The warning signs just keep coming.

President Hugo Chavez was presenting his blueprint Wednesday for sweeping constitutional changes expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely.

Chavez, who is seeking to transform Venezuelan society along socialist lines, announced late Tuesday that he would unveil his proposal before crowds of supporters at the National Assembly. He predicted it would bring renewed political upheaval to Venezuela.

Chavez’s political allies firmly control the National Assembly, which is expected to approve the plan within months. It then would have to be approved by citizens in a national referendum.

Chavez has revealed few details of his proposal, but has stressed the need to do away with presidential term limits that currently prevent him from seeking re-election in 2012.

Critics accuse Chavez of seeking to become a lifelong leader, like his close friend Fidel Castro in Cuba. They argue his main goal is to expand his power and assure he will be able to run again in 2012.

“Chavez is seeking to reduce the territory held by the opposition and give his intention to remain in power a legal foundation,” said Gerardo Blyde, an opposition leader and former lawmaker.

He said many other reforms are likely to be “red capes” like those used by a bullfighter “to distract Venezuelans from his real objective.”

And, as with most dictatorships, the lies to soften the blow are coming fast and furious

Angel Angulo, a government worker, denied the wealthy would be targeted as Chavez moves to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

Except the rich oil companies. Really, they’ll stop there. Socialism isn’t about targeting the rich.

Except that, when all else is said and done, it is.

“Socialism will bring benefits to those who need it the most, but all of us can live together,” said Angulo.

As long as the rich pay for those benefits, they can all live together. But they’re not targeting the rich.

He argued that opposition leaders oppose indefinite re-election “because they don’t have any chance of being elected in forthcoming elections.”

Mostly because they won’t give away as much free money and benefits as Chavez. The man who robs Peter to pay Paul can generally count on the support of Paul.

Update:  Welcome Pajamas Media readers (and thank-you to PJM for the link).

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