On Venezuela creeping authoritarianism and how to deal with it


“ By cancelling the recall referendum, suspending elections, and inhibiting opposition politicians from standing for office the Venezuelan government is systematically blocking the ability of the Venezuelan people to express themselves through electoral means. It is hard to see what to call this other than creeping authoritarianism. But it is also hard to agree with characterizations of Venezuela as a full-scale authoritarian regime given the opposition’s significant access to traditional and social media, and substantial ability to engage in anti-government protest (…) …reject any and all calls for imperialist interventions aimed at “saving” Venezuela. Attempts to do so will not only fail, but are likely to transform a difficult situation into a tragic one, as the horrors of Iraq and Afghanistan show all too well […] stand in solidarity with the majority of Venezuelans who are suffering at the hands of a vengeful, reckless opposition, and an incompetent, unaccountable government. There is little doubt popular-class support for the government has declined in recent years. The precise extent of this is unclear, and it appears Chavismo retains not insignificant popular-class support due to the material gains it provided workers and the poor for well over a decade. It is equally clear popular-class support for the opposition remains limited, likely due to the popular classes’ well-founded distrust of and disgust towards the opposition, and particularly its violent, leading edge ”

Gabriel Hetland, ‘Why Is Venezuela Spiraling out of Control’, Jacobin Magazine


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