EspañolThe Venezuelan government’s most important publication, La Gaceta Oficial, announced on September 17 that Cuban-born singer and naturalized Venezuelan citizen María Conchita Alonso could lose her Venezuelan nationality for exercising her right to free speech.
With this move, the regime has taken the next step towards disfiguring the country’s already trampled freedom of expression. Alonso’s punishment encroaches upon a critical threshold, and affirms that you must be a citizen to exist in the eyes of the Venezuelan state.
The Chavistas are already known to impose exile and internal ostracism with the dissenting half of the Venezuelan population. The only thing left to do is to make the process official.
In May, Alonso presented the music video to her song “Escucha mi eco” (Listen to my echo) before the US Congress. She had written the song in support of the Venezuelan students who had remained protesting in the streets for months.
The singer took the opportunity to ask the US federal government to intervene in Venezuela. She suggested that the US impose sanctions to freeze Chavista bank accounts in the United States, similar to action previously taken against Russian officials.
“I wish that the US would intervene militarily,” she said, “to remove all of the unwelcome communists from Venezuela, since Cubans have already invaded and were handed Venezuela without a fight.”
In the eyes of the Venezuelan Ministry of Interior and Justice, Alonso’s opinion constitutes a sin worthy of exile. On Tuesday September 16, La Gaceta Oficial reported that Douglas José Camero Montanez, general director of the Legal Consultancy Ministry, has been assigned to revoke the nationality by naturalization of María Concepción Alonso Bustillos, the singer’s real name.
Alonso was naturalized at a young age, when she arrived to Venezuela from Cuba. When she presented her song before the US Congress, she explained that she is fighting for Venezuelan democracy, because she didn’t have the ability to do so as a child in Cuba.
The current machination of the Venezuelan regime makes clear, as it has in other instances, the true spirit of her official ideology. If Venezuelans expressing themselves against the regime can lead to loss of nationality, we must understand that from now on being Venezuelan infers being Chavista.
LlegandoA #México enterandomeKierenQuitarmeNacionalidaVenezolana.LúnicaNacionalidad q representan s laDlaPatriaComunista.Y l colombianoNico?
— MariaConchitaAlonso (@MariaConchita_A) September 17, 2014
I’ve heard Venezuelans express their desire for the United States to intervene in their country more than 1,000 times, because it would lead to a better life. What is Minister of the Interior and Justice Miguel Rodríguez Torres going to do with everyone who shares Alonso’s opinion and is endowed with Venezuelan nationality by birth?
The central government has practically expelled more than a million Venezuelans, who no longer have any reason to remain within their own country. They would rather be foreigners, illegal immigrants, or vagrants in other countries than be oppressed by the communist lifestyle imposed by Hugo Chávez.
Even worse is the situation faced by half of the population living in exile within the Venezuelan borders. The inability to express dissent and live under a proper democratic system qualifies as a form of expulsion.
It’s unlikely that María Conchita will face tragic consequences as a result of her expulsion, as the artist has now lived for years in the United States, but her case will become the precedent moving forward.
Congratulations, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, you succeeded in punishing one. How do you plan to punish the other 15 million? Can you realize your dream of reducing Venezuela’s population by half?