Chavez’ Enabling Bill beyond Jan. 5th. is a Constitutional Coup

December 14, 2010

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.


55 Responses to “Chavez’ Enabling Bill beyond Jan. 5th. is a Constitutional Coup”

  1. Johnny Says:

    Birds of a feather stick together! I sincerely doubt any OAS, Washington, Latin American, European politician or functionary is going to back anything against Chavez. They all backed Zelayita when, anybody who reads the Honduran Constitution can plainly read, he lost his job by proposing an unconstitutional no no. But then all these other guys are for an “imperial” presidency and big or bigger government.

  2. firepigette Says:

    I agree Kepler,

    and I think you are right that many people do fear the thought of truly educating the poor.So many depend on their cheap services to keep on living an undeserved ‘life of Reilly’.

  3. AuvienLobo Says:

    Where did the generations go and why are students taking on the slack? Tears anyone? or just how the cookie crumbles?

  4. AuvienLobo Says:

    So how would you people start a blog about Un Sueño Para Venezuela, but not that book that everyone forgets about? I hear lots of opinions from the generations of the same as those in power, but not enough umpff, and they call for students to take on their slack. Venezuela es Nuestra?

    What about a wikisapeo of perceived bastards taking bribes and then some, maybe not so dark and just based on stuff like el coronel digs up?

    Where are the Venezuelans that graduated with this fks? How Big is the gap?

  5. Kepler Says:

    You need equal opportunities for education, very basic education. Give to the poor good teachers and provide excellent public libraries for people everywhere in Venezuela, in Curiapo and San Fernando de Apure, in Southern Valencia and in Chacao.

    (In case you don’t know: there is not a single real public library in Southern Valencia. Half a million people live there. There is just one “library” with a couple of tiny rooms, a joke)

    Let children borrow the books from the schools, as you do in Texas and NY, in Idaho and in Bavaria, in Norway and in Nevada, in Canada and in Japan.

    Introduce rule of law.

    Create mechanisms for the transparent flow of information and teach people to compare, to find information.

    I am not for handouts, I am not for quotas.

    In reality such a change would lead to a real revolution and would be feared by a lot of people. We would start having not just tuertos, but a lot of people with two eyes. There are lots of people, both among Chavistas and non-Chavistas who do not really want to guarantee top basic education for all, only for their children.

    We should be able to check online on a normalized form what lands and how many hectares where in Venezuela Pedro Pérez and the Chávez family, Rosales’ family and anyone else own or claim to own.

    There should be mechanisms so that any citizen can demand information from a governmental agency (under certain conditions, not that any ministry gets a million bogus letters)

  6. firepigette Says:


    “If you have someone pretending to care about the people, just so they can get elected, that will not change things for the better.

    It has to be real.”

    The problem is that actors are the only ones who convince your average person.It takes keen perception to see through lies.The answer is in a whole new type of person.Not someone like the cold Caldera, but not the sympatia of con artistry either( referring to Chavez).Sometimes truly earnest people cannot come across that way for lack of Charisma.Unfortunately charisma is associated with egoism.


    I agree that it is shocking to see the callousness towards the poor in Venezuela, as well as the extravagance of the middle classes.The upper classes vary a lot.
    I remember my mother came to visit me and went with me to a middle class friend’s daughter’s birthday party.She was only 2 yrs old and they gave her a diamond ring.They hired clowns and hot dog stands, and waiters served alcoholic drinks with fancy pasapalos.My Mom ( who is upper middle class) was so shocked that anyone would be so lavish for a stupid Bday party.When I was in school I had to get up at 5 am everyday to deliver the paper in order to have a few dollars to catch the bus for my piano lessons.

    It is the culture.My maids used to tell me they would rather die than work for a Venezuelan family because they were so badly treated in those homes.Sometimes the young males attacked them sexually.Here in the US we make an effort to be kind to anyone regardless of class.If anything many are kinder to the poor out of compassion.

