I wonder if the Chavez government did make tackling local crime a top priority (rather than land reform, housing, food, healthcare, etc.) whether the opposition wouldn’t, in fact, be more inclined to denounce him as a ‘dictator’… After all, to tackle local crime, he would have to develop a highly trained, disciplined, militarized police force. He would likely have to increase the police force’s presence and surveillance in various (rich and poor) neighborhoods; he would need to order the construction of supermax security prisons like in Colombia, Brazil, and the U.S. Like in the countries just mentioned, there would undoubtedly be instances of police brutality that are difficult to control…. Something tells me as much as the opposition is demanding a crackdown on crime, they wouldn’t like it at all.
For example, the international media has already, for years, portrayed the government’s efforts to crack down on crime in the corrupt banking sector and justice system as instances of supposed ‘political persecution’. Read the excellent “Fighting Corruption or Persecuting Political Opponents in Venezuela? A Response to the New York Times”.
Wasn’t it better when only the rich committed robbery in this country? Edit: Downvotes? For being funny, and speaking of the truth (that Venezuela has historically been run by an oligarchic regime mostly to the benefit of elites)? It would be odd to think the country is worse now that poverty has been reduced by more than half, and social inequality is now the lowest in Latin America.
Although I support Chavez and would like to see him prevail in the upcoming election, I would never condone any attempt on the life of Capriles, the opposition’s presidential candidate and Chavez’s main political rival. There is no excuse for violence from either side of Venezuela’s political divide, against either candidate. So I am glad that Chavez has come forward and has sent government officials to meet with Capriles’s security team to share with them information that his government has received about an attempt on Capriles’s life. However, I am very concerned that Capriles has refused the government’s offer for protection because, if there should be an actual attempt on Capriles’s life, the President will be accused of having incited it, due to the existing hostility between government supporters and the opposition.