Venezuelan President (-for-life wannabe) Hugo Chavez has proposed a ban on pot banging, a popular form of protest in his country. Pot banging would not be welcome in most neighborhoods in our part of the hemisphere, but free speech is an endangered species in Venezuela, and so the U.S. State Department should issue a protest.
No banging, please. A diplomatic communique will do.
Chavez has survived other forms of protest by opponents in recent years, such as marches, boycotts, petition drives and recall elections. In banning pot banging, he may think he has now put even his own electoral base over a barrel, muffling their dissent. But he may have underestimated the resourcefulness of the poor.
Pots are not the only thing to bang on. There are many pans in Venezuela, too. Will Chavez ban pan banging, too? Let him try!