Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
20 May 2011

And the winner is…..

This Business Day cartoon sums up the election rather well. Maybe local government officials and politicians of both the DA and the ANC will now begin to treat people with dignity and respect. Maybe they have learnt from the toilet scandals that one cannot only tell people what they want and what is best for them, but that one must also listen to what they say and take their needs seriously. One lives in hope – despite evidence to the contrary.

20110519

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