Why do some Latin American countries seem destined to live through periods of crisis, again and again? Why do some countries achieve development and others not? Seeking for some answers I interviewed the professor Acemoglu in March 2014, when Venezuela was shaken by violent demonstrations against Nicolás Maduro and the questioned elections. “It will not be easy for Maduro to consolidate his power, and I am afraid that unfortunately that augurs few peaceful days for Venezuela”.
He was right. Since then, the political, economic and social conditions in Venezuela deteriorated rapidly. “Maduro is trying to survive as a dictator, as an autocrat”, warned Acemoglu.
Also his analysis about the definition of democracy has a special meaning nowadays: “Even when elections are free from intimidation, fraud or questionable practices, being elected by popular vote is not the only thing. Democracy also takes care of how politicians respect the rights of the people, serve the interests of the people. A democracy needs a government chosen in a truly competitive system of parties and institutions. In many cases, a president, who on paper is democratically elected, is elected in an environment of high intimidation. Putin is a good example of this. No one could say that Russia is a paragon of democracy ... and Venezuela is the same".
You can read the published interview by El Mercurio here.