Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Hugo Chavez is consolidating his thuggish dictatorship in Venezuela. There will soon be a "referendum" - conducted at gunpoint - on a new Constitution that will make Chavez President-for-Life. Ed Morrissey ("Captain Ed") rightly asks, "Where's the outcry?"
What will this referendum do that hasn't already been done by Chavez and his handpicked parliament? After all, he already has the right to rule by decree. Chavez has wrested control of the main economic strut, the oil industry, away from those he sees as his competitors. Chavez also controls all of the media outlets. How much worse can it get?
Plenty. The new constitution would give Chavez control of the central bank and its reserves, making the entire Venezuelan economy his personal checkbook. He will have the power to unseat local governments and their elected representatives and replace them with whomever he sees fit. The Venezuelan Army will become his personal enforcers, superseding civilian law enforcement.
Where's the outcry?... [I]t's nowhere to be found. Human Rights Watch has absorbed itself in the supposed abuses in nearby Colombia while completely ignoring the creation of a police state in Venezuela. The White House has distanced itself from Venezuela in an attempt to reduce Chavez' influence in the region, and the Democrats appear completely uninterested.
Chavez has proven himself a shrewd analyst of global will to intercede on behalf of freedom and liberty. People may cheer King Juan Carlos, but they're not prepared to follow his example.
Captain Ed draws on a Washington Post piece by Jackson Diehl that tells the tale. It's dispiriting, but not surprising, least of all the collusive silence of the "human rights" organisations. After all, Chavez is a follower of Fidel Castro, an ally of Iran, and a sworn enemy of the United States. It follows, logically as it were, who speaks out and who doesn't. Read the whole thing(s) - both Morrissey and Diel.