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Hugo Chavez, a sadly missed Latin American comic figure

Christopher Hitchens in entertaining piece for Slate in 2010  relates  some chilling and telling details about Hugo Chávez's mental health.

During a plane journey on his private jet, for instance, Chavez he cast doubt on the existence of al-Qaida and said he distrusted the portrayal of its leader in the capitalist media. "I don't know anything about Osama Bin Laden that doesn't come to me through the filter of the West and its propaganda," he said.

When pressed about why he was so sceptical about the reliability of Western news organisations, Chávez cited the moon landing as an example of misleading, pro-American propaganda.
"There is film of the Americans landing on the moon," he pointed out. "Does that mean the moon shot really happened? In the film, the Yanqui flag is flying straight out. So, is there wind on the moon?"

After expressing this crazy, conspiracy-theory nonsense, Chávez beamed with triumph at his unimpeachable logic. A bright spark, huh?

Chávez's human rights' record, particularly when it came to free speech. Human Rights Watch has chapter and verse on this – and it's not pretty. Here's what the organisation said about his state censorship of the media in a statement issued yesterday about Chávez's authoritarian legacy:
Under Chávez, the government dramatically expanded its ability to control the content of the country’s broadcast and news media. It passed laws extending and toughening penalties for speech that “offends” government officials, prohibiting the broadcast of messages that “foment anxiety in the public,” and allowing for the arbitrary suspension of TV channels, radio stations, and websites

You read of the 'intelligentsia' on the left lauding this essentially a not very bright dictator and you have to wonder if these 'lefties', like Hugo, are not quite the full shilling.
Christopher Hitchens had it right: Chavez was a Latin American version of Kim Jong-il.

Source Toby Young

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