    However having said that, I disagree with making the poor too dependent.I think they need justice, lower crime, rules and regulations that keep them from living in dangerous places,respect, and some government safety nets without allowing them to steal electricity etc.Allowing people to steal does no good.It doesn’t set example.

    The poor need to know that the right conditions will be established for them to raise themselves up in dignity.They need true empowerment NOT DEPENDENCE.

    We cannot make everyone equal without oppression, but we can give them some help, mostly in the form of equal opportunity, which they do not have now.We can give them a fair shake with the law, clean and safe environments, some form of welfare based on true need, and subsidized education.

    But remember not all people in barrios are poor.

    Many make more than you and I.It is sometimes more of a culture than necessarily an economic situation.So that culture has to be addressed, which Chavez definitely does NOT DO.

  7. AuvienLobo Says:

    lol sorry for the long tongue, but we must not forget it´s a beast we fight, and it ain´t pretty how you fight em!

  8. AuvienLobo Says:

    What I meant(though I like peering into your thought chains) is that humans will be humans, and that is not to far apart from herd mentality even if it seems complex(cultural, historically) come on don´t leave psych´s with out a job.

    Venezuela is just eating itself up, the resentment is to high, everyone that was having a hard time now has someone to blame, the burgoise etc whatever the chavismo wants to bullseye.

    He played the oldest trick in the book, and thats what I talk about.

    The con men have come to power(like they never where in power but thats another story). Now that is hard to fathom but it´s the truth, it´s not educated con men, or sort of honorable con men, it´s ruthless con men, and of/with history they wipe their asses with, that´s exactly why they will fall and you are just a sooth sayer. If men like you had the reigns of the country, ahh what a nicer place it would be(scary but nicer)… I cry there.

    But you forget(you do the nice thing and read books while), the violent throught history will take power for carnal pleasing, you sir are of the few and that will always be the sadness of life even if we had “mision kepler” not that we have a sat named like that :P.

    You seem to be an idealist among a jungle crowd…

    And yes where would we be without dreaming, but where was the humanity in the manhattan project?

    Sure you write how the ball shall be reached, but you don´t get to choose how it is reached. And the way history teaches us is that we have nice people like you to tell how we must reach it, but the rest will just grab it however they can, and so we define humanity.

    I was thinking recently of how to create wealth for all, good paying jobs,
    one prints money, prices go up, we sabotage ourselves by economic or entropy laws, and obviously creating services is what will keep us going through, but the pyramid is still there, and came to the conclusion till we can create atomic assemblers(printers) there will always be a power struggle and ruthless con men, how I wish we get to the star trek era.

    And so yes, we shall paint the ways we should follow,but we must not forget the psycho and socio path ways that will take advantage of us all.

  9. m_astera Says:

    If you have someone pretending to care about the people, just so they can get elected, that will not change things for the better.

    It has to be real.

  10. Robert Says:

    Should our favorite bloggers take a page from the Wiki guidelines and set up mirror websites for blog access?

  11. Robert Says:

    I see at Daniels blog that the new telecomms law requires certain Globo board members to return to Venezuela register Globovision, where I suppose they will face arrest, or Globovision will finally be shut down. Can’t win for losing. It won’t matter that the poor are not watching Globo soon as no one will be watching. And the same law will provide tools for the gov to come after whatever internet use makes it unhappy. This indeed takes the cake for all of Chavez shenanigans.

  12. Kepler Says:


    The events in Eastern Germany cannot be compared. They belonged to a complete different development: the regime was very much substained for decades by Soviet troops, Soviets that were much more alien than any Cuban presence in Venezuela now, the whole systems around Eastern Germany were crumbling down. And in case you did not know: there was a lot of political activism on the ground. Unlike in Venezuela, they were very much home-ground and not going to the US or to Brussels to have pictures of them taken, which does contribute to more trust across big parts of society. The leaders were also very much composed of average Germans (who are a much more homogenous group), not people from a capital (most demonstrations took place in Leipzig).

