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
17 December 2007

Virus in the ANC, but…..

President Thabo Mbeki yesterday stated in his speech before the Polokwane conference that there was a virus in the ANC that was destroying it.

In response to this unfortunate turn of phrase, my friend Justin commented that this begged two crucial questions:

1. Does this virus cause a syndrome?
2. Does showering help prevent its transmission.

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