<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
December 2, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Dictatorship in Venezuela?
The constitutional referendum being held in Venezuela today is quite a paradox: Voters are faced with the choice of granting virtually unlimited powers on President Hugo Chavez, who is already quite authoritarian, or else standing up to his blandishments. Among other things, the measure would allow Chavez to run for reelection as many times as he wants and would put an end to the Central Bank's autonomy, enabling Chavez to have money printed at will. As usual, Chavez has been accusing the United States of plotting to assassinate him, stoking xenophobia among the masses. The BBC reported that Chavez said on Friday, "If God gives me life and help, I will be at the head of the government until 2050."
According to the Caracas Chronicles (via InstaPundit), exit polls indicate that the results will be very close, so there may yet be a slim hope for a semblance of freedom.
So what can or should the United States do about this clear menace to Venezuela and the rest of Latin America? Until he gets out of hand and commits some drastic provocation, not much. In the Outlook section of today's Washington Post, Donald Rumsfeld suggests "The Smart Way to Beat Tyrants Like Chavez." He talks about reviving Cold War insitutions like NATO to counteract the threat of neopopulist despots, which doesn't sound convincing to me. His other main suggestion of unleashing new media tools (blogs, YouTube, etc.) to combat false propaganda and raise the consciousness of Third World people offers more hope, but even in that case, there are limits as to what can be done.
Ecuador assembly fires congress
The constituent assembly called by Ecuador's president Rafael Correa voted by a large majority to dissolve the existing congress, notwithstanding the lack of any constitutional provision or precedent for doing so. If they get away with this brazen power grab, it will signify a major defeat for the cause of constitutional democracy in the Andean nation. See BBC. As we have learned from Venezuela, "illiberal" democracies led by fierce populists such as Hugo Chavez are prone to become more and more authoritarian over time.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 02 Dec 2007, 10: 07 PM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 4, 2007 ~ 110th Congress: open for business
January 24, 2007 ~ The State of the Union, 2007
March 28, 2007 ~ Mark Steyn's America Alone
April 19, 2007 ~ Senator Hanger comes to Staunton
April 30, 2007 ~
Sen. Hanger's campaign kick-off
June 1, 2007 ~
Stars shine for Senator Hanger
June 12, 2007 ~
Republicans In Name Only? You be the judge!
June 13, 2007 ~
How sweet: Reason prevails
June 24, 2007 ~
SWAC bloggers air dirty laundry
August 13, 2007 ~ Hasta la vista, Karl Rove
August 21, 2007 ~
Fading dreams of democracy
August 6, 2007 ~
Nats sweep World Champion Cards!
September 23, 2007 ~ Au revoir, RFK Stadium
October 18, 2007 ~ Nationals 2007: Year in review
October 25, 2007 ~
Augusta County Campaign 2007
October 29, 2007 ~ Red Sox sweep Rockies; Dynasty?
November 7, 2007 ~ Democrats win Virginia Senate
December 14, 2007 ~ The Mitchell Report is released
December 29, 2007 ~
The death of Benazir Bhutto
December 31, 2007 ~ Baseball 2007: Year in Review
NOTE: Thus far, only blog posts related to politics and baseball are included in this list.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)