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May 05, 2017


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My attitude is mostly a weary pissed-offness. I don't really care about whether Maduro survives, and I have an abiding contempt for the opposition. To me, Venezuela is part of a longer, slow running crisis of low demand in the third world. It's just at and past crisis point due to its geopolitical isolation, but too many places are quite too close to the edge--it's sort of hard not to look at the triad of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia as vulnerable to the same sort of issues, no matter that they are wealthier and have access to more wealth in the rest of the world. Racial/ethnic issues drive poltical and economic paralysis until things blow up.

As for Venezuela itself, I'm not inclined to believe any loosening of Chavista rule until that actually happens, because I think that fundamentally, you actually do have to have a credibly nationalist opposition for the military to switch sides, and the sheer feckless quality of the opposition doesn't give dissenters in the state machinery the security they'd need for the decision to decisively switch sides. I also believe that Brazil's parliamentary coup (and Trump's antics) has quietly diminished conservative legitimacy in the rest of South America.

Maduro will simply outwait these protests, if there is anything at all in the tank. And if there's nothing at all in the tank and state completely implodes, Venezuela is probably Libya.

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