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Venezula Dictatorship

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Introduction

Venezuela Military Dictatorship 1948 - 1958 Michelle Fan Roseanne Lim Cindy Zhou Block E 16 May 2008 Word Count: 1,806 Table of Contents Part A Introduction ...........................................................................................2 Part B Summary...............................................................................................3 Part C Evaluation.............................................................................................6 Part D Analysis................................................................................................8 Part E Conclusion...........................................................................................11 Part F Bibliography.........................................................................................12 Appendix I....................................................................................................13 Part A Introduction This investigation seeks to determine whether the military regime in Venezuela post World War II in 1948-1958 had impacted the country positively or negatively. To answer this question, political, social, and economic developments starting from the military coup of November, 1948 up until the fall of the military dictator Marcos P�rez Jim�nez in 1958, shall be evaluated. The analysis will then attempt to establish whether the military regime had indeed improved the national state. Two sources will be evaluated in depth: an interview with Rafael Caldera, Venezuelan president from 1969 to 1974, as written in Robert J. Alexander's book entitled The Bolivarian Presidents, and Winfield J. Burggraaff's The Venezuelan Armed Forces in Politics 1935 - 1959. Part B: Summary A. Background Information on the Military Regime - Was preceded by Acci�n Democr�tica until 1848 coup d'�tat - Acci�n Democr�tica was popular with the people but not with the military - Military was displeased with the amount of civilian involved in politics - Reluctant to restore democracy because military men thought they had superior organization and expertise, thus more fit to govern1 B. ...read more.

Middle

However, the source's high degree of subjectivity was a limitation . The interviewee, Rafael Caldera, a member of the government oppostion party, might have manipulated the truth in order to win public support and physical experiences could have influenced his memories. The interviewer also admitted that he didn't use a recorder during the interview although he had taken down notes immediately after the conversation. Some of the interviewee's key ideas might have been forgotten despite the short interval. Furthermore, the interview was originally conducted in Spanish and meanings were lost during translation. Historian Winfield Burggraaff's The Venezuelan Armed Forces in Politics 1935 - 1959, written in 1972, was used as a secondary source. The book illustrated the beneifts of the military dictatorship of 1948 - 1958. This source was valuable as different attitudes toward the regime were provided while most sources had criticized the dictatorship. Through another approach, readers could analyze the military regime through different interpretations. Burggraaff used governmental statistics and interviews to support his assertion. Governmental statistics provided raw facture evidence of the social trends in the military rule. These sources were more reliable than others as they were not meant for public disclosure. These records provided a candid glimpse into the inner-workings of the government. Futhermore, interviews demonstrated citizens' opinions of the military regime. However, public disclosure of governmental statistics could have been manipulated in order to maintain government image. ...read more.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, the opening up of the market provided a steady income for Venezuela. Jim�nez had used some of this many to construct public infrastructure. However, many public infrastructures constructed were of little use and sometimes became more of a burden.33 Social improvement attempts under the military dictatorship could be summarized as being merely for show without having a real purpose. The military dictatorship of 1948 to 1958 may or may not have conscientiously tried to improve Venezuela, but the end product was more often disadvantageous to the Venezuela public. Part E Conclusion In light of the evidence and evaluation, the military regime of 1948 to 1958 had not impacted Venezuela in a positive manner. Although Venezuela had indeed benefited economically from the opening of various markets, benefits of the economic growth fell under the hands of corrupt government officials instead of the citizens. Unemployment rates had indeed plummeted, but employees were treated harshly and worker union freedoms had been violated. Other political parties that had existed also proved useless as the dictator had the power to take precedence over the voting results and control the political fate of the country. The military regime must be acknowledged as an important stepping stone towards Venezuelan democracy, however the economical, social, and political changes during this period of dictatorship, which only seemed to improve the country's situation, did not really make much advancement when examined and analyzed carefully. ...read more.

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