Chris Brady chris_brady at
Tue May 30 03:13:46 MDT 2000

An interesting contrast appeared in a pair of reports
on the front-page side-bar of our local paper this Friday past.
One story was about the Venezuelan President’s decision to
hold off elections in response to international pressure.
That was followed by a piece describing the Peruvian
President’s resolve to proceed with his election despite criticism.

Another entertaining contrariety was revealed to me by religion:
A lot has been made of the Bishop of Caracas chastisement of Chavez,
the leftish Colonel/President of Venezuela, yet Lima’s top
Church boss seems ambivalent about Fujimori, dictator/democrat poseur
of Peru.  Of course there is no historical contradiction in the
alliance of the aristocracy of the Church with secular elites against
the masses…  a factor that by itself might make Hugo Chavez look
comparatively righteous.

Also of passing interest to me is the northamerican media’s
presentation of Toldeo and Fox as the “opposition” in the Peruvian and
Mexican electoral competitions. It is of only passing interest to me
because these ostensible antagonists are merely libertarian capitalist
free-marketeers and not by any criterion alternatives to capitalism
--if anything, they would usher in an ACCELERATION of imperialist
intrusions into the local economies
–and that seems like a good enough reason to support such chaps
while coincidentally buffing up the glittering credentials of
democratic choice inherent to politically correct capitalism.

Finally, a contradiction may appear in the US Government's earlier
intolerance in Haiti with its current inaction regarding Peru
(despite sanctimonious expostulations over corruption blah-blah).
Decades of toleration of the Haitian dictatorial Doc Family didn't stop
the US putting its foot down at Jean-Bertrand Aristide's consideration
of a second term as democratically elected President de Haiti. You see,
the new Constitution forbade a President to take more than one term.
You may recall that most of Aristide's one term was spent in exile,
and he was effectively not the Chief Executive of Haiti during that
period, but the US still forced him to go strictly by the book.
The US insisted on no such legal pettifoggery in the case of
Alberto Fujimori's eternal Presidency, or his term-after-term
flouting of the Constitution of Peru as well as the democratic process.
The New York Times' Clifford Krause writes that's because the US
regards Fujimori as such a good ally in his fight against leftist
guerrillas and drug traffickers.
So: maybe democracy is not inherent to capitalism afterall...
Maybe there is a time and a place for everything: if a democratic
preformance can enhance capital's choices, then on with the show!

Chris Brady

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