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Le respect de la démocratie selon Chávez...


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#21 Lucilio

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 14:25

…l'Ingouchie et la Tchétchénie ont voté à 98 % pour Poutine. :icon_up:

Sans déc' ! C'est vraiment ajouter l'insulte à l'injure.

La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#22 JIM16

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 14:29

j'imagine que tout le monde attend que Chavie devienne un criminel pour l'arreter sous les applaudissements de son peuple opprime, attendez j'ai deja vu ca quelquepart…

"I have a dream..."

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#23 h16

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 14:31

Bah oui malheureux. Avant ça, ce serait de l'impérialisme, et surtout, aller contre la démocrassie !
Méluche, c’est un poème. Ecrit en gros caractères tordus, avec des fautes et des bavures, de travers sur une carte postale, mais un poème tout de même.
Dieu c'est un peu un gros trampoline cosmogonique au syncrétisme quasi caoutchouteux. (Jim16)
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#24 jabial

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 14:31

Sans déc' ! C'est vraiment ajouter l'insulte à l'injure.


Très mauvaise traduction : injury signifie blessure.

http://66.46.185.79/bdl/gabarit_bdl.asp?Th=3&id=2882

Si le lit joue un rôle central dans la noble et ancienne profession des péripatéticiennes, je puis toutefois vous affirmer, nonobstant l'avis contraire d'un dénommé Charles de Valois-Bourgogne (hips) dont la vanité n'était certainement pas égale à la mienne, qu'en la matière il est peu recommandé d'y somnoler pour entreprendre ni d'y dormir pour persévérer.

#25 Nick de Cusa

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 14:37

Chavez remonte un peu dans mon estime, j'aurais pensé que le référendum serait au moins truqué.

Il l'ont certainement truqué, mais ça ne marche pas à tous les coups. Le score réel du non doit être plus haut.

EDIT: doublé par Lucilio, 'videmment.
Qui se brule le cul doit s'asseoir sur les cloches. Vieux proverbe flamand.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Marx.

"Just 'cos you got the power, that don't mean you got the right." Lemmy Kilminster
"People who say money doesn't make you happy just don't know where to go shopping." David Lee Roth.
"Pour être un politique, il faut avoir été opéré de la honte." Bernie Bonvoisin

"L'opposition, devenue traditionnelle, entre culture et technique, qui conduit à ne traiter l'objet technique que dans la dimension utilitaire de son intrumentalité est, comme le disait [Gilbert Simondon] "fausse et sans fondement" et "la plus forte cause d'aliénation dans le monde contemporain". Car, dans la mesure où la culture contemporaine méconnaît l'ordre technoscientifique -et justifie philosophiquement et glorifie médiatiquement cette méconnaissance- le sens qu'elle véhicule reste foncièrement archaïque, absolument inadapté à la réalité des sociétés modernes." Philippe Nemo et Jean Petitot.

#26 Wallace

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 16:52

Il l'a été certainement en partie, comme précédemment (de nombreux témoignent en font foi : morts qui votent ou électeurs refusés, par contre car listés comme morts dans les listes électorales, etc.), seulement l'écart pour le non a été plus important que les tripotages (entre 5 ou 10 points d'avance sur le oui). Les résultats ont été publiés avec plus de 5 heures de retard, Chávez tentant sans doute jusqu'à la fin de camoufler l'évidence. Différentes sources affirment que la très faible avance du non sur le oui aurait été négocié contre la reconnaissance par le régime Chávez du revers. Mais bon, on ne va pas bouder son plaisir. Sauf qu'il faudra bien garder à l'esprit que Chávez a bien spécifié que cette défaite ne l'empêchera pas de continuer à cubaniser le Venezuela.


