These days, he’s only a problem for us

How times change. As the diplomat Chávez once championed to lead the OAS openly calls for a formal debate on his increasing authoritarianism and says the Enabling Law violates the Democratic Charter, the time has come to reflect on just how far Chávez’s hemispheric prestige has fallen from not so long ago, when Bolívar’s sword really did seem to be on the march through America Latina.

It’s easy to forget now, but in the middle of the last decade, Chávez loomed as a real threat to Pluralist Constitutional Democracy throughout the hemisphere. With ALBA in the ascendant alongside the price of oil, Chávez was busy securing power for allies in countries big and small. Under Evo, Bolivia was well on its way to becoming a Venezuelan satellite, and Rafael Correa had jumped on the ALBAndwagon, too. Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay were turning sharply to the left, while Chile and Brazil had governments forced to at least feign ideological sympathy with the Caracas-Havana axis.

Perhaps most alarmingly, charismatic far-left leaders were in the ascendent in both Mexico and Peru, with just two governments in the whole region playing defense: the most unpopular US government in decades, and the most extreme, paramilitary-tinged Colombian government in recent memory.

For a moment there, it was just about possible to imagine the wave turning into a tsunami. As well it might have. The old East-West cold war could have been replaced by a new North-South one. It was, looking back, kind of a close call.

Four years on, it’s hard to pinpoint where exactly the wheels came off of the hemispheric project. I think the summer of 2006 is the key moment: if just a few tens of thousands of votes had gone the other way in Peru in June and a couple hundred thousand had voted differently in Mexico in July, Chavez really might have found himself heading a credible, hemisphere-wide assault on constitutional liberalism.

It’s not too fanciful to imagine that could have knocked the whole region into a different historical trajectory. It bears remembering that Humala and AMLO really were radical leaders, far to the left of a Bachelet or a Rousseff, and they stood to take over two strategically crucial countries. It’s little wonder Chávez went far out of his way to support them.

Looking back from the vantage point of 2011, the hemispheric picture is irrecognizable. With oil prices having crashed back down to earth, the Venezuelan economy has shown itself a colossus with clay feet. As client states wise up and realize PDVSA can barely keep its own refineries running, let alone build the refineries Chávez promised them, the attractions of cozying up to ALBA have cooled considerably.

Then, Obama’s election took all the zing out of Chávez’s preferred bogeyman while, quietly, the unflashy macroeconomic reforms undertaken throughout the hemisphere (but not here) left much of the rest of the region far better prepared and more resillient to an external shock than Venezuela’s. And so, when the world financial crisis hit, countries like Brazil, Chile and Peru shook it off in just a couple of quarters while Venezuela plunged into a painful, two-year stagflationary ordeal.

All of which has conspired to leave the Castro-Chávez Hemispheric Project more or less dead in the water. These days, faced with the evident success of the more moderate left-wing governments in the region and the clanging, crashing, estrepitoso failure of the radical alternative, support for a Hard Left Turn in the region has died back down to its more historically usual level. As has been the case pretty much since the 1930s, you can still find a narrow sliver of hard-core leninist opinion in every country that salivates at the prospect of a truly radical government, but no more than that.

The historic turning point was within Chávez’s reach a few years back…and then slipped away. La Espada de Bolivar como que está en huelga de manos caídas…

106 thoughts on “These days, he’s only a problem for us

  1. Beautifully-written post, but …

    “the most extreme, paramilitary-tinged Colombian government in recent memory.” ??

    How can a government with the popularity ratings that Uribe enjoyed be realistically labeled “extreme”? And while we’re at it, what was so “extreme” about it?

    Colombian politics are so tinged with corruption, drug smuggling, and human rights violation, any government would be susceptible to scandal on one or more of these issues. That does not make them “extremists.”

    But a terrific post nonetheless. It’s amazing, but we may owe the survival of Latin American democracy to … Alan Garcia!


    • Thanks!

      I just think Uribe had a terrible image outside Colombia, so the fact that only he and Bush were active in trying to contain Chávez really underlines how dicey things got there in mid 2006 or so.

      Think about it: if AMLO and Humala had won, we would be in a vastly different ballgame now…


    • Juan Cristóbal, a mí me sobresaltó un poco el aserto, sin que el sobresalto me impidiera disfrutar la pirotecnia verbal de “the most extreme, paramilitary-tinged Colombian government in recent memory.” Se me ocurre que la única manera de desatar este aparente nudo es pensar que Uribe sí fue popular entre colombianos justamente y debido a que mantuvo en jaque a la guerrilla por medio de sus liaisons más o menos dangereouses con los paramilitares (que por cierto, ahora tienen las riendas del narco y abren nuevas vías hacia la frontera de USA, instalada ésta en las 7 bases colombianas dizke para eliminar el narcotráfico). Recuerdo a mi colega del diario de Los Angeles, una amiga colombiana, de cuyo nombre etc., que era bastante izquierdosa, medio costeña medio cachaca. Me decía: “ayyyy Mariyita, yo sí soy de izquierdas, pero la verdad es que con tanta bomba del narco y tanta guerrilla metida con el narco ya no se podía vivir sabroso en Bogotá, ni rumbear, así que todos le quedamos agradecidos a Uribe que lo controlara, COMO FUERA mijita”. Nuestro editor era un cachaco de izquierda pero que se daba la gran vida en Los Angeles y luego hablaba que si Uribe no e Ingrid tampoco, y todo el mundo le parecía mal, no suficientemente gauche. A mí me parecía bien Uribe, aunque cuando atacara a mi comandante zambo (esto yo lo decía para hacerla rabiar porque a ella le preocupaba mucho ese tema, era muy sensible al asunto). Es decir, me parecía bien hasta que le abrió las bases al USA. Ahi se me cayó. Bueno, pero al menos lograron colaborar un poquitico ambos mandatarios grancolombianos a fin de que de la maraña fronteriza de narco y guerrilla y sabrá Dios qué, salieran ilesos dos seres valiosos: Ingrid y el banquero filántropo Germán. Años estuvimos rezando a diario por ambos. God bless Uribe & Chavez.


  2. Great post! I stumbled upon an article I thought was very insightful. Check it out, as a Venezuelan I’m glad to see that the foreign press is finally getting it! All it took was an economic meltdown and a blatant coup on the constitution. I guess it’s better late than never.


    • Joalred,

      SOME of the press might be getting it but many still do not, including the BBC, the Guardian,NPR and Time Magazine- and others.

      Just one example:

      The latest ‘Time’ magazine published an obituary for Carlos Andres Perez, where ironically the last paragraph was dedicated to Hugo Chavez.

      They swallow the Chavista bait hook line and sinker.First they present a litany of complaints about Perez’s misdeeds( neo liberal agenda of austerity, social inequality, dispilfaro, corruption etc.)capped by the carracazo.

      The clincher is in the last paragraph of the obituary and I quote:

      “These injustices roused an idealistic paratrooper into action; though Hugo Chavez failed to topple Perez in a 1992 coup attempt,he was elected president in 1998.”

      An uninformed person would deduce from this that Chavez is not a dictator, but rather someone with good intentions who came to right the wrongs of CAP.

      It appears under the Milestone section and written by Dan Fastenberg


  3. I think the worst part about the idiot you guys have in power is that he convinces other idiots to run for president in other countries, and some of those morons actually manage to get elected. In all seriousness, the Americas are much different today than in 2006, partly because Hugo depended on less than dependable people to safeguard his interests elsewhere, but mostly because the revolutionary project is as untenable everywhere else as it is in Venezuela. Cuba is, literally and metaphorically, an old man being kept alive by Venezuelan oil infusions, while Honduras was under the rule of a cowboy that couldn’t even carry out a sham constitutional referendum without getting himself overthrown. I think in many places such as Mexico and Peru the Left has sabotaged itself to the point of descending into self-parody while electorates across the hemisphere grow suspicious of strongmen promising the moon. Chavismo is in retreat and appears to be circling the wagons, something that couldn’t have come soon enough for most of us.



