Crafting Civilian Control of the Military in Venezuela: A by Harold A. Trinkunas

By Harold A. Trinkunas

Not like so much different rising South American democracies, Venezuela has no longer succumbed to a profitable army coup d'etat in the course of 4 a long time of democratic rule. What drives militia to stick with the orders of elected leaders? and the way do rising democracies achieve that keep an eye on over their army institutions? Harold Trinkunas solutions those questions in an exam of Venezuela's transition to democracy following army rule and its makes an attempt to institutionalize civilian keep watch over of the army during the last sixty years, a interval that integrated 3 regime changes.

Trinkunas first specializes in the strategic offerings democratizers make in regards to the army and the way those impact the interior civil-military stability of energy in a brand new regime. He then analyzes a regime's potential to institutionalize civilian regulate, having a look particularly at Venezuela's disasters and successes during this enviornment in the course of 3 classes of excessive swap: the October revolution (1945-48), the Pact of Punto Fijo interval (1958-98), and the 5th Republic lower than President Hugo Chavez (1998 to the present). putting Venezuela in comparative point of view with Argentina, Chile, and Spain, Trinkunas identifies the bureaucratic mechanisms democracies want which will maintain civilian authority over the armed forces.

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Other garrisons in Caracas remained ambivalent, and in the confusion, many seemed to believe that the coup attempt was actually a right-wing effort led by former president López Contreras to remove the more liberal Medina from power (Giacopini Zárraga a; Tarre Murzi , –). The only forces that vigorously supported the government were the Caracas municipal police and the Urdaneta Battalion of the army. Medina, who was completely stunned by the uprising, vacillated in counterattacking. In the face of reports of the addition of airpower to the rebellion, he quickly surrendered.

Each map represents the outer limits of the jurisdictional boundaries for a predicted outcome (no map is presented for the first outcome, regime at risk, for the simple reason that the outer limits of jurisdictional boundaries in this case would be represented by military dominance across all areas of state activity). By comparing maps of the jurisdictional boundaries found in particular cases to the ones based on the theoretical outcomes predicted in this chapter, we can determine the presence or absence of civilian control in an emerging democracy.

Even though reforms to the laws that governed the armed forces in  and  had established impartial criteria for advancement within the officer corps, Gómez granted promotions on a personalistic basis. Officers who held the same rank were paid differing salaries, depending on the degree of confidence that the government had in their loyalty. Such promotions as were granted were slow in coming, and many of the new professional officers spent more than ten years at the rank of captain. Low salaries and poor living conditions increased officers’ discontent.

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