Sunday, May 07, 2006

Trouble in the Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made an troubling announcement today; he plans to propose a new law that would allow him a 25 year term as President. Chavez is best know for the economic progress he has sparked by nationalizing the oil industry and implementing robust social programs that provide the poor with food, education, and medicine. Unfortunately, the man who many on the Left had put so must hope in has trampled on the spirit of the Bolivarian Revolution he claims to support. In a speech to supporters in Caracas, Chavez said, "I am going to ask you, all the people, if you agree with Chavez being president until 2031."

Chavez's pronouncement is causing outrage throughout the libertarian left, who believe that any socialist economy requires a democratic political system. We can only hope that the Venezuelan people see through Chavez's political power grab and reject his nullification of term limits. The Bolivarian Revolution is not about Hugo Chavez, it's about the people of Venezuela and their economic and social rights. They don't need leaders like Chavez to stop American imperialism in Latin America, that can be done through organized resistance like that we see in Mexico.

While criticizing Chavez, we must be careful not to endorse U.S. intervention in the region, as that will inevitably make the situation even worse. If Venezuelans want Chavez to be President until 2031, they have that right, it's not for anyone in America or Europe to decide. Instead of supporting Chavez, American radicals must show solidarity with Latin American workers.