Venezuela next after Bolivia? One can hope...

Venezuelans are cheering Bolivia's ouster of socialist Evo Morales, who rigged himself a fourth electoral term and got thrown out when the Bolivian cops and military switched sides.  They view it as a sign of hope for the change they're desperately seeking.

Some examples from some of the best Venezuelan opposition leaders:

Here are some entertaining side stories.

Victory parades:

Morales's luxury digs trashed:

Best of all:

Here's something telling from the New York Times:

The scene in La Paz was chaotic. On the city's streets, through a driving rain, the police withdrew as crowds welcomed the transfer of power with fireworks, while others looted stores and set what appeared to be politically motivated fires.

In Cochabamba, in the center of Bolivia, some businesspeople set up vigilante patrols to protect their businesses. Bands of motorcyclists came into the city from the outskirts, violently confronting people who were celebrating in the streets.

Drinking water was cut off to parts of La Paz and the adjacent city of El Alto, Bolivia's second-largest, but the reason for the cutoff was not known.

There was little to no violence in Santa Cruz, a center of the opposition. A festival-like mood prevailed there, with people celebrating on the streets and waving flags.

In other words, the leftists went after each other and the ones who did well — the Kulaks (caution about that link: truly ignorant analysis), so to say.  The conservatives acted like the Tea Party, peaceful and celebratory.

There are some who hope for a chain reaction, for the collapse in Bolivia to spread to Venezuela.  After all, one of the big cornerstones of leftwingery in Latin America has fallen with Morales's exit.  Cheat-happy Morales was probably Hugo Chávez's closest disciple.

 But some healthy skepticism is probably in order.  It's good to see the Venezuelans inspired by this.

But Venezuelans have been at this for 20 years and still have nothing.  They were a highly developed and prosperous society that through the miracle of socialism has collapsed into poorer-than-Africa poverty.

Bolivia started out dirt-poor and got a bit richer under Morales, if for nothing else, then that it couldn't fall farther.  Morales was indeed a socialist and an expropriator, a de facto dictator who repressed the free press, but he didn't target the economy the way Venezuela's Hugo Chávez did, expropriating, stealing, looting, driving entire industries out of business in the pig-stupid belief that oil prices would stay high forever because Peak Oil.  Chávez believed that leftist claptrap.  Fracking never made his radar.  He also knew the Cuban value of impoverishing the people because beggars are always grateful.  He knew the socialist value to himself of beggaring the nation. 

Morales was always the wily, canny Mestizo, the guy who understood that everybody's gonna and gotta to turn a profit.  He was never as stupid as Chávez.  And, as one foreign correspondent on Twitter notes, he's not going to be as reviled as Chávez will be.

A people who have at least a little money and rising expectations are going to be less tolerant of naked electoral cheating than people who just want a scrap of gristle and bone to eat. 

And more important, Bolivia has a tradition of throwing them out, Butch Cassidy Wild West–style, running bad people out on rails and not worrying what the United Nations and the prissy Eurotrash, the globalist establishment, in other words, might think of the irregularity of it all.

The Venezuelans don't have that.  They have a solid tradition of democracy with no Wild West stuff. So everything they look at in attempting to dislodge the Maduro dictatorship is through that lens. They also care what the UN thinks, they care about non-violent protest, until recently most still thought they could get what they wanted if they just peacefully protested long enough, they wanted that Velvet Revolution. They were quite similar to the Santa Cruz people cited above.

Bolivians of all stripes, including the congenitally lefty ones could see that it didn't work that way. They just swept the bastard out and decided to start over. It might be hard for Venezuelans to imitate that model given that they are at a different historic and political and economic place.

But it doesn't hurt that they are encouraged. If they feel the Bolivian vibe strongly enough...maybe it can happen. 

Image credit: CNW Twitter screen shot.

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