Monday, June 20, 2016

Venezuela's Dead End

Venezuelans are looting because they are not getting enough food. The government blames both the shortages and the looting on the opposition. As David Smilde notes in a quote, imports are way and there just isn't enough food.

Meanwhile, the opposition is pushing to get signatures and the government is insisting no vote will happen this year, while labeling hundreds of thousands of signatures invalid.

This doesn't seem sustainable--if people cannot get food, then they will want results from the government. The pressure on Maduro is intense. In the history of Latin America, this is the time when the military has traditionally stepped in, either as "moderator" or "director" (to take Alfred Stepan's categories). Rumors of military coups (usually focused on keeping Chavismo without Maduro) have been more or less constant in Venezuela. The military is involved in making arrests, which is never a good thing. The Defense Minister is saying the military can act against opposition leaders, which is a disastrous thing.

To avoid that, some type of resolution has to be found. Since internationally-sponsored negotiations are currently going nowhere, I am not sure what that would be.


shah8 11:29 PM  

The main way this crisis can be fixed is to get a modus vivendi with the government with respect to material amount of aid, perhaps in return for Maduro stepping down (in favor of some other Chavista figure), new elections or whatever concession or nod to good government that can be got.

Again, I think that this is probably a pipe dream. They simply intend to outlast the crisis.

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