Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The crusade against political dissent under Venezuelan socialism rages on. The latest victim of President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is former presidential candidate Oswaldo Ålvarez Paz. In March, Paz contended that Venezuelan officials had ties with drug traffickers and terrorists. For articulating this conclusion he is charged with “conspiracy” and “spreading false information.”

The president of the Human Rights Foundation, Thor Halvorssen, notes: “Ålvarez Paz said Venezuela was ruled by a ‘totalitarian regime.’ The Chávez government disagreed so strongly with this that they proved him right by arresting him and keeping him imprisoned.”

Guillermo Zuloaga, who owns the independent television network Globovisión, on which Paz uttered his opinion, was also arrested recently for saying things “offensive” to Chávez.

Touchy, touchy, El Presidente.

“If the Venezuelan government can imprison a former presidential candidate and the head of the country’s only independent TV network because their opinions ‘offended’ the president,” asks Javier El-Hage, HRF’s general counsel, “then what options are left for a college student who wants to protest against the government, or an independent journalist wanting to write a critical investigation?”

The Human Rights Foundation is one of many organizations rebuking Chávez’s conduct and calling for the release of persons arrested for what has been called the “crime of opinion.” They will have earned a large share of the credit if Chávez is ever forced to change course — or Venezuela manages to change course by getting rid of Chávez.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. S Rubicon says:

    W/o doubt, Hugo Chavez is the best example why socialism is a failed concept, if there ever was one. The “Crime of Opinion” clearly demonstrates how dangerous such concepts are. Controlling the media is the only way such concepts can thrive. Socialists obfuscate, distort, discredit, malign & outright lie, to evade exposure of their failed concept.
    In America, we have individuals now in place at the FCC who want to limit speech on talk radio & eventually, TV. Localism plans call for radio to be required to provide equal time for opposing opinions. Sounds innocuous, doesn’t it? Its not. Once a group starts to decide who may speak & when, plus what is considered to need an opposing opinion to be expressed, what we have are limits placed on how much free speech is acceptable to such groups. Often, such groups consist of ideologues whose political opinions are contrary to the mainstream. They used their positions to threaten, intimidate, and coerce others into conformance w/ their opinions.
    Chavez is the example we need to use to show Americans that socialism or many of the recent interpretations of it, are dangerous to a free society. Obama has already started to attack media outlets whose opinions he does not agree with, or who express opposition to Obama’s plans. By launching these attacks, Obama proves his positions are not what Americans want. He also proves he would be willing to use his office to force others into silence. Typical of what Chavez has done & continues to do in Venezuela.
    Obama & many of his allies, even many in the old mainstream media, are doing all they can to discredit any who express an opinion opposing Obama’s policies.
    Considering the vile vitriol expressed by the uber leftists on at least one cable channel, it is patently obvious these folks want to control the media so the public only hears “their” version of facts & supposed truth. Again, just as Chavez has done & continues to do.
    We had better be ready to defend those who express opposing opinions. Even if we disagree with them, we cannot allow government to suppress their opinions. If we do, one day the only opinions we will hear are those which people in power have decided we are permitted to hear.
    I pray for the people of Venezuela & I also pray for the people of Honduras which the Obama administration has also attacked & is making life difficult for them.
    We elected a man whose political positions are far more radical than any thought. Some saw through his facade. Others did not until later. Still others are still in lockstep march to the mantra of a man who actually despises our own constitution as an oppressive document.
    I pray we can stop his actions until we can vote him out of office for an American who loves this nation.

  2. Mary Bodily says:


    I hope we here in The United States of America can remember it is ok to have values and stand up for what we know is right even if our government is heading in a different direction and wants to ignore our opinion.
    Sometimes I feel our media is controlled to influence people to a particular stand. I notice it in news papers and radio. However, we can still have our opinions and not be imprisoned for our opinions as long as we do not break the laws.

  3. “” …. a college student who wants to protest against the government, or an independent journalist wanting to write a critical investigation? “”

    Against a totalitarian regime?

    That’ll be the icy day in Hell.

    And, more seriously, who are we, dictated to by an America-loathing marijuana-mumbling Mussolini-modeled modified-Marxist murtadd-Muslim moron who’s on both steroids and Alinsky, to judge the Venezuelans?

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  7. Drik says:

    “crime of opinion”
    isn’t that a euphamism for “hate speech”

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