In the scope of the mainstream media, we don’t get much of a chance to talk about the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper, and we can’t say we know a ton about their political leanings or their capacity for good journalism. But assuming that they are a decent newspaper most of the time, they did themselves a grave disservice when they published an op-ed from former Venezuelan citizen Luisiana Perez Fernandez this week. This kind of nonsense belongs in the virtual pages of Slate or HuffPost, if it belong anywhere.
From her op-ed:
I fled from a dictator in Venezuela, only to witness the rise of another one here in the United States.
I moved to the U.S. in 2011 after a dictator forced me to leave my country, my family, my friends, and my whole life. In Venezuela, I fought, marched, protested and voted, but the dictator won the fight.
Coming from Venezuela, I recognize a populist demagogue promising anything at the expense of a country’s own people. I will never forget Trump’s first campaign speech, it rang an alarm. I saw a man dividing the American people for the sake of his own rise. There is a phrase that summarizes it “Divide y vencerás” (divide and conquer).
When I see a government try to remove judges, destroy democratic institutions, call the media fake news when they expose corruption, a leader trying to punish his political rivals, I remember what I left behind in Venezuela and I see it in the United States with President Trump’s disregard for the rule of law.
In Venezuela, of course, such an op-ed would never have been published. That would have been on the mandate of Hugo Chavez. Here in America, President Trump does not have that power – it belongs solely to the editors of newspapers like the Sun-Sentinel. So while we’re doubtful about the judgement of those editors, the mere fact that they published this trash is proof that we’re a long, long way from a dictatorship in America.
As for her specific charges, well, they are asinine. “Remove judges”? No idea what that’s about. Destroy democratic institutions? Again, we’re clueless. Call the media fake news? Well, when the shoe fits. Punishing political rivals? Again, it never happened, although you would think (judging by the aforementioned fake news media) that Trump has done little else since assuming office. So…we’re not off to a great start.
“I remember watching Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez harass people who dissented from his views, calling us ‘fascists’ and ‘piti yankees.’ (little yankees). Now I see Trump and the Republicans call Democrats ‘socialists’ because we defend voting rights; we want to expand access to health care; and, we are making sure that the president is not above the law — as Venezuela’s current president Nicolás Maduro thinks he is,” she continued.
Um, one little point of contention. Two of the Democratic Party’s most popular figures – Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proudly call THEMSELVES socialists. And seeing as how the party can’t rush quickly enough to adopt their policies, we’re not sure Trump and the Republicans are too far off the mark to use that word. There was also, incidentally, that sad situation at the State of the Union where many Democrats sat on their hands and scowled when Trump said the U.S. “would never be a socialist nation.”
It’s also amusing to note that it is TRUMP’S critics who call him and his supporters “fascists” today in America, so this woman is jumping through some mighty twisted logic to make her comparison work.
Why would she go through all that trouble–
Luisana Pérez Fernández came to the United States from Venezuela in 2011. She is the Hispanic Communications Director for the Florida Democratic Party.
–Oh, say no more.