19l|^8 AD had indeed worked feverishly to lay the foundations for a popular basis of government, it had — ironically perhaps--alienated those very elements that still held the balance of organized power in Venezuelan society, the newly professionalized and ambitious army. In 19lj.8, as before, the array continued to be the arbiter between the holders of economic power and the new political leaders. For its part, those sectors still holding economic power-the hacendados, the importer-exporters, the industrialists could not, or perhaps did not find it necessary, to accept the economic and social reforms promulgated by AD. Why should they commit suicide? The realignment of the military with the economic elite elements and the ouster of Gallegos stopped the AD experiment in governing for the economically and politically neglected sectors of Venezuelan society and marked a setback for national integration. The coup d'etat by tho military, in alliance with the old economic elite, led to the enthronement of the

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517 Perez Jimenez dictatorship which was to last a decade. His regime coincided v;ith a period of groat prosperity "brought about by the expansion of the world's petroleum market attendant upon the Korean V/ar, improvements in terms of trade, and new concessions for the exploring and selling of petroleum. Prosperity helped maintain Perez Jimenez in power in spite of a persistent and enlarging underground opposition. Prosperity made possible his construction projects, especially in Caracas and T&chir;.' ; it helped him maintain an extensive police force that was able to cope with every potential threat to the regime. Prosperity made enough money available to P6rez Jimenez and his friends to spend lavishly on questionable enterprises. But when prosperity began to ebb because the petroleum market was becoming saturated, Perez Jim6nez continued to manage public finances as if prosperity would still last indefinitely. Ostentatious and financially ruinous projects continued to be built even though the revenues from foreign trade had declined to a point whore prudence v;ould have cautioned their curtailment. Just as important, vdth the passage of time, the Perez Jimenez administration became ever more a dictatorship of a clique, not of the army. This latter mistake forced him to build up his ovm security force independent of the army and, of course, rival to it. When economic prosperity declined sharply in 1957, the dissatisfaction of the economic groups and of the military was added to the other latent conflicts-

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518 the resentment of labor, the strengthening of the underground forces led by Acci6n Democrdtica--and the regime collapsed in early 1958.^^ Perez Jimenez' fall again made possible the open operation of political parties; and AD, whose machinery had not been destroyed in spite of the exile of its principal leaders for nearly a decade, again won the subsequent elections. This time Acci6n Democr&tica ' s fundamental preoccupations were precisely what before had constituted its main weakness: it sought to create the conditions vrhich would preserve the stability of the governmental system and, to this end, established an alliance with a more conservative political party, the social Christian COPEI, that had been its greatest enemy during the 19ii-519i|.8 trienio. It took care not to alienate the pov/erful economic interests but to bring them, instead, into government circles as participants in policy decisions, as intermediaries between government and business organizations, and as policy executors. Businessmen, industrialists, and clerics participated in the drafting of the agrarian reform law. The government delayed entry into the Latin American ^Ahumada, "Hypothesis for the Diagnosis of a Situation of Social Change," in Bonilla and Silva MicheDena (eds.), Studyin g the Ven ezuelan Polity, pp. 3k-hS' For P^rez Jirr^nez ' own rationalizatiors for his regime to 1951|.j see Marcos Perez Jimenez, Pensamlent o Politic o del P r esidente de Venezuela (Caracas: Imprenta Nacional, igSIDT TFis is a collection of speeches, most of which v;ere delivered to military groups. The introductory remarks (pp. 5-6) contrast the "AD subversion" v/ith the "Armed Forces' intuition in perceiving and realizing the National Welfare."