Alors la, si il a effectivement truqué le vote et qu'il est même pas fichu de le remporter, c'est vraiment la honte.
"Il y a quatre droits naturels que le prince est obligé de conserver à chacun de ses sujets ; ils ne les tiennent que de Dieu et ils sont antérieurs à toute loi politique et civile : la vie, l’honneur, la liberté et la propriété."
Louis XVI


« En système sexuel parfaitement libéral, certains ont une vie érotique variée et excitante ; d'autres sont réduits à la masturbation et la solitude. Le libéralisme économique, c'est l'extension du domaine de la lutte, son extension à tous les âges de la vie et à toutes les classes de la société. De même, le libéralisme sexuel, c'est l'extension du domaine de la lutte, son extension à tous les âges de la vie et à toutes les classes de la société. Sur le plan économique, Raphaël Tisserand appartient au camp des vainqueurs ; sur le plan sexuel, à celui des vaincus. Certains gagnent sur les deux tableaux ; d'autres perdent sur les deux. »
Michel Houellebecq

#27 Lucilio

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 16:55

Très mauvaise traduction : injury signifie blessure.

Pour une fois, les Québécois se plantent. L'expression vient non pas de l'anglais, mais bien de l'espagnol "añadir insulto a la injuria" où "injuria" se traduit bien par injure, outrage. De fait, l'expression anglaise dérive de l'espagnole (recensée déjà au 16e siècle - cfr. Don Quichotte).

La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#28 Cochon

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Posté 03/12/2007 - 22:22

Il l'a été certainement en partie, comme précédemment (de nombreux témoignent en font foi : morts qui votent ou électeurs refusés, par contre car listés comme morts dans les listes électorales, etc.), seulement l'écart pour le non a été plus important que les tripotages (entre 5 ou 10 points d'avance sur le oui). Les résultats ont été publiés avec plus de 5 heures de retard, Chávez tentant sans doute jusqu'à la fin de camoufler l'évidence. Différentes sources affirment que la très faible avance du non sur le oui aurait été négocié contre la reconnaissance par le régime Chávez du revers. Mais bon, on ne va pas bouder son plaisir. Sauf qu'il faudra bien garder à l'esprit que Chávez a bien spécifié que cette défaite ne l'empêchera pas de continuer à cubaniser le Venezuela.



Toujours est il que Chavez a reconnu sa défaite. Poutine, lui, comme le souligne Vincent, ne cherche même plus à se cacher derrière une façade démocratique.

#29 Lucilio

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 14:26

Toujours est il que Chavez a reconnu sa défaite.

Mais il a bien précisé qu'il s'en torchait le cul.

La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#30 Nick de Cusa

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 15:10

Tandis qu'à 15 000 kilomètres de là, l'Ingouchie et la Tchétchénie ont voté à 98 % pour Poutine. :icon_up:

Ça me fait marrer parce qu'à l'élection présidentielle nigériane de 2003, il y avait eu le même phénomène: le delta du Niger avait voté Obasanjo à 90%. Le delta, c'est la région qui craint le plus et où on a le plus de chances de se faire couper en morceaux (ce n'est pas forcément une image). C'est aussi la région la plus rebelle et la plus hostile au chef de l'Etat.

Conclusion: plus la région est hostile, difficile d'accès et mal pourvue en chambres 5 étoiles pour occidentaux, qu'ils soient officiels, journaleux ou représentants d'ONNGs, et plus le président autoritaire y fait un score splendide.
Qui se brule le cul doit s'asseoir sur les cloches. Vieux proverbe flamand.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Marx.

"Just 'cos you got the power, that don't mean you got the right." Lemmy Kilminster
"People who say money doesn't make you happy just don't know where to go shopping." David Lee Roth.
"Pour être un politique, il faut avoir été opéré de la honte." Bernie Bonvoisin

"L'opposition, devenue traditionnelle, entre culture et technique, qui conduit à ne traiter l'objet technique que dans la dimension utilitaire de son intrumentalité est, comme le disait [Gilbert Simondon] "fausse et sans fondement" et "la plus forte cause d'aliénation dans le monde contemporain". Car, dans la mesure où la culture contemporaine méconnaît l'ordre technoscientifique -et justifie philosophiquement et glorifie médiatiquement cette méconnaissance- le sens qu'elle véhicule reste foncièrement archaïque, absolument inadapté à la réalité des sociétés modernes." Philippe Nemo et Jean Petitot.

#31 Cochon

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 15:51

Mais il a bien précisé qu'il s'en torchait le cul.