    We need people who don’t look like complete caraqueños/valencianos/marabinos de clase alta or those who are not incompetent adecos llaneros without vision. We need not a leader but a comprehensive movement from all parts of Venezuela and the “national leaders” need to move their asses not just during election time in 2012 and they need to move their asses not for themselves but to build up a common, self-sustainable organization.

  13. Kepler Says:

    Pedrop is right.
    And no wonder Chavismo gets the votes it gets in municipio Antonio Díaz and in all of Delta Amacuro. What did we get there? Either old adecos or young people manipulated by these old adecos who lost all contact with the times. And the others, the UNT and PJ and PRVZLA and and: “con la educación privada no te metas”. “Propiedad privada es el principio de todo”.
    “Con estas leyes socialistas no vamos a progresar”.

    I remember poor Warao indians as beggars in Valencia. I know a couple of foreigners who worked among the Warao. They told me the Waraos, ages ago, would get about 50 Bolívares (viejos) for a well-woven hat.
    That was ridiculously cheap, a real insult. And the criollos would resell the same thing not for 10, for 20 times, but for much more in Caracas.
    Chavismo introduced a law about pricing for traditional handicraft. Whatever the economics of it or whether it is applied, it was something.
    Chávez goes places and talks: and here you come from the Guayones? And you Warao? Come on, say something in Warao to all the nation”

    And it’s not just the native Americans who get moved by this. Remember: a lot of our background is European, but a lot is also Indian and African. We don’t have to get into the pseudo-historical crap and exagerate Indian and African roots as Chavistas are doing. But we have to talk about the whole thing.

    Chavistas have wasted and stolen a lot of money in Delta, in Amazonas, everywhere. Still, those people got some crumbles, more than they saw before. Many Waraos got solar panels and now vegetate in front of the TVs in the Delta. That’s not progress, but go tell that to someone you never talked to.

    I know a girl from a village in the middle of nowhere in Lara. That village is small, but its children are spread around main cities: Guacara, Vargas, etc. That village is similar to countless villages in Venezuela. That girl is very clever, but she works just as cleaning lady. She stopped going to school because teachers stopped going in times pre-Chavz. Now her village
    has a nice tiny school and the teacher goes. And they have a Mercal.
    No oppo has ever gone there.
    There is no cable. There is no Globo, so her relatives cannot listen to Corina Machado.

    Don’t get me wrong. Chavismo is taking back Venezuela to total collapse, but it pretends. Most Venezuelans are still thinking in feudal terms about their country. If we want to get rid of Chavismo, we have to think differently and act accordingly.

  14. AuvienLobo Says:


    The Berlin wall did not fall because political activists, entropy is a bitch.

    Thermodynamics was observed.

    la Viveza?

    Neither care about the end…

    The biggest understatement is thinking evil doesn´t exude order!

    And thats what poets of chaos paint.

    And then in order, poets talk of chaos.

    What a balance, must be described!

  15. Pedrop Says:

    Standing at our posh polished shining office building in the heart of Caracas my gringo eyes were drawn to a woman standing on the side of the road. Not surprising really but she was different.

    She was Indian, Warao I thought, dressed in rags, bare feet and looking completely lost. She had a child in one hand and another on her hip.

    Many people walked past here and none looked at her outstretched hand. I doubt they even registered her presence in their minds. Money was what she wanted.

    So I asked one of our silver spooned Venezuelan office employees what he thought. He couldn’t see the woman when I pointed her out and even then, when he noticed her, he looked down his nose at me and said she wasn’t worth bothering about. He changed the conversation to playas and the likes.

    Anyway I asked one of our office cleaners, a woman, to give the Indian woman some money. This she did and smiled at me as she went back to her cleaning duties. The Indian woman took the money and entered an adjacent shop. When she came out her children were drinking water and had something to eat.

    If she is still alive and votes I am sure she is a Chavez supporter. Not because he is the messiah but simply because democracy cared not a lot for her.

    And I agree with Astera.

  16. AuvienLobo Says:

    Astera gets it in the last line “People don’t support Chavez because he delivers on his promises, they support him because they think he cares about them”

    I guess politicians will keep pulling wool out of their teeth, for ever and ever.

