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."