Venezuelan soccer fans are using the Copa America to express political opposition to President Hugo Chavez:
The chants – which included "This government is going to fall!" – began shortly into the second half of Thursday's match between the U.S. and Argentina in the western city of Maracaibo, a stronghold of opposition to Chavez. Chavez opponents are hoping the arrival of thousands of tourists for the South American championship will draw attention to their protests against the president's refusal to renew the license of a popular opposition-aligned television channel.
TV can create some strong opinions. I recall the violent tirades of my father after the White Sox signed with SportsVision (a regional cable outlet) in the early '80s — his 25% Dutch ancestry prevented him from paying for cable television. To soothe him, my mother would ply him with whiskey, and my siblings and I would re-enact the events of the game based on the radio descriptions. It took us a few seasons to ascertain what amount of liquor coupled with the hapless play of the Pale Hose would appease him, so we slightly altered the results of the some contests as we saw fit. Consequently, my father went to the Great Beyond believing the Sox were undefeated in 1987.
Bravo to the anti-Chavez protesters, but remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And by "grease", I mean a "hail of state-sponsored gunfire". -KD