A banner day for Venezuela

Four days ago, a constitutional amendment passed by referendum eliminating term limits for Venezuelan politicians – specifically, the President, governors, mayors and deputy mayors. According to some news sources, as much as 20% of the Jewish community in Venezuela has already emigrated, and this was while term limits did at least exist. Now, since such limits have been removed and it looks very little like Chavez has real opposition, this might mean that there will be one more centuries-old Diaspora community diminished and depleted, another victim of scapegoating from a dictator looking to consolidate power, and the world of Jewish culture will be lesser for its loss. You could call this a premature requiem, I suppose, but it seems a little more like the writing is on the wall, since we’ve seen this so many times before.

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4 Responses

  1. Not to make a comment that’s too off-topic, but is it just me, or are not many progressive blogs talking about this?

    I guess the most on-topic comment I can make is how sad this makes me…

  2. It seems mostly like by and large a lot of the discussion on progressive blogs about Jews involves Israel and very little else – I try to bring stuff like this up because the world of Judaism has way more going on and always has.

    Anyway, the short answer is – I might not be correct either, but I do share your perception.

  3. this might mean that there will be one more centuries-old Diaspora community diminished and depleted, another victim of scapegoating from a dictator looking to consolidate power, and the world of Jewish culture will be lesser for its loss.

    I hope I’m not spreading misinformation here, but I believe Venezuela is one of the only significant Sephardic communities in the New World. Most Jews in South America arrived as part of the same general wave of emigration from Central and Eastern Europe that brought Ashkenazi Jews to the United States.

  4. I believe that is correct, yeah. There are still significant Sephardic communities, I think, in Montreal and New York, at least, but outside of Canada and the US, Venezuela has one of the largest left in the New World.

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