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Chavez plans to move Venezuela more toward the Cuban model
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The inevitable continues in Venezuela:
President Hugo Chávez will unveil a project to change the Constitution on Wednesday that is expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely, a move that would enhance his authority to accelerate a socialist-inspired transformation of Venezuelan society.
Remember, he is presently ruling by decree, having been handed this power by a compliant National Assembly, the same National Assembly which previously amended the Constitution to his liking.

So if you still think the "people" will have any hand in this, think again:
Willian Lara, the communications minister, said Mr. Chávez would announce the project before the National Assembly, where all 167 lawmakers support the president. Supporters of Mr. Chávez, who was re-elected last year with some 60 percent of the vote, also control the Supreme Court, the entire federal bureaucracy, public oil and infrastructure companies and every state government but two.
Of course, those "two" are problematic to a dictator who want's total control. So he has included steps in his proposal to change the Constitution to address them:
The removal of term limits for Mr. Chávez, which is at the heart of the proposal, is expected to be accompanied by measures circumscribing the authority of elected governors and mayors, who would be prevented from staying in power indefinitely, according to versions of the project leaked in recent weeks.
Anyone who continues to believe that Venezuela is still a democratic nation simply hasn't been paying attention.
Hard-line supporters of Mr. Chávez say the project will win easy approval by the end of the year, though it remains to be seen if it will be subject to national referendum or a vote in the National Assembly.
Anyone care to guess how this will go down? See the paragraph above and reread the line which says, "the National Assembly, where all 167 lawmakers support the president."

Venezuela is Zimbabwe with oil. It is Cuba with better infrastructure ... for now. Unfortunately, oil revenues will continue to prop up Chavez and feed his megalomania for a while longer. But at some point in the fairly near future, it will all tip to the unrecoverable side. I feel for the people of Venezuela and the fact that they have to live through this nightmare, but a certain precentage of them are complicit in his rise to power and his consolidation of it afterward. His total control is all but ordained now. Once he carries out this charade of "popular support" for being "el Presidente" for life, the die is cast.

I'd love to be wrong about this, but reviewing how he has set up his puppet legislature, trashed the Constitution, circumvented checks and balances on his power and taken control of the legal and electoral machinery leave me little room to do so.
 
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Yes, Cuba, the model of the free world!

As is said many times, those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Would he like some of those Cuban sanctions? Sadly, we are so dependent on oil...im becoming a green power lovin hippie just so i can stick it to him and his buddies in the mid east.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Soon Katie Couric or one of her ilk will be down there slobbering all over Chavez because of "free" health care.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
QUOTE: "I feel for the people of Venezuela and the fact that they have to live through this nightmare, but a certain precentage of them are complicit in his rise to power and his consolidation of it afterward"

Dear McQ, don’t be sorry for people who don’t need you to be sorry for the wrong reasons. It is not a "certain" percentage of Venezuelans that are "complicit" with what’s happening. It is the overwhelming majority of the people (63% of voters in last dec. election, 70% nowadays according to latest poles, see today’s BBC note Venezuelan communities take centre stage, By James Ingham).
The problem you think we are facing derives from a problem you are facing: you dig every piece of crap that mainstream media says about a political process that is not intended to please international corporation interests, but the people’s interest. This leads you to take the wrong assumptions, based on huge misinformation.
 
Written By: Amaro Magenta
URL: http://
Amaro,

McQ was being nice, basically, the overwhelming majority of people in Venezuela (63% of voters in last dec. election, 70% nowadays according to latest poles, see today’s BBC note Venezuelan communities take centre stage, By James Ingham) are being stupid.

Thanks You,
Josh b
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Ah, it’s the media and corporations’ fault that Chavez is changing the constitution so he can stay in power indefinitely. Good to know.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Anyone who continues to believe that Venezuela is still a democratic nation simply hasn’t been paying attention.
Still? Still? (Say it in your best Jim Mora voice a la ’Playoffs?!?!?!’)
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
It is the overwhelming majority of the people
Amaro - if he is SO popular, why does he need to change the Constitution so much?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Of course, those "two" are problematic to a dictator who want’s total control. So he has included steps in his proposal to change the Constitution to address them:
The removal of term limits for Mr. Chávez, which is at the heart of the proposal, is expected to be accompanied by measures circumscribing the authority of elected governors and mayors, who would be prevented from staying in power indefinitely, according to versions of the project leaked in recent weeks.
Anyone who continues to believe that Venezuela is still a democratic nation simply hasn’t been paying attention.
I thought that move by Chavez looked suspiciously familiar, as did the enactment of the Enabling Law. Here’s how Ilya Somin described Hitler’s consolidation of power in muting German federalism:
Hitler and the Nazis rightly saw German federalism as an obstacle to the realization of their aims - which required a highly centralized state. And it is not surprising that they quickly stripped the German states of most of their authority after taking power in 1933. Other things equal, a totalitarian government is more difficult to establish in a federalist state than in a unitary one, because in the former state and/or local governments will retain greater ability to resist a totalitarian movement that comes to power at the center. If the totalitarians are unable to stifle the autonomy of state governments, then their vision cannot be fully implemented, even if they remain in power at the center. In Hitler’s words, federalism makes it harder for a totalitarian movement to “impose its principles on the whole . . . nation.” Furthermore, relatively autonomous state and local governments might make it more difficult for the totalitarians to seize power at the center in the first place.
If he walks like a totalitarian, and talks like a totalitarian, well then he must be a totalitarian.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Amaro - if he is SO popular, why does he need to change the Constitution so much?
hhrrrrmmmmphhh...hrrrrrmmmmmppphhhh.....!!!!!

It should be obvious sir! Obvious! Clearly Chavez knows that things eventually might get painful for the little people eventually the evil USA will interfere with them in their march towards one man, one rule, one party, and democratic socialism, and when that day comes, they’re going to need the steady hand of an autocratic dictator fatherly leader to see them through the rough times and into glory sir!

I mean, except for Libya, Iraq, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Argentina, Mauritania why, oh why, would anyone think that a former army colonel would EVER become the autocratic dictator of a still developing 3rd world nation? I mean, when has that EVER happened before? Just name me ONE country where you have any evidence of that sort of behavior! Just one sir!
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
If he puts it to a referendum after all, you should probably update.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
“Venezuela is Zimbabwe with oil”. That maybe true in the near term, but the interesting thing is that Venezuela’s oil is supposedly saleable only when there is a high demand with a resulting high price since the easy to extract light crude has been removed and now most of it’s reserves are high sulfur, heavy and extra-heavy crude which is hard to extract, difficult to ship and expensive to refine with few refineries designed for such crude. The nationalization of the industry will also probably cause its crude production to be reduced as access to technical skills becomes difficult. Those good old boys from Texas find and keep the oil flowing throughout most of the oil producing world, but not in Venezuela any more.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
I’d love to be wrong about this, but reviewing how he has set up his puppet legislature, trashed the Constitution, circumvented checks and balances on his power and taken control of the legal and electoral machinery leave me little room to do so.
Wait wait, is this a post about Chavez or Bush?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://

 
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