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“Participative Democracy”

By: Joel Fensch - Nov 1, 2013, 4:48 pm

EspañolThis title, and the interpretation which the kindergarten governing Venezuela lends our current system of government, seems to suggest that democracy needs to be categorized. That is, that democracy in Venezuela requires the direct participation of its constituents in order to subsist.

Actually democracy is just that when, at least in my opinion, there is no need to qualify it. However, let us take a peek into just how participative the official party makes of its version of democracy.

In the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), obviously a leftist organization, there is an extreme left and then apart from that an ultra-extreme left. More often than not this sack of stray cats do not seem to find anything in common other than the name “Chávez!

The opposition elects its candidates via primaries — which in and of itself is almost a miracle given its diverse political spectrum. On the other hand, the PSUV, coiner of the term “Participative Democracy,” utilizes a version of a Politburo to select its candidates for elections nationwide.

The Cuban-style system of communal committees, organized by and for members of the PSUV in all of the country’s municipalities, are designed to eventually substitute locally-elected officials such as mayors, councilmen, etc. — positions specifically provided for in our Constitution. These committees are, by the same token, totally ignored by the party when it comes to actually organizing and administering regional areas. Participation is a word for the masses, but when it comes to the administration of power, only the “central committee” has a real say in matters.

It’s no wonder that those who have gone along with Chavismo up until now are finding a bitter taste when it comes to the real meaning of 21st century socialism.

Joel Fensch Joel Fensch

Editor of InsightSur, Fensch covers geopolitical and historical events in Latin America with the PanAm Post.