    There’s also the main ingredient: THE PEOPLE WAKING THE FUCK UP.
    Jesus read a book,read the internet.We need people to actually acknowledge,identify and realize what path we are in.If that was the case,then Chavez would have been long gone.My only fear is watching my children or grandchildren worshipping chavez’s boots because, history in Venezuela will be written making him look like a messiah.
    Im so angry right now.


    • Metodex,
      I think most people inside Venezuela have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in their country. The problem lies in their incentives to do something about it. The risk of speaking out against the government does not outweigh the reward from staying silent, at least until now. Venezuelans might be ill informed in regards to worldly matters, but when it comes down to their own backyard they know exactly what’s going on . In general the Venezuelan populace might be uneducated but that doesn’t imply that they are stupid, in fact they are rational beings that are selfish and self serving reacting only to incentives like good capitalist.


    • Keep waiting for yours, too. Chavez isn’t capable of saving anybody, other than in the short term, so he’s not the one you’re waiting for.

      I’d tell YOU not to despair, but that would suggest that such a Messiah actually exists. So maybe it’s best for you to stop waiting.

      We can be certain that someone better than Chavez will come along. But you should be able to look at people like Lula, Bachelet, Tabare, and know the same thing. Should.


  5. Dont forget the Honduran debacle where he actively tried to influence a election on a big scale.
    Zeleya followed the Hugo script exactly and was thrown out of office.
    That was a high profile loss and he even went so far as to threaten military action.
    People finally saw that his reach was overextended.


    • The fact that Hugo ended up flailing about and not being able to reverse the coup (it was a coup, albeit one I supported) really did hurt his political reach. Latin America is not so much going to the Right as it is finally waking the hell up. More and more the hemisphere is divided into “serious” governments and “idiotic” governments. It should come as no surprise that Brazil, Uruguay and Chile are held up as economic models to follow while socialism a-la Castro falls further into the background. Institutions matter, not strongmen who wear Venezuelan flag jumpsuits and tell endless tales about growing up on the llanos. The fact that a leftist government in El Salvador has stubbornly refused to ally itself with ALBA shows how unpalatable Chavismo has become abroad, even in impoverished Central America.


    • Sure, the Zelaya thing was humiliating, but Honduras is about as strategically relevant as my shirt pocket.

      Now, rewind and try to think how the Honduran crisis might have played out if you’d had Hugo, Ollanta and – especially – AMLO teaming up with the Cubans…

      Mexico in particular – with its huge population and economy, all that oil and a modern armed forces, and right in the US border – would’ve been a game-changing asset in Honduras, and in 17 other crises to come.


    • He nearly did in 2002. Didn’t you notice? Imagine if Carmona had taken a Micheletti-like path (in some ways – I’m not condoning Micheletti at all, because I have some serious problems with what happened): instead of disbanding the institutions, leaving them alone and assuring new presidential elections in the short term.

      I think one reason Zelaya failed is that Hugo had done it first. The Hondurans learned from what had happened in Venezuela.


  6. Francisco,

    Like Juan, I think your article was beautifully written, but (and I have done the same thing) in trying to write majestically, I think you blew up some of your points out of proportion.

    However, to carry on with your theme, I think that if elections of 2006 signaled the turning point in Latin American political sentiments, the real mortal thrust for Chavez’s imperial ambitions was in June of 2009, when he was unable muster enough political clout to reverse the ouster of his bought-and-paid-for surrogate in Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. It was this failure that exposed him for a paper tiger.

    So, saying that he is only our problem, makes it certain that no help will arrive from outside. Venezuelans (saying this as delicately as I can) haven’t always endeared themselves to their LA neighbors and brethren. No, I am afraid that the situation in Venezuela will need to deteriorate to near barbarity before we can expect help from outside.


    • As long as oil and petromoney is flowing steadily out of here, NOBODY will give a damn about what happens here, that’s the sad truth.

      This is a Venezuelan problem, that has to be solved by Venezuelans (and I dont mean just Chavez and chavismo). Period.


  7. Omission is the key to this article. No mention of Unasur; very little mention of ALBA; no considerqtion for the decline of US power in the region; no comment on the rise of China as a major trading partner of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

    Just because there has not been an upward linear progression of Chavez’s revolution in Latin America does not mean a thing. 500 years of history and the superstructure of capitalism have to be overcome….and you expect that in a decade or it is “dead in the water”?

    Sorry, Francisco, your thinking is far too short term and negative to have any real credilility in terms of the Latino big picture. Note, that you missed out the Uruguayan President and Dilma as being ex guerrilleros! Now if populatins vote for ex freedom fighters, then that does not look as if the continent is slipping back to the conservative right wing you and JC represent.

    Finally, you lack patience and jump tp conlcusions based on tenuous facts and over optimistic interpretations. However, if it feels good, just keep on writing this luke warm pap.


  8. Guess you nailed it.
    I wish that Chávez Sales won’t do to well in the saturation and decline stage of the life cycle of their happless product.


  9. Good post, and I think I agree with your point that both the USA and the rest of Latin America dodged a bullet. However, there’s a good chance that if Humala, AMLO, and Zelaya, had won, their countries would be in economic and political decline, compared to their neighbors.


    • The one that scares me the most to think about is Mexico under AMLO. Had he won, we would be seeing the sort of Venezuela-U.S. tension much closer to the States. Mexico is so large and strategically positioned that the U.S. couldn’t have afforded to ignore it like they have Chavez and with the immigration debate AMLO would have probably found new and interesting ways to clash with the U.S. I really do think the hemisphere dodged a bullet with that election.


  10. I’ll confess that I was deeply, deeply saddened when Humala lost. His victory in the election would have been a great step forward for the region, and I continue to believe that the only reason he lost was because of meddling and conspiracy by the United States Embassy.

    What you call constitutional liberalism (i.e. bourgeois oligarchy) will fall, as Rome fell before it. It’s only a matter of time.


    • Hey, the Roman Empire lasted 500 years…by that clock, you can look forward to Constitutional Liberalism to collapse in Latin America in 2490 or so!


    • Yes, he lost because of U.S. meddling, not because he lacks any sort of meaningful popular support or because his ideology is based on a 19th century general with prolific facial hair. The gringo embassy sees all and knows all.


    • Francisco Toro,

      As long as constitutional liberalism falls, I don’t care how long it takes. It will be worth it when it happens, even if it takes five hundred years. The fall of the Roman Empire was foretold by St. John, and it took almost exactly four hundred years before it was fulfilled, but it was fulfilled nonetheless, almost to the last detail. Ultimately, you should be aware that your side can never win the war, it can just win a temporary skirmich hear and there.


    • El Jefe,

      Humala won the mountain heartlands and the jungle areas, which are the heartlands of the Peruvian agricultural labourers. Never forget that. If the capitalist oligarchs and their disciplies had been barred from voting, Humala would have won easily. In a just society, Alan Garcia would have been disqualified for libel and slander, and Humala would have been virtually unopposed. Garcia won in one of the dirtiest and most unscrupulous and immoral campaigns in recent world history. He was a well known former president, running with immense amounts of money and support from the United States, while Humala was a little-known military officer, with a support base made up mostly of poor and suffering people. Garcia’s slight margin of victory (and it was very slight) in a very, very unfair election, is hardly anything to boast about.

