his mastery of the dance "The Hokey Cokey"
To Hugo's defence came the left wing, accusing HRW of total bias, making mountains out of molehills and minutely examining the past history of HRW's founder, José Miguel Vivanco to accuse him of being Pinochet's best friend or some such nonsense.
Not I. Your humble correspondent wrote these lines at the time:
In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez (you might have heard that name before) plays straight into the hands of his slavering opposition by throwing Human Rights Watch (HRW) out of Venezuela"descent into intolerance". There are plenty of valid arguments that you can throw at HRW for its report, from bias to the HRW funding background to political grandstanding to the two questions Justin Delacour correctly poses at LANR. All fine. However there are two other basic things to say:
a) HRW pisses everybody off, not just Chávez&Co. As just one example, last year at a private dinner in the US, Colombia's Alvaro Uribe ended up having a near apopletic fit while arguing with HRW chief Vivanco over the the things he'd written about him, his gov't and his country. HRW is an equal opportunities pain in the ass.
b) Chávez (well, officially minister Maduro, but you know what I mean) is a total dumbass for rising to this bait. All he had to do was to let HRW have its 15 minutes and this report would have been filed next to the rest of the guff written about Venezuela. But no, Chávez had to cause a drama and boot 'em out. Now we can "look forward to" endless months of righteous indignation from the rabid right. A really basic dumbass error, Hugo.
So, message to my lefty friends: You're wrong about Vivanco. Just don't rise to his bait (as Chávez mistakenly did) and feed his ego any more. Hugo was a true dumbass in the way he reacted to Vivanco; now watch Uribe do a better job of making his protest and then letting it all die down.