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It should be clear by now that democracy doesn't work particularly well anywhere, but that it works worst of all in Third World crapholes like Venezuela. What countries like this require is a benign strongman, a General Pinochet figure or even a Saddam Hussein, who can crack heads together when necessary and maintain a modicum of order and economic sanity. 

Instead they got democracy and in 1998 the poor and disenchanted lower middle classes voted in a megalomaniac Commie called Hugo Chavez who started looting the country's oil revenues and foreign companies to pay for gibsmedats

In the good old days, the USA would have responded to this "mistake by the voters" by launching a coup, but Clinton, Bush, and Obama all dropped the ball for various reasons, allowing Chavismo -- Chavez's brand of socialism -- to defeat a feeble domestic coup attempt and entrench itself in power. 

This fat twat has "fuck up the economy" written all over him.

This has driven the country deeper into an economic swamp of rising debt and economic dysfunction. If the oil price had stayed high, this could have gone on for some time, as Venezuela is a major oil exporter, but instead the price dropped from $100 a barrel in 2014 to $26 in 2016. Inflation has also soared, and unemployment is now around the 25% mark. 

Chavez died of cancer in 2013 and was succeeded by his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, who narrowly won an election the same year, although his opponent claimed vote rigging and manipulation of state media. 

Maduro then overrode the other branches of government, like the country's parliament, the National Assembly, where the opposition was stronger, by ruling by decree. He has been supported in this by the army, which has been stacked with Chavists. He also tried to use the Chavist-controlled Supreme Court to take away the National Assembly's remaining powers, prompting mass protests and a retreat by Maduro. 

Maduro trying to gin up support among his stupid supporters by wearing a shit hat like theirs.

Now Maduro plans to strengthen the position of the President through the creation of a new assembly, empowered to change the country's constitution in the President's favour -- a bit like what happened in another Third World craphole recently, Turkey
But fearing vote rigging, the opposition parties decided to delegitimize this new body, called the National Constituent Assembly, by boycotting the election to select its members, meaning that it is now entirely dominated by Chavist loyalists. 

This has created a situation where the country is now balanced on a knife edge. On the one side you have a majority of the people (around 60%) fed up with the economic failure of Chavismo and supporting various opposition parties in the National Assembly, while on the other side you have the Chavists, controlling the rival National Constituent Assembly and supported by the army and the poor.

After a video circulated on social media on Sunday (6th August) showing a group of men in military uniform announcing an uprising, a military base in the country's third city of Valencia was attacked with reports of weapons being stolen. There were also reports of hundreds of people demonstrating against the government in the streets of Valencia. They were later dispersed by tear gas and bullets. 

For the time being Maduro remains in control, but the mutual fear that both sides have for each other is pushing social division to new heights and causing additional economic chaos that is hitting everyone hard. Foreign companies have ordered their employees to leave. 

Now the Chavists are attempting to bolster their position by claiming that all the country's ills are due to America. The new leader of the National Constituent Assembly, former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, said in a shrill speech to the assembly:
"To the head of the empire, we said: Don't mess with Venezuela. We say, empire, savage barbarians, don't mess with Venezuela, because Venezuela will never surrender."
Failed as a maid. Became Foreign Minister.

The irony is that the situation is so delicately balanced that if America did pull a few strings the Chavists would be overthrown in days, if not hours. 

Now the Alt-Right is generally against US foreign adventures, but the situation in Venezuela is not to be ignored, because any chaos in the Third World inevitably results in droves of refugees turning up on the doorstep of First World countries. 

Also, the social divisions in Venezuela have a racial dimension, because class in South America correlates quite closely with race, with the people at the top of society being Whiter, those lower down darker. In the 2011 census half the population claimed to be "moreno," a term that means "dark-skinned" or "brown-skinned." In the case of Venezuela this means mainly Mestizo (White and American Indian mix) but also includes some Mulatto (White and African). 43.6% of the population claim to be White. 

Most of the people opposing Maduro are White, while most supporting him are "Moreno." As the crisis develops, how will the Whites in the army react is a key question. That and the role America decides to play. 

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