Critics Of Chavez To Be Deported

So I can understand (at least to a small extent) how Chavez had cover for shutting down RCTV, as they were participants in the coup against him. It’s a stretch to defend him there, but I can at least give people a little benefit of the doubt on that one.

But I don’t see how anyone can defend this. I don’t see how his defenders can call him anything but an anti-free-speech dictator:

President Hugo Chávez said Sunday that foreigners who publicly criticize him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country.

Chávez ordered officials to closely monitor statements made by international figures during their visits to Venezuela — and deport any outspoken critics.

“How long are we going to allow a person — from any country in the world — to come to our own house to say there’s a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it?” Chávez asked during his weekly television and radio program.

The Venezuelan leader’s statements came after Manuel Espino, the president of Mexico’s conservative ruling party, criticized Chávez during a recent pro-democracy forum in Caracas.

Government opponents argue Chávez — a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro — is becoming increasingly authoritarian and cracking down on dissent as he steers oil-rich Venezuela toward what he calls “21st-century socialism.”

Chavez’ playbook is open to the world. We’ve seen this before. How can anyone believe that this won’t end badly, and continue to defend him?

What do you think Barbara Walters will have to say about this?

Hat Tip: QandO