Venezuela Fines Comedian For Presidential Humor

Laureano Marquez — one of Venezuela’s leading humorists — has been fined for a funny column he wrote about the country’s president Hugo Chavez. He “denies any wrongdoing and argues the $18,600 (U.S.) fine imposed on the Mosca Analfabeta publisher is part of a government initiative in which pro-Chavez prosecutors and judges are being used to silence critics. Mr. Marquez must separately pay a fine of a yet-to-be-determined amount.”