The Consolidation of Bolivarian Authoritarianism and Terrorist Ties

By Douglas Farah


As Jackson Diehl writes in today’s Washington Post, Hugo Chávez’s version of the Bolivarian Revolution is in a deep crisis.

He is enough of a crisis that his pulled force RCTV off the air for refusing to carrying his endless and inane speeches en toto, even though they take hours of air time. Not that there is even the appearance now of freedom of the press, but the price to Chávez’s already-sullied international image will be high.

However, I am not sure I share Diehl’s optimism that the system is on its way to collapse. It would be in a normal world, but given Chávez’s clear willingness to profit from the expanding cocaine trade through Venezuela, he has more of an economic slush fund to draw that could allow him to limp along and keep a deeply inefficient system running.

More evidence of Chávez’s ties to terrorist groups is now in hand. The FARC and much smaller (though still declared Marxist) ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – Army of National Liberation) have reached a ceasefire in order to stop killing each others’ troops in the field.

The three meeting to reach an agreement of the two designated terrorist organizations were held in Venezuelan territory to discuss a truce, and were ultimately sign an agreement to jointly confront the Colombian government

Among the points discussed were how to bring the ELN more fully into the FARC’s primary umbrella front group, the Movimiento Continental Bolivariano. The MCB publicly held its most recent plenary session in Caracas in December, and named senior FARC commander Alfonso Cano to its directorate.

My full blog is here.

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