[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.
Yesterday 80 000 people turned out for a Barack Obama rally in Portland Oregan. This picture pretty much sums it up. I know if he is elected he will not necessarily change US foreign policy that dramatically and that he will still act in the interest of the US and not the rest of us. But still, I am rooting for him all the way because for a politician he seems remarkably honest and reflexive.
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