Venezuela's Supreme Court Bans Publishing of Lynching Footage; Opposition Lawmakers Physically Attacked

President Maduro says images of the horror his country has become are part of a conspiracy against his government.


Reality has an anti-Chavista bias.
Carlos Díaz / Flickr

As Venezuela's Bolivarian Socialist revolution continues to descend into mob violence, malnutrition, disease, and political upheaval, the country's Supreme Court has stepped in to address the most pressing issue of the day: forbidding the publishing of videos or photos of lynchings, which have become increasingly common as the rule of law has collapsed, and vigilante justice against petty thieves becomes the norm.

Shutting down media outlets which the government deems hostile to its interests is nothing new in Venezuela — the late Hugo Chavez did it all the time — but the President Nicolas Maduro-allied Court stepping in to keep the public (and the outside world) from witnessing the gruesome realities wrought by the government's graft, corruption, and idiotic profligate spending is a new development. 

The Court released a statement reading in part, "Media have the right to journalistically express a news event…but these rights should not create anxiety and uncertainty in the population," according to Reuters, who also report:

There is no official public data on lynchings in Venezuela. Leading non-governmental organizations say the phenomenon is on the rise, fueled by Venezuelans' sense of helplessness in the face of crime. Courts are slow, judges are sometimes on the take and criminals are frequently released right after arrest, according to non-profit groups.

Venezuela's opposition, which is trying to remove Maduro via a recall referendum, scoffed at the ban.

"Lynchings don't happen because of media, as the Supreme Court assumes, but rather because of impunity and the judicial system's inefficiency," tweeted Luis Izquiel, a lawyer and the opposition coalition's security coordinator.

Yesterday, a group of opposition lawmakers was violently prevented from entering the country's national electoral headquarters, where they intended to press the Electoral Board to move more quickly in verifying the more than 1.3 million signatures collected to force a referendum and potentially remove Maduro from office. According to Reuters, National Assembly majority leader Julio Borges and 10 other lawmakers were attacked by "colectivos," described by the news agency as "militant pro-government groups" who took their orders from a National Guard general.

Borges reportedly said, "The colectivos acted with total impunity—they had pipes, motorbike helmets, rocks, explosive artifacts, and they used them against us." 

Marialbert Barrios, an opposition lawmaker, tweeted the video below depicting the melee Borges and others were caught in.

The Electoral Board did approve the signatures, an important first step in any proceedings which could remove Maduro from office, but Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz said "There won't be a referendum this year," according to Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, El Universal reported yesterday that a number of trucks carrying food on the country's highways had been hijacked by "desperate people."

NEXT: Can Gary Johnson Keep Rising By Not Stinking As Bad As the Other Two?

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  1. Don’t worry, we have better people in the US so we’ll do it right.

    1. Essentially what they believe. They were already third world before they started, the prog will claim. The progressive in the Western world has been able to get away with this shit because there is a larger productive class to leech off of, but they are still slowly killing the host.

      1. My favorite is “They didn’t go far enough.” If only they’d done a bit more it would’ve worked.

        1. Always a good point/question to put to those who say the American Revolution didn’t go far enough.

      2. What’s sad is that Venezuela was once relatively wealthy. All this proves is that socialism not only reduces growth of the economic pie, but it shrinks it. But as long as the workers are being protected from the exploitation of being able to buy things and further enrich capitalists, it’s all worth it isn’t it?

        1. Depends on your priorities. There are apparently plenty of people that think equality of misery is preferable to disparity of wealth.

          1. Oddly enough, those people somehow escape, or think they will, sharing in that misery.

            (see Hillary giving a speech on inequality while wearing a 20,000 dollar Mao suit)

          2. That would at least be honest of them. What’s most frustrating is the ones who claim that credit for all market-based economic growth really goes to shit like unions and govt programs “lifting people out of poverty”.

        2. Sacrifices must be made on the long road toward Utopia!

          1. The people must not be allowed to subvert the will of the people!

      3. They regularly claim as much in comment boards in local papers. See socialism is apparently a small, secular, homogeneous, Scandinavian country sitting on a fuck-ton of oil, protected from invaders by a world superpower, and able to take advantage of countless innovations that make the world better that were invented elsewhere. And the parts of the country/economy that aren’t very socialist in nature – we don’t speak of those.

