Venezuela: Demokratie auf dem Prüfstein

Nach enormen Schwierigkeiten, Unsicherheiten und andauernden Versuchen, das Verfahren zum Entgleisen zu bringen, werden die Venezolaner am 15. August in einem Referendum über die Abberufung von Präsident Hugo Chávez und die Abhaltung neuer Präsidentschaftswahlen entscheiden. Dieser Volksentscheid stellt die letzte Stufe einer erbitterten Kampagne zur Entmachtung eines Präsidenten dar, der bereits einen Putschversuch, einen zweimonatigen Generalstreik und einen früheren Versuch, eine Abstimmung über seine Führung zu erzwingen, überlebt hat.

Chávez selbst scheint die Durchführung des Volksentscheides im August inzwischen - wenn auch zögerlich - stillschweigend akzeptiert zu haben. Steht er damit vor dem Ende? Nicht notwendigerweise. Ganz gleich jedoch, was passiert: Der Kampf zwischen Chávez und der Opposition hat die Stärke der venezolanischen Demokratie bereits auf eine harte Probe gestellt - und wird es weiter tun.

Es gilt nun, schnell eine Einigung über unabhängige Wahlbeobachter zu erzielen. Die Organisation amerikanischer Staaten und das nach dem früheren US-Präsidenten Jimmy Carter benannte Carter Center mit Sitz in Atlanta sind bemüht, den Verlauf des Verfahrens zu erleichtern und haben gemeinsam mit einer Gruppe befreundeter Staaten dazu beigetragen, Chávez von der Unausweichlichkeit eines Abberufungsreferendums zu überzeugen.

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