"Hugo Chavez came one step closer to becoming a full-fledged dictator on January 17. As the Associated Press reported, "Venezuelan lawmakers gave their initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can impose sweeping economic, social and political change." The vote in the National Assembly was unanimous — as befits a budding communist country. Not that Chavez's powers were much constrained prior to that vote, but his soon-to-be official recognition as Venezuela's dictator serves as an important reminder that state control of the economy and dictatorship go hand in hand."
This is not a shock. However, where is Cindy Sheehan and the world's left. Chavez is now an embarrassment for all of those who supported him: As Tupy wrote:
"Chavez, on the other hand, wishes to pursue Soviet-style economics. Moreover, his quest for total power reminds us of the anti-democratic nature of socialism. As such, he is turning into a major embarrassment for many on the political left who supported him. What the proponents of socialism repeatedly fail to realize is that it is the message, not just the messenger that is embarrassing."
How popular is Chavez? See Thousands Fleeing Hugo Chavez's Venezuela:
"Each day after dawn, hundreds of Venezuelans gather outside the Spanish Consulate in Caracas, hoping to get papers allowing them to flee the South American country for Spain. Others form long lines at other consulates, equally fearful of the future of Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez."