My guess is that you are one of the poor deprived people among us who has not had the opportunity to watch and understand the charming, engaging, benevolent, all-knowing president of Venezuela — Hugo Chavez — in action.
It also could be that you are doing this on purpose — that would make you not just deprived, but depraved. Perhaps you are an agent of Venezuela’s enemies.
Fortunately Chavez is protecting Venezuela against you and all such agents. Last week, to root out the vermin that spread lies and plot against the people, President Chavez shut down several dozen private radio stations. His parliament — whose members understand exactly what needs to be done in all cases — has promoted new libel laws that protect the Chavista revolution from foul lies that could be spread on the airwaves. “Any person who speaks out in any form in the news media” can be considered a “media criminal” for disseminating seditious opinions, we’ve learned from Teodoro Petkoff, a long-time Venezeulan political analyst. Petkoff’s column last week was titled with a large headline reading “Censorship Law.”
It all makes perfect sense.
Venezuela’s enemies fall into two categories — you are either well-meaning but deceived and brainwashed; or you are an enemy of the revolution, and you could be a spy sent by the Central Intelligence Agency.
I learned this by watching Chavez’s televised performance at a meeting of his Cabinet in February, during his successful campaign for a referendum that abolished presidential term limits. Chavez apparently has a little button he can press when he wants to preempt all television and radio broadcasting in Venezuela to speak directly to the people. In the particular meeting, he told jokes, gave orders and questioned Cabinet members seated around the table, who looked uncertain when to laugh, agree, disagree, or react in any way, fearing for their heads. He also denied any involvement, as the CIA-stooge opposition was charging, in an attack on a synagogue in Caracas some days earlier.
In any case, when you can have the president speaking directly to you, why do we need a filter from these troublesome, CIA-funded newspaper and broadcast reporters, who are certain to be on a vendetta to destroy the country? If the president is all-knowing, infallible and looking out for our interests, who needs critics, dissent, or anything that will get in the way of the true path that the president has now set out for us?
Such a filter is Teodoro Petkoff, the journalist and politician, who has been a prominent critic of Chavez. Petkoff, by the way, is an ex-guerrilla, a student leader, and ran against Chavez briefly for the presidency in 2006. Beware — how can he be reliable? He disagrees with the president.
Nevertheless — understanding that the president of Venezuela doesn’t want you to hear about this, read about it, or even think about it — here’s what Petkoff has to say about the new censorship law promulgated by Chavez:
The proposed law has to be sent to all the governments of America, to all the news media of the world, so that they might see for themselves the dictatorial and totalitarian monstrosity that has been placed before our nation. It is not necessary in any way to even comment about it. It is so obvious, so naked in its repressive intent, that it explains itself. For us, Venezuelans, this “law” is a call to battle stations. One can hope that everyone is listening.
– Peter Eisner