Serendipity is a great thing. A little while after I posted that the Chavez-King fight might be a distraction maneuver by Chavez so we do not discuss anymore the repression in Venezuela and such lovely chants as "¡Baduel! ¡Traidor! ¡Te toca el Paredón!" (1) a reader from Argentina (hat tip Milonga) put in the comments the latest Oppenheimer article published in La Nacion. I went to the Miami Herald and sure enough the English version is right here.
Andres Oppenheimer is of course one of the most thorough critics of Chavez, and consequently one of chavismo most reviled figures. Who could blame them? Oppenheimer is the coiner of the felicitous expression "narcissist-Leninist" to describe perfectly what Chavez is all about. Today he adds a new one to the repertory of such descriptions that hit too close to home for comfort, though he recognizes that he is not the inventor.
"in Venezuela there is freedom of expression, but not freedom after expression."
You can ask Baduel the latest victim of this XXI century promising tropical fascism, or you could consult with General Uson still serving his jail sentence even though he was supposed to be eligible for parole next week. His crime? emit an opinion in Marta Colomina talk show a few years ago. That is right, I kid you not, Uson is in jail because he stated that the Fort Mara soldiers were killed with a flame thrower. If many said so, he is the only one in jail for that. Also, that he refused to ask for a presidential pardon in the most noble terms certainly did not help his cause as Chavez moral mediocrity cannot forgive people with strong ethics.
1) The scream chanted by the poliedro crowds adulating Chavez in some chavista act mean that Baduel is a traitor and now he has to go in front of the shooting squad. Lovely.