On Friday November 3, the Venezuelan Congress voted to approve a constitutional reform that would allow President Hugo Chavez to be re-elected indefinitely. The same amendment will enable the President to handpick rulers of new regions to be created in the future, and, will also facilitate expropriations of private property. This setting will help consolidate Chavez absolutist rule, which will eventually end in a totalitarian XXI century socialism. Opposition forces and students in Venezuela organized protests against the project that is scheduled to be ratified by popular vote on December 2nd.
General Raul Baduel, a friend of Hugo Chavez, a protector and an accomplice of Chavez who has supported the process of ‘totalitariazation’ of Venezuela for the last five years (including the co-optation of the army into Chavez political agenda) rebelled against the constitutional reform. Baduel claims that this constitutional reform goes against the rights of the people. He urged the population to vote against the ratification of the reform and urged Congress and the judiciary to restore the people’s rights. Baduel has expressed concern over violence and civil war in Venezuela.
[More]Hanz Dietrich, the German ideologist of the idea of XXI century socialism, a strong supporter of Chavez and the idea of Latin American integration into a socialist Bolivarian framework, wrote a column on November 11, expressing concern over Baduel’s revolt. He believes that Baduel’s surprising move indicates that the general is willing to become the opposition leader that Venezuela does not have right now. Dietrich is very concerned that Chavez‘s revolution is weakening and surprisingly calls to avoid conflict. He believes that a defeat for Chavez on December 2 will put an end to the revolution. Thus, Dietrich calls on Chavez to co-opt Baduel, negotiate with him, cut an alliance with him, and thus prevent civil war and secure the continuation of the revolution. The very scared Dietrich is concerned about a repetition of the Bolivian case where President Evo Morales does not have enough support for his constitutional reform. Dietrich ends up the article by saying that the constitutional reform in Venezuela is not necessary after all.
Let us ask, if the power of that revolution was so strong, how come Dietrich is so concerned. In fact, Dietrich calls to co-opt Baduel and cancel the constitutional reform to continue cheating the nation. After all Dietrich is telling Chavez, you can still subjugate Venezuelans without asking them for permission.
El Nacional reports this morning that based on a poll, 40% of the Venezuelans will abstain from voting on December 2. Two groups, the Patriotic Front and the National Command for the Resistance call the population to abstain on December 2. The logic of these groups is to show that Chavez constitutional reforms are supported by a minority and not by a majority as Chavez wants. By contrast General Baduel has called on people to vote "no" on December 2. Baduel seems to believe in the honesty of the process.
Meanwhile it has been reported that 11 organizations have expressed public opposition to the constitutional reforms.
El Universal reports this morning that the Business association (Fedecameras) expressed public opposition to the constitutional reforms predicting a period of civil war and violence in Venezuela. Fedecameras president Juan Manuel Gonzales stated that constitutional reforms seek to "perpetuate the power of one will, one voice. The constitutional reform also is trying to transform us from being citizens in a democratic republic into activists of an enslaving socialism"
Gonzales also denounced that the fact that there are petro-dollars circulating in the market does not mean that the economy is strong. "There is no milk, there is no sugar. Soon we will not have cereals, medicines and materials for construction and efficient manpower to work in agriculture". "We are experiencing scarcity of basic products. This is a situation we never experienced before". Price-controls in Venezuela have systematically discouraged production in the last several years.
Meanwhile El Nacional reports this morning that Chavez is planning to travel to Teheran next week. The reason for their visit is to follow up on previous agreements signed between Caracas and Teheran. The Venezuelan Ambassador in Tehran, Arturo Gallego reiterated Venezuela’s support for Iran’s nuclear program.
Would there be any relation between the internal revolt in Venezuela and Chavez’s trip to Tehran? After all the Iranians have been very skillful in repressing opposition forces. Perhaps the Iranians will teach them something Venezuelans do not know.