Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Venezuela absolutely

This little article in the NY Times today points out something that has been coming. In fact, it already came in 2004. Three of the main opposition parties (and there are only about four or five that have any political presence out of the 20-30 parties that exist in Venezuela) have called for a boycott of the congressional elections on Sunday. This boycott has been led by some of the opposition newspapers and others in the media who, some point out, don't face any electoral consequences.

One of the main criticisms of Chavez in Venezuela is that he is reaching for dictatorial powers. Opposition members -- who are on both the left and the right -- say that Chavez has absolutist tendencies. Representatives, as in the US, are elected at the executive and congressional levels. The rest are appointed by the president. So, the lone area of opposition presence in the government is in congress at this point.

But the reality is a ridiculous Nader-like strategy of making things worse so that an opposition savior can arise in 2007 out of a Chavez-caused rubble (a beautiful woman who Bush met at the White House while snubbing Chavez). The main reason set forth is that they do not wish to legitimate Chavez's government by participating in the elections. The elections last year were also boycotted by the opposition. Pro-Chavez candidates boosted their number of seats in congress as a result. Now, with the new call for a boycott, pro-Chavez candidates are expected to take majority control of the congress. On Sunday we're going to see Chavez take complete control of the Venezuelan government. He's very popular, after all, among the majority poor. But then the opposition will cry "dictator" to casual observers from abroad. We'll have to see how the US media reports this all. But it has to be remembered that, like him or not, Chavez is democratically elected and his congress is democratically elected. The opposition strategy is ridiculous and divisive.


troutsky said...

Absolutist tendencies indeed.Not like our Norte American "presidente".If they want an opposition they should run for office but instead they will snuggle up to the NED and the CIA and the Project for a New American Century folks and Freedom House etc.Because they are an elitist minority getting smaller by the day and not even their ownership of the media can help.If I were Chavez I would have deported them all or thrown them in jail after the attempted coup.And he is not just leading a country but a growing regional movement that will not be real popular with the Wall Street Journal or the NYTimes.

troutsky said...

By the way ,this is a damn good blog! No reads mine and it's really 'really good.

troutsky said...

Maybe because my sentences don't make sense?

Anonymous said...

Maybe not so ridiculous. They know that they have no chance at the ballot box. By boycotting, they can claim that Chavez is a dictator, and justify a contra movement later on.

The coup didn't work out, because Chavez is too popular with the military. Venezuela's elites have only two other options: wearing the government down with a protracted guerilla war, or making enough concessions to the broader electorate to win at the ballot box.

The constant boycotts indicate that the Venezuelan elites have chosen the latter. In my opinion, it's an attempt to create a pretext for a U.S. backed Contra force.