Editorial Commentary / Opinion
The blitzrieg (total destruction) Hugo Chávez is launching this year against democracy and citizen rights and liberties is leaving not a single brick standing. War has been declared on dozens of fronts.
One remarkable feature of this race towards communism that Chávez is running is that he is managing to do it by resorting to an able magician’s hocus pocus: getting the public to focus on what he is doing with one hand so that they miss what he is destroying with the other.
A clear example of this was the strategy used on the day the Electoral Processes Law was passed following its second debate. That Friday, July 31, the Attorney General submitted a proposal to the National Assembly, on the sly, requesting that it discuss a Media Crimes Bill, while, almost simultaneously, at 7 p.m., Conatel announced the closure of 34 radio stations around the country and threatened to close 200 plus more. The result was that all the media focused on the proposed bill and the closure of the radio stations, while the law that will ensure that Chávez gets the votes he needs so that his legislators are elected was sneaked through parliament.
Something similar is happening this Thursday, August 13, with the unconstitutional and strongly questioned Education Bill, whose purpose is the indoctrination of the country’s youth and the creation of a new Chavista revolution. This bill has attracted the attention and provoked the repudiation of a large segment of the population, who have embarked wholeheartedly on street protests and making the general public aware of the dangers of this piece of legislation. Meanwhile, the approval of the Urban Lands Law –another stone Chávez will use to entomb private property- is going unnoticed.
This bill was approved by the National Assembly following its first debate on Tuesday, August 11, and, despite the dangers it poses for property rights, it will be passed today, August 13, following its second debate with no discussion by or reaction from the public at large, while the National Guard uses teargas against the thousands of demonstrators protesting against the Education outside the National Assembly.
The magnitude of the repercussions of this new Urban Lands Law can be forecast by simply looking at the appalling results of the Lands Law. Resorting to this law, the National Lands Institute has arbitrarily and discretionally appropriated hectares of land and numerous private fully productive properties, which has resulted in the devastation of Venezuela’s agriculture and the decline in its domestic agribusiness’s productive capacity.
Now, the new Urban Lands Law will give the super-minister for public works and housing the powers to appropriate as much land as he wants in towns and cities in the interest of building the homes this government has been incapable of building in the past ten years.
This law will not only regulate “the use and tenancy of urban lands suitable for developing social housing and habitat programs,” but it will also declare to be affected with a public purpose urban land that is “without use,” without buildings, land that has been abandoned by its owners or any land the Executive decides is affected with a public purpose. Even land that is subject to inheritance disputes or any other type of lawsuit could fall prey to this law, with the result that it could be “seized preventively.” And to make this arbitrary seizure of other people’s property legally final, the government will need only 35 business days.
All this goes to show that what few rights and freedoms Venezuelans still have are being dramatically eroded daily. Meanwhile Chávez and his band continue laying waste to everything in pursuit of a communism that only brings destruction and poverty.
VenEconomy has been a Venezuela's leading specialized publisher on financial, political and economic data since 1982. VenEconomy's Points of View on the issues of the day, as seen by VenEconomy during the last week. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by VeneEconomy on 08/13/2009. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers .
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Petroleumworld News 08/14/09
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