The latest report from Human Rights Watch points to increased concentration of powers and abuse of the democratic system by Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez. See it here.
It is important to note that Chavez and his followers believe that the media should serve to support and encourage the social, political and economic changes sought by the government, and that the institutions of the state (judiciary, legislature, executive) should also reinforce the regime's socialist goals. Their goal is not to build or defend a western democracy, but to bring radical change to the country.
Chavez continues to have the support of just over half of Venezuelans. With an intimidated and compliant court system, a cowed and controlled media, and hundreds of millions of dollars of oil revenue to spend on social programs and make-work projects, that's not surprising. Venezuela's poverty is widespread and chronic, misery and need are endemic, and Chavez has given bread, jobs, houses, hope and pride to millions who've never had it before. The other half of the population can just go jump in the lake, I suppose.