Elections in Venezuela this month
We had peaceful elections in Argentina a couple of weeks ago. Will they be peaceful in Venezuela? I hope so, but it does not look good, as reported by the Washington Post:
Defiant statements by President Nicolás Maduro and other top Venezuelan officials have offered few assurances to those looking for signs that the government is ready to compromise with the opposition. An opposition candidate in central Venezuela was slain by a gunman Wednesday at a rally, an ominous sign to many of what may be in store on Election Day.
“They are at a dramatic crossroads,” said a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Venezuelan government is quick to label any public criticism by foreigners an act of “meddling.”
Chavizmo, or the movement started by the late Hugo Chavez, has run out of steam. It funded the revolution with $150 a barrel oil and now can't survive on the current price of $50.
Chavizmo has also made a mess out of the country, from chaos at every corner to shortages of everything to horrible crime rates.
Chavez' hometown, once the source of hope and inspiration for the revolution, is now Exhibit A of the country's problems as we read in CNBC:
Just blocks from where Chavez grew up and sold his grandmother's papaya sweets to make ends meet, Venezuelans now line up for hours hoping a truck will make its way across the palm tree-sprinkled flatlands to deliver scarce rice or toilet paper.
Rampant inflation and the near-collapse of the bolivar currency have destroyed salaries, while violent crime leads many to barricade themselves inside when the region's vast sky turns dark.
"We were 'Chavistas'," said Julio Coromoto, 57, a workman next to a queue of dozens at a shabby supermarket.
"But they destroyed this town."
It looks like the opposition will win and take over the Assembly. Will President Maduro accept that or go more radical? Time will tell.
In the meantime, Venezuela's socialist revolution looks more and more like a failure.
As someone famous said, socialism eventually fails because it runs out of other people's money. In Venezuela, socialism has run out of money and excuses.