<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
February 15, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Chavez wins term-limit vote *
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez apparently triumphed in the referendum on constitutional term-limits held on Sunday, but the margin was not that wide: 54% voted to put an end to term limits, and 46% voted to continue them. This result virtually assures that Chavez will remain in office as "president for life" indefinitely. Otherwise, Chavez would have been obliged to step down in 2013, at the conclusion of his second six-year term. Chavez called it "a clear victory for the people. A clear victory for the revolution." Foreign observers said the referendum was fair, but they may not have been aware of intimidation behind the scenes. See BBC and CNN.com. Just before the election Venezuela expelled a legislator in the European parliament from Spain, Luis Herrero, over reports that he called President Hugo Chavez a "dictator." Well, other strong-willed presidents in Latin America have been called dictators, such as Alberto Fujimori of Peru, and even former President Bush (II) was referred to in that way.
If Chavez uses this referendum victory as a mandate to continue with his "socialist revolution," it will guarantee an even stronger backlash against him. The last Venezuelan presidential election was in December , when Chavez won by a sweeping 62%-38% margin. That was a "clear victory." On the other hand, Chavez lost a similar referendum in December 2007. Even though Chavez has been prevailing in most political showdowns over the past year, the opposition has not given up yet. The harder he pushes to control the country, the more former allies will defect from his "Bolivarian Revolution."
* UPDATE: In Saturday's Washington Post, Edward Schumacher-Matos provides additional reason to take solace in Chavez's apparent political success -- namely, the "economic mismanagement and corruption" that will ultimately doom his regime. From Juan Peron in Argentina to Juan Velasco in Peru, Latin American populist despots have taken advantage of export revenue windfalls by splurging on social programs that could not be sustained for long. Given the bleak prospects for crude oil prices in the current global economic recession, it's just a question of how long long it will take before everything begins to unravel in Venezuela. I agree with the author's suggestion that President Obama "should not engage Chávez in public quarreling and certainly should not work privately against him inside Venezuela" as George W. Bush did. Let Chavez fail on his own so that Uncle Sam doesn't get the blame.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Feb 2009, 9: 59 AM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)