RE: [OPE] Venezuela again

Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 10:11:29 EST

> A serious analysis has to start explaining the socioeconomic foundations of the evolution of the two-party
> system in a regime that doesn’t have formal entry barriers in the electoral competition.
Alejandro A:
No, a serious analysis has to begin with a historical analysis, including class analysis.
One has to scituate the current struggle in Venezuela, not in abstract statements about
democracy and whether term limits are desirable, but in the actual struggles
and material conditions of workers and the poor. One, additionally, has to grasp
the nature of the opposition and whether they are as pro-democratic as they claim,
not by their propaganda but by their actions. Frankly, the whole discussion by Chavez's
opponents - nationally and internationally - about whether there should be term limits
is a ruse: they couldn't care less about an abstract principle, they just want to see Chavez
gone by any means. What is 'hilarious' sometimes are the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of
these opponents: e.g. an editorial of _The New York Times_ supported term limits in
Venezuela and said that Chavez was an undemocratic tyrant for opposing them. One
would think then from that editorial that _The New York Times_ was committed to the
principle of term limits, but that is not all the case. In New York, the people of the
City voted twice for term limits. Yet, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked that
term limits be done away with (not through popular vote, but through a vote of the
City Council), the _NYT_ supported Bloomberg's demand to get rid of term limits
on the Mayor even though polls showed that the overwhelming majority of New
Yorkers were opposed to this. Of course there are many other examples as well,
most notably the fact that many of the same forces which conspired against
democracy by supporting the 2002 coup d'etat talk about how "undemocratic"
Chavez allegedly is.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Wed Jan 28 10:14:01 2009

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