So Mubarak is finally gone. We can all rejoice with noted Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey who has shown to some us in Venezuela the kind of things we may want to get ready for.
Why did Egyptians succeeded today and Venezuelans failed in 2002-2003? Cheap comparisons are of course ridiculous, and odious. However oen thing is improtant: the miltiary in Egypt told Mubarak to go whereas in December 2002 Chavez had purged the army enough from the 2002 fiasco that we could not expect much from them, and even less today.
Let's not forget one thing, in countries which are not truly democratic the army eventually decides who stays and goes. Period.
There are very few countries in the world where we can say that the army has a minor political role and where the civilian government has the upper hand. These countries are usually recognized because their defense minister has been a civilian for decades, the institutionalism and separation of powers is real and strong, where there can be massive civilian changes in the country orientation without that many people losing sleep over it, where the police is 99% of the time enough to control any form of public protest, etc, etc... A couple of dozen countries maybe? I count at most 3 in our hemisphere, with roughly as many on their way to be military-boot free. Venezuela and Cuba being of course at the very bottom of the barrel.............
So let's rejoice with Sandmonkey that a big step has been taken in Egypt but that tomorrow they will need to start making sure that the army does not simply replace one regime by a carbon copy.