Malaysia is a bloodthirsty dictatorship where they kill 25 people every day, according to Uruguay's ex president Jose Mujica. The Uruguayan leader speaking at a political rally put in the same bag, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China as part of a poor defense of the regime of his good friend, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.
It's election year in Uruguay and opinion polls are not as favorable as the ruling catch-all coalition expects, no wonder then that several of its leaders, which until only a few hours fervently defended comrade Nicolas Maduro as a legitimate president of Venezuela and his regime as a democracy, are now arguing the contrary.
In effect, ex vice-president and Finance minister Danilo Astori, left all the ifs and buts behind and openly stated that Venezuela can only be described as a dictatorship, particularly after the condemning report from UN human rights special envoy, ex Chilean president Michelle Bachelet.
Likewise the presidential candidate for the ruling coalition in next October's general election, Daniel Martínez, abandoned his evasiveness on the issue and joined the chorus twitting: Yes comrade Danilo, for the left human rights is always an ethical imperative. The Bachelet report on Venezuela was lapidary and it is a dictatorship. We must continue working for a negotiated solution with the Venezuelans at the heart of the solution
However it was former president Mujica (2010/2015) who was most meaningful in his statement. As a close friend and advisor of president Maduro, and despite many of his immediate cronies having made excellent deals selling food and services to the oil rich country, Mujica admitted Venezuela is nothing else but a dictatorship. He made the statement during a speech to militants at a grass roots meetings together with his wife, Senator Lucia Topolansky, who is Uruguay's vice-president and lawmaker Alejandro Pacha Sánchez.
But the loquacious former president couldn't leave the statement at that. He argued, yes it is a dictatorship. But dictatorship there is in Saudi Arabia with an absolutist king. Dictatorship there is in Malaysia where every day they kill twenty five people. And the Popular Republic of China, what about that?
And Mujica added, ”I quote Dr. Herrera (an outstanding Uruguayan politician from last century), 'if they have a dictatorship it is very much theirs and it is for them to resolve it'.
But it is not the first time the former president seems to have lost his nerve. Not so long ago a television news reel showed when a Venezuelan armored police vehicle attacked and run over some protestors, and immediately chased others with the same intention. Mujica was asked an opinion about the incident, and he plainly replied, never stand in front of an armored vehicle”. Condemnation in the social networks was immediate. Mujica finally apologized arguing (as usual) he was misunderstood by the media, although it was all on tape.
This time he also seems to have overdone it. In effect the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, the same that rates Uruguay in position 15 out of over 165 countries worldwide, Costa Rica, 20 and Chile 23, has Malaysia ranked 52, just below Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, 47, 50 and 51.
And quite distant from those countries which happen to be Mujica's friend Mr. Maduro allies figure Nicaragua, China, Russia and Cuba, which rank 122, 130, 142 and 144, respectively.