Venezuela’s Chavista-controlled lame-duck National Assembly granted Hugo Chavez the power to rule by decree for the next eighteen months, essentially voiding the results of last September’s Congressional election, and granting him dictatorial power until the next general election:
Venezuela: Lawmakers Give Chávez Decree Powers
The National Assembly granted President Hugo Chávez broad powers on Friday to enact laws by decree, undermining the power of a new Congress that takes office next month with a bigger opposition bloc. Mr. Chávez, left, has argued that he needs decree powers to fast-track financing to help the victims of recent floods and landslides, and to hasten the transition to socialism. … The assembly approved the powers for 18 months.
The Enabling Law was passed yesterday.
The lame duck National Assembly’s vote probably was unconstitutional, but the new Supreme Court sworn in several days ago will dependably rule for Chavez and the Bolivarian regime.
Several new laws approved in the past week or so create the foundations of a communal model of economic activity and social organization plugged institutionally/bureaucratically into a centralized administration (the federal council of government).
The assembly also has approved legislation that will allow the regime to impose tighter controls over the entire spectrum of information flow, from print media to the Internet and social networks.
Banking is now a “public service,” which makes it much easier for Chavez to nationalize any bank he wishes. The general public’s deposits are now a cat’s whisker away from being devoured by the revolution.
The coming urban and rural land reforms that Chavez reportedly plans to decree will finish uprooting and eradicating capitalist notions of private property rights.
The special powers enabling Chavez to rule by decree have, de facto, suspended the Constitution, habeas corpus and the rule of law. Everything is in his grasp, literally.
Chavez celebrated his new powers during the commemoration of Simon Bolivar’s birth by asserting that Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution should now be radicalized, and called for the nationalization of 47 properties in Sur del Lago.
Cross-posted in The Green Room.
As Chávez Gets Decree Powers, NYT Admires ‘Political Sagacity,’ Press Avoids Dictatorial Details. Simon Romero, who of all people ought to know better, came out with this,
The timing of the request suggests that the political sagacity that has served Mr. Chávez throughout his presidency is not waning. Venezuelans are preparing to go on vacation this month, when many businesses and institutions virtually cease operating. Mr. Chávez has used such lulls in the past to announce measures aimed at weakening his opponents.
Political sagacity, or dictatorial audacity? You decide.