Sunday, January 18, 2009

Venezuela: Dictatorship for Dummies

Venezuela: Dictatorship for Dummies
by Mary Anastasia O'Grady


Optimists have long theorized that Venezuela's Hugo Chávez would meet his Waterloo with the burst of the petroleum bubble. But with oil prices down some 75% from their highs last year and the jackboot of the regime still firmly planted on the nation's neck, that theory requires revisiting.

It is true that popular discontent with chavismo has been rising as oil prices have been falling. The disillusionment is even likely to increase in the months ahead as the economy swoons. But having used the boom years to consolidate power and destroy all institutional checks and balances, Mr. Chávez has little incentive to return the country to political pluralism even if most Venezuelans are sick of his tyranny. If anything, he is apt to become more aggressive and dangerous as the bloom comes off his revolutionary rose in 2009 and he feels more threatened.

Certainly "elections" can't be expected to matter much. Mr. Chávez now controls the entire electoral process, from voter rolls to tallying totals after the polls have closed. Under enormous public pressure he accepted defeat in his 2007 bid for constitutional reforms designed to make him president for life. But so what? That loss allowed him to maintain the guise of democracy, and now he has decided that there will be another referendum on the same question in February. Presumably Venezuela will repeat this exercise until the right answer is produced.

All police states hold "elections." But they also specialize in combining the state's monopoly use of force with a monopoly in economic power and information control. Together these three weapons easily quash dissent. Venezuela is a prime example.

The Venezuelan government is now a military government. Mr. Chávez purged the armed forces leadership in 2002 and replaced fired officers with those loyal to his socialist cause. Like their counterparts in Cuba, these elevated comandantes are well compensated. Lack of transparency makes it impossible to know just how much they get paid for their loyalty, but it is safe to say that they have not been left out of the oil fiesta that compliant chavistas have enjoyed over the past decade. Even if the resource pool shrinks this year, neither their importance nor their rewards are likely to diminish.

Mr. Chávez has also taken over the Metropolitan Police in Caracas, imported Cuban intelligence agents, and armed his own Bolivarian militias, whose job it is to act as neighborhood enforcers. Should Venezuelans decide that they are tired of one-man rule, chavismo has enough weapons on hand to convince them otherwise.

Yet the art of dictatorship has been greatly refined since Stalin killed millions of his own people. Modern tyrants understand that there are many ways to manipulate their subjects and most do not require the use of force.

One measure that Mr. Chávez relies on heavily is control of the narrative. In government schools children are indoctrinated in Bolivarian thought. Meanwhile the state has stripped the media of its independence and now dominates all free television in the country. This allows the government to marinate the poor in Mr. Chávez's antimarket dogma. His captive audiences are told repeatedly that hardship of every sort -- including headline inflation of 31% last year -- is the result of profit makers, middlemen and consumerism.

The Orwellian screen is also used to stir up nationalist sentiment against foreign devils, like the U.S., Colombia and Israel. The audience has witnessed violence in Gaza through the lens of Hamas, and last week Mr. Chávez made a show of expelling the Israeli ambassador from Caracas.

Investments in revolution around South America may have to be pared back as revenues drop. But outreach to Iran and Syria is likely to continue since those relations may serve as a source of financing Mr. Chávez's military buildup. In December, the Italian daily La Stampa reported that it has seen evidence of a pact between Caracas and Tehran in which Iran uses Venezuelan aircraft for arms trafficking and Venezuela gets military aid in return. This month Turkish officials intercepted an Iranian shipment bound for Venezuela that reportedly contained materials for making explosives.

Despite all this, the most effective police-state tool remains Mr. Chávez's control over the economy. The state freely expropriates whatever it wants -- a shopping center in Caracas is Mr. Chávez's latest announced taking -- and economic freedom is dead. Moreover, the state has imposed strict capital controls, making saving or trading in hard currency impossible. Analysts are predicting another large devaluation of the bolivar in the not-too-distant future. The private sector has been wiped out, except for those who have thrown in their lot with the tyrant.

The drop in oil revenues may impoverish the state, but the opposition is even poorer. Organizing a rebellion against a less-rich Chávez remains a formidable task.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Venezuela Glance 2008

Venezuela Glance 2008

Check the following link. Chavez is going down.

http://www.vdebate.org/archive/the_economist_02_dec.pdf

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The day after: Analyzing the results and the political future of Venezuela

Excellent!!!
Monday, December 03, 2007
The day after: Analyzing the results and the political future of Venezuela
by Miguel Octavio

A Chavez blow up doll lies on the victory platform that was never used in downtown Caracas

I have a case of electoral hangover. It was tense last night, but the tiredness can’t be justified by the short hours of sleep, it is more associated with the tension and expectations of last night. I feel tired, but there is also certain exhilaration with the victory. Thus, it is time to take stock and look at the meaning of what happened yesterday and what may mean to the future of Venezuela:

The Results: It is my understanding that the No lead is wider than what was reported by the CNE, between 4 to 5% points. Curiously, there have been no more reports from the Electoral Board since the first one last night, once again proving what a joke the best electoral system in the world has become. A full 24 hours after the polls closed and we do not know officially even what abstention was like, other than unofficial numbers. Thus, it would seem premature to say anything about the numbers in detail. When they are available I will do that.
However, at first glance it would seem from the polls that the NO should have won by more than what was reported if abstention was truly around 44-45%. I am hearing that this was in fact the case and that as part of the agreement with the military and Chávez, the first report was supposed to show a small difference, which will widen as the remainder 10% of the vote is counted.

Behind the Scenes: Multiple reliable sources are saying that having Chávez accept the results was no easy task. In fact, a good source told me that at some point the CNE President almost announced a Si victory by a slim margin, which was stopped only because General Baduel threatened to come on stage and call the fraud if she did this. In the end the military and Baduel prevailed in defending institutionality. Baduel and the military reportedly played a key role in forcing Chavez to accept his defeat or otherwise the military will call it a coup.

Chavez in some sense acknowledge this last night, when he refereed to his “dilemma” and the fact that he no longer had one. Chavez tacitly admitted that he had known the results for three hours and that the results created a dilemma for him and that even if he tried to refer to the Electoral Board as an independent institution, in the end it was his decision. He went as far as mentioning that he even had long consultations with his Ministers and the Cabinet.

In a country with true independent institutions, whether or when to announce a result should have nothing to do with the Executive branch. The Electoral Board may have the courtesy of informing the winners and losers right before the announcement, but Chávez clearly proved why there are no independent powers in Venezuela and why institutionality is so weak: he fails to recognize where he should stop meddling and interfering with independent branches of power. It was not his dilemma, he was interfering with institutions.


It also shows why our democracy is weak.

If the military has to act at each tough junction in our democratic life in order to restore institutionality, it means that our politicians do not yet understand what a functional democracy should be and act like.
This lack of institutionality extends to the CNE which acted in a very partisan way during the campaign and which last night did little to restore complete trust in its functions by unnecessarily delaying the release of the results and barring the way of the totalization room to the witnesses of the No vote. This was totally undemocratic and in violation of the law. Moreover, the long times to report suggest either they are not doing their job or the automation system is useless. In a country with true institutionality, everyone should be asking for their resignation. They performed poorly and by doing so, continued raising suspicions about their biased role in the process.


Chavez’ Speech:

Not gracious at all. First of all, he should not have extended himself so much. He should have said he recognized the victory of the No and not go into more details, least of all when after one hour he said that he would keep it short. Those abroad should remember that while Chavez was speaking, all TV and radio stations were forced to carry his speech. The supporters of the NO, the winners in this race, were egoistically denied watching their own side celebrate.
Chávez also tried to turn the loss into a victory, which is valid, but certainly not very believable for a man used to winning elections handily. The voters said they did not like his proposal, the voters rejected his socialism, the voters rejected his indefinite reelection, but Chavez still said that he would not remove one comma from his proposal and there will be other times for that fight. Thus, Chavez was showing how he likes to impose his will without discussion, rather than use the tools of democracy: negotiation, discussion and concession in order to reach a consensus. He cannot accept an opinion different than his; he cannot admit different ways of accomplishing things. Despite the evidence of the No victory, he plans to continue to push his project intact, which may be his demise.


It was good of Chávez to accept his defeat. I confess I never believed he would. In fact, I still think he may surprise us in the days ahead. Recall how the days after the April 2002 events Chavez was contrite after coming back. He apologized to everyone, he spoke of a consensus, he asked for forgiveness, only to come back with vengeance to stop any investigation of what happened those days, to destroy PDVSA and its workers and return back to his Cabinet the same political operators that were with him during the days leading up to the tragedy of April 2002.

Thus, as Baduel suggested last night, Chávez is likely to push the whole agenda of Constitutional reform using other means. In fact, as was discussed numerous times, most of the things in the Constitutional reform proposal did not need to be there. Many were somewhat irrelevant except to have Chavez have more control of the institutions, but economically and socially he still has an Enabling Bill to pass many of the proposals rejected by the voters via decrees, which require no approval or even being known by the people.
Clearly, Chavez did not see last night’s votes as a rejection of what he proposes but a temporary setback for his plans. That is bad news, as he will certainly will try to press it forward again in the future.

Why the No won:

There were numerous factors.

First, the proposal was not only clearly illegal but became more and more complex and questionable as time went on. Voters had rejected the indefinite reelection from day one, but other parts of their proposal were attractive to some sectors because of their populist content. However, the administration always seemed to be in a rush and as more components were added, the sense that Chavez and the Assembly wanted to push it through without discussion became dominant. To many, the proposal was long, complex, and unnecessary and in the end raised more doubts than it created answers.
The students played a key role in the process. The student movement got involved at levels orders of magnitude above what they had done in the last nine years on concerns over the future of their autonomous universities and the cancellation of the concession for RCTV. The students were well organized, had a wide reach and had a message of conciliation, which was truly important. Even more importantly, they have families and Chavez did nothing but insult their kids.
The state of the economy also played a key role. There have been shortages since June, which have only accentuated in the last few months. Despite claims by the Government that milk supplies will be normalized shortly, to this date it has simply not happened. Add to that the periodic disappearance of various items; some of them permanently, other sporadically and there is a widespread belief that something is not right with the Government.
Inflation has also played an important role. While Government ministers continued to say the new financial transaction tax would have no effect on inflation, the CPI reached a whopping 4.4% level for the month prior to the election, with food inflation topping 7% for the month of November alone! Chavez should fire the genius that came up with the idea of this tax immediately before the referendum. So should be those in the economic team that have managed to screw things up so badly.
In the end Chávez has two problems in terms of managing the economy: Management and Ideology.

Management because his team is always picked on the basis of absolute loyalty to the revolution and not ability or even knowledge.

Ideology, because his infinite belief in an incompetent and corrupt public sector, combined with scaring away investment while trying to increase the supply of goods are simply incompatible. Thus, the Government continues direct assistance programs, which create demand, but supply can only be satisfied via imports. The day oil drops, even by a small margin, the whole system will simply collapse.

The opposition political parties played a significant role only in that once they felt the tide created by the students, they fell in step with them, letting them take the lead and joining them. In the end, only Escarrá did not publicly call to go out and vote, about all other political groups calling for people to go vote NO, creating more momentum than expected for the No.

Podemos, Baduel and Chavez’ former wife also played a significant role, particularly in giving credibility and validity to voting against Chavez even if you were Chavista. Baduel seems to have player a larger role within the military, Podemos in driving out the vote and Mrs. Rodriguez playing the role of victim In the end going forward, it is Baduel who clearly seems to have the larger role. He played it right and won.

The implications of the victory:

First of all it was a great victory, this can never be minimized, no matter how rough things may be going forward. There are many edges to the victory. First, it was a victory for institutionality even if it was rocky at some points. This is the main victory achieved yesterday, as the loss will impose a limit in what Chavez can and not do going forward, even if he tries.
Second, there is an important victory in knowing that it is possible to defeat Chavez. That is very important, as up to now Chavez has had an image of invincibility whether by honest vote or not, that has now been destroyed with the victory of the NO. Chávez tried to turn the referendum on the reform into plebiscite on his rule, he lost it. This is very significant. With 44% abstention, 28% of the population voted for the SI, 28% of the population voted for Chavez, that is precisely the number of hardcore Chavismo in polls. 72% of Venezuelans did not support Chavez or his reform.
The implications of this are very significant. For the opposition, it will mean that abstention and participation will be much more important in the future. People will no longer say they are not participating because Chavez will cheat or it is hopeless. This will become a significant difference in the future (Even if there was cheating in the end!)
For Chavismo the victory of the NO is also very significant. To begin with, it is no longer taboo to go against Chavez. You may go do it and if the Government does not create a new Tascon/Chavez list, it may encourage others in the future to go and vote against the President.
But more importantly, to those that hold important positions within Chavismo, there is also an important message implied: Chavez is not there forever and if one day Chavismo has to leave Government they may be called to account for themselves and their actions and decisions in power (As well as their wealth!)
But even more significantly, Chavez has been weakened by the loss. It is my belief that in the upcoming days Chavez will continue to press his agenda forward as he stated it yesterday. Some of his supporters at high level will follow him, other will not. This may create a deep division within Chavismo, as those that have their own personal ambitions and understand that Chavez lost with his proposal, will decide to split from his side and start their own movements. In the end, the balance of how many are left on his side will decide how strong he is in the end.
Chavez could only gain strength by doing exactly what I don’t expect him to do: Reach out to all Venezuelans to establish a common agenda. That is not his style, as he has proven over and over and proved once again last night saying that his proposal had not been approved “For now”, trying to relive events and a phrase relevant in a different context, which happened long ago and which, while relevant to him personally, are not considered by most Venezuelans to be part of their history, least of all to the students protesting in the streets who were still young kids when Chavez staged his bloody coup in 1992.
To these students, it is the reality of what is happening today that matters and as Baduel said in his Op-Ed Saturday:
“Venezuelan society faces a broad array of problems that have not been addressed in the eight years Mr. Chávez has been in office, even though the present Constitution offers ample room for any decent, honest government to do so. Inflation, threats to personal safety, a scarcity of basic supplies, a housing shortage and dismal education and health care are problems that will not be resolved by approving this so-called reform.”
That is reality also for the students and their families and not a now irrelevant fight between Chavez and Carlos Andres Perez or Accion Democrática.
Baduel is calling for a Constituent Assembly in the belief that the results of the referendum require a new National Assembly in which all parts are represented. Others believe this is unnecessary and that Chavez can be recalled under the 1999 Constitution in 2009. Chavez will likely try to press his socialist agenda, very similar to the proposed reform, but via the enabling Bill as he can’t introduce another Constitutional reform. The latter will in the end determine how the future of Venezuelan politics develops. Given the deterioration of the economy, Chavez may be playing a losers game, as dissatisfaction by the voters will only grow in the upcoming months and his popular support as well as that of those that surround him, may vanish, leaving him almost alone, holding a losing hand.

http://blogs.salon.com/0001330/

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Venezuela's Lame-Duck Dictator

Venezuela's Lame-Duck Dictator
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted Monday, December 03, 2007 4:20 PM PT Latin America:
Could Hugo Chavez's stinging defeat in Venezuela's power-grab referendum Sunday be the beginning of the end for the dictator?
Yes, but in sliding downward, Chavez is unlikely to go willingly.Like other Venezuelan votes, the outcome of this referendum didn't have much resemblance to the projected outcome.
News agencies and Chavista media had it as a slam dunk for Chavez, saying he'd won by a margin of five to 14 points. But by mid-evening, Chavista victory celebrations were being called off. A stream of leaks from the CNE electoral board overnight suggested a stunning defeat.
Chavez at his press conference Monday: Downcast for good reason.Chavez dropped his usual presidential balcony announcement, and instead slunk in, stunned, to a palace conference room near midnight and admitted the defeat.
That followed a four-hour session with advisers, including the military. The generals were important, because they let Chavez know that they wouldn't shoot protesters if it became obvious he was lying about the results.
The military's position was reflected Saturday in a New York Times op-ed in which the ousted defense minister, Gen. Raul Baduel, opposed the referendum as "contrary to human nature.
"Too many people knew the truth, and unlike other suspect Venezuelan elections, any lie couldn't be hidden.
The official count shows Chavez losing 49 to 51, but the empty poll stations around the slums of Caracas suggest a wider spread. Abstention in Chavez strongholds was as high as 44%, and an estimated 500,000 followers stayed away while the opposition, led by Venezuela's courageous students, defeated the 69-point proposal.
Small wonder.
The constitutional "reforms" that Chavez wanted would have extended his presidency indefinitely, letting him handpick local overlords, exact revenge on media critics and confiscate private property at his whim.Even the dimmest of Chavista voters could see that a successful referendum would likely mean the last time they would ever vote.
Shantytown dwellers who form Chavez's political base had repeatedly expressed fear that their hovels could be taken away.Already they could see ample evidence of tyranny. Last May, Chavez shut down their favorite TV station, RCTV, depriving them of the only entertainment they could afford and triggering the student protests that have covered the streets all year.
Meanwhile, stores are empty of basic staples and lines are long. Chavista price controls and abuse of businesses have emptied shelves of rice, pasta, chicken, salt, milk, eggs and even toilet paper.
Chavez's incompetence was one sign of weakness. Overseas, there were even more. After the king of Spain told the dictator to "shut up" last month, the world hasn't stopped laughing while global entrepreneurs rack up $100 million in ring tone and T-shirt sales. Meanwhile, the discovery of vast offshore oil reserves in Brazil ended the perception that Chavez has an energy monopoly and that oil prices will always be high.
Chavez also looked weak after a spat with another neighbor, Colombia. Chavez vowed to cut off trade after exchanging harsh words with Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, but couldn't. This reminded voters that Venezuela needs Colombia for goods.
Weakness repels voters, and now Chavez — deprived of Castro-like powers — faces new problems. For one, his economic model is unsustainable. After he crashes the economy, he will face questions about his massive state spending, his takeover of private industries, his demonizing of foreign investment and his over-dependence on oil exports.
With crude prices easing, some forecasters expect Venezuela's economy to crash by mid-2008.
Expect a witch hunt to pin blame for the referendum loss. With Chavez seen a loser, he's unlikely to attract lieutenants and his government may degenerate into backbiting. He could even lose his empire. His de facto colony, Bolivia, is engulfed in civil unrest over similar constitutional changes, and its government could be overthrown.
Ecuador, another ally, could move into a more independent orbit. Meanwhile, the opposition will have room to strengthen. It's been down for a long time, but it no longer faces a brick wall. As Daniel Duquenal, who writes the excellent Venezuela News & Views blog, summed it up for IBD: "Chavez still holds enormous state power, but now he no longer controls people."

