Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chavez Prepares His Lifetime Presidency

Hugo Chavez has always been upfront about his goal to remake Venezuela into a socialist society, so it is no surprise his control over the country is at the point where he can discard the last remaining vestiges of western liberal ideas of governance. Goodbye limited government. So long division of power. All hail the king.

President for life? The plan to abolish presidential term limits is part of a bundle of constitutional changes unveiled by Mr Chávez on August 15th. These would remove the last remaining checks and balances to presidential power in Venezuela. They would strip the Central Bank of all autonomy, allowing the government to spend the country's foreign reserves. The government would be given power to expropriate private property by decree, and to promote co-operatives and state enterprise.

Chavez Seeks New Constitution to Abolish Term Limits: ``We have to change the geometry of power,'' Chavez said in comments broadcast by state television, in which he proposed the creation of communes and federally governed cities across the country.

Of course there will be a referendum. Hugo has been busy creating his Unified Socialist Party Venezuela (PSUV) which will undoubtedly turn out the votes needed to assure passage. Gregory Wilpert’s pro-Chavista website provides an overview of the organizational efforts.

The Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela described by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, as “a tool to guarantee the collective direction and continuity of the [Bolivarian] Revolution,” is well underway with most assemblies or “socialist battalions”, expected to elect their spokespeople next Saturday (August 18) for the founding congress of the new party.

Rafael Hern├índez, an aspirant of the new party, warned of intentions to “kidnap this extremely important stage in the construction of the PSUV as a political instrument of the revolution,” … To avoid this danger, Hernandez argued it was important for people to attend the meetings of the battalions and to study and to read the speeches of the president.

Careful study of the leader's message is very import for Party Members. Perhaps Hugo should collect his speeches into some type of Little Red Book where aspirants can gain wisdom like: “The secretary of a Party committee must be good at being a "squad leader". A Party committee has ten to twenty members; it is like a squad in the army, and the secretary is like the "squad leader". Then they can practice going door to door to insist people vote and assist them at the polls.