Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, author of We Created Chavez, remarked in a recent email to me that the Venezuelan political opposition now feels "vindicated" and that a consensus has emerged in the media "that Venezuela is a failed state".The current fourth season of the Telemundo series El Señor de los Cielos has Venezuela characters who are pro-government and are portrayed as cynical, corrupt assassins. On the other hand, the anti-government Venezuelans on the show are cynical, corrupt mobsters. (Both Sides Do It!) But it's a narconovela, so the characters are pretty much all in competing bands of violent, corrupt killers, including the police. Narconovelas are like fifties cowboy movies, only without any guys in white hats.
He continues: "But just as a broken clock is right twice a day, this vindication should be taken with a grain of salt. The economic pain being felt today is not the product of socialism, but of how ferociously capitalism fights back."
And while the opposition markets itself as a viable alternative to the present panorama, Ciccariello-Maher says, the only alternative it offers is "a return to neoliberal savagery".
Such cautionary voices cannot, however, be heard through the media din. At The Guardian, Nick Cohen takes the cake for intriguing analysis with his opinion piece titled: "Radical tourists have been deluded pimps for Venezuela."
Behind Venezuela's looming collapse - Counting the Cost Al Jazeera English 05/28/2016:
The Association of Caribbean States is currently promoting dialogue between the opposing political parties and groups in Venezuela. (Países del Caribe respaldan diálogo en Venezuela Panorama 04.06.2016)
The US-dominated Organization of American States has been putting heavy diplomatic pressure on Venezuela as part of the Obama Administration's broader effort to isolate Venezuela and promote regime change to install a conservative/neoliberal government. Nelson Acosta and Marc Frank (Venezuela's Maduro entreats Latin America not to isolate him Reuters 06/04/2016) sketch the backgroud of the current situation this way:
As Venezuela falls deeper into an economic crisis that includes food and medicine shortages, spiraling inflation and sporadic looting, protests at home for a recall referendum against Maduro are growing.And let's not forget: "Venezuela claims the world’s largest proven reserves of petroleum, an estimated 298 billion barrels of oil." (Michael Klare, The Desperate Plight of Petro-States Tom Dispatch 05/26/2016)
Maduro has denounced this as part of an undercover U.S.-backed coup against his socialist government.
"Venezuela will not give in, it will not kneel down, we will fight with the same force we have fought against coups and any type of interventionism these last 17 years," he said.
Cuban President Raul Castro gave Maduro his "robust and unconditional support" at the summit and denounced the "imperialist counteroffensive" against progressive governments throughout Latin America.
A generation of leftist leaders took power in the region around 2000, leveraging a boom in commodity exports to pursue ambitious and transformative social policies.
Venezuela also used its oil to wield influence abroad. A majority of the 25 states that are members of the Association of Caribbean States, or ACS, receive subsidized Venezuelan fuel.
But commodity prices have plunged in recent years and support for these leftists governments has crumbled.