Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chavez continues to expand his powers

The NYT today reported that Chavez had used his presidential decree powers to reorganize the Venezuelan intelligence agencies so that they are answerable directly to him.(1) The decree also made it mandatory to cooperate with the intelligence agencies, a refusal to cooperate with requests for information is punishable by two to four years in prison. Since the reorganization was done via decree, there was no public debate over the change prior to its issue. Unsurprisingly, there's been a bit of an uproar since.

Centralization of power into the executive--that revered fifth republic kind of thing--continues in Venezuela. Seems pretty clear where this is going ...

(1) "Chávez Decree Tightens Hold on Intelligence," by Simon Romero, The New York Times, June 3, 2008