Hugo Chavez the Main Attraction in Venezuela's Revolutionary Circus

Despite a rather clumsy translation, the words of Alexander Cambero in Caracas' El Universal courageously expose the embarrassment and chagrin of the people of Venezuela who suffer under the ham-fisted regime of Hugo Chavez:

"With Hugo Chávez, the mediocre ones ascended the throne. Their filthy hatred of anyone displaying talent, integrity and success is understandable....our nightmare shows that all that rottenness can be held after a decade, due to the resignation of most of the nationals who seek the government money which bought their consciences. All the government agencies vanished in the hands of the puppet. The laughing stock of world summits allots the Venezuelan money, like the old comedians of village circuses....To sum up, we have a trashy government."

Brave words indeed when one considers the all-out assault upon the media that has become a staple of the Chavez thugocracy.  Back in July, the melon-headed bully began a review of radio station licenses in a Venezuelan version of the American Fairness Doctrine. The LA Times reports:

"Chavez announced that the government would review the licenses of and possibly close as many as 240 radio stations -- more than one-third of all AM and FM broadcasters....Critics say it's a means of forcing independent station owners to sell out or go off the air, thereby shifting airwave dominance to the pro-government chain founded by Chavez called Community Radio."

In 2007 Chavez refused to renew the license of Venezuela's most popular TV network, RCTV, "which broadcast commentary critical of Chavez's leftist policies."  There are additional affronts to freedom of expression anticipated soon including "a law that Atty. Gen. Luisa Ortega Diaz will present to the National Assembly.. that would create a new category of "media crime" punishing those who broadcast or print opinion instead of fact ..(and) a law (that) would enable the government to suspend all telecommunications for security reasons in times of national emergency... (critics) believe it's designed to control social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as rallying points for the opposition."

Despite El Universal's reputation as a right-of-center publication, the harsh invective of Cambero's criticism seems exceptional.  The author's disgust is vividly expressed here:

"What was the sin committed by us, Venezuelans, to deserve so much disgrace? A totally ineffective government fueled by the putrid nectar of communism....

And here again:

"...they know that all that arrogance displayed by Hugo Chávez is just the flaps of superheroes made of expanded polystyrene foam. He will never make a significant decision, because he runs the risk of suffering some bowel disorder."

The columnist's outrage is an accurate reflection of the national mood of Venezuelans surfeited with Chavezism.  The most recent poll by Keller y Asociados indicates that:

"The failure to meet people's needs, threats on private property and mass media, among other factors, have changed people's perception of Chávez.

"Fifty-four percent of Venezuelans described the current situation in Venezuela as negative...51 percent of the respondents said that "President Chávez is becoming a dictator...When people were asked who they would vote for, 41 percent showed support for Chávez, while other 47 percent would rather support a different option."

The time would seem ripe for American support of those opposed to the former yardbird of Caracas .  Unfortunately, the administration of Barack Obama appears more inclined to follow Chavez's lead, than to facilitate his demise.  In any case, interesting times appear on the horizon for Venezuela.

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target
Despite a rather clumsy translation, the words of Alexander Cambero in Caracas' El Universal courageously expose the embarrassment and chagrin of the people of Venezuela who suffer under the ham-fisted regime of Hugo Chavez:

"With Hugo Chávez, the mediocre ones ascended the throne. Their filthy hatred of anyone displaying talent, integrity and success is understandable....our nightmare shows that all that rottenness can be held after a decade, due to the resignation of most of the nationals who seek the government money which bought their consciences. All the government agencies vanished in the hands of the puppet. The laughing stock of world summits allots the Venezuelan money, like the old comedians of village circuses....To sum up, we have a trashy government."

Brave words indeed when one considers the all-out assault upon the media that has become a staple of the Chavez thugocracy.  Back in July, the melon-headed bully began a review of radio station licenses in a Venezuelan version of the American Fairness Doctrine. The LA Times reports:

"Chavez announced that the government would review the licenses of and possibly close as many as 240 radio stations -- more than one-third of all AM and FM broadcasters....Critics say it's a means of forcing independent station owners to sell out or go off the air, thereby shifting airwave dominance to the pro-government chain founded by Chavez called Community Radio."

In 2007 Chavez refused to renew the license of Venezuela's most popular TV network, RCTV, "which broadcast commentary critical of Chavez's leftist policies."  There are additional affronts to freedom of expression anticipated soon including "a law that Atty. Gen. Luisa Ortega Diaz will present to the National Assembly.. that would create a new category of "media crime" punishing those who broadcast or print opinion instead of fact ..(and) a law (that) would enable the government to suspend all telecommunications for security reasons in times of national emergency... (critics) believe it's designed to control social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as rallying points for the opposition."

Despite El Universal's reputation as a right-of-center publication, the harsh invective of Cambero's criticism seems exceptional.  The author's disgust is vividly expressed here:

"What was the sin committed by us, Venezuelans, to deserve so much disgrace? A totally ineffective government fueled by the putrid nectar of communism....

And here again:

"...they know that all that arrogance displayed by Hugo Chávez is just the flaps of superheroes made of expanded polystyrene foam. He will never make a significant decision, because he runs the risk of suffering some bowel disorder."

The columnist's outrage is an accurate reflection of the national mood of Venezuelans surfeited with Chavezism.  The most recent poll by Keller y Asociados indicates that:

"The failure to meet people's needs, threats on private property and mass media, among other factors, have changed people's perception of Chávez.

"Fifty-four percent of Venezuelans described the current situation in Venezuela as negative...51 percent of the respondents said that "President Chávez is becoming a dictator...When people were asked who they would vote for, 41 percent showed support for Chávez, while other 47 percent would rather support a different option."

The time would seem ripe for American support of those opposed to the former yardbird of Caracas .  Unfortunately, the administration of Barack Obama appears more inclined to follow Chavez's lead, than to facilitate his demise.  In any case, interesting times appear on the horizon for Venezuela.

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target