      The last laugh will belong to Ollanta Humala, and he will make the oligarchs pay for their crimes.


    • . If the capitalist oligarchs and their disciplies had been barred from voting, Humala would have won easily.

      In other words, “if we didn’t have to obey the law and respect people’s rights, we could have won!”

      Damn democracy and civil rights! ;)


    • Of course constitutional liberalism will “end”. If there is not a catastrophe, societies will discover, through the initiative of individuals and experimentation, success and failure, better ways of doing things, or better things to do with themselves. The better ideas will prosper. That’s the market and human initiative at work.
      However, the collectivist utopia of grinning zombies who work for the good of “the community” without questions asked will never be, because humans are selfish and ask questions.


    • Young RBC, are you not familiar with the Martian threat? Everyone of those aliens is a stone cold capitalist-ogliarch wannabe. They will destroy the neo-liberal regime infecting this planet and replace it with red tooth and claw goodness.

      Seriously, in about 400 years or so, give or take.


    • no chico, vale, tas mas perdido que el hijo the limbergh, he lost because Chavez supported him, that’s the curse, everything he touches goes to hell… “Cuand veas las barbas de tu vecino arder, pon las tuyas en remojo”, and that’s what they did.

      And it migth be the the constitutional liberalism will fall, but rest assured, it will NOT be substituted by XXI Century socialism. Tranquilo, quedate esperando sentado en la esquina a que tu presidente cambie el mundo…


  11. Your post nails the historic decline of the pro-communist left into a remnant. For people who demand reference to the lloooooong sweep of history, this has been occurring precipitously almost everywhere since approximately 1968, with punctuation marks in 1979 when China introduced market reforms, and 1991 when the USSR imploded.

    It hangs on in only the most backward provinces of the world.

    Characteristically, those who find Communism useful as a substitute religion need to propose ever-longer developmental periods before the Second Coming will occur. This moving of the goal post has been going on at least since Khruschev, who predicted the defeat of capitalism within fifteen years. In 1956.


    • You might be correct in some of your assertions but what you fail to mention is that the capitalist system is imploding under a debt bomb as we read this blog. This is why the “system” will change. Debts have to be paid at some time or other and the debts the US has to honor are…….unpayable.


    • “Capitalism” is not in danger…

      The market will be there. Banks will be there. Fiduciary money also. Loans and credits. Shares. And maybe two or three new things, or new ways of doing old things (read distributed, read electronic)

      But I don’t see a bright future ahead for national states and the conceits they have developed in the 20th. century. Namely fiscal irresponsibility, fiat money, centralized control of trade, migration, labor, pensions and welfare, and many other little and huge encroachments they have performed into the private sphere…


  12. FT

    I really enjoyed your post!

    Just a couple of comments though. Could it be a bit premature to write off Chavez?

    Realistically he’s not going anywhere so could easily stick around until Latin America’s next flirtation with extreme left politics. Venezuela’s oil means that it could be a much more potent threat than Cuba in time.

    For me one key turning point was the death of Nestor Kirchner. If he’d have stayed alive and taken the Argentinian presidency who knows where the region’s politics would have gone?




  14. Just imagine, before Mexico became a full-flown narco state, while it still had some traces of democracy, Fox refused to rubberstamp the US-backed coup by Carmona Estanga, Macorina et al, thus preventing your dream come true. Ah the good ole days!


  15. Why does this sober assessment feel like parody and farce?

    In the 1950s communism looked ready to spread like wildfire through Europe and then, the world… Then, it was Africa and Asia in the 1960s… Then Latin America in the 1970s… At least those had the military might and the fanaticism.

    Then, the wonderful, awesome results of Socialism, in economic development, solid institutions and human rights happened and everything fell down. For all the propaganda that tried to cover it up, it was the dud of the century.

    Now came Hugo Chavez, like an echo of an echo of an echo. Why should anybody be impressed except the immediate sufferers?


  16. To all my chavista posters…the world moves forward and not backwards…all that did not work before is out…where we are going lies in our discoveries of what works best. Communism and chavismo are not on the list because they have failed the people miserably and run counter to all discoveries in economic and social sciences in the last centuries. Defending the status quo is just as bad as defending a bad past. It runs against the grain of civilization and the development of human kind.


    • the world moves forward and not backwards

      Not always, however it does always move in some direction (excepting always the Mississippi anomaly), forward is a neo-liberal construct, the Martians will show us the error of that line of thought. In 400 years, give or take.

      /St. Johns the WasherMan


  17. Kernel Panic,

    You say:

    “This is a Venezuelan problem, that has to be solved by Venezuelans (and I don’t mean just Chavez and Chavismo). Period.”

    However romantic I would like to be about this and agree with you….Oh, if it were so simple, how lovely it would be.However, the international community has done and is doing quite a bit to indirectly support the Chavez government.This is powerful, and without some pressure from the international community Chavez has his future guaranteed.


  18. Just the thought of AMLO + Drug cartels + Hugo gives me the shivers; it would have dragged the whole continent, including the US into very dark times.

    AMLO losing is what may have saved the “Americas” IMHO…


  19. Prophetic words of Pope John Paul II: “capitalism without regulation will self-implode” as in the many bubbles that culminated in the superbubbleburst under W Bush/Greenspan, ruining the US, make the US a foam colchoneta for the banksters of Wall Street for whom it all boils down to markets, socialism for the rich, private gain and public loses/bailouts. You worship at a Temple for merchants. You talk to each other only & in an endless babble. All I can say is repeat the words: “Tekel, Tekel”


    • Marieau, I think you will greatly benefit from going to the page I put above,
      for people like you from people like you.

      Also: I hope you are very very soon in Venezuela and then you will see the kind of “socialism” Chavismo has. The key is to wear at least one red garment, otherwise your ideology could suffer. Then you will be able to dress like our native American ancestors did in “Socialist” pre-Columbian times (yeah, they were socialist) and learn how to hunt chigüires in Caracas. You will be able to teach English to them so that they can hunt chigüires in English.

      You are talking about a Middle East “telek”. You are forgetting the meaning of “mene” in Venezuela. Chavismo’s “achievements” are only based on a record increase of what some of our ancestors called mene. Same word, different meaning. It seems you only care for the surface, for the image or sound, not for the content, for the real meaning.


  20. I think you are too sanguine.

    The chavista attack on Honduras failed, but only because of the resolution of Hondurans in the face of pressure not only from the Latin left but the United States.

    Chavez, Morales, and Correa remain firmly in power. So is Ortega in Nicaragua.

    Obrador was narrowly defeated in Mexico in 2006, but Fox drew less than 37%; the left candidates combined had over 60%. PAN has never won a legislative majority. It is true that in the 2009 legislative election, PRD was routed at the polls, but so was PAN. PRI picked up the cookies, and PRI is leftist, too.

    Oil prices “came down to earth”, but are now heading back into the sky. Chavez retains his money base, and will continue to subsidize subversion throughout the region. It is very difficult for poor countries to establish a legitimate political order, with democracy, justice, prosperity, and rule of law; it is much easier to create disorder, poverty, corruption, and violence.