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$19 Common Market (LAPTA) until such entry became feasible and profitable from the standpoint of Venezuelan business and industrial executives. The Guayana Project promised a tremendous array of opportunities for Venezuelan entrepreneurs. The campesino federation, the pro-AD FCV, discouraged its members from "invading" latifundia and began to provide a more effective channel of communication between its members, the government, and the latifundists within the agrarian reform law framework. Gradually the power of the army was dirdinished, first by dividing command and then by eliminating officers whose loyalty to the democratic regime was doubted. Many officers were assigned tours of duty at embassies abroad while others within Venezuela itself were given prestigious but isolated posts of various types. The construction of officers clubs and better pay for the armed forces continued as in the days of Perez Jimenez, but they were now presented not as "shovxcases" but as rewards for well deserving supporters and defenders of constitutionalism. The institutionalization and professionalization of the military was being consolidated with new military schools and specialization abroad, especially in the United States. Programs of "civic action" received wide coverage and government subsidies while Betancourt and Leoni gave virtually free rein to the military to pursue its favorite activity of uncovering and destroying guerrillas .^^
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520 The governmont ' s relations vjith the military, along with its conciliatory attitude tov-iards businessmen, industrialists, and hacendados, reinforced the view held by some of the economically pov;erful groups — primarily the new industrialists — that a return to political power through alliances with the army might hold more risks than advantages. Those dissatisfied with the AD governments, especially after certain putchist adventures such as those of Castro Leon and Procores had proved costly failures, appeared now inclined to work within the framework provided by the government and the constitution. This meant that for the first time in Venezuelan history, economically powerful elements, instead of using the military as their entree to government, were now willing to organize their own groupings such as the Pro-Venezuela, or their own political movements such as the AVI, or their own parties, like Uslar Pietri's FND. In this they were in fact copying Accion Democratica's techniques as well as envisaging the possibility of using their own partisan organs as channels between themselves and the majoritarian government. It was fortunate for the prospects of national integration in Venezuela that both Presidents Betancourt and Leoni reciprocated by using these non-adeco channels to communicate with those very groups that, by and large, still remained outside AD.2^ 25 pp 73-96 "^^ Proceso Electoral Venezolano,"

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521 In this context, the threat of the familiar Venezuelah rightist coup — the outcome of an alliance between the military and the economically pov/erful elements, usually at a time of crisis--appeared to have diminished considerably with the opening of legitimate and peaceful avenues of access to the government. As Leoni approached the end of his presidential term and of an unprecedented period of uninterrupted constitutional government, the possibility of a rightist coup could not be ruled out. But such a coup was now tied, to a very great extent, to the actions taken by those very elements in the Venezuelan society who themselves at one time made up an important sector of Accion Democratica. The origins of AD may be traced back to 1928 when a number of university students and intellectuals rose up in protest against the Gomez tyranny. The subsequent imprisonment and exile of many of those protestors led to their acquaintance v/ith Communists and Communism. In Marx the Venezuelans found a logical explanation for their country's misery and backvrardness , a solution to that very misery and backwardness, and a motivation they had lacked in their early, almost nihilistic rebellion against tyranny. If participation in Communist movements was short and, in general, left the future AD leaders with bitter memories of the association, that ideological experience, its economic implications, and its revolutionary drive were to become part and parcel of the leaders' political perceptions.

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$22 When the AD precursors, tho ORVE and the PDN, appeared in Venezuela, their ideology and program had a strong Marxist orientation. Similarly, their structural organization vias in part patterned after that of the Communist Party; not by pure coincidence, the basic organizational entity was a small, secret cell. What distinguished them from their Communist counterpart vms ORVE's and particularly the PDN's determination to remain a nationalistic organization, without international entanglements and without having to follow Moscow's guidelines for the solution of Venezuelan problems. The same remained true v;hen Acci6n Democrdtica was officially allowed to organize in 19ii.l. Prom then on and throughout the trienio, AD was closely associated with the underprivileged sectors in the Venezuelan society, it proclaimed itself a multiclass . party, but in reality it had little place in its program and in its structure for the traditional economic elite or the emerging industrialists. This exclusiveness of AD meant a critical separation between political power and economic power. The AD Junta and later AD President Gallegos were unable to bridge this gap. In fact-through extensive social welfare legislation; the combination of the organization of peasants and labor on the one hand and heavy taxation on the other; restrictions on foreign enterprises; curtailment of favors to Venezuelan businessmen, hacendados, and military elements; and outright denunciation, trial.

