Wednesday, 16 January 2013 | A Public Affair
On Wednesday January 16th, Norm Stockwell subbing for Karma Chavez spent the first part of the hour speaking with Ron Dolen from the group Reach Out Wisconsin about Tuesday night’s State of the State address by Governor Scott Walker. Reach Out Wisconsin is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering respect and understanding in Wisconsin politics. During the second half of the program Norm spoke with Mark Weisbrot about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. Mark is the author of numerous papers and articles on Venezuela and Latin America available at www.cepr.net, including the report, “Venezuela’s Economic Recovery: Is It Sustainable?” and the recent op-eds “Continuity Likely in Venezuela Even if Chávez Steps Down” (published by the New York Times), and “More Room for Debate on Venezuela” (published by The Guardian of London today).
According to the New York Times, “On Jan. 8, Venezuela’s government confirmed in a letter to Congress that Mr. Chávez would miss the swearing-in ceremony. In the letter, which was read during an assembly session, Vice President Nicolás Maduro invoked a disputed section of the Constitution that government officials say would allow the swearing-in to take place in the future. The following day, the head of Venezuela’s Supreme Court endorsed delaying Mr. Chávez’s inauguration, siding with the government in a dispute with the opposition. Mr. Capriles, the opposition candidate who lost to Mr. Chávez in October, criticized the court’s decision. “Institutions should not respond to the interests of a government,” he said. Mr. Chávez’s supporters have not ruled out swearing him in from his hospital in Havana. His detractors are calling for government investigators to go check his pulse themselves. The State Department in Washington, which has been cautious about getting involved in the contentious political back-and-forth, said on Jan. 9 that it would be eager to improve relations with Venezuela, which have long been strained.”
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