>Bolivarian Revolution File: "Militarization of ALBA states" proceeds apace as Venezuela’s ruling socialist party awards decree powers to Chavez

>The red regimes in Managua and Caracas, no doubt taking queues from their masters in Havana, are preparing to rule by decree and martial law ahead of hotly contested elections in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez has ruled by decree on three occasions since democratically taking office in 1999, while Nicaragua’s past/present communist dictator Daniel Ortega imposed a state of emergency between 1982 and 1988, when Central America was in the grip of the Cold War.

Pictured above: On December 15, 2010, in Caracas supporters of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez beat oppositionists with sticks during a demonstration near the National Assembly, where the governing party and its allies passed laws allowing the president to rule by decree.

This past Monday, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front exploited its “El Pacto” alliance with the so-called opposition Constitutionalist Liberal Party to ratify three national defense bills that will once again place Nicaragua under a military government, establish a KGB-style internal security apparatus, and confiscate property in the name of national security. Intriguingly, without offering details of the meeting’s agenda, Cuba’s foreign minister, fresh from encouraging the FMLN regime in San Salvador, popped in for a visit with Ortega last week.

Last week, too, Victor Boitano, a former Sandinista and ex-colonel, asserted that the re-communization of Nicaragua is part of a wider conspiracy of Red Axis regimes in Latin America: “These laws are being imported from Cuba and Venezuela as part of a new plan to militarize the countries of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas]. The defense bill package is an attempt by Ortega to democratically impose a military boot upon Nicaragua’s democracy and force the population to participate in the revolution.” Ominously, he added: “This is a terrible, terrible militarization of the society in an undercover way; Nicaragua’s past is returning.”

In light of this past Tuesday’s vote in the Venezuelan National Assembly, Boitano’s contention has proven correct. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) ratified President Chavez’s request to rule by decree for one year, beginning on January 5, 2011. On state television this week, Chavez insisted he needs the powers to cope with a national emergency caused by floods that have killed 40 and left 130,000 people homeless. In his usual overheated bombast, he responded to his critics by saying that they need to “take Valium” or “see a psychiatrist.” Jesus Faria, a spokesman for the PSUV, said dismissively: “The advance of the revolution brings with it conflict.” Tal Cual, the country’s main opposition newspaper, dubbed Chavez’s renewed rule-by-decree powers “a totalitarian ambush … a Christmas ambush.”

The PSUV-dominated National Assembly is taking advantage of the last days of the current legislative session to implement a new package of laws that will allow the government to shut down anti-government websites and impose a sales tax increase to pay for damage caused by the floods. It also named nine new Supreme Court judges, even though current terms have not expired, thereby precluding the need to negotiate the selection of such high-ranking officials with the opposition.

Venezuela’s opposition, lately emboldened by the acquisition of new seats in the National Assembly in September, admits their influence next year will be limited by the president’s decree powers, and by the fact that as a minority they cannot introduce counter-legislation. More importantly, looking ahead to 2012, the opposition coalition lacks a common leader or platform, other than simply opposing the Cubanization of Venezuela. In 2010 alone, the Chavezista regime nationalized more than 200 businesses, including foreign-owned companies.

One response to “>Bolivarian Revolution File: "Militarization of ALBA states" proceeds apace as Venezuela’s ruling socialist party awards decree powers to Chavez

  1. mah29001 December 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    >Looks like Chavez is sending his country toward a socialist hellhole. Yet he still somehow blames Capitalism for all of Venezuela's ills…

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