Can Venezuela's socialist government survive wave of protests?


(CNN) – Student protesters pack the streets. Violence surges. Tear gas billows.
Opposition leaders and government officials blame each other for the unrest, and both sides show no sign of backing down.
No matter who you believe, it’s clear that tensions are running high in Venezuela.
The anti-government demonstrations are the biggest threat President Nicolas Maduro has faced since his election last year. And inside and outside the South American country’s borders, there’s a major question many are asking: Could this be the beginning of the end for Venezuela’s socialist government?


Yes, it is (only) the beginning of the end, and yes, the government will survive. People still have too much of a soft spot for the whole Chavismo thing, so I suspect the successors will be safe for a few more years before they are blamed for the ills Chavez bequeathed his country.

I haven’t been keeping a very close eye on the country, but if the government is particularly astute (not very likely), they might be able to right their ship with only moderate pain. Norway has shown that a relatively socialist country can do well with a resource-based economy, so long as the price of oil stays high. More likely, Venezuela’s corruption, global political ambition, alienation of foreign investment, and lack of respect for the rule of law will do it in.


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