The youth of Venezuela rise up

Student protests against a Dec. 2 referendum reveal that the mantle of 'the left' is up for grabs.

A Dec. 2 referendum in Venezuela that would grant extreme powers to Hugo Chávez isn't going as the budding dictator planned. Youth are protesting and the poor have doubts. Just who is the "left" in Venezuela is now up for grabs.

By hook or crook, President Chávez may yet win this referendum, which proposes 69 amendments to the Constitution. The most worrisome one would remove limits on his reelection – for life. Others would allow him to take private property in an "emergency" and give him direct power over the nation's foreign currency reserves. Media and human rights groups could also be restrained. (See related story.)

All this is part of Chávez's "revolution" for "21st-century socialism," only the revolution is faltering as the poor face increasing food shortages in an oil-rich country.

Recommended: How can Venezuela resolve its political crisis? Six views.

To win votes for his draconian steps, Chávez has included amendments that would, among other things, reduce the workday from eight to six hours and expand social benefits. These, of course, have immediate appeal to the majority of Venezuela's population who are poor. But guess who sees through this latest populist power play: Left-leaning students on university campuses.

They've been leading nonviolent marches by the tens of thousands since October, which may be one reason polls show the plebiscite vote could be close. Student leaders say this former military coup-plotter is merely using his current domination of Congress, the state oil company, media, courts, and election authority as a way to gain even more power. They fail to see the egalitarian nature of the revolution, especially when government price controls have reduced the supply of such staples as milk.

Student protests in Latin America are often a precursor to a leader's downfall. In the current protests for a "no" vote on the Venezuela referendum, students have found support from the Catholic Church, many political allies of Chávez, and his former mentor in the military, former Defense Minister Raúl Isaías Baduel.

Their voices keep alive the hope that the poor will see their future in democracy and not the paternalistic visions of a man who brooks little opposition.

Other leaders in Latin America are challenging Chávez, who tries to use oil wealth to win over leftists in other nations, including the US. "You cannot mistreat the continent, set it on fire as you do, speaking about imperialism when you, on the basis of your budget, want to set up an empire," said Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, this month. And Chávez's antics in public forums, too, have hurt his cause.

Like many other impatient revolutionaries such as Pol Pot in Cambodia, Chávez wants results in a hurry. He has given a new slogan to the military: "Fatherland, Socialism or Death." It is that reliance on the military and organized thugs to get his way that so upsets leftist students.

Other leftist leaders in the region, such as Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva, work within an open and fair democracy to uplift the poor. Such democracies may be slow in yielding benefits, but the alternatives, such as Chávez's rush to absolute rule, have been proven to be worse.

Like the fairy-tale child who saw the emperor has no clothes, the youth of Venezuela are seeing the Chávez reign for what it is.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

eZ debug

Clear cache:

Quick settings:

Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Script start
Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Module start 'content'
Warning: eZDebug::accumulatorStop Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Accumulator 'Search' does not exist, run eZDebug::accumulatorStart first
Warning: eZDebug::accumulatorStop Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Accumulator 'Search' does not exist, run eZDebug::accumulatorStart first
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: path in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezwebin/autoloads/ezpagedata.php on line 158
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: path in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezwebin/autoloads/ezpagedata.php on line 175
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: path in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezwebin/autoloads/ezpagedata.php on line 158
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: path in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezwebin/autoloads/ezpagedata.php on line 175
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_remote_id_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/csm_base/classes/CSMFunctionCollection.php on line 1028
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_remote_id_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/csm_base/classes/CSMFunctionCollection.php on line 1028
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_remote_id_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/csm_base/classes/CSMFunctionCollection.php on line 1028
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_class_identifier_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/ezfind/classes/ezfindresultnode.php on line 111
Notice: PHP: E_NOTICE Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Undefined index: meta_remote_id_ms in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/csm_base/classes/CSMFunctionCollection.php on line 1028
Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Module end 'content'
Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Before parse_includes
Strict: PHP: E_STRICT Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Non-static method MugoViewExtras::get_view_extras() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /var/www/www.csmonitor.com/extension/mugo_view_extras/autoloads/template_operators.php on line 37
Warning: eZTemplate:def @ extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/override/templates/extra/archive.tpl:21[1] Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
Variable 'view_extra_node' is already defined.
Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
After parse_includes
Timing: Jul 09 2014 12:13:05
End

Timing points:

CheckpointElapsedRel. ElapsedMemoryRel. Memory
Script start 0.0000 sec0.0132 sec 1,285.4766 KB1,162.0859 KB
Module start 'content' 0.0132 sec0.6250 sec 2,447.5625 KB10,604.5156 KB
Module end 'content' 0.6382 sec0.0110 sec 13,052.0781 KB371.3359 KB
Before parse_includes 0.6492 sec0.0483 sec 13,423.4141 KB281.6328 KB
After parse_includes 0.6976 sec0.0007 sec 13,705.0469 KB-169.2422 KB
End 0.6982 sec  13,535.8047 KB 
Total runtime:0.7035 sec
Peak memory usage:16,028.1875 KB