    Whats clear for Venezuela is that a majority will be touched by an incompetent power structure and the it will start to fall;

    and until then, you all are but sooth sayers until it actually happens, then you will earn your morning star!

    I have heard of more successful cat herders , than reason preachers.

    When we stop writing poems, and whining of powers that be, thats the day history died.

    Till then keep drinking whiskey and rye, and hope your kids end history before it ends them, or they preach it to their kids…

    gobble, gobble

  17. Kepler Says:

    I agree 100% with Astera. It is kind of sad that a lot of Venezuelans lose so fast contact with Venezuela’s plain, uneducated majority, even if their own parents were poor farmers. On the other side, a US American or a German or a Canadian or someone else tends to see that so right away after just some weeks in Venezuela.
    I have attended some incredibly posh parties or meetings in Venezuela where I left wondering: en qué planeta vive esta gente?

    A lot of people hold the poor for idiots or consumate loafers (also elsewhere, mind, but in Venezuela and in Latin America in general this is quite strong). They are actually not more than the others. It often, specially in Venezuela, does not even take much brain or effort to become wealthy, just having a little advantage at the right time: en el país de los ciegos, el tuerto es rey.
    It doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of wealthy people who work a lot and earned it in a real way. But there are also those who do not come up.

    What most poor people tend to be, above all in an underdeveloped nation as Venezuela- I am not talking about the EU or Europe, but it goes a bit there as well – is ignorant and unskilled and with parents who did not teach them anything better. And they have not the frames of reference we have and often take for granted.

    And the thing is when some better-off people often decide to talk to the others, they do so in a manner that is very condescending, sometimes even insulting.

    You don’t actually need to use the bottle of rhum Astera mentioned, even if it does help sometimes. You do need to start with a genuine interest.

    I don’t follow Zulia news, so I don’t know about UNT (sadly alternative parties are like that in Venezuela now, regional parties). When I see Capriles and Oscariz I do see people who have some touch with the rest. When I see Borges, though, who is the national leader, I do not see that. When I see the Salas and Feo clan in my region, Carabobo, I do not see that (I think they are trying, but it is not very convincing).

    I believe a group of people, well organized, could cause a revolution in Venezuela by talking about common interests and by being the first in Venezuela’s history to talk the truth, but with hope and in : we are not a rich country, but we can become one. And for that we need a), b), c), d), etc and in those a), b) etc we need to clearly include them all.
    Don’t tell them just key words as some are doing. Say what you mean by education. Say what you mean by real jobs. Say what you mean by having a country that is a developed nation.
    As I said: abstention is higher in poor, traditionally pro-regime areas but for some strange places like Delta Amacuro. It is up to us to conquer those areas.
    I know, I have relatives and friends in those areas and our politicians are still not going there (but for Leopoldo now).
    It is not just “Petare and Charallave”.
    When we finally start going there on a massive scale and not just talk but first listen, the Chavista regime will freak out, completely freak out…and it will probably try to send its thugs against our people. But if we take precautions, we could have the first real positive revolution Venezuela has had in eons, if not ever.

  18. m_astera Says:


    I wrote ““Chavez has the support of the poor and the common people because he communicates with them. He speaks to them in their own kind of language about things they can understand. As long as he does that, and the opposition doesn’t, he can do no wrong. They will forgive him and support him no matter what, because at least they can relate to him.”

    You replied:

    I am so sick and tired of reading such bullshit.

    In what language does the opposition have to speak to people who have a mindset where everything has to be given to them at a minimun effort on their part?

    I wasn’t clear enough on my point. I am not suggesting that someone running against Chavez needs to tell people the same things Chavez has been saying. I’m just saying that whoever wants to make a difference needs to be able to speak to the poor and ignorant in language that they understand and can relate to. Hell, even I can do that. I can walk into any group anywhere, sit down on the curb with the locals and share a bottle of rum with them and talk about things they understand and can relate to.

