Hugo Chavez: President for Life?

Leave it to Hugo Chavez to prove every nasty thing anyone ever said about him is true.

Experts have been predicting for years that Chavez would find a way to stay in power indefinitely. His apologists denigrated that notion, praising him for his visionary policies and his concern for the poor.

Perhaps it is time for those who have shamelessly defended this anti-American nutcase to reassess their support:

President Hugo Chávez will unveil a project to change the Constitution on Wednesday that is expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely, a move that would enhance his authority to accelerate a socialist-inspired transformation of Venezuelan society.

The removal of term limits for Mr. Chávez, which is at the heart of the proposal, is expected to be accompanied by measures circumscribing the authority of elected governors and mayors, who would be prevented from staying in power indefinitely, according to versions of the project leaked in recent weeks.

Willian Lara, the communications minister, said Mr. Chávez would announce the project before the National Assembly, where all 167 lawmakers support the president. Supporters of Mr. Chávez, who was re-elected last year with some 60 percent of the vote, also control the Supreme Court, the entire federal bureaucracy, public oil and infrastructure companies and every state government but two.
There is little hope he can be stopped. The opposition to Chavez is fragmented and disorganized. And since his crackdown on the last independent TV station in Venezuela, there is no mass media in the country left to oppose him.

He has carried out his campaign to achieve dictatorship much like his idol did more than 40 years ago. Fidel Castro also took some time, gradually consolidating his power until he was the sole authority in Cuba. Castro's rhetoric and tactics have been aped by Chavez to the point that he is on the verge of succeeding in his quest to completely control Venezuelan society.

Watch for the outlawing of opposition parties next along with the arrest of opposition leaders. Because for all his rhetoric about change and revolution, Chavez is proving himself to be nothing more than a typical Latin American thug that we have seen in the past.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky