[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.
I hope you all had a great freedom day and took a moment to cherish the wonder of living in a free country in which the human dignity of all are protected by the Constitution. If we want to honour our freedom (and here comes the sermon – always thought I should have been a dominee or priest) every one of us need to respect the dignity of everyone in the country.
It is so easy to judge someone for how he or she looks, what political party that person supports, what gender he or she is, or whether the person speaks Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu or Shangaan. That is why this video tears me up every time I watch it. It challenges our prejudices and reminds us that we are all deserving of respect because we all have an inherent self worth. Respect.
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