Venezuela Prepares for Watershed Presidential Elections Sunday Because of Attempted Military Coups and Backlash to Economic Reform, Vote Is Seen as the Most Important in Three Decades

By David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 1993 | Go to article overview

Venezuela Prepares for Watershed Presidential Elections Sunday Because of Attempted Military Coups and Backlash to Economic Reform, Vote Is Seen as the Most Important in Three Decades


David Clark Scott, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


VENEZUELA is a nation profoundly shaken.

Its two most recent presidents are under indictment. Two military coups were narrowly aborted last year. And after three years of soaring growth, the economy is in a tailspin.

On Sunday, Venezuelans will have a chance to change the fate of this major oil-producing nation. They will vote for a new president and congress in what may be the most important elections in the last three decades of democracy here.

"This is a monumental election. At stake is the political and economic system," says Rita Funaro at VenEconomy, a Caracas-based economic consulting firm.

"Many people saw the coup leaders as heroes. Now they're saying, `Let's give democracy one last chance,' " she adds.

Venezuelans want a change. And for the first time since Venezuela opted for a democratic path in 1958, the candidates of the two dominant political parties are not leading the polls. "Depending on who wins ... the country could be on the brink of a true multiparty democracy, a protectionist economy, or a military coup," an analyst says.

"The common motivational factor in Venezuelan society is for a profound change of reality; political changes, economic changes, and social changes," says a study by Consultores 21, a Caracas-based political and economic analysis firm. Out with corruption

With the removal of President Carlos Andres Perez last year under charges of malfeasance, 65 percent of Venezuelans surveyed by Consultores 21 say they reject what Mr. Andres Perez represents to them:corruption, rule by party elite, and economic reforms.

Corrupt government leadership has become the symbol for all the woes suffered by Venezuelans in recent years. "Corruption is seen as the explanation for lack of well being, injustice, poverty, low salaries, rising living costs, and crime," the Consultores 21 report says.

On a central Caracas thoroughfare restricted to pedestrians, comments like those of Felipe Ramirez, a retired oil worker, are common: "After 30 years of democracy and so much oil money, why have we accomplished so little? Where did all the money go?"

The anti-establishment candidate with a small but consistent lead in the polls is 77-year-old ex-President Rafael Caldera Rodriguez. Portraying himself as an "honest man," Mr. Caldera has turned from the Social Christian (Copei) party he helped found, and from his conservative roots, to become the populist leader of a coalition of smaller left- and right-wing parties.

Caldera opposes the free-market reforms of Andres Perez. He supports more state control, less-decentralization of power, and favors privatization only on "a case-by-case" basis.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Venezuela Prepares for Watershed Presidential Elections Sunday Because of Attempted Military Coups and Backlash to Economic Reform, Vote Is Seen as the Most Important in Three Decades
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.