A small break in my activities allowed me to spend a few minutes with Venezuelan news. I was not disappointed. In fact, I am even wondering whether the attendees of the World Social Forum in Venezuela are reading the papers and realizing where the heck they have landed. For sure some have no clue as they are more than willing to accept that Chavez highjack the event for his personal glory (or is that profit?). Thus goes this note dedicated to the attendees that think that Chavez is hot stuff, a paragon of liberty. Here a few items picked up in the headlines.
The culture wars
Sofia Imber is an elderly woman with a very distinguished career. disliked by every government in the past she has managed to create the most significant museum in Caracas, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Sofia Imber. Her hard work certainly deserved her name on the front plate. One of the first things that the Chavez administration did when it reached office was to remove her from the direction of the museum. But of course, that was not enough. As she remained one of the critical voice of the cultural misdeeds perpetrated by Faruco Sesto the adulating minister of Kultural affairs, and as she signed the letter of protest for Chavez anti semitic remarks she was promptly sacked from the museum marquee. But she was upbeat, limiting herself to say that as long the museum was allowed to do its cultural work she did not mind, that her name was associated in the mind of people to the museum and that Faruco could not do anything against (1)
The anti semitic spat does not die down
And it must have hurt enough Chavez that he agreed to a closed door meeting with the Hebrew leadership of Venezuela. Where there is smoke...
The Anderson murder goes underground
Meanwhile, the government of Chavez has decided to put the lid on the information on the Anderson case investigation. Why? Because of the botched investigation due to the incompetence of the general prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez. Because of the open, all out open, partisanship of the justice official WHO SHOULD BE THE MOST IMPARTIAL ONE IN THE COUNTRY. Since his sycophancy and lies cannot be hidden anymore, so he shuts up the press. Note that for writing this, this blogger could actually get prosecuted.
The consequences? Well, to begin with Reporters without Borders accuse this measure of state organized censorship. The Freedom House keeps downgrading Venezuela's status putting it almost to par with Haiti and Cuba (the last one repression not being a concern of many of you, quite a double standard that you might want to revise if you pretend to speak in the name of all of us).
And more but I have no time right now to peruse further. However I will advise you to leave early, really early to catch your plane back home. All the Caracas exits were blocked for hours yesterday due to accidents in the two escape routes. 5 hours standing in line for some, a few missed planes. See, many of you are here to demand that Bush does not bomb Venezuela. Well, he does not need to, Chavez is doing a good job in destroying the country infrastructure on his very own. Make sure to watch carefully where you walk in Caracas, you could break an ankle in any of the too numerous potholes that dot the city.
And of course, as you wait patiently on your way back to the airport, it would not hurt to meditate if you would put up with this type of situations back home.
1) yours truly also signed, gaining a few insults from chavista pages, of the "betrayer to the fatherland type". Goes to tell you how freedom of expression advances in Venezuela.