Venezuela History: Fixed Point Governments

Although elections were called for that year, the Junta rejected several coup attempts by the Perezjimenista military. In October, the Punto Fijo Pact [10] [11] was signed, which had the alternation in power of the Democratic Action parties, COPEI and URD, to guide the future political life of the country and excluding the political parties. left. Larrazábal resigned from the board in November to participate in the elections, being replaced by Edgar Sanabria. The election to President finally opted for Rómulo Betancourt, who took office in February of the following year.

Rómulo Betancourt giving a message to the nation, during his inauguration as President of Venezuela in 1959.

The so-called “new democratic era” brought about changes at the political and economic level. During his government, no more oil concessions were granted to companies operating in the country, the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation was established, and OPEC was created in 1960, at the initiative of Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo. At the same time, an Agrarian Reform law was advanced that would redistribute unproductive lands in order to stop the decline in agricultural production, due to the oil boom. Similarly, a new constitution was enacted in 1961. The new order had its antagonists.

During a military parade, the President suffered an attack [12] planned by the Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in order to restart the dictatorship in Venezuela. The leftist groups excluded from the Pact started an armed insurgency, organized in the guerrilla centers of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, sponsored by the Communist Party of Venezuela. In 1962, they tried to destabilize the military forces, starring in two failed revolts, one in Carúpano and the other in Puerto Cabello.. Parallel to this, Betancourt promoted an international doctrine, in which he only recognized governments elected by popular vote and broke with dictatorial regimes.

In the following elections in 1963, Raúl Leoni was elected. His government began with a coalition of parties called the Broad Base, comprising AD, URD and the FND. Although his government was one of general harmony and understanding between sectors of the population, he had to deal with numerous guerrilla attacks. Among these, the invasion of the beaches of Machurucuto in May 1967 stands out. Seeing that it yielded little fruit, most of the guerrillas abandoned the armed struggle for electoral politics in that year. The Leoni government was also noted for the completion of public works and cultural development.

Rafael Caldera was the winner in the following elections. Before taking possession, in 1969, the Rupununi insurrection broke out in Guyana, which represented an opportunity to annex part of the Essequibo that Venezuela was claiming. In this context, it signed the Port of Spain Protocol in 1970, freezing claims for 12 years. He agreed a definitive truce with the guerrillas and guaranteed their integration into political life, legalizing the PCV. In 1974 Carlos Andrés Pérez assumed the presidency. During his government, the profuse inflow of foreign currency from oil and the high standards of living that the population acquired was notable, reaching the meaning of Saudi Venezuela, which grew rapidly the Gross Domestic Product. In 1975 he nationalized the iron industry, and the following year, the oil industry, creating the state company PDVSA. Both Caldera and Pérez partially broke with the Betancourt Doctrine.

In 1979, Luis Herrera Campins was sworn in as President. It inaugurated multiple cultural and sports facilities, as well as the Caracas Metro. Although oil revenues continued to grow, this did not prevent the country from borrowing from international finances, forcing adherence to the International Monetary Fund’s rulings.. In 1983 the devaluation of the bolivar took place on the so-called Black Friday, unleashing a strong economic crisis. In the government of the next president, Jaime Lusinchi, little would be done to counter it. Corruption indices increased, and economic policy continued to maintain the rentier line. On the other hand, 1987 saw the greatest moment of international military tension in recent years, when the Colombian corvette ARC Caldas clandestinely entered the waters of the Gulf of Venezuela, a country located in South America according to EHEALTHFACTS.ORG. It was a crisis that originated in the dispute for sovereignty in that gulf between both nations, and on which no agreement had been reached. The media spoke of a possible war, but the conflict was resolved through dialogue and the withdrawal of the corvette.

Carlos Andrés Pérez is elected again in 1988. In order to solve the crisis, he adopted measures that caused major protests in the 1989 Caracazo [13] [14] . That same year the first direct elections of regional governors and mayors took place. Subsequently, there were two coup attempts in February [15] [16] and in November 1992. Pérez was finally dismissed by Congress in 1993. Octavio Lepage was provisional President for a few days, until the historian and parliamentarian Ramón José Velázquez was appointed as an interim.

Caldera comes to power for the second time in 1994. It had to handle a severe banking crisis in 1994. The collapse and intervention of a dozen banks culminated in capital flight, causing the bankruptcy of companies. To curb the crisis, he began a privatization policy, but the serious economic situation would continue. The situation catalyzed the decline of the political parties that had been active since the mid-twentieth century.

Venezuela History - Fixed Point Governments