Politics of Venezuela


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Politics of Venezuela

  1. 1. Benedict (Viktor) Gombocz
  2. 2.      Venezuela has a multi-party structure. The current ruling party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV) was founded in 2007 as a merger of several small parties that favored the Bolivarian Revolution under then President Hugo Chávez (President from 1999-2013) with his Fifth Republic Movement. Since 1998, PSUV and its predecessors have occupied both the Presidency and the National Assembly. The Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, MUD), founded in 2008, leads a large part of the opposition (A New Era, Project Venezuela, Justice First, Movement for Socialism, and others). Hugo Chávez, the prominent figure of Venezuela’s political landscape upon his first election to the Presidency in 1998 as a political outsider, died in office early in 2013; he was succeeded by Nicolás Maduro (originally as acting President; he subsequently won the 2013 presidential election).
  3. 3.      Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic President: Nicolás Maduro Vice President: Jorge Arreaza President of the National Assembly: Diosdado Cabello Legislature: National Assembly
  4. 4.   The National Assembly twice voted to give Chávez the power to govern by decree in a number of largely defined areas, once in 2000 and again in 2007; this power was given to preceding administrations, too. In 2008, the Venezuelan government banned the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, which was condemning the government’s Human Rights record.  There is a long story of conflict between church and state in Venezuela.  The Catholic Church accused the Chávez Administration of placing power in his own hands.    In a 2009 Easter address to the country, the bishops stated that democracy in Venezuela was in “serious danger of collapse.” When Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, elected an “opposition” mayor in 2009, the government granted control of his budget to a nominated official. Venezuela outlawed the death penalty in 1863; it is the country where capital punishment has been banned the longest.
  5. 5.     Venezuela elects the President of Venezuela, on the national level, as head of state and head of government, and a unicameral federal legislature. Venezuela’s president is elected to a six-year term through a process of direct election plurality voting; since the 2009 Venezuelan constitutional referendum, he or she can run for re-election. The National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional) consists of 165 members (diputados), who are elected to five-year terms. Elections also occur at both state and local level.
  6. 6.  Most recent elections: ◦ Parliamentary: Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2010 ◦ Regional: Venezuelan regional elections, 2012 ◦ Presidential: Venezuelan presidential election, 2013
  7. 7.  United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV)  Democratic Action (Acción Democrática, AD)  A New Era (Un Nuevo Tiempo, UNT)      Independent Electoral Political Organization Committee (Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente, COPEI) Justice First (Primero Justicia, PJ) For Social Democracy (Por la Democracia Social, PODEMOS) Project Venezuela (Proyecto Venezuela, PV) Communist Party of Venezuela (Partido Comunista de Venezuela, PCV)  The Radical Cause (La Causa Radical, LCR)  Popular Will (Voluntad Popular, VP)  Fatherland for All (Patria Para Todos, PPT)  Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS)  Fearless People’s Alliance (Alianza Bravo Pueblo, ABP)  National Convergence (Convergencia Nacional, CN)
  8. 8.      Born 23 November 1962. Current President of Venezuela; was the Vice President of Venezuela and the Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Hugo Chávez. Former bus driver; went on to become a trade union leader, prior to his election to the National Assembly in 2000. Was nominated to numerous posts in the Venezuelan Government under Chávez; was appointed Foreign Minister in 2006, during which he was named the “most capable administrator and politician of Chávez’s inner circle”. Took over the powers and duties of the President after Chávez died on 5 March 2013; the same year, an early presidential election was called on 14 April to elect Chávez’s successor; he won with a tight margin as the United Socialist Party’s nominee, and he formally assumed office on 19 April.
  9. 9.        Born 1973 in Monserrat. Current VP of Venezuela, having been nominated in 2013; holds the office formally since 19 April 2013 (was acting VP from 9 March-19 April 2013). Has occupied numerous top positions in the administration of President Hugo Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Has occupied the post of Minister of Science and Technology since 2011. Became Chávez’s son-in-law in 2007 upon his marriage to the late president’s oldest daughter, Rosa Virginia; acted as the unofficial spokesman of the Chávez family during the last stages of Chávez’s cancer. Holds a degree in International Studies from Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), and obtained a scholarship by the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Foundation in the 1990s, allowing him to receive a master’s degree in European Policy Studies at the University of Cambridge in England. Apart from working as a broadcaster and interviewer on some public television venues in Venezuela, he worked as a reporter and university instructor; he was also the host of the television show Diálogo abierto (“Open dialouge”).
  10. 10.        Born 15 April 1963 in El Furrial, Monagas State. Current President of the National Assembly since 5 January 2012, having been elected the same year. Formerly a member of the armed forces; participated in Chávez’s return to power after the failed 2002 coup d’état. Was a leading member of Chávez’s Fifth Republic Movement (Movimiento V Repúblik, MVR); is still a leading member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, into which, in 2007, MVR merged. Served as Governor of Miranda from 2004-2008; lost the 2008 election to Henrique Capriles Radonski; was later nominated Public Works & Housing Minister. Was also nominated head of the National Commission of Telecom, a post habitually independent of Ministry of Public Works and Housing, in November 2009. Was elected an MP by his home state, Monagas, in 2010; was named V-P of the governing PSUV by President Chávez the following year.
  11. 11.     Founded 24 March 2007. Socialist political party in Venezuela; founded as a result of the union of some of the political and social forces that were in favor of the Bolivarian Revolution under the leadership of the deceased president Hugo Chávez. Largest left-wing party in the Western Hemisphere, with almost 5.7 million members as of 2007. Held primary elections on 2 May 2010 for candidates to the National Assembly election in September; 2,568,090 members voted.
  12. 12.    Catch-all electoral coalition of Venezuelan centrist, left of centre, left-wing and some right of center political parties founded in January 2008 to unite the opposition to President Hugo Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the 2010 Venezuelan parliamentary election. A preceding opposition umbrella group, the Coordinadora Democrática, dissolved after the failure of the 2004 Venezuelan recall referendum. Won almost 47% of the vote nationally in the September 2010 election for the National Assembly of Venezuela, though it only picked up 64 seats (out of 165) because of changes in population-vote distribution introduced by the current national assembly that had a government party supermajority; the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, in the same elections, acquired 48% of the vote and 98 seats, whereas the Fatherland for All (Patria Para Todos, PPT) won only two seats.