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Friday, November 30, 2007

In Chavez Territory, signs of dissent

In Chávez Territory, Signs of Dissent
By
SIMON ROMERO
Published: November 30, 2007
CARACAS,
Venezuela, Nov. 29 — Three days before a referendum that would vastly expand the powers of President Hugo Chavez, this city’s streets were packed with tens of thousands of opponents to the change on Thursday, a sign that Venezuelans may be balking at placing so much authority in the hands of one man.
Demonstrators at a rally in Caracas against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's proposed constitutional changes.

Even some of Mr. Chavez’s most fervent supporters are beginning to show signs of hesitation at supporting the constitutional changes he is promoting, including ending term limits for the president and greatly centralizing his authority.
New fissures are emerging among his once-cohesive supporters, pointing to the toughest test at the polls for Mr. Chavez in his nine-year presidency.
In the slums of the capital, where some of the president’s staunchest backers live amid the cinder block hovels, debate over the changes has grown more intense in recent days.
“Chávez is delirious if he thinks we’re going to follow him like sheep,” said Ivonne Torrealba, 29, a hairdresser in Coche who supported Mr. Chávez in every election beginning with his first campaign for president in 1998. “If this government cannot get me milk or asphalt for our roads, how is it going to give my mother a pension?”
Both Mr. Chávez and his critics say opinion polls show they will prevail, suggesting a highly contentious outcome. For the first time in years, Venezuela did not invite electoral observers from the
Organization of American States and the European Union, opening the government to claims of fraud if he wins.
Violence has already marked the weeks preceding to the vote. Two students involved in antigovernment protests claimed they were kidnapped and tortured this week by masked men in Barquisimeto, an interior city. And in Valencia, another city, a supporter of Mr. Chávez was shot dead this week in an exchange of gunfire at a protest site.
Tension has also been heightened by rare criticism of the constitutional overhaul from a breakaway party in Mr. Chávez’s coalition in the National Assembly and former confidants of the president, and the government has reacted to this dissent by describing it as “treason.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Chávez and senior officials here have exhibited increasingly erratic behavior ahead of the referendum. Mr. Chávez has lashed out at leaders in Colombia and Spain and asked for an investigation into whether CNN was seeking to incite an assassination attempt against him.
Reports of such plots are not in short supply here. State television also broadcast coverage this week of a memorandum in Spanish claimed to be written by the
C.I.A. in which destabilization plans against Mr. Chávez were laid out. A spokesman for the United States embassy here was unavailable for comment on the report.
Other analysts, including investigators who had previously uncovered financing of Venezuelan opposition groups by the United States government, expressed doubts about the authenticity of the memo, dubbed by Venezuelan officials as part of a plan called “Operation Pliers.”
“I find the document quite suspect,” said Jeremy Bigwood, an independent researcher in Washington. “There’s not an original version in English, and the timing of its release is strange. Everything about it smells bad.”
The simple home of Ms. Torrealba, the hairdresser, located near open sewage alongside a deafening highway in southwestern Caracas, is a case in point. Last December, she and her siblings awoke at dawn with fireworks to celebrate Mr. Chávez’s re-election to a six-year term, which he won with 63 percent of the vote.
This year, the mood in Ms. Torrealba’s home is glum. Her sister, Yohana Torrealba, 20, said she was alarmed by what she viewed as political intimidation by teachers in Misión Ribas, a social welfare program where she takes remedial high-school-level courses.
“The instructors told us we had to vote in favor and demonstrate on the streets for Chávez,” Yohana Torrealba said. “They want Venezuela to become like Cuba.”
Throughout the slums of Coche, confusion persists about how life could change if the constitutional changes are approved. Many residents who own their homes, however humble they may be, fear the government could take control of their property, despite efforts to dispel those fears by Mr. Chávez’s government.
Others wonder what will happen to the mayor and the governor they elected if Mr. Chávez wins the power to handpick rulers for new administrative regions he wants to create. Still others said they were afraid of voting against the proposal out of concern the government could discriminate against its opponents if their vote is made public.
But Mr. Chávez also commands an unrivaled political machine, with his supporters controlling every major institution of government and the loyalty of many voters in Coche and elsewhere. “It’s a lie that they’re going to take our houses away,” said Yanelcy Maitán, 40. “No one has done more for the poor than Chávez.”

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Students agreed today: they will vote NO!!!

The intention to abstain is still running high, however, and only a few of the opposition spokesmen have called on voters to go out and vote NO.
Distrust of the CNE continues to be strong, and the “reform” route is recognized by most as illegitimate, but the encouraging trend favoring the NO could change that soon.
In addition to Petkoff, Baduel and Ismael Garcia of PODEMOS, Manuel Rosales has now also called on voters to do so, and the students will take the same position on the occasion of their march this Wednesday 21.
The parties that are part of the hard liners in the opposition led by Antonio Ledezma, Oscar Perez, Oswaldo Alvarez Paz and Hermann Escarra continue, but probably not for long, to call for the cancellation of the referendum and abstention.
It appears increasingly likely that the “reform” proposal will not pass.
In such an event, but also in the case of a YES victory by a small margin, the political damage to Chávez will be irreversible. Last Friday the anti-government candidates in the elections to the student bodies of the UCV received more than 4 times the votes of the Chavista slate.
Chávez could however limit the damage to his hold on power and sidestep an unavoidable debacle by instructing the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to decide in favor of one of the sixteen requests before it to postpone or cancel the referendum.
However, Chávez also did say in a press conference to the foreign correspondents last week that “elections are just one strategic option in building socialism”.
Tampering with the electronic voting machines is not likely to represent a great temptation, even if no international observers will be present on 2 December. 50% of the ballot boxes will be opened and their contents checked against the numbers of the corresponding voting machines. Opposition parties and ngo’s are organizing a nation-wide operation combining exit polls and a quick-count (tasks that are mainly being organized by Un Nuevo Tiempo).
A large part of the population, quite possibly half of it, feels that it is about to lose its identity, values and very livelihood, and is decided to vigorously defend its rights under any circumstance. The other half is split 3 to 2 between those that feel Chávez is not a bad person but that he is slightly off the rocker, and those that love him passionately and fear that rejection of the reform proposal would lead to the loss of their recently acquired benefits and political priority.
But all generally agree that the “reform” proposal is not necessary to improve governance.
Victory of the YES would spell deep instability, and victory of the NO is certainly no guarantee of normalcy.
The “reform” is proving to be Chávez gravest political mistake since his first election to the Presidency, and regardless of the results of the referendum his government will have lost its legitimacy as of the evening of 2 December.
It will have been the result of a long and drawn out process that started even before his reelection last December, and which has been closely followed by the entire nation. This learning process bodes well for a relatively peaceful resolution of Venezuela’s grave crisis of governance.

