Venezuelan security forces arrested scores of people on Wednesday during a sweep of a busy Caracas avenue as protests against the government heat up amid a widening split within the opposition over whether to back possible U.S. sanctions.
The protest and police response comes as month-old negotiations aimed at easing tensions hang in the balance. The opposition on Tuesday froze talks with President Nicolas Maduro’s government, saying the climate for dialogue was impossible after the arrest last week of more than 200 student protesters who had been camping for weeks outside the offices of the United Nations and three plazas in the capital.
Many political observers believe that by halting the talks opposition leaders were caving to pressure from their own radical base, which is fuming over confusing statements by the top U.S. diplomat to Latin America.
A lot of people argue that these protests are too early. That the barrios are not participating. That the people still support the Government widely and many other such arguments. While there is evidence to counteract each of these claims, I think they try to oversimplify the problem. In the end, the “barrios” are not where the opposition is weak, it is in the very rural states, where the people have a very high dependence on the Government. These are the true Chavista strongholds, where the media is fully dominated by the Government and the opposition gets less than 40% of the vote in any given election. In the barrios of the big cities, the 2013 Presidential elections tended to be closer, with the opposition scoring wins in many.
Since the middle 70’s most scholars would agree that the adoption of democracy along the countries worldwide have been wide and far. Today democracy is a global concept that states are willing to take. However, there is the broad discussion about the elements for democracy to emerge and whether if it’s likely or not; this essay will discuss: Can democracy emerge in any country, or must there be some pre-requisites in place beforehand?
Yes, democracy in theory is able to emerge in any country as it don’t know any boundaries, whatever the political past is; it can be argued that has to do mostly with people and mentality towards a democratic change rather than anything else. Though in practice is different; reason are explained next.
In democratic theories there is the debate whether democracy can be fully consolidated or not. There is the common argument that consolidation is possible in every democratic regime, but a ‘fully consolidation’ seems to be more unlikely. This essay will discuss: Can democracy ever be ‘fully consolidated’?
In the last decades ‘democracy has been widely recognized as the best political regime yet invented, because its citizens are both treated with respect, dignity and have some say in political decision-making’. In this sense, democracy can be consolidated, but not completely. To understand this: consolidation is seen as a scale; because of multiple different factors that are used to work out whether a democracy is consolidated or not. Therefore, it would be wrong to see democratic consolidation as a dichotomy. For example; if two democracies (A,B) were equal in almost every way sharing similar political institutions, ethnic divisions, size, region, political culture; it would be absurd to classify A as a consolidated democracy and B not just because A has more equality of wealth. Instead a better classification would be to say that A is more consolidated than B. The bottom-line here is that, democratic consolidation is best understood as a scale; this means that for a country to be ‘fully consolidated’ it must be at the very top of the consolidation scale. Moreover, for a country to be consolidated it would have to be on balance more likely to it to remain a democracy than to revert back to a non-democracy. In this case; it could be argued that for such a state to exist is almost impossible as for it to do so all the possibly relevant factors would have to be a factor strengthening democracy or at least not weakening it. To a national level, even in Britain for example, the lack of a codified constitution, the rise of BNP and declining turnout can all be pointed to as factors which make Britain’s democracy not fully consolidated because under the right conditions they could make the UK slide into authoritarianism. Although this is not likely the existence of these weaknesses in Britain’s democracy still mean that the UK can’t be called a fully consolidated democracy.