Latin America’s New Turbulence: Can Democracy Win in Venezuela?

Issue Date April 2016
Volume 27
Issue 2
Page Numbers 20-34
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Read the full essay here.

In December 2015, against the background of a competitive authoritarian socialist regime in severe economic and civic crisis, Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, won a resounding triumph in national legislative elections, giving it the two-thirds supermajority needed to exercise a number of key powers. This sweeping result has presented the country’s “Bolivarian socialist” regime—founded by the late President Hugo Chávez and now headed by his chosen successor Nicolás Maduro—with a painful choice: whether to accept a real division of power or to try to maintain its grip at all costs. This decision comes at a time of staggering economic failure that is fueling a humanitarian crisis. Hyperinflation, skyrocketing crime rates, and severe shortages of essential goods are overwhelming ordinary Venezuelans.

About the Authors

Manuel Hidalgo

Manuel Hidalgo is professor of political science at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

View all work by Manuel Hidalgo

Benigno Alarcón

Benigno Alarcón is director of the Center for Political Studies at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas.

View all work by Benigno Alarcón

Ángel E. Álvarez

Ángel E. Álvarez is professor emeritus of political science at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

View all work by Ángel E. Álvarez