In his grand style, the little Dictator asked for his fourth Enabling Bill, which will allow him to legislate by decree, to help him to face the emergency and the tragedy that is affecting Venezuela. But this is all simply another pantomime by Chavez, another expression that he is an actor and a Dictator at heart, because the last thing he truly needs is an Enabling Bill to confront and deal with the recent floods.
This is all a pantomime by Hugo, a show for the gallery that he expects will make him look like the hero he is not.
Because if he had any clue as to how to attack the emergency and the crisis he would ask some very basic questions: Who, with what and how?
And neither of these requires legislation.
Because when he calls on Farruco Sesto to lead another new Minsitry, this time for the Reconstruction, he is naming as gray a character as he can. Sesto, an architect by training, had publicly said he had no interest in urban planning, which never stopped Chavez from naming him Minsiter of Housing in between to long stays at the Ministry of Culture, Sesto’s real interest. And you have to wonder why Sesto’s time at the Minsitry of Hosuing was so short. If that is all Chavez can come up with in terms of who will lead the emergency, then he is in real trouble.
As to the resources, Chavez controls all the purse strings of the Nation, both the visible and the invisible ones, so there is little that an Enabling Bill will contribute financially to ease the pain of those affected by the floods. Chavez has all of the pockets, coffers and accounts needed, legislation will not helped. He has used the Development Fund Fonden and PDVSA as his petty cash funds, why not do it again.
As to the how. Of what we need is housing, to do that you need land and materials. The land, Chavez has been taking without any compensation for the past few years at will, so it should not be a problem. As to construction materials, Chavez nationalized the cement and steel companies that produce some of the most basic elements of housing. And he did it all without any special legislation and ignoring the mandate of the Constitution for expropriation. In fact, he has yet to compensate the cement companies. So, why go through this Enabling Farce?
The truth is that that is all Chavez is: a farce. He needs the Enabling Bill, because he knows the opposition will cry bloody murder and then he can point to how heartless they are and how they don’t care for the “people”. Because he is on his fourth Bill and he bypasses laws most of the time, so in the end what matters is the announcement, the propaganda, the view from below, not what he is going to accomplish or not with this Bill.
Beacuse for almost 12 years, Chavez has failed to build housing, but seems to have never asked why this is. By choosing the same incompetent comrades that suck up to him all the time, he is condemned to fail and he either knows this or thinks he can compensate for it by having these displays of doing something, which in the end has no impact on any results, if any, in dealing with the crisis.
But he needs the pantomime, the show, the images of a very clean Chavez “managing” the problem, calling on the National Assembly to help him urgenly, saying he used the phoen and told the President of the Assembly to approve the required legislation.
In his heart Chavez must also be relishing the fact that he may even extend his Enabling Powers beyond the 23 days left for the current National Assembly to legislate. On Jan. 5th. the new Assembly comes in and it would obviously be a Constitutional coup to extend the proposed Bill beyond that. But there have been so many coups of this sort that who cares? Really. We held a referendum for Constitutional Reform which Chavez lots, the people spoke and the President went on to legislate 80% of what was rejected by the voters.
What else is new?
All they will do is enable Chavez to continue to look like he is managing the country, until tragedy strikes again.