Chavez expands censorship to music

Sigh. I'm getting really tired of posting on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez continued attacks on freedom of speech. It's not that I don't think censorship is an important issue. It's just that he does it so damn much. Today's low blow? Spanish singer (and winner of 14 latin grammys) Alejandro Sanz will not be allowed to perform his scheduled Nov. 1st gig at the state-owned Poliedro stadium in Caracas. His crime? Why, he criticized the beloved leader! Three years ago.

Sanz must have laid on the vitriol to get banned from performing in public buildings. Here's his stinging polemic:

"I don't like your president."

Subversion! Insurgency! These five words clearly jeopardize the very future of Venezuela's socialist revolution!

Or not.

What are you afraid of, Hugo? Is a pop singer so dangerous to your regime? I know latin rhythms always make me want to overthrow the government.

The Chavez supporters who periodically visit my site and accuse me of being in the thrall of some American-led anti-populist conspiracy will no doubt point out that Sanz will still be allowed to perform in private venues in Venezuela. Whatever. Chavez has shown time and time again that he will accept no criticism of his policies or behaviour. And if it is in his power to do so, he will shut that criticism down. That ain't democracy, folks. Sorry to burst your balloon.