July 24, 2007

Hugo Chavez, Peerless Democrat

Ah, you simply must savor the irony. Irony this delicious, this delightful doesn’t rear its ugly little head that often. Thus, when it appears, we are duty bound to take it in with rapturous excitement.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” refer to a recent televised statement by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. As even the most politically obtuse amongst us well know, Mr. Chavez is a steadfast hero to the self-proclaimed “progressive” community. They wish that President Bush could be the ardent democrat that Hugo Chavez is.

In fact, the man embodies everything that the (purportedly populist) far Left esteem: Seizure of private property; hypocritical demagoguery; &c. Since Saint Hugo disesteems the Bush administration as much as the next white-flag-waving American hippie (though his ire doesn’t stop him from selling lots of oil to the US), our leftist pals are willing to give him a pass on his dubious behavior.

As such, when it was reported that President Chavez aimed to shut down an independent television station in Venezuela critical of his government, the Euro-American Left was in full Apologia Mode. Although this sounded dubious, the pundits crowed, it was actually necessary, since this network previously encouraged an anti-Chavez revolt.

Of course, if President Bush attempted to shut down the left-wing propaganda network “Democracy Now!” we wouldn’t hear similar examples of progressive apologetics. Instead, we’d enjoy taking in the same epithets already dribbling from the tongues of our lefty pals—“fascist,” “totalitarian,” “evil,” “undemocratic,” &c.

After all, we don’t remember our left-wing buddies rushing to the defense of the Bush administration when it gave the green light to bomb Al Jazeera—even though this rancid Islamist network used its broadcasts to help flash messages to Al Qaeda. Saint Hugo’s strong-arming, however, was entirely justifiable to our democracy-embracing leftists.

Well, that’s a sentiment that’s getting harder and harder to justify. A few days ago, we read the following short report in The Chicago Tribune:

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that foreigners who publicly criticize him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country.

Chavez ordered officials to monitor statements made by international figures during their visits to Venezuela and deport any outspoken critics.

"How long are we going to allow a person -- from any country in the world -- to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it?" Chavez asked during his weekly television and radio program.

The Venezuelan leader's statements came after Manuel Espino, the president of Mexico's conservative ruling party, criticized Chavez in Caracas.

Oh, let the liberal hand-wringing begin! Ah, the irony: Our left-wing buddies claim to love democracy, yet go gaga for an authoritarian thug. We can’t wait to see how the John Pilger, Noam Chomsky crowd exonerates Saint Hugo for this blatant totalitarianism.

Just imagine if President Bush had uttered such a repugnant sentiment about visitors to the US. How the left-wing pundits would (rightly) excoriate him for such a horrid statement! How they would have charged (rightly) that it was utterly incompatible with an open society!

Well, lefties, what do you have to say about your beloved Hugo’s latest machinations? Do you really believe in freedom of speech, or are you mindless shills for left-wing totalitarianism? The silence at The Nation and the op-ed page at The Guardian thus far doesn’t speak well of you.

Posted at July 24, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack