Revolutionise or Compromise? what Venezuela’s Maduro could be doing

… and what is he actually doing – Published on VenezelAnalysis by Ryan Mallett-Outri, Dec 20, 2016.

Venezuela has been in a state of political crisis since the right-wing opposition coalition, the MUD took control of the National Assembly (AN) in early 2016. Socialist President Nicolas Maduro is now presiding over a sharply divided government, while a deep economic crisis has wreaked havoc on Venezuelan society … //

… Option 1: Maduro Should Deepen the Revolution: … //
… Option 2: Maduro Should Compromise with the MUD: … //
… Option 3: Maduro Should Maintain the Current Political Stalemate: … //

… Wait, What is Maduro Obstructing?

As an aside, it’s worth noting that Maduro isn’t obstructing serious social, political or economic reform. As previously stated, very little in this vein has been proposed by the MUD. Some examples of AN action or MUD initiatives that has been blocked, ruled unconstitutional, postponed or otherwise obstructed by Maduro or the Supreme Court include:

  • 1. An broad amnesty bill that would have released prisoners convicted of violence linked to political events like the 2002 coup, and 2014 unrest.
  • 2. An AN investigation into allegations US$11 billion has pretty much disappeared from the coffers of state oil firm PDVSA.
  • 3. One of the key premises of the MUD’s impeachment attempt, which was the claim that Maduro is actually a Colombian, and not fit to hold office. For anyone scratching their heads over this one, just think back to the US birther movement of yesteryear that supposed Barack Obama was a Kenyan national. Thankfully though, Maduro hasn’t faced an inquiry into what he was doing at the time of the Benghazi attack.
  • 4. AN efforts to overthrow the Supreme Court.
  • 5. A bill that would have forced Maduro to automatically accept any international aid deals.
  • 6. Another bill that would have privatised public housing.
  • 7. Finally, of course, the recall referendum.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good cross section illustrating what the AN has at least tried to do since the start of 2016. Only once piece of attempted legislation even seemed related to the immediate economic crisis. All of these initiatives have ultimately failed so far, though the current political impasse can’t last forever … //

Option 4: The Wildcard: … //

… So to summarise, Maduro has four options: a deepening of the revolution, political compromise, stalemate or face a possible coup. If we had to guess which path Maduro is currently taking, it’d have to be the stalemate option, with signs of efforts at compromise. This strategy has succeeded in frustrating MUD attempts to exert power through the AN, though it’ll be impossible to maintain beyond 2019 without degrading Venezuela’s representative democracy. However, Maduro isn’t inevitability consigned to this path. He could change tack and deepen the revolution, or try to reach a serious compromise with the MUD. Whichever path he chooses, we must remember it wasn’t inevitable.

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