The Allende school for subverting democracy

On Jan. 31, the Venezuelan Congress gave recently re-elected President Hugo Chavez sweeping powers to rule by decree, allowing him to continue his march to a one-party state. In Bolivia, Evo Morales lags somewhat behind his Venezuelan mentor, having still to contend with a recalcitrant judiciary and legislature. And only weeks ago, former Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua.

Clearly, Latin America's anti-American left is enjoying a second wind.

How are they doing it? According to Mr. Morales, Cuba's Fidel Castro advised him in 2003 not to stage an "armed uprising" but to "make transformations, democratic revolutions, what Chavez is...