28 thoughts on “Machado stirs up the right-winger in me

  1. Interesting post JC.

    I love her directness, which is one of the reasons she is my favorite candidate.I would vote for any oppo candidate, but to me she is far better than Lopez who looks too much like an agreeable politician to handle the harshness in Venezuela today.

    As for the drug problem I believe that strict law enforcement in confronting the drug gangs is essential .When the problem of people being high on drugs contributes greatly to fatalities on the street, extreme measures have to be taken.It is not fair to expose innocents to the crimes , and indecencies of the rest.

    There is a lot of BS out there about blaming society for the crimes individuals commit, but the truth is,that it always boils down to our own decisions.I am sure many people know a thousand examples of that.

    If this were true( that we ‘re not at fault) we would ALL have an excuse to go around committing murder.


    • You hit the nail on the head: she doesn’t mince words, and that is the core of her appeal. Agree or disagree with her, at least she has a clear message.


      • Her clear message is a fresh new idea: let’s have a war on drugs!

        Works great!

        Listen, she’s smart: she knows her way to the nomination is to tack right and grab the Marialejandralopez vote as a block. Is that going to fly in the general election?


        • It’s a fresh idea in Venezuela. I don’t think co-existing with the drug gangs is really going to lower the crime rate.


            • There is much speculation on whether or not legalizing drugs will lower the crime rate or not and I am sure that what ever so called evident could not be specifically applied to all situations.

              I am not a right winger, except on this issue of drugs, where I totally support NOT legalizing something that is obviously not only damaging, but dangerous to innocents as well.
              The war on drugs has not been efficient enough.I can bet you that the difference in Venezuela between now and back in the 4th Republic, is that the Chavez government has
              been been way too lax on crime, and drugs are worse than ever.


            • Has not been efficient enough?
              Firepigette, the war on drugs seems like an optimization for drug dealers and security companies. This, the current situation, is the best situation for drug dealers. Do some of them get killed? Well, they very obviously see the chances as too low for the benefits they get.
              Why aren’t you against weapons then? You are only a rigth conservative here? Cough, cough. Sure


  2. I can’t help feeling that you do no service to anyone, especially the diffusely perceived ‘right wing’ by labelling an eminently commonsense approach as being ‘right wing’. You’re more aware than most too of there being no right wing in your country at all. The right wing has been sequestered — in the official vulgate, as it were — by the ultra right wing, this one being the only one that gets a mention: ‘rightwingers’ seem to have evanesced; ‘ultra rightwingers’ however, haven’t. No, Ms Machado’s proposals ought not to be so labelled because, the moment that they are, they will not bear consideration by A) (ultra) rightwingers, due to their efforts not to appear so; and B) leftwingers, because they’re leftwingers. Just call the proposals ‘practical & very constructive’, enumerating their salient advantages if you will.


  3. I think her speech is wrongheaded at best, and certainly false. Put fighting micro-traffic at the center of your public order policies and you will certainly see a sharp rise in violence, at least in the short term, and likely in the medium term too. (Ask any Mexican.)

    People fail to understand that when a drug gang establishes control over a certain territory, it’s in its interest to keep violence within certain bounds in that space so it can do business profitably. When you disrupt those networks, throw in jail the local kingpins, what you set off is a vicious struggle between the pretenders to put themselves in that place. And in the short to medium term that means more violence, not less. Violence that abates, eventually, not when drug trafficking magically disappears but when a new kingpin establishes himself securely enough.

    Again, ask any Mexican.


    • The Mexican drug problem is in another dimension than Venezuela´s. I think you can´t even compare the magnitude…

      BTW Quico, -How would you solve it?


          • It’s about harm minimization: you try to create the conditions for drugs to be bought and sold (as they surely will be) in ways that generate the least collateral violence. This means reaching some kind of modus vivendi with drug dealers – either explicit tolerance, as in the Dutch/Swiss model – or the kind of implicit understanding in the American paper bag. It also means that you go very hard against anybody who breaks the modus vivendi by, for instance, using violence to control drug-dealing turf.


            • That’s two, *two* mentions of Mexico in your responses. Mexico is not an appropriate comparison to Venezuela. Mexico is right next to the US, an obligatory stopping point in the traffic of drugs. Venezuela has only recently become a focal point in the war trade. It’s a recent phenomenon, one that is more easily eradicated.

