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
21 June 2008

God better hurry up then….

From the Mail & Guardian online:

President Robert Mugabe said on Friday that “only God” could remove him from office, as Zimbabwe’s opposition considered pulling out of next week’s run-off election amid escalating violence.

“The MDC will never be allowed to rule this country — never, ever,” Mugabe told local business people in Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, referring to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. “Only God who appointed me will remove me — not the MDC, not the British.”

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