Time accumulators:

 Accumulator Elapsed Percent Count Average
ini_load
Load cache0.0072 sec1.0205%360.0002 sec
Mysql Total
Mysqli_queries0.0741 sec10.5035%1330.0006 sec
Looping result0.0055 sec0.7786%1270.0000 sec
Template Total0.6590 sec 93.4% 7 0.0941 sec
Template load0.0084 sec1.1866%70.0012 sec
Template processing0.6506 sec92.2025%70.0929 sec
Template load and register function0.0003 sec0.0461%40.0001 sec
states
state_id_array0.0033 sec0.4681%80.0004 sec
state_identifier_array0.0052 sec0.7316%110.0005 sec
override
Cache load0.0073 sec1.0403%370.0002 sec
eZ Find
MoreLikeThis0.0000 sec0.0000%00.0000 sec
Query build0.0063 sec0.8890%10.0063 sec
Engine time0.0138 sec1.9604%10.0138 sec
Search0.2205 sec31.2490%20.1102 sec
Class attribute list0.0729 sec10.3343%10.0729 sec
Sytem overhead
Fetch class attribute name0.0012 sec0.1685%50.0002 sec
Fetch class attribute can translate value0.0007 sec0.0978%20.0003 sec
class_abstraction
Instantiating content class attribute0.0001 sec0.0074%50.0000 sec
XML
Image XML parsing0.0022 sec0.3088%20.0011 sec
General
String conversion0.0000 sec0.0029%30.0000 sec
dbfile0.0011 sec0.1627%350.0000 sec
View Extra building0.0099 sec1.4014%40.0025 sec
Total script time:0.7056 sec

CSS/JS files loaded with "ezjscPacker" during request:

CacheTypePacklevelSourceFiles
01a980f93dc967c6e39d52a11ae2108b_1404899611_all.cssCSS3extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/normalize.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/html5b.css
design/standard/stylesheets/debug.css
extension/ezwt/design/standard/stylesheets/websitetoolbar.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/jquery-ui-1.10.3.custom.min.css
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/stylesheets/desktop.css
ede0a88fd146f1a095d27fb22227d0e5_1398846822.jsJS2extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/modernizr.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/jquery-1.10.2.min.js
1650da1ba852ac5f9af81af07e8fa105_1404899611.jsJS2extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery-ui-1.10.4.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/json2.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/jquery.cookie.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.mobile.custom.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.arthole.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.sticky.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.csmstory.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.right_column.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.csmstory_editorspickdialog.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.sailthru_signup.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.jcarousel.min.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.history.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.mainNav.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.gallery.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/plugins/jquery.staffdialog.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jQuery.rollChildren.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/pubService_extended.js
extension/csm_base/design/standard/javascript/csm/csmNew.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.quiz.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/jquery.spectrumQuiz.js
extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/javascript/global.js

Templates used to render the page:

UsageRequested templateTemplateTemplate loadedEditOverride
1node/view/full.tplfull/article.tplextension/csm_base/design/csm_design/override/templates/full/article.tplEdit templateOverride template
3content/datatype/view/ezxmltags/paragraph.tpl<No override>extension/ezwebin/design/ezwebin/templates/content/datatype/view/ezxmltags/paragraph.tplEdit templateOverride template
1content/datatype/view/ezimage.tpl<No override>extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/templates/content/datatype/view/ezimage.tplEdit templateOverride template
1content/datatype/view/ezstring.tpl<No override>design/standard/templates/content/datatype/view/ezstring.tplEdit templateOverride template
1content/datatype/view/ezxmltext.tpl<No override>design/standard/templates/content/datatype/view/ezxmltext.tplEdit templateOverride template
1content/datatype/view/ezxmltext.tplcontent/datatype/view/story_info_box.tplextension/csm_base/design/csm_design/override/templates/content/datatype/view/story_info_box.tplEdit templateOverride template
1content/datatype/view/ezmatrix.tplcontent/datatype/view/ezmatrix_article_related_external_links.tplextension/csm_base/design/csm_design/override/templates/content/datatype/view/ezmatrix_article_related_external_links.tplEdit templateOverride template
1pagelayout.tpl<No override>extension/csm_base/design/csm_design/templates/pagelayout.tplEdit templateOverride template
1modules/mugo_view_extras/extra_cached.tpl<No override>extension/mugo_view_extras/design/standard/templates/modules/mugo_view_extras/extra_cached.tplEdit templateOverride template
1setup/debug_toolbar.tpl<No override>design/standard/templates/setup/debug_toolbar.tplEdit templateOverride template
 Number of times templates used: 12
 Number of unique templates used: 10
 Time used to render template usage: 0.0002 secs