Newsprint-geddon is alive and kicking (Updated)

id98438Valencia’s newspaper El Carabobeño could be the newest victim of what  I call as”Newsprint-geddon”, the ongoing (and quite deliberate) shortage of newsprint for publishing.

The paper informed their readers on Sunday that their reserves consist of only enough print for nine days and that they have requested the CEAM (the State’s company in charge on selling newsprint) for more, but so far the paper hasn’t gotten any response.

El Carabobeño said that the CEAM previously sold them just minimum amounts to get by. As a direct consequence, the paper reduced its Monday-to-Saturday edition from 48 to 32 pages.

This happens more than one month after El Carabobeño announced a change of format (from broadsheet to tabloid), but also reaffirmed this commitment to its editorial line, all the while publicly denouncing HegemonCorp. and what it really represents. Here’s a key passage of the editorial, titled “Everything evolves, so do we”:

We know how certain leaders act: They place fines, deny access to newsprint and then, some figurehead appears with his offer. This has happened nationwide, but it has also occurred in these Carabobo lands…

Whomever dedicates themselves to the business of communication bravely assumes a great commitment. It’s not just any other industry that can succumb and then sold to the one chosen by the ruler. To compromise in the editorial line and to lie in order to satisfy a regime would be not just an unforgivable betrayal to the memory of our founder (Eladio Alemán Sucre), but an affront to the people who are avid for truth.”

This editorial was published a couple of weeks after Notitarde (the other big Valencia newspaper) was sold to the owner of a major hotel in the city, who openly admitted talks with the central government regarding the newsprint issue. And as recent evidence shows, Notitarde has now become HegemonCorp.’s representative in the region.

Will El Carabobeño be the next victim of Newsprint-geddon? We’ll find out soon enough…

UPDATE: Two days after the news broke, Hugo Cabezas, head of the Maneiro Editorial Complex (CEAM) spoke with Daniel Aleman (member of the paper’s board) and commit himself to find “a constant supply of newsprint” for El Carabobeño. But still, there was a contingency plan in place that included the sacrifice of its Sunday magazine.

72 thoughts on “Newsprint-geddon is alive and kicking (Updated)

  1. Ah, but Regime-friendly “Ultimas Noticias” recently launched a Valencia Edition–no newsprint shortage here, and, just a coincidence, I suppose….


      • Sledge has an obsession with insulting people he thins “no tienen clase”. He is the kind of caricature of the person who thinks himself better for having been born middle to upper middle class.


        • vagonba: why insulting? In Valencia or anywhere it’s easy to see that our people are not highly educated. The literacy rate, actually, is rather high at around 95%, but that’s just basic reading/writing. What is needed for development these days are higher levels of education, college and so, and it’s painfully clear that our populace is crudely undereducated, to say the least. Thus, their critical thinking and abilities to think for themselves are vastly impaired. Or how do you justified that they voted, en masse, for Chavismo?!

          The educated elite, en su immensa mayoria, se fue pal carajo, probably like you and most “intelectual” educated bloggers here: Venezuelan College kids are GONE:

          So, since this post was about reading comprehension, one must note that our pueblo is vastly impaired, the little that they read is crap, simple crap that is, it’s not like they were reading Garcia Marquez to begin with.
          So the censorship of newsprint by the Government really does not affect under-educated Chabrutos much anyway, does it? They lack common sense and basic knowledge of the most basic economic principles that you guys here take for granted. And they have zero sense of history, or of the geo-political international environment they live in: NPI, ni puta idea.

          But the worse are conceited, self-described “intellectuals” such as Kepler, who always acts like an Economics Harvard professor here, pretending to be a “Kepler”, fullstupid statistics and dumb factoids.

          Who the hell are you to attack me personally, dumbo? Stick to the blog points, you have no idea from what “class” I am, retard.


