Venezuela vs Ukraine: Why we won’t see the protests in Caracas

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | December 11th, 2013

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Venezuela vs Ukraine: Why we won't see the protests in Caracas

The Ukraini­ans are revolt­ing, in a big way: After their pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych essen­tially sided with Putin and gave the Euro­pean Union the rasp­berry by with­draw­ing from the EU asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment just as it was due to be signed last month, hun­dreds of thou­sands of pro­tes­tors gath­ered in Kiev, blocked and occu­pied gov­ern­ment build­ings, and took down a statue of Lenin.

While Yanukovych has said that gov­ern­ment offi­cials could visit Brus­sels this week to resume talks on the EU asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment, the pro­tes­tors are brav­ing the snow and stay­ing put.

Con­trast that with Venezuela, with the gov­ern­ment incar­cer­at­ing small busi­ness own­ers in its lat­est move towards full Com­mu­nism. Right now, in Venezuela, you will find:

Thou­sands of Venezue­lans have fled the coun­try (with some boost­ing Miami real estate prices). Fol­low­ing Sunday’s munic­i­pal elec­tion and its pre­dictable results, a friend snarked, “What Venezuela needs is a few hun­dred thou­sand Ukranians.”

It’s unlikely that Venezue­lans will rise en masse:

  • Chav­ismo is still pop­u­lar among the larger num­ber of une­d­u­cated, poor peo­ple who may actu­ally believe that raid­ing elec­tron­ics stores is a good idea. There’s no equiv­a­lent of Putin to hate or fear, in spite of the per­vad­ing Cuban presence.
  • Oppo­si­tion lead­ers are demo­nized, de-​humanized and phys­i­cally attacked on the floor of the National Assembly.
  • There’s still a mind­set of “every man for him­self”.
  • The gov­ern­ment con­trols all pro­pa­ganda out­lets — even using ambu­lances to post cam­paign mate­ri­als.
  • Pro­ceeds from oil still pay for a lot of “freebies”.
  • Venezuela is new to Communism.

And,

So don’t expect mil­lions of Venezue­lans to storm down­town Cara­cas any­time soon.

The Ukrainians are revolting, in a big way: After their president Viktor Yanukovych essentially sided with Putin and gave the European Union the raspberry by withdrawing from the EU association agreement just as it was due to be signed last month, hundreds of thousands of protestors gathered in Kiev, blocked and occupied government buildings, and took down a statue of Lenin.

While Yanukovych has said that government officials could visit Brussels this week to resume talks on the EU association agreement, the protestors are braving the snow and staying put.

Contrast that with Venezuela, with the government incarcerating small business owners in its latest move towards full Communism. Right now, in Venezuela, you will find:

Thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country (with some boosting Miami real estate prices). Following Sunday’s municipal election and its predictable results, a friend snarked, “What Venezuela needs is a few hundred thousand Ukranians.”

It’s unlikely that Venezuelans will rise en masse:

  • Chavismo is still popular among the larger number of uneducated, poor people who may actually believe that raiding electronics stores is a good idea. There’s no equivalent of Putin to hate or fear, in spite of the pervading Cuban presence.
  • Opposition leaders are demonized, de-humanized and physically attacked on the floor of the National Assembly.
  • There’s still a mindset of “every man for himself“.
  • The government controls all propaganda outlets – even using ambulances to post campaign materials.
  • Proceeds from oil still pay for a lot of “freebies”.
  • Venezuela is new to Communism.

And,

So don’t expect millions of Venezuelans to storm downtown Caracas anytime soon.

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