November 30, 2007


The End of Hurricane Hugo?: Chávez may have sown the seeds of his own destruction (Roger F. Noriega Friday, November 30, 2007, The American)

In recent days, more and more Venezuelans have come to realize that the sweeping constitutional reforms championed by President Hugo Chávez represent a mortal threat to democracy. As the December 2nd referendum approaches, Venezuelans are contemplating the downside of dozens of radical changes that were approved by Chávez’s rubberstamp national assembly. Predictably, one of the proposed changes would extend the presidential term and allow indefinite reelection. Another would modify the military’s nonpartisan character to make it a servant of Chávez’s “Bolivarian” mission. Still others would permanently grant Chávez and his cadre the authority to expropriate private property, control the central bank, fire Supreme Court justices, and suspend essential rights as they see fit. Yet by overreaching in this manner, Chávez may have sown the seeds of his own destruction.

Unless he retreats in the face of widening opposition, he is provoking a showdown with Venezuelans of all stripes. Just this month, patriotic students protesting Chávez’s power grab braved bullets from masked gunmen. Jurists have questioned the very legality of the referendum. Absent the scrutiny of foreign observers, few trust the partisan electoral board that will conduct the process. Meanwhile, Chávez’s former defense chief, Raúl Baduel, has denounced the reforms as a coup d’etat and reminded the military of its institutional obligation to safeguard democracy.

Chávez has been galloping toward this cliff since he took office in 1998.

With the Western Left cheering him every step of the way....

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2007 12:00 AM

Somewhere at Hillary! For President! headquarters, some flunky is drafting the Executive Order that will provide for the boss' "indefinite reelection."

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 30, 2007 1:58 PM

Anyone else think the "hostage" scare in Hillary's NH headquarters was a set up? Look for a lot more of these situations. She cancelled her talk to the DNC in Virginia because of a nutcase in NH. More likely she didn't want to be questioned about the retired gay general on her advisory staff among other things. Does anyone still buy her ridiculous scenarios.

I think I know why the war was going badly until Petraeus took over. Sanchez disgraced himself talking out against the war after he retired. If he was against the war, he should have resigned and then spoken out. Now the gay general with a political instead of a military agenda. Leftover Clintonistas?

Posted by: erp at November 30, 2007 4:51 PM


It is very true that the upper echelon of the military turned quite squishy after Clinton's election. Do you recall the many general officers who were drummed out after they had criticized President Clinton personally (early in his term)? The others had to note that, and tacked accordingly. Plus, the Navy was reeling from the Tailhook story. And the bugout from Somalia, the tap dancing offshore from Haiti, and the 15,000 foot fighting in Serbia probably didn't do much for morale in the service as a whole.

Posted by: ratbert at December 1, 2007 1:14 AM

Exactly and that's why a Dem in the White House is too dangerous at this time.

Posted by: erp at December 1, 2007 3:11 PM

While driving home tonight from a late visit to the office, I heard the NPR stringer in Caracas say that the large number of Chavez supporters want to give him more time to establish his policies in Venezuela.

And the Chavez story followed directly after a piece about Putin and the United Russia party.

Communism forever!

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 2, 2007 2:13 AM

Yet, Bush is the danger to freedom and democracy? I think not!

Posted by: Dave W at December 2, 2007 7:32 AM

Yet Bush is seen as the greatest threat to freedom and democracy? I think not!

Posted by: Dave W at December 2, 2007 7:39 AM

Yet bush is seen as the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world? I think not!

Posted by: Dave W at December 2, 2007 7:53 AM