Sent to The Globe and Mail
11 October 2011
Your decision to run an article outlining Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s condemnation of the ‘horrible repression’ of Occupy Wall Street protestors (“Hugo Chavez condemns ‘horrible repression’ of Wall Street protests”, 8 October 2011) without so much as mentioning that the Chavez administration has been highly criticized by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights for excessive use of force against, and detention of, political opposition in Venezuela is completely unacceptable. Is the institutional memory of The Globe and Mail so poor that the paper has already forgotten the July 2011 story it ran on the Chavez administration’s decision to imprison Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, arrested in 2009 by Chavez’s “secret police” for having conditionally released a businessman whose detention (on charges of circumventing government currency controls) had exceeded Venezuela’s legal limits? If you need to refresh your memory, start by reviewing the position of the United Nations, which holds Chavez responsible for creating a climate of fear that undermines the rule of law and obstructs justice.
Victoria L. Henderson
PhD Candidate and SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, Queen’s University
(Link to the article that prompted this letter)