[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.
There has been rumblings amongst some politicians about the “untransformed” Springbok rugby team. I am a firm believer in transformation in sport, but I am an even firmer believer in the firm torso of Bryan Habana and those long legs of JP Pietersen. Having them both on the field makes it worth watching the Springboks. May they both score tries tomorrow!
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