Thought crimes

Some days it seems as though chavismo is coming apart at the seams. Their unhinged responses to the most feeble of slights is a gift to their critics. This weekend we saw the latest incarnation of this disturbing pattern.

As our readers know well, last week US President Barack Obama signed into law a bill authorizing the US government to impose targeted sanctions on Venezuelan human rights violators. The sanctions amount to visa suspensions, freezing of the assets, and a few other things. The government, of course, is livid.

Last Friday Chúo Torrealba, the leader of the opposition coalition MUD, came out in favor of the sanctions. In speaking to the press, he said that the MUD supports any government in the world that is trying to punish human rights violators. The lack of justice is so overwhelming in Venezuela, we welcome a little bit of it, wherever it may come from. (And if you have any lingering doubts about human rights violations in Venezuela, please read up on the devastating story of Marcelo Crovato, the jailed defense attorney for the student prisoners.)

As if to prove Torrealba’s point, over the weekend chavista legislator Blanca Eekhout announced that Torrealba would be charged with “treason.”

Keep in mind that Torrealba is not a public employee. He is not an elected official. He is simply a citizen, expressing an opinion, one that we concur with. The message from chavismo is clear: it is no longer safe to freely express your thoughts.

I doubt that chavismo will follow through on such a bone-headed threat, and if they do, they will probably sanction Torrealba with a lingering trial, a suspension of travel privileges, and other parts of the usual script. Then again, the point is not to go after Torrealba himself.

The point is to instill fear.

17 thoughts on “Thought crimes

  1. Parafraseando a cualquier sinvergüenza chaburro:
    “Venezuela es el país con más libertad de expresión de todo el mundo, eso era en la 4ta, que si la gente decía algo contra el gobierno los mandaban a matar los neoliberales.”

    Paraphrasing any chaburro asshole:
    “Venezuela is the country with the most freedom of speech in the whole world, that was in the 4th, when if people said anything against the goverment the neoliberals killed them.”


  2. For many decades, Cubans were prevented by their government from leaving the island to travel to the U.S.

    Chavez and his istas never complained. Now a few of them lose visas to the IS and supporting that becomes “treason”.


    • And it’s incredible how much they like the US, because to lose visas to enter in the US seems like death for them.

      Come on, Chavistas, the world is big, and the US is not this paradise on Earth to deserve your total despair and endless rantings.

      You will always have Paris!


  3. It is treason to support the separation of a boligarch from his or her access to the luxuries and financial security of the USA. How about that?

    There could be no better figure than Mr. Torrealba, a well spoken and widely respected critic of the regime, to take a measure of the depths to which this regime is sinking.


  4. Juan,

    I disagree on the purpose of this. Chucho could have been an option to replace Capriles: he is neither from Caracas nor from Maracaibo, he is not posh, he speaks a little bit better than Capriles and several others.
    Now he will be probably “inabilitado” for a couple of years.


    • I will never understand WHY a capriles replacement should “behave properly” too, being complacent and mute against all things chavismo does. Isn’t that strategy proven to be INNEFECTIVE?. Chavismo does not need any valid reason to do whatever they want, they don’t live on “legitimidad”.

      Always the same fallacy: “Don’t provoke chavismo”, “Don’t criticize or you’ll face consequences”, “Be a good boy when approaching government”.

      The “no legitimes al régimen” speech is worn out and should be replaced. How we are supposed to defeat a dictatorship without even saying and exposing the truth?

      By being a “good boy”, Capriles ruined our chances to topple Maduro early on. Sadly, i think it is too late now, with Nico superglued to power and already mastering the fine art of repression.

      As we saw today at AN, elections, political correctness and the “righteous” way of doing things just fell out of fashion. If you are doing “opposition” to chavismo and can sleep with no threat of death or incarceration, congratulations for doing it wrong, just like Capriles, Borges, Chaquetica Allup and others.

      If Chuo gets jailed, then mala leche. Walesa and countlesss others got behind bars too. I’m not a fan of the guy but i admire his courage to step up and say what needs to be said.


