Hot news:
Groundbreaking crop yielding technology: Kazakhstani scientists Sharm el-Sheikh - Almaty direct flights to open in summer 2014 Kazakhstan to subsidize agro-industry The Spirit of Tengri: taste of world ethnic music in Almaty Samsung Galaxy explodes in child's pocket in Kazakhstan Nazarbayev kickstarts construction of EXPO-2017 venue Condition of derailed train victims is satisfactory: Head Surgeon Kadyrov Three foreigners dead at Kabul hospital as guard opens fire Population of Kazakhstan's south to outnumber north four times Almaty avenue among world's most expensive streets Caspian Five to limit third party military forces in the region F1 boss Ecclestone's bribery trial starts in Germany All orphanages to close down in Kazakhstan Britain's Camilla 'devastated' by brother's death in fall Oscar winner Nyong'o named People's most beautiful Abe, Obama affirm Japan-US alliance at summit Strong 6.6 earthquake strikes off Canada's Vancouver island: USGS Saudi prince killed endangered birds France to send fighter jets for NATO Baltics patrols Apple splitting stock as iPhone sales soar US actress Jodie Foster marries girlfriend China frees Japan ship after $28 mn paid Three students killed by wall collapse in Portugal Canadian woman's letter arrives -- after 45-year delay Peru probes killing of endangered penguins Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law Head of NCOC, Kashagan operating company, to resign Kazakhstan considering grain terminals along its borders on Turkmenistan and Iran Kazakhstan’s revenues for grain exports in 2013 exceed $1 billion 60% of Kazakhstanis support Russia on Ukrainian crisis Kazakhstan to launch its first ever remote sensing satellite from Kourou April 29 Repatriated Kazakhs to get Kazakhstan citizenship in 1 year Kazakh father of Boston prisoner granted US Visa Philippines' oldest artworks in danger of disappearing 60% of China underground water polluted Village turns into island in Kazakh steppe Kazakhstan is very concerned over Ukraine: Tokayev Kazakhstani writer Ilya Odegov wins Russian Award UK woman held for murder after children's bodies found Russia expels Canadian diplomat Judge's order on CIA secret prisons released in full UK revokes Ablyazov's refugee status US sending 600 troops to Poland, Baltics for drills Pentagon scientists show off life-size robot Brazil ex-leader Kubitschek was not murdered Fifty years of Mustang cool: is China along for the ride? Australia boosts air power with $11.6bn purchase of 58 F-35s Small French park becomes home for desperate Syrian families Balkhash lake named best place for nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia Vienna's Versailles offers imperial hideaway Oscar show producers to return in 2015 Sri Lanka detains British tourist over Buddha tattoo GSK, Novartis unveil major healthcare revamp Death toll in South Korea ferry disaster crosses 100 Teen survives five-hour flight in airplane wheel well British corruption of minors case hearing in Uralsk postponed for one month Boston prisoners' legal proceedings may be postponed: Stall Full-scaled resumption of crude production at Kashagan expected at the end of 2015 Military parade due on May 7 in Astana Brunei delays introduction of tough Islamic law Kazakhstan movie in Cannes Festival programme Hitler, Kazakhstan and editorial struggle Passenger train derailed in Kazakhstan's west, 44 injured Biden meets Ukraine leaders as Russia, US swap blame on crumbling deal China's Shandong Airlines orders 50 Boeing planes for $4.6 bn South Korea says North may be close to nuclear test Kazakh chess princess Zhansaya Abdumalik takes 3rd place at Asia Continental Almaty Marathon raises $55 thousand for charity Juicy court case leaves Coca-Cola on defensive Formula One boss faces bribery charges in German trial Police arrest 250, seize weapons in Argentina Gladiators, horsemen help fete Rome's 2,767th birthday Powdered alcohol poised to hit US stores UN evacuates 100 Muslims from C. Africa capital Canadians rally to legalize marijuana Step aboard Orient Express for journey back in time Guides, climbers cancel Everest expeditions after tragedy Queen Elizabeth portrait released to mark 88th birthday President says ferry crew's actions 'tantamount to murder' Most Bangladesh factory survivors still too sick to work Tennis: Kazakhstani Zarina Diyas gets in WTA Top-100 Facebook wants to beam the Internet from the sky US judge dismisses Tarantino lawsuit against website Aspirin halves colon cancer risk -- if you have certain gene Hello Kitty mayhem returns to Singapore Obama says Russia not abiding by deal on Ukraine

Chavez's chosen successor: Imitator or moderate?

