President Hugo Chavez today was granted special powers to rule by presidential decree until June 2012, for a period of 18 months instead of the 12 months that the president requested initially.
National Assembly president Cilia Flores proposed that the special powers given to Chavez should be for 18 months instead of one year. Just two days ago, Flores rejected a proposal from a PSUV deputy to make it 18 months instead of 12.
What changed? Nothing.
Chavez likely planned all along to get special powers for 18 months, but staged a bit of Bolivarian political theater by formally asking for 12 months so that it would appear that the extra 6 months was a spontaneous initiative by the “pueblo” – i.e. Flores and his other thug cronies in the lame duck assembly.
The lame duck National Assembly’s vote probably was unconstitutional, but the new Supreme Court sworn in several days ago will dependably rule for Chavez and the Bolivarian regime.
Several new laws approved in the past week or so create the foundations of a communal model of economic activity and social organization plugged institutionally/bureaucratically into a centralized administration (the federal council of government).
The assembly also has approved legislation that will allow the regime to impose tighter controls over the entire spectrum of information flow, from print media to the Internet and social networks.
Banking is now a “public service,” which makes it much easier for Chavez to nationalize any bank he wishes. The general public’s deposits are now a cat’s whisker away from being devoured by the revolution.
The coming urban and rural land reforms that Chavez reportedly plans to decree will finish uprooting and eradicating capitalist notions of private property rights.
The special powers enabling Chavez to rule by decree have, de facto, suspended the Constitution, habeas corpus and the rule of law. Everything is in his grasp, literally.
Chavez will use the special powers to consolidate his totalitarian rule, imposing by force a retrograde communist economic/political model on a country already broken by 12 years of Bolivarian misrule.