Towards a police state


Over on the Cato-at-Liberty blog, Juan Carlos Hidalgo reminds us what Ken Livingstone's old chum Hugo Chavez has been getting up to lately:

Last week, he decreed a new intelligence law (no need for a National Assembly here) that basically turns Venezuela into a police state. The new law requires that people:

"… comply with requests to assist the agencies, secret police or community activist groups loyal to Mr. Chávez. Refusal can result in prison terms of two to four years for most people and four to six years for government employees."

The law also stipulates that the police agencies can conduct surveillance activities on the population, like wiretapping, without a warrant. Furthermore, the authorities can deny access to evidence to defendant lawyers under the grounds of "national security."

Too many people persist in believing that Chavez is harmless and well intentioned. It's time they woke up.