Venezuelans Test Democracy

After enormous difficulties, uncertainties, and constant attempts to derail the process, Venezuelans will vote on August 15th to decide whether President Hugo Chávez should be recalled and new presidential elections held. This plebiscite marks the latest stage in a bitter campaign to unseat a president who has already survived a coup, a two-month general strike, and a previous attempt to force a vote on his leadership.

Chávez himself appears to have tacitly, if reluctantly, accepted that the recall vote will be held this August. So is he on the way out? Not necessarily. But, no matter what happens, the battle between Chávez and the opposition has already tested - and will continue to test - the strength of Venezuela's democracy.

Independent supervision of the referendum must be agreed upon soon. The Organization of American States and the Atlanta-based Carter Center, named for former US President Jimmy Carter, have been active in facilitating the process. Together with a group of friendly countries, the OAS and the Carter Center helped convince Chávez of the inevitability of a recall vote.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/ISDpY3y;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.