Venezuela's Opposition Ignores the Constitution

By Moreno, Francisco Jose | The Christian Science Monitor, January 22, 2003 | Go to article overview

Venezuela's Opposition Ignores the Constitution


Moreno, Francisco Jose, The Christian Science Monitor


Those trying to end the rule of Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela are having a very difficult - and protracted - time of it.

Coup and strike notwithstanding, the opposition has had no success because it has been unable to convince the world that the unwillingness to abide by Venezuela's laws and Constitution represent a defense of, not an attack on, democracy.

The opposition claims that Mr. Chavez is a dictator aiming for totalitarian control. But this jars with the complete political and journalistic freedom enjoyed in the country. The Chavez regime does not take political prisoners (unless they break the law, such as those who tried to oust him in April) and the local press is openly and militantly antigovernment.

The opposition also asserts that the struggle against Chavez is purely political, devoid of social or racial overtones. This is difficult to reconcile because the president's strongest support is among poor and mixed-race Venezuelans and the opposition is largely white and middle-to-upper class.

The arguments put forward by the anti-Chavez militants and their professed commitment to freedom and democracy don't tally with their willingness to disregard their Constitution and forgo traditional elections. They claim that if Chavez remains in power until the elections, in 2006, he'll either irreparably damage the economy or somehow make his rule permanent.

But this professed inability to defend their interests and forward their views in the regular give-and-take of politics rings hollow. Chavez's popularity has indeed diminished substantially since his election; the most reliable Venezuelan pollster Alfredo Keller puts it now at 36 percent. As the president's popularity decreases, and as long as he keeps operating within the legal and democratic framework, an equally legal and democratic opposition representing the majority of the population should have no difficulty making its preferences felt through the existing electoral system.

The Venezuelan opposition is no political orphan. Businesses, the privately owned-media, organized labor, and the traditional political parties are all solidly in its ranks. Even without waiting for 2006, the opposition has a multitude of legal and political means to make its power felt. …

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

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Venezuela's Opposition Ignores the Constitution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.