  21. &Kepler, I thank you again for your comments, which are probably well founded. I do intend to go back to Venezuela and, having been away for so long in your golden land of bailed out bankers without any social responsibility and a card blanche to finance the Iraki holocaust and Venezuelan coups, I might take your advices with a rock of salt. I am aware of how difficult it is to go back, even when my initial task is to teach there for a semester, having in vain contacted two great Venezuelan ambassadors, that would put to shame their USA counterparts: Toro Hardy and Bernardo Alvarez, whom I personally know from several group breakfasts in Los Angeles. Why should they hire me, when there are so many worthy and well prepared Venezuelans? Well, I don’t have a perfect answer for that except my c.v. and the fact that I had a worthy father, orden José María Vargas, who taught at the UCV and served his students as a teacher, instead of pursuing money or influence, having had many opportunities to do so. My parents were ideologically opposed but both open to change and conciliation. It was the principle of “compromise”, one of the pillars of the US, my generous country of adoption, occupied nowadays by an army of financier/merchants, of those against whom our Founding Fathers, Franklin and Jefferson, warned us. I am also aware of the defensive tone used by some chavistas y L.A., and how deviance is found suspect, the warnings being mostly in tone. But they have nothing to fear from me, I am no threat to anybody or part of any conspiracy, and I intend to do my job as a teacher. If the person who interviews me, my would-be boss, does not allow me to express any doubts, any criticism of the current state of Venezuela (be it, its ongoing high crime rate or its lackluster economic growth of the post-bubble burst years 2008-10) well then it’d be better for him/her, in terms of political advancement, to hire a red shirt, which I am not. However I am a loyal servant of the pueblos of both Venezuela and the US, as a teacher, as a performer, as a hispanist. My main fear is with people who do not feel any solidarity with others except with the elites, and who can watch how a country is destabilized, or occupied, its peoples sinking into despair. If the majority of the population is doing fine or better than before, it is a reasonable situation, with room for improvement. If I come back to Venezuela, it is to serve, both by teaching and by learning. I consider myself ignorant in things such as AfroVenezuelan music, Andean history, Guayanese economy, Llanero lifestyles et al. They all fascinate me, I study them every day, with eager joy. God willing I will go back, and I do not cease to try, being now in contact with a couple of profesoras (one of them a childhood friend). My sadness comes from the fact that they do not encourage me, that they seem to warn me against their/mine dangerous native land, to remind me that for each Rafael Caldera, un señor honorable y valioso, there are 20 CAPs. Chavez, in my view, has been quite valiant vis-a-vis the USers (Pentagon, bankers & homúnculos dedicated to politisc), quite sagacious by using psychological taunting against boy criminal Bush, quite able in forging economic alliances with China rather than Wall Street, very patriotic in defendind our airspace, our borders, and our culture. He should watch it with his leftist entanglements at the Colombian border, and treat the colombianos with the viceroyal mixture of deference and realismo de ojo-a-ojo. Same with Correa etc. It is possible to keep those countries on a good neighbourly basis, whether they are from the so called right or left, because what prevails internationally is an ad hoc mix of capitalism and socialism: free market without the excesses of the corporate neoplantationist$$$ (Mercosur socialism), and social-democratic regulation in joined efforts of management, government & labor (German Christian Democrats & Social Democrats) neither stiffled by the government, nor by Wall Street. Venezuela is safe enough for capitalist investment, and it could at the same time continue its road to socialism if only it learned more from the German model and the South American models, and even from the historical lessons of the Franklyn Roosevelt’s WPA. It should not tail behind China in the development its solar and eolic energy sources, a race now headed by China and Germany. It was said by a venezolano, Tulio Febres Cordero, in Don Quijote en América (1905): “[Sudamérica,] tierra de verdadera promisión para la humanidad, refugio de pobres, criadero de ricos, suelo privilegiado … mercado que todos codician, fragua de civiles revueltas, y lugar escogido por el Dios de las naciones para asiento de la futura riqueza del mundo”.


    • Mariaeu,

      You are too proud of your roots to see the forest for the trees.Pride always cometh before the fall.

      You have NO clue what you are talking about when it comes to yourself and your possibilities in Venezuela.You seem to positively glow at the thought that others advise you agianst going there.

      I can certainly understand that someone who has recent Hispanic roots would identify and emotionally understand their root culture more than the adopted one…especially if that same said person’s parents prohibited that country :)

      But no matter, you will do as you wish, and I must say that it is really not our business to worry about it or even argue you out of it.

      Arguing only seems to reinforce your sense of rebellion and romance.


    • Mariaeu,

      Whatever. Me parece genial que seas hispanista, que quieras enseñar un idioma a nivel universitario, en un liceo, en una escuela primaria o donde sea, me agrada que quieras ayudar a Venezuela.
      Comparto contigo un rechazo a las políticas de Bush, al imperialismo de uno u otro país (es decir, no me gusta el gringo, pero tampoco el chino ni el de algún país de la UE ni de otra parte).
      Lo que me asombra es que pese a tu educación, corras a identificarte al menos en parte con Chávez por el sencillo hecho de que este diga que Bush es un demonio y que los EUA hacen X o Y.
      Es tonto pensar que una persona o causa X es amiga de uno solo porque sea enemiga de una persona o institución que uno rechace en una u otra medida.
      De hecho, a decir verdad, para mí Chávez es más “comprador” en el sentido anglofono, y más vende patria que los mismísimos adecos.
      Como Francisco ha escrito aquí, nuestro petróleo sigue yendo a EUA como siempre, aunque quien pague sea de manera indirecta la República “Popular” China (de popular no tiene un c…o). Si en los noventa un 80 y pico de nuestras exportaciones eran petróleo, ahora es mucho más de 90 y nuestra dependencia sigue aumentando. En los noventa yo compré un radio fabricado totalmente en Venezuela en una de esas empresas que estaba tratando de surgir. Ahora no queda nada de eso. Ahora importamos hasta las caraotas de Nicaragua. El gobierno de Chávez no solo nos hace depender más del petróleo, sino que ha provocado una de las mayores fugas de cerebro que haya tenido Venezuela. El gobierno de Chávez NO eliminó el analfabetismo. El gobierno de Chávez se opuso y bloqueó el financiamiento a un proyecto muy concreto que un grupo de venezolanos queríamos hacer para traer trasparencia a la educación pública venezolana: queríamos llevar el proyecto PISA a Venezuela. Nuestra gente (no la CIA, sino maestros en Venezuela) hicieron un montón de trabajo y gente se endeudó y el gobierno chavista presionó a una organización internacional para que NO nos diera el financiamiento que ya había prometido para realizar PISA en Venezuela. El gobierno chavista se ha opuesto a un montón de otros proyectos de educación porque lo quiere controlar todo él.

      Chávez de anti-imperialista tiene tanto como Juan Vicente Gómez, solo que se viste de rojo y cita al Ché Guevara.

      Y me da ganas de reír cómo pones a todo el mundo al lado de tu objeto de odio por el sencillo hecho de que la gente se oponga al chavismo.
      El mundo es mucho más complicado que “los de la CIA y Bush”, “Chavismo” y “gente idealista como yo”


  22. I can take criticism and also be self-critical, so there’s a lot of truth in what you are saying about my romanticism, but remember you scientific Kepler, that some romantics like Bolivar or pseudo romantics like Teresa de la Parra, inspire Venezuelans wherever they are


    • Bolívar romantic your foot. Bolívar was a caudillo who pretended to be the liberator while hundreds of thousands were killed, many unnecessarily, while liberating Venezuela.
      Had we not had Bolívar, Venezuela would have got its independence earlier, at the same time or a bit later, but not much. And we probably wouldn’t have had as many killed. And very importantly: we wouldn’t have had so much stupid personality cult.
      Sorry, I read your history books when I was ten. I have since then realized the crappy pseudo-history Venezuelans get at school is not quite exact and was mostly promoted by our milicos.
      And anyway: I do not care for military “heroes” from any country. They are just creepy.


  23. Mariaeu

    Chavez es imperialista.Si no te gusta el imperialismo me parece muy falso que te gusta Chavez.

