Why checks and balances? Check out Venezuela today.

During our school days, we learned of those "checks and balances" in our U.S. Constitution.  My guess is that it was a bit abstract and theoretical for most American kids.  I had the advantage of Cuban parents who taught us to value freedom and the personal experience of watching an absolute dictatorship at work. Our friend Fausta Wertz, the editor of Fausta's Blog, has brought this letter from Leopoldo Lopez to our attention.  Mr. Lopez is sitting in jail in Venezuela.  It describes how his homeland is moving further and further into a ruthless dictatorship: When the current ruling party, the United Socialist Party, first took power in 1999, its supporters viewed human rights as a luxury, not a necessity. Large segments of the population were living in poverty, and in need of food, housing and security. Protecting free speech and the separation of powers seemed frivolous. In the name of expediency, these values were compromised...(Read Full Post)