England's Model Diplomat

Two important items from Venezuela: The Swan author Naomi Campbell, serial abuser of the proletariat, who called a previous meeting with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a "dream come true," has, with El Jefe in a perpetual state of revolutionary convalescence, moved on to Hugo Chavez. When entering Miraflores Palace Campbell told the assembled journos that she was "not going to be political. Thank you very much." No, thank you, Naomi!

According to Bloomberg News, Venezuela's unicameral parliament, stocked with pro-Chavez legislators, is having doubts about proposed changes to the constitution—changes that would further undermine the rule of law and concentrate even more power in the hands of the executive. All 165 members of the parliment are from Chavez's umberlla party PSUV, which includes members of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), PODEMOS, and Fatherland For All (PPT). But it seems like some of the reluctant coalition partners are having second thoughts:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may lose a national vote to revise the constitution as some long-time backers view his proposals as a power grab, said the chief of Podemos, a party that split from the ruling coalition. "We've supported Chavez since the beginning,'' said the party's general secretary, Ismael Garcia, in an interview in Caracas late yesterday. "He's going to lose this one.'' Podemos, allied with Chavez since his election in 1999, withheld its support for the plan when it was presented in August because it eliminates vital checks and balances in the government, Garcia, 53, said. The party, which holds seven of 167 seats in the National Assembly, helped Chavez regain the presidency during an attempted coup in 2002.

The party's stand on the proposed constitution underscores rising resistance to Chavez's biggest political initiative of the year. The proposal, which scraps presidential term limits, abolishes central bank autonomy and redefines property rights, has set off clashes between police and student protesters in recent weeks. "This reform is characterized by an increase, in an abusive way, in the concentration of presidential powers,'' Podemos lawmaker Ricardo Gutierrez said an interview in Caracas yesterday. "It has been done in a big hurry, and that makes it hard for citizens to decide.''

Also, be sure to check out Alvaro Vargas Llosa, son of Mario, on the "return of the idiot" in Latin American politics.

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  • ||

    "This reform is characterized by an increase, in an abusive way, in the concentration of presidential powers,'' Podemos lawmaker Ricardo Gutierrez said

    You know you're dealing with statists when they describe an unconscionable power grab that even they oppose as a "reform", and don't see the irony.

  • ||

    You mean Chavez's mind-control rays haven't turned the entirety of the Venezuelan populace and its democratic institutions into an army of undead slaves?

    Gee, who could have seen that coming?

    Trust democracy.

  • ||

    But it seems like some of the reluctant coalition partners are having second thoughts:

    So despite what many commenters on this site would have one believe, it seems that democracy is working kind of as it should.

    Now it may be to early to say for sure, and we don't know what Chavez will do if he does lose the vote (if he can do anything about) -- but this does seems like a pretty good sign, no?

  • ||

    joe, I'll bet that the proposed cahanes are adopted with minor, window dressing changes. I'll also bet that Chavez will die in office, be executed/imprisoned by a military coup or live out his days in exile. IOW, he will never relinquish power honorably. Please save these predictions so you can throw them in my face when I'm proven wrong by events.

    Hoping that you get to do that,
    J sub D

  • R C Dean||

    Trust democracy.

    No, distrust democracy. Democracy is no guarantee of freedom or human rights, because democracy in and of itself places no checks on the power of the State.

    Democracy gave us Chavez. For that matter, all kinds of demagogues and maximum leaders can claim democratic "legitimacy". Hell, Saddam did. Putin still does.

  • ||

    Democracy gave us Mr. Hilter.

    I'm dressing as Hugo for Halloween. I plan to denounce the U.S. at each door and to demand treats as compensation for years of Yankee imperialism and hegemony.

  • jimmydageek||

    PL,

    Don't forget to mention the smell of sulfur/Bush prior to requesting your treats.

  • Urkobold™||

    TRUST DEMOCRACY? NO. TRUST NAKED WOMEN!

    ***WARNING!***: DO NOT TRUST WOMEN WHO ARE NOT NAKED.

  • squarooticus||

    As Hoppe has deductively demonstrated, democracy gives people the government they deserve: one run by professional politicians paying lip service to the commonwealth while actually plundering it for the personal benefit of themselves and their friends.

    The smart ones have already left Venezuela.

  • ||

    TRUST DEMOCRACY? NO. TRUST NAKED WOMEN!

