The Bolivarian Legacy
Last week, Bolivia's leading opposition figure took the unusual step of seeking political asylum in the Brazilian embassy in La Paz, accusing Evo Morales's government of political persecution and death threats. Just as surprisingly, in a stinging rebuke to the Morales government, the Brazilians granted his request, saying his fears were well-founded.
Last month, a prominent Supreme Court judge in Venezuela fled his country into the custody of the Drug Enforcement Administration, fearing that what he knows of narco corruption at the upper levels of Hugo Chávez's government had placed his life in jeopardy. In Ecuador, judges who refuse to follow President Rafael Correa's orders have been forced to resign and several now live in exile. A leading opposition figure is also being hounded by government lawsuits to silence him.
These recent incidents underscore the success of the most pernicious and effective legacy of the Chávez-led Bolivarian Revolution in Latin America -- tightening the grip on power of increasingly corrupt governments while gutting the judiciaries, silencing independent media, and criminalizing all political opposition.
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