Chavez Does Elvis One Better, Shoots Out Entire TV Station


Venezuala's li'l dictator Hugo Chavez will be shutting down his country's most popular TV station, RCTV, for the crime of upsetting him. Tons of details and news reports collected on this site from the Human Rights Foundation. My favorite detail: His government produces a 183 page propaganda book explaining why it just had to clamp down on the out-of-control broadcaster.

Julian Sanchez on Chavez's awfulness, from August 2005.

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  1. one wonders who will defend his regime at this point.

  2. Nice article in the Old Sick Lady yesterday about Mugabe style land confiscation — I still think hes better than the oligarchs who ruled the V to the Z and studiously ignored in the pages of reason for decades, when they return after his downfall reason’s VZ covereage will disappear quick snap.

  3. l’il dictator

    Is that apostrophe placement intentional, or am I just too unhip to dig the street slang these days? I mean, if that’s just supposed to be li’l, no big, but if that’s got some cool new meaning, I don’t wanna be left out. I mean, Sanchez and Cavanaugh left me out of punchlines/pop-culture-references enough for a long long time.

  4. Hey, he owns it. Why can’t he shut it down? Socialism is the ultimate privatization scheme. Everything belongs to the party.

  5. Chavez Does Elvis One Better, Shoots Out Entire TV Station

    The Venezuelan people just couldn’t help falling in love with him. They should have had suspicious minds, becuase now they’re all going to end up in the ghetto.

    Elvis at least handed out largess from his *own* wealth. And his security force was private sector.

  6. Grotius:

    I will! I will! He said bad things about Bush, and what else matters more!?

  7. Grotius:

    Me too! They have free health care in Venezuela, and all it costs you is everything you’ve got.

  8. Generally, joe pops in at about this point to defend Chavez as the Democratically Elected Choice of the People, a benign sort is only out to Help the Poor, a Victim of Right-Wing Calumnies, and all that.

  9. Free health care is priceless.

    Is it just my unmedicated delusions or do these “leaders for the people” crop up more when the U.S.A has a republican el presidente?
    (yes i’m workin on my spanish)

  10. No, joe pops in to argue that we shouldn’t do anything dumb that might cause Venezuelans to rally around the leader.

  11. You have to give commies one thing. They seem to have an endless capacity to produce 800 page books or 6 hours speeches. I think I made it 5 pages into Capital once.

  12. Bhh: Don’t forget new recipies; Kim Jong-il invented the hamburger, according to his official press releases.

  13. Chavez has also engaged in huge land grabs in the name of “collectivizing” agriculture. It is right out of Mugabe’s playbook. Whether it be the Soviet Union, North Korea, China or Zimbabwe, government land seizures and collectivization of agriculture leads only to one thing mass starvation. Give it about a year or so and Venezuela will be starving as well as oppressed.

  14. Say, now that you mention it, I haven’t seen joe around here lately. Is he on vacation?

  15. Spur,

    I wish that latin american countries could break the oligarch, socialist, oligarch, socialist government rotation they seem to be stuck in.

    The seizure of the farms is the latest example of chavez’s stupidity. It is not like history, and recent examples like Zimbabwe, don’t provide plenty of examples of how much these seizures damage the ability of a country to produce sufficient food to feed its residents.

    When Chavez reaches his downfall it will be because the citizens of venezuela will reach the inevitable conclusion that life under the Chavez government is much worse then life under the oligarch’s government.

    You may think chavez is better then the oligarchs but at the end of this sad spectacle the citizens of Venezuela will not.

  16. Another example of the “fairness doctrine”.

    Wait until you see Mrs. Clinton’s version here.

  17. “Shoots Out Entire TV Station”

    Boy, I’m not even sure my .88 magnum could do that….

  18. thoreau,

    joe has written about the free health care, etc. there. So it is a little more than what you describe.

  19. Since joe’s not here, I will indulge in calling Chavez a caudillo without fear of being scolded.

  20. Actually, Chavez’s land reform attempts are a little more sophisticated and thought-through than Mugabe’s program.

    It’s billed as its supporters as being based on the U.S. Homesteading policy of the 19th century with changes to “correct” problems from the last land reform attempts.

    It is doomed to failure, but actually is an interesting topic that might be worth Reason’s time to expore.

  21. When I think of Chavez, for some reason the movie “The Last King of Scotland” keeping popping into my mind. Seems headed in that direction.

    I don’t want my tax dollars going to overthrow him, and I don’t want my tax dollars going toward cleaning up the mess when he departs. The Venezuelans brought this upon themselves.

  22. Terran,

    From the NYT yesterday.

    “This is agrarian terrorism encouraged by the state,” said Fhandor Quiroga, a landowner and head of Yaracuy’s chamber of commerce, pointing to dozens of kidnappings of landowners by armed gangs in the last two years.

