Re: [OPE] Venezuela and Human Rights Watch

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Wed Sep 24 2008 - 07:24:00 EDT

Hi Jerry.   Venezueladoesn’t have a dictatorship… yet.   But it certainly stops to fully fulfill the minimal elements that define an electoral democracy: 1) right to vote, 2) fair elections, 3) free elections and 4) elected public offices. When does Venezuela stop to fulfill these requirements?   According to the index of electoral democracybuilt by the United Nations Development Programme for Latin America, Venezuela and Costa Rica were the only countries that in Latin America continually enjoyed the maximum score between the years 1960 and 2001. (Behind this fact rests the thesis of the “Venezuelan exceptionalism”, that chavistas scholars have poorly contested)   Costa Ricacontinued enjoying this score until 2002, the last year when the index was built. Venezuela’s score, however, fell to 0.67 in this last year. Nevertheless I am not sure about the reasons. I think that the recent ban of the opposition leaders in Venezuela, which will prevent their participation in the forthcoming regional elections, is enough for a low score in this index.   A non-democratic regime scores 0.00 and Venezuela is dangerously close!   This minimal definition of “electoral democracy” has to be the departure for Socialists, and build upon it more complex models of economic democracy.  A. Agafonow

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Received on Wed Sep 24 07:27:04 2008

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