          • If Venezuela, in general, and Carabobo, in particular, were filled with functional illeterates, unable to grasp the words in a nwspaper, then Newspapers would be going bankrupt on their own, and the government would have no need to starve them of paper, harass them with fines and offer to buy them up.

            Therefore, that the government has had to resort to these actions, proves you wrong.


  2. That would be incredibly sad. El Carabobeño is the other main newspaper in the region, and Notitarde was already bought. It’s really a dire situation.


  3. Notitarde is now becoming like Aporrea. El Carabobeno was until now the only remaining regional newspaper for more than 3 million people.
    I grew up reading both El Nacional and El Carabobeno. As a child I went to interview a journalist at El Carabobeno (for the “newspaper” of my very public school). These are now memories like from another world.

    I puke on the military caste and the Chavista thugs destroying my country.


  4. Who has destroyed Venezuela?

    More than the military caste and the Chavistas : the commies, the socialists, the foreign lefty press,those who voted for Chavez in the beginning because they were getting back at the 4th republic, the opposition who voted in every election contributing to the appearance of a Democracy, those who are enchufado ( including both Chavistas and opposition), those opposition who are indifferent, and those in the barrios throwing parties in the ‘colas’, those who have stayed on because they are comfortable and privileged, showing their willingness to accept that status in the face of those who can hardly make it, those who refuse to take a hard look at their own participation, and the real issues at hand needed for change. etcetc

    It takes a village


    • From your comment, it’s hard to know what do you want Venezuelans to do, as you critize “those who voted for Chavez in the beginning because they were getting back at the 4th republic”, then you also blame “the opposition who voted in every election contributing to the appearance of a Democracy”, and also reject “those opposition who are indifferent”.

      If you don’t want Venezuelans to vote for chavismo, nor to vote for the opposition, nor to abstain, what are we supposed to do, according to you?


      • J Navarro, I wasn’t offering any solution ..I was referring to the causes of the situation which is a lot more than just the military and the Chavistas…solution is another conversation….Reconizing the errors of the opposition might be a good start.


  5. And about papers: How many Chavista do you think are educated enough to even read, and hardly begin to comprehend any economic analysis columns we used to read on the Universal or Nacional, or able to discern and think for themselves when reading any international news analysis, Opinion columns, etc?

    Those papers are now censored by enlarge, sure, but the real problem is that our pueblo was never able to understand any of it! So they stuck to little colloquial papers and barely read the alarmist titles with big pictures, preferably.. That, and the novela and comiquitas for entertainment, that’s all.

    The problem is Education, that’s the point: Ignorance leads to Corruption = Disaster= Vzla.


    • Sledge:

      Generalizations like yours are well and truly offensive.

      You seem to believe that if you are a Chavista you are therefore stupid, ignorant, uneducated and that there must be something wrong with their heads. If you are not Chavista then the opposite applies.

      You are just about in the same class Hector St. Clare and his ilk, albeit on a different side of the field.

      Seriously, try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you go about making sweeping generalizations that do nothing except make you look like a rabid racoon.

      I have met tons of folks that are Chavistas, from lower income levels and areas, and that are quite capable of not only reading, but understanding and reasoning just as well as any rich white boy from La Lagunita.

      What is truly objectionable is how the State has taken over almost all sources of news and information and given those same, reasoning and intelligent people skewed and/or incomplete information.


      • Roberto: Sure, one must generalize to some degree in these conversations. If you think that our pueblo, Chavistas and non-Chavistas, as I stated, are highly educated and capable of critical thinking regarding socio-economic matters often raised in intellectual blogs like this one, think again, or rather, wake up.

        Suffice it to say that Chavistas elected Chabruto, one of their one, an under-educated thug. To that extent, democracy worked quite well at that time, and, tragically, what we now have in power the Masburro/Diosdado etc, crap, are a JOKE internationally, uneducated thugs too. Out pueblo? yes, under-educated and corrup, that’s why is the most visible MESS in the entire continent and around the world, under-performing at every level, so bad that every educated person who could, probably like you and most bloggers here, left a looooong time ago ago to join a more civilized society and talk “intellectually” on blogs like this one.