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      1. I like the new spam button. The blank page it sends me to is quite elegant.

        1. And it definitely will never be abused.

        2. *marked as spam*

  2. It’s damn near a national tragedy on just how little I read or hear about the horror of Venezuela in the larger media.

    1. It’s a good example of passive censorship and how the media kills important stories by simply not covering them.

      1. It really is. It’s amazing how the media mob can ignore something like this by simply not finding it interesting.

        You don’t need a conspiracy of actors, all you need is a very large group of people who largely believe the same things, and there’s your bias.

        1. You don’t need a conspiracy of actors, all you need is a very large group of people who largely believe the same things, and there’s your bias.

          So, the Editorial Staff here as well, then? This criticism reminds me of one of The Iron Laws…

          1. They have been awful quiet on British EU Referendum.

            Though I expect a token “if UK leaves EU we can have open borders, vote Leave” piece from Brendan O’Neil, similar to the one Spiked Online published.

          2. Yes, the editorial staff here does have a bias, but first of all they admit it, so you are aware that there will be blind spots. They don’t claim to cover everything important and then only give you the things important to libertarians. They claim to cover things important to libertarians and then give you exactly that.

          3. So, the Editorial Staff here as well, then? This criticism reminds me of one of The Iron Laws…

            Yes, Reason Editorial Staff absolutely ignore stories they’re not interested in. And I would think that people would have a seriously legitimate complaint if 99% of the larger media were exactly like Reason. That’s the point of wanting some media diversity.

            If I want stories on Venezuela, I have to come here. If I want constant updates of the Campus Tweet Controversies, I come here. If I want videos of Hillary Clinton literally glowing in divine light, I go to CNN.

        2. This is exactly why Al Jazeera, for the short time it was operating here, was a good thing.

          (Of course AJE still exists, but not as a standalone channel)

    2. Let’s wait until Sanders is all the way out of the race before we give you a taste of the end result of socialist policies.

      1. Who?

        1. You don’t recall Sanders?

            1. “Boy, that pi-i-i-i-i-ssed me off!”

            2. Used to be good at making chicken. A real money maker until El Pollo Loco came along.

    3. It’s damn near a national tragedy on just how little I read or hear about the horror of Venezuela in the larger media.

      NPR, for what it’s worth, runs pieces semi-regularly. I can’t tell if the aloof “Economic Crises Happen!” attitude is funny, sad, or appalling.

      1. Really, I’ve been back to listening to NPR after giving up for almost a year, and I’ve heard very little.

        And I define that by “do I hear it when I’m listening”.

        For instance, remember the Susan G Komen planned parenthood controversy? I literally couldn’t turn NPR on for ten seconds without catching a story. But in six months, I’ve got only a few quick, passing references to Venezuela, usually punctuated with ‘low oil prices’ being the source of Venezuela’s woes. I heard another brief “oh yeah, something going on in Venezuela” punctuated by “low oil prices…” and the “policy failures” mumbled right after that. That alone was notable.

        Bottom line, you know what stories are important on NPR if you can play “NPR for 10 seconds” and hear it without having to listen for hours.

    4. They spent years fellating Chavez and his socialist utopia. Of course they are ignoring the inevitable end of that road. They would be putting egg on their own faces by reporting on it, the evil fuckers.

  3. This is what happens when you put a community organizer bus driver in charge.

    1. I personally know a bus driver. A bus driver is a friend of mine. Nicolas Maduro is no bus driver.


    That’s spam, that’s spam, that’s definitely spam…

      1. I am spam
        Spam I am

    1. Roll that beautiful ban footage.

      1. Bans at Reason?

        I strongly suspect the ‘report spam’ button is wired to the squirrel feeder or, if not, it soon will be.

    2. I thought Reason was pro-spam.
      Every once in a while the bot makes a more intelligent contribution to the discussion than certain sentient beings.

