Friday, October 23, 2015

Venezuelan Elections and the Military

At Latin America Goes Global Andrés Cañizález asks the question about what happens the day after the December 6 Venezuelan elections. What he mentions but which deserves more attention is the role of the military. That it's still such a major factor in Latin American politics is sad, really. But this is where the rubber hits the road. If the government takes a major electoral hit, which is very likely, then the military leadership will need to decide whether it supports the government over the constitution.

We know the military is tightly bound to Chavismo. We know it is routinely used by the government to make political points about foreign policy. We know there is Cuban influence. We know that Maduro has needed the military to publicly pledge its loyalty.

But for the most part the focus on the military has been whether it would protect Maduro from a forced ouster, not a legislative defeat. The former is not in doubt but the latter is. So if the PSUV looks to be losing then we need to pay close attention to how the military reacts.


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