LatinaLista — Today, Venezuelans are going to the polls to cast their votes regarding the changes President Chavez wants to make to his country’s Constitution.
Venezuelan referendum ballot to change country’s Constitution.
(Source: El Universal)
To the poor of the country, Chavez appears to be a savior. A very quick scan of the referendum in which changes to Venezuela’s Constitution Chavez wants to make speaks to the poor on many levels.
Yet, the real fear is that with these changes brings even greater potential for corruption and dictatorship that should have the whole Western Hemisphere asking ourselves if a new wave of immigrants will be knocking on our door, and given the current climate, what will be said?
Polls have officially closed. There have been sporadic reports of violence throughout the country at polling places resulting in one polling center being shut down.
In fact, El Nacional newspaper reports that one of their reporters was hit trying to film the violence at one poll.
Who hit her? Government officials.
Already it doesn’t look good for democracy in Venezuela â€” even with supposedly free elections.
Yet, to the poor and disenfranchised of Venezuela, such incidents may never be known as they focus on what changes to the Constitution will mean for them.
Among the notable changes that today’s vote would endorse are:
A 36-hour work week.
Changing the voting age from 18-years-old to 16.
Free attendance to Universities.
Yet, other changes, and ones that justifiably are causes for concern by people who can see beyond tomorrow, are:
No limits on presidential re-elections.
Allowing the President to administer foreign reserves along with the country’s Central Bank.
Allowing the President to decree any territory or geographic space to be a strategic military region for the defense of the nation.
Also, seeing the general direction Chavez is making in his foreign policy: alienating himself from Spain and Colombia, and basically declaring the US, Public Enemy #1, along with his domestic attacks against television and print media that broadcast/print what he considers unfavorable news about him, it is easy to see that Chavez is setting the stage â€” for himself.
That kind of political posturing has historically resulted in disenfranchising the educated and entrepreneurial of society. In fact, when examining the Constitutional changes more closely it’s eerily reminiscent of when Fidel Castro took over Cuba.
There’s no greater proof or complement of how much Chavez idolizes Fidel Castro when looking at these changes.
In fact, Chavez’ referendum vote is the 21st century version of a coup.
Let people thinking they’re voting democratically to instill change, silence opposition and media coverage of any protest, wait patiently for the count and declare yourself the winner.
If that would be the case, would it be enough cause to trigger a mass migration, from some who feel threatened by Chavez, for a more democratic territory?
Would it be cause enough for the U.S. to open its doors to welcome such an exodus?
What is known is that if the Chavez referendum is proclaimed a winner, things will never be the same again for Venezuela or the United States.
It’s something to think about.