Venezuela's Latent Civic Reserves

"[Venezuela] is…a country where democratic forces refuse to die," said Javier Corrales on Latin America in Focus, cited by The Christian Science Monitor.

Ten years ago, Venezuela had the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, anchored by the largest oil reserves in the world. Since then, its economy has collapsed by more than 86%. More than 1 in 5 Venezuelans have left, forced by economic hardship, persecution, or criminal violence to seek freedom and opportunity elsewhere. 

The exodus is an oft-cited measure of the misrule of socialist autocrat President Nicolás Maduro. 

Yet the flip side of that picture reveals another story. Nearly 80% of Venezuelans have stayed put, reflecting in part an expectation among many that justice and equality will return. […]

“The Venezuelan case…is an example of a country where democratic forces refuse to die,” Amherst College political scientist Javier Corrales said in an Americas Society/Council of the Americas podcast. “And this has meant that autocracy hasn’t really consolidated. There is a story here of hope—that is, the resilience of democratic forces in Venezuela.”…

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