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Harvard hugs a homophobe

By A.M. Mora y Leon | The American Thinker

17.03.05 | Academia never learns. The more outrageous the 'educator,' the more likely he is to turn up at some place like Harvard. This storied institution has taken it over the top, though, by inviting in an authentic thug from Venezuela to "educate" its students. It's no exaggeration to call him that - what else can anyone call a man who chased another man around at Caracas airport with a smashed booze bottle ripped away from the duty-free, to retaliate against a protestor? It's on film.

Today, he's lecturing students at Harvard.

Who is this thug? Why, one of the mayors of Caracas, a guy named Juan Barreto, known for his loyalty to Marxist-Leninist dictator Hugo Chavez, in addition to his utterly 'third-world' lack of self-control reminiscent of dictatorships in the 1970s, or in any case, someone only V.S. Naipaul could do justice to. He sounds just perfect for present-day Harvard.

He's more than a rough guy who can't control himself, though, he is also a rabid homophobe who continually yells about gays. He's been caught on tape screaming about 'patiquines maricones' - derisive vulgar Spanish words for gay people, against his political opponents. It sounds a little odd, because anti-gay sentiment is something often associated with the 'religious right' in the U.S. and based on arguments over laws.

It's different in Venezuela, where it's used to assault people. There, it's an intolerance based on repression and deeply rooted in the culture of Chavismo. Barreto hurls accusations of 'maricon' against people he politically opposes. Some Venezuelans speculate that Barreto is so vehement he seems like an angry closeted gay. It wouldn't be the first time - this strange culture was prevalent among the Marxist Sandinistas of Nicaragua in the 1980s.

Barreto's also a fan of 'naming names.' As mayor of Caracas, he's launched a 'Plan Barreto' program to force local taxi drivers in Caracas to formally train as spies in an 'intelligence network' informing on their riders. To 'defend the revolution' or quite possibly collect information about their personal lives. His idea is not going down well in Caracas.

What is most incredible is that Harvard wants a maniac of this distinction now to lecture them. His hatred of President Bush (Barreto recently announced he was going to 'corral' Bush) and the U.S. is evidently so strong a plus for Harvard that violent personal behavior and rabid homophobia are excusable, evidently. Is this really something that will please the state Barney Frank represents? Do Harvard's many gay organizations know about this? Or does being an enemy of the U.S. permit anti-gay ravings?

This grotesque spectacle at Harvard today is the handiwork of the Venezuelan Information Office, which is Marxist Venezuela's propaganda arm. Staffed by former Global Exchangers, they've put on quite a 'people-to-people' friendship show in Boston this week, spreading disinformation about Venezuela being a wonderful friend and via Citgo, investor to the U.S. - a bizarre sales effort given Hugo Chavez's recent ravings AGAINST Citgo for exactly those reasons. Congressman Bill Delahunt happily propagandized on Chavez's behalf this week, but a more serious retort about the Chavez claims, by a serious-minded Venezuelan can be read here.

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