The numerous changes to the Constitution were approved yesterday; The Devils' Excrement reports:
"Thus, it was a very dark day today, in which one of the most sordid processes in the country’s democratic history was completed. The man that reached power by being critical of decisions being made by politicians in smoke filed rooms, has single handedly imposed his illegal will and staged the final needed coup on the country’s Constitution, so that he can impose his dictatorial and autocratic rule on all Venezuelans."Nicely put. Venezuela's national assembly gave its final approval to a number of constitutional reforms that strengthens to almost limitless the powers of President Hugo Chavez. The changes were approved by 160 of the 167 members of the assembly….only 96%...somebody’s for the chop! These changes will become law if a December referendum approves them; this is what the protests were about this week when Venezuelan troops used tear gas and water cannon against protesters against the planned reforms and wanting more time to understand any changes before a referendum. This strong-armed response was possibly due to the successful march last week when pro-Chavez demonstrators failed to upset the students march.
The main change is abolishing presidential term limits, but far more ominous is the fact that President Chavez is also proposing to "bypass legal controls on the executive during a state of emergency"; also he will change the country's internal boundaries making regional terriotories with governors all appointed by the president, something that will no doubt be supported by the thousands of local "communal councils" that will be given more power over what happens in their districts and who in turn will no doubt be supported by party faithful, armed militias.
"...a 1 million-strong civilian militia for a "war of resistance" against the United States."It seems almost natural then that he would also wish an increase in presidential control over the central bank, something also in the approved reforms.
Changing tack a little, Chavez's anti-US rhetoric extends to all walks of life: he wants his people to know more about their history and heros, a noble aim in fact, something taht can be done by etaching history; however he describes it as breaking "the dictatorship of Hollywood", using this new film factory to make movies that better reflect the values and beliefs he is promoting through his socialist revolution....or propaganda as it's called. "More money is going to one film then we've had for all our films for years," says veteran director Alfredo Anzola. He is supportive of some of the government's ideas, but he is sceptical about Cinema City's role.
"I feel sure they want to make good films. What I don't like is that they'll only be the films they want to make. We fought for years to make films that were decided by the film community."One of the first films could be Beauty and the Beast...sorry about that, uncalled for personal insults won't help...Naomi Campbell was there to attend a rally promoting state programs for single mothers; being an active member of Nelson Mandela Children's Fund she also expressed the hope that Chavez and Mandela could meet. However on arrival she told press: "I'm not going to be political. Thank you very much." Next day she was in a different mood when she said:
"Estoy maravillada, en las 24 horas que llevó aquí presente, de ver todo el amor que se refleja en los programas sociales que se extienden especialmente hacia las mujeres y los niños en este país"Translated: "I've been here for 24 hours and I'm amazed to see the love and encouragement for the social programs that you have here for women and children in Venezuela," These days you can't be invited to Venezuela and not be political dear.