Unsurprisingly, the left loving LA Times is the last to realise that communism is not dead. They get it right in this editorial though.
Hat Tip Babalu Blog
President Hugo Chavez has apparently taken his landslide victory as a mandate to impose an authoritarian socialism on his nation that looks frighteningly like the model created by his idol, Cuba’s Fidel Castro. If his drive to consolidate power over the media, the telecommunications industry and other sectors succeeds, by the time his term expires six years from now it may no longer be possible to hold a free election in Venezuela.
Chavez also seems intent on destroying Venezuela’s civil society. He already controls all three branches of government, with all 167 seats of Congress held by lawmakers allied to Chavez and with the Supreme Court stacked with loyalists. After his reelection, he announced plans to merge his coalition of allied parties — effectively creating a one-party state — and to pursue a constitutional amendment ending presidential term limits, meaning he could run indefinitely.
Any criticism of Chavez or his henchmen can now be interpreted as disrupting public order, and Venezuela also has passed harsh libel laws aimed at curbing “disrespect” of government officials. Though RCTV is just one of many opposition media outlets, Chavez has sent a chilling message to the rest that he can shut them down at any time.