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View Diary: Cindy, don't let the door hit you on the way out (217 comments)

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  •  I did (0+ / 0-)

    Now how 'bout you read the FAIR article I linked?

    "This is an impressive crowd, the have and the have mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base." - George W. Bush

    by Cassiodorus on Tue May 29, 2007 at 07:27:50 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      Chavez has done some good things, and Bush is certainly out to get him.  But you can't overlook his authoritarianism.  Its not like shutting down the leading opposition station is an isolated incident.  From HRW:

      Amendments to Venezuela’s Criminal Code that entered into force last week [September 2005] may stifle press criticism of government authorities and restrict the public’s ability to monitor government actions, Human Rights Watch said today.

      By broadening laws that punish disrespect for government authorities, the Venezuelan government has flouted international human rights principles that protect free expression," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. "While countries across Latin America are moving to repeal such laws, Venezuela has enacted further restrictions on the press that will shield officials from public scrutiny."  
       
      The amendments extend the scope of existing provisions that make it a criminal offense to insult or show disrespect for the president and other government authorities. Venezuela’s measures run counter to a continent-wide trend to repeal such "disrespect" (or "desacato") laws. In recent years, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Peru have already repealed such laws, and other countries like Chile and Panama are currently considering legislation that would do so.  
       
      The human rights bodies of the United Nations and of the Organization of American States have repeatedly urged states to repeal such provisions.  
       
      The president, vice-president, government ministers, state governors and members of the Supreme Court are already protected from disrespect under the law. The new provisions extend this protection to legislators of the National Assembly, members of the National Electoral Council, the attorney general, the public prosecutor, the human rights ombudsman, the treasury inspector, and members of the high military command.  
       
      Anyone convicted of offending these authorities could go to prison for up to 20 months. Anyone who gravely offends the president, on the other hand, can incur a penalty of up to 40 months in prison.

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