To all those that always say that Venezuela is a democracy under Chavez, the President’s proposal that the Enabling Bill extend for up to 18 months is simply a Constitutional coup and a disregard for the mandate given by the people to the new National Assembly that will be sworn in on Jan. 5th. In fact, the length is irrelevant, the President should wait for all new legislation to be approved by the new Assembly, which was democratically elected on Sept. 28th. and in which Chavez did not get the two thirds super majority he wanted in order to continue legislating at will.
Thus, democracy will be dead in Venezuela when this Bill is approved and if it is not stopped.
While this is more of the same, the President is stepping over a very clear threshold that violates democratic rules and I don’t see the opposition doing much. In fact, I don’t see the same Deputies whose rights are being violated doing or saying much. I think they should all go to the National Assembly and demand that the Enabling Bill not be approved. But I don’t expect much from them, they have been largely silent and passive in the face of Chavez’ decision to trample over democracy, free speech and the electoral mandate given by the people
To me it is clear that if Chavez loses in 2012 he will not hand over power, which in the end may be the best outcome as this will signify the beginning of his demise. But there will be a lot suffering before that and a lot of confrontation. Chavez was never a democrat and the upcoming months will show that. He backed two coups in 1992, he is taking ever increasing undemocratic steps as 2012 draws near.