[Marxism] NYT: Chávez Again Seeks to End Term Limits

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 3 13:26:47 MST 2008

Thanks to Joaquin for explaining the Mexican aspect of the
term limits question, and his general comments on this key
thread. Here is a comment from Inca Kola News, the British
blogger from Latin America. He does not speak the leftist
language which we're used to using here, but I think that
his points are extremely a propos. 

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California
COMMENT from the Venezuelan Information Office in Washington:
"An electoral official in Venezuela has said that a referendum to
amend the constitution and end presidential term limits could occur
in February, according to the AP. Voters can bring about a referendum
through petitioning, as they did in 2004, but fifteen percent (about
2.5 million) will need to sign on. Reuters reports that President
Chavez also mentioned the end of February as a possible referendum
date. The Electoral Council has 30 days to hold a vote once a
petition is complete. The Miami Herald insists that the initiative is
a bid by Chavez to become "president-for-life" -- an inaccurate
statement given that the Venezuelan leader would simply be allowed to
compete in future democratic elections, giving voters more candidates
from which to choose. The Herald also puts inflation rates in
Venezuela at 35 percent, which is about 5 percentage points too high,
according to estimates published this month in the Caracas newspaper
El Universal."
WALTER: I really love this kind of comment, don't you:
"There's one thing about this guy known as a dictator 
by the idiot right; he sure puts on a lot of elections."
Chavez forever


In what must come as a shock to nobody at all, Hugo is now putting
the wheels in motion for a referendum on presidential re-elections.
Why so? Here are five points to consider. Add some more if you want:

1) Under the present rules, he gets to be bigboss until 2012, then
it's all over. It's no secret that Chávez wants more time in charge.
It's no secret that his party want him there, too.

2) With a change of plan, he can get another seven year term and rule
the revolution until 2019. That's one thing that's rather different
from most administration term times in South America; Evo gets 4
years, Twobreakfasts gets five. Hugo gets a full seven.

3) Though his supporters and party faithful might not want to admit
it, the revolution really is a one man show. There's nobody with even
10% of the charisma of Chávez in his party. Come to think of it, he
outshines the opposition by a mile, too. Love him or hate him,
there's no doubt who the bossman is.

4) He takes his cue from Fidel on this one. Castro Sr has told him
straight that the future of the revolution is in his hands. Not only
is this true, but it also plays to Hugo's ego bigtime. Hugo is a
willing student on this issue.

5) If it goes to the vote now, Chávez will almost certainly win. Fact
is that behind the triumphalism of the Chávez opposition and the
media crowing that the election was some kind of loss for Hugo, the
results weren't that bad at all. There were no big shocks in any
result, and his brother Adan won the supposedly tight race for
Barinas (note where the shouts of fraud are loudest). Also, there
were many pro-Chávez voters who didn't vote in the regionals,
especially in the provincial regions that were virtual locks for
Chávez. This time he and the PSUV party machine will make every vote
count and it's very tough to see him losing such a vote. Pro-Chávez
got 53% of the popular vote on November 23rd...that would be a
baseline, not a target.

So Chávez is pushing for a vote to be organized as early as January
(as mentioned to his faithful yesterday at the swearng in of Rafael
Isea as governor of Aragua yesterday). There's one thing about this
guy known as a dictator by the idiot right; he sure puts on a lot of

UPDATE: Quite correctly, I've been corrected four times already from
various quarters that the Venezuela presidential term is six years,
not seven. I blame writing before drinking my early morning java, but
no real excuse. My bad and I appreciate the corrections.

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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