Venezuela's Contemporary Political Crisis in Historical Context

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Abstract

Since the election of Hugo Chávez Frías to the Venezuelan presidency in 1998 on a platform of ‘revolutionary’ change, the country has been wracked by political turmoil and violence between pro- and anti-government groups. While the political crisis has been reported and portrayed as a new phenomenon that has emerged as a result of Chávez's policy programme and style of government, this article argues that the conflict has deep historical roots and that it has been shaped by the legacy of political organisation in the pre-Chávez period.

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