Venezuela: Tarnished Democracy

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Venezuela: Tarnished Democracy

By Daniel Hellinger
Westview Press, 1991
236 pp. $34.00
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Although Venezuela is usually considered a stable and successful political democracy, Hellinger warns that the country's partidocracia is fragile, and that the violent rioting that took place in February 1989 may foreshadow a broader national crisis. Hellinger argues that unless Venezuela's somewhat complacent leaders open up broader participation, economic and political, the country's power structure will be threatened by labor unrest, grass-roots pressure, class-based violence and renewed military involvement in politics. National and international economic imperatives, however, are pushing Venezuela in the opposite direction, toward greater concentration of economic and political power.

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