Thirty years after the Jean-Claude Duvalier fled Haiti, the Caribbean island country has been plagued by political upheaval, autocracy, and corruption. Now, though, after yet another electoral debacle, the international community has a rare opportunity to support the Haitian people, rather than an imperfect, temporary way out of a crisis.
Any numerical representation of people has institutional and moral consequences. This is especially so in Venezuela where Chavistas consistently had a monopoly on being the majority and used it to discount opposition as los escualidos (the few, rotten elites), a characterization that is now less credible with the recent elections.
Venezuela’s political opposition rode a wave of economic discontent in Sunday’s elections to win the majority of legislative seats for the first time in 16 years. It’s a historic shift for the oil-rich nation that’s spent the past nearly two decades under a socialist regime that had few checks on its power.
Chances are that the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) will win a majority of votes in Sunday’s legislative elections in Venezuela. But, an opposition victory is no guarantee of a political shift. Here are some areas to watch beyond the typical and tired storylines on the elections.
In the past three weeks Latin American leaders have spoken out expressing their concerns over electoral conditions in Venezuela. While welcome, these individual voices don’t equal a larger institutional voice that can threaten sanctions if things should go awry in Venezuela.