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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hugo by Decree

  The long road away from democratic rule in Venezuela took another turn today as the national legislature, dominated by the followers of President Hugo Chavez, granted him decree powers. Rule-by-decree is an old tradition in Latin America, so how he uses this power may not have as much effect as his opponents fear. Presidential powers are often much stronger in those nations with an Iberian political tradition. And in case Americans are tempted to think they are above such things, remember that the president of the United States has the power to issue presidential orders and directives, some of which are secret and never known.

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