…singin’ doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty doo…
José Miguel Vivanco and Daniel Wilkinson, on their way out of Maiquetía Airport in Venezuela, en route to São Paulo, Brazil, looking like two walking peptic ulcers.
So, some people are wringing their hands about how Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolás Maduro just flat-out told the guys from Human Rights Watch that the door’s over there, and not to let it hit ’em where their mamas done split ’em? And oh, how bad this looks on Venezuela? Like it confirms every bad thing HRW has said?
Listen, it confirms nothing. Vivanco has repeatedly fudged up the facts on Venezuela, and his expulsion from the country he loves to insult is not grounds for any grief; it’s only really an embarrassment for Vivanco himself, and a black eye for HRW, which was cruising for a bruising. The entire National Assembly of Venezuela, as well as a substantial majority of the citizenry, is behind Minister Maduro on this. Sure, he might come off a little legalistic and overzealous on this one, but trust me, nobody’s gonna miss Vivanco. (Except, maybe, a few escualidos who sucked up to him in the hopes that he would go on tootling their party line and helping them overthrow a legitimate president.)
Here’s a little out-take from Walter Martínez’s excellent VTV show, Dossier, in which the expulsion of the two little lackeys is chronicled step for step:
Note that nobody’s human rights were violated in the making of this video. (CNN’s Spanish channel lies about them having been “assaulted”.) The two were politely instructed to pack their bags. They even got some help with the packing from the immigration-service agents who came to read out the charges against them and escort them out to Simón Bolívar Airport. No one touched a hair on their heads. They were given to understand what was going on, and they complied and went quietly. This is “confirmation” of Venezuela’s “lack of human rights”?
As Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, says, “Human Rights Watch are human-rights mercenaries. Many human rights organizations denounced human-rights violations in Latin America, the murders of nuns….But at the moment the continent democratized politically, if not economically, human-rights bureaucrats began to appear. They were paid a good salary to occupy themselves on the subject of human rights….They became human-rights mercenaries. They put out many “reports” to receive economic benefits…and they became mafias….They did not complain to Washington about the terrible massacre that was the Caracazo, because it did not interest them.”
Host Walter Martínez notes that Vivanco has a lifetime seat as director-general of HRW’s Latin America bureau. What the hell kind of position is that from which to attack “weak separation of powers” and the supposed quasi-dictatorial plans of Chavecito to remove term limits so he can run for office and be elected as often as the people want him for president? Seems to me that HRW is not even a weakly democratic organization. It’s a top-down dictatorship, and it presumes to dictate, from a script written in Washington, what a “true democracy” looks like.
This should come as no surprise. I’ve heard that Vivanco, a Chilean citizen, had nothing to say about the considerable human rights abuses in his own country during the coup and dictatorship (first of a junta, later of Augusto Pinochet). The reason? He was totally down with the whole sordid thing. The abuses never touched him, after all. Human Rights Watch was notably silent then, too…probably because the dictatorship shared their anticommunist attitudes. (Remember, HRW started as “Helsinki Watch”–an organization dedicated exclusively to what lay behind the Iron Curtain.) Only once the possibility of a prosecution for the fascist general came up, did HRW tentatively begin to squeak about him. Strange, no?
Oh, and get this: Vivanco & Co. think Alek Boyd, the mad Pinochetist of London, is a credible source for their “report”. This, even though Boyd is known to be full of violence fantasies and absolutely devoid of any semblance of democracy. They also cite heavily from the opposition media–who can best be described as less than credible sources. Little wonder Al Giordano of Narco News refers to the group as “Human Rights Botch”.
No, no one will miss these punks in Venezuela. On the contrary, the refrain most likely to be heard there now is “Good fucking riddance!”