Spanish – In the style of the so-called Law against Hate of the Venezuelan regime, a Spanish Provincial Prosecutor’s Office is asking for two years in prison for a citizen of that country for allegedly having humiliated a Chavista on Facebook. This is a 43-year-old man whom the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Valencia, Spain, accuses of a crime against fundamental rights for various messages published on social media against communists.
According to the information published by the news agency Europa Press, the prosecutor’s brief states that the accused responded on Facebook to the message of an unknown person, who is presumed to be a Venezuelan follower of the regime. He is alleged to have expressed sympathy for communism, especially for the Venezuelan dictatorship.
“I shit on you and your communism, you shitty Chavista, pro-assassination of your people, of wanting your people to go through misery.” For this message, the accused could face up to two years in prison. Additionally, the prosecution is demanding a fine of 3,600 euros and the payment of 2,000 euros for moral damages to the Chavista, whom the Public Prosecutor’s Office identifies as “the victim.”
The Hate Crimes Office of the Prosecutor’s Office in Valencia also requests that the judge prohibit the defendant from using Facebook for five years, which would mean the closure of his account. Moreover, it has requested Facebook to delete the messages it deems harmful.
As if this were not enough, the prosecutor’s office is also asking for a special disqualification for educational professions or trades in the field of teaching, sports, and leisure for seven years.
Messages against communists and Podemos party members
The message for which he is accused was published in April 2017. Subsequently, the defendant wrote slightly more inflammatory messages on Facebook against communists, especially Podemos party supporters.
The post was in Spanish and spoke of “eliminating communist shit.” The defendant also said “Francisco Franco was too soft on your grandparents. Shitty Podemos, you derve to face the firing squad.”
According to the prosecution, the accused made these demonstrations motivated by hatred, phobia, and resentment toward people of communist ideology. The prosecution considers that a crime was committed against the fundamental rights and public freedoms guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution.
Anti-hate law passed by Chavismo
This legislation recalls the Constitutional Law against Hate, for Peaceful Coexistence and Tolerance approved on November 8, 2017, by the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly convened by Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
The Chavista law provides for 10 to 20 years in prison for anyone who “publicly incites hatred, discrimination, or violence against a person or group of persons because of their real or presumed membership in a certain social, ethnic, religious, or political group.”
The problem with this type of law is the subjective application with high persecutory intent, depending on the government of the day. In Venezuela, for example, there are plenty of examples of hate messages spread by Chavista leaders themselves.
Selective enforcement of the law
During the campaign for the 2013 presidential elections, after the death of Hugo Chávez, then-candidate Nicolás Maduro indulged in hateful, homophobic messages. “The opponents are faggots and fascists,” he said on several occasions, referring to both the president of Empresas Polar, Lorenzo Mendoza and the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
Another case was that of Chavista Mario Silva, who said in 2017 that his proposal for the Constituent Assembly – the same one that approved the anti-hate law – was to “beat all those mother fuckers to a pulp and start putting prisoners here,” referring to the opponents.
Hugo Chávez also displayed his uncontrolled and violent language on countless occasions. One of them was when he engaged in what could be described as a hate crime of xenophobia when he publicly cursed Israel in a TV broadcast in 2012. “Damn you, State of Israel! Damn you!”
An Infobae investigation published on July 12, 2020, indicates that the victims of the anti-hate law in Venezuela include journalists, students, firefighters, and even priests. As expected, during nearly three years of the controversial law, no official or sympathizer of the regime has been sanctioned for this crime.