A False Comparison of Venezuela with Libya
In a letter to the editor published in the Financial Times, Jason Pack responds to Francisco Rodriguez’s beyondbrics article “Don’t let Venezuela become the next Libya” (June 1). Pack argues that the article completely misunderstands the problem of post-conflict transitions in weak states and draws a false comparison with Libya. He refutes the author’s assertion that,“Perhaps nowhere is their failure most evident than in Libya, which descended into full-fledged anarchy after the collapse of its all-powerful petrostate.” Pack argues that:
Libya was never a real state. It lacked institutions or centralisation under President Muammer Gaddafi. Mr Rodriguez counsels a negotiated transition in Venezuela to preserve the country’s supposedly functioning institutions. This would not have worked in Libya during the Arab Spring as the country lacked non-personalised institutions and they could never have been preserved post-Gaddafi. I wonder if Mr Rodriguez has too rosy a view about Venezuela’s institutions and needs to face the harsh reality: that post-Chavez and post-Maduro, Venezuela doesn’t need to be rebuilt but, just like Libya post-Gaddafi, to be built entirely from scratch.
Click here to read the letter in full.