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Obama, Chávez, Romney, Capriles: elections in Venezuela and USA: a turning point?

Let’s face it. The dealer has given you the cards, told you how to play. Now it’s your move: a step to the right, a huddle in the middle or a zig-zag to the left. Change is in the air, but you suspect it may be that window your boss left open at the office. This weekend in Venezuela and next month in the U.S.A. Most people have already gotten their tickets. But not all. It’s the elephants against the donkeys, the let’s give business a break versus the State as active moderator.

Does the reader remember the "crisis" in 2008? How "conservative" President George Bush greased up the printing of millions of dollars to save the neck of "free enterprize" companies gone wacky? What happened to the good old theory that market is god, and no human hand should defy his ways?

Well, President Barack Obama has also handed greenbacks to companies up to their necks in financial speculation. But then, that’s not much of a sin: since the crash in the 1930’s the Democratic Party has applauded varying degrees of State interventionism to save the skin of capitalism.

So what’s at stake in November? An end to the crisis? Not very likely. The Republicans will certainly apply the kind of "solution" that has brought record unemployment to Europe (and created an unheard of number of millionaires). Slashing government sponsored medical care will be one of the first programs to get the axe. Then, why not give giant corporations a tax break? After all that’s the way jobs are generated, aren’t they? (?) Obama? More of the same, but nabbing a bit of extra income from the multi-millionaires to help the State back up social programs.

Will either Obama or Mitt Romney put an end to the unending "war" against terrorism? Not very likely. It might even warm up a few notches, should Romney win, thanks to a budgetary gift to the Pentagon. It's no secret: the Pentagon is the biggest lobby in the country, the biggest (State) corporation in the world; nobody has yet heard the top brass talk about the death of the military-industrial complex.

Perhaps there might be a difference of methodologies, tactics. Directly invade Syria, Iran...do it through via third party, or thanks to cloak and dagger tactics. The system will remain hungry no matter who wins the job of cook. Perhaps one needs a good sense of humor, but frankly the world’s biggest State financed institution is not on its way to banrupcy, although GI's might well have strong complaints about how they are treated when they come home...

A change of veneer. What about Chávez versus Capriles? Hugo is certainly on Washington's bad guy list for nationalizing rather than privatizing strategic industries, for talking about imperialism, for rubbing political shoulders with Iran, for talking about revolution in Latin America. True, he's been in the saddle long enough to step down. But again it appears to be the same old story: the "neo-liberals" (that is the market) versus a rather long winded version of hetrodox socialism (attempts to bring about more social equality thanks to the interventionism of the State under the lyrics of Boliviarian socialism. The "inefficiency" of populism versus the pragmatic pundits of the market.

If Chávez wins he will have a lot of work to do carrying out promises, many of which are far from fulfillment. But at least the cause of Latinamerican unity will retain one of its main spokesman, area politics will continue to be reasonably independent of big brother in Washington. If Capriles wins--in spite of his "liberal" and even "progressive" campaign messages--the champions of neo-liberalism south of the Rio Grande will have grabbed an important rallying point. Just imagine Capriles going snap-snap to the numerous agreements between Venezuela and Cuba, between Caracas and Iran...who would be left to so audaciously lambast Wasington's policies in Latin Americ?

Both votes will certainly mark points of no departure. History in the meantime will continue its endless march towards its unknown destiny. Will these elections also represent points of no return in the process of building democracy? What does democracy really mean and to what extent do presidential candidates genuinely represent the needs and desires of the population? To what expent will the vote be a result of the manipulation of the mass media--perhaps today’s most powerful social, political, economic and cultural force? And for the jackpot: How can democracy be improved so as to give the voice to the majority and protect the minorities against the abuse of power?

Miércoles, 03 de Octubre de 2012 22:14 alfredo #. Noticias (News)

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