Throughout most of its national history, Venezuela has been the victim of long and tyrannical dictatorships, broken only by brief spells of semi-democratic government. Constitution after constitution has fallen before the whims of self made generals. Numerous major revolts and countless minor civil uprisings have scarred the country, all having the twofold objective of acquiring for their leaders national power for power's sake and the privilege of organizing Venezuela as a private economic and political domain.In almost all instances the politicians have travelled a bloody road to national power. Having once established themselves in the presidency, they demonstrated considerable reluctance to observe the functional separation of powers decreed by the constitution. As a result of this attitude the legislature and judiciary were weakened to the point of impotency. The raison d'être of these branches thus came to be the legalization of the programs and activities of the executive, even if this meant, as it often did, violating the constitution. The purpose of this article is to examine the evolution and application of executive power.