When armies decide

A truly fascinating analysis that applies so well to Venezuela that it leaves one's mind reeling.  In this NYT article we can read how the army was in the end the main decider for the political fate of all countries and how in some cases (China notably) it shot people, remained in control and became the main economic power.

The application to Venezuela is almost straight forward: a servile minority is large enough to maintain Chavez in office, for the time being, while his real support base are the military who enjoys all the benefit of power without having had to make a coup.  Some of their guys (Diosdado Cabello) have become fabulously rich by simply forcing people to sell off their assets through "offers they could not refuse" and buying them through money they stole form the state.  The difference is that unlike China the military in Venezuela is not in the business of developing the economy but on skimming the country of any wealth, while on the side adding significant revenue from narco activities.  So we know one thing for sure, the final outcome will not be like South Korea or China (to illustrate the two extreme outcomes).  In Venezuela the final result will come from the ability of the army to generate enough income to keep in line at least a 30% of the country behind Chavez.  That and a little bit of repression and a tad of electoral cheating should do the trick in their mind.