Human Rights,  Latin America

Western chavistas support regime as it imprisons and tortures dissenters

The Latin American TV propaganda outlet TeleSUR— funded mostly by the Venezuelan government– launched an English-language website last year.

The website recently featured a speech by MP Jeremy Corbyn– a (no-chance, I hope) candidate for leadership of the Labour party– addressing a meeting of the pro-regime Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in London.

According to TeleSUR’s account, thousands turned out for the meeting, although I suspect it was closer to one or two hundred.

Old New Leftist Tariq Ali hosts a weekly program on TeleSUR, featuring media commentary by Lenin’s Tomb’s Richard Seymour and a talking cartoon llama named Larry. (Here’s Larry “explaining” the rise of European antisemitism. I haven’t pinned down the accent yet.)

Given Venezuela’s increasingly dire financial situation, I wonder how long before their checks start to bounce– or they start being paid in Bitcoins.

As the government of Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro flails economically, it relies increasingly on flat-out brutal repression in an effort to crush political dissent.

Here’s a report on Venezuela’s underground (as in deep below the earth’s surface) jail and torture chamber known as “La Tumba” (The Tomb).

Spain’s Socialist former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez left Venezuela this week after being denied permission to visit imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez or to attend his trial.

And the not-so-subtle Maduro warns: “Get ready for a time of slaughter and death if the Bolivarian revolution fails.”

Yet the likes of Corbyn, Ali, Seymour and “Larry” can only see Venezuela through the exhausted rhetoric of “anti-imperialism.” At best.

At worst, they either don’t care about the regime’s crackdown on dissent or– in true Stalinist fashion– consider it entirely justified for “the greater good.”