Editorials 19.7.2017 05:45 am

Venezuela vote an example to follow

A Venezuelan resident (R) in Madrid thumbs up as he votes at a polling station during a symbolic plebiscite on president Maduro's project of a future constituent assembly, called by the Venezuelan opposition and held at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on July 16, 2017.
Hundreds of Venezuelans queued in the blazing heat in Madrid today to vote in an opposition-organised vote to measure public support in Venezuela for President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite the constitution. 

 / AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN

A Venezuelan resident (R) in Madrid thumbs up as he votes at a polling station during a symbolic plebiscite on president Maduro's project of a future constituent assembly, called by the Venezuelan opposition and held at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on July 16, 2017. Hundreds of Venezuelans queued in the blazing heat in Madrid today to vote in an opposition-organised vote to measure public support in Venezuela for President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite the constitution. / AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN

Many Venezuelans had, like many South Africans, begun to despair of getting rid of the man who has continued down the ruinous extreme socialist road of his predecessor.

As the Save SA campaigners sat down yesterday to discuss how to legally depose President Jacob Zuma, they would have been heartened by the amazing outpouring of “people power” in Venezuela, where citizens voted in an unauthorised, but symbolic, referendum to reject President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to redraft the country’s constitution.

Many Venezuelans had, like many South Africans, begun to despair of getting rid of the man who has continued down the ruinous extreme socialist road of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

That has left the country one of the poorest in South America, despite its natural resources, which include oil.

The anti-Maduro group has declared tomorrow will be a national strike as they try to keep pressure on him. It may well end up in a similar situation in this country, as Jacob Zuma – or his acolytes and his dynasty – show no sign of letting go of the levers of power and state capture.

The damage being wrought by that cartel on the economy of this country is immense and, as in Venezuela, it extends to opening and deepening bitter divides which some of us hoped were going to close up with time.

The voices of right-thinking people must be heard … whether in Caracas or Cape Town.

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