National Convergence

views updated

National Convergence

National Convergence (CN) is a Christian democratic political party in Venezuela, officially founded on 5 June 1993, by former President Rafael Caldera. Caldera, who was also a founding member of the COPEI party, broke off from COPEI before his second run for the presidency (his first presidential term came with COPEI, from 1969–1974). Convergencia, as it is known in Venezuela, co-opted some small left-wing parties, as well as some centerright parties. The party's platform was shaped in part to bring the military into the fold in the wake of a failed military coup in 1992, and in part to address the concerns of the business community regarding Venezuela's poor macroeconomic standing. Six months after CN emerged, Caldera was propelled to a narrow victory with just over 30 percent of the vote. The rise of CN also marked the crippling of many of Venezuela's traditional political parties, including Democratic Action, which had dominated the political scene from the 1950s through the 1980s.

CN's vitality was largely a product of the 1990s. Under the direction of Caldera, the party suffered the backlash of a worsening economy, and an onset of chilly relations with Colombia. Caldera's policy responses probably only exacerbated the eroding popularity of CN. He instituted austerity measures, privatization, and pardoned Hugo Chávez for his failed coup attempt. Chávez's political rise correlated with the decline of CN. In the parliamentary elections of 2000, CN managed to win only one seat out of 165. CN remains a party in Venezuela, though it has been largely marginalized by Chávez.

See alsoCaldera Rodríguez, Rafael; Chávez, Hugo; Venezuela: Venezuela since 1830.


McCoy, Jennifer, and William Smith. "Democratic Disequilibria in Venezuela." Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs. 37, no. 2 (Summer 1995): 113-179.

                                       Sean H. Goforth

About this article

National Convergence

Updated About content Print Article


National Convergence