  5. OT Good grief, more noise from out favorite Ed Norton look-alike Ciccariello*:

    Best bit, the final battle-cry:

    “¡Commune or Nothing!”

    *Movie idea: Fight Club 2. Having leveled an entire city, Norton’s character raises the ante and decides to blow up an entire south american country…


    • The Romantic Utopian fixation with the omni efficiency and intrinsic goodness of all activities organized as communes is as foolish as tenderly touching , there is now no country in the world that includes communal organizations as part of its collective life, not china , not cuba, not viet nam , not even Israel ( which closed its last Kibbutz years ago) , and yet here Chavistas still pay tribute to this sorry superstition . It includes a sentimental goody goody view of the innate altruistic spirit of all human beings , even after the thousands of failures with communes we are puerile and sentimental enough to continue seeing it with pounding heart and starry eyes.!!

      Some years ago Im told Pequiven was told to help organize a group of commune likes workers organization to carry out certain industrial activities , they were generously funded and given the task to build certain factories which would be shown the dear defunct leader at a certain date , When the date approached it was discovered that the money had gone in giving the communal leaders huge station wagons , extensive socialist learning trips and big bottommed young secretaries so the factories wouldnt be ready to show to Chavez. Pequiven had to rush with additional money to build or import the outer part of the factories to have them ready to sattisfy the conceited delusions of the grand leader at great cost to itself , of course the factories werent really operative but a make believe activity was escenified to make the Grand Leader happy. Afterwards the leaders of these organizations were offered permanent jobs in Pequiven to give up their participation in these failed activities , their response , nothing doing, they wanted to continue as bosses in Pequiven with all the perks they had grown accostumed to , or they wanted to be paid handsomely for their share in the value of the old failed organizations .!! The govt then backtracked on many of these initiatives to empower the people as producers of goods . But the reality of the faiure was kept secret lest the gargantuan vanity of the grand leader be afffected. !! The whole commune movement is a farce. !! and yet they still abide by their foolish delusions !!


      • Bill, consider this…

        There exists in the animal kingdom, an example of perfect communal existence and cooperation. All of the members live for the existence of the whole community. The social organization is a hierarchy in which all members know their position and accept their role. All members work according to their abilities and their needs are provided for by the community. They exist in a perfect communism in accordance with Marxist tenets. The example I speak of is bee hives. For them, it works. They are evolved for it and, for them, such an existence is perfectly natural.

        We, however, are not bees. We were not evolved to live in a communal organization larger than a small tribe. We are evolved to both cooperate and compete with each other. We are social animals, but not hive creatures. The advent of Civilization has given rise to ever more complex political and social structures that have allowed our species to populate and dominate every corner of the planet. That humans beings should back up and adopt a survival strategy appropriate for insects is perhaps the most idiotic idea we have ever come up with. The real mystery is why the idea is still so seductive after more than century of repeated failures.


        • “The real mystery is why the idea is still so seductive after more than century of repeated failures.”
          Two reasons:
          1) For those in power, it means having absolute control of every aspect of how “el perraje” lives, a favorite of assholes, control freaks and douchebags in general (also a trait of criminals, superiority complex, “It’s all about me!”)
          2) For those without power but who support the model, it means stealing the gains of the workers without having to do any work yourself, also a feature of criminals, superiority complex all over again.


          • I think you are dead-on correct in terms of proximate causes. But does that mean that democracies are doomed to repeat this cycle endlessly? Will we never learn how to prevent this destructive oscillation? Someone once said that any democracy can only last “until the plebes realize that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.” As a society, there has to be a way to add some negative feedback into the system to prevent such irresponsible and destructive behavior.

            Winston Churchill said that “Democracy is the worst possible system of government… except for all the rest.” I am not satisfied with that. Damn it, we can do better!


  6. I think this unjust move may wake up some that have been asleep. Including Chuo himself.

    Chuo has been pro-Capriles from the beginning and leaning towards a passive attitude, god’s times is perfect, bs. This ought to be a wake up call for those that think that the government will simply let their grasp of power, just like that.


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