    It is good to be romantic when you are in love, and when you write poetry, or play Chopin etc etc.But you need to have your feet on the ground and be practical in order to help others; being romantic is a roadblock.

    In Venezuela there are plenty of opportunities to learn foreign languages.Your skills are not needed.You yourself write more like a Venezuelan who speaks English as a second language.It is arrogant of you to think that you have so much to teach.It is better to think only of learning and then in the process someone might learn as well.It is better for all of us to think like that.People learn , but people do not really teach.Think it through.

    Your comments reek of pride , arrogance and delusion.I have been reading them for some time and with every passing day am more shocked by your lack of self observation and humility.


  24. Firepigette por favor ilustra mi ignorancia e infórmame sobre cuáles países Chávez invadió, bombardeó, secuestró gente para torturarla, echó de sus hogares y tierras a los que llevaban milenios en ellas con títulos legales de propiedad y los dejó sin casa propia ni tierra propia, en el exilio, en campos de refugiados, nómadas a la fuerza. Me dirás que le quitaron una de sus 3 haciendas a tal o cual señorón. Te lo pregunto a ti, por esta vez, para no distraer a los que están leyendo Slate o predicándome humildad


  25. on Bolívar, nothing could be more critical than the writings of this Colombian historian, of which anything written by historian Madariaga or psychiatrist Marañón is but a pale antedecedent:

    Según este historiador, Bolívar no fue más que un criminal sanguinario, un sicópata, un cobarde y militar poco eficaz frente a Pablo Morillo y un traidor vs. Miranda, aparte de un acomplejado racial, un mantuano lleno de aspiraciones de pasar por noble español y un hombre con taras sexuales que explican su falta de descendencia. It was sent to me by a dear ultracapitalist Spanish friend, who thought that I, being a relative of a capitán general de Venezuela y de un arzobispo importante en SudAmrca, me sentiría contenta con leer esto; no fue el resultado pero sí aumentó mi visió crítica sobre el proceso histórico grancolombiano, el cual vengo siguiendo a tropezones, como pueda ser, leyendo fuentes de izquierda, derecha, centro, arriba, abajo y en la mitad, y hablando con los representantes de esas tendencias, sectores sociales, profesiones etc. Mi amigo es de lo que defenderán al capitalismo y a la “libre” especulación en el “libre” mercado hasta la última escena de la película (la cual es, mucho me temo, el Titanic)


    • Madariaga’s biography is crappy.

      Please, read Karl Marx’s take. I am not talking about being “the most critical” for the critics sake. I am talking about trying to find things out, to analyze different sources, to cross-reference and see if there is some truth here or there. Read also Manuel Caballero’s work. Caballero was not precisely a capitalist and he was a real historian.

      For your information: Karl Marx was not a capitalist either. Actually, it may come as a surprise to you but he had something to do with Marxism and indirectly with that Argentine guy with the beard in those cool red T-shirts.
      It seems to me your reactions towards Venezuela are just reactions to your frustrations with the US, Spanish roots, whatever. Please, keep frustrations apart from the analysis. That’s the way fundamentalisms grow: blindly running to some new leader when you are embittered with a given societal phenomenon. Your reasons to reject something can be perfectly justified, try to understand something else before running to embrace it. Estás bastante “crecidita”, you should know that.

      There are some other writings by some commies about Bolívar’s views on race. They are not as “nice” as many people think.


  26. with all his hypothetical deffects as a leader, I doubt that any Juan Germán Roscio could have been able to carry out the Independence of Venezuela, or, for that matter, any old general like Miranda, or young brave like Sucre, or enlightened intellectual like Simón Rodríguez or even the great Bello. Maybe Carlos III should have indeed knighted more mantuanos, give them nobility titles, and that would have settled the issue for many. The Bolivars sought to be en-nobled for a long time, to no avail. Or maybe the Basque should have been given a longer contract with the Guipuzcoana. At least you would not be worrying about Chavez now but organizing your daughter’s next appearance in HOLA, while sipping martinies in a N.Y. high raise.
    Bolivar was DI MAN at the times, in this patio trasero of the Spanish empire, just like Guzman Blanco, with all his risible defects, was DA DUDE to implement a little bit of Positivism in the tropical Tierra de Gracia. I’ll go back to my WSJ & a lil mezcal now.


    • Verga, qué hija de papá tan simplona! It should be inconsequential what my backgrounds are, whether my dad was Mengele and my mother descendant from some Amos del Valle, but now that you keep mentioning your family to all of us: my grandparents were illiterate landless farmers and some of their ancestors had as mother tongue a Bantu language and did not arrive in Venezuela by plane, but by boat and with chains around their ankles.

      You really are fixed on the couple of names of some sort of simple soap opera you have as history in your mind. It could have been Sucre, it could have been Peter Pan or it could have been many of the thousand people who went up or down. Bolívar did not liberate Venezuela. There were hundreds of thousands who did it. He did use a lot of PR. He did some good things, some bad things. Grow up now. Y no trates de traspasar a otros tus fantasmas familiares.



  27. I wonder if PSFs ever realize that they’re every bit the condescending, racist cultural imperialists they claim to fight.

    They view the world solely through the prism of their experiences with their first-world, western homelands. Their dissatisfaction with their own country/culture/government -usually the result of the cultural idleness brought on by a combination of material privilege and intellectual laziness- leads to the sophomoric, knee-jerk insta-solidarity with “the other” that most of us outgrow by our late teens. Their claimed affinity for their chosen cause is sustained almost exclusively by their daddy issues with the fatherland.

    They’re intellectual adolescents whose connection to “the struggle” is nothing more than a constant cry for attention. The enemy of their enemy is not just their friend, it’s their all-encompassing reality, at least while their allegiance gets them attention.

    And once they get bored, or the cause du jour changes, they can hop on over to the next “battle”, safe in the knowledge that they, unlike their “comrades”, can easily remove themselves from the situation.

    It’s “Eat Pray Love” in a Che t-shirt, and I’m fucking sick of it.


  28. This being a forum for the exchange of ideas among Venezuelans, whether INis or OUTis, I accept the validity of some censura from whoever bothers to leave the “nosotros” and take a stand alone, i.e. Kepler, my scientific friend. But let me clarify this on my own behalf, least some misguided exchange take place, and make us all waste our precious time. Truly I have been away for a while, and I may sound at times like an uncritical chavista with romantic concepts of socialism but I am neither. Marxist and revisionist-socialist classes is what I took by the ton at the UCV’s School of History, under Profs. Alberto Pla, a bona fide Argentinian marxist who escaped the Junta, and Pedro Cunill Grau, a Chilean Allendista who escaped Pinochet. Manuel Caballero was my teacher of Political Science and I still remember his classes fondly, as I posted in Prodavinci. My boyfriend Juan Carlos Palenzuela, rip, and many of my friends belonged to the MAS, and other friends belonged to different leftist parties, including Fórmate y Lucha, at the USB, but my uncle was a banker and my fiancé a rich mantuano professional with socialist proclivities (now a thing of the past, since he is happily and safely to a cousin, like Bolivar did). My training in History, Poli Sci and International Relations began in Venezuela and continued at the University of Southern California, back in the Reagan years a very polarized place of bitter battles. I studied history under Mario Rodríguez (The Cadiz Experiment), but managed also to take some classes under State Dep. officials turned professors, such as Paul Hadley.
    As for my family from Spain and France, they were communists, as a matter of fact they were Stalinist, and my aunt Margarita Sáez drove a truck full of workers to Paris from Geneva, where she lived confortably with her doctor husband who worked for the UN’s food business branch (the FAO?). Elena Sáez my other aunt, Silver Bear winner in the Berlin Film Festival, wrote several anti-Franco movies alongside her leftist husband, director Julio Diamante. My leftist family credentials are as well-nourished as my baronial lineage on the other side, but most of my relatives including my parents were center-democratic-Christian or agnostic. So, it is not my weakest flank, the Spanish roots, when it comes to my being able to join a balanced debate. Neither is it the fact that I have stayed away from Vzla, by force of circumstances, for more 30 years: my dad was over 30 when he came to Vzla to teach and serve, and his foreign birth was no obstacle to his training thousands of students, many of them engineers, such as Yvonne Rosenek, one of the professionals involved in the Puente sobre el Lago project. When my dad left the Univ del Zulia for the ULA, a group of maracucho students travelled to Merida to ask him to please reconsider and come back (he was involved in the founding of the 1st Instituto de Cálculo, bringing the 1st computadora, and even a small oceanographic ship from either La Jolla or Woodshole, MA, I forgot. SERVING thru teaching, was his idea and is mine. He chose not to go back to Spain or claim any pension and benefits from the Spanish government; he chose not to come to Southern California where my siblings and I lived in rather pleasant surroundings and, in their case, without my problems.
    My opinion is rather isolated in Caracas Chronicles but that does not bother me one bit, rather it helps me reconsider some misappreciations I might have. Next week I’ll get into Aporrea and let you guys exchange pleasantries. I am sure I am going to get aporreada over there. It is also a learning experience. I have never stopped learning during these 30 years of not being able to travel as I used to, neither to Spain, where I once held residence, nor to Venezuela.


    • Mariaeu, I’ve been wondering just how to react to what you write here in CC; I have to shake my head sometimes, and then I have to laugh. You remind me somewhat of myself, having been born and raised in Nicaragua, moved away for many years, returned (thinking that I could make a difference by doing so), etc., etc. I think that the only cure for your “fever” is to return to Venezuela, by yourself, with no connections other than you by yourself. You see, it doesn’t matter who taught you, who your parents are (were), what your connections are (were) “way back then”, blah, blah, blah. You don’t seem to realize just how sad and pathetic you sound in your ramblings. You don’t sound like the person who claims in their profile (in Gravatar): “Me gusta mi vida y donde vivo”.


    • Mariaeu, that reminds me of the Zen teacup story:

      Once, a long time ago, there was a wise Zen master. People from far and near would seek his counsel and ask for his wisdom. Many would come and ask him to teach them, enlighten them in the way of Zen. He seldom turned any away.

      One day an important man, a man used to command and obedience came to visit the master. “I have come today to ask you to teach me about Zen. Open my mind to enlightenment.” The tone of the important man’s voice was one used to getting his own way.

      The Zen master smiled and said that they should discuss the matter over a cup of tea. When the tea was served the master poured his visitor a cup. He poured and he poured and the tea rose to the rim and began to spill over the table and finally onto the robes of the wealthy man. Finally the visitor shouted, “Enough. You are spilling the tea all over. Can’t you see the cup is full?”

      The master stopped pouring and smiled at his guest. “You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.”

      [ ]

      I fear you may have nothing to learn from Caracaschronicles.


  29. @Nica, it’s ok, laugh your pretty head off and don’t you worry about me; I know I expose myself both by revealing my shortcomings and contradictions, as well as by expressing my opinions against the monolithic “nosotros” of these gentlemen malcontent, but, see, I have no worries about image, no concerns about being totally scientifically cohesive and kosher. I feel fine being vulnerable, and I neither hide my name, nor my face nor my etcs. I come from honorable people, we do not hide, we do not pretend. We teach, we serve, in the US, or in Vzla or Spain. María Eugenia Sáez.


    • Maria eu,

      Did you happen to write this verse?

      “Bella Roweena
      poeta andina
      labrada como un cuéncano de los Andes
      en la garganta”

      I happen to know Rowena, the ex patriot…from England I believe.You have quite a Romantic view of her.My view of her is quite something else.

      The reason I do not give out my name is because I have to protect others as I have no right to involve others in my escapades.

      I am protected, but my contacts are too close to the wrong people for comfort.Maybe if you can shout out your name, it is because you do not have to protect innocent people as some of us might.Anyway I have no trouble giving my name to the blog owners.JC knows my name, and so do some of the people here I trust( even if we don’t always agree ;)…over time you get a sense of who people are…but these blogs are public to anyone, and for some of us it could mean jeopardizing the security of others.I already had one scare a few months ago when I said something against a certain Chavista, and the next day his son came on to share, and I realized he recognized me….it is in these moments you truly understand the kind of government we are dealing with Maria….you just have no idea..


    • La cosa es, Mariaeu, que no contestas las preguntas necesarias para darte credulidad. Y como es que sigues pensando como piensas, a pesar de todo lo que has leido (si realmente dices la verdad) y discutado con tu “gente”? I just don’t get it, and, honestly, don’t care. Good luck, and, good night.


  30. I’m not Venezuelan but I may offer a solution (well, it’s worth a try) to the Mariaeu problem. You see, she longs to be close to the “glorious revolution” against all advice and claims to be problems getting arrangements to get there.

    You see, there are a bunch of Cuban doctors trained on the island and are now stuck being unable to leave Chavista Venezuela. How about a genuine humanitarian exchange involving several of those with people stuck in capitalist nations longing to be with the revolution? I say, three Cuban doctors for every Mariaeu. I’m sure that there are more than enough would-be loyalists so willing to take their place, while the Cuban doctors get their wish to be in their “capitalist nightmare.” I could make it four-for-one but I don’t think she’d be worth that much. ;)


  31. When being stuck in a situation, when watching how stagnant it is, maybe it is well worth to consider the world outside of the immediate circle of agreers & friends, thus getting used to listening to disenters. Sooner or later your arguments will wear off, if only because you have gotten used to each other. FT is more astute; he saves a bit of scepticism, just in case SOMEBODY jumps the talanquera. What are you guys going to do if an devote capitalist decides to work with Chavez? It has happened in history before. Churchill, who is not one of my heroes, was considered a traitor to his class; and so was Franklyn Delano Roosevelt. Churchill’s father believed in Tory Democracy. Churchill himself experienced a change under David Lloyd George, and his new belief in the rights of the working class planted deep seeds in his soul, so that later, when he found himself out of power, rejected by the electorate despite his winning the war vs. the Axis, he could maneuver, adopt some of the reforms suggested by Robert Rhodes James and Lord Fraser of Kilmorack, young and socially aware, and be reelected. Even capitalism is changing after the last big bubble that your Bush/Goldman Sachs brought about. The Republican party of the US became part of a country ruled by the Industrial-Military complex (that Republican President Eisenhower warned about) + the Goldman Sachs component, the Wall Street Temple component, the revolving door to Congress. You might find yourselves cheering for Reagan and Bush and Wall Street at a time of a turning tide. Keep at least one window of doubt opened. G-nite.


    • You write “least some misguided exchange take place, and make us all waste our precious time” but keep rambling on and on about nothing… Your posts really don’t add value to the discussion, plenty of personal anectdotes with no point at all, plenty of fussy historical mentions and half truths without logical pattern.
      If you don’t have anything new and worthwile to say please don’t “make us all waste our precious time”


  32. Bravo Mariaeu. The posters here almost all of whom support the elites cannot see or read between the lines of your posts and appreciate the humility of your position. In their eyes if you are not with them (as an antichavista) then you are against them and lo and behold that you DARED to say that the Chavez government had done something positive and that the US has been taken over by a financial GREED elite controlling the banks and hence the economy.

