At first I thought this was a April Fool’s gag. Giving Hugo Chavez the Rodolfo Walsh Press Freedom Award for “defending human rights, truth and democratic values” only added to the idea that this was someone’s idea of a very bad joke.
(Rodolfo Walsh was a journalist who was “disappeared” during the time of the Argentina military rule.)
But then the date — March 30 — knocked that idea out.
When I saw the award came from a university in Argentina, it still did not make any sense.
But I guess it does to someone. Someone who has either a twisted sense of humor or no understanding what “press freedom” really means.
Seeing Chavez get this award reminds me of the comment made after Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize: “Political satire is now redundant.”
With the exception of the Castro brothers in Cuba I cannot think of any other government leader in the Western Hemisphere who has done more to restrict freedom of the press or who has jailed or harassed more journalists than Chavez in the past 20 years.
Reports on this odd event
- Hugo Chavez wins press freedom award – Foreign Policy
- Argentine press freedom award goes to Hugo Chavez – UPI
- Argentina gives Hugo Chavez press freedom award – BBC