Hugo Chávez, Dix Ans de Pouvoir

SAN JOSE – Cela aurait du éveiller quelques soupçons quand, lors de l’investiture du président Hugo Chávez, le 2 février 1999, il a prêté serment sur la Constitution quarantenaire du Vénézuéla, en la certifiant “moribonde.”

Sous cette Constitution aux dernières affres, telle qu’elle nous était révélée, le Vénézuéla n’avait pas seulement connu huit paisibles transitions présidentielles, mais il avait également joui des fruits du pluralisme démocratique et de solides libertés publiques et politiques. Bien sûr, au cours de cette période, la corruption et les conduites irresponsables avaient proliféré autant que les barils de pétrole. En attendant, le Vénézuéla faisait beaucoup mieux que n’importe lequel des pays d’Amérique latine. Ce n’était pas la Suisse, mais pour quiconque, c’était une authentique démocratie.

On ne peut plus en dire autant aujourd’hui. Des élections ont toujours lieu, mais le legs des dix ans de pouvoir de Chávez est fait, d’abord et avant tout, de l’anéantissement des institutions démocratiques. Elu à une majorité écrasante pour laver de ses vices le système politique auquel il a succédé, Chávez a choisi de jeter le bébé avec l’eau du bain. Le régime précédent a bel et bien disparu, avec sa balance des pouvoirs et ses traditions de tolérance, mais ses vices – en particulier les dessous de table et le clientélisme – n’ont fait que s’aggraver. Un peu comme il y a 10 ans, le Vénézuéla, qui pouvait s’enorgueillir d’être une destination privilégiée pour les immigrants du monde entier, stagne dans le sous-développement.

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