Vous aurez remarqué que je ne suis pas un fan de Chavez. Néanmoins, il faut être honnête: il a organisé un vote et il a perdu. Ca montre qu'il est tout de même moins odieux qu'un Poutine ou un dictateur lambda qui aurait proclamé sa victoire avant même que les urnes soient ouvertes.

Ça me fait marrer parce qu'à l'élection présidentielle nigériane de 2003, il y avait eu le même phénomène: le delta du Niger avait voté Obasanjo à 90%. Le delta, c'est la région qui craint le plus et où on a le plus de chances de se faire couper en morceaux (ce n'est pas forcément une image). C'est aussi la région la plus rebelle et la plus hostile au chef de l'Etat.

Conclusion: plus la région est hostile, difficile d'accès et mal pourvue en chambres 5 étoiles pour occidentaux, qu'ils soient officiels, journaleux ou représentants d'ONNGs, et plus le président autoritaire y fait un score splendide.



Tout à fait. Exemple proche: la Tchétchénie qui a paraît il voté selon le kgbiste à la tête de la Russie à plus de 70% en sa faveur.

Je vais commencer à croire d'ailleurs que Poutine a plutôt un bon sens de l'humour…

#32 Jesrad

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 16:42

Je vais commencer à croire d'ailleurs que Poutine a plutôt un bon sens de l'humour…

Il a surtout un vrai support populaire. Ce type est une vraie pub contre le suffrage et la loi du plus nombreux.
Anarchy isn't about having no rules. It is about having no rulers who enforce unwanted rules on you. -- Kent McManigal
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#33 rodbeck

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 18:04

Il l'a été certainement en partie, comme précédemment (de nombreux témoignent en font foi : morts qui votent ou électeurs refusés, par contre car listés comme morts dans les listes électorales, etc.), seulement l'écart pour le non a été plus important que les tripotages (entre 5 ou 10 points d'avance sur le oui). Les résultats ont été publiés avec plus de 5 heures de retard, Chávez tentant sans doute jusqu'à la fin de camoufler l'évidence. Différentes sources affirment que la très faible avance du non sur le oui aurait été négocié contre la reconnaissance par le régime Chávez du revers. Mais bon, on ne va pas bouder son plaisir. Sauf qu'il faudra bien garder à l'esprit que Chávez a bien spécifié que cette défaite ne l'empêchera pas de continuer à cubaniser le Venezuela.


Peux-tu donner un pointeur vers ces témoignages stp ?

#34 Lucilio

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Posté 04/12/2007 - 20:16

Peux-tu donner un pointeur vers ces témoignages stp ?

De mémoire, c'était des commentaires de certains observateurs étrangers supervisant les élections. Je vais essayer de retrouver les articles.

La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#35 Tremendo

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Posté 05/12/2007 - 00:16

A entendre certains ici , Chavez aurait une légitimité que n'a pas saddam car il a été élu… :icon_up: Laissez-moi rire, depuis quand a loi de la majorité est-elle légitime???Je préfère cent fois Juan Carlos, non élu mais un peu plus (il n'est pas parfait non plus) respectueux des libertés. Ca m'est égal qu'il ait été élu démocratiquement le Bolivar Chavez, ce type et un voleur et un agresseur, ses victimes ou ses ayant-droits ont tout simplement le droit de le fouttre au tribunal (au Vénézuéla ça semble rapé je sais!!!)
"Marché = je peux acheter un godemiché bleu a 20€, ou un godemiché rose a 10€
Démocratie = godemiché rose a 15€ et c'est tout" (Pankkake)

"There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government." (Milton Friedman).

"Les gens de gauche ont rarement de grands projets. Ils font de la démagogie et se servent des mouvements d'opinion. la gauche tire le haut de la société vers le bas, par idéal d'égalitarisme. C'est comme ça que l'on a fini dans l'abîme en 1940...Les socialistes sont d'éternels utopistes, des déphasés, des apatrides mentaux. Ils gaspillent toujours la plus grande partie des crédits. On ne les a jamais vu dépenser efficacement les crédits...Je n'aime pas les socialistes, car ils ne sont pas socialists...parce qu'il sont incapables, ils sont dangereux." (De Gaulle).

#36 Lucilio

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Posté 06/12/2007 - 13:16

Peux-tu donner un pointeur vers ces témoignages stp ?

