Enquanto isso, na Venezuela…


Hugo Chavez se reelegeu ontem para o seu quarto mandato.

Com isso, o populista venezuelano se garante no poder no mínimo até 2018. Ele afirma querer governar o país até 2031.

Dessa vez, o resultado da eleição foi relativamente apertado: Hugo Chavez recebeu pouco mais de 54% dos votos válidos, contra quase 45% de seu principal opositor, Henrique Caprilles.

Da The Economist:

Mr Chávez first tried to take power as the leader of a failed military coup in 1992. Six years later he was elected president, and he has been in office ever since. His stated aim is to make his “21st-century socialist revolution” irreversible and set up a “communal state”, which bears little relation to that enshrined in the 1999 constitution he himself fathered. That document also prohibited him from running for re-election this year, but in 2009 voters approved a referendum to remove presidential term limits.

Mr Capriles promised to reverse the concentration of power in the presidency and restore the autonomy of parliament, the courts and other branches of state, as well as the powers of regional governors. But Mr Chávez’s autocratic tendencies may well have been what enabled him to hold off Mr Capriles’s surge late in the campaign. He openly deployed the entire apparatus of an oil-rich state, including the judiciary, media and the government’s payroll and services, to help his re-election effort. Doubts about whether the president has stacked the deck too much in his favour to be beaten at the ballot box are now likely to return.

The opposition will have to fend off such defeatism if it hopes to keep Mr Chávez in check during his next term. After years of squabbling, Venezuela’s dozens of anti-chavista parties agreed to hold a primary to choose a single presidential candidate, which Mr Capriles won handily in February. He ran a disciplined and effective campaign, and has a powerful claim to remain as leader of the opposition. Keeping it united and motivated will not be easy. “To know how to win, one must know how to lose,” Mr Capriles said on election day. The MUD has little time to lick its wounds: a round of elections for state governors are due in December.

Mr Chávez, for his part, will not have much time to savour his victory. Despite strong oil-fueled growth this year, the country’s foreign-currency reserves are dwindling, thanks to profligate spending (not least on the election), a rising debt burden and dependency on a single commodity for export earnings and government income. Most analysts believe a big devaluation is inevitable, given an inflation rate of close to 20% and a black-market exchange rate almost three times as high as the official one.

Even if the president can surmount these economic woes, his own health remains a wild card. He was diagnosed last year with a so-far unspecified “abdominal” cancer, for which he has undergone three operations. He now claims to be cured. But he has not released any detailed medical information, and he did not campaign with the same vigour as in prior contests. The president has proven once again his remarkable capacity for political survival. Fending off the disease for another six-year term may turn out to be an even tougher battle.

Se você não foi educado em inglês, não tem problema: eu resumo a história.

Hugo Chavez usou todo o aparato disponível (inclusive recursos das empresas petrolíferas estatais) para sua campanha de reeleição, em prol de sua causa: a construção de um Estado comunista do século XXI. A oposição, do outro lado, vai enfrentar as grandes divergências entre os partidos da coalizão para se manter unida contra o governo.

Chavez terá um árduo trabalho pela frente, visto que a especialização em apenas um produto de exportação (o petróleo) e a elevada necessidade de importação de produtos básicos reduziram drasticamente as reservas internacionais do país. Além disso, sua própria saúde se mantém uma dúvida.

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