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523 and, confiscation visited upon some of these elements --the AD governmental leadership seemed indeed to widen the gap between its supporters and those outside its ranks. Thus one may plausibly argue that during the trienio the impetus given to modernization--the first large scale attempts at industrialization and economic diversification, educational programs, health, and so forth-had not been accompanied by a similarly integrating effort in the political realm. Politically, deep divisions continued to exist between those in government and those out of government. The main difference between the situation that had been prevalent in Venezuelan history and that which prevailed during the AD trienio is that during the trienio those in government represented the majority of Venezuelans. A series of fair and honest elections had shown the overwhelming popular preference for AD. But despite proclamations by the AD and by Betancourt and Gallegos that theirs was a government for Venezuelans, there were sectors of the Venezuelan society which felt that the AD government intended to work only for the benefit of the campesinos, the workers, the slum dwellers and similar elements. Rightly or wrongly, the traditional wielders of economic and political power— the hacendados, the merchants, the Church, the business elite— felt they were not participants in the goveriiing process. Their anxiety was made more acute by the measures taken during the trienio, measures that deeply affected the traditional groups' economic basis and status. Rumors of a pro-AD

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$2h militia persisted and served to frighten the military. Further, the critical divorce between political and economic power during the trienio was aggravated by Accion Democrdtica' s apparent intransigence towards other political parties. These parties were indeed far smaller than AD, but still they did represent sectors of the Venezuelan society that had a right to a voice in national affairs and to access to the political interplay. AD did not scok to work through coalitions during the trienio. The other political parties, with no hope of sharing the spoils through the electoral process and without access to the government, began to seek vrays of toppling the AD government by other means. The disaffected economic elite and the military were not at all reluctant to join in this bitter opposition to the government. The convergence of all these factors and elements was to bring the AD experiment to a halt in 19ii.8, only a fev/ months after AD had demonstrated its overx^helming political power and popular acceptance at the polls. During the decade of the dictatorship of Perez Jimenez, Venezuela remained a highly divided country. The political underground grew vaster and included elements from AD as well as from a variety of other more or less Leftist groups --some Corawjinists and later URD and even the social Christians made up the clandestine ranks of those devoted to the overthrovr of tyranny. To these v;ere added elements from the military itself who v;ere less than happy over

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525 Perez Jimenez' favoritism tox^ard the Secret Police. After 1957 > elements from the economic elite also found reason for dissatisfaction due to the retrenchment of the allimportant foreign trade and the financially ruinous programs undertaken by the Perez Jimenez administration. Once all these variously inclined elements began to oppose or at the very least to be less acquiescent toward Perez Jimenez, his days became numbered. Since 1958 Accion Democrdtica has attempted to compensate for its mistakes in the trienio — it has been less revolutionary in its projects; it has been more conciliatory of the business groups; it has worked with coalitions of parties. This has meant that the AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have indeed been able to claim and to a great extent substantiate the fact that they are truly presidents for all Venezuelans, not only adecos, labor, peasants, but also copeyanos, industrialists, hacendados, military. Furthermore, the AD leadership experience during the exile days and its contacts with other more moderate Democratic Left elements --among them those of the U.S.influenced ORIT--had made them somewhat less revolutionary than in their pre-trienio and trienio days. In this sense, Accion Democratica has acted, since 1958, as an element for integration of the diverse VenezueDan sectors. It has attempted to be a unifying rather than a dividing force in the society. AD has been especially successful in integrating the

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526 previously isolated and previously ignored elements into the national existence. Party offices can be found throughout the country, from the capital city to Indian villages lost in the interior. Both its peasant and labor branches have not only mobilized support for the Party but have also worked for the betterment of living conditions for their members . But AD did not concentrate on these sectors alone. It has attempted to gain support not just from the traditionally dovmtrodden elements but from all sectors of the Venezuelan system. AD is no longer a strictly lower class party but a genuinely multiclass party; it still receives most of its support from peasants and workers but no longer exclusively so. In turn, the AD government has cleverly handled certain issues of foreign policy as a further means of rallying all elements on a nationalistic basis. This has been true, for example, of the particularly skillful handling of the Guiana case in which an old boundary dispute has not only served as a means to display Venezuela's "maturity" as a nation and thus reap prestige at the international level, but also as a focus for an extensive nationalistic campaign involving all Venezuelans. On the basis of the support which the Party has from these various sectors, AD Presidents Betancourt and Leoni have been able to pass legislation and to implement programs that have gone far to make Venezuela a modern society. Agrarian reform, v;ith all its limitations, has given

