According to media reports coming out of Latin America, President Chavez is considering a proposal that would establish him as the high priest of his own form of evangelical Christianity, convert his cabinet members into bishops of a lower rank, and submit church activities to the civil and military power of his government.
It is still unclear who is behind the proposal. Publicly, it has taken the form of a petition by leaders of “Centro Cristiano de Salvacion (Christian Center of Salvation). The association claims to represent 17,000 evangelical churches and 5,000,000 Venezuelans. Their request is simple: make their denomination the country’s official religion, teach it in all public schools and pay the pastors from government coffers. In turn, they will make Chavez their head bishop and promise to submit absolutely to his authority.
Chavez’ political critics say the petition is anything but spontaneous and independent. Edgar Zambrano, a deputy of the Venezuelan National Assembly, told the Spanish newspaper “El Mundo” that he has no doubt that “President Chavez is the one behind the proposed law.” Human rights groups are crying unfair play, warning this may be a government-orchestrated ploy to wrest away power from yet another sector of Venezuelan society, while allowing Chavez to appear to be merely acquiescing to popular acclaim.
As Robert Mayer commented,
Turkmenbashi dies… and the next day, is reborn in Venezuela!
Robert’s referring to Turkmenistan’s dead dictator.
Meanwhile at Miguel Octavio’s blog
This year there will be fewer of us. Some have emigrated in what appears to be an irreversible trend. Not only some siblings, but even more from the next generation. Others have left on vacation outside the country. Through the magic of technology, we will use webcams to watch each other open presents wherever they are. There will be no all nighter either, there are no kids left who still believe in Niño Jesus to watch open the presents in the morning.
Every year in the morning I would think this was the last year I would stay up, but I would always forget it the next year. I guess this time I will miss the all nighter, and the arepas in the morning too, but mostly, I will just miss those that are not here…because Christmas is less Christmas without all of them here…