The Ease of Forgetting

This blog is a case in point. Not two weeks ago, I started out with great and noble intentions to have a "Oswaldo Alvarez Paz Week" where we’d run a different piece about Chávez’s highest profile political prisoner each day…and day, three days in, News Happened and I couldn’t figure out how to justify keeping the OAP story up top. So I dropped it.

And then, Venezuela being Venezuela, another scandalet broke, and we wrote about that, and then another, and then another, and two weeks later here we are and we’ve barely written about OAP since. Not because we stopped caring, just because life goes on. Or, at least it does for those of us who aren’t stuck in jail. 

This is how some of the biggest Civil Rights scandals in today’s Venezuela succomb to the soft mindlessness of chasing the news cycle. Because it’s an unmissable feature of the Political Prisoner’s lot. There are no new developments in their cases on a daily basis. They may get driven out to a court house for a hearing once every few weeks, but nothing new and exciting and headline-grabbing happens to them. They just sit there, in jail, whiling away the hours and days and weeks, wasting their lives…

The political prisoner is powerless against the tyranny of the 24 hour news cycle. There’s just no way his story can compete. And so, we forget. Little by little, we just don’t think about it.

But make no mistake. Today, once again, Oswaldo Álvarez Paz woke up in jail. As did Ivan Simonovis and General Baduel and Judge Afiuni. And two dozen others. I’m just sayin’…

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