By Steve Ellner - Latin American Perspectives, May 13th 2013
The democratic, peaceful road to socialism, which has been pursued by the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and serves as an inspiration for much of the Latin American left, hardly represents a new approach.
Cannon writes, "All commentators with whom I had the pleasure to spar - I in the red corner, they in the blue - had three essential messages to transmit: beginning with the statement that Hugo Chávez was a tyrant - albeit - and said without the slightest irony - an elected one".
After a short but bitterly fought, insult-laden campaign, Chávista standard-bearer Nicolás Maduro defeated challenger Henrique Capriles, thus assuring continuity in Venezuela after the death of the former president, Hugo Chávez, last month. But the election was much closer than the polls predicted: a margin of just 1.6%, or about 275,000 votes.
El barrio 23 de enero is a solid bulwark of the Bolivarian Revolution. Originally named December 2 to evoke the date when the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez came to power, its humble neighbors decided in 1958 to rename it with another date; his overthrow.