Bloody Pinochet gave up power and so did the racist Apartheid regime in South Africa. The communist governments in Poland and Czechoslovakia likewise accepted defeat and change at the late eighties. So: why can't Chavistas do the same? Wouldn't it be easier for them than for Pinochet's thugs? For instance, Pinochet's folk murdered several thousand civilians and most of the criminals felt they could come to terms with living in a society that might want to demand justice.
There are several reasons why i will be harder for top Chavista 'revolutionaries' to accept the arrival of democracy in Venezuela.
Firstly: many chavista honchos are deeply concerned they will be prosecuted and that there won't be any amnesty for them as there was for Pinochet's goons. Why would they think so? They did not throw thousands of people from helicopters as Pinochet's men did in Chile. Chavismo's well known crimes like the kilĺings during the coups of 1992 have already been brushed away when late president Caldera signed an amnesty that let Chávez and his accomplices take part in democratic elections and gain power in spite of the innocent blood they had spelt. Big chavistas have little to fear about being directly to the hundred or more cases where pro regime colectivos and soldiers killed civilians since 2003. And yet: there are probably some more crimes people do not know now about but that we will find about as soon as Chavistas lose power. It is hard to come up with an amnesty when the responsabilities are still to be determined.
A lot of these Chavistas are, according to US authorities and other sources, involved in drug trafficking or simply in corruption involving many hundreds of millions of dollars -far more than what previous governments stole-. All corruption cases definitely sum up to over 30 billion dollars, as the FONDEN scandals clearly indicate. Because Chavistas pretended for so long to represent the poor and the amount of money they robbed they would be permanent targets of popular scorn. Even Romania, with its shortage economy, did not see such a crumbling economy in such a short time,
Secondly: Chavista honchos would have very hard time abroad.
They cannot imagine their lives in places with such different cultures as Russia or China. Cuba is hardly an option: once Chavismo loses power in Venezuela, the Cuban dictatorship is bound to crumble sooner than later. Some Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile or Costa Rica could be offered for exile but even there big Chavistas would have a tough time given the large Venezuelan communities that would keep an eye on them. Maduro, Cabello, Aissami, Rangel, Lucena and many dozens of others would not be able to keep dozens of bodyguards or expect Latin American governments to keep such numbers for them on a permanent basis in order to let them go shopping, visit restaurants and so on. Latin America is not Saudi Arabia.
Thirdly: the only place high ranking Chavistas can imagine themselves living is Venezuela but how could they feel remotely at ease being protected by a higly corrupt and incompetent army no longer under their control? The Chilean army, much more disciplined and less corrupt than the Venezuelan one, had to protect a few very bloody criminals apart from Pinochet, but these criminals were never as high profile and the transition took place before the mobile and social media era.
In spite of all this it is high time the opposition starts to make the thought excercise of what options within the context of international are there for these criminals .
The following is just a list of the top criminals who would prefer to let Venezuela bleed and burn before giving up power:
Nicolás Maduro and family
Henry Rangel Silva
Clíver Alcalá Cordones
Bu there are many dozens of others