              Furthermore, why bring up Mexico and not Alvaro Uribe’s Colombia? No mention of the efforts of the very left wing Dilma in trying to clean up Rio’s slums? Hell, Machado’s proposal even resembles the surge in Iraq, with its focus on the neighborhood and on cleaning target zones.

              Your recipe of coexisting with the drug gangs and loving them out of their ways only leads to one thing: more death. It’s not only naive, it’s dangerous.


            • Juan,

              I agree a comparison is difficult. That doesn’t mean the case for Venezuela is better.

              Venezuela’s malaise with cocaine started way BEFORE Mexico’s. The problem started in the mid nineties, it reached a platteau soon after that and then the murder rate went through the roof. But the cocaine problem was very well in place in 1997 even if zanahorias like you and me did not notice it at all. I know because I was discussing that with doctors back then who were operating drug-related wounded (with cocaine and bullets in their body, for instance). I was on a visit in Venezuela, coming back from Germany and I was telling them about drug consumption in Europe when they told me: you have NO IDEA what is happening right now here.
              They were telling me how the situation was changing dramatically. I know quite some doctors who were working not in private clinics but in the harsh hospitals of our main cities. As I said: the murder rate climbed drastically in the nineties (from a bit under tenx100000) and the stopped and went a little bit down around 98, when it was 19×100 000. Then it went up, up (34×100 000 in 2002, now anything above 50-60 nationwide, with stats varying wildy*). The problem started to spread in the mid 2000 to Guyana and Jamaica and some other countries in the Caribbean. I remember reading an article about that in The Economist sometime around 2004-2006.

              One thing we need to discuss very very openly is what kind of weapons the drug dealers are using in Venezuela. Is it from the military? From the cops? The situation may be different from Mexico, where they are bringing very heavy stuff from the US (and some of those weapons were even provided in a very stupid project called Project Gunrunner, which makes me think there are not only mental functionaries, but some that have interests in this “war on drugs” going on like now).
              * I have all stats for Carabobo, where the murder rate in municipios like Valencia and Libertador is even higher


  4. Can I ask you guys a favor? Can we continue this discussion out on the other site, in Spanish? I think it would be better that way.

    La gerencia.


  5. Kepler, If I were a right winger, I would say so, no shame to it at all.I admire many right wingers, just as I admire many on the left.

    Just so you know for the future: I would eliminate most of our wars to only pure and simple self defense( more Libertarian than right winger here)….More than likely the world would be better off if we had not wasted so many lives in the great World Wars,and I would love for the other folks to fight it out for themselves.They deserve it :)

    I believe in abortion rights( though I would personally never have one), feminism, and gay rights( my liberal side)

    As for fiscal ideas, I am not an economist, and seeing as how even intelligent economists disagree, it would be arrogant of me to have a strong opinion here.I chose my votes based on how I perceive the maturity of the person running.

    On gun control, I would never own one( my instincts are too good), but believe in other people’s rights to own them( somewhere in the middle) and see NO evidence that gun ownership increases crime.

    I do not subscribe to the pat -packaged- set of Liberal Ideas like Quico, nor to the strong right wing faction of wanting everything to remain the same , nor do I subscribe to Purely Libertarian view points either.

    I think each issue should be thought upon independently, and most of us have to admit we really know very little at least in one of the important areas that need to be considered.

    I also believe that many of those who consider themselves Liberal in their ways of thinking are in reality extremely doctrinaire, and prone to lapsing into the appalling habit of screamingmariaalejandrolopez when they have no real arguments.


    • “I also believe that many of those who consider themselves Liberal in their ways of thinking are in reality extremely doctrinaire, and prone to lapsing into the appalling habit of screamingmariaalejandrolopez when they have no real arguments”

      Every time I read a comment of yours, without exceptions, I think this.


  6. Flash comment poll:
    How many here think that alcohol should be banned?
    – Thumbs up –> if you think it should be banned we should wage war against alcohol
    – Thumbs down –> if you think it should be legal and controlled.

    I’m against banning alcohol so I’ll vote thumbs down.


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