The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 11, 2013

Other views: Another dictator in place

— Hugo Chavez’s lieutenants and loyalists, the “Chavistas,” have picked up seamlessly where the deceased dictator left off — in ignoring Venezuela’s Constitution.

The ailing Chavez, who died Tuesday of a heart attack following a long battle with cancer, had handpicked Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor. But the constitution, largely rewritten by Chavez himself shortly after he assumed power in 1999, says the speaker of the National Assembly should be the interim president.

However, Maduro, 50, was quickly named as acting president and as the socialist party’s candidate in the special election to replace Chavez. The constitution says the election must be called within 30 days of the post’s vacancy, but the Chavistas show no sign of honoring that deadline.

Also in violation of the constitution, which says the military must stay out of politics, the defense minister — Adm. Diego Molero — pledged that the military would support Maduro in an election.

Maduro will likely face Henrique Capriles, the popular 40-year-old governor of Venezuela’s most populous state, Miranda. Capriles lost to Chavez in October’s presidential election by 11 points, not a bad showing considering that Chavez controlled the broadcast media and a vast patronage network. His power base was Venezuela’s numerous urban poor. He showered them with social programs and food subsidies that were often not well or honestly run, but convinced them that he genuinely cared about their welfare.

Maduro quickly picked up on one of his patron’s favorites devices: When in doubt, blame the United States. Chavez regularly predicted an imminent invasion by the U.S. Maduro hinted that in some way the U.S. was responsible for Chavez’s death, a charge amplified by the Cuban government, which Chavez subsidized with cut-rate oil. When it was clear that Chavez was near death, Maduro expelled two U.S. military attaches, blatantly grandstanding for Chavez’s supporters.

Whoever wins the election will inherit a country with severe economic problems, in spite of its vast oil reserves. Inflation is close to 33 percent. Because of Chavez-imposed price controls and nationalization of stores, there are shortages of many basic necessities and a thriving black market where the dollar trades at four times the official rate. Crime is rampant.

Maduro has taken to telling crowds, “I am Chavez.” For the sake of the Venezuelan people, let’s hope he’s not.

Scripps Howard News Service

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

    Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Dally for Division 5

    I have known Nate Dally almost my entire life. As we grew up, Nate always had a strong passion and desire to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally.

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Vote ‘no’ on 7

    The Globe has been on my reading list for over 35 years, and during that time the Globe has frequently supported tax increases. Same thing again in the Sunday, July 27, editorial, “‘Yes’ on 7.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Missouri's sales tax-free weekend begins Friday. Do you plan purchases around this weekend?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN