Category Archives: Latin America

The Economist | Bello: Venezuela’s progressive conscience

We are not hearing much about this in the English a speaking world, but the crisis in Venezuela continues. Here is an article in “The Economist” that talks about some of the players you may not have heard of.

The Economist | Bello: Venezuela’s progressive conscience http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21601275-crude-effort-silence-newspaper-editor-sums-up-countrys-plight-venezuelas-progressive?frsc=dg%7Cd via @theeconomist

What’s next for Venezuela?

This week, Venezuela has been dominating international headlines due to the death of President Hugo Chavez.

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Since my trip to Venezuela last fall, the country has been on my mind. In my last trip to Venezuela, I did not meet a single Chavez supporter. When he won the election, I worried that things would fall into chaos there; however, things seemed to remain calm, and I was impressed.

Now that Chavez has passed away, I wonder what is next for Venezuela?

The Venezolano constitution mandates the following:

  • The Vice-President (who is appointed by the President–not elected by the people) serves as Interim President until the next election; and
  • The next election must be called within 30 days.

As such, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in on Friday, March 8th, and he has indicated that elections will be held in 30 days.

This seems like an enormous feat. How on Earth will this country of 28 million be able to organize a presidential election in such a short period of time? If they are able to pull this off, I will be seriously impressed.

I have to admit that, once I learned of the passing of Chavez, my thoughts turned immediately to Henrique Capriles Radonski. He is the leader of the opposition party in Venezuela, and ran unsuccessfully against Chavez last October.

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Apparently, Capriles is gearing up to run against Maduro; however, from what I have been able to gather in the media, it seems that Maduro is favoured to win. We will see what happens.

In the meantime, it seems that, once again, I will be in Venezuela at the time of a presidential election, as I will be heading down there for Expo-Estudiante. Will I witness history, or will it be more of the same?

Chavez wins Venezuelan presidency

The results were just released a few minutes ago: Hugo Chavez has won another term as president.

The voter turnout was impressive; apparently, they had a voter turnout of over 80%.

I have difficulty with this one. As I said in a previous post, I did not meet a single person in Venezuela who planned to vote for Chavez. Apparently, he won 54% of the vote, to Capriles’ 45%.

I wonder what will happen next. Will it be a peaceful continuation of power? As I write this, Capriles is speaking live, doing a concession speech. It is amazing how quickly he is giving this speech, but I suppose it is necessary in order to prevent major demonstrations and to ensure a peaceful continuation of power. Wow; I cannot help but be surprised by this one.