The Disapproval Matrix

|

In this week's issue of New York magazine, the always enjoyable "Approval Matrix" places the following item in the top left corner of its axis of cool and uncool (the "Highbrow/Despicable" region): "Political repression by Hugo Chavez, as detailed in the New York Review of Books." Political repression in Chavez's Venezuela is well-documented, and goes back to his earliest days as the country's president. I'm not entirely sure if New York thinks this is a new story, but the NYRB piece, written by two members of Human Rights Watch, is indeed worth reading. A sample:

On September 18, we released a report in Caracas that shows how President Hugo Chávez has undermined human rights guarantees in Venezuela. That night, we returned to our hotel and found around twenty Venezuelan security agents, some armed and in military uniform, awaiting us outside our rooms. They were accompanied by a man who announced-with no apparent sense of irony-that he was a government "human rights" official and that we were being expelled from the country.

With government cameramen filming over his shoulder, the official did his best to act as if he were merely upholding the law. When we said we needed to gather our belongings, he calmly told us not to worry, his men had already entered our rooms and "packed" our bags.

In other Bolivarian news, Chavez has threatened to arrest opposition leader Manuel Rosales, who is running for mayor Maracaibo, in the province of Zulia:

"I am determined to put Manuel Rosales behind bars. A swine like that has to be in prison," Chavez said.

Chavez railed against Rosales at a gathering of businessmen in Zulia, urging the audience to vote against his rival for allegedly plotting to assassinate him, running crime gangs and illegally acquiring cattle ranches.

Chavez provided no specific evidence for the charges against the main leader of a fragmented opposition who has solid support in the oil-producing west of the OPEC nation.

More reason on Hugo Chavez here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Hand Puppetry of the Penis

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Ah, but he’s democratically elected.

  2. Whoopee. Democratically elected. I’ve always loved mob rule.

  3. Pol Pot was the darling of the left too… any criticism of Pol Pot or implying any sort of human rights abuses was attacked as being “capitalist propaganda” at the time.

    People changed their position by pretending they never supported the guy in the first place, not by admitting they where wrong. Same thing will happen with Chavez.

  4. Just in case, the HRW report that resulted in the expulsions is here. (See also the pre- and post-expulsion press releases.)

  5. I smell sulfur.

  6. But Rex…the left never supported Pol Pot. That’s impossible. The left always supports the good guys.

  7. Warty | October 27, 2008, 5:12pm | #
    Ah, but he’s democratically elected.

    And now for Venezuela comes the hard part, electing someone else.

  8. “And now for Venezuela comes the hard part, electing someone else.”
    Hahahahahahahaha.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  9. Pol Pot was the darling of the left too…

    Insert obvious DKs reference here.

  10. So you’ve been to school for a year or two
    and you know you’ve seen it all.

    Sounds like a lot of Obama supporters.

  11. Then again, the same applies to a lot of McCain supporters, but it’s less common.

  12. Did I just kill the thread? Dammit.

  13. Why is it that every time I post on a Venezuela-related thread, it dies? It seems like it happens every time, and I don’t know the reason.

  14. Cartman/McCormick ’08!
    Why settle for the lesser evil?
    Note: This campaign slogan was not stolen for cthulhu’s campaign. They’re just assholes.

  15. J Sub D,
    I give up, where is rana?

  16. I give up, where is rana?

    Venezuela. Hence my question. The link was gratuitous fluff. Young’ns like those books though.

  17. “People changed their position by pretending they never supported the guy in the first place, not by admitting they where wrong. Same thing will happen with Chavez.”

    Thank you. That is so f—ing true.

    With one exception: Castro.
    But that’s more a case of not being able to get away with pretending they never supported him. So they just pretend he’s not a totalitarian dictator.

  18. Castro is not a totalitarian dictator. He has significantly improved the life expectancy and literacy of the Cuban people.
    And your bashing of Chavez shows that you have no sense of proportion. Just because he wants to spread the oil wealth of his nation more evenly doesn’t make him evil.
    Oh, wait, this is a libertarian website, which means that everyone here assumes socialism = evil.

  19. All right, who has the sock puppet pretending to be Famous Mortimer?
    🙂

  20. Famous Mortimer | October 27, 2008, 8:16pm | #
    Castro is not a totalitarian dictator. He has significantly improved the life expectancy and literacy of the Cuban people.
    And your bashing of Chavez shows that you have no sense of proportion. Just because he wants to spread the oil wealth of his nation more evenly doesn’t make him evil.
    Oh, wait, this is a libertarian website, which means that everyone here assumes socialism = evil.

    Bull fucking shit. Compare the original stats ran in the 1950’s to the ones United Nations sponsored organizations faked of those same years in the 1970’s and you will see what should be obvious to your fucking crossed eyes, in every measure of social development, Cuba has taken a sharp dive. Cuba compared favorably to most Western European nations before Castro and the Communist got a hold of it. You fucking liar scumbag.

  21. I get so annoyed when I hear people say “well of course we had to invade Iraq for the oil”.

    If that was really the reason then it would have been a much safer military victory for us to go in and invade Venezuala, make them a state etc. Absorbing such a oil rich US state into our economy would hae been a huge boon and gotten rid of a nasty dictator. The military ally in Chile would have been helpful along with the easier military access from our continent.

  22. Hazel Meade 9:00pm.
    That was me. It wasn’t too subtle, was it? I wanted something that sounded like something FM would say while still making it clear that it was a satire. Unfortunately, alan seems to have mistaken it for the real thing. Then again, it’s hard to sound like a bigger douche than Famous Mortimer.

  23. J sub D,

    Late, once again. Sorry… My granma died yesterday…

    Thanks for the link. Im not exactly sure what it means, but its irrelevance and zanyness (is that a word?) made me smile.

  24. “I am determined to put Manuel Rosales behind bars. A swine like that has to be in prison,” Chavez said.

    And “swine” was one of the kinder words used by Chavez.
    From now until November 23, I expect just about anything from Chavez. He has threatened military action if the opposition wins in Zulia.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.