Slowly but surely, like a large scale Chinese drop torture, Chavez is revealing the different aspects of the constitutional changes he hopes to implement in the very near future.
Here in Venezuela we are not fooled: chavista and anti chavista alike know perfectly well that the objective is to make Chavez president for life. The only difference is that the formers have no problem with that and the later will resist it. The bottom line will come from a not insignificant fraction of chavistas who are having increasingly second thoughts about giving Chavez a final blank check that this time will wipe their democratic account once and for all.
I have been reluctant to discuss the proposed changes simply because I consider them a supreme hypocrisy of Chavez. The objective is not to make better what was alleged to be the best constitution around, one that was supposed to be another one thousand years Reich. I think that as early as 2000 Chavez was already talking of ruling until 2021. Nobody in Venezuela is surprised.
However I do understand that a few people might think that it is worth discussing the proposal. My opinion of such people within Venezuela is that they are either fishing in troubled waters, or have no idea of what is really at stake, have yet to understand what has been going on in the past decade. So, to clear the panorama for them I will be direct, maybe brutal: approbation of the constitutional changes means that the only way that Chavez will leave office is through violent means. Anyone that thinks otherwise is either a blatant liar or totally deluded.
However, for the readers of this blog that plug in from outside I suppose that an explanation is warranted. So, I will try to explain some of the changes proposed, at least as far as we know them, to show that the objective of Chavez is not only to remain in office until he dies à la Fidel, but also to make sure that no opposition movement, no leader can ever have a fair chance to generate an opinion movement that can challenge chavismo at the national level, not even the regional level. For show there will be here and there some town hall that will have a “dissident” administration, gutted of any real power anyway. There will be also some newspaper that will do mild criticism of Chavez actions, though there probably will be no air borne media that will criticize the government. And so perhaps there will be still a fiction of democracy and in 2012 Chavez will still be reelected with “only” 70% of the vote and nobody will challenge the result.
But even that less than a fig leaf will soon enough become unbearable for the regime and by 2021, or much earlier, we will be under a Cuba like regime. At least that is the plan of Chavez. It remains to see if it will work.
[in further posts the details, stay tuned]