      1. I’m going to miss anonbot. It was more on the ball than some of the (allegedly) human commenters here.

        1. I truly hope Beloved AnonBot is spared. Endangered Species, you know.

    3. This thread’s not got much spam in it.

      1. I don’t want any spam.

  5. Soon it’ll be like Somalia and people will blame the free market and tell libertarians to move there.

  6. People need to stop stealing food and just accept starvation like good little communist subjects.
    Or take a page from glorious North Korea and start roaming the countryside for edible plants.
    The success of the worker’s revolution depends on their sacrifice! They wouldn’t want to go back to being exploited by capitalists, who force them into wage slavery just so they can put food on the table, would they? Better that they not have such a horrible option. Plus, intermittent fasting is good for you and breadlines build community character!

    1. People need to stop stealing food and just accept starvation like good little communist subjects, because they’re embarrassing American progressives.

  7. If there is any justice in this world Maduro will hang from a lamp post as the people use his corpse for target practice.

    1. And THEN they’ll still blame capitalism somehow.

    2. I’ll bet that this happens shortly before some high ranking military officer decides he wants to be in charge for a while.

    3. If there was any justice, they’d eat him.

  8. Geez, American capitalist intervention is really fucking that place up.

  9. No worries, joe says its a democracy.

  10. No worries, joe says its a democracy.

    1. Should I report the squirrel as spam?


  11. President Maduro says images of the horror his country has become are part of a conspiracy against his government.

    “Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I’d have produced that key if they hadn’t of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers…”

    1. +2 ball bearings

  12. The reason we don’t hear more about this from the legacy media is it gives progz a sad.

    Latest progderp on this: giving a speech criticizing the failures of Bolivaran socialism is literally the same thing as Operation Condor. Yes, they actually said and believe that criticism is exactly the same thing as torturing and killing people.

  13. The SPAM button doesn’t appear to do anything at all. Yesterday I was commenting on how reason’s coverage of presidential elections seems to fall flat at best and seem like a bunch of shrill whining at worst. But topics like Venezuela are critically important and this is where I read about the success of Bolivaran revolucion. Thanks Reason!

    Now how does this spam button work?

    1. Now how does this spam button work?

      You comment, we report.

    2. Now how does this spam button work?

      Given the likelihood that the button will be abused like a Catholic schoolboy, “not for long” is the best answer.

      1. For want of an edit button we got SPAM!

        1. Well waffles, you better batter up and butter up Alissi with some milk and honey from waffle wallet.

          Hmm, for some odd reason, I have a want for French toast…

        2. Fried chicken would have been better.

    3. “The SPAM button doesn’t appear to do anything at all.”

      Spam’s no good without pineapple. Aloha!

    4. It’d be a nice solution if all the spam button did was prevent people from directly following the links in the post. Most people can tell that the people offering jobs that make you 40k a day are spam, but accidentally clicking on a link that will download a virus is something that should be guarded against.

      1. Those are spam??? Are you telling me I need to go back to my employer and beg for my job back?

    5. Now how does this spam button work?

      It’s just a re-purposed crosswalk button. It doesn’t do anything.

      1. Believe it or not crosswalk buttons aren’t just placebos. The reason they don’t work most of the time you use them is because many are only set to work at night. During nightime they won’t run the crosswalk signal in a lot of places because no one is actually walking around. The button allows the one weirdo wandering around at midnight to get across the street.

        1. So what you’re saying is that we can only flag comments as spam between the hours of 9PM and 7AM, yes?

        2. Hmm, I don’t think that they’re “only set to work at night”, it’s just that vehicular traffic has a greater priority than pedestrian traffic. At night, there’s so much less vehicular traffic that the crosswalk button seems a lot more effective.

    6. It’s a placebo

      1. Reported for spam.

  14. It’s funny how so many of the things that were supposed to be outcomes of libertarianism have come true under socialism.

    1. I’m stealing this line.

    2. It ain’t funny if you are a prole.

  15. “Venezuela’s Supreme Court Bans Publishing of Lynching Footage; Opposition Lawmakers Physically Attacked
    President Maduro says images of the horror his country has become are part of a conspiracy against his government.”

