Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Venezuela Begins on the Road to the Gulags, via Serfdom

Hugo Chavez took Castro's advice and went for a referendum to change the Venezuelan constitution. Now that that's failed, the Chavez left feels that it has to skirt the Venezuelan constitution, much as is happening in America through Democrat denial of the First & Second Amendments, by extra-legal action.

James Taranto in the WSJ has the twisted take that Pravda on the Hudson tortuously torques in order to compare the Venezuelan power grab, hilariously, to the Patriot Act. Here's Taranto's smackdown:
The New York Times reports that Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's increasingly despotic ruler, "has used his decree powers to carry out a major overhaul of this country's intelligence agencies, provoking a fierce backlash here from human rights groups and legal scholars who say the measures will force citizens to inform on one another to avoid prison terms."

In the course of what is purportedly a news story, the Times slips in an innuendo against the American government:

On Sunday, Mr. Chávez referred to critics of the intelligence law as de facto supporters of the Bush administration and of the Patriot Act, the American antiterrorism law that enhances the ability of security agencies to monitor personal telephone and e-mail communications.
Mr. Chávez's new intelligence law has similar flourishes. For instance, it authorizes his new intelligence agencies to use "any special or technically designed method" to intercept and obtain information.

But the new law may also point to the influence of Cuba, Venezuela's top ally, on intelligence policies. For instance, the use of community-monitoring groups to assist in gathering intelligence resembles Cuba's use of neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution to report on antigovernment behavior.
"This is purely Cuban-style policy," Juan José Molina, a legislator with Podemos, a leftist party that broke from Mr. Chávez's coalition last year, said of the new intelligence law. "Our rulers want to impose old models upon us."
What exactly does it mean to say that the two "laws"--and Chavez's, unlike the Patriot Act, is not a law at all, since it lacks even formal legislative approval--have "similar flourishes"? This appears to be merely a substanceless effort to liken the Bush administration to a nascent dictatorship.

The notion of neighborhood informers dates back to the French Revolution and the concierge in each Paris building is a vestige of the snooping that French citizens routinely practiced during the Terror & other leftist abominations.

Of course, East Germany's Stasi, with Vlad [The Empoisoner] Putin in charge of the Hall of Records, pushed the boundaries, as one out of five East Germans was a Stasi snitch.

Interesting that the NYT compares a national security precaution after a murderous attack on its own hometown unfavorably to the vicious Stalinist tactics of its pet leftie pals Fidel, Hugo & lil Vlad.

Hopefully, in a few more years, moronic leftist tropes like the one Taranto caught in the NYT will drive the Times out of business----as NBC appears to be following the same business plan, that could happen, at least to the last-place cable news operation.

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