Chavez scoffs at critique of power

CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez on Saturday dismissed criticism by the head of the Organization of American States, who expressed concern about a new law granting Venezuela’s leader power to enact laws by decree.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said Friday that the powers granted to Chavez by the previous National Assembly last month were completely contrary to the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Insulza said the OAS probably would soon discuss the law, which will enable Chavez to bypass the congress for 18 months to enact laws affecting a broad range of areas.

Chavez called Insulza’s remarks an embarrassment. “I don’t even ignore you,” he said.

Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry also condemned Insulza’s comments, accusing him of supporting U.S. policies of “intervention and domination” in Latin America.

In November, after Insulza criticized the remarks of a top Venezuelan general, Chavez called the OAS an impotent and increasingly irrelevant organization.

The OAS “will have to start disappearing,” Chavez said.


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