The Media and Venezuela's Vote

venezuelan-support-for-amendment-to-abolish-term-limitsOf course, the US media gets it wrong on Venezuela. Not so much about term limits but its implied position on enforcement of these limits. Political systems are different, and it is for the people to choose.

Thus, the New York Times editorial is correct. The Venezuelan people do have right to vote “no.” Although polls show that the people will vote “yes,” the Times and other organs of the American media should cover and comment fairly. There is a divide, which I will be bringing tomorrow as the votes are tallied, that may gather a starker division tomorrow. One one side is Chávez, who claims, with some validity, that this is a culmination of “Caracazo,” the capital revolt that will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month (stay tuned to “Today in Latin America”). On the other is the both those who fear Chávez and the poor of Venezuela and others who fear the inherent weakness of a revolution that is based upon one man and not a movement.

The truth is in the middle. For the oligarchy and the wealthy, the elimination of Chávez has been a dream since he was elected in 1998 (almost succeeding in 2002). But most Venezuelans have no problem with Chávez running indefinitely, a point of contention despite England and even New York having no bones about ending term limits. Some fear that if their caudillo is gone, who will carry the banner. Some fear if they can overcome the oligarchy in another election with Chávez as president or in a relevant capacity. Some fear the ending of the social progress. Some fear he hasn’t lived up to his promises.

It is different for every citizen. Tomorrow will be their time to tell Chávez and the oligarchy how they want Venezuela to be run. Tomorrow’s election will have a lasting impact in the region. We are watching history in the making.

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~ by Daniel on February 14, 2009.

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