Chavismo has come full circle, notes analyst David Smilde. From a movement that showed how non-elite actors could use the instruments of electoral democracy to upend an entrenched elite, Chavismo has itself become an entrenched elite preventing those same instruments from upending it, he writes for The New York Times:
Venezuela is not South Sudan, Haiti or Aleppo. But it is going through an acute economic crisis that is entirely unnecessary. This crisis is not caused by an imaginary economic war, or even the dramatic drop in oil prices — it already existed while oil was above $100 a barrel. It is caused by a set of obviously dysfunctional economic policies held in place by a government unwilling to change course.