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
13 September 2007

Steve Biko

I am reading Steve Biko’s I Write what I Like and am deeply impressed by the writing. The more I read the more I think that he would not have been happy with the John Hlophe’s, the Christine Quanta’s, the BEE types which now so litter our political landscape. And what would he have made of President Thabo Mbeki whose vitriolic attacks seem to display a lack of pride and confidence – exactly the opposite of what Biko stood for.

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