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Steve Ellner:Left Government Strategies toward Business Groups and the Outcomes: The Mexican and Venezuelan Cases
     Release time: 2024-04-19
  The progressive governments of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico and Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela followed a strategy of selective treatment to win over some businesspeople and neutralize others in order to weaken the opposition of a hostile business class. This approach had advantages and downsides. It succeeded in gaining support from business representatives for government initiatives in moments of difficulty and crisis and reducing the firepower of the commercial media. It was also, however, conducive to corruption. Many nonhostile businesspeople proved to be unreliable allies as they ended up withdrawing their support for the government. These capitalists were a far cry from the progressive “national bourgeoisie” with which Communists and other leftists attempted to form alliances in the twentieth century, but proestablishment actors attacked many of them, including such leading capitalists as Gustavo Cisneros in Venezuela and Ricardo Salinas in Mexico, who in some cases were considered “traitors.” In Mexico, major businesspeople before and after the left’s rise to power played a more overtly political role than, for the most part, in Venezuela. Chávez attempted to define the behavior of progressive businesspeople, which included limits on profits, and also promoted the formation of politically progressive business organizations.
  From: Latin American Perspectives 2023 50 (2)
  Editor: Wang Yi
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