Maduro’s se­cond term

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Voice - TEN­NYSON JOSEPH JAIR BOL­SONARO

TO­DAY, JAN­UARY

10, wit­nesses the se­cond in­au­gu­ra­tion of the pres­i­dency of Ni­co­las Maduro of the Bo­li­var­ian Repub­lic of Venezuela, and for­mally marks the com­mence­ment of his se­cond term as leader of this im­por­tant CARI­COM ally.

The in­au­gu­ra­tion fol­lows upon his land­slide elec­tion vic­tory in the May 2018 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, which was for­mally sanc­tioned by the Na­tional Con­stituent As­sem­bly, the high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body of the coun­try.

Sig­nif­i­cantly,

Maduro won 68 per cent of the na­tional vote in an elec­tion con­tested against two other con­tend­ing pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates put for­ward by op­po­si­tion groups in the coun­try.

How­ever, de­spite the ab­so­lute­ness of Maduro’s vic­tory, it is un­likely that the op­po­si­tion-dom­i­nated par­lia­ment will of­fer him the cour­tesy of tak­ing his oath of of­fice be­fore that body, given its his­tory of end­less, to­tal op­po­si­tion in ful­fil­ment of its ob­jec­tive of top­pling Maduro’s Chav­ista so­cial­ist pro­ject. In­stead, the oath will likely be taken be­fore the Supreme Court, a de­vel­op­ment which will sig­nal yet an­other mo­ment in which the court has had to rein in a rene­gade par­lia­ment.

These de­vel­op­ments sug­gest that whilst Pres­i­dent Maduro’s se­cond in­au­gu­ra­tion will be greeted with ju­bi­la­tion by all who wel­come al­ter­na­tives to the anti-poor, ne­olib­eral model cur­rently dom­i­nat­ing the globe, it is likely that his new term will con­tinue to be marked by un­re­lent­ing desta­bil­i­sa­tion by the op­po­si­tion, and their for­eign and re­gional anti-so­cial­ist al­lies, who er­ro­neously be­lieve, like the new Brazil­ian pres­i­dent, that they can usher in “the end of so­cial­ism”.

This sus­tained global pres­sure be­ing placed on Venezuela’s so­cial­ist pro­ject, calls for as­tute lead­er­ship by CARI­COM in or­der to avoid the trap of as­sist­ing the global en­e­mies of poor and African-de­scen­dant peo­ples from declar­ing vic­tory in Venezuela.

This story has played out too of­ten in the Caribbean-latin Amer­i­can re­gion.

Very in­tel­li­gent Caribbean peo­ple, force-fed on Amer­i­can­con­trolled news, end up tac­itly sup­port­ing the over­throw of a pro­gres­sive, so­cial­ist and friendly ally to the re­gion’s poor, only to be re­gret­ful when the full on­slaught of right-wing fas­cist re­ver­sals be­gin to emerge.

This is the story of Libya which, un­der Gadaffi, was a gen­uine friend of African and Caribbean de­vel­op­ment. It is the story now emerg­ing in Brazil, where with the pop­u­lar and pro­gres­sive for­mer Pres­i­dent Lula da Silva im­pris­oned on a kan­ga­roo charge, the crude and fas­cist Jair Bol­sonaro has been elected. The first ca­su­al­ties of his elec­tion ap­pear to be the poor, the indige­nous, the Afro-brazil­ians and the pro­gres­sive left. It is also the story be­hind CARI­COM’S moral in­sen­si­tiv­ity to the as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt on Pres­i­dent Maduro.

CARI­COM must en­sure that Pres­i­dent Maduro’s se­cond term does not end with a re­peat of the bit­ter Libyan re­gret. While Venezuela’s dis­pute with Guyana has pol­luted the Caribbean wa­ters, global im­pe­ri­al­ists should not dic­tate our re­sponse to a re­gional dis­pute.

We should em­brace Venezuela’s so­cial­ism, rather than seek its over­throw.

Ten­nyson Joseph is a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at the Univer­sity of the West In­dies, Cave Hill Cam­pus, spe­cial­is­ing in re­gional af­fairs.

(In­ter­net im­age.) (In­ter­net im­age.)

MUAM­MAR GADDAFI NI­CO­LAS MADURO

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