[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.
Readers of this Blog have been arguing about being an “African” and referred to President Thabo Mbeki’s very famous and moving speech he made in the late 1990’s called “I am an African”. I post it here also for those who yearn for the days when we could all be so proud of our President, before HIV/AIDS, “no crisis” Zimbabwe, the “ultra left”, Vusi Pikoli and Jackie Selebi, sullied his reputation. Those were the days when our President gave me tears in my eyes for all the right reasons.BACK TO TOP