Monday, March 17, 2014

The U.S. and the Venezuelan administrations couldn’t be more similar: Chávez was the Obama of South America, and Maduro was his Biden

Joe Biden almost sounded like he meant it when he rebuked Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro over his government’s repressive reaction to the recent protests that have beset the South American nation
writes Benny Huang.
“The situation in Venezuela is alarming,” [the Vice President] wrote. “Confronting peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes; limiting the freedoms of press and assembly necessary for legitimate political debate; demonizing and arresting political opponents; and dramatically tightening restrictions on the media.”
The Latin American quasi-dictator could be heard snickering all the way from Caracas. While the description certainly fits Venezuela in the Chavez/Maduro era, it isn’t a half bad description of the US in the Obama/Biden era either.

Okay, so armed vigilantes aren’t literally clubbing the Tea Party in the streets. Here in America we have a more gentle touch. Weaponizing the IRS to bludgeon opponents works far better without providing the news media with a gory scene to show on the evening news.

Not that they would show it anyway. With the possible exception of the Kennedy White House, no administration in the history of this country has gotten such fawning coverage from the media as has Team Obama, and none has been less grateful. This White House is paranoid in its secrecy and lashes out at the few honest reporters who still think it’s their job to report the news without fear or favor.

 … In Venezuela, CNN was stripped of its press credentials because it didn’t cover the Caracas protests in a light favorable to the government. (The government later relented.) The Obama Administration merely tries to isolate its bête noire, FOX News, refusing it access, excluding reporters from media events, and attempting to turn other news agencies against it. The White House’s excuse for excluding the news outfit most likely to ask a tough question is that FOX is “not really news,” as David Axelrod, former Senior Advisor to the President once said. Interestingly, Maduro said the same about CNN. In fact, every despot who ever tried to restrict press freedoms has used the same justification.

 … The Obama Administration also likes to arrest its opponents, including Dinesh D’Souza, producer of “2016: Obama’s America,” the second highest grossing political documentary of all time. I think the left might have found it a tad suspicious if Michael Moore had been arrested during Bush’s second term. D’Souza stands accused of violating campaign finance laws and has pled not guilty. The charges wreak to high heaven of being trumped up by an administration furious over D’Souza’s movie.

 … These two administrations couldn’t be more similar. Chavez was the Obama of South America, and Maduro was his Biden. They’re like two pairs of twins separated at birth. Welcome to the banana republic.