Spending-led “socialism” can’t last. For years, Venezuela has been borrowing at credit-card level interest rates. As the country runs out of money and out of people willing to lend it more, the real question is who’s going to be left holding the checkbook when the spending must screech to a halt?
Chávez’s possible exit is exquisitely timed: après moi, le déluge. His colorless vice president, Nicolás Maduro, strikes no one as the kind of leader who could handle the fury of so many ordinary Venezuelans who fear that their beloved leader’s memory might be betrayed by heartless neoliberalism.