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
17 December 2015

Back in the new year

I am taking a break from Blogging until early in 2016. Unless something earth-shattering happens which requires urgent comment, there will be no Blog post until early in 2016.

I would like to thank all the loyal readers of this Blog for the helpful feedback I receive from time to time in emails and when I encounter readers at public events. I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

See you in 2016.

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