Venezula



Venezuela
The history of Venezuela has been a long and often turbulent one. It is filled with exploration, religion, and shifts of government. But, the movement from dictatorship to democracy is the most significant. The move from dictatorship to democracy is the most significant point in Venezuela’s history because of the people’s extreme opposition of the dictators, the time period when the first election of a democratic president, and the election of Romulo Betancourt.
If the people of a country are opposed to the government, it will not be successful. A main reason why dictatorship didn’t work was because of the people’s hate of the form of government and the dictators that run it. Between 1908 and 1935, General Juan Gomez ruled by repression and terror. The government had been a dictatorship since the 19th century (“Gomez died in 1935. Venezuelans danced in the streets when they heard of his death.” Johan Kohen Winter, 24).
Nineteen thirty-six through 1948 marked the first time the country of Venezuela was ruled democratically. These years were times of political unrest. Then from 1950 to 1958 another dictator, General Marcos Perez Jimenez, came into power. His term is remembered by corruption and brutal suppression of the opposition as well as taking a step back in the progress toward democracy. This is great because it marked the first time that the people began to organize to oppose and try to change the government (“For the first time, between the 1930’s and 50’s the people began to organize themselves into unions and political parties, uniting in opposition to Jimenez.” Marion Morrison, 48).
The election of Romulo Betancourt was the most important move toward democracy. This set the stage for democratic presidents as well as the countries’ first major political party, Accion Democratica. This party, along with the Christian Democratic party, are the only political parties that have ever had candidates elected. Despite a coup in government (military takeover) in 1948, the Accion Democratica had one of its candidates in office for the next ten years (“This was a significant point in Venezuelan history. For the first time, a political party-Accion Democratica-was in government, together with a group of military officers and backed by the support of the Venezuelan people.” Morrison, 48).
The history of Venezuela has been long and hard. Through it all, though, democracy came through. When a government has the backing of the people, it works and is successful. This is just another instance of the tried-and-true government idea of democracy.




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