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What Cuba and Venezuela Can Teach Us About Socialism’s Understanding of US “Hate Speech”

By: Ben Jackson - Sep 5, 2017, 9:34 am
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Antifa has fallen victim to the same things it is trying to fight against: authoritarianism and fascist thinking (flickr)

Reading about the recent atrocities occurring due to socialism in Cuba and Venezuela still sometimes leaves them feeling distant and almost unreal, but I felt chills recently as it dawned on me that when it comes to internet censorship, and silencing political rivals, the same sorts of policies that are being implemented in those countries, are also happening in the United States.

Nicolás Maduro’s regime continues to tighten its hold on the freedoms of the Venezuelan people. The National Constituent Assembly he implemented in the country has allowed Maduro to usurp the National Assembly — the country’s legislative body — and to rewrite the constitution, which will most likely allow him to stay in power for as long as he’s physically able. And now, the latest act of corruption and oppression comes in the form of labeling opposition detractors as criminals for “hate speech”, and actively seeking out methods of prosecuting and imprisoning people for what they post online.

The president of the Constituent Assembly Delcy Rodriguez is trying to make criticizing the Venezuelan government a criminal offense, justifying the legislation by claiming tweets that highlight the regime’s corrupt actions are “hate crimes,” and by describing tweets and other messages as “political violence.”  It’s reminiscent of lectures by right wing speakers that are shut down by leftist protesters through violence and intimidation, who themselves make use of the “hate crime” label.

The Berkely riots that began by prohibiting Milo Yiannopolous from speaking soon snowballed into a full ban on conservative lecturers such as the — very tame by comparison — Ben Shapiro, as well as all conservative guest speakers, due to similar buzz words and scapegoat justifications. I have heard this duplicitous rationale a thousand times: “hate speech is not free speech.” The strategy is to fear monger and undermine constitutional rights by claiming that those being shut down represent a physical threat and imminent danger. This is why socialists always equate speech to violence and hatred. They’re doing it in Venezuela — where socialism has resulted in people eating out of the garbage — and now they’re starting to do it in the United States.

Antifa has become authoritarian, oppressive and ironically fascist in its approach to fighting those very same issues. Similarly, Maduro’s military is a corrupt, authoritarian force despite calling itself “Bolivarian” in honor of Simón Bolivar, the South American revolutionary responsible for the independence of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panamá.

These two organizations use similar tactics, and have similar goals. The difference is that in Venezuela they represent the interests of a socialist regime already in power, and in the United States they represent the interests of a socialist domestic uprising — one that should not be allowed to impose itself on conflicting ideologies as similar forces have done in Russia, Cuba, China and Venezuela.

Socialist oppression is nothing new in Cuba. Economic sanctions and desperate attempts to flee to the United States have been the status quo for decades. The advent of rapid technological advances, however, has again put the spotlight on Cuba’s horrendous disregard for human rights. Recently, Google has elected not to aide the Cuban government in censoring content critical of the Raúl Castro regime, although this appears to only due to public criticism, as they do seem complicit in blocking the URL of opposition coalition  website Cuba Decide.

Google’s recent actions at home, however, are every bit as damning. Its desire to conceal information on the activist and psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson, and its absurd obsession with demonetizing other activists such as Gad Saad, Chris Ray Gun  and Paul Joseph Watson show a clear pattern. Any political perspective besides that of the conventional and standard American left are not acceptable to the people running Google, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

In examining the ideological landscape, we see that hate speech is a criminal offense in Venezuela, and that Cuba has government sanctioned censorship.

Thanks to democracy and capitalism, the United States is as different as night and day from these countries when it comes to economic conditions, opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial and educational endeavors in the pursuit of wealth and happiness, but certain spheres of power and influence in North America, including Silicon Valley, are looking more and more like socialist nightmare states.

Ben Jackson Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson is a dual Colombian-American He graduated from Buffalo State College in 2011 with a degree in Foreign Language Education. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. In his free time he enjoys writing poetry and practicing brazilian jiu jitsu.