True democracy in Venezuela, David Pisani, Valletta

The Times - Friday, 7th December 2007


The editorial entitled The Constitution Will Not Be Re-written - Yet (December 4) implies that Hugo Chavez is a dictator. I would like to make some observations on the editorial and on certain comments made by opponents of the Venezuelan government.

The proposed reforms were put forward through a referendum, and included various social measures which would improve the lives of millions of people, especially the poor. The most controversial of the proposals was that whereby the President could keep contesting elections indefinitely. What's so undemocratic about this? In most countries around the world, politicians can keep running indefinitely for election. In Malta our President is not even elected by the people, but is chosen by parliamentarians!

How about comparing the process in Venezuela with that of the EU, whereby the proposed treaty will not be subject to a referendum?

People have a right to express themselves and this was guaranteed in Venezuela. I hope that the same will be applied in Malta regarding the EU Treaty.