    Lady Godiva, Naked, tax protester, that says it all. The Libertarian movement should canonize this heroic, bare breasted lady.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    joe you can't honestly argue that a democratically elected leader guarentees the protection of human rights and freedoms. I will never trust democracy because it means I must trust the will a simple majority who cares not what the minority feels UNLESS laws and protections are put in place. Chavez is working to destroy the fragile legal framework to put in place a dicatorial regime. Then eventually that "majority" that supported him will become a powerful chavez backed minority. So basically

    TO ARGUE THAT CHAVEZ IS GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF VENEZUELA BECAUSE HE WAS DEMOCRACTICALY ELECTED IS FUCKING INSANE.

  • Juan||

    "You mean Chavez's mind-control rays haven't turned the entirety of the Venezuelan populace and its democratic institutions into an army of undead slaves?"

    They have turned some. Seriously.

    This self-appointed "smart one" hopes to leave Venezuela in the near future.

  • ||

    ***WARNING!***: DO NOT TRUST WOMEN WHO ARE NOT NAKED.

    Now you tell me!

  • ||

    Compare and contrast the left's reactions to Chaves' power grabs vs. those of Bush....

  • cgee||

    Hey Naomi, chuck your iced-out Chanel LG phone at his huge melon!

  • squarooticus||

    Okay, in case I didn't make my point earlier, the only thing separating the United States from Venezuela is the relatively higher personal wealth that enables US citizens to concentrate much effort on the navel of national politics.

    If you think that kind of power grab Chavez is orchestrating can't happen here because some piece of paper says so, you are a complete and utter fool, and you deserve what happens to you when the periphery of the behemoth central government you supported is subverted by a newly-crowned dictator and comes down on your sorry ass.

  • Episiarch||

    Compare and contrast the left's reactions to Chaves' power grabs vs. those of Bush....

    Bingo. It is amazing how so many sectors of the left are swayed by words alone. You can do absolutely anything as long as you say the right jargon, and they won't make a peep.

    The right does the same thing regarding civil liberties. Civil liberties are great until they're "immoral", and then they have to be stopped. No peep out of them regarding Bush's DEA activities.

  • Paul||

    Trust democracy

    We do. Chavez doesn't.

  • ||

    You mean Chavez's mind-control rays haven't turned the entirety of the Venezuelan populace and its democratic institutions into an army of undead slaves?



    That's some mighty fine spin you put on that story, good suh, mighty fine!

  • Paul||

    Trust democracy

    We do. Chavez doesn't.

    Venezuela's unicameral parliament, stocked with pro-Chavez legislators, is having doubts about proposed changes to the constitution-changes that would further undermine the rule of law and concentrate even more power in the hands of the executive.

    I have a general rule of thumb. A "freak accident" is one you couldn't possibly see coming. When two drunk teenagers are speeding down a wooded road, trying to jump their SUV, and the die in a fiery crash, that's not a "freak accident".

    So, to get to my point, when, exactly, do these "long-time backers" get to claim they couldn't see this coming?

  • ||

    In the French revolution joe would have been telling us all to trust Robespierre (and later Napoleon) since they were both popularly elected.

  • Paul||

    So despite what many commenters on this site would have one believe, it seems that democracy is working kind of as it should.

    ChicagoTom, like it is here, then?

    At some point, the very fact that you have these fights might indicate that your democracy may not be healthy.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Compare and contrast the left's reactions to Chaves' power grabs vs. those of Bush....

    But he only wants control of the central bank so that he can make the poor rich!

  • Juan||

    "So, to get to my point, when, exactly, do these "long-time backers" get to claim they couldn't see this coming?"

    Maybe it has something to do with that bizarre definition of "social justice" that implies giving everyone equal opportunity to loot the public coffers.

    A lot of potential "handpicked successors" have to be a bit disapointed...

  • R C Dean||

    Don't you people know political Kabuki when you see it? There is no frikkin' way Chavez doesn't get his way here.

    What part of "repressive demagogue" and "one-party Congress" adds up to "Chavez fails to consolidate power"?

  • VM||

    Urkobold™ | October 31, 2007, 12:51pm | #
    TRUST DEMOCRACY? NO. TRUST NAKED WOMEN!

    ***WARNING!***: DO NOT TRUST WOMEN WHO ARE NOT NAKED.



    BOUNCY BOUNCY!

