Autocrats of the World Unite: Chavez defends Xiaobo’s jailing by Chinese Government

October 11, 2010

I usually try to limit my posts to Venezuelan affairs. Sometimes I break the rule if there is a connection to Venezuela or there is a non-political angle like Vargas Llosa’s Nobel Prize, a joy to anyone who has ever read his work and a tribute to Spanish Literature. My reasoning behind this is simple: I don’t want the affairs of other nations to take over the discussions here, there are blogs about those foreign affairs all over and should be the place to discuss such topics.

Thus, although I was extremely happy to hear about the Nobel peace Prize for Chinese dissident Liu Xiobo, I had no plans to talk about it…

Until Hugo Chavez sharply criticized the opposition’s communique asking the Chinese Government to release the Nobel Prize winner. Chavez’ attacks are gratuitous, the MUD simply asks that someone be freed, much like others in the world asked that Mandela be freed at one time, because Chavez reveals his own autocratic spirit when he says that Liu Xiobo is a “dissident counterrevolutionary…who probably violated Chinese laws”.

Except in a democracy, being a dissident or a counterrevolutionary should be perfectly legal and under international law, there should not be laws that penalize it. And the Chinese attempt to make the matter a Government to Government conflict, when they know that the Nobel Committee is independent of the Norwegian Government. Moreover, the Chinese Government attempted to interfere with the Committee by threatening them even before the award had been announced when Liu Xiobo was known to be a front runner.

But autocrats will be always autocrats and no sooner had Chavez spoken when the Chinese Government announced the house arrest of Liu Xiobo’s wife Liu Xia. The same day, bloggers, academics and lawyers had also been arrested even if some were released afterwards.

Of course, Liu Xia’s only crime is to be married to Liu Xiaobo, thus for Chavez, who loves to bunch and lump people in groups, it must be ok to have a law that says you should not be married to a jailed dissident. Because Liu Xia’s only crime is to express her husband’s thoughts and to be loyal to him.

Liu Xiaobo’s only crime was to be part of the Chapter 8 movement which  demanded political reforms on the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. The cynical attitude of the Chinese Government was revealed when Xiabo was harassed up to the Olympic Games but jailed only afterwards. Of course, Liu Xiaobo’s fight for human rights began decades earlier, always in defense of human rights, even before Tiananmen Square in 1989.

As for China being an ally of Venezuela, such an alliance only exists in Chavez’ mind, because he gets financing from the Chinese at the expense of Venezuela’s future. One day, Chavez may have to face trial for this and the Chinese may find that Venezuela’s priorities become the future of all Venezuelans and not of a particular political leader or movement.

As my colleague Gioconda San Blas said so eloquently today in Tal Cual, Liu Xiaobo is an example and “These universal figures serve us as guiding lights to value the dimension of the sacrifice that in our country is made with supreme dignity by those who are committed from jails to a similar defense of human rights”

The autocrats of the world may unite in their own defense, but much like in the Mandela case, the people one day will rebel and the ugly truth will be revealed about their abuses and violations of human rights by the autocrats.

And the freedom of our guiding lights will also be our own…

Added: Just to prove our point, another autocrat joins the fray: Evo Morales says that because he is an anti-imperialist he will never get the Peace Prize (Why should he? He is no pacifist or democrat). He also questions the prizes to Liu Xiaobo and to Mario Vargas Llosa. He will never get the Literature Prize either, that’s for sure.

27 Responses to “Autocrats of the World Unite: Chavez defends Xiaobo’s jailing by Chinese Government”

  1. Ira Says:

    I heard that on his next show, Chavez is going to throw his support behind Hitler, and rant about Anne Frank.

  2. m_astera Says:

    Hi Marc-

    Yes, I’ve heard of Norman Borlaug. The Peace prize, I guess, can be fit to a lot of categories. Well-fed people are likely to be more peaceful.

    In 1970, when Brolaug won the prize, the Green Revolution looked like a success story. Unfortunately it turned out not to be in the long run. Yields were improved and many people were fed, but at the cost of losing many traditional crop varieties that were more well adapted to a locale. The Green Revolution crops were hybrids, for the most part, and all of them required vast inputs of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The high yields came at the price of watered-down nutritional content as well, and the application of large amounts of chemical fertilizers burned out the humus in the soil, leading to erosion. As only the cheap crop-booster fertilizers were used, N,P, and K, the soils were depleted of the other minor and trace minerals. Now the new “quick fix” is genetically modified crops, GMOs. The recent massive GMO maize failure in South Africa, and the suicide of many small farmers in India who lost everything when the GMO cotton they planted failed, is a good indicator that the corporate industrial ag sector has learned little from the past.

    I promote a new and different idea that has been proven to work and be sustainable, and no it’s not organics or permaculture, though it is compatible with them. Anyone curious is invited to read a little about the concept here:

  3. marc in calgary Says:

    the Nobel has already gone to a genius in the agriculture field.. in 1970

    His work and advances he led, have fed millions of people. A man not full of himself, dedicated to his work, have a look, it’s worth the short read.
    … I’m going to read through your stuff now.

