- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Sunday Commentary column “Chavez holds Venezuela,” The Times once again disparages the electoral decision of Venezuelans, where a recent referendum was characterized as free and fair by national and international representatives. To suggest that voters were “duped” is an insult to the very concept of democracy, especially a democracy in which press freedoms are guaranteed and enjoyed. By nearly 10 percentage points, Venezuelans chose to continue supporting President Hugo Chavez and the policies that positively impact their lives.

This insult to Venezuela’s democratic processes may be a product of the authors’ outdated Cold War mentality and their misinterpretation of regional changes. Latin America has undergone a progressive strengthening of democracy; social and political inclusion have allowed the previously voiceless to participate in government. These changes should be welcomed rather than pilloried; it is through them that the region’s long-standing problems of poverty, inequality and misgovernance are finally being addressed.

ANGELO RIVERO SANTOS


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