Venezuela Silences Opposition with ‘Law Against Hatred and Fascism’

Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski greets supporters with his mother, Monica Radonski, during a campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday. Capriles is running against President Hugo Chavez in the country's Oct. 7 election. (photo credit: Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo)
Rodrigo Abd/AP Photo

Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship passed a law “against hatred and fascism” as the regime seeks to further silence its political opponents.

The law, approved by the country’s new fraudulent lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly,” will primarily target media corporations that allegedly “promote hatred and fascism.”

“Today the National Constituent Assembly will approve the law against hate, the law against fascism, against intolerance and for peaceful, loving coexistence, for coexistence between all Venezuelans,” said assembly leader Delcy Rodríguez on Friday.

“This is primarily a law against fascism,” said President Nicolás Maduro. “Here is a law that will seek to heal the divisions in our country and prevent further protests, banning discrimination against someone because of the color of their skin, their social condition, or their political ideology.”

Since its installation in August following an “election” boycotted by a majority of Venezuelans, the “national constituent assembly” has bypassed the democratically-elected National Assembly and now seeks to implement such legislation.

The regime claims that the law is an attempt to prevent further protests against his government, which they have previously blamed on opposition politicians and media outlets.

According to El Nacional, the law claims to provide “constitutional legislation for the promotion and guarantee of peaceful coexistence,” by only allowing coverage that fits in with the socialist government’s  “educational, cultural, communicational, institutional and social processes.” It also prohibits “any propaganda in favor of war or apologists for national, racial, religious, political, or other hatred.”

“The dissemination of these messages by the service providers of radio and television will be considered as grounds for revocation of the concession,” the law continues.

Violent anti-government protests rocked the country throughout 2017, leading to the deaths of at least 125 individuals and leaving thousands of people injured. However, the law is more likely an attempt to further crack down on dissidents and free speech as the regime seeks to further cement its authority.

Maduro has previously expressed his desire on national television to sentence opposition members to 30-year prison sentences for their tweets, stating that their dissidence made him want to be a dictator. He has also accused American social media firms such as Google and Facebook of waging a “new war” against his regime by “using methods to reduce my following so fewer people see my videos,” and suggested the need to regulate the messages private companies post on social media to combat a supposed “psychological war” occurring against socialism.

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