Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Reactionaries will be reactionaries 

In Venezuela abortion has historically been illegal under all circumstances. And that continues to be the case right up to today. Even in cases of rape and incest it is illegal.

Finally the Venezuelan Assembly is trying to reform this. Chavez’s party, the MVR, is trying to introduce reforms to the Penal Code that would legalize abortions in very limited circumstances. Unfortunately, even these very timid reforms are being opposed by those who do nothing but oppose anything Chavez tries to do. Here is some of what was said in Ultimas Noticias today:

The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference urges the Catholics of Venezuela and all people of good faith, of whatever political or ideological affiliation, to actively express their rejection of the proposal to decriminalize abortion in the Penal Code presented in the National Assembly and calls upon Catholic assembly members, regardless of their party affiliation, to vote against the proposal. Remember that the Constitution gives the right to live as a fundamental right and the foundation of all human rights.

So while Chavez tries to bring Venezuela into the 20th Century (never mind the 21st, this is 20th Century stuff) the opposition fights tooth and nail against any sort of progress. And note how they twist and distort the Venezuelan Constitution to serve their own narrow ends thinking that everyone else is too stupid to know what the Constitution means by the “right to life”.

Of course, this reactionary nonsense doesn’t stop there. This past weekend some evangelical Christians protested in Caracas against the demands for gays and lesbians for expanded legal protections and the government’s efforts to accommodate. Maybe the opposition is so desperate that they are now trying to emulate Bush with all the backward and divisive social policies he used to help himself win in the last election. Fortunately most Venezuelans don’t buy this crap and the opposition is only digging its grave deeper by doing this.

Lastly, but by no means least, a commission was formed in the National Assembly to study the violence against farm workers and find ways to stop it. Ever since the major land reform laws were passed there has been a spike in violence by powerful landlords against small farmers and rural activists. This violence has led to the death of dozens of people and needs to be stopped. Hopefully, the formation of this commission will be a step in that direction.


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