Facing the prospect President Hugo Chavez’s final elected term in office, the Venezuelan people voted to approve a referendum that gave the leader the opportunity to rule their country for life.
The passage effectively removes the previous restrictions that placed term limits on elected officials. Despite a flurry of protests and staunch opposition to the proposal, Chavez is now slated to stay in power beyond 2012, when he will be up for re-election.
Apparently, Chavez thought the people needed a little more “convincing” after they defeated a similar proposal just around 15 months prior.
Chavez said unlimited terms will give him more time to implement a socialist revolution. This is obviously a very viable strategy since it has historically worked so well for Cuba and Soviet Russia.
Anyone can see through Chavez’s thinly veiled actions. This is just another step toward instituting a dictatorship in Venezuela.
Hitler, Mussolini and Napoleon eroded the restrictions in place to protect democratic values until the people were completely under their control.
Two of those men also considered themselves to be socialists.
The situation makes me wonder about the virtues of democracy. Whether one agrees with Chavez’s plans or not, it is unfeasible to support a leader who continually eliminates safeguards and somehow manages to convince Venezuelans to spit on their own constitution.
Democracy can be a beautiful thing, but sometimes it is 51 percent of the people voting to trample the other 49 percent.
In the end, the situation in Venezuela can be a lesson for Americans: We cannot allow the erosion of liberty to be a voted option.
Government must be limited and never allowed to pass its boundary even if some people want it, because if you give them an inch they might just take a mile.