Monday, December 10, 2007

Venezuelan democracy

I heard someone comment recently that Venezuela is not a democracy. The evidence is to the contrary:
With the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's proposed constitutional reforms, aimed at "opening the path to socialism," in the referendum on December 2, by a tiny margin of 50.7% to 49.3%, many Venezuelans are asking ‘what happened?' why, when approximately 7.1 million people voted for Chavez in the presidential elections in December 2006, did nearly 3 million of them abstain in the constitutional reform referendum a year later?


Contrary to international media portrayals of the Chavez government as restricting free speech, the rightwing opposition controls the majority of media outlets in Venezuela and they used them to spread lies and rumours aimed at instilling fears about the proposed constitutional reforms. It was said, for example, that if the reforms were passed the state would be able to take your children away and that people's personal property, houses, cars and small businesses would be expropriated by the state. They also presented a proposed change which would have removed presidential term limits allowing Chavez to stand for reelection, such as is the law in France, Australia, the UK and around 170 other countries around the world, as a vote on whether Chavez would be "president for life." The opposition also carried out illegal anonymous advertising campaigns and distributed fake copies of the constitutional reforms with falsified articles.


Janicke, Kiraz. Why The Constitutional Reform In Venezuela Went Down And Where To Next!. 10-Dec-2007.
The power of international capital is immense, its shocking how often they portray themselves as victims of bogeymen, as they do with Chavez, Castro and others. The defeat of the reforms is ominous and disappointing, but not surprising.

The ongoing crisis in capital with its upheavals and contradictions cannot counter the truth that a humane, rational system to replace capital, that is a socialist system, is required for the betterment of all mankind.

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