December 2, 2007


Why I Parted Ways With Chávez (RAÚL ISAÍAS BADUEL, 12/01/07, NY Times)

ON Dec. 17, 1982, three of my fellow officers in the Venezuelan Army and I swore our allegiance to the Bolivarian Revolutionary Army 2000. We considered ourselves to be at the birth of a movement that would turn a critical eye on Venezuela’s troubled social and political system — and formulate proposals to improve it. One of the officers with me was Hugo Chávez, the current president of Venezuela, whom I have known since I entered the military academy 35 years ago.

Hugo Chávez and I worked together for many years. I supported him through thick and thin, serving as his defense minister. But now, having recently retired, I find myself with the moral and ethical obligation as a citizen to express my opposition to the changes to the Constitution that President Chávez and the National Assembly have presented for approval by the voters tomorrow.

The proposal, which would abolish presidential term limits and expand presidential powers, is nothing less than an attempt to establish a socialist state in Venezuela. As our Catholic bishops have already made clear, a socialist state is contrary to the beliefs of Simón Bolívar, the South American liberation hero, and it is also contrary to human nature and the Christian view of society, because it grants the state absolute control over the people it governs.

The moral obligation is to undo the damage he's done, not write op-eds for the Times.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2007 10:03 AM

It's too late now to do anything but wring his hands and write op-eds for the times; unless he chooses to go home and the President for life's term himself.

Posted by: Dave W at December 2, 2007 11:56 AM

Make that "end" the President for life's term.

Posted by: Dave W at December 2, 2007 11:58 AM