The Corner

First You Tweet, Then They Beat

It’s time to add another entry to the long list of instances in which dictators have catered to the most grotesque and primitive of human emotions through the use of the most promising and advanced human technologies: Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez is urging people to tweet him instances of unauthorized currency markets so he can send his goon squads to crack heads:

The socialist leader asked Venezuelans to send messages identifying illegal traders. He described them as “thieves” who must be punished for currency speculation, which he blames for rapidly rising inflation.

“My Twitter account is open for you to denounce them,” Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program. “We’re going to launch several raids. We’ve already launched some raids, thanks to the complaints from the people.”

I would suggest that Venezuelans tweet their dictator links to basic texts on monetary policy, but that might just result in government raids of libraries and economics departments. Perhaps they should just unfriend him and thus wound his fragile psyche.

John Hood is president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina-based grantmaker. His latest book is a novel, Mountain Folk (Defiance Press, 2021).

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