No More Chávez? Global marchers hope so.
Foes of the Venezuelan president, who is on a world tour, are expected to congregate today around the world to protest his policies.
Hugo Chávez's foes across the globe are expected to congregate today in parks and plazas from Colombia to Canada to voice discontent over what organizers call Mr. Chávez's insults, hypocrisy, and meddling in their internal affairs.Skip to next paragraph
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Chávez, who is on a worldwide tour that includes stops in Iran and Syria, dismissed the movement as "stupid." His followers are planning countermarches in his support. But it points to momentum throughout the region among those who see a chance to unwind some of the gains that leftist leaders like Chávez have made in Latin America over the past decade.
"There is a sense that this leftward direction in Latin America is now being seriously challenged," says Steve Ellner, a Venezuela-based political analyst and author of "Rethinking Venezuelan Politics." From the ouster of Chávez ally Manuel Zelaya in Honduras June 28, to challenges the left faces in upcoming elections, such as in Chile, he says some perceive a political opportunity.
"The opposition is starting to think maybe the left will take some defeats," he notes. "People get mobilized when they are optimistic."
Colombia pushes back
The "No More Chávez" march was initiated after the latest spate between Chávez and Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe over plans to allow the US to use Colombian military bases. Chávez has called it a provocation of war and called Mr. Uribe a "traitor."