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Revisionist history from Reuters

Hugo Chavez and his allies in Cuba are efficiently turning Venezuela into a brutal, inefficient, totalitarian state:

Chavez has granted Cuban judicial and security forces extensive police powers within Venezuela. Cubans are already running the intelligence services and indoctrinating and training the military. They will effectively bypass what is left of Venezuela's judicial system when they exercise new powers to investigate, seize, detain, and interrogate Venezuelans and Cubans living in Venezuela, with the right to extradite them to Cuba and try them there. This threatens the safety of some 30,000 Cubans in Venezuela.

All this is a culmination of Chavez's frontal attack on civil society, reducing state institutions to mere shadows with only ceremonial powers. Just for starters, Chavez has rewritten Venezuela's Constitution to enhance his powers, purged critics in the military, set up legislation to pack the Supreme Court, intimidated the media by threatening the expropriation of the licenses of private television stations that supported the opposition, and given succor to thousands of Castro's military and intelligence officers, along with many social and medical workers, while tens of thousands of young Venezuelans have been sent to Cuba for indoctrination.

I am consistently disappointed (but not surprised) that this process is more or less ignored by the world's media. But even worse, when they do cover Venezuela, they act as propagandists for Chavez. Check out this clever bit of writing tucked into a story on how McDonald's is being harrased by the Venezuelan government (couldn't find it online):
The OPEC nation is recovering from two years of economic downturn after months of right-wing attacks against the democratically elected government of Hugo Chavez.
In one concise sentence, the abysmal economy is blamed on the opposition to Chavez's takeover, those opponents are classified as 'right-wing', and a dictator is proclaimed as 'democratic'. I don't think anyone could call this 'objective' journalism.

UPDATE: I found the Reuters story online. The sentence has been re-written to:

The OPEC nation is recovering from two years of economic downturn after months of political conflict over the government of leftist President Hugo Chavez.
But not before the original appeared in newspapers all over the world, of course.


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