The brutal authoritarianism and contempt for free expression the current Venezuelan president inherited from his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, continue to mark the reign of Nicolas Maduro. Even as hyperinflation erases the savings of hard-working Venezuelans and crime tears apart their communities, Chavez’s hand-picked successor crushes any attempt at divorcing their country from a wholly alien form of Castroism.
The latest example of his reflexive hostility to anyone bold enough to exercise his or her rights is the Venezuelan government’s decision to attack and kill dissenters via plain-clothes bandits who bear a striking resemblance to the baseeji dispatched by Iran’s fascist theocracy during the Green revolution of 2009. This, as well as the continued efforts to stamp out press freedom, is just another reason why focusing upon the current protests is of such critical importance, regardless of what the mainstream news media in this country believes.
Even though the press has, quite understandably, focused upon the tumult gripping the Ukraine, we should not forgot the battle being played out in Venezuela right now between the forces of authoritarianism and political suppression and those working towards a future where ordinary ordinary people don’t have to fear for their lives because of their political opinions.