Latest balanced news from Venezuela
One journalist asks: "What the Hell Just Happened in Venezuela?"
Andrew Sullivan's blog
The lid seems to be lifting on the cauldron of violence
that is Venezuela. More deaths and much more violence can be expected.
There is no easy solution to the growing conflict.
The Left will claim a coup backed by Uncle Sam. The Right will say that the majority of Venezuelans are rising up against the hated regime. It's neither, of course. The State Department is trying it's best to meddle, ineffectively as usual. The plain truth is that the country is divided in about half between those who still support the socialist reforms of the government, and those who are rigidly opposed and have not benefited but have lost their privileged status.
The hero of Latin America's Left, Hugo Chavez, who died last year and was succeeded by Nicolas Maduro, an incompetent acolyte at best, established the solid foundation of today's chaos over a 12-year period. Through fiat and simplistic policies, he systematically destroyed and undermined the nation's liberal institutions (free press, congress, the judiciary). Venezuela is now essentially a one-party state with a military-police apparatus with close ties the hemisphere's other one-party state (Cuba), with approximately 50 percent of the population beholden to the state and the other half deeply antagonized -- both sides are radicalized and there is very little middle ground.
It's the perfect recipe for years of conflict.