Venezuela: Target for Reds

March 13, 1963

Report Outline
Venezuela and Communist Ambitions
Dictatorship and Democracy in Venezuela
Venezuela's Uneven Oil-Slanted Economy
U.S. Aid and Support for Betancourt

Venezuela and Communist Ambitions

President Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela, a Communist himself for a brief period 30 years ago, was praised by President Kennedy during his recent visit to Washington as the “No. 1 enemy” of the Reds in Latin America. Betancourt obviously welcomed the accolade. He views his government, which has instituted land and tax reforms and which is using revenues from its oil resources to help raise the living standards of Venezuela's masses, as a sturdy obstacle to further Communist gains in the Americas. Kennedy indicated agreement when he toasted the Venezuelan chief executive, Feb. 19, as a symbol of what the United States wishes for “our sister republics of the hemisphere.”

Venezuela's exposed position has drawbacks. Communists, some trained in Cuba and supplied with arms by Fidel Castro's regime, have been waging a campaign of terrorism in the cities and oilfields of this rich Latin American nation for three years. They seem to be trying now to stir up enough chaos to force cancellation of presidential and congressional elections scheduled for next December.

Success in this endeavor would be a major blow to the future of democracy in the region; a primary aim of the Betancourt government has been the peaceful transfer of power, for the first time in Venezuelan history, from one elected government to another. The importance of accomplishing that objective was pointed up in the communiqué issued on Feb. 20 at the conclusion of Betancourt's conferences in Washington. President Kennedy pledged “full support” to Venezuela in combating “the all-out campaign of the international Communists, aided especially by their Cuban allies, to overthrow the constitutional government of President Betancourt.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Communism and Socialism
Aug. 02, 2011  Communism Today
Mar. 04, 1988  Communist Reformers Look West
Dec. 28, 1984  Communist Economies
Sep. 21, 1984  Southern European Socialism
Feb. 09, 1979  Communist Indochina and the Big Powers
Apr. 23, 1976  Western European Communism
May 28, 1969  World Communist Summit
Nov. 20, 1968  Intellectuals in Communist Countries
Aug. 28, 1968  Scandinavia and Socialism
Oct. 18, 1967  Soviet Communism After Fifty Years
Sep. 21, 1966  Soviet Economy: Incentives Under Communism
Sep. 15, 1965  Thailand: New Red Target
Dec. 18, 1963  Communist Schisms
Mar. 13, 1963  Venezuela: Target for Reds
Apr. 25, 1962  Teaching About Communism
Dec. 01, 1960  Farming and Food in Communist Lands
Apr. 27, 1960  Communist Party, U.S.A.
Nov. 07, 1956  Reds and Redefection
Apr. 11, 1956  Communists and Popular Fronts
Dec. 07, 1955  Religion Behind the Iron Curtain
Nov. 12, 1954  Communist Controls
Feb. 11, 1953  Red Teachers and Educational Freedom
Apr. 04, 1950  Loyalty and Security
Aug. 19, 1949  Church and Communism
Jul. 22, 1949  Reds in Trade Unions
Jul. 05, 1949  Academic Freedom
Feb. 11, 1948  Control of Communism in the United States
Feb. 05, 1947  Investigations of Un-Americanism
Nov. 13, 1946  Communism in America
Mar. 28, 1935  Anti-Radical Agitation
Oct. 19, 1932  The Socialist Vote in 1932
Aug. 08, 1931  National Economic Councils Abroad
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean
U.S. at War: Cold War