Saturday, January 20, 2007

Adolf Hitler and ... Hugo Chavez?

Rule by decree passed for Chavez

I'm very troubled by this happening in Venezuela. I can't help but wonder what the Venezuelan people were thinking about when they elected Chavez for his third term. Now, the representatives they elected are giving Chavez what amounts to dictatorial powers.

Folks, this is a play right out of the Adolf Hitler play book. Hitler and the National Socialists were swept into power, all but taking the Reichstag, as the German the national assembly was called in those days. The only check to Hitler completely taking over was Paul von Hindenburg, who was president at the time. Hindenburg, as his health and mental capacity declined, eventually signed the "Enabling Act" which paved the way for Hitler's consolidation of power when Hindenburg died in 1934. Thus Hitler was able to become dictator of Germany.

In all fairness, it must be pointed out that the Venezuelan Assembly gave Chavez such authority during the first year of his first term and it would appear he gave up those powers when the year was up.

Still, this second appointment for 18 months seems to be another nail in the coffin for democracy and free markets in Venezuela as Chavez intends to nationalize telecommunications and power generation as well as revoke any foreign ownership or share in Venezuela's oil industry. With no real opposition (opposition parties have boycotted elections since 2005), it would seem Chavez is set to take his country on the "Socialism Express" to ruin.

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