    Logic for them is blind antichavismo and talking about a dictatorship. There is no humanity in their soulds or in their scribblings. In reality they all know this is BS since in a genuine dictatorship a blog such as this one would be blocked by Conatel or CANTV. :)


    • By definition, “in a genuine dictatorship”, a dictator can do, not do, undo, or redo, mandates on whim. Therefore, you cannot decide whether a nation is a “genuine dictatorship” by, for example, the existence of a blog, but rather by whether the supposed dictator could, on a whim, eliminate it. In Venezuela, if chavez felt like it, this blog would be blocked overnight; the mere possibility of this is what defines chavez as a dictator.


    • Arturo, yo no sé na’ camarita, pero el otro día vi en un youtube a Poleo padre diciendo bien en alto y bien arrecho, limpio y raspao, que a Chavez había que MATARLO. Si eso pasa en USA va preso de por vida. Y eso que no somos dictadura los de por acá.


    • Mariaeu: “yo no sé na’ camarita” “Si eso pasa en USA va preso de por vida.”

      Interesting claim of ignorance followed by a claim of knowledge, which turns out to be wrong, so you may be right in your first claim. Te vuelves un ocho tu solita.


  33. “Burra que soy”, pues si soy tan idiota y nada agrega al debate la opinión ignorante de una venezolana frustrada por no poder volver tras años de intentarlo y que, claro, no está al día ni puede estarlo, solución: háblense los unos a los otros, tan multisápidos y científicos. Yo me TUVE que ir de Vzla cuando CAP y si no es por él, ahí tuviera, casada con mi socialista hijo de millonario. Yo no quería dinero ni poder sino servir a mi patria, como profesora, al igual que mi padre la sirvió. Me llamaban musiua y me había acostumbrado al rechazo. No me sentía más de tanto venezolano/a que fue rechazado por el país o por sus elites, y se tuvo que ir. ¿Por qué no me iba a pasar a mí? Si a científicos eminentes como el sabio Rafael Rangel se le trató de esa manera; si a gente que forjó la fogosa identidad venezolana o que dio una imagen positiva de Vzla en el exterior se le obligó a expatriarse o no se le permitió volver por haberse pasado décadas en el exterior —Miranda, los 2 simones (Rodríguez y Bolívar), Bello, las 2 Teresas (Carreño y Parra), el sabio Fernández Morán—…pues para mí una soberana pata’ en el rabo y un “no te necesitamos, no sirves para nada” (alguito debo servir pues soy doctora y publicada en las mejores publicaciones de mi campo en USA, México y España). [nuevo párrafo a petición de una lectora renuente]
    USA está hipotecado y arruinado por los banqueros; Obama es hombre inteligente y hace lo que puede pero está en el bolsillo de Goldman Sachs, como todos aquí. No hay izquierda aquí; es mentira; yo me he acercado a los grupos socialistas de L.A. y todo es gay marriage & abortion, a eso se reduce su socialismo. Los sindicatos desactivados; todo es corrupción; quedan voces valientes y aisladas, un pandemonio de derecha, centro e izquierda. USA no es de fiar por esa razón, por su gobierno neoliberal, loco, de vaivenes izquierdistas vanos descontrolados y no consistentes con la estructura de la economía. El pueblo estadounidense es generoso con el inmigrante, jovial y bueno, pero está aturdido en manos de estos traidores a la gran Unión Americana. No hallan paonde coger (translation). Si se desesperan mucho van a seguir a un mesías fascista —y ya hay muchos desesperados por el desempleo y el colapso de la familia— aunque sea el de la voz mediática que se distinga entre la cacofonía. Sí que hay, por otra parte, una creciente consciencia de la mentira que vivimos, y a la vez hay consciencia de que no es viable la opción socialista de macrovisión visión económica, inflexible, a estilo Fidel o al (antiguo estilo) chino comunista, por supuesto que no. La opción viable es mixta, es una economía no de “free market” sino de “social market”, una que permita acomodos y ajustes según haga falta la mayor o menor flexibilidad ante el inversor extranjero, o incluso en casos de recesión la intervención estatal para subsidiar tal o cual sector, para retomar el control gubernamental sobre la acuñación de moneda, o sobre las entidades financieras transnacionales cuando atentan contra la estabilidad del país al jugarse nuestros dineros en SU casino. No está de más recordar, que este USA frenético es mal socio y suele usar y luego botar de mala manera a países (Irán, Irak, Venezuela) que dejan de servir a los banqueros/mercaderes o de serles útiles.

    Los millonarios de las elites que conspiraron con USA contra un presidente elegido democráticamente y propiciaron el boicot contra la industria petrolera que subsume el grueso de PIB venezolano, hubieran sido metidos en prisión de por vida si hubieran vivido en USA y no hubieran podido escapar ni menos irse a tomar fotos con Bush. Fue un error que esos millonarios no pagaron a su justo precio, sino que le pasaron el precio a los no-millonarios que fueron tan insensatos de seguirles en su complot. Esta gente, muy inteligente y con muchas razones para sentirse frustrada, vio como se les echaba de sus trabajos (mis familiares tuvieron que irse) por hacerles pagar como chivos expiatorios, gente talentosa cuyos proyectos se ven abortados aunque sean financiados por universidades extranjeras; pagaron justos por pecadores. Chávez empezó a oler conspiradores en cada ONG, en cada non-profit. ¡Apártense de esa gente que no tiene sino su propio bien en mente, que no arriesga nada! Reflexionen.
    Es tiempo de que el régimen chavista abra la mano generosamente y ojalá sean uds. los que se la ofrecen, como oposición valiente y brillante que son.
    Mayores enemigos se han reconciliado y deben servirnos de ejemplo. El canciller alemán Adenauer se apercibió de que para evitar que el belicismo alemán volviera a ocasionar una guerra mundial y un holocausto, no quedaba mas remedio que contraer nupcias con la dulce y acomodaticia Francia. Y junto a De Gaulle, Adenauer creó o ayudó a crear la Unión del Carbón y el Acero de que saldría medio siglo después la Unión Europea. Y eso que Francia y Alemania llevaban siglos matándose, pese a todo supieron crear un centroEuropa sólido y estable.
    Si ahora Vzla y Colombia, que no han sido enemigos acérrimos, andan en una luna de miel, ¿por qué no aprovechar para que haya reconciliación interna en Vzla? ¿Quién lo impide, quién los está espoleando a los venezolanos para que se vuelvan inflexibles unos y otros, cuál es la causa y de quién? Abranse cautamente a la inversión alemana y chilena o brasileña (ojo pelao con los alimentos transgénicos que Dilma no es de fiar), tengan esa opción de atraer inversionistas de lugares más estables y predecibles. Que se creen trabajos para los profesionales, para ingenieros en particular, en el sector de la energía limpia (eólica o hidráulica) para comenzar. Estos generarán trabajos en el sector agropecuario a nivel medio y de cooperativas de trabajadores.
    Inviten a Dudamel y a Daniel Berenboim a que toquen juntos en Vzla y nos reconcilien. La música es lo que siempre nos ha gustado, lo que calma nuestra fogosidad. No somos virreinales, no vamos por atrás con puñaladas traperas y palabras zalameras. Nos peleamos cara a cara, somos recios y nobles y valientes, nuestra energía inmensa ha de ser encauzada para que no nos lleve el torrente que llevó a Boves y a Bolívar.


    • ¿por qué no aprovechar para que haya reconciliación interna en Vzla? ¿Quién lo impide, quién los está espoleando a los venezolanos para que se vuelvan inflexibles unos y otros, cuál es la causa y de quién?

