Thursday, August 31, 2017

Venezuela's Future

Andrés Cañizález has a piece in Global Americans about the possibility for democratization in Venezuela. There's not much room for optimism:

But as important as international condemnation is, collective pressure thus far has failed to have a critical role in triggering a democratic transition and will continue to do so, especially if political will in Venezuela remains challenged by just a few in power. The international community has limited influence over an autocratic regime that has no intentions of democratizing or yielding its  absolute control of national wealth, at least not in the remainder of 2017.

It's useful to read Elías Jaua's opinion piece in TeleSur along with it. He basically argues for a fully Cuban-style system, with state control over all distribution of income, instilling Communist military doctrine both in the military and society, and other similar measures. This he calls "liberation."

And indeed, this is the direction Venezuela will likely take, or at the very least the direction Nicolás Maduro will attempt to take. We have seen already that the government will not engage in meaningful dialogue (with "meaningful" involving concessions or acceptance of the opposition's legitimate right to political power), that the opposition can't seem to unite, and that Latin America will not unite in condemnation. That gives Maduro political space, and expanding the state's control over society is the logical step for the intransigent, especially when resources are becoming scarcer.

Cañiláz's article mostly hopes for more defections and increased youth disaffection, but will they matter as the state increases its control?


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