In Venezuela, an Unpleasant Foretaste of What’s to Come

When I commented on NRO a few days ago about the possibility of Chávez’s death from (we now know) cancer, I predicted that there would be no obvious heir apparent. Instead, I argued that the country would lapse into a military dictatorship or a civil war, or possibly both. Several people e-mailed me that I was surely taking too grim a view of Venezuela and Venezuelans.

During yesterday’s parade to celebrate 200 years of Venezuelan independence from Spain, opposition congresswoman Maria Corina Machado was physically attacked by a mob of Chávez supporters. They attacked her with fists, hurled objects at her, and punched her in the face. The army officer assigned to protect her reportedly suffered a head injury from a large object thrown by the same group.

This is only one incident, of course, but it underscores the incredible polarization and class hatred that Chávez has stirred up in his country, formerly one of the more socially integrated Latin American republics.

Moreover, during the few days when Chávez was unable to communicate with his followers while recovering from surgery in Cuba, some of his associates publicly threatened violence to keep power if challenged.

The brickbats launched at Señora Corina Machado are a mere foretaste of what is to come, whether Chávez lives or dies.

Mark Falcoff — Mark Falcoff is an Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  He was formerly a professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a senior consultant to the 1983 National Bipartisan ...

Most Popular


Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More