        So I’m not really sorry if you feel offended. I’m Venezuelan too, and feel for my country, but I’m also a US and European Union Citizen now, Nationalism is stupid, much like religions, anyway. I’m just stating facts:

        By enlarge, our pueblo is Ignorant, under-educated, and corrupt. My point is that the corruption that is killing our country is due VASTLY BECAUSE of that lack of education, and yes, mono no puede gobernar mono, you can’t give uneducated Indians too much Riches, period. Like it or not, that’s the problem.


        • Sledge: While some people find comfort in simplistic answers to pad their vanity and conceit, if not for other reasons, reality is much more complex.

          1. Critical thinking in Vzla may appear to be on the low end of the scale. But I suspect that if you were to live in any more humble community, you’d find ample proof of people who are more capable of perspective than you give them credit for. I, for one, would rather spend an hour on a one-to-one with non-fanatic folk of humble origin than I would with flakey doñas of el cafetal, who make showy displays of electronic or enhanced goods, even those who have left for el imperio. (Of course, this brings up the dichotomy of male vs female education and socialization, in Vzla, which is a who-o-ole other can of worms.) Also, you might take into account the very thin veneer of “critical thinking skills” — grosso modo — in countries outside Vzla/the majority of Latam. Were it not for governments, based on solid historical practices within the rule of law, and institutions that function through core values and measurable standards, thereby being equipped to root out, or deal with the frauds, the incompetents and the mentally unstable, there might be fewer differences between the nationals of these so-called superior countries and Venezuelans — grosso modo.

          2. Chavistas and a great many who have migrated to the oppo, when not now in ni-ni land, elected Chávez given his promises of doing away with corruption and giving fairer play to the poor. He fooled many with his pearls, tucked into largely scattered discourse. But I wouldn’t call Chávez under-educated. He had good diction and loved reading. Trouble is, he was mentally unstable, had a huge chip on his shoulder, was a narcissist through and through, aspects brilliantly mined by Cuban apparatchiks, in order to get their hands on oil wealth. Nothing good would ever come of Chávez’s “presidency”, though there are those, even the supposedly well educated in el imperio, who still swallow the Kool-aid.

          3. In sum, faulting under-education in Venezuela, is too simplistic an overview of its societal problems.


          • Syd: Classic over-intellectual over-complication. Saying that our people are Ignorant, in general, and under-educated has nothing to do with “vanity” or ego, dude. It’s fact, very easy to see, everywhere.

            1. Ouff… talk about convoluted, over-intellectualized ramblings… What the hell are you saying.. No, the average Venezuelan can’t think for himself, especially those left in the country, since about 90% of College Graduates got the hell out, like you, probably.. They are under-educated: They Elected, by the millions, Chavismo, comprende? One of their own, even Masburro many Chavistas in power now, are sadly more “educated” than the average Venezuelan. That’s how bad it is. They believe in crap like the Imperio Yanki i gonna invade Vzla, they believe Cuba and the Castros are great, they think Vzla is no dictatorship, etc. BY THE MILLIONS. That’s Ignorance, that’s FACT.

            2. Chavez not under-educated? Dude, I don’t know what your stardards are for proper education.., let alone higher educated leaders should have is. He was a liitle military guy, not stupid, but faaaaaaaaaaar from well-educated, un tipo tipico de pueblo,I would like to see his school papers and written letters in the only half-language he ever spoke, prior to corrections and editions.. The simple fact that he bought into Castrismo bulshyt tells you how under-informed and oblivious to the most basic economic laws. That’s how under-educated Chabruto was, not stupid, but very, very Ignorant: though Castrismo was great. Could barely speak or write proper spanish, never got close to attending any Higher level College or anything like that. WAaaaaay Under-educated, almost as much as the millions of clueless pueblo who elected him, or still bought into the Chavismo after a dozen years..

