Today I saw this as a headline on Google News- “Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life”. I knew people keep saying that’s going to happen, it’s inevitable, but I was hoping it wasn’t true. So I went to the article in the Telegraph, and found, well, it’s NOT true.
Turns out he’s suggested a constitution that would make it possible, yes, IF he is reelected every seven years. And first it has to be approved by the congress (a done deal- the opposition refused to run), then by the people in a referendum (also considered a done deal, the reasoning being that the people like him. The Telegraph article blows this off, saying it’s only because he’s done things for the people.)
Wait. I’m confused- if he’s democratically elected in fair elections, what’s the problem? If people vote in a constitution that gives him the ability to stay in office for life, and then vote him in for life, isn’t that democracy?
People are scared of Chavez, because he doesn’t see capitalism as a prerequisite to democracy. Instead, he thinks capitalism really is anti-democratic, especially as it turns into neoliberalism, where wealthy corporations become more powerful than democratically elected governments, and therefore the people.
In talking about development of any society, the person needs to stay at the core. Development can not be measured on some macro economics scale, but only by how it has helped the people.