The Chavista child military

Today's Cronica newspaper of Mexico City has a disturbing front page photo:  Elementary school—age children dressed in full war regalia, grinning before a camera and saying how ready they are to defend Hugo Chavez's Marxist "revolution."

If there's ever a corruption of childish exuberance, this is it. Our source in Caracas is a little bit skeptical of it, because he hasn't seen any of this stuff duplicated around Venezuela, and right now he wonders if it could be contrived. In Mexico, anti—Chavez sentiment is high, even in the press. Still, Cronica is a reliable news source.

If it's not a hoax or some other kind of anomaly, it represents a new stage in the Cubanization of the country, the indoctrination of the very young into Chavez's brand of communist ideology. If you can read the accompanying article in Spanish, it describes how the youngsters are taught to admire Che Guevara and Carlos The Jackal, and how the proprietors of the education system are making no bones about politicizing the childrens' education. It's a step downward because education in Venezuela has always been free and nonpartisan. Now it's being made ideological.

This photo also would represent the trademark of all communist regimes: a state of permanant warfare, not just against external enemies but even more important to tyrants, internal ones. The sight of young children in military uniforms without the judgment of adults is ominous, given the impact of child soldiers in anarchic places like Liberia, Rwanda and Burma. Venezuela, too, is an anarchic place.

No good will come of this.

Hat tip: Jewel

A.M. Mora y Leon   8 07 06

Today's Cronica newspaper of Mexico City has a disturbing front page photo:  Elementary school—age children dressed in full war regalia, grinning before a camera and saying how ready they are to defend Hugo Chavez's Marxist "revolution."

If there's ever a corruption of childish exuberance, this is it. Our source in Caracas is a little bit skeptical of it, because he hasn't seen any of this stuff duplicated around Venezuela, and right now he wonders if it could be contrived. In Mexico, anti—Chavez sentiment is high, even in the press. Still, Cronica is a reliable news source.

If it's not a hoax or some other kind of anomaly, it represents a new stage in the Cubanization of the country, the indoctrination of the very young into Chavez's brand of communist ideology. If you can read the accompanying article in Spanish, it describes how the youngsters are taught to admire Che Guevara and Carlos The Jackal, and how the proprietors of the education system are making no bones about politicizing the childrens' education. It's a step downward because education in Venezuela has always been free and nonpartisan. Now it's being made ideological.

This photo also would represent the trademark of all communist regimes: a state of permanant warfare, not just against external enemies but even more important to tyrants, internal ones. The sight of young children in military uniforms without the judgment of adults is ominous, given the impact of child soldiers in anarchic places like Liberia, Rwanda and Burma. Venezuela, too, is an anarchic place.

No good will come of this.

Hat tip: Jewel

A.M. Mora y Leon   8 07 06