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
18 March 2008

Better than houses in Joe Slovo?

The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement website contains a picture (below) of the site where Joe Slovo residents will be moved if their appeal against the eviction order by Judge President John Hlophe is unsuccessful. The Court accepted that this accommodation was far better than the existing accommodation in Joe Slovo. Must say, it looks rather cosy….

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Maybe there is a reason why the inhabitants of Joe Slovo (pictures below) would not want to me moved 15 km further away to a souless dump from town to a place not accessible by train and hence much more difficult and expensive to travel to and from.

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