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Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro Granted Special Powers

The Venezuelan senate grated sweeping executive powers to president Nicolas Maduro in order to deal with the “threat” from the United States. The U.S. increased sanctions against the socialist country after reports of human rights abuses were reported. Maduro increased military exercises getting ready for an invasion that we all know isn’t really coming. So, he asked the senate to pretty much grant him all decision making powers. For a period of nine months Maduro can pretty much do whatever he wants. This is a power grab right out of the playbook of his hero Hugo Chavez. He too used any perceived or real emergency to consolidate his own power. But I think who Maduro is really afraid of is his own people.

Venezuelans have been protesting in what is becoming an increased economic, social, and human rights problem in the country. When the barbarians are at the gate is when dictators arise. It reminds me of the temporary tyrannical powers that the ancient Roman senate used to grant their leaders in times of war. It was temporary and was to be relinquished once the war was over. But what happens when the threat is at best an ongoing threat with no real “end” or is just made up? A famous Roman general named Cincinnatus was famous for freely giving up his power twice when he  was no longer needed. Something tells me that Maduro is no Cincinnatus.

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