            3. Ignorance and Under-education are the intrinsic reason behind most of our woes, yes. In a blog like this, of course you must simplify things, it ain’t no dinner discussion or graduation Thesis. But actually this conclusion is the result is lots of thought. The fact that many of you over-complicate things with convoluted macro-economic socio-political theories, when it’s rather simple. Again:

            Mass Ignorance (under-education) + Riches-Power = Corruption = disaster= Vzla.

            Of course there are many factors at play, but the common denominator on ANYTHING related to Vzla is Ignorance and Corruption. Try it. The root of all Evil, behing Money, power: THEFT because they are Ignorant. And, of course, it’s nothing new, except right now, with Afganistan and a few Afrivan corrupted, uneducated countries, we are the WORST at that. Ignorance, thus Corruption = Vzla,


            • “Saying that our people are Ignorant, in general, and under-educated has nothing to do with “vanity” or ego”

              Bullshit. Then add to your simplistic premise (that our people are ignorant, in general, and under-educated) a single photograph of one note written with multiple spelling errors by a paramédico in Carabobo (see below), to prove under-education in an entire nation. And who’s to say that that paramédico is not Cuban?

              It’s a good thing you’re not a lawyer, or even an investigator. Very poor analytical skills, “Sledge”, when you’re not misspelling in the English you write to excoriate others.

              I repeat my #3: “In sum, faulting under-education in Venezuela, is too simplistic an overview of its societal problems.” Maybe that’s over-complicated for your educational level.


        • I suspect from the way you write you were either very, very young or not even born at all when Chavez was elected.

          1) Chavistas did not elect Chavez, Venezuelans did. Plenty of Adecos, Copeyanos, Masistas and the “Chiripero” & others threw in with Chavez for reasons that I am not going to go into here. Suffice to say, he was elected by a broad spectrum of Venezuelans from all walks of life. That this was a huge mistake is not down to ignorance so much as it was to do away with the disgust many felt with the system as it had been running since 1958.

          2) It is easier to lump a large amount of people into a group you call “ignorant, under educated and corrupt” than it is to spend years interacting with them and realizing that indeed, while perhaps under educated they are certainly not stupid by definition.

          Can we do better as a country to improve the educational level? Of course we can.

          Should we toss aside those who need it? Just lump them together and write them off? I don’t think so.

          Do you believe that with the attitude you show, not only in this post but in other places where you post, that the opposition has a chance of winning over Ni-ni’s and Chavistas? No, on the contrary you contribute towards the trope of the Oppo as a bastion of “Cafetaleños” that do nothing more than regard them as inferior.

          One reason I like Maria Corina Machado is that while she is a firm believer in what we can term as conservative politics and values, she is also well aware that by pretending to be superior to those you are courting you will never win them over to your way of thinking. And she does this without compromising her principles or beleifs.

          “By enlarge, our pueblo is Ignorant, under-educated, and corrupt. My point is that the corruption that is killing our country is due VASTLY BECAUSE of that lack of education, and yes, mono no puede gobernar mono, you can’t give uneducated Indians too much Riches, period. Like it or not, that’s the problem.”

          By and large, using terms like “mono” to describe other human beings is just as deserving of rejection as is the term “escualidos” and the other terms that Chavez and his folks have thrown at us for years. By doing so, you put yourself at their level which is something no one should be proud of.


          • Your suspicions are wrong, but thanks for the disguised ad hominem.

            Since you are relatively polite, unlike other clowns here, let me debunk your points one at a time:

            1/ ” Chavistas did not elect Chavez, Venezuelans did.”

            By definition, you became a ‘Chavista, and are a Chavista if you vote(d) for Chavez, or what else is to be a Chavista?! You might have been a copeyano, adeco, or a martian before, and/or become one after, but you were dumb/uneducated and/or enchufado enough to be a Chavista at the time, and many still are.

