Revista Venezolana de Analisis de Coyuntura
Central University of Venezuela
Place of Publication
Since Hugo Chávez’s rise to the presidency, Venezuela has become a deeply divided country. The ensuing polarization has expressed in violent forms of political fanaticism; in the partisan fracture of many professional and labor associations, of the army, in open warfare between private and public media outlets; in the weakening of the private sector of the economy and, overall, in the erosion of sociability. The present article seeks to explain the causes of such a high degree of polarization. It departs from two main hypotheses: First, the Bolivarian Revolution reveals two distinct faces: an authoritarian face and a welfare face. Second, the coexistence of these two faces accounts for the high degree of political polarization. The article concludes by arguing that the contrasting perspectives Venezuelans hold in relation to the Bolivarian Revolution are closely associated to their divergent views regarding the meaning and practice of democracy.
Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela, Political polarization
Political Science | Sociology
Augusto De Venanzi (2010).
Authoritarianism Versus Welfare Policy: The Two Faces of the Bolivarian Revolution. Revista Venezolana de Analisis de Coyuntura.16 (1), 53-76. Caracas-Venezuela: Central University of Venezuela.