Unlike Livingstone, Chavez is able to use ruthless tactics to suppress the opposition's ability to argue their case and expose failings, human rights abuses and a naked thirst for power. Livingstone is limited to hurling abuse. So Chavez spins the line that all opponents must therefore have been involved in a coup attempt against him and takes draconian steps to silence them by removing the platform.
This time it is the independent TV station RCTV that is about to be silenced as Chavez has refused to renew its licence. Instead he will replace the station with... a publicly funded one - i.e. a government propaganda channel.
Marcel Garnier, RCTV's managing director, told a crowd of cheering protesters in Caracas that Mr Chavez was trying to "topple the country over the precipice of totalitarianism where not even his own supporters can express their opinions".
I could not have put it better myself. I wonder what Livingstone thinks about all this. Perhaps he prefers the "quiet diplomacy" approach of his friends in South Africa and will tell Comrade Hugo that his actions are not really on. Or, most likely, he thinks RCTV has had it coming and deserves all they get for daring to oppose such a visionary. Either way, there will be hugs, backslapping and tributes next time they meet - assuming Hugo is not too busy that is.