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General Raul Baduel - Chavez Coup d' etat

I believe this Baduel, he is advising Chavez that he is going the wrong way ......
vdebate reporter
It is against this background that General Raul Baduel (no longer active, but until July Minister of Defense and a Chávez loyalist and close friend) shook the country by stating that the “reform” proposal constituted a coup d’ etat and that the Executive and the Legislative had kidnapped the constituent powers belonging to the people.
He also called on his former comrades in arms to carefully read the “reform” proposal and reflect on its contents, and on all Venezuelans to vote NO on 2 December, as it is the last opportunity, he said, to secure democracy peacefully.
General Baduel, has changed the internal dynamics of the chavista movement by separating allegiance to the Comandante- Presidente from the substance of the “reform” proposal.
General Baduel, who is close to the PODEMOS party (particularly to Didalco Bolivar, the governor of Aragua) has been speaking to groups in the interior of Venezuela and has used a second press conference to call on Chávez to withdraw the “reform” proposal, and on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to decide in favor of one of the many requests it has received to cancel the referendum.
Baduel is one of the original members of the “Saman de Guere” oath administered by Chávez to overturn the previous political order. He is highly respected in the Armed Forces for his principled leadership and professionalism, and he has a significant following of officers after a successful 30 year career in the army.
In addition, his youngest daughter is Chávez godchild.
His statements have opened the floodgates to many Venezuelans who now feel free to openly denounce Chávez and his policies, and for a large number of Chavistas to follow the path of “Chávez si, reforma no”, as chavista leader Gina Gonzalez of the Telares de Palo Grande barrio proposes. Baduel is bound to play an increasingly important role in the future.

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Venezuelan Students Protest Chavez

Students are Venezuelans new heroes now, after politicians have had so many mistakes fighting against Chavez.
vdebater reporter
The country had been stunned into paralysis by the “reform” proposal, but since the first week of November Venezuelans appear not to be dealing with anything else.
Every day student marches take place in the main cities, in particular in Caracas, Merida, San Cristobal, Maracaibo, Valencia, Barquisimeto and even Barcelona-Puerto La Cruz, a Chávez stronghold.
As of tomorrow these marches are expected to grow larger as people from all walks of life start joining them.A new leadership is fast emerging from the student movement. Intelligent, committed, courageous, highly articulate and from all social classes.
They represent a new, broader-based opposition movement that includes mainly the lower middle class and the poor who had not been politically active, many formerly part of Chávez’ political base.
The government had not used violence in order to disperse the marching students but has now started to repress them with its gangs of hoodlums on motorcycles, as shown on a particularly damning video of the 7 November armed persecution of protesting students on the campus of the UCV (Universidad Central de Venezuela), and which ended with three students wounded by bullets.
The movement has only continued to grow and gain speed.

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Constitutional Reform - Vote NO - Venezuela

Learn why we don't want these changes past.
Summary on Venezuela
Caracas, 20 November 2007
By Enrique ter Horst
The National Assembly submitted on 2 November to the National Electoral Council (CNE) the text containing changes to 69 articles of the Constitution, with the request to organize a referendum to approve or reject the proposed “reform” of the Constitution championed by President Chávez. The CNE has been organizing the referendum for 2 December, but published the full text of the changes on 12 November, allowing voters only 18 days to study the changes and make up their minds on how to vote.
Separate votes are to take place on two blocks of articles;

the first, called A, includes the changes originally proposed by the President, which were analyzed in the last summary, plus 13 new ones proposed by the Advisory Commission created by Chávez, and which include:

  • lowering the voting age to 16;
  • weakening the protection of intellectual property;
  • adopting a foreign policy geared to “establishing a pluripolar world, free of the hegemony of any imperialist power center..”
  • promoting integration and confederation (with Cuba?) and categorizing the foreign service as a “strategic activity of the state”;
  • defining the socio-economic regime of Venezuela as based on “socialist, anti imperialist and humanist principles” and dropping the present principles of “social justice;
  • democracy and free competition”;
  • making future constitutional amendments and reforms more difficult by increasing the number of voters able to initiate them from 15% to 20% (amendments) to 25% (reform) and to 30% for the convening of a Constituent Assembly, as well as increasing in all cases the minimum number of participating voters, but allowing the CNE to shorten the holding of a referendum from “in” 30 days to “within” 30 days.

The 23 articles of block B, described as the contribution of the Assembly but in fact also reflecting the views of the President, and produced only at the end of the third parliamentary discussion, include:

  • the suppression of the words “of all persons” after the words “rights and freedoms” to be guaranteed by the state in compliance with the principle of non discrimination.
  • significant increases in the percentages of voters required to request the organization of consultative (from 10% to 20%) and recall (from 20% to 30%) referenda, the annulment of laws (from 10% to 30%), as well as the annulment of laws promulgated by the President under enabling laws (from 5% to 30%);
    the participation of administrative staff in elections to choose University authorities;
  • the transfer to the central government of the income of states derived from non-metallic minerals, salt flats, and roads and highways
  • the functional subordination of state comptroller offices to the central National Comptrollers’ office;
    the substitution of civil society and of the law faculties as members of the postulation committees to select Supreme Court and National Electoral Council magistrates by spokesmen of the Poder Popular;
  • the exclusive authority of the President of the Republic and of his Council of Ministers to declare all states of exception (emergency) suspending constitutional rights, without any time limitation, eliminating the present requirement of securing approval of the decree declaring the state of exception by parliament within 8 days of having been dictated, as well as its submission to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice for its opinion on its constitutionality, canceling the guarantee of maintaining in such states the rights to due process, information and the protection of the remaining intangible human rights, and of ensuring their conformity with the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights and the American Convention of Human Rights, entrusting solely the President and his ministers with the decision of when the circumstances that gave rise to the imposition of such states of exception have ended.

The text of the proposal ends with 15 transitory provisions of which the most important ones are the first, listing fifteen laws constituting the backbone of the new revolutionary legal framework, and the ninth, authorizing the President to regulate by decree “the transition towards the socialist economy model” even before the principles included in article 112 of the new Constitution are developed.

