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Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chavez proposes eliminating limits on presidential re-election

August 16, 2007

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Venezuela's National Assembly listens as President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech Wednesday at the National Assembly in Caracas. He presented his blueprint for constitutional changes expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely, a move his critics call a threat to democracy.

Venezuela's National Assembly listens as President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech Wednesday at the National Assembly in Caracas. He presented his blueprint for constitutional changes expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely, a move his critics call a threat to democracy.

— President Hugo Chavez called for radical changes to Venezuela's constitution Wednesday night, proposing reforms that would eliminate current limits on his re-election and extend presidential terms.

Chavez, speaking to the National Assembly, said presidential terms should be extended from six to seven years. But the self-styled revolutionary who is seeking to transform Venezuelan society along socialist lines denied he wants lifelong power as his opponents allege.

"I propose to the sovereign people the seven-year presidential term, the president can be re-elected immediately for a new term," Chavez said. "If someone says this is a project to entrench oneself in power. No, it's only a possibility, a possibility that depends on many variables."

Chavez also proposed ending autonomy of Venezuela's central bank, which would give him access to billions of dollars from the banks reserves, creating new types of property that would be managed by cooperatives and creating "a popular militia" that would form part of the military.

"They accuse me of making plans to be in power forever or to concentrate power. We know it isn't like that. It's power of the people," Chavez said earlier Wednesday. "So many lies in the world. I doubt there is any country on this planet with a democracy more alive than the one we enjoy in Venezuela today."

Critics accuse Chavez of seeking to remain as president for decades to come, like his close friend Fidel Castro in Cuba. Many fear he is steering this oil-rich South American nation toward Cuba-style communism.

Chavez, a former paratrooper commander who was first elected in 1998 and re-elected to a new six-year term in December, denies copying Cuba and insists that personal freedoms will be respected. He and his supporters say democracy has flourished under his administration, noting he has repeatedly won elections by wide margins.

Chavez pushed through a new constitution in 1999, shortly after he was first elected. He said the charter must be redrafted so that Venezuela's capitalist system "finishes dying" to make way for socialism.

The Venezuelan leader's political allies firmly control the National Assembly, which is expected to approve the reform plan within months. The plan then would have to be approved by citizens in a national referendum.

Opponents, meanwhile, attacked the reform plan.

"Chavez is seeking to reduce the territory held by the opposition and give his intention to remain in power a legal foundation," said Gerardo Blyde, an opposition leader and former lawmaker.

Crowds of red-clad supporters cheered outside the National Assembly, holding flags and signs reading: "Yes to the reform, on the path to 21st Century Socialism." Giant video screens were set up, and folk music blared from sound trucks near a two-story-tall inflatable figure of Chavez.

Hours earlier, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington that the United States would wait for details of Chavez's proposal before commenting on it. He added that Chavez in the past "has taken a number of different steps ... that have really eroded some of the underpinnings of democracy in Venezuela."

Comments

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 6 months ago

How would the Chavez apologists feel if Bush tried to eliminate term limits? How would they feel if Bush was invited to another country and then proceeded to call that country's leader a devil on his own soil? How would they feel if Bush hung out with Danny Glover despite the fact that Glover hasn't made a decent film since "Lethal Weapon II"?

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

And then there is the step after step of making stuff up... and the film runs constantly...

The U.S. mainstream media has reported so many lies about Chavez that very few Americans have any idea what he is really about...

Flap Doodle 7 years, 6 months ago

What part of "President Hugo Chavez called for radical changes to Venezuela's constitution Wednesday night, proposing reforms that would eliminate current limits on his re-election and extend presidential terms." is "making stuff up"?

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle I wasn't commenting on what the article says... I actually think this article is pretty strait forward... and I think if you look close enough at the other posts you can figure out who is making stuff up...

Tychoman 7 years, 6 months ago

I like how with just about all rightwingers on this board, there is no moderate. There is only "looney left," "far left" "Bush haters." You're either far to the right, or so far to the left you're off the scope. Way to be mature, guys.

Sigmund 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh come on stuckinthemiddle, grow a pair. Name names and cite specifics!

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

Sigmund I think anyone who cares to know who I'm talking about, does... but just to let you know... if I ever did feel a need to "grow a pair" I'd not likely try to do that in an anonymous online comment section of a newspaper... though the idea is amusing...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

Sigmund and... if they know the who... they know the "specifics"...

