Venezuela: the longer view

President Nicolás Maduro

Having established a constituent assembly able to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution, take essential political and economic decisions, and confirm key appointments, President Nicolás Maduro’s government is now moving swiftly to assert its overall authority.

On August 18, the new body effectively nullified the legislative power of elected members of the National Assembly. It did so by giving itself the authority to introduce measures that guarantee “the peace, sovereignty and economic well-being” of Venezuelans. At the same time, the state has begun to move against individuals with alternative credibility, who are being sanctioned or denounced, causing some to flee the country.

Meanwhile, a low-key form of ideological struggle is underway within the ruling party to determine the country’s future political model. This will determine whether those in power believe there is a future role for pluralism and an elected opposition of some kind, when presidential and other elections might take place, and establish a much-needed new approach to economic management…..

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