Patriot Act Times Ten
Last Wednesday a new intelligence law took effect in Venezuela. It had passed by presidential decree (via enabling law) and it makes the Patriot Act look pale in comparison. In an article poignantly entitled: Chávez's Patriot Act, Spanish newspaper El País comments on how Chávez's hatred for Bush doesn't seem to hold him back from copying some of the worst features the Empire of Evil has to offer. Even the New York Times decided to publish this bit of news on its front page: Chávez Decree Tightens Hold on Intelligence.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the legal text, it should be pointed out that you don't have to be a constitutional lawyer to realize that this is serious stuff indeed: Aside from being in clear violation of the Venezuelan Constitution of 1999, this law effectively suspends Due Process and promotes spying amongst citizens in the best tradition of totalitarian regimes. Even though Venezuelan and international Human Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch were quickly to react against the passing of this law, among the general population, the news doesn't seem to have sunk in just yet. Where is the Blogosphere when you need it?
To be continued...