Chavistas are here to stay in Venezuela
A few days ago I had a sudden brainwave: of course Venezuela’s socialist government cannot give up on its revolution, because for 17 years its followers have believed every single word the great comandante Hugo Chávez, who passed away in 2013, told them. To tell them now that Chávez might have been wrong or at least not completely right, would be the cruelest thing to do. Like trying to convince a firm believer that God doesn’t exist.
Only people with at least the charisma and authority of Chávez could pass on such a message. ‘Dear chavistas: we are modifying the revolution’s track and choosing a different road to follow. We need to do that in order to save our country and your future.’ There is nobody in Venezuela who could do the job, except Chávez.
He had that certain problem that many caudillos have: they are so attached to power that they prefer not to surround themselves with qualified people. That would be threatening. And then suddenly he got cancer and it was devastating. Within a few years he was dead. Nobody, absolutely nobody in chavismo was able to fill the gap that Chávez left.
The country is living the consequences now. In the fiercest of economic crises — scarcity, hyperinflation, lack of water and energy — the government is indecisive and acts ‘too little too late’. Where is this going to end? Rumours about an upcoming coup by part of the army — officially pro-government — are increasing. Protests of citizens are increasing as well.
Many speak of a ‘social bomb’ that will explode soon.
I was in Venezuela in the beginning of December 2015, when the opposition won two thirds of the National Assembly at the elections. Since then the government is doing everything to break the political power of the National Assembly that is now dominated by the opposition. Pretending it is following ‘the will of the people’. Which is nonsense, because the majority of the people said No to president Nicolás Maduro and his lot. Many of them are former supporters of Chávez.
But there are also forty something percent of the Venezuelan people who firmly believe in the socialist dream, who believe president Maduro, when he says that the economic crisis is caused by the private sector, supported by the empire, the United States of America. That’s an amount to take into account, for everybody who is involved in the country’s politics, left or right. Chávez may have made big mistakes, he changed the country forever.
The opposition is working on a plan to depose the government. It believes that this is the only way to save Venezuela’s economy. Before the end of February this plan is supposed to be ready. There is little time to act for the queues before the shops are getting longer every day and the bolívar, Venezuela’s coin, is getting more worthless every day. There is not only lack of goods, but also lack of money to buy it and hunger is getting an ever bigger problem.
And these forty something percent of hardcore chavistas, will they let the opposition have its way? Quite a lot of them have arms, given to them by the socialist government, to defend the revolution.