[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 am extatic to read that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has been moved from her post as Minister of Health and replaced with the excellent Barbara Hogan. Now if only Mbeki did this about 8 years ago. Maybe he could still have had a job. Pity Manto was not “redeployed” as ambassador to Tjikitjikistan….BACK TO TOP