[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 will be taking a two week break from blogging from today. I will be leaving for France for a two week holiday and decided that unless something earth shattering happens while I am on holiday, I would rather not publish hastily written pieces just to provide content for the Blog. Thanks to all the loyal readers and feisty participants for keeping me on my toes over the past several years. I will be back in two weeks, hopefully rejuvenated and inspired. As we say in Afrikaans: “Dis totsiens, maar nie vaarwel.”BACK TO TOP