May 08, 2015

Venezuela: "No jokes about the revolution" allowed as crackdown on comedians continues

Rebel Staff

"In Venezuela, you get robbed of stuff that isn't even yours yet." The audience loved Laureano Marquez's joke about other customers stealing hard to find goods right out of your shopping cart, but the authorities aren't laughing.

According to

Besides jailing opposition leaders and cracking down on protesters, the Maduro government is now going after comics.

Marquez says that three of his recent shows were canceled after all three clubs that booked him were suddenly closed down for alleged tax evasion. He's also been shut out of government-run theaters and hotels.

Making matters worse, comedians need city permits to perform, so controversial ones are easily weeded out.

"They think that because we did jokes about Chavez or Maduro we are going to bring down the government," comedian Alex Goncalves told NPR, which notes that:

Even when Goncalves is allowed to perform, there can be trouble. After one show, he was chased out of town by government supporters.

Last year, Venezuela's homegrown version of The Daily Show was pulled off the air, and one of its best known editorial cartoonists was fired.

"Humor is the last place of liberty," Marquez told NPR.

"When you lost freedom in other places, freedom can be alive in humor."

(Photo credit: Photo Cindy / Foter / CC BY)

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commented 2015-05-10 11:32:42 -0400
Indeed, Peter Netterville. But while we expect nothing more from Venezuela, what is the excuse for such similar intolerance in democratic western societies?
commented 2015-05-08 08:56:15 -0400
Shutting down humour means shutting down the human soul.