Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Bolsonaro Part 2: Will Bolsonaro Boost Venezuelan Fascism?

With Jair Bolsonaro's victory, there is already plenty of speculation about how he will deal with Venezuela. Will he invade? Close the border? Focus on Mercosur? These are important questions, but there is another that bears asking: how will this affect the Venezuelan opposition?

At the moment, the opposition is fractured and lacks direction. Now the two largest countries in the hemisphere have shown a way. Fascism can generate excitement and purpose, even in a country like Brazil where the left had been strong and well-organized for years. Fascism can provide a message that is broad enough to capture what many people want, from pure racism to tax cuts. Trump and Bolsonaro proved that people will vote for fascism if you can just convince them that it won't be as bad as they think.

And you can win.

This must be powerful lure for the Venezuelan opposition. As Quico Toro writes:

Venezuelans today are looking South with a mixture of curiosity, horror and—no sense denying it—jealousy. The reactionary authoritarian vein that propelled his rise in Brazil is powerfully present among Venezuelans traumatized by our own catastrophe. The Bolsonaro phenomenon serves to sort Venezuelan opposition-supporters between those actually committed to democracy and those willing to trade one kind of dictatorship for another.
It is a choice. In Venezuela the choice is perhaps even more tempting than in the U.S. or Brazil given how extreme the situation is. The obvious irony is that it would be the mirror image of the leftist radical rising to power through the ruins of economic shock therapy of the 1980s.

See post 1 on elected extremism.


Fernando Leanme 8:14 AM  

Maduro's term ends January 10. This will create a power vacuum which can be filled by a transitional government. Thus the key issue is who takes Maduro out, whether the Cubans replace him with a more effective satrap, whether Barboza, Allup and the other pseudo opposition clowns play ball with the chavistas, etc. I would anticipate Raul Castro is anticipating what is coming, and is maneuvering accordingly.

Bolsonaro can help Venezuela by joining the Lima Group and moving troops to the north, to cut off FARC, ELN and other colombian gangs which moved into Amazonas state and are destroying the jungle with their medieval gold mining operations. A move by brazilian troops into Amazonas will help, but only this is coordinated with a Colombian push into Zulia. I'm familiar with that region, and the key again is to neutralize Colombian FARC and the agents and military sent by Castro within Colombian Catatumbo to facilitate their logistics as they move north and east towards Machiques, Bachaquero and El Vigia. The US would make the third push, i assume into Maracaibo and Paraguana and Coro, severing Western Venezuela.

I'm sketching an intervention scenario based on my knowledge of the terrain, and the fact that the Venezuelan Army isnt fit. Castro has laid out to fight guerrilla warfare Iraqi style using Colombians and hard core Venezuelan communists, so it wont be easy. But in none of the likely scenarios does Braxil play a large role. As regards fascism, that's simple minded name calling on your part. Venezuela's transitional government would have to impose martial law until chavista, Colombian and Cuban terrorists are dealt with.

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