Articles en espagnol :

"Le haut commandement militaire vénézuélien force Chávez à accepter la défaite."

"Chávez a accepté son revers après avoir crié et résisté"

"Chávez a manoeuvré durant quatre heures pour ajuster la défaite du Oui"

La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#37 Tremendo

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Posté 06/12/2007 - 14:25

Vaya gilipo… el tio!!!!
"Marché = je peux acheter un godemiché bleu a 20€, ou un godemiché rose a 10€
Démocratie = godemiché rose a 15€ et c'est tout" (Pankkake)

"There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government." (Milton Friedman).

"Les gens de gauche ont rarement de grands projets. Ils font de la démagogie et se servent des mouvements d'opinion. la gauche tire le haut de la société vers le bas, par idéal d'égalitarisme. C'est comme ça que l'on a fini dans l'abîme en 1940...Les socialistes sont d'éternels utopistes, des déphasés, des apatrides mentaux. Ils gaspillent toujours la plus grande partie des crédits. On ne les a jamais vu dépenser efficacement les crédits...Je n'aime pas les socialistes, car ils ne sont pas socialists...parce qu'il sont incapables, ils sont dangereux." (De Gaulle).

#38 Cochon

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Posté 06/12/2007 - 14:32

A entendre certains ici , Chavez aurait une légitimité que n'a pas saddam car il a été élu… :icon_up: Laissez-moi rire, depuis quand a loi de la majorité est-elle légitime???Je préfère cent fois Juan Carlos, non élu mais un peu plus (il n'est pas parfait non plus) respectueux des libertés. Ca m'est égal qu'il ait été élu démocratiquement le Bolivar Chavez, ce type et un voleur et un agresseur, ses victimes ou ses ayant-droits ont tout simplement le droit de le fouttre au tribunal (au Vénézuéla ça semble rapé je sais!!!)


De même, je préfère cent fois mieux Chavez à Saddam… Le premier n'a pas encore gazé son opposition ou enterré vivants les putschistes de 2002.

#39 Lucilio

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Posté 07/12/2007 - 10:35

The beginning of the end for Hugo Chávez

Dec 6th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Apathy, splits and a revitalised opposition thwart “21st-century socialism”

AT HIS final rally before a referendum on constitutional reform on December 2nd, President Hugo Chávez warned tens of thousands of his red-shirted supporters, many of them bused in from across the country to fill Caracas's Avenida Bolívar, that voting yes to the reform was a vote for him whereas a no vote would be “a vote for George W. Bush”. So one reading of the referendum's result is that in nine years in power it has been Mr Chávez's signal achievement to turn Venezuela into the only place on the planet nowadays where the American president could win a popular vote.

But in this, as in so many other things, Mr Chávez was mistaken. The constitutional “reform” was not about Mr Bush at all. It was about whether oil-rich Venezuela would remain a democracy, or adopt what was in reality a substantially new constitution of quasi-totalitarian character that could have allowed Mr Chávez to remain president for life. His defeat was narrow (by just 1.4%), but profound in its import. It almost certainly heralds the beginning of the end of Mr Chávez's Bolivarian revolution and its influence in Latin America.

The revolution cannot end immediately. Only a year ago Mr Chávez was elected for another six-year term by a landslide. He remains popular, continues to command all the institutions of state and controls record oil revenues. In recognising defeat, he has burnished his democratic credentials. These were tarnished earlier this year when he began to implement “21st-century socialism”—which to many looks merely like a diluted version of the 20th-century Cuban or Soviet varieties.

In defeat, Mr Chávez said that he would try again for the constitutional reform. But if he does, he will probably lose again. For something fundamental has changed in Venezuela. Over the past nine years Mr Chávez has regularly been able to count on the support of some 60% of voters against an opposition discredited by the failures of past governments and its support for an abortive coup in 2002.

Three things have now altered that pattern, probably for good. First, the opposition has been revitalised by a new and vigorous student movement, untainted by the past. The second is growing apathy and disillusion among the chavista faithful. Behind that lies the sheer incompetence of the Bolivarian revolution and its recklessly expansionary economic policies. Ordinary Venezuelans note that they cannot buy milk even when oil is close to $90 a barrel. Third, the constitutional reform opened up a fissure between authoritarians and democrats in the chavista camp.

