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
24 December 2008

Happy holidays

I would like to wish the readers of this Blog a happy holiday. Thanks for your support over the past year. Without you this Blog would have been far less lively and thought provoking. Many of you have taught me new things this year and even if you did not, I enjoyed sparring with you. I hope you all have a great 2009, filled with love, light and blessings. Viva the Constitution! Viva democracy! Viva freedom of speech!

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