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On Venezuela's refined prosecution of political dissidents

By Aleksander Boyd

London 07.07.06 | The days of South American dictators sending killing squads to assassinate dissidents living in exile are over. Nowadays a more refined technique is in order. As Javier Corrales aptly argues in his article "Hugo Boss: how Chávez is refashioning dictatorship for a democratic age" what one sees is an evolution; tyrants in democratic disguises are feted in so called democratic quarters and those who have the legitimate right to oppose authoritarianism are singled out, vilified, and prosecuted.

Prior to Hugo Chavez's last visit to England The Times decided to publish an article of mine that caused a great deal of malaise amongst those infatuated with the Venezuelan caudillo. But none of them were actually expecting that a) the very day Chavez was displaying his customary charm offensive in London its Mayor would barred our entry to City Hall to meet, in private, the leader of the Conservative group Bob Neill and b) that the BBC would allow for my views to be broadcast in 5 different TV and radio programmes throughout that day. As British Trotskyist and Chavez apologist John Rees summed up for the record, he had "a problem with that," which perhaps was a feeling shared by other English advocates of chavismo.

However my actions did not stop there for roughly two weeks after I departed in a week long walk that ended in Brussels, where we delivered a petition to different EU authorities requesting support for free and fair elections in Venezuela. Our little adventure was reported by Germany's most respected newspaper and upon arrival at the European Union's headquarters I gave a presentation to the press of the Maisanta List, a form of political prosecution on the entire Venezuelan electorate which they thought had dissapeared with the extinct Soviet Union.

Ergo Chavez's regime is faced with the dilemma of how to silence a staunch critic who enjoys total freedom of movement and expression, who is not towing any opposition party lines, who has not been involved in corruption scandals in the past thus rendering useless blackmailing tactics, who does not have business interests that could be expropriated by party apparatchiks, whose relation to the CIA or the ever evil US empire can not be proved and whose investigations keep exposing the illegal, deceitful and untrustworthy nature of the regime in the international arena.

My work has reached such unbearably annoying levels that London's Mayor will chair Hugo Chavez's office of propaganda in the UK, read The Venezuela Information Centre (VIC), that a) happens to have been registered by a Greater London Authority's employee, and b) will make sure to combat "the daily diet of propaganda and misinformation that is being circulated by opponents of President Chavez’ government" Ken Livingstone's dictum.

However the character assassination campaign does not end there. From Wikipedia to blogs there seems to be a concerted effort in advancing the premise that I am somewhat a criminal, an outlaw. In the opinion of those who have taken issue with me the self-imposed hiatus of this site has to do with legal matters that would prevent me from further writing.

None of the barking moonbats supporting Chavez appears concerned in the slightest by the now notoriously known anti-democratic nature of a man that fancies to stay in power until cows come home, just like his master Fidel Castro. Unfortunately, for them, tolerance of Chavez's antics are in an ever decreasing curve outside Venezuela in light of his friendships with real criminals.

To conclude, my hiatus has nothing to do with legal matters but rather with financial ones. The business of opposing a man who commands, unrestrictedly, $30 billion and the world's fifth largest oil reserves is not easy. My sole possession, apart from the love and support of my beloved family, is my dignity. That one, no matter what the chavistas do, is beyond the reach of their ill conceived discredit campaigns.

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