Martov: No wonder they call you Robespierre. Everyone's got to think like you, or they're out!
Trotsky: He thinks freedom is something you write on a wall, you don't actually practice it.
Lenin: That's not true. Of course, I agree you're free to say what you like. And you must agree I'm free to shoot you for saying it.
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Michael Bryant as Lenin, Brian Cox as Trotsky, Stephen Grief as Martov).
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Chavez: President for Life
Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has convoked his tame National Assembly to propose amendments to the constitution there to increase the six-year presidential term to seven years, and to scrap term limits.
But no, Chavez is not, not becoming a dictator. Don't even think that, or you'll be in a dungeon someplace. “It's not that I want to enthrone myself," the Los Angeles Times quotes Hugo as saying, "This shouldn't surprise anyone.” True, you’d have to be an idiot (such as any political opponents not already living in Miami) to be surprised. Why is this even news ? Chavez has been more patient than I would be, I’m surprised he didn’t do this sooner.
“It's done this way in any number of countries.” Yeah, Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Iran, to name a few.
Is your secret police going to be more like Cuba’s or Russia’s ? Personally, I’d suggest the Russians, they’ve been doing it more efficiently, for longer. Besides, take too much advice from the Cubans and you'll be up to your neck in Castro's spies, and make the creation of potential rivals in your own system easier. It's easier to game, and watch, foreign helpers with a language and culture barrier. But that's your worry, Chief. Hope you sleep well.
Have your police officials get the Gestapo, the SD and East German Stasi manuals too – certainly worth a look. Oh yeah, and you need a foreign intelligence service: the exiles are going to began to be a problem soon, as soon as the Americans pull their thumbs out of it. You could do worse than copy the GRU. Just remember to change your personal guards every so often; vary your schedule and routes; employ food testers; and, never, ever let important people travel abroad with their families.
I do wonder, though Hugo, if you're really up to this ? You're cold enough, no mistake; and you have the demagogue's flair, but how smart are you ? Those stupid politicians and generals almost got you in 2002: if they'd had the gumption to kill you, you'd have been just another wannabe caudillo. My bet is you've learned enough, but we'll see.
Meanwhile, as the new Maximum Leader tells us. "There are many lies circulating in the world, about a dictatorship in Venezuela, about a concentration of power in Venezuela." Right, and the object, Hugo, is to make sure your "truth" is the only one your people can hear, so they know that: "This is a transfer of power to the people."
Anyway, I’m sure, Boss, that you've got some secure places for any people who get ideas about being transferred too much power.