The balkanization of Venezuela?

Vicente Quintero
4 min readFeb 14, 2019

Several Venezuelan academicians, from diverse background and political tendencies, have suggested that Venezuela is on the way to a balkanization process. Originally published in: The Geopolitics Magazine.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, understood as a Nation-State, could cease to exist as we know it today, to the point that -ex-Congressman Luis Florido asked in a letter in 2018: “to avoid the Balkanization of Venezuela and demand that the FAN fulfill their Constitutional role”. Emilio Figueredo, Venezuelan lawyer and former diplomat, and Alexander Campos, academic at the Central University of Venezuela, are only some of the experts that have suggested that Venezuela is on the way to a balcanization process. There are even analysts in the Venezuelan left who have already warned about this, as is the case of José Negrón Valera (Sputnik). In geopolitical and strategic terms, the concept balkanization is used to refer to the process of disintegration that States may suffer. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia is the main reference of Balkanization.

Academic Alexander Campos says (Contrapunto): “[the Venezuelan State] is not able to control its territory. On the borders there is a more effective control of drug trafficking groups and guerrilla groups than of the State itself. In the east of the country drug trafficking rules. The “mega gangs“ are, in some way, reaching an agreement with the police bodies of State. I am a social scientist and my duty is to think about trends. “

The lack of effective control of the Venezuelan State, the existence of a Parastate (shock troops) and the expansionist geopolitical claims of neighbor countries are only some of the factors that could facilitate a process of state disintegration. Today, the State is not able to enforce the law in the peripheral and bordering areas of the country, where cross-border crime and criminal mafias have increased. The police and the military sector are often subordinated to shock groups, better known as collectives. According to Max Weber: “The State is the human community that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence within a given territory”. In Venezuela, The State shares the legitimate use of violence with the shock troops. It has lost its monopoly of the legitimate use of violence.

Vicente Quintero

Social researcher. Politics, Philosophy, History and Economics. Poetry. Amazon: