This chapter describes the policy process in Costa Rica and Venezuela and presents detailed case studies of a particular policy issue in each country. It suggests two considerations: the tentativeness of regime classification and the "looseness" of the democratic category in particular. It would be a mistake if the student of Latin American politics were to expect policymaking in terms of procedures and outcomes within Venezuela and Costa Rica identical with what he or she is likely to find in the United States or Great Britain. Costa Rica's political background is perhaps the least violent of any Latin American country—a propitious sign for the establishment of a democratic regime. In Venezuela, the period from 1936 to 1958 saw the emergence of fledgling democratic movements, which began to recruit supporters from the previously disenfranchised segments of the population. Since 1961, Venezuela has been able to maintain a multiparty, democratically elected system of government.