South African and international lefties and progressives are right to condemn the imperialist manoeuvring of the US and defend the right of the Venezuelan people to decide their own political and economic future. However, the mistakes of the past should not be repeated, such as those in the case of Mugabe/ZANU-PF’s Zimbabwe, Ortega/Sandinista’s Nicaragua, Dos Santos/MPLA’s Angola or indeed, the ANC’s South Africa.
The roots of the present political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela are multi-pronged. 1
They are not, as much of the South African left and the ANC-run government would have it, simply to be found in the long history of imperialist geopolitics and right-wing capitalist rule that preceded the rise to political power of the late Hugo Chavez in 1998 and the pursuit of his accompanying “Bolivarian revolution”.