There is no red Venezuela; there is no blue Venezuela; there is only Venezuela.
Achy Obejas’ “Ending the Pain in Venezuela,” which ran in the April issue of In These Times, made an Obama-esque anguished call for civility in the protest-rocked country. Obejas rightly notes the untenability of the current situation. Inflation, food shortages and rising crime have fostered an opposition movement that is too strong to be vanquished by the narrow pro-government majority, but also too fractured to unseat President Nicolás Maduro’s administration. Her solution to the impasse is dialogue: sitting down both sides to agree to some sort of negotiated settlement.
But this high-mindedness is coming from a problematic place: a centrism unwilling to take sides in a battle between forces starkly polarized along class and ideological lines. Too many progressives reflexively honor any and all protests instead of critically evaluating their content. Today in Latin America, those radicals out of power and seething with resentment are often on the Right.