Saturday, January 31, 2015

Debating The End of Chavismo

So goes the title of a new article by David Smilde in Current History. Key paragraph:

Chavismo as it is currently formulated does not seem like a sustainable form of governance or even a viable electoral contender. For the “democratic revolution” to continue, some aspect of the status quo will have to change. The Chavista leadership can stay the course and be voted out of office; it can carry out reforms significant enough to eventually recover its support; or it can seek to further erode the country’s democratic institutions in order to perpetuate its hold on power.

This is a better way of examining the issue than the typical "Venezuela is going to collapse" message that I tend to hear. There may or may not be some sort of collapse--one has been predicted almost constantly for years. The broader point is that the status quo appears unsustainable. Whatever Chavismo has been will change. If the economy continues to fail--and there is no reason to think otherwise--then politics will have to change.

Notable is the fact that the Washington Office on Latin America is an organization dedicated to human rights and global justice. It's just increasingly difficult to find anyone but die hard Chavistas who believe the current path can actually work.


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