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Spain, moving towards Chavismo?

Spain now has a new polit­i­cal party, Podemos, whose role model is Hugo Chavez. its three founders served as advis­ers to the Chávez régime.

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.

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.