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“Venezuela, towards an advanced democracy?”


The historical fate of the great Ibero-American continent seems to be between change and frustration. It has periods of optimism, transformation and advances as well as periods of darkness and repression. There’s confusion, insecurity and utopia. Venezuela is not an exception.
Nowadays, this country is witnessing the birth of a singular political process known as “Bolivarian Revolution”. In the ideology-free European perspective, it’s hard to understand the innovative and complex Latin American political life. Usually, rhetoric blocks that reality. Venezuela has also an important characteristic: it does not have the culture of dialogue. The Venezuelan case is not the only one.
It’s part of a regional movement led by that country. In fact, what we’re witnessing is a mobilization of the political forces which have been traditionally excluded from public debate. The previous attempts aimed at being included were controlled by the guerrillas; today, it’s promoted through the democratic way. Such a process is sometimes described as “populist”, a pejorative term in the Eurocentric and pro-Monroe logic. However, it’s a populist movement indeed for it’s completely oriented in favour the popular social majority. Contrary to the old Latin American populism, this one is democratic. The new leaders support social development, they want to free their countries from the endemic poverty they suffer, from the frustrating dependence and then establish a productive multilateral effort.
Those elements, the fact that Venezuela is a petro-state and the hostility of the neoconservatives have made this country the centre of media interest. I think it’s possible to establish an advanced democracy in Venezuela where social equality could be respected according to the current model. To succeed, a national consensus should be developed and political adversaries should be accepted without being considered enemies.

El País (Spain)

Venezuela, ¿hacia una democracia avanzada?”, by Raúl Morodo, El País, January 6, 2006.

Raúl Morodo

Professor of Constitutional Law, Raúl Morodo is the Spanish ambassador in Venezuela. He was ambassador in Portugal, European deputy, vice-president of the Liberal and Progressive International (de la Internacional Liberal y Progresista) and ambassador extraordinary to UNESCO.

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