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Chavez Opponents Fear Executive Decrees

From his admiring fans at Reuters:

Venezuela opponents wary of Chavez decree powers

By Deisy Buitrago Sat Dec 11, 2010

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leaders said on Saturday they feared President Hugo Chavez would use decree powers he has requested to override an electoral setback that stripped him of a super-majority in parliament.

Chavez said on Friday he would seek the fast-track powers from the National Assembly for the fourth time in his controversial 11-year rule due to a flooding crisis caused by heavy rains that left more than 120,000 people homeless in the South American nation.

The move also appeared to be an attempt to strengthen his hand before a new parliament convenes on January 5 with a stronger opposition presence.

Chavez did not say how long the decree powers would last, but opponents fear he will request them for a period extending well into the new parliament and to legislate in areas not limited to dealing with the flooding crisis.

"The president clearly intends to affect or weaken the power of the lawmakers who are going to enter parliament on January 5," Juan Jose Molina, a lawmaker with opposition party Podemos, said on Saturday.

It sounds to us like Mr. Chavez is channeling his inner Obama. After all, how is any of this different from the way Mr. Obama is using regulations and executive orders to get by fiat what he cannot get via legislation?

An opposition coalition made big advances in a September legislative election and hopes to put a brake on Chavez’s self-styled "21st century socialism" when it takes up 40 percent of the seats in the new National Assembly.

It sounds like they have their own version of the Tea Party. And pretty much for the same reasons. 

The current legislature is dominated by Chavez’s Socialist party and has the two-thirds majority needed to pass even major legislation without consulting opponents. It also has the three-fifths majority needed to give the president decree powers.

After January 5, the Socialists will have only a simple majority, limiting them to passing minor legislation without opposition support. Opponents — who say Chavez is imposing Cuban-style communism on the OPEC member nation — have long worried he will rush through laws in the outgoing parliament’s final days.

Chavez supporters in the assembly have held extended sessions this week to pass laws promoting socialism that also weaken mayors and governors. A bill to take some profits from banks and another to regulate the Internet are also pending.

The parallels really are striking.

Molina said Chavez would be justified in using the decree powers to speed up relief efforts in response to the flooding.

"But I don’t think he will limit himself to that. The way he governs is to act incisively toward adversaries and he can take advantage of an opportunity such as this."

Mr. Chavez never ‘wastes a crisis,’ either.

Chavez has already shown a willingness to undermine opponents who weaken him in elections. After his candidate lost an election for Caracas mayor in 2008, the president stripped the winner of powers and named a mayor-like figure above him.

Don’t worry. It can’t happen here.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Chavez Opponents Fear Executive Decrees”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Index of Executive Orders

    In case you were curious …


  2. tranquil.night says:

    “The parallels really are striking.”

    You can say that again.

  3. Mae says:

    Wait until Chavez sees Obama’s executive orders. Talk about envy? Who’s the real Marxist here?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      What we are really dealing with is ‘Missile Envy’ on dingleBarrys’ part.
      Hugo will use his and dinglebaby will have to think about using his. Then have a Think Tank forum before issuing a predisposition on why Hugo is the way he is. All the while, Arizona is being invaded and BoBo is on the back 8.

      Film at 11.

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