July 25, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Chavez warns foreigners

Apparently worried about the declining attention he has been getting recently, President-for-life Hugo Chavez has issued a warning to foreigners in Venezuela that they will be expelled from the country if they criticize his government. On his radio show he asked,

How long are we going to allow a person -- from any country in the world -- to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it? [SOURCE: CNN.com]

This was in response to a recent statement by Manuel Espino, leader of the conservative National Action Party party in Mexico, who criticized Chavez at a pro-democracy forum in Caracas. How ironic that when Chavez spoke at the United Nations last September he called President Bush "The Devil," and then tried to stir up rebellious sentiment among the poor people in New York City. Of course, ideological extremists like Chavez are immune to grasping such irony. But just think if the tables were turned and Bush did in Venezuela what Chavez did here!

Another bit of irony is the "paranoid style" of Hugo Chavez, who constantly seeks to bolster his popular support by artificially magnifying political threats, such as claiming that the U.S. government is plotting to assassinate him. "The CIA is everywhere," he declared. It's the same phenomenon that Richard Hofstadter identified among the U.S. right-wing fringe during the 1950s Red Scare, and which is re-emerging today. See Oct. 30, 2006.