Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Coup de Caracas

By Michael J.W. Stickings

A few weeks ago, I posted on the latest development in the growing tyranny of Hugo Chavez. You can find that post here -- it includes links to six previous posts on this topic.

There isn't much democracy in Venezuela -- what democracy there is is largely a Chavez-friendly sham introduced by Chavez to sustain his authoritarian rule. At the national level -- if not below it as well -- Chavez's explicit goal is the abolition of democracy altogether, all for the sake of his vainglorious revolution, a national-socialist revolution that looks for inspiration to Bolivar and Castro.

The specific topic of my last post was Chavez's plan to amend the constitution to remove term limits on the presidency, that is, on him and his authoritarian rule, first in the National Assembly and then by way of a national referendum.

As the BBC is reporting, the National Assembly is currently discussing Chavez's plan. And there won't be much debate, let alone genuine opposition. The National Assembly has been wholly pro-Chavez since the 2005 elections, boycotted by the major opposition parties amid credible allegations of corruption. Chavez's legislative minions granted him rule by decree in January and they'll no doubt grant him what he wants now. And then so will the people, in the sham of a referendum that is to follow -- can there be any doubt as to the outcome? Chavez will not allow himself to lose, no matter what. (Update -- 9/12/07: see here. The National Assembly has approved Chavez's plan for the second time -- one more time to go, then the referendum.)

Sometimes revolution can be achieved without sudden, dramatic bloodletting. This one of those times, a calculated plot to use the levers of government to establish tyranny.

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