31 January 2010

The ugly face of Caudillo Chaves becomes clearer

It is hard to miss the resemblance of Hugo Chavez' dictator-like behavior to the sadly familiar pattern of many other Latin America dictators, left- or right-wing alike.

The latest news of two students killed* while demonstrating against the shutting down of several TV stations failing to comply with a new "media law" that requires national stations to broadcast government announcements and presidential speeches, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The other, much more troubling and sinister story, emerges from a barely visible remark at the end of the Amnesty International report 2009 on Venezuela:

The Attorney General’s Office announced that it would create a designated investigation team in 2009 to look into more than 6,000 reported cases of extrajudicial executions in which people were killed in confrontations with police between 2000 and 2007.
The pro-Chavez vigilante thugs - be it ones in police uniform or many an "unidentified armed person" - follow the example of the so called "paramilitary" groups whose murderous trails crisscross the Latin America for too many years to count.

The slavish behavior of the press is especially gulling. Take, for instance, the first sentence in the report from Venezuela by AP writer Fabiola Sanchez:
Thousands of university students protested against President Hugo Chavez again Tuesday, accusing the socialist leader of forcing an opposition-allied TV channel off cable and satellite as a means of silencing his critics.
How many more people should die before the useful idiots stop calling Caudillo "the socialist leader"? Or is it the time to redefine socialism?

There is still hope, though. One threat to the Caudillo's rule comes from his own camp:
The pressures on the Chávez government are becoming evident with a series of high-level resignations. This week, Ramón Carrizález, who held two top posts—vice-president and minister of defense—announced his resignation along with his wife, Yubirí Ortega, who was minister of environment. The two claimed that the move was due to “strictly personal reasons.”

Their resignation was followed Tuesday, however, by that of Eugenio Vazquez Orellana, who headed the state-owned Banco de Venezuela and also served as bank minister. Orellana, who was reportedly close to Carrizález, insisted that his departure was because of health issues.
It is not inconceivable that the army, it the time honored tradition of Latin America, will depose the dictator, and then the seesaw will swing to the other extreme - a military junta. On the other hand:
The greatest threat to Hugo Chavez's future just might be the World Wide Web. Fierce and growing protests over media freedom have left at least two students dead in Venezuela, and graphic images depicting violent tactics employed by the police there have started to flood the Internet.

Student protesters have organized their efforts by planning their demonstrations on Twitter, which is serving as both a public message-board for activists and a storing house for images of the worst of the violence.
I hope that the students win and succeed to remove the blighter. Who, meanwhile, has resorted to the usual threats:
As the opposition seethes, Chavez has threatened a "radical" response to student activity, promising to "deepen the revolution" and "impose authority" wherever flashpoints occur. "There are some attempting to set fire to the country," Chavez said in a televised address on Thursday. "What are they seeking? Death."
Yes, Caudillo the "socialist" is deepening the revolution - by killing students. I hope his time is running out.

(*) I have chosen on purpose a link to World Socialist Web Site. Who better to criticize their "socialist" comrade?