It’s true: Dictators hate being mocked

Hugo Chavez forced a Colombian soap opera off the air in Venezuela because it mocked him and his country. I think he’s right about the mocking part, anyway.

A Venezuelan television station has stopped airing a Colombian soap opera after government regulators demanded its removal saying the program was offensive and denigrating to Venezuela as a country.

The soap opera “Chepe Fortuna” features an unscrupulous secretary named “Venezuela” who has a dog called “Little Hugo,” an apparent reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

“What disrespect for Venezuela!” Chavez said in a speech to lawmakers Saturday. “That soap is so horrible!”

Let’s see why he’s offended.

The character Venezuela, in contrast to her sister named Colombia, “is repeatedly characterized as associated with illegal activities, meddling and vulgarity,” Venezuela’s telecommunications regulatory agency Conatel said in a statement.

Chavez noted the program featured the dog named “Little Hugo” and said it’s disrespectful to the country that the character Venezuela is portrayed as ill-mannered, overweight and “arrogant.”

Yep. I’d have to say that’s about right. If the shoe fits, and all that. Little Hugo deserves no respect.

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3 Responses to It’s true: Dictators hate being mocked

  1. Alan Furman says:

    Can’t we all be civil?

  2. Elisson says:

    You have misquoted Mr. Chavez. What he said was, “Soap is so horrible!” Makes sense, because the man does not wash.

  3. Michael Lonie says:

    In the 1970s Punch, the British humor magazine (now sadly defunct) had a regular feature called “From Our Ugandan Correspondent.” It purported to be letters from President Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, Ph.D. and bar. The series was hilarious, so much so that the Ugandan government made an official protest to the British government about it. The Foreign Office leaned on the magazine, I think, and eventually Punch discontinued the series.

    Until July 4, 1976. The next issue of Punch after the Entebbe Raid had a ludicrous account by Idi of his great victory in “de famous Battle o Entebbe.” The one aftr that had a long piece from Idi telling how the “damn poperlace” was rampaging through the Presidential Palace, burning the national collections of Playboy and Penthouse, and destroying a thousand years of civilization, “well five maybe.” It was, wrote Punch’s Ugandan correspondent, time “to put de fambly lugar in de mouf” and pull the trigger. And, of course, he blamed it all on the Jews.

    Unfortunately the piece was not real, and Amin lived to massacre more people and finally escape to live out his life in The Wahabbist Entity. But Punch’s humorous series mocking him was great. Two collections of them were published, “The Dispatches of President Idi Amin” and “The Further Dispatches of President Idi Amin,” by Michael Coren, I think. They are rare collectors’ items now.

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