            “Suffice to say, he was elected by a broad spectrum of Venezuelans from all walks of life.” Wrong again. The VAAAAAST majority of those who voted for Chavez were the poor, and rather uneducated Venezuelans. Chabruto was able to fool some of the more educated/ upper middle class people for a while, but not too many, and they all pretty much recapitulated and left the country, ashamed of their vote, a looong time ago.

            By enlarge, Chavistas were that majority of our pueblo, CLEARLY. Nowadays, the mess is so severe, that even the uneducated. lower class pueblo changed their mind, unles their are enchufados in various ways, i.e. corrupted. So no, most educated people saw the Castrismo Crap coming from very early on. There’s about 2 million of those Venezuelans now living right here in Miami, only, not to name Spain, etc..

            2/ “while perhaps under educated they are certainly not stupid by definition.” and where did I call them “stupid”?? I even wrote several times they were not stupid, just under-educated. I even wrote Chabruto wasn’t “stupid”. The problem with Ignorance is that Education, good education I mean, teached you how to think, critically for yourself, “esprit d’analyse”, if you will, teaches you basic history and basic economy, teaches you when not to believe that the “Imperio yanqui is coming to get you”. You may be street smart, and Venezuelans are just as naturally smart, as any human or any country, of course, just vastly under-educated and naive, so they elected Chabruto, one of their own, clearly otro Indio un poquito mas avispao.

            Yes, I use “mono” to describe our pueblo, as you probably did and as we all did growing up in Caracas or anywhere in Vzla decades ago. People with less education might have called us “sifrinos” if we grew up in the East of the capital, and were fortunate to go to good, private schools, while speaking several languages properly, but we got along just fine, montando carrucha, jugando perinola o metras en al calle.

            I also call my own people “Indios”, somewhat affectionately, actually I love indegenous people and dislike plastic city people, pero Indio es Indio, chamo, y mas naa. Relax and accept what’s obvious.This is a blog, and you know exactly what I mean when I call a spade a spade, here we call’em “red necks” sometimes, whatever, and love’em too. They are just often clueless, and CLEARLY under-educated.

            And THAT’s what’s killing our country, I will repeat it on every post here : Ignorance: Under-education + natural riches = Corruption = Disaster = Vzla.

            You will see it’s almost always the common denominator on very single post on this and any discussion about our beloved country. People just don’t realize how important education is, how bad we are about it, and the enormous connection of the ensuing ignorance wuth what’s killing us: Corruption.


      • When we blame others for our mistakes, we are helpless.Truly educated and interested people will dig for the truth.

        If we want to fix a problem we should never blame others.I make no excuses for those who have turned a blind eye.


  6. Sledge,

    I can understand the point that you’re trying to make. That of the rise of Chavismo to power being connected to the failure of our education system, although I drift apart from that point rather quickly because to me the problem is not that there isn’t enough college graduates, like you suggest. The problem in Venezuela is in basic education. What have we been teaching our children all these decades? What values? What thinking methods? I’m not an expert on education, or a sociologist, but I’m convinced that the level of development of a country and the quality of its basic education are intimately related.

    Having said all that, the problem Sledge, is that you destroy any virtue in your arguments with the offensive, virulent language of your comments and their lack of tones (i.e. it’s either black or white). You can’t be right while punching people in the face and expect them to agree.


    • Exactly Cesar. Read above. People need to relax on this blog. Nothing “virulent” about calling our people what they are, in general, ignorant and under-educated thus corrupted. That’s the crux of the matter. On these blogs i prefer to simplify things, in part because they are much less complicated than fancy macro-economic socio-political conjectures.. it would take for ever to get into more detail about countless other factors, so I go straight for the ROOT causes of our situation.


