Cross-posting from Ulf Erlingsson’s blog:
Venezuelas’ Hugo Chávez gave his subjects a very special gift on the eve of Christmas: A full-blown totalitarian dictatorship. Just like Hitler’s Nazis blindly followed their leader, so did many in Venezuela wish each other Feliz Chavidad (Merry Chavismo) instead of Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas). So many, in fact, that Chavidad was on the twitter popularity list in Venezuela.
Here is a partial list of the Christmas “gifts” from the former military coupster, elected president turned dictator: An Enabling Law that enables Chávez to create laws on his own, turning the new parliament after New Years into an irrelevant talking club; a law that makes it illegal for parliament members to vote their conscience; a law intended to stop the last independent TV channel, Globovision; a wide-ranging Internet censorship law; and a law that removes the academic freedom from Universities by forcing them to teach communism and gives himself the ultimate power over them. He also sent tanks to confiscate private farms the week before Christmas, he fired some 800 to 1,200 staff in the Finance Ministry the day before Christmas, and violently beat down a peaceful student demonstration two days before Christmas.
With the rule of law suspended since years in Venezuela (judge Maria Fiuni was arrested just before last Christmas for following the law), Venezuela is now a full-blown totalitarian state. All that remains is to round up the remaining dissidents.
At the time of writing this, no country has as yet denounced this power-grab, an autogolpe that has no parallel since Adolf Hitler’s power grab in the Spring of 1933. Just like in Hitler’s case it has a veneer of constitutionality, but a closer examination shows that both are coups d’état that violate the constitution.
The Organization of American States (OAS) is aware of the extreme gravity of the situation, but still hasn’t lifted a finger, although they are the only international organization that has the power to do something – even if it is just to send a commission.
The UN cannot get involved in internal matters in the member states, unless invited, and it is unlikely Chávez will invite them.
The foreign country that has most to lose in the short run is Honduras, whose readmission to OAS is blocked by Chávez and his ilk. However, in order not to make it more difficult to get readmitted they refrain from denouncing this new Hitler. The Lobo administration is basically licking the boots of the dictator.
The United States of America has no ambassador in Venezuela at the moment. The one appointed is not welcome in Caracas. Perhaps that is why USA has not said what needs to be said:
Hugo Chávez is now a totalitarian dictator.
Nor has the European Union spoken up. Perhaps they are busy with Lukashenko’s dictatorial excesses in Belarus, and can’t keep track of more than one despot at a time. Or maybe it is just under their radar.
However, the one person that I really would expect better from is the Pope. He grew up in Germany, he should be no stranger to the methods that Chávez is using, since they are a blue-copy of what Hitler did. Furthermore, to do this at the eve of Christmas is an insult of diabolic proportion to Christianity.
We celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, who was received as a saviour for an oppressed people in a dictatorship. Christmas is about hope. By giving the Venezuelan people this blow on the eve of the holiday of hope, Chávez has given the middle finger to Christ himself.
What can you do? Inform! Spread the information to everyone you know, to every editor, to every news outlet, to every politician, Church leader, government, blog, twitter, facebook, and demonstrate – even if it just you with one sign in an intersection saying “Chavez has made a coup d’état in Venezuela!”
Getting global awareness is key for being able to restore democracy and liberty and the rule of law in Venezuela. Let the world know that Chávez has made a coup against the Constitution that he himself created.
Ask every newspaper editor, church leader, and government to make a statement that Chávez has made a coup d’état. It is very important that they explicitly say that he has committed a coup d’état!
Ulf Erlingsson writes for the rule of law, human rights and liberal democracy; against corruption, coup d’états, and oppression at Blog.Erlingsson.com. He tweets at Twitter.com/ulferlingsson.