By Iain Bruce - International Viewpoint, Nov 12th 2012
Author and journalist Iain Bruce puts Hugo Chavez’ re-election as Venezuelan president into its domestic and regional context, and offers his analysis on the challenges for the left in Venezuela and Latin America in the coming period.
The era that preceded Chávez’s 1998 election has echoes of the current predicament of U.S. politics—two major parties with fairly similar agendas took turns managing the country’s governmental institutions while elites controlled the country’s resources. Venezuela’s democracy, like much of Latin America’s, has meant a break with that past.
In the run up to the 7 October Venezuelan election, it was reported that President Hugo Chávez would face 'the toughest electoral challenge of his reign' (The Times)1, 'that [would] decide the fate of his socialist revolution and could rearrange the region's balance of power' (Financial Times).2 The election, then, is considered particularly significant. How did the UK media report the event?
The U.S. may be an economically and technologically advanced nation, but in the area of elections, could learn a thing or two from Venezuela, argues Antonio Gonzalez, President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.
Nothing quite prepares you for a first visit to Venezuela ― especially when the country is polarised between two very different visions for the future. The atmosphere was like nothing I'd experienced in any election campaign in Australia.
By Aaron Benedek - Green Left Weekly, Oct 15th 2012
Serious journalism regarding Venezuela requires covering the significant social achievements of the revolution and an informed discussion of its many shortcomings. Unfortunately, if Neuman’s article is anything to go by, the liberal corporate media will not provide you with either.
By Susan Scott and Azadeh Shahshahani – National Lawyers Guild, Oct 12th 2012
The US National Lawyers Guild reports on their experience as part of an official accompaniment delegation to the Venezuelan presidential elections, and reflects on the nature and importance of elections in Venezuela more widely.
The transformation of Latin America is one of the decisive changes reshaping the global order. The tide of progressive change that has swept the region over the last decade has brought a string of elected socialist and social-democratic governments to office that have redistributed wealth and power, rejected western neoliberal orthodoxy, and challenged imperial domination.
British news is today (07/10/2012) much concerned with the elections underway in Venezuela. The election will be the 'closest since Hugo Chavez took power' (The Guardian), or the 'the country's most tightly contested presidential election in a decade' (BBC). To begin with, it should be noted that the above assertions are themselves misleading to a UK readership: even if the election is 'the closest' since 1998 in Venezuela, polling figures are such that if similar results were to be found in a UK election, the race would not be considered close.
By Rachael Boothroyd - Correo del Orinoco International , Oct 5th 2012
With the elections just a few days away, and a leaked document confirming what activists on the ground already knew; that the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) intends to saddle Venezuela with a neo-liberal economic program worthy of Angela Merkel's highest seal of approval; any pretensions that Capriles may have had to a “center-left” program have been well and truly disposed of.