Here are a few events that lie half-buried in the postmodern maelstrom. We believe it is important to recall them because they generate ongoing consequences for millions of people in Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, and the Americas.
1. In Venezuela, Chavista deputies brutally beat up opposition MPs on the premises of the National Assembly. It was literally a trap. The chamber’s doors were locked and internal television circuits disconnected as they began kicking and punching opposition deputies. The Chavistas were particularly ferocious against Deputy Maria Corina Machado, a former presidential candidate and one of the most articulate voices denouncing post-Chavez totalitarianism. She was violently kicked on the floor of the assembly in a cowardly act against this brave woman.
This coldly calculated aggression, which took place under the eyes of the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, who burst out laughing, should cause indignation in every congressman in other countries of the Americas, in the OAS, and in international human rights organizations. Yet, few international voices have been raised so far to condemn such barbarism. The Venezuelan opposition MPs could organize trips throughout the Americas and Europe to show the public, with backup documentation, this violation of the democratic process by the Chavista camp, together with the available evidence of electoral fraud.
2. Antonio Ledezma, mayor of the Caracas metropolitan district, told El Nuevo Herald of Miami that a new, post-Chavez dictatorship is being imposed on Venezuela, and that the punching match in the National Assembly is a fundamental part of this process to destroy the country’s institutions.
3. Concerning the political-financial umbilical cord binding Venezuela and Cuba, Berta Soler, the Cuban leader of the Ladies in White, on a visit to the United States, has blamed the Venezuelan regime for prolonging the suffering of the Cuban people by providing free oil shipments to the Castro brothers. These oil shipments, said Mrs. Soler, act as “oxygen pumps” to enable the Castro regime to remain in power. Hers are simple, clear and courageous words. Commenting on the so-called “U.S. embargo” which the Cuban regime usually blames for the misery on the island, Berta Soler again clearly explained that “the embargo, the blockade, is inside Cuba,” with political prisoners and a complete lack of human rights, hence she favors continued pressure on the regime in Havana until there is true democracy in Cuba.
4. On the political umbilical cord that appears to unite Brazil and Cuba: At a recent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, running counter to many Western countries represented there, the Brazilian government strove to defend the Cuban regime in order to stave off its condemnation. Suffice it to say that allied with Brazil and Cuba were the representatives of Syria, Iran and North Korea. Brazilian diplomats lavished praise on the Castro regime and helped to sabotage an initiative by Western governments to grant the International Red Cross access to Cuban prisons.
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez said that the Cuban regime uses Brazilian support to avoid a real political change and to remain in power. She added that the reforms Castro has announced are merely cosmetic, and that Brazilian President Dilma is “playing with fire” by supporting the regime in Havana.
5. In Geneva, the organization UN Watch denounced Cuba’s “spectacular fraud” to cover up the deplorable human rights situation on the island by enlisting hundreds of bogus international NGOs to praise the Cuban regime.
UN Watch also severely criticized UNESCO and the UN Cuban desk for including “grossly misleading” pro-Castro praise in their reports to the UN Human Rights Council.
6. Highlight International has shared with its readers five stories that arouse mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are deeply concerned with the situation in Venezuela and Cuba. On the other hand, we are pleasantly surprised to hear voices rising with determination and lucidity to denounce Castroism and Chavism, helping to break the anesthesia, the psychological layer of indifference that appears to cover sectors of public opinion in the Americas.