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So What Is Going On in Venezuela?

By: Joel Fensch - Mar 17, 2014, 9:13 am

EspañolMany, those who don’t know the situation in Venezuela first hand, wonder why there is a permanent conflict between government supporters and opponents in our country. Reducing a huge amount of hours of discussion and information on this subject, it is fair to say that this is what it’s all about:

The current government, whose legitimacy is questioned, insists that as it came to power by democratic means, it can implement any political project without taking into account the aspirations of the minority. Without going into details of who is a minority and when or how the governing party won the election — and how power has been exercised — the fact is that the government, with or without reason, wants to impose a communist agenda by any means.

Moreover, there is a very important portion of the population, which today is probably a majority, who instead prefer not only to keep our young democracy, but to advance and deepen it.

On December 2, 2007, there was a referendum in Venezuela where people voted against changing the political identity of the country; they voted against amending the Constitution to transform Venezuela into a communist country. Without going into detail about the manipulation of vote counts, it can be said that it certainly was a political defeat for the government.

Un venezolano lee la portada del diario El Nacional tras los resultados del referéndum.
A Venezuelan man reads the cover of El Nacional newspaper after the referendum results.

In a normal country, the matter wouldn’t have gone beyond that, and the government probably would have proceeded to govern for all citizens. However, seeing that it had a majority in the National Assembly, controlled all institutions (unconstitutionally), and felt they were the owners of the oil resources of the country, they resolved to advance an agenda to seek the same transformation by legislative means.

So virtually all laws enacted since then aim to consolidate the communist government’s agenda, making full use of all the power of the Venezuelan state in an effort to make the process irreversible.

That’s what the whole mess is all about.

Actually, it would be fair to say that the whole mess goes much beyond that if one takes into account the inefficiency and ineptitude of the government, the devastating effect of having turned Venezuela into a narco-state, the previously unseen level of corruption in virtually all areas of public administration, and the crass intervention of Cuba in all matters inherent to the Venezuelan government.

Translated by Alan Furth.

Joel Fensch Joel Fensch

Editor of InsightSur, Fensch covers geopolitical and historical events in Latin America with the PanAm Post.