    Here’s a simple fact: in a majority rule “democracy” one has to appeal to the majority, which in Venezuela is poor and uneducated. You don’t have to promise them free lunch forever, you can talk sense to them and share good ideas with them, get them excited about how much better things could be, how much better their lives could be. Talk prosperity, talk education and opportunity for their children, talk skills and fun and a prosperous happy country where we all get along and work together.

    But you have to talk to them, you have to see that they are real people and let them know that they matter to you, that you care about them and will remember them, that they are your people. If they believe that, they will support you, regardless of whether or not you promise them something for nothing.

    People don’t support Chavez because he delivers on his promises, they support him because they think he cares about them. How much more would they support someone who really did care and delivered on their promises?

  19. loroferoz Says:

    “The biggest problem we have had is that so many are blind.I guess people don’t want to see whatever makes them uncomfortable.”

    In Venezuela, that means industrial-strength suffering.

  20. A_Antonio Says:

    What I was trying to check, is if Chavez pass by over the written law, we should not be surprised that Chavez use holes on the laws to be more dictator, we should be surprised if he does not take that holes.

    I expect that the New Assembly will be like a paint in the Congress until 2012 election.

  21. liz Says:

    With regard to the ignorance, laziness and or blindness that seems to be
    the norm here in Venezuela, I wrote this in another forum:

    ” The country as a whole is pretty naive; I guess that comes along with ignorance and poverty. Although the poverty factor does not always relate to money, but to their minds. Lots of rich and middle class people supported him (chavez) from day one. Why? poor and feeble minds…”

  22. […] 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 … Read More […]

  23. island canuck Says:

    Firepigette said:
    “I guess people don’t want to see whatever makes them uncomfortable.”

    In Venezuela people don’t want to see what will force them to act.

  24. firepigette Says:

    Democracy has been dead in Venezuela since Chavez first took office.

    My husband predicted Chavez’s win one year before he first won elections, and people thought he was ” fringe”, dismissing him completely.Then when Chavez won, nobody acknowledged his foresight.

    Then when he won, my husband predicted the slow coup.He was always undemocratic but just hiding until he had enough power.People again thought my husband was ” fringe” and alarmist.

    Instead of looking around people have believed all manner of phony statistics, double talk about elections,twisted ideas about what is a democracy, and naive wishes.

    The biggest problem we have had is that so many are blind.I guess people don’t want to see whatever makes them uncomfortable.

  25. Susan Says:

    Perhaps Chavez can emulate Cuba. Take a look !

    Cuba has begun its own online encyclopedia, similar to Wikipedia, with the goal of presenting
    its version of the world and history.

    It describes its longtime ideological enemy, the US, as “the empire of our time” and “the most powerful
    nation of all time.”

    EcuRed was launched officially on Tuesday, with more than 19,000 entries.

    It was developed “to create and disseminate the knowledge of all and for all, from Cuba and with the world,” the site said.

    Users supposedly will be able to update entries with prior approval from EcuRed administrators.

    “Its philosophy is the accumulation and development of knowledge, with a democratising, not profitable, objective, from a decoloniser point of view,” the site said.

    It could be called Venired.

    Then the whole world can see themselves through the Chavez eye ! S.

  26. Kepler Says:

    Well, José, it’s not 50%, certainly it is 35% or something. Of course we have a problem. What we need to do is to see how many of the others we can take to our side. We also need to realise some who have always been on our side are so clumsy that they become the best reason for some ignorant to vote for Chávez. To a certain extent, the best enemy of Chavez has been Chávez himself and the best enemy of (some) oppo have been themselves.

  27. Maria Says:

    He is going to raise taxes because money is need to address the crisis caused by the rains, but they have $500 millions to give to the Libyan to experiment with rice:

    “Asamblea aprobó 500 millones de dólares a Libia ”
    La diputada a la Asamblea Nacional, Pastora Medina informó con preocupación al principio de esta semana, que en medio de la situación de emergencia que vive el país durante las sesiones de la semana pasada los diputados oficialistas que conforman la gran mayoría del Parlamento se negaron entre la semana pasada y los primeros días de esta a tratar el tema del desastre, pero saltaron a aprobar el otorgamiento de 500 millones de dólares a Libia y otros 50 a Siria, a través de un convenio de desarrollo económico sin claridad alguna.”

