Friday, January 19, 2007

Venezuela careens faster toward disaster

And now, who will step up for Chavez? Democracy in Venezuela is about to die, officially, by act of the National Assembly. A moment of silence, please.

I don't think economic ruin is on the horizon--Chavez's policies might not be sound, but oil is still doing well. Unrest will develop when: (1) oil stops doing quite so well, and/or (2) the social tensions finally boil over.

I actually couldn't find many opinion pieces from Venezuelan papers either way on the new legislation, but I found a couple in El Universal of which I translated parts. I will be looking around in the next few days for more:

In fact, it is the world of diverse thought and the world of free social organization that are in the most danger, more even than the political opposition in the strict sense. For a regime of total control, more fearsome than some political parties in opposition, in the end few, identifiable and predictable enough, is the free and vibrant activity of individual people, thinking things and organizing themselves in an unpredictable manner. …

We must formulate a proposal that unites, embraces, and coordinates this diversity of interests [of opposition] and democratic and pluralistic values. The personalities and organizations most emblematic are known, with their own relationships and possibilities of calling for action, to which we must direct ourselves soon. Contacts must be made, conversations maintained, agreements and compromises reached, that will allow the net to be cast the most broadly and widely possible. They must be made at all social levels, above all, in everything possible, at the lower levels, from below.

--Diego Bautista Urbaneja, in El Universal

I do not want dispersion. Disrespect, insult, and intolerance are not what make a better country. It requires the contributions of all. The extant capacity of professionals, businessmen, artists, creators in many fields cannot be rejected and devalued, for not sharing the vision of the “new socialism."

I want to continue being a part of the Venezuela that has made possible the most important system of youth orchestras in the world. From where Santana and Cabrera came. Of the country where every day, very early, thousands and thousands of women and men begin the day with the idea of achieving good things for themselves and their own.

I do not want anguish and uncertainty. I want those close to me dedicated to what they know, with seriousness, but here. That the terrible corruption end, that we return to being a land of inclusion.

We are at the hour. We are capable of defending our ideals, our way of life, the possibility of harmonious coexistence. It is the epoch of necessary, consistent, brave leadership.

It is not time to give up.

--Manuel Guzmán Blanco, in El Universal

1 comment:

MSS said...

Democracy in Venezuela is about to die, officially, by act of the National Assembly.

Democracy has been dying in Venezuela for a while, and I agree that Chávez is well on the way to consolidating an authoritarian regime. But the acts of the legislature to delegate decree authority are not themselves the best evidence for this. These acts may look dramatic to the international media, but procedurally they are pretty mundane.

I elaborated in a couple of comments at PoliBlog.