      • and no, I’m not “punching people in the face” here, there’s 2 blogers who got personal with me and STARTED with ad hominems, read up; I’m just talking in general about most of our dear people, y pendejos Chavistas, pana. Uneducated, Ignorant and corrupt. Period. Obviously most bloggers here are on the contrary educated and well-informed, but can obviously be quite pretentious and feel personally offended when someone calls our beloved pueblo what they are. So if they feel offended, good, there’s something wrong with them. I’ll stick to talking about the TOPICs at hand, and you’ll see more ad hominems. That’s what happens when unintelligent people (albeit somewhat educated here) cannot debunk your arguments or evidence in and of itself without getting personal.


        • finally, the only reason I take the time to stress the importance of education and the relation with deadly corruption is because the people who should be our leaders, educated people like the ones on these blogs, sometimes don’t realize that. So I will continue to bring up Education and Corruption every time, as a short cut for people to understand what’s going on, and not go buscando Pajaritos y teorias de academia.


          • It’s hysterical that someone with the sheer ignorant gall to waltz in and hurl racial epithets at millions of brown skinned people immediately pivots and starts ranting about *their* ignorance.

            Carlos, chamín, it’s okay. One day you’ll get over your aderall problem and your massively inflated ego and learn a little compassion and empathy and you’ll stop being the absolutely toxic jerk you’ve become. Please work your shit out somewhere else, though. En serio, at this point you’re only embarrassing yourself.


            • Hurl racial epithets? Dude, you do take yourselves seriously in this shyt. To call one own’s people under-educated, corrupt or monos is nothing new and well deserved in many cases, just go to CCS any day.

              I’ve nothing to work, dude, except point out the obvious shyt here about lack of education and corruption, that some over-hyped “intellectuals” here do no seem to understand. Deal with it, and stick to the topic at hand, torito.


      • Sledge: We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        You have your viewpoint, I have mine and never the twain shall meet

        And for the record, I think the last time I used the term Mono to refer to a person I was probably 12 or 13. Then I realized what it meant, really.


        • oh get over it.. “nuestro bello pueblo, trabajador pero pobre y desaafortunado sin privilegios, ‘pue..,

          sorry you don’t get the jist of the message I will continue to reiterate, just for one word that is used in our streets every day and always has. Oh and sorry I call a good chunk of our beloved people “indios” too, since we’re so sensitive now living the fine lives in Miami or far from that disgrace.

          Under-education + riches = Corruption = Disaster = Venezuela = Exiled “intelectuales” in Miami ofendidos pero bien lejos de ese peo..


  7. For Sledge: If you are so convinced that Venezuela is a lost cause and that Venezuelans are terminally stupid and ignorant, having escaped, why are you even bothering to comment here?


    • Who said that? Do you also havd reading comprehension problems? I know, we Venezuelans have a tough time reading and stuff, but try again. Read.


  8. Oversimplifications are always an obstacle to understanding things, Sledge has some points to make which deserve some attention although he makes them in a manner that makes them offensive and whats worse basically inaccurate .

    Yes lack of education is something that can marr the personal development of peoples character and capacity for even commonsensical views and assesments , but we have all met people that although poorly educated are not absolute fools or misguided in their judgments . What we perhaps also need to consideer is that there are other cultural historical factors that have an even bigger impact on brutalizing or discapacitating a peoples ethos or character and which make them dysfunctional as citizens of a modern (would be) liberal democracy . Such factors dont affect all people the same way and there are plenty who after deeper reflexion or observation can scape from their original mental handicaps.

    This subject has been amply discussed before by many of this blogs participants , and I wont go over them again . the problem which Sledge spends so much time savaging is real , not made up , except that hes got the fundamental causes wrong. If we look at other countries we find well educated people who fell for conceits and follies equal or worse than those that befell so many Venezuelans this last generation. Hitlers germany is a case in point , also we find people whose educational level is not so different from those of the average Venezuelan and who have shown a greater balanced and realistic mind set for judging their rulers and political figures . I myself feel that many of our problems arise from the fracturing of rural society which ocurred as they massively moved to the big city barrios where normal social constraints ceased to operate making for a largely dysfunctional social fabric, disrupted and unstable family structures , creating an environment which damaged peoples personality in many different ways . It didnt help that this move ocurred at a time in which the populations was growing disorderly and exponentially and the already weak and undeveloped institutions of government were incompetent to an extreme.

