In The Nation, George Ciccariello-Maher offers up an interesting view of the protests in Venezuela with a sympathetic focus on "democracy from below," as opposed to "liberal democracy."
At least in my eyes, here is the key quote:
Venezuela is indeed at a crossroads, having—in the words of the militant-intellectual Roland Denis—“llegado al llegadero, arrived at the inevitable.” It is the point at which the Bolivarian process itself—socialism in a capitalist society, thriving direct democracy in a liberal democratic shell—cannot survive without pressing decisively toward one side or the other: more socialist, more democratic, in short, more radical. This is not a crossroads simply between two possible forms of government from above: the Maduro government or its hypothetical right-wing alternative. It is instead a question of either pressing forward the task of building a revolutionary society, or handing the future back to those who can think of nothing but the past, and who will seek to fold the historical dialectic back onto itself, beaten and bloody if necessary. [Emphases in original]
This struck me because it gets down to the question of where these events are leading Venezuela. The opposition is the minority, but it is a large minority. Pressing more decisively in the direction of revolutionary socialism by definition means rejecting a very significant chunk of the Venezuelan population. Is that viable without protracted civil war? Can it happen without resorting to "beating and bloodying" that minority?
These are practical questions because such a society will require a much more aggressive use of the military internally, or at least I can't imagine how else that minority would be silenced. Is there some way of bringing that minority into the revolutionary fold without force?
Given how difficult and violent that route likely is (unless I am missing something in that regard) I would think the more likely result is more of the same. The opposition (especially since it seems to have no military support) will not take power, and the Maduro government will talk of deepening the revolution without truly doing so. As Yogi Berra allegedly once said, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.