Tuesday, 05.03.2013, 17:58
Comments (0)
Chavez's chosen successor: Imitator or moderate?
Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro. ©AFP
The Venezuelan leader calls his rival the "prince of the parasitic bourgeoisie," rambles on for hours on state-run television and caps his speeches by shouting "Viva la revolucion!", AFP reports.

It may sound like Hugo Chavez, but it is not the socialist president who's making noise these days.

As the cancer-stricken leader remains out of public view in a Caracas hospital, his chosen successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, is sounding more and more like his mentor, denouncing the "decadent" opposition and the US "empire."

"We swear that no little bourgeois will ever screw the people again," Maduro said during a rally last week.

Maduro, a broad-shouldered former bus driver and union activist with a thick moustache, was once considered a moderate figure who honed his diplomatic skills when he was foreign minister.

But the 50-year-old vice president has shown a hardcore Chavista side since he began running day-to-day operations in this OPEC member country after Chavez underwent his fourth round of cancer surgery on December 11.

"It is clear that the tactic used by Maduro is to consolidate his power," Luis Vicente Leon, director of pollsters Datanalisis, told AFP. "It is a tough tactic of radicalization and intimidation of internal and external rivals."

"The main reason for this is that he has to fill the void. In the short-term, it is important to prevent internal and external rivals from taking advantage of Chavez's absence to sow instability."

Maduro frequently appears on the VTV public channel, handing keys to subsidized homes to families one day, showing off a refurbished hospital the other or driving a bus being donated to university students.

But he has also taken shots at the opposition, using salty language to needle Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in the October election and appears his most likely rival if a snap election is called.

He accused Capriles of "conspiring" against Venezuela during a weekend trip to the United States and warned that he was being monitored, going as far as giving the address of the New York City apartment his rival was staying at.

"The decadent prince of the parasitic bourgeoisie has gone to Miami and then New York. I challenge him to refute me," Maduro said. Capriles responded with a photo on Twitter showing he was visiting his young nephews.

It was the kind of class-conscious political theater that was mastered by Chavez, who once used his TV pulpit to call for a judge to be jailed in 2009.

While Maduro and Capriles appear on campaign mode, the vice president insists that Chavez remains in charge despite a tough new round of chemotherapy.

Within the president's ideological fold, National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello, a former soldier who participated in Chavez's failed coup in 1992, is seen as his main potential rival, but both men deny any rift.

To Farith Fraija, a political consultant, Maduro's message has not changed from his days as a legislator and foreign minister.

"Even though I don't agree that he's from the radical wing, if he's identified as being from the radical wing, it's because his speech has always been the same," Fraija said.

In the bustling streets of Caracas, many Chavistas say Maduro is doing a good job and that they would vote for him if a snap election was called, but they say Chavez is the kind of leader who only comes around once in a lifetime.

Chavez, 58, forged a deep bond with the country's long neglected poor with his charisma and bombastic speeches, promising to work for them while fighting capitalism.

"I have never seen a president like this one. He is the only one who has given power to the people," said Jesus Toledo, 62, who was among a dozen retirees and workers talking under a red tent of Plaza Bolivar square, a renowned Chavista meeting point.

"I am with Maduro. Chavez said it very clearly, 'support Maduro.'"

Critics say Maduro is the head of an illegitimate government since Chavez, who was re-elected in October, missed his swearing-in ceremony on January 10. The Supreme Court approved the delay.

"He's a bad imitation of Chavez," said Amanda Escalante, 61, a retired congress worker who joined hundreds in an opposition march Sunday demanding that the government disclose more details about Chavez's health.

"He has the same speech, but he hurls insults and makes threats. He's fooling the people and the world," Escalante said.

El Nacional, an opposition-leaning newspaper, wrote that Maduro risks losing a "historic opportunity" to unite the country if he fails to distance himself from hardliners.

The vice president, it wrote, seemed like the right man "to lead the inevitable transition toward a new, broader and more tolerant political scheme."

"But Maduro -- being a rookie, having little political and ideological training or being weak and spineless -- has come out of the bullring to show that he is the bull who leads the pack, and he ended up looking ridiculous on national TV."
Views: 280    Comments: 0
preloader
Add a comment
preloader

2014
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
April
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

News
Archive

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

Feature stories