Chavez Caucus in Congress Silent on Coming Referendum

Ed Lasky
If I recall,there is the equivalent of a Chavez Caucus in Congress. Where are they now when Chavez is in the process of imposing a dictatorship in Venezuela?

He has already expropriated private property (including assets of American-owned firms) and restricted free speech in his nation (the networks he has shut down, the papers that are now closed).

Now he is on the verge of "winning" a referendum that
will lead to a permanent dictatorship-lifetime tenure, no term limits- that gives him unlimited power to suspend due process, censor news organizations, control all government funds with no oversight or transparency, handpick leaders for new administrative regions he wants to create, and give him  a raft of powers that should shock the conscience of any Democratic who believes in his party's principles.

The proposed changes would eliminate the central bank's independence, sharply limit the role and definition of private property and emasculate the powers of governors and mayors, allowing Mr. Chávez to literally redraw the political map of Venezuela. Under the new charter, Mr. Chávez could unilaterally set and dispose of the nation's foreign-currency reserves. He would be able to appoint or dismiss vice presidents who would rule over the country's 24 states, which he intends to group into six to eight regions.

Perhaps, most important for Mr. Chávez, the changes would allow for his unlimited re-election 
Already Mr. Chávez controls the congress, the courts, the electoral commission and most state and city governments. He has nationalized the telephone company and main power company and increased government control over the oil industry.
He is pushing through this referendum and circumventing the nation's Constitution:

 
The Catholic Church, evangelical Christian pastors, many unions and professional associations, and most law-school deans and university rectors have condemned the proposed constitutional changes. They said the referendum is illegal because the only way to make such deep changes is through a constitutional convention.
Unlike previous "elections" which were monitored by foreign observers (and whose own monitoring, by the way, was widely criticized as being rent with fraud  this referendum will not have any oversight-Venezuela did not invite electoral observers from the Organization of American States or the European Unions to monitor the voting. This clears the way for Chavez and his allies to fabricate the referendum's outcome. Jimmy Carter -who played a role in validating Chavez's past election as President by validating the widely criticized voting procedures in the last election-must be feeling unloved.

My question-where are the Democrat leaders who have supported Chavez in the past? Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan)-head of the House Judiciary Committee-where are you when another nation's laws are being trampled? Congressman William Delahunt (D-Mass)-wo established a Venezuela Caucus to show "friendship to President Chavez"-are you suffering from laryngitis? Congressman Markey (D-Mass) who lapped up cheap Venezualan oil for his constituents (a form of bribery) have you lost your morals?

How about Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) who also imbibed the bribery of cheap oil for his district's voters? Joseph Kennedy-a former Congressman-and a Democrat, needless to say-how about taking a stand opposing the imposition of a dictatorship? After all, your uncle and father opposed Fidel Castro in their day-have you too lost your principles?
If I recall,there is the equivalent of a Chavez Caucus in Congress. Where are they now when Chavez is in the process of imposing a dictatorship in Venezuela?

He has already expropriated private property (including assets of American-owned firms) and restricted free speech in his nation (the networks he has shut down, the papers that are now closed).

Now he is on the verge of "winning" a referendum that
will lead to a permanent dictatorship-lifetime tenure, no term limits- that gives him unlimited power to suspend due process, censor news organizations, control all government funds with no oversight or transparency, handpick leaders for new administrative regions he wants to create, and give him  a raft of powers that should shock the conscience of any Democratic who believes in his party's principles.

The proposed changes would eliminate the central bank's independence, sharply limit the role and definition of private property and emasculate the powers of governors and mayors, allowing Mr. Chávez to literally redraw the political map of Venezuela. Under the new charter, Mr. Chávez could unilaterally set and dispose of the nation's foreign-currency reserves. He would be able to appoint or dismiss vice presidents who would rule over the country's 24 states, which he intends to group into six to eight regions.

Perhaps, most important for Mr. Chávez, the changes would allow for his unlimited re-election 
Already Mr. Chávez controls the congress, the courts, the electoral commission and most state and city governments. He has nationalized the telephone company and main power company and increased government control over the oil industry.
He is pushing through this referendum and circumventing the nation's Constitution:

 
The Catholic Church, evangelical Christian pastors, many unions and professional associations, and most law-school deans and university rectors have condemned the proposed constitutional changes. They said the referendum is illegal because the only way to make such deep changes is through a constitutional convention.
Unlike previous "elections" which were monitored by foreign observers (and whose own monitoring, by the way, was widely criticized as being rent with fraud  this referendum will not have any oversight-Venezuela did not invite electoral observers from the Organization of American States or the European Unions to monitor the voting. This clears the way for Chavez and his allies to fabricate the referendum's outcome. Jimmy Carter -who played a role in validating Chavez's past election as President by validating the widely criticized voting procedures in the last election-must be feeling unloved.

My question-where are the Democrat leaders who have supported Chavez in the past? Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan)-head of the House Judiciary Committee-where are you when another nation's laws are being trampled? Congressman William Delahunt (D-Mass)-wo established a Venezuela Caucus to show "friendship to President Chavez"-are you suffering from laryngitis? Congressman Markey (D-Mass) who lapped up cheap Venezualan oil for his constituents (a form of bribery) have you lost your morals?

How about Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) who also imbibed the bribery of cheap oil for his district's voters? Joseph Kennedy-a former Congressman-and a Democrat, needless to say-how about taking a stand opposing the imposition of a dictatorship? After all, your uncle and father opposed Fidel Castro in their day-have you too lost your principles?