Corrales, Javier and Michael Penfold. Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chavez

By Stuenkel, Oliver | Journal of Global South Studies, Spring 2016 | Go to article overview

Corrales, Javier and Michael Penfold. Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chavez


Stuenkel, Oliver, Journal of Global South Studies


Corrales, Javier and Michael Penfold. Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chavez (second edition). Washington D.C: Brookings Institution Press, 2015.

Hugo Chavez was one of the most visible and controversial political figures in recent Latin American history. Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold examine Chavez's legacy three years after his death in the second edition of Dragon in the Tropics. The authors argue that the major legacy of Chavismo is the creation of a competitive authoritarian system (elections, but with built-in advantages for the ruling party), although Chavez's successor Nicolas Maduro has made the system less competitive and more authoritarian. This, the authors contend, has led to the most profound economic crisis in Venezuela's history.

Venezuela's democracy in the 1990s was frail, yet it was plural and checks and balances were largely in place. Chavez systematically eliminated the checks and balances, thus concentrating tremendous power in the executive branch. For example, Chavez awarded the executive branch complete control over promotions in the armed forces without legislative approval. Venezuela's 1999 constitution transformed the country's political system into what many have called a high-stakes model: the advantages of holding office and, conversely, the costs of remaining in the opposition were significantly expanded. When the stakes of holding powers are high, the incentives for incumbents to give up power to the opposition decline, and the acceptability for the opposition of the status quo stand is dramatically reduced.

The book is also essential to understanding the dilemma the opposition in Venezuela faces. Should it participate in a system that is clearly rigged in favor of the ruling party, thus implicitly legitimizing it? Chavez had been capable of dividing the opposition by accepting some of their demands but not others, thus constantly creating an intra-opposition struggle between those who seek to operate within the set of rules (such as Henrique Capriles) and those who argue that there is little point in standing for office merely to be humiliated by constantly moving goal posts (as the opposition in Venezuela's National Assembly is currently finding out).

Although the authors exhibit a remarkably well-balanced understanding of Venezuelan politics, their account of events in 2002 is rather one-sided. They describe the 2002 coup against Chavez as a series of coups, arguing that Chavez' return to power constituted a coup against Pedro Carmona, even though the latter had no constitutional legitimacy. …

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

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Corrales, Javier and Michael Penfold. Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chavez
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.