As I write this, all TV and radio stations in Venezuela are forced to carry the speech live. Yes, you read right: all TV and radio stations are carrying the speech live.
Hard to believe? No. This is the sort of abuse of power that happens in Venezuela every day.
Let me be frank about this, because there’s no way of making this latest outrage literary, elegant or erudite: who in Venezuela gives a rat’s ass about the fate of the Honduran president? And why should Venezuela’s TV-viewing, radio-listening public be forced to submit themselves to the diatribes of a deposed Juan Valdez-lookalike who, for all we know about him, violated Honduran law and simply got what he had coming to him?
Ever since this whole telenovela started on Sunday, ordinary bloggers like myself have been forced to delve into the obscure machinations of Honduran politics. I have received mass emails quoting the Honduran Constitution – four times! And now, Hugo Chávez forces Mr. Zelaya’s speech down the throat of every cantina-dweller, every taguara-owner, every radio-listening truck driver in Venezuela, just because he can, just because he has unchecked power.
But the above does not constitute the biggest downside of all of this.
I said it before and Alvaro Vargas Llosa agrees: the greatest sin that Honduras’ golpistas have committed is that, thanks to their actions, Hugo Chávez, Raúl Castro and Rafael Correa have transmorgified into the defenders of Latin American democracy, putting them at the forefront of the fight for the rule of law. Pretty soon, I expect Robert Mugabe will make an appearance in Managua to express solidarity toward Mr. Zelaya, and Burma’s generals will withdraw their Ambassador to Honduras in protest for this grievous offense to freedom-lovers everywhere.
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