Approaching Venezuela, ALBA, and Postneoliberalism

  • Asa K. Cusack
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


This chapter provides an overview of ALBA from its inception in 2004 to its decline in 2017, detailing also how ALBA relates to the theory and practice of the “postneoliberal” New Left in Latin America and the Caribbean. It argues that these ideas must be evaluated through a detailed, delineated, yet open-minded assessment of implementation, with particular attention to endogenous development, autonomy, and legitimacy (in its input, output, and control forms). It also analyses a shift in Venezuelan political economy from revolution to dissimulation, with once-successful initiatives deteriorating amidst cash flow problems, governance failings, and a hydra-headed social crisis. The idea of a postneoliberal Left Turn loses much force with its Venezuelan spearhead blunted and Ecuador’s model proving to be a far more moderate counterpoint. Ultimately, the idea of a postneoliberal wave of regionalism is undermined by the weak implementation and dubious impact of ALBA, which constitutes the theory’s principal empirical foundation.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asa K. Cusack
    • 1
  1. 1.Latin America and Caribbean CentreLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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