BigDog 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah ..... I am sure his election reforms will be like the elections they have in Cuba. You get to vote but no choices other than those chosen by the ruling party.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

There you go, Pilgrim... that beats the hell out of you making stuff up...

right_thinker The only thing worse than a Bush Hater is a Bush Humper... I personally have no use for either...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim You're still doing it... Go back and compare what you're saying to what any of the articles are saying... If you can't see that you're making stuff up there isn't any point in trying to point it out to you any clearer...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim What you posted originally is not supported in the articles you provided, which, by the way, were pretty good reading...

On the other hand... you continue to make stuff up... which people tend to do when they can't make their points with facts...

shockchalk 7 years, 6 months ago

Wow, this is such a big surprise!!! Where o' where is BOZO and his undying love and support of the wonderful Hugo Chavez?????

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Ceallach 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm curious to know the positive attributes of Hugh Chavez, and his contributions to the people of Venezuela.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

I seem to recall a lot of Reagan worshippers seriously campaining to have the amendment on presidential term limits repealed towards the end of his tenure. With a Democratic-controlled Congress, and advancing Alzhiemers making it difficult for Reagan to learn his lines, it didn't fly far.

However, if they had succeeded, and the laws and constitution had been followed in doing so, although it would have been disastrous if it actually returned Reagan to the White House, it would not have been "undemocratic."

The only differences between these two situations is that Chavez likely has the votes in the legislature to make it happen, and while his PT Barnum gene remains dominant, he doesn't appear to be suffering from Alzheimers.

Now, we can debate all day whether or not it will be good for Venezuela to elect, and re-elect, Chavez for the rest of his life, but if that's what they freely choose to do, it isn't really "undemocratic," is it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"How did he get those votes in the legislature, anyone remember?"

Elections. Are you implying they happend otherwise?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"Depends on whether the Venezuelan people actually have that choice."

So far, they have, and Chavez has won hands down. Does that make him like Castro? Or are you convicting him on what he might do (in your wildest imagination-- not that you have much?)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

It very well may be that Chavez will follow the long Venezuealan tradition of oligarchic concentration of power and wealth. Ironically, that is precisely what RCTV wished to return to-- just not with Chavez at the top.

But he hasn't done that yet.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone believe that r_t has any reading comprehension whatsoever?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

OK, r_t. Do want to know what I really think?

;kajdsfg;oiq3tlkanvlkaj nvwqefjaldkfgna w;vit qe;orhg;aklndvkJW/BNTK ;KJAHF;GJQA;J ;lskdfj'lakmndflskdf/l'sdfg/k,nqerkljha'ocva/lskngrqelrkgjlaksdflkanga 'akljg;lkandfslknag;lkandfblnaoeritqoijwer/qn gb/aq /LKNMS;DFLIJGQ.n,sdfklgjw'eal;mrg.A,dfg'lqeirjh'lakznxcv'bijasd'lgr adklnjrt[oqhj';lknb'oijqeor'tnmqe/lkrn/alkchbvaoihrnLQKnel.kwj'bBHF'roiqnt4'yoqafj/.,a dfmg'qaerog

I know, r_t, those are strong words. But I'm ready for you. Tear me a new a**hole.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"How would the Chavez apologists feel if Bush tried to eliminate term limits?"

If he thought he could, he would. Even though I wouldn't like it, there are constitionally acceptable ways for him to attempt it, which would mean that it would not be "anti-democratic" to try, or even succeed. Unfortunately, the two elections that were used as justifications for installing Bush in the White House weren't as fair or as open as the elections that put Chavez in office.

" How would they feel if Bush was invited to another country and then proceeded to call that country's leader a devil on his own soil?"

Chavez was not "invited" to this country. Chavez was at the UN, which is not US territory, even if it is in NYC. BushCo has interfered in Venezuelan internal affairs way more than Chavez has US internal affairs. And when it strikes Bush's fancy, he doesn't need an invitation, anyway-- he just invades, and then kills the foreign leaders he doesn't like.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"Wow, I can't argue with that. No, I mean, there's no arguing with this person. Completely insane."

Since you have no arguments, of course you can't argue.

But hey, you can continue to completely mis/reinterpret anything I say. That seems to be your favorite form of "argument."

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

gl0ck0wnr Never wait to be educated... Go for it... there is lots of information out there... do your own research...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

bennyoates Indeed... but then... a lot of those people, and "conservatives" and Republicans come to mind, somehow started loving the Federal Government when Bush got into office... It is sad what has become of the Republican Party and it is laughable what passes as conservative these days...

