Revolutionary and Non-Revolutionary Paths of Radical Populism: Directions of the "Chavista" Movement in Venezuela

Science and Society 69 (2):160 - 190 (2005)
Radical populist movements in Latin America have tended to move in one of two directions, both of which manifest themselves in the policies, actions and discourse of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and his followers. Hard-line Chavistas envision a peaceful radicalization process as a result of the intensification and escalation of conflict. The hardliners view the creation of parallel structures in the labor movement, civil society and public administration as the seeds of a new society, at the same time that they call for the purging of old structures. Soft-line Chavistas consider the new parallel structures complementary to the old ones. They favor conducting political struggle along the lines of a "war of positions" in which old structures are penetrated and dominated rather than eliminated. Both strategies have been amply discussed by Chavistas at all levels of the movement, even though Chavista political organizations lack ideological clarity and ideologically oriented factions with their own publications.
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