Mr Chávez faces a choice: move quickly to a command economy, or to more sustainable policies. His referendum defeat makes the first course hard: it would risk a split in the armed forces and serious violence. The better option would be for him to draw back, make his peace with his own moderates and cool the economy. That would require humility he has yet to show, and might undermine his popularity.

The best news is that powerful figures in the armed forces and the chavista movement are committed to democracy. This third force, between Mr Chávez and the opposition, holds out hope that Venezuela can navigate a peaceful course towards the alternation of power. It helps, too, that the conservative opposition has at last embraced the 1999 constitution.

The defeat of a bankrupt philosophy
The ramifications of Mr Chávez's defeat go far wider than Venezuela. He has always proclaimed the Bolivarian revolution to be continent-wide. Because it is such a personal project, its life is now finite: absent constitutional change, Mr Chávez must leave office by 2013. Economic pressures at home mean that his bounteous foreign aid—including cheap oil for Cuba—may be trimmed before then. That gives extra urgency to the efforts of Cuba's acting president, Raúl Castro, to launch economic reforms against the apparent opposition of his elder brother, Fidel. In Bolivia, Evo Morales, a socialist of Andean-Indian descent who is Mr Chávez's closest disciple, faces mounting opposition to his efforts to impose a new constitution that would cement his power. In Ecuador another self-proclaimed 21st-century socialist, Rafael Correa, is rapidly putting some distance between his ideas and Mr Chávez's.

Although in some ways they threaten democracy, the likes of Mr Chávez and Mr Morales may well have ended up broadening it, since they represent groups who have previously felt excluded. Their mistake lies in clinging to an old-fashioned socialism, involving the centralisation of political power and state control of the economy. Most Venezuelans—and most Latin Americans—clearly have no enthusiasm for this. It was not so much Mr Chávez who was defeated in the referendum, as his bankrupt philosophy. That is good news for Latin America, and especially for its poor.


http://www.economist...ory_id=10252006

Defeat for Hugo Chávez

The wind goes out of the revolution

Dec 6th 2007 | CARACAS
From The Economist print edition

Venezuelans have seen the future—and many of them realise that it doesn't work

ON REFERENDUM night, December 2nd, a giant, inflatable Chávez doll lay face-down and semi-deflated on a Caracas street. Nothing better summed up the moment. As workers dismantled the stage that was to serve as the scene of his triumph, letting the air out of the doll, Hugo Chávez was grappling with how to respond to his first-ever defeat at the polls.

Were Venezuela the dictatorship that some of his more radical opponents claim, its people might have spent the night toppling bronze statues of the Leader as he fled the country. Were it a parliamentary democracy, the government would surely have resigned. As it is, Mr Chávez still has the chance to pump some air back into his project and serve out the remainder of his presidency—which now must end in early 2013. But there is no doubt that his plan to install what he calls “21st century socialism” in what was once, in the 1970s, the richest country in Latin America has been badly punctured. And that setback may also take much of the momentum out of his industrious efforts to form a regional block of allies and client states.

Voters had been asked for a yes or no on changes to 69 of the 350 articles in the 1999 constitution. Their effect would have been to concentrate almost all power in an already top-heavy executive. The pluralism enshrined in the current constitution would have been replaced with obligatory “socialism”. And two decades of decentralisation would have been reversed: elected state governors and mayors would have been eclipsed by an unelected “popular power” dependent on the presidency.

On any reasonable interpretation of the 1999 constitution (itself drafted and promoted by the chavistas), such fundamental changes should have been submitted to a separately elected assembly. Instead, Mr Chávez had them drafted in secret and rubber-stamped by a parliament which, thanks to the opposition's boycott of the election in 2005, is overwhelmingly composed of his unconditional supporters.

But by a tiny majority, of around 1.4% according to the official figures, Venezuelans said no. Many supporters of the president stayed at home. Only a year ago he had won a new six-year term with 7.3m votes or 63% of the total; by contrast, only 4.4m voted yes in the referendum.

