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Why Chavez Isn't Alone Standing for Re-election.

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So convinced are Capitalists that their system is not only difficult to defeat but also too serious to contend ideologically, that they fail to gauge any opposition appropriately, as if the latter's resistance is but the ephemeral dream of a badly-behaved dissident. A world economic crisis, banks indebting nations, nations indebting people and protest marches every other day still will not convince its most hardy of pundits, while countries who stand up to propose political alternatives are systematically portrayed as evil dictatorships, or some other catchy phrase, to thus discredit and disqualify them from any apparent political debate.

The same lot are currently licking their lips in the anticipation that South American left wing president Hugo Chavez never fully recovers from his illness, and speak of his death as if the event has already been pencilled into their diaries. Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank shared his excitement at a recent ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Inter-American Dialogue, a centre for policy analysis and exchange concerning Western Hemisphere affairs. "The days of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are now numbered, as are the subsidies to Cuban and Nicaraguan regimes". To which Chavez responded; "Its capitalism that's dying, not me".

To the likes of Robert Zoellick, Hugo Chavez represents all things uncomfortable and like any form of uneasiness, the source needs to be removed as quickly as possible. The fact that the man may be dying all by himself is, well, just perfect and fosters hope for the opposition of winning the general elections this coming October. According to them, once Chavez is out of the scene, then all the kerfuffle will calm down and things will return to business as usual. Latin America will be able to reaffirm its former position as the compliant world supplier of coco, carbon, water and oil.

Whether Chavez survives his cancer or not, the outcome will unreservedly impact the political scene. His triumph over his illness will bring new momentum to his followers, whereas a more solemn outcome will leave a sense of nostalgic vacancy to some or inspire unscrupulous opportunity to others. Nonetheless, it will not be as devastating as his enemies are predicting. The politics of Hugo Chavez are no longer just a one-man show, quickly appeased with the removal of its ringleader. If he has served as anything, it has been as an agitator in a world where blind consensus constructs the usual diplomatic dialogue. As a result, he has spread confidence at continental level to re-appropriate cultural identity and nationalise natural resources, as opposed to the following of neo-liberal looting of Latin American sovereignty that sees, for example, coco-producing Ecuadorians having to buy coffee from North American companies at inflated rates, or El Salvadorians no longer owning the water wells in their villages because they are now under private foreign ownership. "Chavismo" has gone beyond Chavez; "Chavismo" is now a movement with highly ambitious horizons.

This past Monday, 11th of June, Chavez arrived at the headquarters of CNE, the National Electoral Centre, to postulate for the third time his candidacy for presidency. The city centre came to a standstill as thousands crowded in to support a truly original leader, now representative of millions across the globe. He then delivered a three-hour speech, which came in stark contrast to the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski´s speech on the Sunday, which lasted but 18 minutes. Evidently, there is still much to say.