miércoles, julio 24, 2024
InicioInternacionalVenezuela’s Problem Isn’t Socialism

Venezuela’s Problem Isn’t Socialism

In the last three years, tragic scenes of poverty and mayhem have dominated the coverage of Venezuela, a nation that used to be one of the wealthiest and most democratic countries in South America. Venezuela has become both a byword for failure and, curiously, something of an ideological hot potato, a rhetorical device dropped into political conversations around the world.
In election campaigns from Brazil to Mexico, Italy to the United States, politicians invoke Venezuela as a cautionary tale of the dangers of socialism. Left-wing candidates from Jeremy Corbyn, in the United Kingdom, to Pablo Iglesias, in Spain, find themselves accused of sympathizing with socialist Chavismo—and suffer real political damage from the association with Venezuela’s rulers. The charge, endlessly repeated, is that Venezuela’s failure is the failure of an ideology; socialism is to blame, and if you make the wrong choice at the ballot box, the chaos of Venezuela could come to your doorstep, too.
Like all good propaganda, this line is effective because it contains an element of truth. The socialist policies of former President Hugo Chávez have devastated the country. Wide-ranging and chaotic expropriations, disastrous price and currency controls, stifling regulations, and unbridled hostility toward the private sector and foreign investment have all helped produce the economic catastrophe that now engulfs Venezuela. Few wars have destroyed as much of a nation’s wealth as have the policies of Chávez and his handpicked successor, Nicolás Maduro.
But also like all good propaganda, the charge obscures more than it reveals. The deeper driver of Venezuela’s implosion isn’t Maduro’s doctrinaire adherence to socialism but, rather, the country’s slide into kleptocracy. To focus on Venezuela as a failure of socialism is to miss the real story: the collapse of the Venezuelan state and the takeover of its resources by a confederation of ruthless criminals from both inside and outside the country.
This dynamic is commonly ignored in much of the commentary about Venezuela,
Fuente: Foreign Affairs



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