Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chávez and Maduro

I'm quoted in this Businessweek story on Hugo Chávez picking Nicolás Maduro. He called at a hectic time in the early evening so I tried to stay coherent.

Obviously Chávez overcame all the concerns about his health for the purposes of the election, but with the next six years set he seems to recognize that the VP needs to be someone he would actually want to step in (and who is loyal enough not to try and overshadow Chávez). Maduro fits that bill, and reassures chavistas about the potential direction of the country if Chávez becomes incapacitated or dies.

By the time of this term, Chávez will have been president for twenty years. That made me wonder about who has served as executive for the longest period in the context of democratic elections. Wikipedia has a list of national leaders who were in office 30 years or more, and there is not much democracy in the list. Same with the list of current leaders. Twenty years through elections is quite a feat.


Defensores de Democracia 9:02 AM  

The Power of Bullshit, Lunacy, Demagoguery : Comparison of two elections : Venezuela and USA : Americans and Venezuelans may seem very different and someone may tell me that they are beings of two different planets, but they are moved by FEAR

To start this essay let's us say that Americans and Venezuelans are made of bones and flesh.

Those that vote for Chavez think this way : I am afraid of poverty and I have seen poverty and "struggle for life", the Darwiniam "survival of the fittest", and here is a leader that gives me cellular phones, microwave ovens and SUVs ( Sport Utility Vehicles ) like the rich Americans from the North ( the Colossus of the North ).

Then why should I live like one citizen of one of those "Bolivarian" countries that are our neighbors, people that have to work 12 hours a day including Saturdays. Countries that have little Oil, but Venezuela is an underground Sea of Oil and those Neighbors from the North are insatiable for Oil for their Big Gas Guzzlers, I mean their super big SUVs.

In this decision of playing safe, being afraid of poverty and voting for Santa Claus ( I mean Chavez ) Religion does not play a part. Because something very strange that nobody understands is why Religion does not seem to matter in Latin American Elections but is very important in the USA were people are threatened by a "Godless President", that is going to set up "compulsory atheism".

In the USA you are afraid of competition by "The Other" and "The Otherness" and by a recession that seems endless. But the common American is not an economist ( or at least NOT an avid reader of John Maynard Keynes ) so the last president is responsible for the Politics that have set off the Economic downturn, even if he has done the best to solve the problems with the Big Obstacles and Enmity of the other Party that sinks all his good projects.

The Mechanism is the same : FEAR : "The Other" and "The Otherness" have invaded my space and life and threaten "My American Way of Life" .... It is necessary to put more Antonin Scalias in the Supreme Court.

Let's us return to "The Great Gatsby" and to "Elmer Gantry", to 1924, to Happy America "America the Beautiful", and those candidates that very strongly resemble Jay Gatsby and Elmer Gantry should help to "Give me my country back".

Vicente Duque


Anonymous,  11:45 AM  

You don´t see much democracy on the list of longest public servants, but you do see it in Venezuela...
Well, coming from a gringo what could you expect?

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