March 15, 2004

Venezuelanalysis' moral compasses is horrified. It echoes a letter from a number of African ambassadors in Caracas saying "racist Comments in Venezuelan TV are 'an Offense to the African People'.

Click on the piece and you'll realize that these racists comments were a crass attempt at poking fun at Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, a leader documented to have set up several large training camps that to teach teenagers how to torture and kill people. Apparently Mugabe, who is documented to have manipulated food-aid distribution to punish dissident ethnic groups - literally starving his opponents to deat - fell asleep during a Chavez speech at the G15 summit in Caracas. He also dropped a replica of Bolívar's sword, a very high State honor Chávez had chosen to bestow him.

The trouble, you see, is not that Chavez singles out mass-murderers for condecoration, no. The problem is that Aló, ciudadano, the detestable Globovisión-CNB call-in show hosted by maracucho loud-mouth Leopoldo Castillo - decided to poke fun at the blunders.

Now Castillo's language is out of line, no doubt. One should know better than to describe a scene featuring two black presidents as "Planet of the Apes." Monkeys are noble creatures who couldn't conceive of the planned cruelty of people like Mr. Mugabe.

Yes, I accept that mono is a racial slur in Venezuela, and I do think what Leopoldo Castillo did is wrong even if he cloaked it as "simios." It's deplorable and sad. But so is attempted genocide. One wonders where these people's moral compass has gone when they pay more attention to one ill-judged comment on one Venezuelan broadcast than to the years of torment Mugabe's detractors have had to endure. I can't for the life work out how Venezuelanalysis gets worked up over Castillo, but can't seem to work up any righteous indignation over Mugabe's brutal, bloody, murderous, long, exceedingly well-documented campaign of dictatorial aggression.

Apparently these things are not "an offense to the African people."

Does Venezuelanalysis wish to comment on the merits President Mugabe exhibited to be judge especially honorable and worthy of the liberator's sword? Can they natre understand the message Chavez sends to the world and to his domestic detractors, when he embraces those who repress dissent with mass-scale violence?

Government supporters need to face up to their authoritarianism problem.

[For details of the frightening scale of Mugabe's sociopathic barbarism, look here, here, and, especially, here]