Nacho Redondo, a thirty-two-year-old known comedian, cracked a joke at a university in November 2017 concerning Paralympics. Some audience got upset and later a controversial debate developed on social media. He then used this controversy as a means to promote himself in the subsequent shows. This joke may sound ordinary like an everyday story. However, in Venezuela, an offensive joke can lead to online fury or an impediment. When the politicians condemned him through television channels, Redondo obtained death threats through social media. The government ended up suing him. He ran away from Venezuela the day the litigation was filed and has since not returned. Speaking through Skype from Mexico City where he currently resides, Redondo said he was scared and feared for his life. He added that though he did not want to depart from his ageing mum and other relatives, he had no other alternative other than fleeing. In Venezuela, you may get detained because of tweets.
More comedians on the run
American comedians always criticise the alarming effect of political warnings and online mobs. However, in the era of rising autocracy worldwide, the threat to comics in nations without a culture of freedom of speech, the political correctness can be more adverse. In Venezuela, a country in political and fiscal crisis, operating under nationwide blackout and admonishing monetary sanctions, President Nicolas Maduro has violently pursued the comic industry for years. Making use of the same generally outlined laws that were used to sue Redondo, the government detained two firefighters for sharing a video live making fun at Maduro.
Human Right activists on the lookout
The human rights director of the University of the Andes, Mayda Hocevar, said that many comedians had been compelled to run away from Venezuela since the government has outlawed satire. The most influential standup comedian to leave the country is Luis Chataing, former known host of a daily program. He has approximately 4.7 million followers on Twitter.