Friday, May 02, 2014

Venezuela as Rorschach Test

Venezuela is a Rorschach test upon which all your biases and conspiratorial leanings can come out. It can be old-style U.S. imperialism, old-style Communism, 21st century socialism, modern-day populism, people's democracy, you name it.

The far left is no different but there is a unique and entertaining twist. Check out this depiction from someone who envisions a purer worker's paradise.

In this view, Nicolás Maduro is the bad guy and practically in cahoots with the United States. Exactly how that happened is a little murky but basically the U.S. and the Venezuelan right control all prices in the economy (actual economic policy, even over decades, is irrelevant) and Maduro needs to join the Dark Side in order to stay in power. The dialogue, you see, is a sham aimed at reaching an accord with the United States in part to keep China at bay. The Venezuelan military is in there too but why it might oppose Maduro is left unexplained. It probably has something to do with USAID and Ukraine.

This perspective even shows disdain for Comandante Eterno Hugo Chávez:

In the end, all of these groups speak politically for more privileged layers of the petty bourgeoisie. They were attracted to Chavismo precisely because it subordinated the working class to a “comandante” and a military-dominated government, thereby mediating Venezuela’s explosive class struggle.

Blasphemy! Hmm, but think:

When it comes down to it, Chávez himself might have been a tool of U.S. imperialism. His rise could well have been an ingenious, long-term CIA plot to defuse protests in the 1980s by facilitating the emergence of a megalomaniac leader who over years would run the country into the ground and open the door decades later for U.S. companies to step in and take over Venezuela's oil industry. Brilliant!


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