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
16 February 2010

Helen Zille responds

Helen Zille is trying to dig herself out of the hole she got herself into by claiming the Lennit Max sex scandal was a private matter. She responded to my criticism of her and I posted her response here. My short response, pointing out the similarities between the Max case and the Manto Tshabalala-Msimang cases is here. Judge for yourself whether she had dug herself deeper into a ditch or has shown principled and courageous leadership….

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