Op-Ed

Venezuelan exiles can learn from Cuban exiles’ mistakes

In May, Jenny Avila, in Doral, holds names of people who have died amid protests in Venezuela.
In May, Jenny Avila, in Doral, holds names of people who have died amid protests in Venezuela. AP

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro had just rammed through his project to rewrite the country’s constitution and set himself up in a dictatorship, à la Cuba. I had just tweeted about it — and then Troll Jesus accused me, falsely, of being “an earlier supporter of [Hugo] Chávez,” the late founder of the socialist “Chavista” revolution that’s ruled Venezuela since 1999.

“I remember it,” Troll Jesus warned me, apparently aiming for a public shaming.

Though flattered that Troll Jesus remembered my journalism from so far back — you must be pretty old, Troll Jesus! — I replied that, like most correspondents in those days, I had credited Chávez with reducing poverty but criticized him for subverting democracy. To which Troll Jesus shot back, “Like most leftists who always have a soft spot for communist [sic].”

I smiled and thought: Now it starts.

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