At the Daily Beast:
How Nicolas Maduro Is Strangling Democracy In Venezuela
Venezuela’s embattled president is trying to convince the National Assembly to hand him extraordinary executive powers—but his opponents aren’t buying his naked power grab, says Mac Margolis.
Many analysts see desperation at work at the Palacio Miraflores. “The country is in such a dire state of political and social unraveling, the regime has few options to survive,” says Diego Arria, a former diplomat who backs the Venezuelan opposition. “These enabling powers have little to do with a campaign to fight corruption. This is to put a nail in the coffin of the few freedoms we still have left.”
But let’s not ignore the 200+ decrees and several leyes habilitantes Hugo Chávez issued during his rule, and the fact that,
From Bolivia’s Evo Morales to Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Chavez’s compañeros in the so-called Bolivarian alliance for 21st-century socialism have done much of the same, leveraging victories at the ballot box and the national purse strings to turn the screws on political and economic liberties.
Margolis posits that “it’s a good bet that the ruling caste is losing its grip”; I would say that the purpose of a totalitarian state is to consolidate power around itself. Just because Maduro himself may be “losing his grip” (for instance, he had to rush back from China and skip the UN), does not mean that others – such as Cabello – are, too.
Indeed, there may be worse to come once Maduro is out of the picture.
Daniel Duquenal has some thoughts on the Enabling law as intra chavista power play of radicals in the ascent