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Upheaval in Venezuela, as the leftist party founded by Hugo Chavez takes a beating at the polls. We’ll get the full Venezuela story. Plus: the French far-right comes out on top in regional elections.
Seventeen years ago, Hugo Chavez kicked off a socialist revolution in Venezuela. It took a dramatically unequal society and turned it upside down. On Sunday, Venezuelan voters may have turned it over again. May have set Chavismo up for a big fall. The ruling Socialist party – champion of the poor - was decisively defeated at the polls. The Venezuela of Chavez and his successor has struggled with an economy in shambles and criminality. A so-called “pink tide” of leftwing politics in Latin America may be turning. This hour On Point, Venezuela’s big vote, and what now?
-- Tom Ashbrook
From Tom’s Reading List
Associated Press: Venezuelan opposition wins Congress, aims for supermajority — "Venezuela's opposition, still rejoicing from its shock triumph in legislative elections, is now waiting anxiously for the final tally to see whether it secured a two-thirds supermajority that could dramatically wrest power from President Nicolas Maduro after 17 years of socialist rule."
The Guardian: Venezuela elections: opposition handed mandate for change after landslide win — "Venezuela faces a new political landscape after a landslide opposition victory in parliamentary elections, but it remained unclear whether the result was enough to start steering the country away from its path of '21st century socialism'."
The Economist: The opposition’s rout of the government in Venezuela is a huge victory for democracy — "Venezuela requires economic reforms as urgently as political ones. The stock of foreign exchange is dangerously low and the country risks defaulting on its foreign debt next year. The measures required to avert disaster include cutting the public-sector deficit of perhaps 20-30% of GDP, dismantling price controls and reforming the bizarre multi-tiered exchange-rate system, which sets an official rate for the bolívar that is more than 100 times greater than its value on the black market."
France’s Far-Right Front National On The Rise
The Wall Street Journal: French Political Establishment Struggles to Derail National Front — "The National Front’s victory in a first round of regional elections left France’s mainstream parties struggling to define a strategy to keep Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration party from winning control of several of the country’s regions."
This program aired on December 8, 2015.
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