    *looks at Lady Godiva's picture*
    **pond pound on door to Stevo's bunk**
    C'mon, Stevo, you've been in there all day. C'mon, man. Lemme have a turn.
    [muttering quietly to self]
    damn stoopid arrangement that it's Stevo's bunk. All I got was this lousy breakfast nook

    [shreaks as puts dry ice down trousahs]

  • ||

    democracy cannot be working in venezuela. remember Chavez got rid of the free press. if you opposed him you don't speak. Heck what we are doing here is illegal now for his own people to do.

  • ||

    As a quasi-defense of joe, democracy has done a decent (although not perfect job) of protecting political liberties in the last century and a half. The key is tha democracy, is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to ensure liberty.

    What I think is more important, especially in this day an age where a cult of personality is amplified by the feeback of a mass media, is term limits on any one individual. Even in an oligarchy, enough schisms will occur to achieve a balance of power that should constrain totalitarianism. As an example, China seems to wish avoid another Mao, (or emperor or khan for that matter) by installing term limits for the chairmen of the central committee.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Vargas Llosa's article was good, although most of the people who frequent this blog will be aware of the issues it brings up.

    One of his dad best novels was made into a movie that I would highly recommend (for guys - a lot of women might not like it.)

  • ||

    I'd give Chaves another 5 years until he is either deposed or dies in office.
    And I predict that the U.S. of A. has 100 years (give or take 5 years) before our (imperial) democratic-republic falls and desintegrates into several smaller countries.

  • ed||

    Naomi looks like a chocolate Easter bunny, left out in the sun too long.

  • ||

    It's striking how the same people that spent the last four years patting themselves on the back for being better supporters of democracy, for using it as a rhetorical club when they wanted Uncle Sam to squash some bug like Saddam or Chavez, suddenly turn into democracy-skeptics when it suits them.

    I'm looking at you, RC.

  • ||

    Kenny, the cult of personality dynamic can work in reverse, too.

    When the conservative media starts proclaiming somebody "the new Hitler" or "the new Stalin," and he's sitting on a big lake of oil but not playing nice with American oil companies, you need to take a step back and try to keep your head.

  • ||

    Oh, and a picture of a supermodel is a pretty good way to distract people when you have to announce that your hysterical political predictions seem to be falling apart.

  • Bopo||

    "Democracy gave us Chavez. For that matter, all kinds of demagogues and maximum leaders can claim democratic "legitimacy". Hell, Saddam did. Putin still does."


    Only an idiot actually believes Saddam and Chavez were elected legitimately. To claim that democracy is not desired or beneficial because dictators rig elections is almost too stupid to merit a response.

    It also amazes me that certain people on this thread try to act like they have opposed Chavez all along, never mind all the words they have been writing in his defense for months. It's too little, too late. It is these useful idiots who have been giving him cover since he was first "elected".

  • Chavez is a thug||

    "It's striking how the same people that spent the last four years patting themselves on the back for being better supporters of democracy, for using it as a rhetorical club when they wanted Uncle Sam to squash some bug like Saddam or Chavez, suddenly turn into democracy-skeptics when it suits them.

    I'm looking at you, RC"

    The same can be said of jackasses like you joe, who, as pointed out by Bopo, have been defending Chavez for months, and then half-heartedly complain about him now. No one has been more vociferous in their defense of Chavez than you, so please forgive us for not taking anything seriously you have to say on this matter.
    You have repeatedly praised and defended dictators on this website, whether it be Castro's Cuba and its free health care or Chavez and his decision to shut down private television stations. You even invented neighbors from Zimbabwe who supposedly told you that Mugabe was not such a bad guy after all. So you can take your faux indignation and cram it you pompous asshole.

  • ||

    I've never written a single word in defense of Chavez.

    You just aren't very bright, thug, and can't understand points more complicated than "I hate X" or "I love X."

    I could pull up quote after quote demonstrating your dumbassery on this score, but why bother? You've yet to make a serious attempt to understand the points I make, so why would you start now?

    Obedient tools like you are exactly how we end up selling out our principles and setting backk democracy every time some politician decides he can help his buddies out by making up a new boogey man.

    BTW, you kiss your mother with that mouth? You shouldn't - she's got crabs.

  • دردشة يمنية||

    nice

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