(Cartoon by Weil)
And in what people still think is a democracy, the Chavez Government decided to get back by legislation what it lost in the November elections, as it approved the new Bill for the Capital District, a Bill that castrates the newly elected mayor of the Metropolitan District Antonio Ledezma. Just like that, Ledezma not only will have a boss appointed by Chávez, but the Bill also takes away his office and his budget. His office will now be occupied by the new Chief of the Capital District, who will also get most of Ledezma’s budget.
Ledezma’s budget will now be only the 10% that is transferred to him by the other Mayors of the Caracas Metropolitan area. As for his office…well, he will probably have to rent one with the meager budget left to him. All of which guarantees that he will be able to do very little for his voters, no budget, no office no responsibilities, a eunuch Mayor if I have ever seen one.
Thus, another historic Chapter in Chavez’ “participative” democracy was closed yesterday and all we have left to find out is if the new Vice-President for the Capital District will ironically be the same person that was defeated by Ledezma at the polls last November.
Thus, much like Chavez’ other actions these days, a new coup was achieved Chavez’ style. To Hell with democracy, let’s stage a Metropolitan Coup and take over what we lost at the polls by legislating appropriately, much like it was done last year with the 26 Bills that revived most of the issues rejected by the voters in the 2007 Constitutional referendum, or the February reelection referendum, or the recent decentralization Bill. Just small coup after small coup, which simply disguise the true nature of the Chavez regime.
Not that Ledezma had been allowed to exercise much of the office he was elected to in November. His office is still invaded by a bunch of Chavista thugs, who I am sure will now sheepishly leave now that Chavismo won them back in this epic battle of the fake Chavista democracy.
Which only goes to show that this battle can not be won with the ballot box or peacefully. Ledezma should have hired a couple of hundred thugs of his own and taken over his office a couple of months ago. Because clearly neither the Supreme Court nor the Government will ever return to him what is rightfully and democratically his.
Because this is no longer a democracy, because neither Chavez’ nor the Assembly’s power is limited by the law or the Constitution. They do what they want and how they want it. And it is not a matter of assigning labels to it, it is a matter that Venezuelans have had their democracy stolen and they seem to be doing very little about it.
People seem to cling to a hope that somehow Chavez will go away magically or will not go beyond where he has so far. But they are wrong. Chávez has no ethics and no scruples. he will do what he has to do to preserve his power. The only way to fight back is to forget about those democratic and legal scruples which are no longer part of this fight.
You don’t fight a Metropolitan Coup with the law, you fight it in the streets. And if you don’t, you will lose the next battle too. Whichever it may be.