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
6 March 2007

Viva Ghana!

Thousands of cheering Ghanaians waving the red, yellow and green national flag packed a central square in the capital on Tuesday to celebrate the 50th birthday of the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to win independence. According to the Mail & Guardian, Accra’s Independence Square was transformed into a sea of fluttering flags as excited crowds of citizens joined invited dignitaries to celebrate the March 6 1957 anniversary of the end of British colonial rule over Ghana.

This is a deeply symbolic event for all Africans. The day a party like the DA fully grasps the momentous nature of these celebrations of Africa’s first independent state and acts accordingly, will be the day when black people will consider voting for them.

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