Dr Francisco Dominguez Senior lecturer at Middlesex University, where he is head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies

A powerful coalition of domestic forces in cahoots with Washington has unleashed an economic war against Venezuela’s progressive government since 2012, which, intensified with the premature departure of the late Hugo Chavez in March 2013, and has, as in Allende’s Chile, taken its toll on the electoral support for the government thus dealing a severe blow to Chavismo at the election to the National Assembly on 6th December 2015. The opposition won a two-thirds majority: 112 our of 167 MPs. (Due to allegations of vote-buying, the election of three opposition MPs from the state of Amazonas has been contested; the Supreme Court has upheld it and, pending investigation, suspended their swearing in as MPs, thus denying the Right a two-thirds majority; nevertheless this has marginal political and constitutional significance, thus this entire article is written as though Venezuela’s Right does enjoy a two-thirds majority.)

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