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Venezuela, the Axis of Resistance: From Celebrating Success to Celebrating Failure

Venezuela, the Axis of Resistance: From Celebrating Success to Celebrating Failure

Thursday, 17 December, 2020 - 07:45

Supporters of the axis' of resistance ethics and language have changed noticeably. They are celebrating cases of failure after having had celebrated successful cases, or what seemed as such. The Soviet Union’s economy, scientific research, and military power, and with it the Soviet’s participation in the space race. Medicine and doctors in Cuba. Vietnam’s Revolution. National liberation movements. Building dams and factories ... These were feats that one could engage with; defending them was more or less tenable.


Today, they have nothing left but Assad’s Syria, Khamenei’s Iran, and Chavez and Maduro’s Venezuela. The task is very difficult, and its difficulty is not alleviated by borrowing Chinese achievements, which linking to resistance is akin to pure fabrication.


The reasons for this, as we know, are many: the end of colonialism, the collapse of the Soviet camp and the “Third World” military regimes allied with it, China’s transformation from a state-run to a market economy, and the rise of identitarian populism, which is supported by many of yesterday’s Marxists. However, the previously mentioned change that these reasons created is akin to decline, if not degradation.


Indeed, turning sources of mourning into causes for celebration have become the resistance’s job. The examples in Syria and Iran have become very familiar to the people of the region. Distant Venezuela has also been taken care of.


A few days ago, it organized general elections through which President Nicolas Maduro regained his parliamentary majority. The opposition boycotted the elections. The turnout rate was 31 percent. Supporters of the resistance raised their toasts high. The victories keep coming.


But let us go back to 2013 to find out more about Venezuela’s achievements. That year, Hugo Chavez, who led the “Bolivarian Revolution,” and the country since 1999, believed in the welfare state and its source of funding, oil rents, passed away. His aide, the syndicalist Nicolas Maduro, replaced him while oil prices were collapsing. Maduro did not reconsider the economic policies that came to lack their foundations and tools. He did not revisit the approach of utilizing populism and authoritarianism, nor did he allow the people to take part in framing the difficult decisions of which they would bear the brunt. He continued on the path of his righteous predecessor. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela of Chavez and Maduro tightened its grip on institutions such as the judiciary and the supreme court. In 2016, the opposition parties won a parliamentary majority, so Maduro created a “National Constituent Assembly” composed of his supporters to quell the opposition, granting the new assembly more power than the elected parliament, including the ability to dissolve it and draft a new constitution. In 2018, Maduro renewed his term amid an opposition boycott and internal and external electoral fraud suspicions. Official figures indicate he garnered more than two-thirds of the vote.


In early 2019, Parliamentary Speaker Juan Guido declared himself interim president of the republic, a step that the constitution has provisions for. Guido, who has a middle-class background and started his life as a student activist and embraced democratic socialist ideas, managed to rally the fragmented opposition parties around him. Also, abroad, it was recognized by nearly 60 countries, including all the entire democratic world. The most prominent countries that did not recognize him are the usual suspects: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Turkey.


Maduro detained the most prominent figures of the opposition, and the most important of them fled. The founder of the opposition Popular Will Party, Leopoldo Lopez, four years in a military prison, a year and a half under house arrest, then a year and a half as a refugee in the Spanish embassy before fleeing to Spain. Guido, in turn, was accused and threatened, barred from traveling, and had his bank accounts seized.


After US sanctions were imposed against few individuals in 2015, toward the end of Barack Obama’s term, they were qualitatively expanded in 2019 by Donald Trump’s administration. Sanctions covered Maduro, his entourage, and the fuel industry, making it nearly impossible to obtain fuel or foreign currency.


The economic meltdown that ravaged the prosperous country of Venezuela was of epic proportions: the annual rate of inflation exceeded 5,000 percent. No essential goods can be found in the country. There is no water, even in hospitals. Nearly six million citizens, a fifth of the population, fled their country, some on foot, one of the largest mass migrations in Latin American history.


The official narrative puts all of this down to US sanctions and “the war waged on Venezuela by the United States’ agents.” Believing this narrative requires forgetting everything Maduro has done: in politics and the economy and to institutions and political parties.


The fact is that celebrating such outcomes, rather such tragedies, has a taste of death because taking the road to hell is not the only alternative to taking the path the US embraces.


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