      Mamita, ¿tu viste el último Aló Presidente?, creo que hay encontrarás muchas de las respuestas que te planteas en tu discurso.

      ¿Cómo podemos los venezolanos unirnos?, cuando el jefe de estado desconoce a por lo menos un 50% de la población, porque lamentablemente, para Chavez, yo NO soy pueblo. Yo soy una élite que debe ser eliminada.


  34. Gracias Adriana, la voy a ver con cuidado, como he visto otros Alós; creeme que el discurso polarizado que escucho en estereo, por los lados me llega, no sólo me asusta sino que me entristece porque mientras siga así la vaina, yo no puedo volver y lo NECESITO. Ando en otro sitiointernet, chileno, donde se pelean igualito que en éste pero en español; ni hablar de entrar hoy en el sitio español porque las mentadas de madre son el saludo oficial, de mexicanos… Y no vivo de las rentas ni me pagan por leer ni por postear, ni tengo blog ni lo voy a tener. Ante el desquicie general, me da risa pensar que me puedo ofender porque alguien me hable condescendientemente.


    • Mariaeu, you are so full of shit. Why do you keep coming back here? You are one of the worst PSFs I’ve ever seen. Heh, you probably don’t even know what a PSF is. Whatever. Please do the rest of us a favor, and start your OWN blog! I’m sure you can find other PSFs to “heed” your call, misunderstood and under-researched as it may be.


  35. Firepigette, sí yo lo escribí aunque no la conozco personalmente, sólo por sus poemas; y tengo mucho que perder al decir mi nombre, de hecho ya he perdido mucho y voy a perder más.


  36. Maria, It is fine for you to decide if you lose but I am speaking of involving others.

    There is no reason we should have to hide, but Chavismo makes it a necessity for many of us.My ex husband was jailed many times during Perez Gimenez, and I don’t want his innocence jailed again.Useless martyrdom might be your thing, but I only respect practicality in this type of situation.

    In LA we could talk til we are blue in the face, and no problem.But Chavez’s Venezuela is paranoid and controlling.If you do not believe this then I might start to suspect that you are more’ into’ Venezuela than what you suggesting, not in the sense of understanding but in the sense of a certain involvement.


  37. Firepigette, I myself have a lot to fear from the real threat of the Patriot Act, but I fear not. USA tiene una Ley Patriota con la cual ha secuestrado, encarcelado sin derechos, exportado a gente para que sea torturada, y eso por miles y miles de personas, aparte del detallito de que invadieron a Irak bajo falsos pretextos (criminales) reconocidos luego por una comisión, pero claro cuando ya estaba destruido el país y eliminados millón y medio de iraquíes, el holocausto del XXI

    Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,421,933”

    Obama va a ceder ante los de doblenacionalidad que le presionan para que nos imponga esta ley a todos los ciudadanos estadounidenses (a los que no tienen doble nacionalidad, porque los otros se escapan de seguidito, a menos que los cojan espiando in fraganti con super secretos de defensa militar, y aun ahí Dios y ayuda, si quieres te lo explico más clarito y con fuentes documentales internet). Tenemos a muchas personas en un limbo legal, en Guantánamo, y no se presentan cargos contra ellos pero tampoco se les suelta, para que no cuenten sus torturas y no haya demandas legales. Yo digo que se los suelten a los saudíes y yemenitas, pues de allí salió Al-Qaida, y no creo que estos dos países se atrevan a decir que es invención lo de Al-Q. Y si lo hacen, de todos modos bueno porque saldría una investigación profunda y verdadera sobre lo que el gobierno (Cheney sobre todo, Pearle también) sabía del anticipado y muy avisado ataque (Richard Clarke, National Security) y de cómo fue “ignorado”. Me refiero a una investigación no como la que presidió el Kissinger (tan reconocido por su tenebrosa Operación Cóndor en el cono sur), sino la congresista negra McKinney.

    Eso aparte de que nos tienen espiados en USA y con sistemas de “ciberseguridad” que están a cargo de una nación “amiga”, la misma que envió al mayor espía que tenemos en prisión.

    El panorama actual en USA es el de la República de Weimar, antes de que Hitler tomara las riendas en Alemania. Esto es Weimar II. Pero creo que aún podemos salvar al país; hay que echar fuera a estos de la doblenacionalidad, o impedirles que tengan cargos altos y delicados, en el gobierno, en nuestro sistema de defensa, en los bancos, en nada. Pueden funcionar pero vigilados; o van a propiciar una dictadura más cruel que la de Hitler, porque va a ser más solapada y no nos vamos a enterar de nada si logran controlar el internet (cosa que ya quieren hacer, so pretexto de Wikileaks, y de hecho ya hay una propuesta de ley en marcha, yes, the usual suspects).

    La Ley Patriota, propiciada por Chertoff, tiene como antecedente la Alemania nazi.

    Yo me he hartado de postear con mi nombre en los sitios políticos del internet de USA. De hecho, fui republicana registrada y con tarjetica, hasta que W Bush, boy criminal, atacó a Irak. Cuando me enviaron de la oficina de Cheney una invitación del partido republicano para asistir a una cena homenaje, le respondí con mi nombre, apellido, tlf., dirección, email, y # de seguridad social, que no aceptaba invitaciones de criminales internacionales, de asesinos cobardes. Y salí de viaje con pasaje expirado y nada pasó.

    Aquí te dejo el testimonio de un ex-CIA contra la Ley Patriota de USA.

    Patriot Act, a Nazi Law: Ex-CIA Officer
    “Governments have been willing to use fear, such as fear of terrorism, and fear of the enemy, as a way to get the people lined up in support of government policies. Very often these policies are essentially bad for the people because they take away many of their rights,” the former CIA officer said.


  38. C´mon Torres – you know as well as I do that Obama is faculted to pull the plug on Internet in the “interests of national security” (whatever that menas) whenever he sees fit. Hence, according to your inane definition he is also a dictator. Pathetic mental gyrations on your part to continue breeding your antichavez sickness.


    • Arturo, interesting that whenever the argument is against chavez, the typical replies are to point out the similarities with USA, while sidestepping the differences. Let’s just mention that even chavez pointed out after meeting Obama that Obama had his hands tied. Perhaps Obama has never had the whim to change the time zones… lol

      But, hey, if you wish to argue chavez’s ability to get things done is subject to a similar process to Obama’s, carful! chavez may consider you to be against him in portraying his as a revolution of weakness.


    • Mariaeu, on the contrary, by my logic, not everyone who cooks is necessarily a chef. That you can’t grasp the concept points to the waste of time that it is to try to argue with you, as your cup is still full, and now empowered by the other’s support you’re even less likely to empty it.


    • Chamo, I can handle non-sequiturs, but meterse con mi Torresito no.

      In other news, I expected you to jump at my Conditional Cash Transfer/Gas Subsidy post. I’ve come to think that while a Negative Income Tax is a “better policy” for distributing oil rents, the politics are dicey, and the administration is extremely problematic.

      Mexico and Brazil show two thing about CCTs to mothers in return for kids going to school: the politics works, and the programs are administrable under real world Latin American conditions. Those are huge pluses, particularly when matched up against a schemes with a very thin history of real world implementation like the Negative Income Tax.

      I hope we’ll be talking a lot more about this in months to come…


    • I was on the road for a few weeks when you posted that, but I confess I’ve been holding back from commenting. I can’t wait, though, to see what you write about the the CCT’s. But, you know me; I’d take out the first C…


  39. I’m telling ya. Humanitarian exchange. Pass the idea on. Make it look like it was the idea from the Chinese, if you have to.


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