Venezuela : l’heure du choix

L’opposition démocratique du Venezuela s’est enfin ralliée derrière un candidat unique à l’élection présidentielle du 3 décembre, Manuel Rosales, face au président en exercice, le populiste factieux Hugo Chavez. S’il est élu, Rosales incarnera une forme radicalement nouvelle de gouvernement, qui cherchera à se défaire de l’héritage démagogique de Chavez et de sa « révolution bolivarienne ».

Depuis son élection en 1998, Chavez a fait de la confrontation et de l’incitation à la violence ses principaux outils politiques. Il s’est ouvertement lancé dans une diplomatie du chéquier, en cédant à un prix préférentiel les ressources pétrolières du Venezuela à certains pays, Cuba notamment, sans grands résultats tangibles. Bien que les réserves d’or noir du Venezuela soient importantes, il n’y a aucune raison de les dilapider dans des aventures à l’étranger déguisées en intégration économique. Chavez s’efforce d’acheter une influence régionale, mais en fait il soutient surtout ses acolytes idéologiques tels que le colombien Evo Morales, Daniel Ortega au Nicaragua, et même ceux de pays plus lointains, par exemple Robert Mugabe au Zimbabwe et Aleksander Loukachenko en Biélorussie.

Le Venezuela a entretenu d’excellentes relations avec ses voisins pendant de longues années, sans avoir à acheter leur amitié. Mais Chavez en a calomnié plusieurs pour des motifs obscurs, dont la Colombie voisine, l’une des raisons pour laquelle la tentative de Chavez d’obtenir pour le Venezuela le siège latino-américain au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a été récemment bloquée.

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