Venezuelans are having children at higher rates than their counterparts in other countries, despite the economic crisis (aided, perhaps in part, by the condom shortage). The resulting non-working, dependent population will make it increasingly difficult for the government to sustain its high levels of redistribution, even if oil prices improve. Ultimately, demographics may be what doom the Bolivarian revolution.
August marks the beginning in a decisive stage in Venezuela’s electoral process and, quite likely, the future of elections in the polarized country. Three scenarios seem the most likely, with only one of them remotely positive for the country’s vitiated democracy.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has resurrected century-old land claims over two-thirds of neighboring Guyana and its corresponding maritime borders. Venezuela’s aggressive efforts are a direct challenge to the hemisphere’s traditions of rule of law and diplomacy. The U.S. and other neighbors need to step up their condemnation of Venezuela’s aggression and urge a diplomatic solution.
Now that President Nicolás Maduro has fixed the date of the legislative elections, the Venezuelan opposition has a real opportunity to capitalize on the country’s severe economic problems and the government’s low disapproval ratings. The successes of opposition parties in Chile offer a lesson for Venezuelan opposition leaders. Here’s a three-step plan.
President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela and Rafael Correa exhibit none of the characteristics of the modern, progressive left—such as, support for indigenous communities’ land rights or LGBT rights—so why are they still called leftists? Because they say so.
Several months ago, former presidents Óscar Arias, Felipe Calderón, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Alejandro Toledo, and Ernesto Zedillo signed an open letter to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressing their concern over the deteriorating human rights conditions in the country and political prisoners such as former Mayor of Chacao Leopoldo López. Here is their letter—though little has changed since they signed it.
Conspiracy theories are a standard way for populists to distract citizens and stoke up their base. But the governments in Argentina, Ecuador and—particularly—Venezuela have turned it into a real art form.