Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Trying to break with the Past: the Latin American Transition to the Left and the Case of Venezuela
by Diaz, Daniela Ochoa, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2012, 91; 10305812
Abstract (Summary)

In this study, I argue that the left turn within Latin America expresses a deep-rooted desire for a break with the past and invention of a novel path to modernity. I use Venezuela and the “Bolivarian Revolution” case to explore how the region is caught between the future and reality, more accurately in an argument of potentiality. The path to the imagined future is not clear, there is a great imagination for “what is to be”, that in the end overshadows “what is”, leaving the region in an experimental search for an effective endogenous system that is not linked to a failed past.

This thesis examines whether Venezuela has been able to achieve a real break from the past, and examines what has become of the changes of the past thirteen years. The theoretical foundations used to observe the Venezuelan transition are: a) dependency theory to understand the history of dependency relations in Venezuela b) social imaginary theory to discuss the expectations created by political discourse on “Great Venezuela”, and c) social revolutions analysis to look into the character of the Bolivarian Revolution. Overall, these theories will situate some of Venezuela’s tipping points to understand the deep-rooted search for change, rupture with the past and attainment of progress/modernity that has long been postponed. This overview of Venezuela’s modern history focuses on the “process” experienced over the past thirteen years by illustrating repeated trends despite the new nomenclature.

Venezuela’s political history has maintained a linear structure that allows Bolivarian Venezuela to experience paradoxical continuities with its past. The results of the 2012 presidential election (Chávez 54.4%, Capriles 44.9%) extend the mixed record seen over the past thirteen years to the present, and inherently into the future of the experimental transition. More specifically, this presidential term will be one of the most challenging of the Chávez tenure as the country continues to be divided, now with an organized political alternative. What is certain is that ameliorating the “agitated present” will cultivate the chances of a present and future buen vivir.

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: International Affairs
School Location: France
Source: MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American Studies, International Relations
Keywords: Break, Latin, Left, Trying, Venezuela
Publication Number: 10305812
ISBN: 978-1-369-49376-4
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