In Venezuela, Divisions over Chvez Extend from Parliament to the Dinner Table

By Fieser, Ezra | The Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

In Venezuela, Divisions over Chvez Extend from Parliament to the Dinner Table


Fieser, Ezra, The Christian Science Monitor


Mourning Hugo Chvez supporters lined streets outside the military academy for a fourth straight day today, but few were grieving just a few miles away.

In the leafy, upscale Altamira neighborhood, residents shopped, sipped coffee at sidewalk cafes, and strolled in city parks.

If you want to talk to a Chvista, you wont find one here, says Carlos Leon, a businessman. Interim President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in last night, is not my president.

Meanwhile, miles to the west, the red wave of supporters, a constant since Chvez died Tuesday, again waited in line for hours to bid farewell to their beloved leader. Chants spontaneously erupted: I am Chvez! and the fight continues!

The sharp contrast between the two scenes underscores an important, if perhaps obvious, fact: Chvez left behind a deeply divided country. His socialist policies earned supporters and enemies. He both raised people out of poverty and chased Venezuelans into self-imposed exile. In his 14 years in power, he proved to be both divisive and wildly popular repeatedly winning elections by wide margins.

The polarization in Venezuela was there before, but it only got worse under Chvez, says Carlos Romero, a political analyst at Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. Instead of striving for a consensus, he reinforced a rigid political alignment.

Politically, Chvez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela appears to still have the advantage. Maduro, a former bus driver who rose through politics to become Chvezs handpicked successor, had a 46.4 to 34.3 advantage over rival Henrique Capriles in a February survey by Caracas-based pollster Datanalisis.

According to the Constitution, the election to replace Chvez should be held within 30 days of his death. Venezuelans were awaiting today an announcement on the vote, including the date, from the elections commission.

Let the acrimony begin

The campaign mudslinging has already begun. Mr. Capriles, in a press conference held just hours after Chvezs state funeral ended Friday, called Maduros swearing-in as interim president completely spurious. No one elected Nicolas president. They did not say, President Nicolas. The people did not vote for you, boy.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

In Venezuela, Divisions over Chvez Extend from Parliament to the Dinner Table
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?