The Corner

Maduro’s Friends

Venezuela’s President Maduro can rely on more than some stalwarts on the Hollywood left for international support.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Caracas has received open backing of allies such as Argentina, Bolivia and Cuba, who echo the Venezuelan position that the protesters are part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. Venezuela blames the U.S. for the alleged conspiracy—which the U.S. denies. Luis D’ Elia, one of [Argentine] President Cristina Kirchner’s key political operators, blasted Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who was arrested this week, tweeting Mr. Lopez “should be shot by a firing squad as an agent of the CIA.”

Kirchner herself has called on the Venezuelan opposition to respect the results of the most recent (dodgy) elections and to hope for better luck (with the loaded dice) next time. As La Nacion, the flagship newspaper of a media group under sustained attack from the Kirchner government, noted, the Argentine president had nothing to say about the more brutal aspects of the Venezuelan crackdown.

The WSJ  report also contains this from Chile:

In Chile, leftist politicians who are part of the incoming government and even the main student union have denounced Venezuelan student protests and criticized Chile’s outgoing conservative President Sebastián Piñera for calling on all sides in the Venezuelan conflict to respect human rights and the rule of law.

“Mr. Piñera’s statements were hurried and regrettable” said Daniel Nuñez, an influential communist party lawmaker who forms part of the ruling coalition elected last month under the leadership of previous Socialist President Michele Bachelet, who has remained silent about the current Venezuelan crisis.

Even Chile’s students, who have frequently staged street protests in Santiago that, at times, turned violent, expressed no sympathy for their Venezuelan brethren.

“We do not feel represented by the actions of the Venezuelan student sectors, which have put themselves on the side of defending the old order opposed to the revolutionary path,” said a statement issued by Chile’s powerful student federation, known as the FECh.

Ah yes, the ‘revolutionary path’, the one paved with the corpses of the hundred million: it’s helpful to be reminded that there are those still at work on its construction.

It’s also worth remembering that Chile’s leftist students received a good degree of favorable coverage during the course of the protests they staged in 2011, not least thanks to the distinctly photogenic Camila Vallejo, one of its leaders (she’s now a member of parliament), not the first time in the history of the Latin American left that glamor has made a pretty mask for an ugly reality.

Over at the Daily Beast, Michael Moynihan weighs in:

If you doubted that Maduro was presiding over a rotting Potemkin democracy—kangaroo courts packed with loyalists, a neutered media, violent street gangs beholden to the government—witness his Mussolini-on-the-piazza performance yesterday, when he announced [opposition leader] Lopez’s arrest in front of a crowd of regime loyalists. Maduro told the assembled that President of the National Assembly (and the one of the country’s most powerful and recognizable chavistas) Diosdado Cabello had personally driven Lopez to jail, in a bizarre, professional wrestling-type victory lap for the regime: “At this moment, Diosdado Cabello is driving his car and taking Leopoldo López to a jail outside Caracas,” Maduro announced, assuring his supporters of “the surrender of the political chief of the Venezuelan fascist right wing, already in the hands of justice.”

Maduro, in the lunatic tradition of his lunatic predecessor, conjured a sinister plot: “We have been informed that the ultra-right wing of Venezuela, in tandem with the ultra-right wing of Miami, apropos the bench warrant, activated foreign groups to find and kill [Lopez] so as to fuel a political crisis and lead us to civil war.” It’s not so generous to defame and arrest a political opponent, but look how generous they were in saving his life from his fellow fascists!

Sean Penn, call your office.

To follow what’s going on in Venezuela, Caracas Chronicles is well worth a look. 


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