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
8 June 2007

Omnipotent God like living in North Korea. . .

I do not agree with Christopher Hitchen’s on the Iraq war, but he can be mercilessly funny and brutal in argument. Here he argues with an interviewer of right wing Fox news channel. I like the bit where he says if there really was an omnipotent God it would be like living in North Korea. . .

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