  28. JoseM Says:

    At the end of the day, no matter what we think about Chavez is clear that venezuela has two kind of people, around 50% think Chavez is god and the other 50% is very clear of the reality of this “dictador”, you can argue that is not 50% is 30%, ok!, but even 30% after 12 years of destruction tells you a lot of the venezuelan people and their ignorance, if and when Chavez does not exists, those venezuelan people will still around and that’s the problem behind Chavez

  29. moctavio Says:

    Because the Constitution does not say a time limit, it does not mean the Assembly can do what it wants. Enabling Chavez to legislate, is simply giving away the Assembly’s powers temporarily because of an emergency that requires it. The current Assembly only has that ability and mandate until Jan. 5th., any powers beyond that are simply unconstitutional and undemocratic.

  30. moctavio Says:

    I have believed that Chavez would not hand over power for a long time, I just did not know if he would lose…

  31. loroferoz Says:

    Democracy is dead in Venezuela. Quite dead and has been for a time. Worse, the Republic is dead.

    Can you name a Court of Justice in this land where a challenge can be made, with the slightest of hopes? Not one? Q.E.D.

  32. Kepler Says:

    The term “chavista” is actually very very tricky…like oppo, mind!

    I have gone through the stats a lot. Abstention in poor urban areas outside Caracas is much higher than in upper-upper middle class or middle class areas. They are not voting for Chavismo, but neither are they voting for us.
    We could move them, but to do that we have to actually talk and LISTEN to them first.

    Only Leopoldo is moving around now in Venezuela. That cannot be. You have to get out of your state.

    During voting time, Chavistas took thousands (THOUSANDS) of big jeeps from the Yagua PDVSA centre to take the poor to vote in Carabobo-Aragua. Many other chavistas did that as well. Even with all the jams Venezuela has, most people have NO car.
    I know some oppos who made a great effort mobilizing in their own cars people from poor areas. Most people in the class A and B areas just remained in those areas and thought they were doing big shit with “being a witness in colegio privado Nuestra Señora de la Concepción”

    On the bright side, I think some people are starting to realise that.

  33. Ira Says:

    For many in the opposition, there seems to be a “give him enough rope until he hangs himself” mentality. In other words, they think, “Well, THIS nonsense can’t go on forever! People (VZ and the world) will finally see Hugo for what he is and that will be the end of him!”

    Big mistake, but on the other hand:

    Chavez feeds on the virulent opposition to him, and he uses it to further his support with the disenfranchised, rallying them around in defense of his bunker.

    It’s a real conundrum–what’s the correct approach to get him and his cronies finally ousted by the majority of Venezuelans themselves? And hereon lies the rub:

    You first have to make the die-hard Chavistas value democracy, which they simply don’t. And you have to point out to the moderate Chavistas those many, many examples of where Chavez has trampled on democracy.

  34. Kepler Says:

    María, if you don’t know, you should try. Actually, it is not the poor only or all the poor. It is true a lot of people in Venezuela just think “wealth is there, we just need to distribute it” (not create it).

    Still: when was the last time you saw Borges talking to people in Maturín? (over 600 000 people)
    In El Tocuyo? (over 100 000 people) In Guacara? (over 100 000 people)
    In Southern Valencia? (over 500 000 people and just 12 kilometers from where his house is located). And what proposals were there about things that refer to them and not just to us? (thus, public education, real jobs)
    The same goes for all key leaders of all the other parties we have.
    And don’t get me wrong, I know there are good people doing extraordinary things with Ocariz, with Capriles, with Enzo Scaranno, etc, but Venezuela is not to be recovered if we think in feudal terms as we always did. Chávez is the new Gómez, who could beat the local caudillos…only that Chávez has now many more petrodollars than what Gómez ever started to get.

