Part of Hugo Chavez’ megalomaniac wish is to attempt to perpetuate himself in power, using his hold on the institutions and Government funds to insure it. Unfortunately, the once “best” Constitution in the world does not allow for more than two terms by the President. Thus, the autocrat decided in January to change the Constitution to allow in his own words and those that surround him to allow his indefinite reelection and thus the perpetuation of the Autocrat/Dictator in power.
Unfortunately, the “people” did not rejoice with this possibility. While Chavez remains popular with his promise to change things and the huge windfall that has allowed the autocrat to give away money in direct assistance to the population, there are too many doubts and concerns about his ability to run the country afetr eight years, as well as the antidemocratic spirit that has permeated his actions. Thus, most polls show that there is a huge resistance to the modification of the Constitution on this issue, which could endanger not only the possibility of that specific change to the Constitution but all of the cahnges Chavez desires to increase even further his stronghold over the country.
This week, the Government unveiled its new strategy and while “new” for this case, it is something we have seen before, the use of a euphemism to call something by a different name a mislead the population. Thus, in the words of the Head of the National Assembly, she explained this week, actually keeping a straight face, that what will be proposed is not for the “indefinite” reelection of Hugo Chavez (Of course, that is who the Constitution is being built for, not for the position but for the autocrat) but rather for his “continuous” reelection.
Of course, this is nothing but another cynical attempt to mislead and deceive the population about the true goals of the autocrat and you can be sure the term “continuous” will show up in the vocabulary of those that surround Chavez in the upcoming weeks and that the full propaganda machinery of the Government will be turned on in order to sell this new euphemism to the people.
Clearly, in the context, there is no difference between the two words, whether indefinite or continuous reelection, what the Government wants is to allow Chavez to become a continuously elected Dictator in Venezuela, which could be allowed if the Constitution were changed using the mechanisms established in it. But whether continuous or indefinite, the change would eliminate the conceot of alternability established in the fundamental principles of the Constitution and thus only a Constituent Assembly could change it, which is not what the Government is proposing
But the revolution has no scruples, believes in no laws and ethicsal principles are just not part of it, so the autocrat wants to take this shortcut and cheat Venezuelans once again. Unfortunately, he may just do it, as a complacent Supreme Court will certainly not stop a vitiated changed of the Constitution, much like it did not stop the shutdown of RCTV and even confiscated its equipment. Add to that a full press campaign with the full resources of the Government, some cheating at the approval of the Constitutional referendum and we may have Chavez indefinitely and continuously, until he dies or his overthrown by one of his cronies with similar megalomaniac ambitions.