Given the Venezuelan opposition’s penchant for screaming about everything that Chavecito does, and everything he doesn’t do, I wonder how they’ll react to this. Especially since he has just decreed what sounds to me like a pretty good solution for the problem they’ve long been clamoring to have fixed:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez promulgated the Organic Law of Police Service and National Police by presidential decree Wednesday, creating the legal framework for a single, integrated, national "revolutionary police of the People," after nearly 6 years of legislative debate and public consultation. Chavez passed the law under the 18-month law-decree authority that the National Assembly had given him last year for this purpose.
Chávez acknowledged Wednesday evening that citizen security "has been deteriorating." He advocated "profound changes" in order to "finish demolishing the old, repressive police model with education, conscience, social organization, and prevention."
The president said the "capitalist" police forces of the past, which have been "generators of police abuses, not in the rich zones, but in the poor barrios," will be gradually transformed into "communal police" that are "close to the citizens, dialogue-oriented, preventative, which shall be loved by the People and not feared by the People, and shall be part of the People."
Local community councils, which have proliferated since a 2006 law was created to facilitate their formation, will manage "security modules in each barrio," where they will "work with the new police," Chávez envisioned, emphasizing the preponderant role of governors, mayors, police academies, and local populations in this process.
Chávez called for "the best young men and women" to comprise the new brand of humanist police who will be the model for this "transformation from within the current police." They will go through a "very rigorous" and "meticulous" selection process headed up by the Minister of Justice and the Interior Ramón Rodríguez Chacín.
A federal police act is certainly long overdue. Clearly, leaving policing to the municipal mayors is a hit-and-miss proposition. Six years ago, it led to crime and tragedy as the Metropolitan Caracas Police fired upon citizens standing on Llaguno Bridge. The PM, as they’re called locally, were doing it under orders from an anti-Chavez mayor, who has dropped out of public sight since, and three corrupt chiefs, who are all now in prison for crimes against humanity. The Llaguno massacre was part of a larger attempt to foment disorder and force Chavez out of office.
Of course, the opposition has a criminal problem of its own, and a rather large one, that has nothing to do with personal property and everything to do with hate and violence. They have been known to actively attempt to drive Chavez supporters out of oppo-dominated neighborhoods, and certainly never miss an opportunity to commit all kinds of gratuitous violence, mayhem and vandalism, often under a false pretence of “free speech” and protest. And oppo-controlled police have done nothing to get them behaving in an orderly manner. So maybe they’ll scream about this, too, because it curbs their nonexistent “right” to beat the shit out of anyone who disagrees with them.