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View Diary: Hugo Chavez Threatens To Put Tanks In The Streets (110 comments)

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  •  I'm being a little too harsh here. (2+ / 0-)
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    KiaRioGrl79, chigh

    By and large Venezuela's leaders prior to Chavez had been civilian for 20-25 years.  The economic and social problems were very real. There was an intense pull between those forces wanting to align themselves with the US, the rightist dictatorships of Latin America and the neoliberal financial world on the one side and then semi-leftist/nationalists on the other side. The "leftists" were not terribly great at resisting the allure of the right, and so despite some efforts to nationalize and distribute industrial and oil wealth, starting in the seventies, the governments tried more or less to smooth things over for the oligarchs.

    The two main governments prior to Chavez, Perez who was in charge when Chavez was part of one of the '92 coups and Caldera who was President when Chavez was initially elected both had reputations well earned for using the military to quell dissent - including hundreds or by some accounts thousands of demonstrators in Caracas. Perez survived the Coups and was removed for corruption thereafter.  Caldera sold the coubtry out to neoliberals and greatly increased the poverty in the country while at the same time trying to sell of the nationalized oil assets and thus the patrimony of his country.  His attempts, despite earlier promises, to "liberalize" the economy led to economic collapse (I was in Caracas for part of this time...the Bolivar would tank by the hour).

    By and large the actual Juntas were done by the 70's, although the military does enjoy a pretty autonomous power.

    "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by SteveP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:49:49 AM PST

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