Venezuela’s Social Responsibility on Radio and Television Act
cratic principles has resulted from several factors.
A gentlemen’sagreement known as the Punto Fijo pact between the two principalpolitical factions to respect the country’s democratic institutionsand electoral processes set the standard for peaceful rule of thecountry.
In addition, the subordination and unquestionable loy-alty of the armed forces to the president of the Republic undoubt-edly helped prevent overthrows of governments that havefrequently occurred in that hemisphere.
Finally, an increase inexports of oil has provided the financial means to develop ahealthy and prosperous economy.
Political and Economic Crisis
In the 1980s, Venezuela’s economic situation started to deterio-rate. On February 18, 1983, a date commonly known as “Black Fri-day,” a sudden devaluation of the local currency caused by thegovernment’s heavy foreign debt and a decrease in oil pricesbrought economic chaos to the country.
Mario J. Garcia-Serra,
The “Enabling Law:” The Demise of the Separation of Powers in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela
, 32 U. M
. L. R
. 265, 267 (2001) (“This stablesocio-political system was essentially founded upon three key elements: a professional mili-tary subservient to civilian authority, an understanding between the major political partiesto collaborate and respect elections, and a high growth oil export economy.”).4.In January 1958, a general uprising and riot in the streets resulted in the oustingof dictator Marcos P´erez Jim´enez, who left the country.
. at 268. Comit ´e de Organiza-ci´on Pol´ıtica Electoral Independiente [COPEI], Uni´on Republicana Democr´atica [URD]and Acci´on Democr´atica [AD], the political parties of Venezuela, formed a pact to peace-fully rule the country.
. (describing the obligations inherent in the pact). The pact was called the Pact of Punto Fijo, meaning fixed point, in reference to the name of theresidence of former President Rafael Caldera, where the leaders of the political partiesconvened to create the pact.
Juan Pablo Lupi & Leonardo Vivas,
(Mis) Understanding Ch ´ avez and Venezuela in Times of Revolution,
. 81, 90 n.34 (2005)(“The
regime evokes the long-standing coalition rule established in Venezuelabeginning in 1958, which included the main political parties . . . that helped to oust thelast dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez.”).5.For a general discussion on the several political conflicts in Latin America duringthe second half of the twentieth century, see Dawn Bennet-Ingold,
Latin American Democ- racy: Flourishing or Floundering?
, 28 G
. J. I
. L. 111, 111-17 (2000) (discussingmilitary coups and constitutional crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean during decadespast); Thomas C. Wright,
Human Rights in Latin America: History and Projections for the Twenty-First Century
, 30 C
. W. I
L.J. 303 (2000).6.
Corporate Structuring of Oil and Gas Projects in Venezuela: Views from the North and South
, 18 J. E
L. 53 (2000) (illustrating how Venezuela enjoyed economic prosperity as a result of its oil exports for decades).7.Margarita L´opez Maya,
Venezuela 2002-2003: Polarization, Confrontation, and Vio- lence
UILDING OF A
note 2, at 9, 10 (“In 1983, Venezuela lived through its own ‘Black Friday’ as the government declareda moratorium on its debt payments. Venezuela became the fourth most indebted country