[Venezuela] More violence as only the military keeps Maduro in powerFrom: email@example.com
dictator.america, soc.culture.latin-america, soc.culture.venezuela
Jul 17 2017 02:10:12
Title: The Economist Joins Team Screwed
Author: Carlos Hernández
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2017 10:10:18 -0400
Debating whether Venezuela is or isn’t screwed beyond repair is one of the
country’s favorite parlour games. The Caracas Chronicles Whatsapp group is
split down the middle on the issue. On one hand, there’s Team Screwed, made up
of the champions of learned helplessness and guys who think the communists
already won la victoria perfecta. On the other hand, there’s Team Not-Screwed,
comprised mostly of wishful thinkers and folks that believe in pajaritos
I’ve always been part of the latter, but the Economist’s Bello section – their
Latin American opinion page –ran a piece last weekthat might just make me
jump the talanquera. In unusually blunt style, they title the editorial Adiós
to Venezuelan democracy and lay out the pessimists case for the coming months.
On Maduro’s inconstitutional parapeto of a Constituent Assembly, they say this:
Mr Maduro wants the assembly because he can no longer stay in power
democratically. Low oil prices and mismanagement have exacted a heavy toll.
Food and medicines are scarce; diseases long curbed, such as diphtheria and
malaria, are killing once more.
When they start listing things that could bring down chavismo, they really get
your teamscrewedness going.
A last opportunity to apply diplomatic pressure failed last month at a meeting
of foreign ministers of the Organisation of American States, held in Cancún.
The Mexican hosts thought they had more than the 23 votes needed (out of 34) to
condemn Venezuela. They got only 20.
They don’t have much more faith in the military, either, noting that
The armed forces, which sustain Mr Maduro in power, have wavered but not
bent—so far, at least. Several retired generals who were close to Chávez have
criticised the idea of a new assembly. At least 14 junior officers have been
arrested since the protests began.
In their view, that leaves Chavista defections as the only threat to Maduro’s
grip on power:
Many chavistas oppose the constituent assembly (…) Although there have been
intermittent protests in chavista areas of Caracas, usually over food
shortages, the opposition has failed to link up with dissidents from the regime
in a truly national protest movement.
Bello closes on a dire note. I’m not going to spoil it, but let’s just say it
leaves you with the feeling that the only thing that’s certain with the
constituyente is that there’s more violence coming in the days ahead.