Daniel from Venezuelan News and Views, has posted about the draft of the new Venezuelan constitution summing it up with the words “the path to an eternal Chávez dictatorship“.
No more private property besides your personal belongings. That is, there will be some private sector allowed with business of reasonable size but the sate will have the right to expropriate or confiscate at will if it thinks it is necessary to its interests (NOTE: even if it is all made in the name of the “people”, since it is the state that translates the “real will” of the people, well, you know which are the interests truly served).
The air borne media will have rights to emit only if they serve educative purpose. The state decides which are the educative goals.
The autonomy of Universities is done with. The state will be deciding which careers should be offered and which is the right curriculum to follow. You can decide on your own how creativity and free thought in a controlled university will prosper.
Decentralization will be done with. Governors and Mayors will be subordinated to special vice presidents. Mayors can be removed almost at will by the National Assembly. And anyway, elected Governors and Mayors will be gutted of most meaningful power they might have. That is, they will be left with picking up the garbage and be blamed for anything else that doe snot work.
Basically, then, a socialist/communist dictatorship. As we have feared.
If you understand Spanish, just watch this video. Very interesting to see, how Chávez has changed.
There is another worrying sign in Venezuela: its treatment to foreign little investors. And do you think that the support Zapatero has given Chávez has changed it? Well, no, in fact, Spanish -and Portuguese and Italian- emigrants in Venezuela have been robbed and kidnapped because they did not want to give their lands to outsiders:
Canarian and Galician farmers have been denouncing kidnappings and the invasion of their lands by peasants paid by Venezuela. Today the Catalan newspaper “La Vanguardia” runs in its Sunday edition, an important report in the situation. Newspaper El Mundo also takes a look to this matter.
Marbella Rodríguez was nearly burnt alive when she tried to defend the lands of her father. “They are not importing Cuban model but Zimbabwean model. Hugo Chávez is not bringing communism but chaos, robbery, kidnapping. They want Spanish out of the country, they are making us leave it“, says Luis Valdés, an unhopeful 67-years-old farmer (51 spent in Venezuela).
He is one of the 66 Europeans – Spanish, Italians and Potuguese- who have been kidnapped in the last one year and a half in the state of Yaracuy by armed bands, who, according to different statements, are connected with oficialist political leaders. There are not more kidnapping counted by police, because the families not only do not denounce them, but also deny them because of the possible retaliation. Dozens of Spanish farmers have seen their lands stolen in moments of full production by false cooperativists who, after stealing harvests, livestock and machinery, abandon the lands.
[…] “Spanish people -states Phandor Quiroga, ex-Major of San Felipe, Yaracuy’s capital- have prospered because they are very hard-working types. Emigrants, now with Venezuelan sons and grandsons, revitalised the lands. They were greeted as brothers. Now they are called oligarchs, even if they have little lands, with an average extension of 120 hectares. For the most part they are little landowners who, with a lot of sacrifice and making huge savings, bought some lands“.
[…] The method they use repeats itself: outsiders invade a land, in less than a week they are given an stay pass, they are given tractors and other tools. In less than a month they are given 39 millions of Bolivars (15.500 €) in money and 59 millions (24.000 €) in products and tools. Everything is wasted. Nothing is produced there any more”.
After lots of negotiations, and thanks to the good relationship between Chávez and the Spanish Ambassador, Raúl Morodo, some of the Spanish farmers received a little compensation for the lose of their lands. Portuguese, Italians and a lot of Venezuelan have received nothing. The Canarian Edmundo Rodríguez received only 110.000 € for a 100-hectares land. “I am totally broke. I cannot even pay the first instalment of an apartment in Spain with that money”, he comments with an unhappy expression.
Edmundo and his daughter Marbella are the true image of the two generations dedicated to work. In Venezuela the census lists 175.000 Spanish and 250.000 descendants. Totally sick of the agressions, a lot of the farmers are considering the idea of going back to Spain. But for the most part, they are modest people who, stripped of their lands, do not have enough money to begin a new life.
“Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, we are all annoying the Government. They want us to leave because we are uncomfortable witnesses. They do not want complaints. We cannot go on like this. Do we wait till they shot us in the head? You feel totally defenceless, you are not from there, not from here– says Rosaura Ibáñez, a distressed Canarian. Some names cited in the report are fictitious to preserve the security of the interviewed-. I never though that the hate against the foreigner could be used as a political tool. When Chávez is on TV, I turned it off, because I do not want to get all his hate”.
A judicial representative from the state of Yaracuy exposed with all the cruelty to La Vanguardia, that there is a campaign to make the Spanish people emigrate from Venezuela. “A lot of the kidnappings are politically caused. The pro-Chávez MP Braulio Álvarez is the responsible of the invasions of the lands owned by Spanish, Italians and Portuguese. He is protecting them, he promotes and supports them. Europeans are annoying, because they have the protection of their embassies. They do not like that the foreign Governments defend their people. The huge part of kidnapped and subjects of expropiations are Europeans or of European origins. There is not a single kidnapped which has been solutioned. Justice is just a sham”, according to the same judicial source.
There haven’t been reactions from the Spanish Government that I know of.
You can also see the demonstrations in Rome and Milan supporting freedom of expression in Venezuela. More photos here.
UDPATE: Writing the post in the Spanish blog, I have found that José María Aznar has said: “I prefer the photo of the Azores (the one in which he appeared with Bush and Blair) than the Spanish photo with Castro and Chávez“. h/t Prevost. Me too.
UDPATE 2: Chávez has announced that he is going to buy more submarines to Russia and to strengthen the nation’s short-range air-defense system, contining then the trend that could make Venezuela the most improtant buyer of weapons of the decade. h/t Lady Godiva.
While the hospitals are in this state (scroll down the link to see more photos).