Chavez Grabs Vast New Powers With Dictator Decrees

List includes a personal militia
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2008 2:08 AM CDT
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has issued a raft of decrees by-passing the nation's legislature and expanding his government's power.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
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(Newser) – Avowed US foe Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has drastically expanded his powers with a litany of personal decrees that bypass the nation's legislature, reports the Wall Street Journal. Some of the decrees enact laws specifically rejected by the electorate in a referendum just months ago.

One decree creates a militia under the president's personal control. "We are in the presence of a dictatorial government which has given a coup d'état to the constitution," said a former interior minister. "We have no constitution, no law and the president does exactly what he wants."