It is a result that redraws Venezuela's political map. Hitherto, the president has been blessed with an incompetent opposition, tainted by the failures of the 1980s and 1990s, when low oil prices pushed many Venezuelans into poverty. Having sought to overthrow Mr Chávez, first in an abortive coup and then through a general strike-cum-lock-out, many of the opposition's leaders were too easily dismissed as spoiled “oligarchs”.

But since his re-election last year, Mr Chávez has overreached himself and provoked some more dangerous opponents. His first mistake came last January, when he summoned the four parties in his coalition and ordered them to merge into a single Venezuelan United Socialist Party (PSUV), loosely modelled on Cuba's Communist Party. Podemos, a social-democratic party, and two other smaller groups refused. Then, in May, Mr Chávez decided not to renew the broadcasting licence of the main opposition television channel, ostensibly because it had supported the 2002 coup attempt. This was unpopular with ordinary Venezuelans and was opposed by a new and energetic student movement, which went on to take the lead in the No campaign.

The president's drive to turn the armed forces into a tool of his socialist project aroused the weighty opposition of General Raúl Isaías Baduel, who stepped down as defence minister in July and who is a hero to the chavista grassroots for his role in restoring Mr Chávez after the 2002 coup. Installed in a sleek glass office block in Caracas, General Baduel, a man as serene as the president is intemperate, has spent the past few weeks telling Venezuelans that the proposed reform amounted to another coup.

On top of that, many chavista politicians were unenthusiastic, since the reform would have let Mr Chávez run indefinitely for president but banned re-election for other posts. The chavista movement suffered “a top-to-bottom split, from state governors down to the grassroots”, said Ismael García, the leader of Podemos.

The emergence of what Mr García calls a “third pole” between the government and the traditional opposition allowed many of the president's supporters to vote no, or at least to abstain, without feeling that they were betraying their leader. The students did much of the hard work of bringing out voters and watching over ballot boxes. And when it seemed that Mr Chávez might be tempted to claim victory, General Baduel played a key role, with an—at least implicit—threat to reject such a result and split the armed forces.

The economy boils over
It is not hard to see what lies behind the decision of many chavistas not to vote. Their continuing loyalty to their comandante is being eroded by mounting economic distortions and the corruption and incompetence of his government.

Image IPB

It was Mr Chávez's good fortune to preside over a massive increase in the oil price (to which he made a modest contribution by cancelling plans under which private investment would have doubled Venezuela's oil output). The result has been a wild economic boom (see chart 1). This has prompted a sharp drop in the number of Venezuelans living in poverty, from 43% in 1999 to 27.5% earlier this year, according to government figures. Hundreds of thousands of new cars have turned Caracas into an all-day traffic jam.

The boom has been fuelled mainly by public spending, which has risen from around 20% of GDP in the late 1990s to some 38% last year (including several off-budget funds controlled by the president). It has been amplified by expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. To check inflation, the official exchange rate has been pegged at 2,150 bolívares to the dollar. That has been possible hitherto because revenues from oil exports have risen dramatically, from $17 billion in 1999 to $58 billion last year.

The result is known to economists as Dutch disease: an overvalued exchange rate favours imports but makes life hard for manufacturers and farmers. In Venezuela's case this has been exacerbated by Mr Chávez's ideological hostility to the private sector, which has involved selective nationalisation and intermittent threats to private property. While many private companies (and banks) have done well out of the boom, they have been loth to make long-term investments. Imports have risen fourfold over the past four years, while GDP has expanded by only half over the same period.

José Manuel Puente, an economist at IESA, a business school in Caracas, sees four warning lights for the economy: oil output, inflation, fiscal problems and a growing shortage of dollars. Since Mr Chávez took direct control of PDVSA, the state oil company, after the crippling strike of 2002-03, production of crude has declined. That is partly because PDVSA has slashed investment in order to pay for social programmes, and partly because its payroll has doubled to 90,000 in the past four years. The government's policy of maximising its share of oil revenues by obliging foreign companies to become minority partners in joint ventures appears to have intensified the trend. Oil output has fallen for six consecutive quarters, according to the Central Bank. Although officials still insist that oil production is 3.3m barrels per day (b/d), even OPEC, of which Venezuela is a founder member, does not believe this: in October it slashed Venezuela's production quota to 2.5m b/d.

