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
30 December 2006

Saddam HUssein Executed this morning

Saddam Hussein was executed this morning in Bagdad after being convicted of various attrocities by a court of sorts.

For me his execution is a reminder that in international affairs there is no such thing as morality.

Many of the attrocities for which Hussein was sentenced to death was committed during the time when the USA supported him and his regime. If he never turned against the USA he would probably still have been in power today.

Even if one supports the death penalty – which I do not – the killing of Hussein in these circumstances under the auspices of the USA seems like a stain on the name of the country who is supposed to be the beacon of liberty in our world.

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