Ana Julia Jatar pulls no punches...

Ana Julia Jatar’s speech to the US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere (PDF file) last Thursday was as tough and synthetic a statement of the case against Chavez’s assault on democratic institutions as I could think of.

I especially liked the way she closed:

I did not come to speak to this prestigious audience to ask for help, nor did I come to persuade the US Congress of the need to interfere in our destiny. Venezuela has a long history of self determination and we will continue to stand for it. But I did come today to make you reflect about our current challenges and opportunities. Fish don’t know they are in water. They take water for granted. Venezuelans used to take freedom for granted, not knowing what the institutional underpinnings of their freedom were. Today those institutional foundations have been taken away. History is full of lessons about countries where governments are not constrained by laws. Venezuela is becoming one more exhibit in that gruesome old lesson.