Spain now has a new political party, Podemos, whose role model is Hugo Chavez. its three founders served as advisers to the Chávez regime.
What could possibly go wrong?
For an answer to that questtion, let’s look at what The Economist is saying this week about Venezuela:
Hugo Chávez, who created and presided over the Bolivarian state-socialist system until his death in 2013, was repeatedly elected by Venezuelans, thanks to windfall oil revenues and his rapport with the poor. He took his majority as a mandate to squeeze the life out of Venezuelan democracy, seizing control of the courts and the electoral authority, and suppressing opposition media. Latin America’s governments acquiesced partly because they acknowledged his popular support.
Mr Maduro, though, lacks Chávez’s charisma and political skills—and his luck with the oil price. Crackpot economic policies have brought food shortages, soaring inflation and rising poverty.
Juan Carlos Monedero, Podemos leader and former Chavez advisor, is trying to downplay his links to chavismo, since his political adversaries are pointing out that Spain does not want undemocratic populist chaos, in spite of a long and very profitable (for him) association with the communist chavistas.
While Podemos is sliding in the polls,
Podemos could emerge as a broker, capable of mustering a governing majority with the Socialists and smaller leftist parties, according to Antonio Roldán, an analyst with international risk consulting firm Eurasia Group.
. . .
“There’s every reason to think that Podemos is here to stay,” he said. “Come the election, it will have multiple options to play havoc.”
If it does, it would seem that Spain is hell-bent on becoming the next Greece.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog. Her grandparents left Spain in the 19th century.