¡Abajo cadenas!

I’ve written about Venezuela before in this space, specifically to defend the Venezuelan music-education program popularly known as El Sistema for their marriage of convenience with the administration of Hugo Chávez. But, like I said then, this lefty has always cringed at Chávez’s tendency to sully his populism with heavy-handed demagoguery and repression. So I direct your eye to this report in the latest New York Review of Books, detailing Venezuelan expulsion of a pair of representatives from Human Rights Watch. One hopes this is just another example of Chávez’s penchant for embodying both sides of the good cop/bad cop divide in one person, rather than what it truly seems to be: a revealing move towards further authoritarian consolidation. But either way, it’s a reminder that, regardless of how you judge Dudamel et al., the Venezuelan government remains a worthy target of critical attention.

One comment

  1. All dictatorships make use of arts and sports as propaganda tools. This may even do good (Machiavelli docet…) to arts and sports! The question, as always, is: to which extent can we tolerate bad means in front of the quality of the ends? With Chavez, are we perhaps reaching the break-even?

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