While we must stay attentive, I think it is safe to say that the recent coup attempts in Venezuela have been spectacular failures. For the first time in a generation, people in the United States are saying no to neoliberalism.
The difficulty that Guiado and the neoliberal opposition are facing as they try to depose Maduro and the Bolivarian government is demonstrative of the fact that neoliberalism is in its death throws. It is symbolic of a shift in our political dialogue.
Since the coups in Chile in 1972, Neoliberalism has functioned on a very simple plan of action. As Naomi Klein explains in “The Shock Doctrine” the introduction of neoliberalism into a nation’s market is dependent on one factor, crisis. In short, a national crisis “shocks” a nation’s market to its core, creating a need for that market to be refounded and rebuilt. This is where capitalists and privatizers are obligated to swoop in and “fill the void,” leading to a shift from public services to a privatized market.
Such was the case in places like Chile in 1972 or Honduras in 2012, and such was supposed to be the case in Venezuela in 2019.
No matter what your opinion is of Maduro or the Venezuelan government, it cannot be denied that U.S. intervention in Latin America has always lead to disaster, and it has always been the goal to sew crisis to allow capitalist extortion to run rampant. Ever since the success of the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile, the United States has been able to interfere and introduce neoliberalism with ease.
Usually the United States government has been able to interfere because of a lack of attention from those who oppose intervention. This has been the case in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras and too many other nations. The fact that United States citizens are starting to resist this intervention represents a shift in the status quo for Neoliberal politics.
The failure of the coup in Venezuela is a blow to Neoliberalism itself, it is the first time in a generation that U.S. intervention has successfully been stonewalled by its own citizens, at least for now. Not since Vietnam and the fall of Saigon has free market capitalism been so humiliated.
We are by no means out of the woods, the Venezuelan embassy to the United States has been successfully evicted and Guiado is still the recognized president of Venezuela by the U.S. and several other nation’s governments, including Canada and the U.K.
However the fact that the U.S. is being challenged and is being challenged so openly by its own citizens is a blow to neoliberalism, which in my opinion is a victory for socialism. The status quo has shifted, and the chance for socialists to strike is fast approaching.