Hold the celebrity enablers of Venezuela's hellhole accountable
What holds Venezuela together these days? According to the New York Times, this state is held together only by an encircling ring of death-squad gangs, who serve as its enforcers. These are the community organizers known as 'colectivos' who ride and circle around menacingly on motorcycles, and shoot randomly into crowds to generate terror. I saw them myself in Caracas in late 2005, and they were scary. Now, they are engorged with drug cash and legitimized by the state. Who could have imagined that this tontons macoute situation would be the logical conclusion of Chavista socialism?
Not Venezuela's celebrity endorsers from the Hollywood elites, that's for sure. These Useful Idiots spent years using their capacity for drawing media attention to browbeat the West into believing that Chavista socialism was the wave of the future. They were no different from the political pilgrims who endorsed the Soviet Union in its early days while the Ukraine starved from the communists' man-made famine. Sean Penn declared that anyone in the West who called the late Hugo Chavez a dictator should be imprisoned and gushed:
(Chávez) is a fascinating guy. He’s done… incredible things for the 80% of the people that are very poor there.
Meanwhile, film producers Michael Moore tweeted on Chavez's 2013 death that:
Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all
There was also celebrity linguist and leftwing activist Noam Chomsky:
In a 2013 interview, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky described the suggestion that Chávez had suppressed press freedom as “a bit of a joke.” He added:
There’s a strong opposition press bitterly attacking him all the time. There’s much more of an opposition press than there is in most of
Latin America… There is some repression of the press, but it’s mostly, you know, verbal intimidation…
Had enough? There's plenty more here in this PanAm Post compilation.
Here's the reality of the socialist regime they were defending:
“They attack your neighbors when they are in food lines and are identified as opposition members, they attack store owners by making them pay extortions, they attack bakers by taking away part of their production which they later sell on the black market,” he said. “They are not true collectives, or political actors — they are criminals.”
The Times continues:
Colectivos control vast territory across Venezuela, financed in some cases by extortion, black-market food and parts of the drug trade as the government turns a blind eye in exchange for loyalty.
Now they appear to be playing a key role in repressing dissent.
Or how about this:
A woman whose butcher's shop was ransacked in violence overnight in Venezuela says the attack was like "a war."
Liliana Altuna says looters armed with guns and knives attacked about 30 businesses in the community of El Valle over the course of five hours.
An officer tried to help but Altuna says police were unable to stop looters from breaking the windows of her business and violently grabbing refrigerators, lamps, security cameras and anything else they could seize.
Suddenly the Hollywood chi-chi crowd has gone silent. Only Jamie Foxx and 1-800 Dial Joe-4-Oil Joe Kennedy are known to have paid visits in the last year to the palace of Venezuela's now-reigning gang dictator, Nicolas Maduro, who was hand-picked by Chavez to succeed him. Some leftists have attempted to blame the hellhole on 'populism' instead of socialism, as their way of delecting criticism to the perfectly blameless Donald Trump. It's been done in a Times op-ed here, and Rachel Maddow was ripped by Fox News' Tucker Carlson when she tried it here. Anything but put the finger where the culpability belongs - on socialism. Anything but blame their own vile enabling of an indefensible gang regime.
Way back in 2009, there was one voice of moral outrage, a Hollywood celebrity so outraged by the likes of Penn and his socialist coevals that she spoke out, a lone voice crying in the wilderness that in restrospect proved moral and prophetic - the actress Maria Conchita Alonso, who spoke out when speaking out wasn't fashionable. What she said, reading it now, is a thing of beauty:
The saccharine conventions of showbusiness were thrown out of the window last week, when the Hollywood actress Maria Conchita Alonso was collared by paparazzi and asked if she was pleased about her former co-star Sean Penn's recent Oscar victory.
"He's an amazing actor. I can't take that away from him," she said of Penn, who worked with her on the 1988 cop film Colors. "It's just that he has no clue at all what's going on in Venezuela. He's been praising Hugo Chavez, who is a dictator and a killer. He should shut up about what he doesn't know." Alonso, who was raised in Venezuela, was apparently upset by a glowing article that Penn had written for The Nation magazine about her homeland's charismatic but increasingly dictatorial left-wing President.
Alonso should be honored for her truth-telling. And all the Hollywood suckups to this vile tragedy should be held up to public scorn to the extent that they never show their faces in public again.