Hugo Chavez to become dictator-for-life

The political fun continues in Venezuela, as Hugo Chavez announces his plans to ammend the Venezuelan constitution to remove term limits. Specifically, he wants to remove the term limits that prevent him from seeking re-election again, and has declared that this is essential to the success of his plans.

Is there anyone out there who can’t see where this is heading? The guy wants to be the next Stalin or Mao.

We could have guessed. But still, and within limits, it is a matter for the Venezuelans to deal with.

Most reasonable people saw where this was heading five years ago, except for the usual nutbars on the Latin American left who continue to chase the asinine dreams of socialism.

He’s already taken over most of the media and nationalized what little private infrastructure there was. It’s only a matter of time before he starts blaming the inevitable economic chaos on anyone he can imprison or kill. Of course, it will all be the fault of the CIA and the eeeeevil Americans, instead of his stupid populist policies which are doomed to failure.

I had high hopes that the collapse of the Soviet Union would have put an end to this bullshit, but somehow the world keeps producing Chavezes and Mugabes and Kim Jong Ils. Oh well.

Tonight I am enjoying a great pre-communist Russian invention (vodka) and I will make a toast to the free world, such as it is.

“Dictator for Life” is a very finite term. Especially when the Marines get involved…

Next on the dictator-for-life list: Vladimir Putin.

Would it interest anyone that this term “dictator for life” goes back to 1827, with the leader of Paraguay?

I believe there was also a certain Mr. Caesar who made claim to that title.

Is “Dictator-For-Life” an electred position?

It interests me. Thanks for that extraordinarily obscure tidbit.

I don’t think that’s strictly true- Caesar took off a crown when it was offered him by Marc Antony. The senate believed that this gesture was intended to fool the population into giving Caesar the time to become Emperor and so they killed him. Now, they were probably right, but I don’t think Caesar ever claimed the throne. Besides, he sure wouldn’t have called himself “dictator for life”, and that’s the bit Samclem was discussing- there were certainly total despots before 1827.

This leads to an interesting question.

Would this have happened if the opposition party had not boycotted the 2004(?) elections, thus making every single member of the Venezuelan national assembly a supporter of Chavez? Or would he have just had all of the opposition ‘‘disappearred’’ anyways?

I’ve been wondering this for a while.

Well, someone has to take up the standard after Fidel kicks, and goodness knows, Hugo has been kissing his ass for long enough.

I’m not qualified to make this judgement, but I think Chavez is a certified whacko.

I expect Samclem was referring to the fact that Caesar was proclaimed “dictator for life” by the Senate in 45 BC.

That’s my take. Even with the removal of a limit on the number of terms he can serve, Chavez still faces elections, and Venezuelans could still vote him out if they are not happy with him.

Remember that the US had no presidential term limits for over 150 years. (That is, no limit on the number of times an individual could be elected to a four-year term.)

I’d be curious as to why you’re lumping Chavez together with two despots who are responsible for many thousands of deaths. Is Chavez, too, responsible for the deaths of thousands of his countrymen?

No, & you raise a good point.

In Latin America, Populism = Anti-Americanism + Seizing control of foreign-held assets.

Is Chavez a true Communist in the Soviet mode? No. No collective farms.

Is he a radical? Yes.

But the US never had someone nationalize the media and most infrastructure.

John Adams and the Federalists took a shot at squelching dissent. But of course that doesn’t make it right.

I am not familiar with what Chavez has done to the media. Nationalizing the oil fields wouldn’t bother me as much as squelching dissent.

I suppose international election monitors can tell us whether the next election is fair. If it is not, then Chavez loses any credibility he might hope to retain.

Not yet. Just give him a few years.

The century’s young, and so is Chavez.

Nah, he’ll just do like his mentor Fidel and imprison anyone who disagrees with him.