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
2 March 2010

Shameless canvassing for votes. . .

If you are not a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch, you can skip this post. For some reason I have been nominated as a candidate for election to the University of Stellenbosch Council by the alumni of that university. As I would be embarrassed if I get the lowest number of votes, I am hoping a few friends and readers of this Blog might vote for me. This can be done electronically. All the details can be found by clicking here. If you believe I should be kept off the Council at all cost because of my dangerous views you need not vote, of course! If  you are not an alumni of Stellenbosch University you cannot vote either.

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