Hugo Chavez, Henrique Capriles and the future of Venezuela

The post below was originally published this evening, it was, in fact, “liked” by two kind readers. It then, somehow, disappeared completely from my blog. Clicking on the link in an email turns up a “Not Found” message.
Is it the ghost of Chavez? Or just a technical glitch. Hmmm … Here it is again, this time with a Spanish translation

The Venezuelan diaspora heaved a sigh of relief hours ago as it was announced that Hugo Chavez had died. Not that a man’s death, with few exceptions, should be celebrated, but many of those who make up the significant Venezuelan ex-pat community worldwide fled because of Chavez’ dictatorial reign. From seizing control of media to barking at the United States while cozying up with the Castros in Cuba Chavez was an old school tyrant.

A beautiful country with huge oil reserves that looks more like a third world country. Supermarket shelves lack essentials such as milk and bread. In many cities businesses can only operate on alternate days because of electricity shortages, yet vast reserves of oil exist.

According to the Venezuelan constitution an election must be held within 30 days of the President’s death. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles will face Vice President Nicolas Maduro in what will be a status quo versus change election.

Will Chavez’ imprint be pressed firmly enough onto Venezuelan society that his party will continue to run the country into the ground; or will his legacy fade and a new free and open society emerge with Capriles? it’s going to be an interesting 30 days, I just hope it is peaceful.

Hugo Chávez, Henrique Capriles y el futuro de Venezuela

La diáspora venezolana hace unas horas lanzó un suspiro de alivio ante el anuncio de que  Hugo Chávez ha muerto. Bajo algunas excepciones, no se debe celebrar la muerte de una persona, pero muchos salieron de Venezuela y viven alrededor del mundo, gracias al régimen dictatorial de Chávez. Mientras mantenía la cercana amistad con los Castros en Cuba,  representó la vieja escuela de tiranos que iba desde el control de los medios de comunicación al constante ataque a los Estados Unidos.

Un hermoso país con grandes reservas petroleras que pudo convertirse en algo más que un país en vías de desarrollo, mantiene en este momento los estantes de los supermercados vacíos por la falta de productos básicos como la leche y la harina de maíz. En muchas ciudades los negocios solo pueden operar en días alternados por la falta de servicio eléctrico.

De acuerdo con la constitución venezolana debería haber elecciones a los treinta días de la muerte del presidente. El líder de la Oposición Henrique Capriles se enfrentará al Vicepresidente Nicolás Maduro en un intento de lograr un cambio o continuar con la misma situación política en el país.

¿Estará la huella de Chávez lo suficientemente marcada en la sociedad venezolana para que su partido  continúe gobernando al país, o su legado desaparecerá y una nueva sociedad más abierta a los cambios vendrá con Capriles? Los venezolanos van a enfrentar unos treinta días bastante difíciles, solo espero que sea de manera pacífica.

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

5 thoughts on “Hugo Chavez, Henrique Capriles and the future of Venezuela

  1. lets hope they will resist temptation and elect someone new with a good look for the country. to many times latinos do this they keep electing the same style of people over and over again..

  2. Capriles isn’t interested in anyone’s “freedom” except the “freedom” of the tiny minority of Venezuelan capitalists and the landed aristocracy to rob the working class and peasantry of Venezuela. That’s what “freedom of the individual” means under capitalism: the “freedom” of a capitalist or landowner to savagely exploit the workers and peasants so that the wealthy 1% can steal half the wealth for themselves while their “fellow Venezuelans” starve.

    That said, Chavez was no revolutionary; after 14 years in power he had still not overthrown the capitalist system, preferring to enact reforms of that system – which can now be overturned as soon as the capitalist class manages to bribe enough workers into casting their votes for their oppressors, the capitalists.

    Chavez was also not a “tyrant” or “dictator”. Dictators don’t allow their political opponents to go around agitating for the overthrow of a dictatorship; neither do they bother with elections. Chavez was simply a left-liberal bourgeois reformist who spouted fake-“socialist” rhetoric because he had delusions of grandeur of becoming a great international hero of “the people” like his idol, the “Napoleon of the retreat”, Simon Bolivar. See Karl Marx’ appraisal of Bolivar here:

    What is needed in Venezuela – and throughout the capitalist world – isn’t pompous, blowhard “great leaders” like Chavez who talk revolution but enact timid reforms of capitalism. What is needed is revolutionary workers parties whose program is dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system worldwide and its replacement with egalitarian socialist workers republics in a system far more democratic than any capitalist country could ever hope to be. Only then can we make food, clothing and shelter, quality education and healthcare “inalienable rights” that can’t be swept away at the next election.

    Independent Workers Party of Chicago

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