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Venezuela is now a dictatorship

How far do the leaders of a country have to go before that country can be labeled a dictatorship? For me, Chavez has been a dictator for some time, but there are those that are persuaded by his revolutionary twaddle, refusing to look at his actions. The UN for example, regularly finds justification to praise him, no doubt getting a thrill from thumbing their nose at the US.

But can anyone read this story, and doubt that Venezuela has descended into becoming a brutal authoritarian state?

A one-man Venezuelan court demanded 16 years in prison for Venezuelan democracy campaigner Maria Corina Machado. The one-stop-judge/jury/jailer also violated her rights by refusing to allow her to speak in the courtroom as is her right.

The jail sentence hes demanding is much higher than anyone expected. The politicized judge also demanded to detain her-- in an abysmal Venezuelan prison-- when she returns to court on Feb. 14.

What did she do? She organized the peaceful campaign that attempted to unseat Chavez last year (and failed due to a fixed referendum). And now Chavez is getting his revenge.

Need more proof? How about this: The ceremony to open the Supreme Court of Venezuela this year was concluded with the judges in their formal robes standing up and singing the Chavista chant Uh Ah Chavez no se va (Uh Ah Chavez is not leaving). When a once independent judiciary so openly displays its subservience to the President, it's pretty clear that any semblance Venezuela once had to a democracy is gone.

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