Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Acknowledgments

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pp. v-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-xi

List of Figures

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pp. xii-2

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Introduction

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pp. 3-14

The rapid increase of popular participation in Latin American political processes has been reflected in the growing importance of the parties.1 One leading Latin Americanist would "commend the field of Latin American political parties to a whole generation of prospective graduate students in political science."2 Yet there have been relatively few serious efforts to follow this advice.3...

Part 1. The Party: A Descriptive History

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I. Antecedents of a Party System

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pp. 17-48

Following the broad pattern of the nineteenth century, Venezuelan government in the early 1900's continued to serve as the personal preserve of caudillista domination. A significant shift in regional emphasis had been registered in 1899, when Cipriano Castro descended from the Andean southwest and marched to Caracas and the presidency. Less than a decade later, afflicted with collapsing health induced by extreme moral dissolution and...

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II. Constructing a Modern Party

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pp. 49-80

From 1941 on, Acción Democrdtiea attempted to make good the motto of "not a single district nor single municipality without a party organization." It was a demanding task, and AD leaders criss-crossed Venezuela ceaselessly during the next four years. The impact was as strong on adecos as upon the citizenry. The spirit of this unending campaign has been eloquently expressed by Romulo Betancourt for the entire AD directorate....

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III. Vicissitudes of Political Leadership

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pp. 81-116

The inauguration of the Gallegos government in the spring of 1948 was hailed across the continent as a shining victory for reformist democratic forces, and the intellectual stature of the new chief executive only added to the favorable view abroad. Yet barely nine months later Gallegos was overthrown, his ministers dispersed, and the seemingly invincible apparatus of Acción Democratica...

Part Two. The Party: Organization and Structure

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IV. The Party and Exile Operations

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pp. 119-146

As of 1964, fully ten of the AD's twenty-three years of existence had been spent in exile. And for the party founders whose political activism dated back to 1928, twenty-one of the thirty-six years to follow were lived in political exile, almost all of it outside Venezuela proper. The importance of the collective exile experience therefore assumes a large role in the evolution of Acción...

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V. The Party Organization: Structural Framework

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pp. 147-167

Basic to the rationale of this entire study is the contention that much of the importance of Acción Democrática among the parties of Latin America is its reliance upon organization. Furthermore, it has been this, the machinery of the AD, that more than any other single factor has been responsible for the succession of electoral victories through the years. Organization has been a hallmark...

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VI. The Party Organization: Unity and Factionalism

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pp. 168-192

A study of the party's organizational system necessitates a two-pronged approach. To begin with, it is useful to reassess the major organs within the over-all aparato, noting deviations from or exceptions to the statutory requirements. Secondly, the intrusion of individual ambition and of personal programmatic orientation demands a consideration of unity and factionalism. To be sure,...

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VII. Leadership and Membership

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pp. 193-223

Acción Democrática has from its very inception aimed at the widest possible membership, embracing all levels of society and all geographic regions of the country. TThe development of party leadership has been an inevitable concomitant. Analyses of both the membership and leadership are less than definitive, for data is not universally available. Some aspects of the party have not proved...

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VIII. Program and Doctrine

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pp. 224-252

Over the years Acción Democrática has evolved a number of programmatic theses on which to base its pragmatic political decisions. The formative years of the movement saw the beginning of a long evolutionary process, with the gradual refinement of the broad rubrics under which the party formed and grew. The so-called doctrinal thinking of the movement under the semiorganized...

Part Three. The Party and Venezuelan Society

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IX. The Party and Organized Labor

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pp. 255-286

In addition to its continuing contact with the people through a heavy and unremitting schedule of rallies, meetings, or educational and social events, Acción Democrática has established and maintained ties with most of the nation's major interest groups.1 Indeed, much of its electoral strength is so founded. Although precise...

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X. The Party and Non-Partisan Groups

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pp. 287-314

The relations of Acción Democrática with the various sectors of Venezuelan society are nowhere more extensive than with organized labor, the latter construed as including the peasantry. Although the laborers and peasants are not organized as mere adjuncts of the party, there is undeniable evidence that both groups are largely...

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XI. The Party and Inter-Party Relations

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pp. 315-337

The Venezuelan political universe was simplistic and tightly circumscribed when the founders of Acción Democrática first became politically active. However, among the recent developments has been the evolution of a party system that in both 1958 and 1963 showed great vitality. The vigor of campaigning and the nature of competing...

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XII. The Party and Elections

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pp. 338-365

The overwhelming proportion of AD electoral victories during the trienio held steady at some 70 percent of the vote. Given the relative insignificance of the opposition and the AD domination of government, results could scarcely have been otherwise. With the return of contested elections in 1958, the party found itself pressed as never before to prove again its position as leading...

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XIII. Epilogue: The Party in Perspective

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pp. 366-390

At mid-day on March 11, 1964, the Venezuelan presidential sash was lowered upon the shoulders of Raúl Leoni. In a brief but impressive ceremony Rómulo Betancourt concluded his five-year constitutional term and passed on the authority of office to his duly elected successor. In that act, one of the major events in contemporary...

Appendices

A. National Electoral Data

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pp. 391-402

B. Regional Electoral Data

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pp. 403-414

Bibliography

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pp. 415-436

Index

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pp. 437-443