    Most Venezuelans have no reference. Most Venezuelans have never left the country. Most Venezuelans have no idea what life is in China, in Germany, in Canada, in Chile. Most Venezuelans don’t even have more historical memory than their primera comunión.
    Most Venezuelans could not read what we are writing right now.

  35. torres Says:

    Maria: “In what language…”

    To the hungry, it behooves us to talk in terms of food.

  36. jau Says:

    I am very happy Miguel that you finally realized that Chavez will not respect the results of the 2012 elections, unless he wins (of course).

    But, since I respect you a lot, and since I am extremely confused about the future, could you do an analysis on what do you think could happen? I think that we are going straight to Cuba, but who knows…

  37. Roger Says:

    Question is can they take back those powers anytime they want? As the economy is going, they, both sides are smart to give Chavez all the credit for it. Even now it seems he has run out of bribe money. Most follow him for the money.

  38. Maria Says:

    “Chavez has the support of the poor and the common people because he communicates with them. He speaks to them in their own kind of language about things they can understand. As long as he does that, and the opposition doesn’t, he can do no wrong. They will forgive him and support him no matter what, because at least they can relate to him.”

    I am so sick and tired of reading such bullshit.

    In what language does the opposition have to speak to people who have a mindset where everything has to be given to them at a minimun effort on their part?

  39. LD Says:

    The authority of the Führer has now been wholly established. Votes are no longer taken. The Führer decides. All this is going much faster than we had dared to hope.
    (Joseph Goebbels, shortly after the passage of the Enabling Act)

  40. moctavio says:
    December 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    “Easy, the new National Assembly was elected to legislate starting Jan. 5th., the old one loses its powers on Jan5th. it can not give powers to someone else beyond that date. Simple, logical, democratic.”

    True, it will be a truly anti-democratic measure to utilize the “rule by decree enabling law” to supersede the legislative power of the new Assembly.

    HOWEVER, and unfortunately, Chávez has legal grounds to stand on (as usual). The Constitution gives the Assembly the right (with 3/5 vote) to assign “enabling” powers to the president and to assign the duration of the powers. The Constitution does NOT define a time limit, nor does it indicate that “enabling” powers can only be delegated during the current session, or term, of the Assembly.

    Regardless, usurping the power of the new, more plural Assembly is undoubtedly a strong “golpe” (strike) to Venezuelan democracy. Hopefully, the OAS, Brazil, Spain, Uruguay and others will finally see the need to speak out against Chavez’ anti-democratic actions.

  41. moctavio Says:

    Easy, the new National Assembly was elected to legislate starting Jan. 5th., the old one loses its powers on Jan5th. it can not give powers to someone else beyond that date. Simple, logical, democratic.

  42. A_Antonio Says:

    The social decomposition in Venezuela do not have limit. Today was assassin, shot to death, a young in a catholic church, in from Catholics follower’s, minutes before the service.

    And for this post, some legal literate can comment what are the exactly constitution articles or legal paragraph that tells that the present Enabling Bill can not be overlapped with the new AN.

  43. m_astera Says:

    It’s been said here before, but not by me, and I think it bears repeating: Chavez has the support of the poor and the common people because he communicates with them. He speaks to them in their own kind of language about things they can understand. As long as he does that, and the opposition doesn’t, he can do no wrong. They will forgive him and support him no matter what, because at least they can relate to him.

    Is there really no oppo candidate that can relate to and speak to the common people? If not, then they won’t represent those they can’t even talk to, will they? The common people are smart enough to figure out that much.

  44. island canuck Says:

    Iris Varela suggested that the new law should be for 24 months but Celia shot her down by saying the president only asked for 12 months.

  45. Mick Says:

    Soon Venezuelans will have as many rights as the people in the “Democratic” Republic of North Korea.

    Who do they think they are fooling, other than the fools who cannot see that the emperor has no clothes.

    I think Carlos the Jackal’s assessment of this house of cards is accurate, and I think the ensuing calamity would not be nearly as painful as the current path Venezuela is on.

