Venezuela: Chavez Indefinitely or Path to Reform?

Miguel Octavio, who is now also publishing selected posts in Spanish, writes gloomily of the so-called “enabling law”: “Two days ago the Deputies of the National Assembly simply gave up their jobs and their own mandate in order to enable Hugo Chavez to rule by decree for an unheard of period of 18 months in areas that not even the Deputies knew about in detail the day they voted on it. It was indeed a sad day for democracy and freedom in Venezuela.” Fellow opposition blogger Daniel Duquenal adds, “As of today no man in Venezuelan history will have had as much power, as much discretionary power that is, with the possible exception of Juan Vicente Gomez.” Oil Wars, on the other hand, inspires a novel-length comment thread with his post “Why Chavez is so loved.” And finally, Richard Gott's argument that “Venezeula's ‘enabling’ legislation is more likely to prove a path to reform than a road to dictatorship.”

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