Original art by Mario Dávila
While we were distracted by Shrödinger’s default, our totalitarian, illegitimate and unconstitutional (same adjectives you’ve read over and over) Constituent Assembly was busy enacting the “Constitutional Law Against Hate, for Peaceful Coexistence and Tolerance” and, as you can probably guess if you know chavismo’s track record, the law aims to do exactly the opposite of what its name purports.
It starts soft. Article 10 declares September 21 as the National Day for Peace (and May as the month to Promote Peace and Coexistence)…
September, 21st of each year is hereby declared the National Day of Peace. Similarly, the month of May of each year is hereby declared the National Month for the Promotion of Peace, Cohabitation and the Fight Against Intolerance.
…which are things you don’t actually need a law for (there’s a reason we have a Criminal Code). And although Article 7 states that…
The State has the unavoidable responsibility to develop public policies to promote and guarantee peaceful cohabitation…
…the real meat of this stew lies in Article 11:
Any political parties and political organizations whose statement of principles, articles of association, political action programs, rules or activities are founded on or promote fascism, intolerance or hate based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, political or social affiliations, ideology, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and any other nature that constitutes inciting discrimination and violence will not be allowed to register before the National Electoral Council. Similarly, the registration of any political parties or political associations that do not comply with the present provision will be revoked.
All political parties and political organizations must establish within their disciplinary rules the preventive measure of suspension and the penalty of expulsion for individuals who do not comply with the present Constitutional Law.
The National Electoral Council will revoke the registration of any political parties and political organizations that fail to include these rules or to timely open, process and decide all disciplinary procedures for these reasons.
So, technically, it is strictly forbidden to provide for, or allow the creation or operation of entities, social movements and organizations that fail to comply with the aforementioned article.
Any institution or political party, whatever its nature and purpose, will be subjected to the judgement of a group of censors that will punish a whole organization for doing shit chavistas love to do and have been doing for over a decade.
The “law” punishes, for example, discrimination and “incitement to hatred” by reason of:
And political orientation…
We already have a Ley Resorte, but articles 12 and 13 read:
Article 12. All public, private and community radio, television and subscription service providers must disseminate messages for the promotion of peace, tolerance, equality, respect and diversity. To that order, the State may order the providers of these services to broadcast these messages for thirty minutes per week. National independent producers and social organizations and movements of People’s Power will be prioritized for the broadcast of these messages.
The Fund for Social Responsibility and the Fund for Film Promotion and Financing must prioritize financing for the production of contents aimed at promoting peace, tolerance, equality, respect and diversity.
Article 13. All campaigns and messages in favor of war and all apology of hate based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, political or social affiliations, ideology, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and any other nature that constitutes inciting discrimination and violence are hereby forbidden.
The State will guarantee compliance with this provision on all public, private and community radio, television and subscription service providers, as well as on digital media.
Meaning that self-censorship is here to stay, and that all media that steps out of line is liable to severe repercussions. How severe? Article 22 states that…
Any radio or television service provider that broadcasts messages that constitute campaigns in favor of war or apology of hate based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, political or social affiliations, ideology, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and any other nature will be sanctioned and their concession will be revoked, in compliance with the procedure established in the Law of Social Responsibility on Radio, Television and Digital Media.
…they will revoke your fucking broadcasting rights. And consider Article 20:
Everyone who promotes or incites hate, discrimination or violence against an individual or a group of individuals, either publicly or through any other means, for their real or alleged association with any particular group based on social affiliation, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other discriminatory reason will be punished with ten to twenty years in prison, without prejudice of the civil and disciplinary responsibility for damages caused.
They will punish whole institutions and the person who actually conveyed the “message of hate” with ten to twenty years in prison. This is a great moment to remember some of Diosdado’s greatest hits:
And who decides what’s a “message of hate?” The Commission for the Promotion and Guarantee of a Peaceful Coexistence, as stated on Article 15:
The Committee for the Promotion and Guarantee of Peaceful Cohabitation is hereby created, as an inter-institutional space in charge of diagnosing, organizing and establishing the guidelines of the public policy aimed at promoting and guaranteeing human dignity, the recognition of diversity, tolerance and mutual respect, as well as to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence, hate and intolerance based on political and social affiliation or any other kind.
Its members will be appointed by the fully chavista Constituent Assembly (Article 18). They will elect these committee members and there’s no reason or chavista precedent to make us even dream about having balanced, tolerant, qualified people in it. They’ve never appointed anyone who’s worthy of the job, why would they start now?
This thing (because its not a law), by the way, is also aimed at social networks. The last beacon of hope for the Venezuelan people to know what’s going on and to be informed. Venezuelans got their news (and yes, their rumors too) from social media. Networks are afraid of covering news and telling the truth because it might represent being sanctioned, fined or taken off the air with any excuse CONATEL can find. So, under this “law,” social media will be in pico e’ zamuro according to article 14:
The use of social and digital media to disseminate messages that promote war or incite hate based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, political or social affiliations, ideology, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and any other nature that constitutes inciting discrimination, intolerance or violence is hereby forbidden.
The legal persons that manage social and digital media must strictly comply with this provision and will adopt the appropriate measures to prevent the dissemination of these messages. To that end, they must immediately remove the dissemination of any campaign or message that violates it.
And, as we can read in the last article of this loving, caring, nurturing
law something, these violations will haunt you forever, since they’re considered Human Rights violations.
Article 25. The acts established in the present Law will not prescribe as they are severe human rights violations.
There’s nothing scarier than a “law” written by a ruthless dictatorship blackmailing people and establishing “love” as a guiding state principle, but whatever they say, we hope we’ve given you the evidence to know where we stand. Erich Mielke himself would be proud.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.