Hugo Chavez's Venezuela

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on January 22, 2008

The American left has been decrying the end of free speech, freedom of expression and civil rights under President George W. Bush's "police state" ever since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led to the passing of the Patriot Act.

Columnists like Paul Krugman have publicly fretted that they could be sent to Gitmo.

It's clear that these people wouldn't know a police state if it came and bit them in the butt.

Case in point is what appears to be the attempted assassination of Judge Monica Fernandez of Venezuela. Venezuelan officials are calling the incident a botched car robbery, but curiously the victim of the robbery had been branded an enemy of the state the night before on state-run television.

The night before she was shot, Judge Fernandez was the target of a television program called “La Hojilla” (The Razor) used by the government as its public pillory. It is on La Hojilla that the party faithful and the media learns who is in and who is out of Chavez’s favor. In a studio adorned with portraits of Lenin, Mao, Marx, Stalin, and Che Guevara, the program’s host, Mario Silva, attacks all of those who disagree or oppose the government’s actions. From Tony Blair to human rights groups like HRF and Freedom House, the government-funded program is ruthless. On January 4, Judge Fernandez was the mark and her image appeared as viewers were reminded that she is an enemy of the state, a coup-plotter, and a fascist.

Venezuela is run by a thug who is embraced by the American left. Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Sean Penn and Cindy Sheehan have all fawned over Hugo Chavez.

The American left's infatuation with petty dictators should be its shame. Unfortunately, you've got to have some morals to be ashamed of anything.


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January 2008



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