Today is another day of voting for the people of Venezuela, in yet another attempt to extend his stronghold on the oil rich country, Chavez has called another referendum that would allow him to remain in power as long as he can win elections. As a Canadian, I can't really complain about this, because this system is exactly what we have here in Canada, but as an outside observer I can't help but think that the people of Venezuela have told him no before and he should let sleeping dogs lie. IN fact the slogan of the opposition is "No is No!"
According to Reuters Chavez has deported an independent European lawyer who was in Caracas to observe the voting process. Showing yet again that Chavez has no interest in a fair democratic process and he fears that an independent observer might expose questionable practices in the voting process.
It has also been reported that Chavez's supporters have taken to calling him "El Comandante" the name once reserved for his mentor, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. If this nickname and his having kicked out an observer aren't enough to make any sane person cringe there is also the case of his campaign fliers that list the two reasons people should vote in favor of Chavez:
"Chavez loves us and love is repaid with love."
"Chavez is incapable of doing us harm."
I'm guessing that there will be a special 6 hour episode of "Hello President" today where Chavez proves his love for his country, bad mouths the US and scares people into voting for his reform.
The larger question is: Are the people really propping up the government of this Castro doppelganger or (with the lack of independent observation) is this government being kept in power by lies and votes that never happened?