Venezuelan President Huge Chavez has been in office now for more than a decade. Although he was legitimately elected to his office in free and fair elections in 1998, and reelected twice in elections generally deemed to be fair by international observers, he has gradually increased his personal control over the Venezuelan state. Today, he seems little different than a classic Latin American tin pot dictator.
In his latest effort to solidify his hold over the country, Chavez's government is now trying to purchase a minority share of Globovision. This is the last independent television station in Venezeula, and the only one which broadcasts meaningful criticism of his leadership. If this takes place, then some of the last flickers of true political discourse in Venezeula will go out.
Chavez once was the darling of the world's leftists, due to the educational and healthcare programs he implemented after he was first elected, and the dramatic manner in which he thwarted a right-wing coup in 2002. But since then, everything has gone downhill. He has demonstrated a contempt for democracy and sought relentlessly to stifle the voices of the opposition. He is simply not a friend of humanity and has become obsessed merely with maintaining his own hold on power.