Documentary Shows Democracy Tested in Venezuela

“Left vs. right isn’t at the center of this issue. It is authoritarianism vs. democracy.” This description from Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard University economics professor, that’s paired with images grouping the regime of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro with global far-right demagogues like Rodrigo Duterte, is an apt summary of A La Calle. It’s simply in favor of free and fair democratic governance– an understandable bias.

During the presidency of the communist Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), the Venezuelan economy reached new heights; his presidency, and the economy he led, was one of the most prominent examples of Leftist success during the 21st century. That is, according to the traditional narrative; A La Calle complicates this a bit. Following his death, Maduro took over the reins and the economic success quickly evaporated as global oil prices fluctuated. The Venezuelan boom, as posited by the filmmakers, was nothing more than lucky timing on the part of the global oil industry. To maintain his hold on power, Maduro imprisons political opponents, and isn’t bashful in implementing a police state and fixing elections. His unconstitutionally elected Supreme Tribunal even overrode the National Assembly to retain his presidency and inaugurated a constitutional crisis.

Continue reading at Boston Hassle.

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