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Venezuelan Jails: Full House

Hugo Chavez's earthly representative, Venezuelan President Maduro, recently joined the fray of anti-American regimes critical of US race relations, albeit not as quickly or scathingly as some of his fellow authoritarians, declaring that racism in America has been worse under Obama. He stressed how his own country's policies of suppression are a paradigm of color and race blindness.


For example there is a strict non-discrimination policy regarding mass arrests of anti-government demonstrators. The police is instructed to blindly beat, shoot and arrest anyone shouting a slogan critical to the regime or carrying an offensive placard, irrespective of skin color, social status, educational background or sexual orientation. During the past spring there were thus more than 3000 arrests of a truly multicultural and multiracial variety that would elicit praise from any human rights organization (if beating, shooting and unlawful arresting weren't such no-no's for those peaceniks).


Another area where the Venezuelan authorities have excelled in demonstrating a distinct lack of racial discrimination is in penitentiary facilities. Not only as mentioned above are people arrested and incarcerated indiscriminately, prison authorities have also launched a program to foster acceptance and brotherly love between the races amongst the arrestees. And what better way to encourage inmates to socialize and get better acquainted with each other than by making them live in very close proximity.


What's the use of sharing your cell with just one roommate? You are going to run out of things to talk about pretty soon. But if you cram five or ten more in there then you get a cool slumber party situation going on and a 50,000 population in facilities of 14,000 capacity. Leaving in close proximity also makes it easier to observe and familiarize yourself with each other's cultural mores and habits (their conversational topics, their prayer rituals, their porn reading preferences, their dental flossing routines, what makes them tick, snap & beat the hell out of you, etc). It is after all these nuances that make people more interesting. Plus, at the end of the day you realize how the similarities are more numerous than the differences.


Of course it is only natural that sometimes this process, instructional as it is, may cause some friction as the learning curve is quite steep and people need time to adapt. Thus it is not uncommon for some awkward or tense situations to occasionally occur between inmates such as for example giving the cold shoulder, pouting, eye rolling, homicidal rioting, arson and even the silent treatment. It's all part of the learning process.


Even in the field of "suspicious deaths in penitentiary facilities", authorities can boast that there is complete racial impartiality and equanimity in facilitating those "accidental" deaths that sporadically occur like those recently in Uribana prison. And what is a more banner-friendly anti-racism slogan that "death is color blind and so should you!"


In short, the Venezuelan government strongly believes that people should never be unfairly targeted for the color of their skin, only for their loyalties.


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