Can Chávismo survive without Hugo?
Hugo Chávez and the national assembly have initiated a second attempt, by referendum, to amend the Venezuelan constitution so Chávez can run for re-election in 2012. A similar referendum was narrowly defeated in December of 2007, the only defeat Chávez has endured in eleven trips to the polls since he was elected in 1998. So if Venezuela´s revolution is about empowering the grassroots, then why is it important that Chávez stay on as leader? The Real News spoke to Miguel Tinker Salas by phone from Venezuela to get his analysis.
The price of oil has dropped by over 70% in just six months, causing panic in many countries who had become dependent on high oil revenues over recent years. Miguel Tinker Salas explains to The Real News that Venezuela had planned ahead for the price drop, by stocking up on US dollars. Furthermore, most of the progress made by Chavez’ government was made before the price of oil went through the roof, so they have proven capable of making progress under conditions of lower oil revenues.