Having all the diplomatic tact of his best bud Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (the hemisphere’s idiot) told his people today that if you don’t vote for his constitutional reform on December 2, then you are a traitor. In his own words . . .
“He who says he supports Chavez but votes ‘no’ is a traitor, a true traitor.”
The changes to the Venezuelan constitution that he calls ‘reform’ will eliminate term limits for the president, and more. The changes effectively render the votes of the people meaningless, since he won’t face term limits and the people on the ground running the local governments will be hand picked by him, not the people. Thereby setting himself up as a lifelong dictator like his other best bud, Fidel Castro. This is his goal.
The proposed revisions would do away with presidential term limits, extend terms from six to seven years, let Chavez appoint regional vice presidents and eliminate Central Bank authority, among other changes. Critics warn he would also have the power to shut down Venezuelan newspapers, television and radio stations by declaring a state of emergency, and the government could detain citizens without charges during such a period.
Chavez has already taken over, nationalized, U.S. companies Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips in Venezuela. He has already taken over or shut down TV networks and newspapers who were critical of his administration and who aptly characterize his proposed changes as a legislative coup to be dictator for life.
And this is the guy that we should trust to supply our Navy bases with fuel? I don’t think so.
Update 11/24/07: According to the first poll in Venezuela on this Chavez’s ‘reforms,’ he is losing ground. Voter turnout for the Dec. 2 initiative is growing and, according to the poll, increased voter turnout trends against Chavez. It is something to watch.