  4. m_astera Says:

    Marc- Thanks for the link to Nobel’s will. It is an interesting read. S’pose ol’ Alfred had a lot of girlfriends?

    Someone wrote (jokingly) the other day that if the info in my book actually worked, he was going to nominate me for the Nobel Prize in Agriculture. Looks like I’m out of luck on that.

  5. marc in calgary Says:

    an interesting read… and quite different from “wiki” uff.

  6. Kepler Says:


    The Swede was right: Norwegians appoint “den norske Nobelkomité”, which is made up of 5 deputies from the Norwegian parliament. This was exactly as Mr Nobel wanted in his testament. Remember Norway and Sweden were united until 1905.

    Now the committee reflects roughly the proportion of people in the parliament but it is composed of parliamentarians who are departing or no longer active:

    Karin Cecilie (Kaci) Kullmann Five: conservative
    Inger-Marie Ytterhorn: Progress Party (conservative liberal)

    Thorbjørn Jagland: Labour
    Sissel Rønbeck: Labour

    Ågot Valle: socialist left

    That German is just a fool.

  7. There are no surprises in Chávez’s declarations. As you said, he’s also an autocrat who does the same kind of things in Venezuela. Through the use of legislative and administrative methods, he always tries to silence critics. That’s the threat: he has the power to do it. And he could become even more powerful in the next months with gambits such as the Enabling Law and the Communes Law.

    Follow us on:

  8. m_astera Says:

    re Nobel Prizes: I was in Stockholm for a few weeks this summer. Even toured the Stockholm City Hall where they have the Nobel Prize banquet. Not saying this has any authority, but my Swedish friend told me, when I was mocking the Nobel Peace Prize for going to the likes of Kissinger and Obama, that Norway chose who won the peace prize, Sweden picked the rest.

    I met a fellow in Germany who told me that he had spent a week in Caracas visiting his girlfriend and they had gone out dancing more than once without being robbed or kidnapped. From that he knew that there was no crime problem in Venezuela.

  9. A_Antonio Says:


    Ja, ja, ja, ja !!!. What did you say? Ja, ja, ja. !!!

    Luke, Chavez is your father. Unite to the dark side of the force.

    Ja, ja, Ja !!!!

  10. Junacho Says:

    The Luke Weylan crack about “vibrant democracy” is really no more preposterous that the government claiming most anything, all of which at this point is almost entirely BS.

    As the infrastructure from previous administrations corrodes to the tipping point, I don’t suspect the Chavez house of cards can last much longer. Cuba has fumbled along for decades because they never modernized. With our knack for consumerism and using energy like mad, something’s going to give here very soon.

    It just might be the collapse of the civic sector (energy, distribution, banking, et al) that does the red shirts in. Do you know anyone in the public sector? Have you heard the inside story? The incompetence is now so legion, and the slacking at virtually every level do endemic, that the country seems to be running on momentum alone. Few people in any capacity are actually doing anything, or if they are, just enough to keep up appearances.

    It simply cannot last.


  11. Bill Simpson in Slidell Says:

    Interesting article on the Foreign Policy site about Chavez’s nuclear bomb program working with the Iranians. Columbia may need to start a nuke program, just in case. I’m sure the US Department of Energy can give the Columbians a little technical help to speed their bomb development along quite rapidly. Boeing can provide the solid fuel ballistic missiles to target all the Venezuelan cities. The flight time will be about 10 minutes.
    Or maybe Chavez will never get aggressive, once he obtains such a huge military advantage on his neighbors. He will decide to work on winning the Nobel piece prize. Ya think?

  12. loroferoz Says:

    Cuba and China’s dictatorships fulfill Chavez’s dream. That of the authoritarians that enact laws classifying people as dangerous or offensive and make possible arresting them. People who have not done anything criminal to others’ persons or property.

    Call me a radical on individual rights. But why do all the excuses for doing violence, State-sanctioned or otherwise against persons who use what is theirs (like speaking), sound to me like nonsense, or worse, like the justifications offered by violent criminals and mafiosi?

    Pains are taken to codify such excuses into laws. But still the fact remains that violence is done against a person that has not harmed anyone, because it makes someone in the government uncomfortable.

    Governments and government officials cannot be trusted. And certainly they cannot be trusted with this kind of arbitrary power. Much less governments like ours, which have a history of arbitrary (ab)use of power.

    Laws “regulating” free speech are dangerous as they provide excuses for abuse, and do not provide any benefit to ordinary persons like you and me, who could be directly harmed by them, and would rather hear and learn (or be offended) than an enforced silence.

    The rational thing would be to get rid of them, or to make them unenforceable.

  13. Gringo Says:

    Don’t waste your time with Luke Weyland. He is a drive-by PSF from Australia who comments all over the place on various topics. I have not observed him to comment a second time on a thread after he posts the second time.

    The farther away from Venezuela, the more praise does a PSF lavish on Thugo. I once ran across a comment from Luke Weyland about the great progress in housing Venezuela has made under Thugo. As housing units built per capita in eleven years of Chavismo are half of what they were before 1999, that shows that Luke knows about as much about Venezuela as does a kangaroo.

