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8/6/08

Human freedom and arson

"You call me violent and I'll smack you"

Quote of the day comes from Jon Goicochea, Venezuelan opposition movement student leader and winner of this year's Cato Institute 'Milton Friedman Prize', awarded biannually. According to the Cato Institute, "The prize is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom."

Could this be the same person who today reacted to a Venezuelan Supreme Court decision by saying,

"The national government is looking for violence....if they do not let us freely express ourselves and manifest our discontent with the government via the voting box, they are looking for us to burn the city down."


This young pup better watch his mouth. As well as openly inciting violence, he's saying that the Supreme Court judgement is a purely political. He forgets to mention that:
  • The appeal to the Supreme Court on this issue (which was turned down) was made by a Chávez supporter who has been banned from running for office.
  • Of the 270 people barred from running, more than 50% are Chávez supporters. Looks like Jon, the mob and the fawning English speaking press "forgot" to mention that.
  • The Supreme Court ruling was made by the same judge who refused to call the 2002 coup d'etat anything but a "power vacuum"* so it beats me how Bloomberg are running stories about the judgement having come from Chávez's pocket....these Bloomie dudes need to do more DD.
I cast my mind back to words spoken by Edward Crane the chairman of the Cato Institute just three months ago.Jon Goicochea is making an extraordinary contribution to liberty. We hope the Friedman Prize will help further his non-violent advocacy for basic freedoms in an increasingly militaristic and anti-democratic Venezuela.”

Non-violent? The guy's a thug! So will the Cato Institute consider withdrawing its prize (and the cheque for U$500k that goes with it?). Hmmmm, doubt it...all things considered. Especially when you remember how the judging committee is staffed by people such as Pinochet's ex finance minister.

*i.e. the major dissenter


UPDATE: I've been reliably informed that in Spain tonight, the whole referendum barring issue was treated in a balanced way by mainstream media (I have no link, just a honest voice via mail). From what I've seen so far in the English press, the US army will be called upon to invade Venezuela at any given moment. English speaking press coverage on Venezuela ranges from mediocre to shameful, once again.