President Hugo Chávez will unveil a project to change the Constitution on Wednesday that is expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely, a move that would enhance his authority to accelerate a socialist-inspired transformation of Venezuelan society.Chavez is pushing Venezuela towards a dictatorship completely under his iron fist. He's in complete control over all the major facets of the government, and eliminating the term limitation on his office is the last step to consolidating his power. He's able to eliminate rivals simply by changing the rules for everyone else - limiting their terms in office, all while enhancing his own. The legislature is all but a rubber stamp for his own decision-making.
The removal of term limits for Mr. Chávez, which is at the heart of the proposal, is expected to be accompanied by measures circumscribing the authority of elected governors and mayors, who would be prevented from staying in power indefinitely, according to versions of the project leaked in recent weeks.
Willian Lara, the communications minister, said Mr. Chávez would announce the project before the National Assembly, where all 167 lawmakers support the president. Supporters of Mr. Chávez, who was re-elected last year with some 60 percent of the vote, also control the Supreme Court, the entire federal bureaucracy, public oil and infrastructure companies and every state government but two.
The aim of the overhaul is “to guarantee to the people the largest amount of happiness possible,” Mr. Lara said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The project has already led to fierce debate over Mr. Chávez’s expanding power. Critics in the Roman Catholic Church have been clashing with Mr. Chávez over the re-election proposals, with one cardinal, Rosalio José Castillo Lara, calling him a “paranoid dictator.”
Mr. Chávez’s proposals would centralize his control over political institutions even further, potentially weakening opponents like Manuel Rosales, the governor of Zulia State, who received nearly 40 percent of the vote in presidential elections in December, analysts said. Mr. Chávez’s current term expires in 2012.
Venezuela has tremendous natural resources and could be a powerhouse economy, but Chavez is doing his best to run it into the ground according to the same socialist voodoo economics that have doomed every other socialist country in the world.
He, of course, thinks that if he's diligent at implementing his economic nonsense, it will turn out differently. The writing on the wall is that it wont. Hyperinflation is only a matter of time and capital will flee to safer countries. No one would want to invest there for fear of having their assets nationalized - as witnessed in the oil industry. Food production has been curtailed because of price controls implemented.
That's the future for Venezuela, courtesy of [T]hugo.