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 June 2009

Medical Miracles (II)

It has now been 110 days since Schabir Shaik was released from prison on medical parole in order to “die a quiet and dignified death”. Shaik, however, is still very much alive. Is this a medical miracle in the making?

I will continue to remind readers every 30 days that Shaik is still alive.

Every 30 days that Shaik remains alive provides more proof that the medical parole board released Shaik unlawfully and that the government lied about his condition. With the passing of every month, the scandal of his release grows bigger. We should not forget this.

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