    The government says the goal of the nationwide resettlement is to make better use of idle land and to make Venezuela less dependent on food imports. New laws allow squatters to manage and farm land that has now been placed in government hands.”

    That sure sounds like Mugabe to me. This stuff always degernates into gangsterism.

    “By burning the cane during land seizures, the squatters prepare the land for other crops and give owners less incentive to fight for control.”

    Jesus that is an NYT classic. Armed thugs come in and burn down other people’s property ruining them and that is just “giving them less incentive to fight for control.” How do the NYT reporters sleep at night?

    “The uncertainties and disruptions of the land seizures have led to lower investment by some farmers. Production of some foods has been relatively flat, adding to shortages of items like sugar, economists say.”

    Yes, when you seize everyone’s land and no one has any property rights beyond the barrel of a gun, no one invests, the capital stock deteriorates and eventually you end up with susistance agriculture if you are lucky. This has been played out all over Africa with the same result, starvation.

    “Senior officials blame “hoarders” for the shortages. But agricultural economists say the government bureaucracy, which runs a chain of food stores, is also rife with inefficiencies and Venezuela is at a disadvantage in competing on international markets with larger economies, like China.”

    “Holders”. God that is right out of the Stalin purges of the Krulaks. That means anyone who manages not to starve will be shot for “hoarding”.

    There is nothing well thought out or good about this. It is going to end in death, poverty, and possibly starvation.

  23. I pity the Venezuelans. All that wealth, and an increasingly authoritarian government is going to piss it away, all the while stomping on the liberties of the Venezuelan people. I hope they can see the light and make some changes before it’s too late.

  24. Don’t forget speculators. It’s always hoarders and speculators. And soon, it will be hoarders, speculators, and sabateurs. It’s bad enough when you copy the policies of Stalin, but you’d think he’d be savvy enough not to copy the discredited excuses as well.
    I don’t want a dime of my money going to aid Venezuela in ten or twenty years, whenever the whole thing falls apart. They will be getting exactly what they asked for, sadly. I’d rather that money go towards an advertising campaign to educate people on what collectivism does. Over and over and over again. When the Venezuelans have nothing left to eat, they can negotiate a deal with private oil companies and re-instate property rights.

  25. “Pro Libertate | May 18, 2007, 11:06am | #

    I pity the Venezuelans. All that wealth, and an increasingly authoritarian government is going to piss it away, all the while stomping on the liberties of the Venezuelan people. I hope they can see the light and make some changes before it’s too late.”

    Someone please tell me how to substitute “Americans” for “Venezuelans” in the quoted statement.

  26. brother ben you are an idiot. You wouldn’t know an oppressvie government if it came up and bit you on the ass. You life in the richest country in the history of the world. You may not like the government but you are in no danger of going to jail for it and pretty much free to do whatever the hell you want. If you think this is like Venezuala, you are just a troll.

  27. John,

    I won’t call you an idiot, but I will call you closed-minded and ignorant. Brotherben’s statement is not idiotic. Yes, the US is much freer relative to Venezuela, but the US is not free; and in many ways, it is getting less so. Open your mind and see past the dominant paradigm.

  28. The article in the Times about Venezuela’s Bolshevik-style land reform wasn’t bad, but if you are interested in the topic, be sure to check out the Wall Street Journal’s article from yesterday on the topic. Also, at the Cato blog, someone, I think Boaz, had a good take on the Times article.

  29. Hopefully, this will come back to haunt Chavez in the next election. This wasn’t some dreary news channel, but a popular station that carried shows with very high ratings. This is the type of thing that could motivate ordinary, non-political junkies, as it effects people’s daily lives.

    Ah, I see RC still hasn’t grasped the difference between an individual and a political system.

  30. Grotius,

    The one time I mentioned the free health care in Venezuela, it was in response to the question, “Why do Venezuelans support Chavez?”

    The health care, the schools, the aid for the poor – these are all aspects of Chavez’s leftist system that have wide appeal.

    It looks like the voters are getting the chance to see the other side of such a system now. Hopefully, the outcome of this will be an electoral defeat, a term in power for the rightist opposition, followed by a challenge to them by a chastened, moderated leftist party.

  31. Brotherben,

    You live in the richest country in the history of the world? When did you move to Luxembourg? And could you send me some good beer and cheese?

  32. joe!

    Can I draw you a beer, joe?

  33. joe,

    Why do you assume that there will be another election?

  34. joe,

    The health care, the schools, the aid for the poor…

    What health care, schools or aid for the poor? I know you’ve made this claim before but I am not taking it at face value. Indeed I suspect at best that his regime provides these services laced with a ton of political favoritism.

  35. joe,

    I also suspect that claims of improvement in these areas are probably as much myth as they are reality.

  36. truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”
    “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”
    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

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