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527 thousands of campesinos a share in the economy as well as has helped free Venezuela from its dependence upon imported foodstuffs. Greater sharing in the revenues from petroleum has made possible an ambitious and far-reaching program of industrial diversification. Education is at long last making more Venezuelans capable of participating in a technologically advanced society. Social welfare progiams have been expanded, as have the opportunities for small industrialists, for housing enterprises, and the like. In all these instances, the guiding principle has been to take into account the "human factors" —the .effort to use the tremendous physical resources of the country for the greatest number of Venezuelans. Thus, as an integrator, Accion Democr4tica, working with various elements in society, not only adecos, labor, and campesinos — its natural allies--but in coalitions v;ith other parties and with the growing middle sectors, has pushed for programs that have impelled both the economic and the political integration of the country as well as the country's modernization. Ravard, "El Desarrollo de Guayana," pp. 111-128; Leoni, "View from Caracas," pp. 639-61;6. Leoni explains the "human factors" principle v;hich his party and his government have attempted to promote by saying that "the Venezuelan Revolution is a revolution of free me n . . . . V/e place emphasis on the social content of our regime because without it all efforts to achieve dynamic change would be in vain." President Kennedy, in a letter to President Betancourt, declared himself "deeply impressed by the imaginative and decisive efforts that Venezuela is undertaking in order to advance the cause of social betterment within a democratic structure in which the principles of individual freedom and human dignity are fully respected." See Documentos (AprilJune, 1961), pp. 213-21i|..

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528 Ironically, perhaps, ths very orientation and policies that have made Aoci6n Domocr^tica in the 1960's a more widely representative party--as well as a more moderate and less revolutionary one than during the trienio — have made it less acceptable to certain elements that at an earlier time formed a very important sector of the party. The apparent alienation of these elements goes a long way toward explaining many of the handicaps under which the party has labored during the Betancourt-Leoni period and may eventually have a profound impact on the whole Accion Democrdtica effort to integrate and modernize effectively the Venezuelan nation. It will be recalled that it v;as among students and intellectuals that Accion Democr^tica had its inception. Their early acquaintance with Marxism, infused them \jith. a great preoccupation to undergird their political goals with economic solutions for a backward, isolated, compartmentalized, pre-modern Venezuela. More than that, they viewed economics and politics as intimately intertwined. To obtain political equality it was necessary to attain economic equality and in a rigid society like G6mez' Venezuela, the only means would be the complete breakdovm of the status quo so that the huge base of the social pyramid--the peasants and now also the emerging proletariat, the students, the middle sectors — vrould have access to the benefits traditionally reserved for those occupying the top of the pyramid. In this context, it is easier to understand why Accion Democratica,

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529 which long argued in favor of the value of attaining governmental control through electoral means, accepted the cooperation of dissident military elements in the staging of the coup that toppled President Medina. The trienio might be characterized as the reign of the revolutionaries within AD. They seemed anxious to push sweeping economic reforms, to organize militants among labor and peasants. There vias no attempt to compromise with the views of other political parties or to make the reforms at least a little loss threatening and offensive to those who had been accustomed to economic and political privilege. Betancourt, at the head of the Junta, proved a skillful politician in surviving everyday attempts at his overthrov/. He also demonstrated the inherent popvilarity of his programs by the series of electoral victories gained by his party. His successor, hov/ever, proved inept at the daily balancing of forces; and Gallegos ' electoral victory became meaningless when the military and the economic elite presented him with an ultimatum to moderate his programs or face an overthrov/ . The Perez Jim6nez dictatorship signaled the need for the Party to go underground or to flee the country. Out of power and in many instances out of the country and thus out of contact v^ith the rank-and-file of the Party, adecos underwent different kinds of experiences. Exile and contact v;ith other democratic Left leaders elsewhere, as well as the opportunity to review in retrospect their trienio mistakes,

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530 made some adecos less vitriolic, less revolutionary in a sense. Among these was to be a great many of those at the AD top echelons--Betancourt, Leoni, Barrios, Lander, and many others. Those adecos vjho remained in Venezuela were embittered by the relentless govermaental persecution, and more than ever felt the need for sweeping changes in order to make Venezuela a popular and modern democracy. In the last months of the P6rez Jimenez dictatorship some of these adecos found themselves receiving the cooperation of Communist elements who were now also active in the underground. This cooperation was to leave a strong impression among certain adecos and they began to feel that their party v;as n