I wrote about this in August 2017, in Revolution in Venezuela. There have been previous signals, but none strong enough to counter the structural defect that has impeded revolution in Venezuela. The Caracas drone attack on Maduro was heralded as a serious challenge, yet no challenge to his power emerged. Between 1932 and 1944, there were 22 plots to assassinate Hitler, yet no equivalent challenge to his power.
Political will to revolution can exist while frustrated of the means actualize it. This occurs when there is no large segment of society that offers refuge to revolutionaries, yet impermeable to the power structure. Revolutions have almost without exception had a strong geographic bias in support. The French and Bolshevik revolutions were of urban origin, as was Hitler’s putsch. In the First Indochina War, the Vietnamese refuge was rural. The Cuban was agrarian; the Red China revolution advantaged an agrarian base. In each case, a revolution had to subdue the other geography; urban against rural, or rural against urban.
Revolution in Venezuela cites the criteria of Davies and Brinton, already satisfied, that signal ripeness. But I wrote,
As noted, the accession of the extremists would be facilitated by rural sanctuary. But “melting away” of the rebels into the countryside may be hindered by rural majorities of Maduro supporters. Open sources do not illuminate. This exhausts Brinton analogies. Here’s a new one, the development of the tornado.
This is about to change. As Venezuela’s oil output drifts towards zero, the subsidy to the rural poor will vanish. As a sanctuary most of the country will become available.
Maduro’s intellectual mediocrity is the most striking thing about him. It renders him incapable of understanding the historical analogies of his position. He may end up being thrown under the thing he used to drive.