— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 22, 2014
But of course — why would anyone protest the coming of Heaven on Earth? At Newsbusters, Matthew Balan writes:
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: “Many…are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government.” [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump] The network’s Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning. The network’s evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
They demand to be secure in their homes and their persons, they demand an end to current shortages of staple foods and other goods in the country, and they demand the right to free speech. That these things should be considered a challenge to the Maduro regime is what is extraordinary, along with the regime’s brutal response to the protests — both speak to the character of the current Venezuelan government. If honoring such basic human decencies requires a regime change in Caracas, that is more a reflection on the current government of Venezuela than on those who, laboring miserably under it, demand a civilized life.
President Nicolás Maduro, in an apparent bid to out-redshirt Hugo Chávez, has reverted to classical form, shouting “Yankee go home!” from the dais — he claims that the protests are an American plot to destabilize his government, as though the Obama administration were that deft — and arresting the opposition leader, Leopoldo López, on charges of terrorism and conspiracy. Protesters have been killed. The economic reduction of Venezuela has been a breathtaking thing to watch. Blessed (and cursed) with enormous wealth in the form of oil, Venezuela seemed to thrive for a time, boasting (possibly with some exaggeration) at one point that its workers were the highest-paid in Latin America. The government spent lavishly on social programs and patronage, and, like many a misgoverned country before, saw its economy ravaged by inflation — 30 percent and more in the late 1980s, 100 percent in the late 1990s, 30 percent a year or two ago, and more than 50 percent today. The Chávez regime attempted to manhandle economic reality with police powers, imposing controls on foreign exchange, prices, and trade. The result was what it has always and everywhere been: shortages of basic goods as economic activity and trade are driven underground.
I have no idea who produced it, but this tweet maps out Venezuela’s road to serfdom rather nicely:
— Vivi Doyle (@ViviDoyle) February 21, 2014
Note that while it specifically references Venezuela, it’s the one map whose path can be charted everywhere in the world.