Monday, July 23, 2007

Chávez to expel foreign critics from Venezuela

If you're visiting Venezuela any time soon, you'd best keep any observations about the autocratic rule of Hugo Chávez to yourself, or else expulsion from the country. On his television show Aló, Presidente, president Hugo Chávez vociferously promised to expel any visitor who might dare to publicly criticize either him or his cabinet. "No foreigner can come here to attack us!" the caudillo thundered, "anyone who does must be removed from the country!"

Chávez has long been sensitive to the "dictator" label (as we've seen before), and has not been shy about drying up criticisms of his regime at the source. Chávez's bluster appears related to comments made by a visiting Mexican politician attending a Venezuelan pro-democracy conference who made comments that Chávez's plans to eliminate presidential term limits were anti-democratic. A visibly fuming Chávez blasted back, saying:

"How long are we going to allow a person - from any country in the world - to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it? It CANNOT BE ALLOWED! It is a question of national dignity!"

- Hugo Chávez

Chávez apologists in Europe, the United States and Canada are finding it harder and harder to excuse Chávez's increasingly erratic, and autocratic behavior. Domestically, Chávez's political opponents are worrying that the expulsion order of foreign critics is a precursor to a fresh round of crackdowns on Venezuela's political opposition. The vow to expel foreign critics comes on the heels of Chávez's attempts to further concentrate political power in his own hands. The elimination of term limits is only set to apply to Chávez himself. Chávez is also set to attempt to further mold the rubber stamp National Assembly (who have already granted Chávez the power to rule by decree) in his own image, by gathering all of the currently pro-Chávez lawmakers into a single pro-Chávez party.

So there you have it. Chávez's rich Marxist friends from America are still welcome in Venezuela, but everyone else? Better keep your mouth shut. You have been put on notice.

UPDATE: I really wish he'd take that goddamned beret off that poor defenseless Amazon parrot.


memememe said...

I was looking for random pages to see what the people is telling about the country and my president when I came across this one. Its quite an original blog, I congratulate the authors for the idea and I'll bookmark it for read it with more time later. Now about my country, I guess I got nothing left to say except is not just the foreigners who cannot speak out but also many journalist just the day after they go to a TV show called "Alo Ciudadano" (hosted by the only oposition tv network with an open, yet limited tv signal) they recieve an strange notification from the courts. This is getting more radical than ever, soon, my president will join your top ten list, I'm afraid.
PS: Not only Danny Glover, check for I bet he can speak as much as he wants..
PS 2: My english is quite poor, so excuses about the grammar and spelling mistakes you might find on the lines above

Michael said...

I'm no fan of Hugo's, but I must admit I get pissed when visitors to my country come here and tell me the way our country should be run.

Either way, screw you, Chavez...