Image IPB

The second warning light is inflation (see chart 2). In November prices rose by 4.4%, the highest monthly figure for four years, taking the annual rate to 21%, the highest in Latin America. Food prices have risen even faster, by 29%—despite price controls. Because of those controls, staples such as milk, eggs, black beans and cooking oil are in such short supply that shoppers sometimes fight for them.

To try to slow inflation the government slashed VAT earlier this year, from 14% to 9%. To plug the resulting fiscal gap, in November it imposed a tax on financial transactions—one reason for that month's spike in inflation. Another clear sign of strain is a surge in the parallel-market price of the dollar. Even if oil prices remain at current levels, many economists believe the government will have to devalue and start to cool the economy early next year.

The frustrations of collectivism
That will strain political loyalty further. After nine years of the Bolivarian revolution (named after Símon Bolívar, the South American independence hero) Venezuelans are becoming increasingly disillusioned with its corrupt inefficiency. Look behind the ubiquitous billboards proclaiming the government's social projects, and everywhere the failures and frustrations are palpable.

Take, for example, a model collective farm near the village of Buenos Aires in the coastal plain of Barlovento, an area with a large black population east of Caracas. Set up in 2002, it looks like a neat suburban estate, its one-storey houses for 144 families grouped in 12 circular cul-de-sacs. Three tractors, from China and Iran, are parked nearby. But farming the project's 108 hectares (267 acres) “did not go as we wanted”, says Jacobo Pacheco, one of the community's leaders, with quiet understatement.

Mr Pacheco, who is 62 and whose red beret has an image of Che Guevara, says he continues to support Mr Chávez. But he paints a devastating picture of government mismanagement. Agronomists from the National Lands Institute (INTI), which is responsible for the project, advised the collective's farmers to plant half a dozen different fruits; all but the lemons failed, either because the land was unsuitable or because of defects in the irrigation system. The water supply to the houses has been cut off because a pump doesn't work. None of six promised workshops, providing training and employment in carpentry, metalworking and the like, has been built. The local branch of Mercal, the government's subsidised supermarket chain, has been closed for the past year.

The farm's members have to take outside work to make ends meet. Mr Pacheco says that collective farming doesn't suit Venezuelans. He wants INTI to divide the land into individual plots. He has other grievances, too. When invited to an exhibition about the project at the presidential palace he saw pictures and plans of the houses, showing that they should have been equipped to a higher standard. He has seen receipts for the household equipment and says that between them the officials and supplier involved pocketed 1 billion bolívares ($465,000).

This story rings true. Many government projects are either misconceived, or unfinished, or both—like the gleaming new fish-processing plant along the coast at Boca de Uchire that has stood empty for a year because a planned wharf remains on the drawing board, while just three carpenters work on the beach building the fishing fleet designed to supply it. Two out of three of the Mercal branches in Caracas have closed, reckons Jésus Torrealba, a former opposition activist who now runs a radio programme on the problems of the poor barrios.

Officials point with pride to the Cuban-designed social programmes known as misiones implemented by Mr Chávez when oil revenues picked up in 2003. Certainly, a primary-health programme called Barrio Adentro, which is mainly staffed by Cuban doctors and dentists, seems to work well, and is valued by residents in poorer neighbourhoods. Yet such evaluations as exist of these programmes suggest they have had little overall impact.

Mr Chávez declared in 2005 that thanks to Misión Robinson, a scheme to teach adults to read and write, Venezuela had eradicated illiteracy, a boast quickly parroted by UNESCO officials. But the government was later forced to withdraw the claim after its own surveys suggested that over 1m adults are still illiterate. Perhaps the most successful educational policy has been one to extend the school day and provide meals. This was devised by a previous government, though to his credit Mr Chávez implemented it.

Despite the apparent success of Barrio Adentro, a recent decline in infant mortality merely mimics the historical trend in Venezuela, according to a study by Francisco Rodríguez, chief economist at the National Assembly from 2000-04 and now at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The incidence of stunting and malnutrition in children has even slightly increased, from 8.4 per thousand in 1999 to 9.1 in 2006 according to government data. That points to the deterioration of public hospitals under Mr Chávez.

