Bad medicine: Fox medical contributor likens Hispanic protests to "leftist dictators in Latin America"

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Dr. Manny Alvarez is Fox News' senior medical contributor. He comes on TV to talk about the latest health scare or the new fad diet or whatever overhyped medical story is helping to fill the 24-hour cable news maw. But Dr. Alvarez apparently wants to expand his bailiwick beyond matters of medical science and try his hand at political punditry. And, given that he works at Fox News, you can already guess where this is going.

In a December 7 column for Fox News Latino, Alvarez channels Glenn Beck in accusing Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) of mimicking "leftist dictators in Latin America," and calling him one of the "so-called progressive politicians here in America [who] do not represent the Constitution." What was Gutierrez's crime? In Alvarez's words: "Encouraging Latinos to participate in protests, marches and sit-ins, reminiscent of the civil-rights movement by African-Americans in the 1960s."

Alvarez was referring to a December 1 Daily Beast article that reported on Gutierrez's frustrations with Obama's slow movement on immigration legislation:

The DREAM Act, Gutiérrez says, is for now his final legislative maneuver. He's finished waiting for the mythical 60th vote to materialize in the Senate. No, when the lame duck ends, Gutiérrez and his movement allies will ask for a divorce -- from the Democratic Party, from the entire lawmaking process. To hear Gutiérrez tell it, Hispanic leaders are about to stage a full-tilt campaign of direct action, like the African-American civil-rights movement of the 1960s. There will be protests, marches, sit-ins -- what César Chávez might have called going rogue. The movement will operate autonomously, no longer beholden to wavering Democrats, filibustering Republicans, and -- perhaps most tantalizingly -- no longer beholden to Barack Obama.

According to Alvarez, calling for Latinos to peacefully protest in the vein of the '60s civil rights movement means Gutierrez is no different from Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez:

In the 1960s, Fidel Castro took that playbook to the streets of Havana, convincing people that they should rally in order to bring effective change. By employing a strategy of empty promises and radical ideals, Castro used the Cuban people to create an isolated, socialized, communist land where millions of people have been imprisoned -- many executed - and massive exodus of Cubans to foreign lands remains a theme in this country that hasn't done anything for its peoples' growth and prosperity in over 50 years.

Now, I know many of you are thinking that I'm always referring back to the Cuban Revolution, but history speaks for itself when you look at other Latin American countries that have used the same tactics to move toward socialism. Just ask any Venezuelan who has left their country in the last year.

Venezuela once was a stable democracy with great resources. Yes, it had problems -- what country doesn't? But there was a basic, underlying democratic process running the country.

Now, with President Hugo Chávez and his socialistic agenda becoming progressively more radical during his 11 years in power, the people of Venezuela don't have legitimate forums for democratic dialogue and the system to institute much-needed change.

Last week I wrote about how Fox News Latino doesn't quite mesh with the network's broader stance toward Latinos, which is rooted in demonizing undocumented immigrants. Alvarez's op-ed, though, reminds us that Fox News Latino is, in the end, still Fox News.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
Fox News Latino
Manny Alvarez
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