This book examines the process of dismantling the democratic institutions and protections in Venezuela under the Hugo Chavez regime. The actions of the Chavez government have influenced similar processes and undemocratic maeuvrings in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Honduras. Since the election of Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela in 1998, a sinister form of nationalistic authoritarianism has arisen at the expense of long-established democratic standards. During the past decade, the 1999 Venezuelan Constitution has been systematically attacked by all branches of the Chavez government, particularly by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, which has legitimized the Chavez-ordered constitutional violations. The Chavez regime has purposely defrauded the Constitution and severely restricted representative government, all in the name of a supposedly participatory democracy controlled by a popularly supported central government. This volume illustrates how an authoritarian, ndemocratic government has been established in Venezuela.
Allan R. Brewer-Carias has been Professor at the Central University of Venezuela since 1963 and currently is an adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School. He is Vice President of the International Academy of Comparative Law in The Hague, a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, and Member of the Venezuelan National Academy of Political and Social Sciences, where he served as President from 1997-9. In Venezuela, he is a former Senator for the Federal District, Head of the Presidential Commission on Administrative Reform, and Minister for Decentralization; he was also elected Member of the National Constituent Assembly in 1999. Since 1980, Brewer-Carias has been the Director of the Revista de Derecho Publico (Public Law Journal) of Venezuela and has published numerous books and articles on constitutional and administrative law.