Strip away the propaganda, and the government's socio-economic policies do not particularly favour the poor. Much of the extra public spending has gone on arms purchases, bureaucracy (public employment has doubled) and infrastructure (some of it useful, to be sure).

The government also spends money on indiscriminate subsidies. These mean, for example, that a tank of petrol costs less than $2, and that all credit-card holders get a quota of cheap dollars. Such policies favour the better off—including the new chavista elite of military officers, political leaders and favoured businessmen. According to the Central Bank, the distribution of income has become less equal under Mr Chávez. The Gini coefficient, a standard measure of inequality, has risen from 44.1 in 2000 to 48 in 2005. Over the same period, income distribution has become more equal in Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

A different landscape
Margarita López Maya, a social scientist at the Central University of Venezuela, points to the Bolivarian revolution's success in bringing the poor into politics and giving them a sense of citizenship, partly through a network of neighbourhood councils. Had the constitutional reform been approved, this would have been jeopardised, she says, since the councils would have depended directly on the president and his largesse.

That sense of inclusion remains Mr Chávez's prime political asset. He still controls almost all the country's institutions, has billions of dollars to spend at will, and for the next nine months—thanks to an enabling law—can rule by decree over wide swathes of national life. He is a man whose political skills have frequently been underestimated, and who could yet bounce back from defeat.

After his reverse, Mr Chávez insisted that his project had not been derailed, merely shunted into a siding “for now”. That was a deliberate echo of the phrase he used after leading a failed military coup in 1992; seven years later, he was president. Maybe the country was not yet “ripe” for socialism, but “there will be no step back”, he said. “You should know that I am not withdrawing a single comma of this proposal.” He promised to reintroduce some bits of the reform by other means.

Nevertheless, the referendum marks a watershed. Mr Chávez “has been winged—he's passed his peak,” says Teodoro Petkoff, a centrist opposition leader and newspaper editor. For the first time in nearly a decade it is possible for Venezuelans to envisage life after Mr Chávez.

The opposition victory, and the admission of defeat by the president, ought to convince radicals on both sides that the only solution to the country's bitter political polarisation is peaceful and electoral. The emergence of the “third pole”, composed of Podemos, General Baduel and the student movement, should in itself herald a less polarised politics. Some talk of calling a constituent assembly to claw power back from the president. Others are looking ahead to elections for mayors and governors next year.

The referendum defeat means Mr Chávez cannot legally run again for the presidency. His aura of invincibility has gone, and the battle for the succession seems bound to begin soon. In the ruling party, political survival no longer demands unquestioning loyalty to the comandante. Fractures have already begun to appear in the supreme court and the parliament.

“This is not a 100-metre sprint, it's a marathon,” cautions Mr Petkoff. But its direction is clear. “Venezuelans have woken up” is a phrase often used by supporters of Mr Chávez to describe the political mobilisation of the poor. The referendum suggests that many of them are waking up to the shortcomings of his revolution.


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La liberté est l'absence de désir de dominer les autres.

Ne fais rien et tout sera fait.


#40 Nick de Cusa

Nick de Cusa

    Idiot inutile

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Posté 07/12/2007 - 11:05

Où l'on s'aperçoit que la démocratie n'est peut-être pas tout le temps dépourvue de tout mérite.
Qui se brule le cul doit s'asseoir sur les cloches. Vieux proverbe flamand.

"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." Marx.

"Just 'cos you got the power, that don't mean you got the right." Lemmy Kilminster
"People who say money doesn't make you happy just don't know where to go shopping." David Lee Roth.
"Pour être un politique, il faut avoir été opéré de la honte." Bernie Bonvoisin

"L'opposition, devenue traditionnelle, entre culture et technique, qui conduit à ne traiter l'objet technique que dans la dimension utilitaire de son intrumentalité est, comme le disait [Gilbert Simondon] "fausse et sans fondement" et "la plus forte cause d'aliénation dans le monde contemporain". Car, dans la mesure où la culture contemporaine méconnaît l'ordre technoscientifique -et justifie philosophiquement et glorifie médiatiquement cette méconnaissance- le sens qu'elle véhicule reste foncièrement archaïque, absolument inadapté à la réalité des sociétés modernes." Philippe Nemo et Jean Petitot.


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