Hugo Chavez has made himself dictator of Venezuela, abandoning any pretext of democratic rule:
Mr Chavez has said the legislation will transform the country into a socialist society. Opponents describe the new law as an abuse of power.
In the open-air public ceremony in the capital, lawmakers voted unanimously to grant the Venezuelan leader the new powers, shouting: “Long live Socialism.”
Congressional Vice President Roberto Hernandez said the assembly passed the law so Mr Chavez could “urgently set up the framework for resolving the grave problems we have”.
According to the so-called enabling law, the president can remake laws for “the construction of a new, sustainable economic and social model” to achieve an equal distribution of wealth.
The only question from now on is how high the death toll will be — whether Chavez’s “socialist” revolution will be kind by historical standards and only involve the deaths of a few hundred thousand or whether the death toll will rise to the millions.
George Satayana once noted that those who fail to learn from history are damned to repeat it — and now the people of Venezuela are truly damned by Chavez’s authoritarian visions.
One can only hope that there’s a Brutus waiting somewhere in the wings…