    Appearances are so important to socialists.

    Who cares if the people are actually suffering?

    The important thing is that the people feel good about what’s happening, and we can’t accomplish anything if someone’s out there being negative all the time.

    P.S. This is like what Al Gore wants to do to climate change deniers.

  16. “Media have the right to journalistically express a news event…but these rights should not create anxiety and uncertainty in the population.”

    “Leaning forward” to hearing something like this among Stossel’s Hillary clips tonight.


    In the year 2000, after the collapse of the Venezuelan government and the country’s descent into factional mob violence and lawlessness, the socialist tactic of accusing libertarians of wanting the US “to become just like Somalia” will be replaced with accusing libertarians of wanting the US “to become just like Venezuela”.

    1. …I want to deny it, but it’s going to happen.

    2. +1 Flashlight under your face

  18. Kinda like how the cops would like to ban publishing footage of police brutality because it created the War on Cops.

  19. Tony Judt commented in “Post War”: ‘Central planning leads to centralized murder’. Some places, it just takes longer.

  20. I watched the Venezuelan soccer team beat Uruguay (!) last night and during the pre-game show there was a kind of sob-story which I expected but then the commentator actually let slip the words “leftist government” and I almost fell out of my chair.

    1. Who was calling that game? I must say I’m feeling some schadenfreude for a bunch of thugs to lose to a baseball country.

      Alejandro Moreno is originally Venezuelan (but either has a green card or full US citizenship) and an all around awesome dude, but I don’t think he’s working for Fox this tournament.

      1. JP Dellacamera and Stuart Holden maybe? Or they did the later one. Don’t remember.

        1. But it was Eric Wynalda doing to pre-game puff pieces.

          1. Heh. Wynalda is barely – just barely – capable of holding back his real opinions, and he often doesn’t anyway.

            If he weren’t on SiriusXM and was instead on some other radio distribution network, I’m nearly certain he’d have pissed off someone enough to fire his ass. He’s full of himself and opinionated like crazy. I don’t really know his politics, nor do I care. But dammit, the guy occasionally is dead fucking right.

            They thought it was a good idea to let Waldo do the pre-game puff piece instead of Stoner?

            1. Rob Stone? Shit, I dunno. It could have been him too. I wasn’t paying full attention until I heard the words. These things are obviously written in advance anyway, so it’s even more surprising.

              1. I think Stone would be pretty obvious if you were listening at all. He’s got smiley frat-boy written all over him. Wynalda is more a brooding, moody, sarcastic malcontent – in other words, a striker.

  21. I bet a Trump rally in Caracas would up their TV ratings

  22. Nope. There’s no link whatsoever between socialism and political repression. Just a sad coincidence.

  23. Venezuela just beat Uruguay to advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa America and Reason distracts from that with stories of poverty, lynchings, censorship and the economic collapse of what not long ago was the richest country in South America. It’s Friday! Let’s be a bit more optimistic and hoist a cerveza from the reopened (with a loan from a Spanish bank) Polar brewery and praise Chavismo! A glorious future is just another game away, just over the horizion, it’s a new day tomorrow, Viva la Revolucion! Who’s with me? Sean Penn, Danny Glover, where you at?

    1. I’m guessing if some of those players were not relatively famous at least in this hemisphere, they’d consider doing what Cuba does every other year for the Gold Cup: having to let between one and 5 players defect during the tournament.

      1. I noticed on the squad list that 17 of their 23 players are already playing for clubs in other South American countries or in Europe. I’d guess the other 6 are looking to do the same.

        1. Looks like most of the non-domestic players are actually at European clubs, which is surprising. It wasn’t long ago that there were at least two MLS-based players in their team at any given time.

        2. And those other 6 probably have it a lot better than the average Venezuelan already, if Maduro is doing it right.

  24. Things could be worse.
    They probably will be soon.

  25. “The Court released a statement reading in part, “Media have the right to journalistically express a news event…but these rights should not create anxiety and uncertainty in the population,” according to Reuters…

    Wait, is that our supreme court or theirs because I’m having trouble seeing a difference there.

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