Venezuelan Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roy Chaderton has raised the ire of the nation’s anti-socialist opposition upon remarking during an interview on state television that bullets pass through the heads of the opposition faster and more silently, because their heads are “empty.”
Appearing on the program Zurda Konducta (“Leftizt Konduct”), a propaganda broadcast aimed towards attracting a younger audience, on Tuesday, Chaderton parroted the message of President Nicolás Maduro against new sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama on the violent socialist regime. During the course of the conversation, Chaderton began to speculate as to the physics behind how opposition members die when shot compared to Chavistas:
CHADERTON: The weapons all fulfill the same purpose. The snipers all point to heads. But there comes a point when the head of a ‘scrawny’ [opposition member] is not any different from the head of a Chavista, except for its content. The sound produced by a ‘scrawny’ head is much more minor– it’s like a click– because the cranial space is empty.
HOST: Devoid of content.
CHADERTON: Exactly. So it goes by fast. But we only know this after the projectile passes through.
The term “scrawny” to describe opposition members (also literally translated as “squalid”) was coined by dictator Hugo Chávez during his life, who described opposition members as diseased: “We should call it ‘scrawnyism.’ A grave disease, comrade… those who become scrawny have chosen the path to Perdition.”
Protests against the socialist regime in Venezuela have been ongoing deep into Chávez’s tenure, but escalated to warrant greater international attention in February 2014, when opposition leader Leopoldo López was arrested on terrorism and arson charges for organizing a peaceful opposition rally in Caracas. Since then, 43 people, mostly unarmed protesters, have been killed during protests against Maduro. In the past year, homicides of minors committed by members of the Venezuelan police or National Guard have increased 55%, an issue highlighted by the recent killing of 14-year-old Kluiverth Roa for allegedly yelling “stop the repression” at a police officer who prevented him from walking home from school without cause.
Venezuelans opposed to Maduro have responded with revulsion to Chaderton’s remarks, highlighting the extremely high number of incidents in which “scrawnies” have had Chavistas put bullets through their heads. Many of the images tweeted in response to his comments are graphic, of opposition members who have been killed protesting:
— jesusLozada#LaSalida (@jesuskikelozada) March 10, 2015
Some also highlighted that Chaderton, as an OAS ambassador, lives lavishly in the United States throughout most of the year.
— RalphGM (@RalphGMWorks) March 10, 2015
The United States declared Venezuela a “national security threat” this week and sanctioned seven high-ranking officials, making them ineligible for visas to enter the U.S. In response, President Maduro stood alongside the seven on a state broadcast on Tuesday, calling them “heroes” and promoting one of them to Minister of the Interior.