By Harold A. Trinkunas
Not like so much different rising South American democracies, Venezuela has no longer succumbed to a winning army coup d'etat in the course of 4 a long time of democratic rule. What drives defense force to stick with the orders of elected leaders? and the way do rising democracies achieve that keep watch over 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 an eye on of the army during the last sixty years, a interval that integrated 3 regime changes.
Trinkunas first makes a speciality of the strategic offerings democratizers make concerning the army and the way those impact the interior civil-military stability of strength in a brand new regime. He then analyzes a regime's potential to institutionalize civilian keep an eye on, having a look particularly at Venezuela's mess ups and successes during this area in the course of 3 classes of extreme switch: the October revolution (1945-48), the Pact of Punto Fijo interval (1958-98), and the 5th Republic below 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 for you to maintain civilian authority over the armed forces.
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Escalante was well received by many civilians in opposition, but his selection alienated a signiﬁcant sector of conservatives, both in the civil administration and in the armed forces, that had formed the backbone of support for the authoritarian regime (Velásquez ). The prospect of Escalante as president had little appeal for the ambitious conspirators of the professional bureaucratic faction of the armed forces, where the antigovernment secret society, the Unión Patriótica Militar, was gaining adherents.
In parallel to the military internal debate about democracy, this book also suggests that there is an equally important debate among civilians regarding the appropriate form for civil-military relations. During the – period of military rule in Venezuela, civilian politicians who opposed the dictatorship engaged in a long-running debate about what to do with the armed forces upon returning to power. More senior and experienced politicians advocated a ‘‘divide and conquer’’ policy toward the armed forces, while more junior activists wanted to politicize the armed forces to ensure a partisan and loyal oﬃcer corps.
With appeasement largely unnecessary, governments are likely to institutionalize robust strategies to ensure both the exclusion of the armed forces from political activities and the active civilian supervision of military aﬀairs. Both strong civilian control and democracy are very likely to become consolidated in this outcome. Spain comes closest to following this path to civilian control, aided in part by a cadre of civilian defense experts and political actors interested in defense issues who began to operate even before the conclusion of the Franco dictatorship.