China,  Democracy,  Latin America

Venezuelan democracy watch

“…and that’s where you’ll put the giant portrait of Chairman Mao, er, Comandante Chavez.”

Fans of the People’s Republic and the Bolivarian Republic may consider this excellent news (I’m expecting a celebratory post about it any moment at Socialist Unity); but for more genuine advocates of democracy and human rights, it’s hardly a promising sign.

Noticias 24 reports:

Venezuela and China today agreed to extend their political alliance with the training of Venezuelan ruling party leaders by the Chinese Communist Party.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between the president of the [National Assembly] Diosdado Cabello, and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, who started Monday a four-day visit to Venezuela to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

“We have decided for the comrades of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) to receive instruction from the Chinese Communist Party in political and social formation” Cabello said in a brief statement to reporters.
“China’s socialism has its own characteristics, and Venezuela has our Bolivarian socialism” [Preisdent Nicolas] Maduro said, and said the agreement seeks to “continue the legacy” of late President Hugo Chavez.

Of course one advantage the Chinese Communist Party has over the PSUV is that it is the only legal party in the country, and therefore doesn’t have to put up with annoying challenges from other parties. In Venezuela, despite silencing of the opposition in the National Assembly, government opponents continue to speak out.

Por ahora, as the late Comandante might have said.

Update: To clarify, the Chinese Communist Party is officially part of a “united front” with eight smaller parties. The smaller parties cannot and do not act independently.

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