As EFE reported yesterday, Hugo Chávez declared again to his followers that they had to win the next regional and municipal elections to guarantee the peace of the country. He said "we have to do it to guarantee the peace because we are the peace and they (the opposition) is the war, the path to war, to terrorism, to the destruction of Venezuela". He said if the opposition were to win the elections 2009 would be a year of war.
Mr Chávez and his followers became known in Venezuela because of two bloody coups against a democratically elected president, a president who was going to step back two years later anyway (back then we did not have reelections and a presidency was for 5 years). Lieutenant-colonel Chávez and his followers accuse the opposition of being coup mongers because there was a group in 2002 of extreme right who carried out a coup, a coup like Hugo Chávez himself.
The vast majority of the opposition does not want violence. Why can't Chávez accept there are such things as pluralism? That the basis for it are respect and tolerance?
What kind of democrat is this Chávez?
We do have a war in Venezuela already: as I wrote in my Spanish blog, the murder rate keeps increasing and the government keeps repeating it has been reducing it (it has tripled since Chávez came to power). The government refuses to debate openly with the opposition about ways to tackle the problem. Chávez is just interested in staying in power, he cannot focus on anything else.