Many expect the nationalization of all private banks, the cement producers and of the POLAR beverage and food conglomerate in early 2008, should the “reform” be approved.
The laws listed in the first transitory provision are the laws of the Poder Popular, of the Promotion of the Socialist Economy, of the Political and Territorial Organization of the Republic, of the Central Bank, of the National Fund of the Poder Popular, of the Municipal Branch, of the Foreign Service, of Hydrocarbons, of Gas, of the punishment of the crime of torture, of Labor, of the System of Justice, of the Social Security System, of the establishment of the Fund for Social Stability for self-employed workers, and of Education.
Chávez has announced that more than a hundred laws will be promulgated soon after the “reform” has been approved. It will be recalled that the Enabling Law authorizing the President to legislate by decree only lapses in mid 2008.Chávez’ radical proposal has forced Venezuelans to define themselves as either democrats opposing him and what he stands for, or old fashioned communists, fascists and/or opportunists supporting him.
This sounds caricaturesque, but is exactly what is happening.
Polarization of the electorate suits him well, as his popularity is more and more concentrated on the remaining affection of the poor in light of his dismal performance as a ruler. His campaign is designed to deepen polarization along support or rejection of his person (“SI, con Chávez”, “SIgue con Chávez”), threatening in his first campaign speech the “oligarchs of the east of Caracas” with a million people who would not leave stone on stone if they attempted another coup against his government.
Not surprisingly the government has shown little interest in allowing for an open discussion of his “reform” proposal, and the televised debates that had been foreseen for the second half of November have been cancelled.Chávez’ old magic is not working as well as it used to.
After almost nine years in power he has not addressed the worsening security situation in the poor barrios, the main concern of over 60% of the population, and the scarcity of basic food items like milk, meat, sugar and cooking oil is becoming more acute by the week. Although large shipments are supposed to arrive from Brazil before the referendum (a ship carrying Brazilian cattle sank a few miles outside of Puerto Cabello last week, and the dead animals have been washing ashore since), rice and pasta are expected to be the next to disappear from the shelves.
The MERCAL food distribution network is close to collapsing, most of its subsidized products finding their way to the black market, and two out of three of its outlets are simply not functioning, says Jesus Torrealba, the host of the popular Radar de los Barrios radio and TV program.
Many of the Cuban doctors of the Barrio Adentro program only survive because the people provide them with food and money, also according to Torrealba.
The country had been stunned into paralysis by the “reform” proposal, but since the first week of November Venezuelans appear not to be dealing with anything else. Every day student marches take place in the main cities, in particular in Caracas, Merida, San Cristobal, Maracaibo, Valencia, Barquisimeto and even Barcelona-Puerto La Cruz, a Chávez stronghold. As of tomorrow these marches are expected to grow larger as people from all walks of life start joining them.A new leadership is fast emerging from the student movement. Intelligent, committed, courageous, highly articulate and from all social classes.
They represent a new, broader-based opposition movement that includes mainly the lower middle class and the poor who had not been politically active, many formerly part of Chávez’ political base. The government had not used violence in order to disperse the marching students but has now started to repress them with its gangs of hoodlums on motorcycles, as shown on a particularly damning video of the 7 November armed persecution of protesting students on the campus of the UCV (Universidad Central de Venezuela), and which ended with three students wounded by bullets.
The movement has only continued to grow and gain speed. It is against this background that General Raul Baduel (no longer active, but until July Minister of Defense and a Chávez loyalist and close friend) shook the country by stating that the “reform” proposal constituted a coup d’ etat and that the Executive and the Legislative had kidnapped the constituent powers belonging to the people.
He also called on his former comrades in arms to carefully read the “reform” proposal and reflect on its contents, and on all Venezuelans to vote NO on 2 December, as it is the last opportunity, he said, to secure democracy peacefully. General Baduel, has changed the internal dynamics of the chavista movement by separating allegiance to the Comandante- Presidente from the substance of the “reform” proposal.
General Baduel, who is close to the PODEMOS party (particularly to Didalco Bolivar, the governor of Aragua) has been speaking to groups in the interior of Venezuela and has used a second press conference to call on Chávez to withdraw the “reform” proposal, and on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to decide in favor of one of the many requests it has received to cancel the referendum.
Baduel is one of the original members of the “Saman de Guere” oath administered by Chávez to overturn the previous political order. He is highly respected in the Armed Forces for his principled leadership and professionalism, and he has a significant following of officers after a successful 30 year career in the army.
In addition, his youngest daughter is Chávez godchild. His statements have opened the floodgates to many Venezuelans who now feel free to openly denounce Chávez and his policies, and for a large number of Chavistas to follow the path of “Chávez si, reforma no”, as chavista leader Gina Gonzalez of the Telares de Palo Grande barrio proposes.
Baduel is bound to play an increasingly important role in the future.The long interview given last week by former First Lady Marisabel Rodriguez on Globovision also calling for a NO vote, and the famous “Porqué no te callas?” (“Why don’t you shut up?”) hurled at Chávez by King Juan Carlos at the Iberoamerican summit in Santiago de Chile, also appear to have had an effect in strengthening a perceptible growth in the numbers of those rejecting the “reform” of the Constitution.
Many things are forgiven in Latin America, but not being the object of ridicule. Hinterlaces’ latest poll finalized in the first week of November puts the YES at 45% and the NO at 43%, with an abstention of 39%. The study also shows that if the percentage of those abstaining came down to 25% the NO would win with a difference of 14 points.
DATOS, also a very respected polling company, puts the NO at 41% and the YES at 33%. Several polls show that a majority believes that the reform proposal benefits the President more than the country. One opinion poll outfit close to the government puts the YES ahead by 66%.The intention to abstain is still running high, however, and only a few of the opposition spokesmen have called on voters to go out and vote NO.
Distrust of the CNE continues to be strong, and the “reform” route is recognized by most as illegitimate, but the encouraging trend favoring the NO could change that soon. In addition to Petkoff, Baduel and Ismael Garcia of PODEMOS, Manuel Rosales has now also called on voters to do so, and the students will take the same position on the occasion of their march this Wednesday 21.
The parties that are part of the hard liners in the opposition led by Antonio Ledezma, Oscar Perez, Oswaldo Alvarez Paz and Hermann Escarra continue, but probably not for long, to call for the cancellation of the referendum and abstention. It appears increasingly likely that the “reform” proposal will not pass. In such an event, but also in the case of a YES victory by a small margin, the political damage to Chávez will be irreversible.
Last Friday the anti-government candidates in the elections to the student bodies of the UCV received more than 4 times the votes of the Chavista slate. Chávez could however limit the damage to his hold on power and sidestep an unavoidable debacle by instructing the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to decide in favor of one of the sixteen requests before it to postpone or cancel the referendum.
However, Chávez also did say in a press conference to the foreign correspondents last week that “elections are just one strategic option in building socialism”. Tampering with the electronic voting machines is not likely to represent a great temptation, even if no international observers will be present on 2 December.
50% of the ballot boxes will be opened and their contents checked against the numbers of the corresponding voting machines. Opposition parties and ngo’s are organizing a nation-wide operation combining exit polls and a quick-count (tasks that are mainly being organized by Un Nuevo Tiempo).
A large part of the population, quite possibly half of it, feels that it is about to lose its identity, values and very livelihood, and is decided to vigorously defend its rights under any circumstance. The other half is split 3 to 2 between those that feel Chávez is not a bad person but that he is slightly off the rocker, and those that love him passionately and fear that rejection of the reform proposal would lead to the loss of their recently acquired benefits and political priority. But all generally agree that the “reform” proposal is not necessary to improve governance. Victory of the YES would spell deep instability, and victory of the NO is certainly no guarantee of normalcy.
The “reform” is proving to be Chávez gravest political mistake since his first election to the Presidency, and regardless of the results of the referendum his government will have lost its legitimacy as of the evening of 2 December. It will have been the result of a long and drawn out process that started even before his reelection last December, and which has been closely followed by the entire nation. This learning process bodes well for a relatively peaceful resolution of Venezuela’s grave crisis of governance.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

