September 21, 2006

El Diablo


From CNN: Chavez: Bush 'devil'; U.S. 'on the way down'.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tore into his U.S. counterpart and his U.N. hosts Wednesday, likening President Bush to the devil and telling the General Assembly that its system is "worthless."

"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said, referring to Bush, who addressed the world body during its annual meeting Tuesday. "And it smells of sulfur still today."

Chavez accused Bush of having spoken "as if he owned the world" and said a psychiatrist could be called to analyze the statement.

"As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world. An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would even propose a title: 'The Devil's Recipe.' " ...

John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, dismissed the speech, saying, "I think that [Chavez's] rhetoric today shows exactly what kind of man he is."

Bolton said: "We're not going to address that sort of comic-strip approach to international affairs.

"The real issue here is he knows he can exercise freedom of speech on that podium and, as I say, he could exercise it in Central Park, too. He's not giving the same freedom to the people of Venezuela."

From Front Page Magazine: Dancing with the Devil by Ben Johnson.

Internal repression and censorship have followed [other fascist developments]. A report released last month by Freedom House found: “Venezuela's scores have dropped across the board in all four indicators of good governance addressed in the study: accountability and public voice, civil liberties, rule of law, and anti-corruption and transparency. In fact, only Nepal, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria have experienced a greater net change for the worse.”   [Venezuluelan President Hugo Chevez] has, in fact, cracked down on “disrespect for government authorities” (a crime expressed in language evoking another Western hero: Cartman from “South Park”) and has created a “blacklist of political opponents.”

From The Washington Post in March 2005:Chavez's Censorship; Where 'Disrespect' Can Land You in Jail by Jackson Diehl.

[On March 18, 2005] Chavez handed [Venezuela's minister of communication and information Andres] Izarra a still-bigger stick: a new penal code that criminalizes virtually any expression to which the government objects -- not only in public but also in private.

Start with Article 147: "Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light." That sanction, the code implies, applies to those who "disrespect" the president or his functionaries in private; "the term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly."

There's more: Article 444 says that comments that "expose another person to contempt or public hatred" can bring a prison sentence of one to three years; Article 297a says that someone who "causes public panic or anxiety" with inaccurate reports can receive five years. Prosecutors are authorized to track down allegedly criminal inaccuracies not only in newspapers and electronic media, but also in e-mail and telephone communications.

Posted by Forkum at September 21, 2006 01:52 PM