Thursday, April 01, 2010

Come on baby, do the defamation

Tim Padgett at Time has a good comparative overview at defamation laws in Latin America.  He has two main conclusions: first, although Venezuela's use of them has the highest profile, they are used by all different types of governments; second, they are counterproductive and make martyrs out of the opposition.  He concludes with the following:

There are also hypocrisy factors involved. Conservative governments like Honduras' insist they're on a mission to stop the spread of Cuban-style autocracy in their region — and yet they seem oblivious to how Cuba-like their criminal defamation codes make them look. On the left, Chávez and Correa say they're out to curb insults — and yet Chávez rarely gives a speech that doesn't hurl a caustic catalogue of them at enemies at home and abroad, while the Mexico City think tank Ethos counted 171 separate insults in just 48 of Correa's radio and television broadcasts last year. What's more, many of the leftists in Chávez's government were once victims themselves of criminal defamation laws enforced by the corrupt élite he toppled.

Zuloaga was part of that venal establishment. Which is why it's all the more shameful that Chávez now risks making him a sympathetic victim.


Slave Revolt,  10:27 AM  

To state the obvious, Greg. These oligarchy, pro-empire characters are only seen in a 'sympathetic' light by people whose views are largely congruent with capitalism and the repressive empire.

I don't think that most of the popular classes in Venezuela--who keep backing socialism and Chavez--will buy into the 'victim' meme that you and your cohorts so easily pimp as normative.

Some of us remember history and think in a critical fashion.

By the way, where is Posada Carilles? Not too many establishment academics make much of a fuss about him enjoying life in Miami. Wonder why.

The ahistorical, decontextualized discussions and selective poutrage is so telling, so predictable.

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