  46. Heather Says:

    Chavez dismisses anyone who disagrees with him, including justices of the supreme court. And even the various attempts to demand his resignation turned violent only resulting in his temporary ousting. There are too many obstacles for Venezuelans if they want to set the best course for their country.

  47. speed Gibson Says:

    banana republic

  48. Kepler Says:

    Venezuelan are apparently on vacation half of the year.

  49. kernel_panic Says:

    Sadly, the enabling law WILL be approved, seriously, what stands between chavez and that? The Supreme Court (TSJ)? The current AN? The people? International pressure?

    Let’s face it, it will happen, now, what are we going to do after that.

    I aggree, the first ones that should be worried are the elected MUD deputies cuz the enabling law basically renders them useless, and yet, I havent seen any actual acts against the enabling law whatsoever.

    The people wont notice this much or wont care too much about it because of holidays, however, december isnt going to last forever (no matter how much it feels like it in a bad way) and I expressed my concern on caracas chronicles comments section of this post (the vanishing mirage ) about the possibility of a second take on El Caracazo, and this post does as well.

    I believe the elements are in place, its like the gas and the powder are set, it just needs a lighted match to explode.

    Tons of stuff will get approved and not much people would be happy about that, and with the enabling law, we can sure as hell expect more hideous things to be approved in the coming months.

    Hell, Carmona Estanga was overthrown for much much less ( I think :p )

    So, will that happen? if so, When is it more likely to happen? Are we really going to beat Chavez on 2012 with a MUD “con las bolas al hombro” since 9/26? Will those elections EVEN going to take place? and bottom line: who will emerge victorious?

  50. island canuck Says:

    Announced – asking for 1 year.

  51. Roy Says:

    Just this morning over coffee, I was discussing this with a group and the issue of for how long he would try to get special powers came up. Someone said, “three months”. I guffawed and said, “a year and half”. Everyone at the table said that was ridiculous and that they wouldn’t go so far.

    I believe that I shall shortly be entitled to say, “I told you so.”

  52. metodex Says:

    i dont know how many people are protesting in front of the national assembly right now.
    But i hope they throw molotovs and burn that building down.
    If theres a SUCCESFUL coup today,and chavez goes away forever, and communism in venezuela gets exterminated, i will believe in Jesus,or Allah.Or in Judaism

  53. I agree that Chávez is stepping over a very clear threshold should “rule by decree” powers be approved and implemented beyond the installation of the new National Assembly on January 5, 2011.

    Although the Constitution does not specify time limits for the “rule by decree enabling law,” Chávez utilization of it clearly usurps the legislative powers of the Assembly and therefore is a defacto revocation of the results of a popular election (in this case, the legislative elections held on September 26, 2010*).

    The excercise by Chávez of “rule by decree” powers beyond January 4, 2011 is democracy denied. It is a coup d’état by legal means.

    International pressure is essential to curb this effort by the Venezuelan president to sidestep democratic norms in the name of his “socialist revolution.” Democrats around the world, from both the left and the right, should stand up and speak out against this measure.
    Moderate governments like Brazil, Uruguay and Spain have an obligation to now get “off the fence” and to speak out against this measure. Venezuelan democracy may depend on it.

    *On September 26, 2010, Chávez lost the 2/3 majority previously held by his party. Winning 50% of the votes, his party took 64% of the seats in the new National Assembly to be seated on January 5, 2011. 2/3 majority is needed to pass significant legislative packages in Venezuela.

  54. island canuck Says:

    Miguel as I pointed out in the previous threads he only legally has until the day the new AN opens.
    At that point he can reapply for his continuing enabling law.

    As I also said before i don’t believe for one minute that he will abide by these rules (laws). He will just do what he wants because he knows that the pueblo will do nada. We’re fooked.

    As you point out this is an example of what will happen in 2012. He will not turn over power. I also think that this will be a good thing. All appearances of democracy will disappear & his apologists will no longer have any arguments – not that they had any based in reality to begin with.

  55. George Says:


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