A constitutional 'reform' could complete Venezuela's transformation into a dictatorship.

Mr. Chavez's Coup. A constitutional 'reform' could complete Venezuela's transformation into a dictatorship.
Thursday, November 15, 2007; A24
TENS OF thousands of Venezuelan students marched to the Supreme Court in Caracas last week to protest the new "socialist" constitutional reform that President Hugo Chavez is preparing to impose on the country. On their return, students from the Central University of Venezuela were fired on by gunmen who roared onto the campus on motorcycles. Nine were hurt; university officials later identified the shooters as members of government-sponsored paramilitary groups. That's just one example of the ugly climate of intimidation Mr. Chavez is creating in advance of a Dec. 2 referendum that he expects will formally confirm him as de facto president for life and give him powers rivaling those of his mentor, Fidel Castro.
Mr. Chavez's apologists like to dismiss the Venezuelan forces opposing his deconstruction of democracy -- which include the Catholic Church, the private business community and labor unions as well as students -- as a corrupt elite. So it's worth noting what some of Mr. Chavez's long-standing allies are saying about his constitutional changes.
The political party Podemos, whose members ran for parliament on a pro-Chavez platform, call it "a constitutional fraud." Mr. Chavez's recently retired defense minister, Gen. Raul Isaias Baduel, said it was an "undemocratic imposition" and that its approval would amount to "a coup."
In fact, Mr. Chavez's rewrite would complete his transformation into an autocrat. It would lengthen his presidential term from six to seven years and remove the current limit of two terms, allowing him to serve indefinitely. He would have broad powers to seize property, to dispose of Venezuela's foreign exchange reserves, to impose central government rule on local jurisdictions and to declare indefinite states of emergency under which due process and freedom of information would be suspended. As a populist sop, one provision would reduce the workday from eight to six hours; that benefit, the state's control over national television and the voting process, and the apparent intention of many Venezuelans to stay away from the polls are expected to deliver the necessary ratification.
The strength and courage of the resistance to Mr. Chavez is nevertheless growing. Despite the attacks by government goons, students have continued to march by the thousands. Bloggers have posted photos and videos of the government-sponsored violence. Opposition leaders have continued to speak out despite being labeled "traitors" by Mr. Chavez and harassed with death threats. Venezuela is on the verge of succumbing to a dictatorship that will isolate and retard the country, maybe for decades. It's encouraging that so many of its people aren't prepared to give up their freedom without a fight.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crackdown in Venezuela Called a Ploy

Crackdown in Venezuela Called a Ploy. University Leaders See Move to End Campus AutonomyAssociated Press
Friday, November 9, 2007; Page A17


Police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at university students during a protest against President Hugo Chavez in Caracas yesterday


CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 8 -- University leaders accused the Venezuelan government Thursday of provoking violence to justify military occupations of campuses where students are leading protests against President Hugo Chávez.

Gunmen opened fire on students returning from a peaceful march Wednesday in which 80,000 people denounced a constitutional referendum, planned for December, that would expand Chávez's power. At least eight people were injured in the incident in Caracas, including one by gunfire, officials said.

Justice Minister Pedro Carreño blamed students, opposition leaders and the news media for the violence. "We want to urge the media to reflect, to stop broadcasting biased news through media manipulation, filling a part of the population with hate," Carreño said in an address Wednesday night.

Higher Education Minister Luis Acuña, meanwhile, offered to send in troops to quell the violence, but university authorities quickly rejected the offer as an attempted power grab.

"We won't fall into the trap," said Eleazar Narváez, rector of the Central University of Venezuela.

Chávez's opponents say the president has long wanted to end the autonomy of Venezuela's public universities, most of which are run by rectors associated with the opposition who defeated Chávez followers in campus elections.

Street demonstrations led by university students have spread to at least six cities around Venezuela, and organizers vowed to continue protesting despite crackdowns by security forces and clashes with government supporters. The marches have been mostly peaceful, although there have been several clashes in which students threw rocks and police fired plastic bullets at demonstrators.

