Collection launched: 15 May 2019
The four articles that constitute this special collection were accepted separately through the regular submission process; nonetheless they all have a common theme: Venezuela, a country enduring a long-standing undeclared war. There are many battlefields in Venezuela, among them those referred to in these articles: el barrio, the Bolivarian Armed Forces, propaganda conspiracies, and the transnational left. Struggle against a violent order, everyday resistance, warlike dynamics of displacement, and a cease-fire brokered by the mothers of malandros are documented by Verónica Zubillaga, Manuel Llorens, and John Souto. Based on analysis of LAPOP data, John Polga-Hecimovich concludes that politicization has undermined the Bolivarian Armed Forces’ legitimacy and suggests that the military and other security bodies may need to undergo a process of “de-Chavezation” once Chavism leaves power. John Michael Carey finds evidence that, among Venezuelans, left-leaning individuals and government supporters are more prone to believe in conspiracy theories, and that, accordingly, Chavista administrations have deployed state resources to promote “conspiracism.” Chavism also transformed oil revenues into petrodollar diplomacy to obtain political support, and ideological influence on a regional scale, as Daniel F. Wajner and Luis Roniger argue in their discussion of the most recent incarnation of the “Nuestra America” discourse.
Guest editor: Iria Puyosa, President of the LASA Venezuelan Studies Section (SVS)