◼ Chavez Wins: Venezuela Loses
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took a chance by asking his people to do away with term limits, giving him license to be their president indefinitely. He won his gamble on Sunday in a 54% - 46% vote.
The victory is worrisome — even more so, the reasons why this vote took place at all....
...The January-February campaign was the most violent Venezuela had seen since Chavez was first elected. The student movement who opposed him was repressed. Chavez went as far as demanding that police “throw tear gas, and of the strong kind” at any student demonstration.
Chavez also used naked blackmail, threatening the country with civil disorder if he was ever forced to relinquish the presidency.
In past months, we Venezuelans have been subjected to the most brutal and heavy-handed campaign we have ever endured in our democratic history, as the government threw all the power of the state behind Chavez, with open political activity in most public buildings. Public employees were required to donate one day’s paycheck to the campaign and attend a variety of political activities during working hours.
The opposition did its best to fight government dominance, but it was essentially penniless following regional election of 2008. It was also vastly outspent....
A comment on that article: ...I happen to know that the government had a list of everyone that received a fridge, a house, a medical treatment, etc. and abstained from voting in the last Constitution amendment (that’s why the SI lost)… Now they went house-to-house saying: “You better vote this time or…” Although the opposition said that the vote was secret and nobody would know how you voted, the people were sufficiently scared and knew the government manipulates the information to their own benefit. So don’t be too harsh on your fellowmen… They have lived under an autocracy for ten years now, and haven’t a clue what Democracy means for that reason. The countries in LA that lived dictatorships, had to re-learn the meaning and benefits of liberty…. When you don’t exercise a limb or your brain, it takes a lot of exercise to take it back to normal. Plus, the people have been clearly brainwashed….!!