On Wednesday, photographers for the Associated Press saw at least four gunmen -- their faces covered by ski masks or T-shirts -- firing handguns at a crowd of government opponents returning to the Central University of Venezuela from the march

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Gunfire Erupts at Venezuela University

I am from Venezuela and this is true. The masked gunmen were sent by Chavez's political party. Our venezuelans students are heroes.Can you believe the "Justice Minister" blamed the marching students?
This article says: "the Supreme Court is unlikely to act on the students' demands, given that pro-Chavez lawmakers appointed all 32 of its justices".
vdebate

Gunfire Erupts at Venezuela University
CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov 08, 2007 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Masked gunmen opened fire on students returning from a march in which tens of thousands of Venezuelans denounced President Hugo Chavez's attempts to expand his power through constitutional changes.
Officials said at least eight people were injured Wednesday, including one by gunfire, at the Central University of Venezuela, or UCV - the country's largest university.
Students protested in at least six other cities, and several turned violent with rock-throwing youths clashing with police shooting plastic bullets at demonstrators.
Photographers for The Associated Press saw at least four gunmen - their faces covered by ski masks or T-shirts - firing handguns at the anti-Chavez crowd at the UCV. Terrified students ran through the campus as ambulances arrived.
Antonio Rivero, director of Venezuela's Civil Defense agency, told Union Radio that at least eight people were injured, including one by gunfire, and that no one had been killed. Earlier, Rivero said he had been informed that one person had died in the violence.
The violence broke out after an estimated 80,000 anti-Chavez demonstrators - led by university students - marched peacefully to the Supreme Court to protest constitutional changes that would greatly expand Chavez's power if voters agree to the changes in December. Unrest, if it continues, could mar a Dec. 2 referendum on the controversial reforms.
Dozens of angry students surrounded a building where the gunmen were hiding, set fire to benches outside and knocked out windows with rocks. Later, armed men riding motorcycles arrived, scaring off students and standing at the doorway - one of them firing a handgun in the air - as people fled the building.
Justice Minister Pedro Carreno blamed students, university authorities, opposition parties and the media for the violence.
"We want to urge the media to reflect, to stop broadcasting biased news through media manipulation, filling a part of the population with hate," Carreno said in a televised address.
He did not provide details about the number of injured or if any suspects were arrested.
University students also staged demonstrations in the cities of Merida, Maracaibo, Puerto La Cruz, San Cristobal, Barquisimeto and Valencia on Wednesday.
The amendments being protested would abolish presidential term limits, give the president control over the Central Bank and let him create new provinces governed by handpicked officials.
The protesters demand the referendum be suspended, saying the amendments would weaken civil liberties and give Chavez unprecedented power to declare states of emergency.
"Don't allow Venezuela to go down a path that nobody wants to cross," student leader Freddy Guevara told Globovision during the march to the Supreme Court.
Chavez, who was first elected in 1998, denies the reforms threaten freedom. He says they would instead move Venezuela toward what he calls "21st century socialism."
In televised comments prior to the unrest, Chavez urged Venezuelans to turn out en masse to vote for the reforms. In reference to the opposition, he said: "Don't go crazy."
The Supreme Court is unlikely to act on the students' demands, given that pro-Chavez lawmakers appointed all 32 of its justices.
Copyright (C) 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pictures Protest November 3, 2007 - Giancarlo


Students with chains


Herman Escarra


This is what Venezuelans think: Chavez=Coward, abusive, assassin, ...


Don't kill me


Liberty

Venezuelans



Sancionar=Aprobar

Police

Don't touch my kids, they are not alone

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Gunmen fire on Venezuela protest

These bad guys probably are part of Chavez political Party.
vdebate


Gunmen fire on Venezuela protest

Some of the gunmen opened fire on students from motorcycles
Gunmen in Venezuela have opened fire on students returning from a peaceful march in Caracas against President Hugo Chavez's planned consitutional reforms.
At least eight people were hurt during the clashes on a university campus, including at least one by gunfire.
The students were protesting against plans to remove presidential term limits, the subject of a referendum.
Thousands had marched to Venezuela's Supreme Court and filed a demand for the December vote to be suspended.
Last week, troops used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of students protesting in Caracas against the proposed amendments.
Students fled
It is unclear how Wednesday's violence erupted.
A number of gunmen arrived at the Central University of Venezuela campus on motorcycles, law faculty dean Jorge Pabon told AFP news agency.
They set a bus alight, and later fired at students from inside one of the university buildings.
State TV showed footage of angry students setting fire to benches and throwing rocks at the university building where the gunmen were hiding.
Photographers for the Associated Press news agency saw at least four masked gunmen firing handguns at the crowd, as terrified students fled.
Globovision television, which is openly critical of the government, showed images of hooded men throwing objects into university classes and other people, apparently students, running away.
Civil defence chief Antonio Rivero said at least eight people were hurt, one of them by gunfire.
'Power grab'
The government described the protest, one of several recent student-led demonstrations against the constitutional reforms, as an opposition effort to destabilise the country ahead of the referendum on 2 December.
The amendments up for approval include giving the president control over the central bank, and the creation of new provinces governed by centrally appointed officials.
President Chavez is also proposing to bypass legal controls on the executive during a state of emergency, bring in a maximum six-hour working day, and cut the voting age from 18 to 16.
Supporters say the changes will deepen Venezuela's democracy but critics accuse Mr Chavez of a power grab.

More Pictures at:

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Students protest against changes in the constitution

I am glad that Venezuelan students are protesting against the changes that Chavez wants to do in our Venezuelan Constitution. He just wants "TOTAL POWER"

Here Maria Conchita Alonso talking to FOX NEWS:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=4839407&ch=4226714&src=news

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

10 reasons to why I reject the Venezuelan constitutional reform

We agree with Mr. Duque
10 reason to why I reject the Venezuelan constitutional reform
by Román J. Duque Corredor, former Venezuelan Supreme Court Judge.
1. Because it will take away from my children the right to get free education and to choose what profession they will like to be.
2. Because my vote WON'T COUNT any longer on making decisions and designate my neighborhood councils, my governor and my major.
3. Because the back up of my money will depend only from the President.
4. Because I want to get the right to enjoy my property and dispose of it as my will, and not from a permit from the governemnt.
5. Because I won't be able to choose about to keep the political division of my neighborhood, my township and/or even my state.
6. BECAUSE MY INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AS A CITIZEN WON'T BE TAKEN IN CONSIDERATION ANYMORE BUT AS MEMBER OF A COMUNE.
7. Because I won't have the right any longer to private enterprise and to choose what type of work I would like to do.
8. Because with indefinite reelection I won't be able to vote to choose the president and the government.
9. Because I won't be able to vote about what is good for me or not about the constitutional reform.
10.Because for me to be able to work and because to be reduced my work shift, it will be necessary to be imposed to me and every citizen only one way of thinking and only one ruler for life.

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