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The Forum > Article Comments > Venezuela: no to socialism for the 21st century > Comments

Venezuela: no to socialism for the 21st century : Comments

By Rodrigo Acuńa, published 12/12/2007

Hugo Chávez lost the referendum, despite his almost unstoppable political momentum since winning the presidency.

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As a long-time admirer of both Chavez and the Venezuelan revolution, I find this a fair analysis.

Although the defeat was very narrow (less than one per cent), the high abstention rate was probably due to the excessive number of proposed changes and the broadly confused wording. Also, many of the changes, such as reductions to working hours, could have been left to the normal parliamentary process.

The most villified proposal - the right for Chavez (and other candidates) to stand for unlimited elections - is no different from Australia's constitution and those of many European countries. However, in a country with endemic corruption (much of which is embedded from the pre-Chavez era), an opposition that proved itself in 2002 (and since) to be criminally vindictive and downright sinister, and with the inherent problems that too much centralisation has brought to other socialist-based countries - the people's reticence to support the proposal was wise.

Much as I like the guy, Chavez could well do with a good dose of humility.
Posted by MLK, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 9:49:18 AM
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