Maduro is not alone in the world. In recent years, Venezuela has rebuilt its strategic global alliances, giving clear preference – in the form of oil diplomacy and insider access to Latin American politics – to countries that share Maduro’s world view and governing style.
The regime’s relationships with the authoritarian governments of Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia and Cuba – all of which congratulated Maduro on his win – are strong.
These countries’ leaders practice a new kind of authoritarianism. In the 21st century, dictatorships do not necessarily take on the classic form – that of Mao, Lenin or the Latin American military juntas of the 1970s and 1980s.
Instead, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the like often maintain a democratic facade. They hold elections – but they do so under corrupt conditions, ensuring that they and their parties stay in power.
They decry capitalism and imperialism, claiming to rule in the name of the people. Meanwhile, they amass great personal wealth and power.
Venezuela’s Maduro, who enriched his inner circle while the country starved, is now indisputably part of this crowd.
Looting the country is the entire point of stealing elections.