Monday, 30 June 2014

The EU in perspective

Blogger Juan Nagel wrote on his first impressions during a visit to Germany. The Deutsche Well invited him to an event there. He was puzzled to still find people - he thinks many- who have a positive image of Chavismo or have good memories of Chávez.

But: is that  really the case? To some extent yes, but only partially. You can read his take and also my comment there. 

There are many ways to measure real support of a certain movement. Here I present another one. It is imperfect but it is also useful. This is the EU vote for an motion expressing concerns about human rights during the protests that took place in Venezuela from February through March.

In principle the vote was for something neutral: concern about human rights. It was not really a condemnation of the regime. In reality the voting went mostly along the lines: "deputy sympathizes with Chavismo or not". Virtually all parties of the extreme left voted against the  motion, some of them abstained. Still, 85% of deputies voted for the motion, only 8.3% against. There are a couple of curious cases. The founder of an extreme-right racialist party was the only Belgian to vote against the motion. Le Pen abstained. This might be proof that extremes touch.

There were EU elections afterwards and things changed a bit. In Spain the extreme left gained terrain but it lost in other places. 

First you see the percentage of deputies for each EU country that voted in favour of Chavismo:
(I made an error in one row, Netherlands. Actually: no one voted against the motion there, the 5 should go to the "abstention" side, I will correct the charts this evening)

This fits with my impressions of many encounters I had with EU citizens in the last few years. I still remember the EU employee from Cyprus who kept saying on an informal meeting "Chávez, Chávez!" when he saw I was from Venezuela and he wanted to show how much he knew about Venezuela. And the guy had an Armenian-Syrian background and didn't even feel Cypriot. Most Germans these days look at me with sorry when they hear I where I am from. "What a mess there, isn't it?" is what they say. And they are right.

And here you see how the weight of the voting went (total deputies per country for that motion):

Deputies do not equate completely what citizens think but this is another way of gauging how things stand for Chavismo.

There are still people, particularly among the extreme left and those in South Eastern Europe who still haven't realised Chavismo is an utterly corrupt, unsustainable, increasingly repressive movement based on an oil-price boom. Still, things are changing.

1 comment:

  1. The extreme left seems quite active defending the Maduro regime. Some of them have financial ties and some of them are such committed Marxists they don't care if the "Bolivarian revolution" turned into such an abomination. Le Pen's attitude is really interesting. I have always held that communists and fascists were the same breed. And if we observe what happens to communist regimes as they fail, they do tend to move towards fascism. Isn't this what the Chinese have been implementing, and what Raul Castro is try go to do in Cuba? Maybe Le Pen realizes there's profit in being a potential member of what may turn out to be the fascist dictators' club.


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