Re: [OPE] Venezuela is the most democratic country in Latin America

From: Paula <>
Date: Mon Feb 23 2009 - 20:52:47 EST

Jerry: "In my view, the opponents of eliminating term limits in Venezuela were not in the slightest bit concerned with preserving some democratic practice. That was just a ruse. They were SOLELY motivated by a desire to ensure that Hugo Chavez couldn't again be elected President."

This is too sweeping. It's simply impossible for every Chavez opponent to have the same motives. Whereas, it's quite possible for at least some of them to oppose him, on this matter, for progressive and democratic reasons.

But let's accept that most of the right wing opposition was not much concerned with preserving democracy. Should our response be that, since they don't really care, neither do we?

"You can believe the workers themselves and their unions or you can take the word of a reactionary Mayor. *This* is my biggest gripe with those who are anti-Chavez but who claim to be to his "Left".
*Almost without exception*, these people (many of whom ironically refer to
themselves as "anti-authoritarians") accept *uncritically* the narrative of events
put forward by the right wing in Venezuela and the US government."

This is usually your fallback position, but it doesn't work. In this case, for example, you forget that workers and unions often have sectarian interests to protect; that these interests may well be manipulated by parties, governments and/or employers; and that reactionary mayors sometimes do have a point, as does the bourgeois press. I have no way to tell whether the narrative put forward in the report was accurate or not; recall that I only said that IF it is, then it shows the regime to be acting in anti-democratic ways. I hope you agree at least on this.

On the other hand, I know for sure that the abolition of term limits proposed by Chavez and just approved by referendum is anti-democratic. This, together with the obvious fact that Chavez calls himself socialist while his regime depends heavily on the profits of the oil industry, more than entitle me to be skeptical. Furthermore, there's a long tradition among the radical left of falling for all sort of unsavory 'socialist' regimes, so we have a duty to be skeptical.


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Received on Mon Feb 23 21:29:18 2009

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