The Human Rights Watch has issued a damning report on the loss of freedoms and civil liberties under Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. HRW found a comprehensive rollback of core political and legal rights for journalists, dissidents, and the courts. As I have noted before, I am astonished how many in the liberal community in the United States have been muted in their opposition to Chávez who has modeled his government on that of Castro in Cuba while establishing alliances with some of the worst dictators in the world.
The group paints a worsening picture for journalists, lawyers, judges and political opponents in the country — describing Chávez’s reign as the “Lost Decade” for the country. The report, entitled Tightening the Grip: Concentration and Abuse of Power in Chávez’s Venezuela, is a chilling example of how civil liberties can be lost in a relatively short period of time.