  14. deananash Says:

    Since I lived in mainland (Communist) China for 6+ years (’03-’09) I have strong feelings on China’s first Nobel prize. You’re all welcome to read my perspective here:

  15. marc in calgary Says:

    Diego y Stig Hess,
    The Nobel committee awards all the Nobel Prizes in Norway, except for one.

    The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in economics, is chosen and awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy…
    here’s the wiki.

    The mere action of an election taking place, isn’t an indicator of democracy.
    If the source of election funding is to be a bad thing, one needs to ask, why the government of the day (Chavez) only doles out funds for its side.
    The results of the latest election in Venezuela, are not supportable, based on any measure of fairness, some areas are massively over/under represented by voters per candidate. All areas should have relatively equal numbers of voters. They are not currently close to this standard.
    People in Venezuela are not free to protest with pots and pans, nor to freely sign petitions for recall elections without economic penalty… and are not free to say what they wish regarding certain members of government due to laws demanding “respect”.
    Any limit on freedom of speech needs to be fought.

  16. Your comment does not even deserve an answer, read the blog.

    Tell your stupid comment to RCTV

    Tell them to the castrated Mayor of the Capital District

    Tell it to the voters who voted 52% against Chavez and got 39% of the Assembly

    Tell that to those that votes against the 207 referendum and Chavez implemented everything they rejected.

    Tell it to the people who protested and are either jailed or in exile

    Tell it to the banned politicians

    Tell that to those that are expropriated by the Dictator without following the Constitution.

    What a stupid superficial foolish PSF you are!

    You must get your statistics from an old almanac

    As for being a colony, right now Cuba goes first, and Chavez is mortgaging the oil to the Chinese, Americans dont count, they just pay for oil shipped. The rest don’t.

  17. Luke Weyland Says:

    If Venezuela was a dictatorship there would be either no elections or the PSUV would have won every electorate. There would be no municipality, district or state with opposition representatives. Yet there are opposition representatives in just about every council, in every district, state, and in the federal legislature. The President’s party, the PSUV, would have won every single representative as no opposition would have been alowed to stand.

    In Venezluela people are free to protest against (or for) the PSUV and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez. The media is 75% owned by prviate corporations most of whom are anti-Chavez. over 70% of the money spent on the elections went to opposition candidates. Much of this money has its origins in Washington.

    venezuela is a vibrant democracy
    Venezuela would be no problem
    If its Venezuela as a colony of the USA, as it was during the years prior to Chavez being first elected.

  18. speed Gibson Says:

    here ya go…a perfect fit for El Limpo Dicko……he can have russian tanks without spending all that money for real ones that will never get used….except perhaps against the Venz people

  19. moctavio Says:

    Carlos: At 78-79% it was mispriced with respect to other Venezuela bonds, there was too much supply for the demand, that supply has been going down. Even at 88% there is still some mispricing. To yield the same as the 2023, it would have to go to 93%, I think it will get close to that.

  20. Stig Hess Says:

    Diego, sorry, but you’re wrong. There’s only one Nobel committee, the Norwegian Nobel committee, which awards the Peace Prize.

    The rest of the Nobel prizes are awarded in Sweden, but not by a committee, as in litterature: The Swedish Academy

  21. Gordo Says:

    These people do serve as guideposts. They are more committed to principle than two material self-interests. And let us remember that, when we choose our leaders.

  22. Michel Says:

    Carlos, it’s simple; they went up after S26 because investors read that, because of the results, and following the trend, Chávez is not gonna make it on the presidentials of 2012.

  23. Diego Says:

    Nice post. Just so you know: the Nobel Prize committee is not from Norway but Sweden 😉

  24. Carlos Says:

    Miguel.. this is a question not related with this blog topic. I see in your twitter that BONO 2022 is rated 88.1%…

    My question: where are the good news??? Before 26S it was priced 78-79%.. What are foreign investor reading after this election?

  25. colon Says:

    venecuba spoke trough chavez….”donde estabas tu periquito”

    Cuban state media criticizes Nobel winners
    October 11, 2010 – 12:10pm

  26. jeffry house Says:

    Why take the gratuitous step of commenting on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Chavez is dependent on Chinese loans. It may not be much of an “alliance”, but he sure does need that money.

  27. metodex Says:

    how can a country with such a rich culture,in every way.One of the oldest civilizations on earth have a monsterous growing economy and what i think would be one of the worse societies ever? it just doesn’t fit. By the way,Venezuela has no allies.Russia,China,iran and those other bullly countries have interests.And venezuela is just a tool to get some more influence in this continent.

    I find no inspiration or motivation when people say “someday it will be over”.Im not an armed-struggle supporter but as i(and some other people) said in other posts before, when it comes to defending democracy from Chavezs and Mao like characters,weapons come first.

    There is no respect for human rights or anything like that in communist regimes.There is no philosophy. How did we ever got ourselves in this shithole?

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