Center-Left Convergence in Venezuela: A Blow to U.S. Interventionism

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Venezuelan centrist Claudio Fermín was a protégé of neoliberal president Carlos Andrés Pérez in the early 1990s and, at first, a firm opponent of Hugo Chávez. But like some others in the same political camp, in more recent years, he has changed course. Particularly since Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuela, Fermín has become outspoken in vehemently opposing both US interventionism and his own nation's radical right.

Such a change shows just how much Venezuelan politics have been transformed in the recent past. Since the attempted coup of April 2002, the country's leftist governments have been pitted against a united opposition, intent on achieving regime change by any means possible. But now, such extreme polarization seems to be weakening.

A former mayor of Caracas and presidential candidate, Fermín is not alone among centrist politicians in bucking the Trump administration's insistence on a boycott of the December 6 National Assembly elections, in a bid to further isolate president Nicolás Maduro.

Fermín's nationalistic rhetoric was on display in an interview last month, as he lashed out at the Venezuelan right, the Trump administration, and the other governments that have followed its lead: ' The superpowers have buddied up with the nation's anti-Venezuelan political elite, who don't really have Venezuela in their hearts, who impede the arrival of oil tankers with much-need....

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