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
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.