As the regime fattens up its list of political prisoners by shoving the president of Globovisión, Guillermo Zuloaga, into jail, you can’t help but reflect on the sheer uselessness of having thrown Alberto Federico Ravell under the bus, the fatuous hopelessness of thinking he could avoid the slammer by allowing his TV station to be "a little bit" censored. Sad.
There’s a lot more you can’t help but reflect on…like the routinization of repression, the way yesterday’s unfathomable outrage slowly, gradually morphs into tomorrow’s just-the-way-it-is. It’s enough to drive you mad, the sheer gradualism of it all.
But the thing that really gets to me is the self-referential, snake-eating-its-own-tail aspect of this story. In effect, Zuloaga is being repressed for publicly stating that the government is repressive. He’s being forcibly silenced for alleging that the government forces people into silence. With the added twist that the government is actually repressing him on charges that he has falsely claimed that repression takes place at all, turning the whole thing into a mind-twisting example of a self-delegitimizing arrest.
It’s enough to give you a headache: autocracy in infinite regress.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.