They call those reforms now

You know, sometimes, Reuters just disgusts me:

Venezuela's Congress on Tuesday gave
preliminary approval to President Hugo Chavez's proposed
constitutional reform, which would lift term limits to help the
leftist leader cement his self-styled socialist revolution.

And since he is a leftist leader and his revolution socialist in nature, he gets a free pass. If it was anyone else, people would call it what it really is: A dictatorship in the making. But it gets better.

Chavez last week presented reforms to end central bank
autonomy, increase state expropriation powers and give the
president direct control over monetary reserves in a move
critics called a "coup" to keep Chavez in power indefinitely.

The legislature, 100 percent controlled by Chavez allies,
will hold two more votes to fully ratify the changes, which
must be finally approved through a popular referendum that
legislators say they hope will take place in early December.

"We are reforming the constitution to solidify … the
socialist nation, the socialist state, the socialist
democracy," said Carlos Escarra, a legislator and
constitutional lawyer who helped draft the reforms.

 He has already secured a firm grip on key state
institutions including the court system, the state oil company
and most state and local governments.

I used to know this super lefty activist who called Venezuela the most democratic nation on earth. I wonder how he views Egypt, because god knows the similarities are striking.

0 comment on They call those reforms now

  1. Roman Kalik
    September 17, 2007 at 9:57 am

    ‘Reform’ is a word with a positive meaning, thus it sets the tone of the entire article. ‘Changes’ would have worked as a neutral word, were the author trying really hard to be ‘balanced’. As it is though, the current usage shows a clear bias.

    Chavez is fast becoming a one-man centralized state apparatus in Venezuela, with no change, flexibility, just endless… stability. In short, a powerful dictator.

  2. Uchuck the Tuchuck
    September 17, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    For an historical model, take a serious look at the rise of the NSDAP in Germany 1932-34. I am not calling Chavez a Nazi, by the way, just noting that he is following the Nazi playbook in creating a single-party totalitarian state.

  3. Kate
    September 18, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Chavez has been planning this since even before he was elected in ’98, and probably even before he engineered and spearheaded the coup in Feb ’92. He’s not the most intelligent person, but he is clever, and a master of playing on the sentiments of people. When Venezuela was under a system of partyarchy for such a long period of time, the anti-politician Chavez was more like a saviour to many in Venezuela, particularly the 80 or so per cent who were living under the poverty line. However, things have only gotten better for the most dejected: crime is up 67% since ’99 (violent crime, particularly murders, is up 80%), opposition media outlets have been silenced, staples of the Venezuelan diet (rice, eggs, milk) are virtually unavailable in markets, those who oppose Chavez are unable to maintain cell phone service (happened to my cousin in Caracas), religious freedom (particularly with regard to Jews and evangelical Christians) has greatly decreased, the way which people vote has been recorded, among many other gross violations.

    Sounds just like the most democratic nation on earth to me… ugh.

  4. tedders
    September 18, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    “They call those reforms now”

    That’s what Hitler called them.


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