Opponents of Chavez gain power
Venezuela held regional election yesterday, and Opponents of President Hugo Chavez managed to win at least three governorships, as well as the mayor of Caracas. The mayor-to-be, Antonio Ledezma, urged the government to tackle the problems of crime and the aging infrastructure. Chavez claimed that his socialist agenda was validated by the election, since his party won 17 of the 22 governorships. See BBC. Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world, and the surge over the past decade coincides with the term during which Chavez has been in power. See the Washington Post.
It's hard to no what to make of the elections. Since Chavez controls nearly all of the means of communication and industry in Venezuela, and has put most dissident leaders in jail, it's almost impossible for his opponents to get the word out. So, even though there is rising frustration with conditions in the country, it has not yet been transformed into a political movement capable of changing the authoritarian system Chavez created.