Bubbles 7 years, 6 months ago

Tychoman (Anonymous) says:

I like how with just about all rightwingers on this board, there is no moderate. There is only "looney left," "far left" "Bush haters." You're either far to the right, or so far to the left you're off the scope. Way to be mature, guys.

I knew you were a wishy washy moderate kind of fella.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 6 months ago

Americorps:

Great post, you can't expect your politicians to be any better than the expectations of their supporters. You've maintained your ideals and demanded that those who allege to embrace them retain the standards which the allege motivate them. Great post.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 6 months ago

bennyoates And again... I absolutely agree with your latest post... I haven't seen anyone here apologizing for Chavez... but some of us understand what the U.S. government and the media have done regarding Central and South America for the past 100 years... It makes no difference what a leader does to or for his country... whether he is a good guy or bad guy is entirely depended upon whether he accepts and cooperates with U.S. power...

I'm no fan of Chavez: I'm no fan of Socialism: and I'm no fan of the U.S. trying to tell other people how to run their countries: and threatening and or waging war against them if they don't bow down and cooperate:

wheatridge 7 years, 6 months ago

"Unfortunately, the two elections that were used as justifications for installing Bush in the White House weren't as fair . . ."

What is the basis for this staement?

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 6 months ago

stuckinthemiddle (Anonymous) says: And then there is the step after step of making stuff up: and the film runs constantly: The U.S. mainstream media has reported so many lies about Chavez that very few Americans have any idea what he is really about:


What lies? You sound as if you're defending this scumbag's integrity. It's pretty clear what he's about, no good.

jumpin_catfish 7 years, 6 months ago

give it time and he's gone, sadly at the expense of his own people. even if sean penn likes him you'll notice he ain't movin' there is he, the movie business wouldn't work in that country capitalism and democracy are better for the movie business. freedom of speech and stuff like that.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 6 months ago

Chavez is a two-bit populist dictator who cares not a lick for freedom or his country's constitution.

Karl Rove should recognize well these lies and obfuscations from Chavez.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

"What is the basis for this staement?"

Florida, 2000-- Gore wins Florida, but thanks to W's brother, the governor, his state campaign manager, who is also head Florida election officer, an egregious conflict of interest, and finally a corrupt US Supreme Court ruling, W takes the electoral votes.

Ohio, 2004-- Again, the head election officer of the state is also Bush's state campaign manager-- another egregious conflict of interest. The result? Massive election irregularities, and very strong evidence that the vote was hacked, and deja vu all over again, while Kerry very well may have won Ohio, Bush gets the prize.

Tychoman 7 years, 6 months ago

And just what is that supposed to mean, Bubbles? Dazzle me with your rhetoric.

wheatridge 7 years, 6 months ago

Now, we can debate all day whether or not it will be good for America to elect, and re-elect, GWB , but if that's what they freely choose to do, it isn't really "undemocratic," is it?

A little inconsistent in your illogic, huh?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

If, in fact, it were clear that GWB was actually elected, or reelected, or that our election system weren't so flawed all the way around, your charge of inconsistency would have merit.

Try again, wheatridge.

james bush 7 years, 6 months ago

Send in Jimmy Carter and the ACLU. Surely Hugo will listen to someone as enlightened as they!

jumpin_catfish 7 years, 6 months ago

The Chavez apologists are the biggest failures, bigger then Bush could ever be, they fail to see Chavez as the power hungry devil in history's long line of power hungry devils that he is. To support Chavez in anyway is a betrayal of the human race. Open your eyes and ears and wake up!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

Who's apologizing for Chavez?

The point is that the leader of Venezuela is the rightful choice of the Venezuelan people, and so far they have rather overwhelmingly chosen Chavez. Your vehement condemnations of what he "might" do may be emotionally satisfying to your ideological biases, but to claim that you are for "democracy" while simultaneously trying to deny Venezuelans their democratic right to choose their own government is hypocrisy at its height. But that hypocrisy is the basis of BushCo sycophancy, so no real surprise.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 6 months ago

You know, the last time I looked at a map, Peru is a long ways away from Venezuela. I don't see how that makes your assertions more beleivable than those of anyone here. Do you have any links describing in detail your claims of rigged elections and the funding of terrorists? If so, why do you believe those sources over the rather sizable amount of data indicating the opposite?

wheatridge 7 years, 6 months ago

in fact, it were clear that GWB was actually elected, or reelected, or that our election system weren't so flawed all the way around?

Fact, please define? Clear to whom? actually, I beleive he was elected and relected by some definitions a fact Flawed ? Fact or ? all the way around? Another pot shot?

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