INTELLIGENCE AGENCY MEMORANDUM:
Venezuela's fragile experiment with constitutionalnow is undergoing perhaps its severest test. President Betancourt is preparing the country for critical elections in the faceerroristic challenge from theleft and under pressureestive military After months of temporizing, he hasrackdown on terrorists, an action that has reassured the military.
We believe that Betancourt will survive the present crisis with little if any diminution of his presidential powersis the military. Much, of course, will depend on the course of the campaign against the Even should the campaign go badly and sentiment within the militaryoup increase, the military probably would attempt to preserve the guise ofby seeking to share political power withThere alsoanger that the crackdown on the terrorists mayelay in the elections and possiblyoycott by the opposition parties.
The continuing problem of an elected successor to Betancourt--probably lacking his considerable politicalbe that of survival in office amidst the harshly disruptive forces of Venezuelan pontics. The military will continue to be the key to survival ofgovernment. Should the election returns be close and disputed by the losers, or should the new president prove unable to form an effective government, the chancesilitary takeover would increase.
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