Category: Democracy and 21st Century Socialism

Elections and Political Power: Challenges for the Opposition

English + Español
Next month’s elections will be an important benchmark in Venezuelan politics. On November 23, voters will go to the polls to elect 22 state governors and 355 mayors in as many municipalities, as well as choose the mayor of Caracas. The elections are taking place in a political environment influenced by the abrupt proclamation of 26 laws on July 31, the last day of President Chávez’s 18-month powers to issue emergency decrees …

The Politics of Identity: Bolívar and Beyond

English + Español
Easter Sunday, the last day of Holy Week, fills Venezuela’s Catholic churches with religious fervor, and the beaches and recreation spots with exuberant Dionysian paganism. On the Day of Resurrection Venezuela, like the rest of Latin America, celebrates the holiday as a day of rejoicing in which the central act is the “burning” of the effigy of Judas. Residents of poor working-class communities, the “barrios,” create life-size grotesque …

After the Referendum: Reading the Defeat

English + Español
On December 2, 2007, Venezuela voters rejected President Hugo Chávez’s proposed constitutional reform. That reform, broadened by the National Assembly to encompass a total of 69 articles, would have led Venezuelan society at an accelerated pace towards “socialism of the 21st century.” With 94% of the results reported, the National Electoral Council’s second bulletin announced that slightly more than half …


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