No? Well, let me mention it now: Hugo Chavez is a dictator. And a brutal one, to boot:
Hundreds gathered in Venezuela on Friday to demand justice after a group of journalists protesting media regulations were kicked, punched and beaten with sticks.
Attackers injured 12 of the journalists on Thursday as they passed out leaflets warning against a new education law that critics fear could lead to indoctrination in schools.
Photos of the violence showed apparent supporters of President Hugo Chavez descending on the group, then shoving, kicking and beating them with sticks. The journalists, some bloodied in the confrontation, later reported the attackers shouted slogans in support of Chavez’s government.
The leading Caracas daily Ultimas Noticias, which has a government-friendly editorial line, said 12 journalists employed by its newspaper group were injured. The paper ran a front-page headline declaring: “Enough with the violence!”
The government condemned the violence and ordered an investigation. No arrests have been made.
That last paragraph notwithstanding, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Chavez regime is behind the violence. None. I am willing to go far enough to state that Chavez himself personally winked and nodded in favor of the violence, even if he didn’t approve it explicitly and outright.