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This is the second in a series of articles on life in Venezuela two decades into socialist rule. The series begins here.
When I was young, comedic shows like Radio Rochela existed, in which the politicians were often the center of ridicule and satire. Today, no one would even dare to attempt something like that because the TV channel would be shut down within hours.
The left’s inability to make memes aside, they should be grateful that they have the ability to freely mock, satirize, and ridicule public figures without fear of being thrown in jail. If I were to adapt some of the “jokes” they’ve fielded against U.S. President Donald Trump to apply to Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, or any other high ranking member of the government, then could very well be facing twenty years in prison due to the new “anti-hate speech” law passed by the regime in late 2017.
There are people in Venezuela right now that have been arrested for the sole crime of posting something on social media. A group of firemen is facing up to twenty years in prison for comparing Maduro to a donkey in a viral video. The First Amendment is one of the things I admire most out of America — it’s a freedom of speech some of us can only dream of.
There is a reason why most of my tweets are in English and I dance around words, not directly naming anyone unless it’s required, because I’m at constant risk of getting jailed due to “hate speech.” If I get arrested then who will take care of my brother?
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