    There are now in Venezuela people who being very poor and mentally handicapped by lack of education but also by the kind of famility structure that is so important for their personal development as responsible and productive citizens that are irreversably ‘damages’ who cannot be salvaged to become better citizens .they need to be protected from inhumane misery but not much can be expected of them . A lot of others perhaps more numerous that many of us think , that can be rescued through proper institutionalized help in one or maximum two generations to become responsible and productive citizens and then there are some which are just reved up to go if they just are offered decent condtions to allow them to improve their lives and incorporate themselves into a more developed economically and politically competent society .

    This is not to say that there are cultural factors which operate within the mind and personality of middle class people wh might even be considered succesful from a superficial perspective and which are also handicapped in ways that are more subtle , but they are usually endowed with the basic wherewithtal to make it in the kind of society one envisages as optimal for Venezuela .

    What we must never fall for is the seduction of believing that conditions shall one day reach a status near to perfection . All successes are partial and incomplete and contain many pockets of failure , all achievements are accompanied by a shadow of failures and frustrations and what one can struggle for is to have the shadow cast to be as small as possible . but IT WILL ALWAYS BE THERE!!

    This is all very rough and perhaps lacking in precision but for the time being it might help set the discussion on a more productive track .!!


    • Now this is interesting, Bill. You have certainly raised the level of this conversation.

      “but we have all met people that although poorly educated are not absolute fools or misguided in their judgments”

      True, but with the Internet today, and the wide availability of information with the media, anyone with half a brain can access enough data to realize that Castrismo and communism are a tragedy and a farce and a lie, for instance, with very limited education.

      Any educated person today will not believe that the USA is an “evil empire” getting ready to invade Vzla militarily now, that’s just laughable.. Or sad.

      Times have changed, the Nazis were more easily fooled with total control of a very limited media plus atrocious opression.

      You make interesting points, and I’ll address them more profoundly when I have more time today. Fracture of rural societies, etc.

      But I insist that Ignorance and lack of education are the main cause and underlying factor beneath Vzla’s current disaster. A more educated populace would not have voted and maintained Chavismo for so many years now. And our society would not be as Corrupted and Inept at doing business and ruling itself, were it better educated.


      • I think you guys are being a bit unfair with the poor and uneducated. Yes, they have their role in all this mess, sure, but Venezuela would have never rocked bottom like this if the influential, well-connected and educated segments of society hadn’t fallen for the Chavismo trap too.

        I’m talking about the ones Sledge has correctly identified in the following extract:

        “Chabruto was able to fool some of the more educated/ upper middle class people for a while, but not too many, and they all pretty much recapitulated and left the country, ashamed of their vote, a looong time ago.”

        Those are the ones you should point the fingers at, because the poor and uneducated are, well, poor and uneducated, they couldn’t really know better about what would ensue once Chavismo took control of the State, but the middle class/upper class had all tools at their reach to fight and ABORT Chavismo since the very early beginning, they should be aware of the nature of the monster since year zero; yet they naively fall for it just like the poor and uneducated they now like to blame for all this mess.

        Thus, I prefer to blame the Venezuelan middle class and upper class, people who had means and were educated, and yet chose to vote for Chavez once, twice, thrice just because of their obtuse, obsolete and even somewhat pathological leftism. And when the country went to hell, what did they do? They fled to the US.

        The poor and uneducated don’t have the power – and never will have – to destroy a country like Venezuela alone, only the elites do.


        • agree, Marc. “The poor and uneducated don’t have the power – and never will have – to destroy a country like Venezuela alone, only the elites do.”

          I would add that Chávez’s rise to power disconcerted me tremendously, when I first heard his scattered thoughts in 1998. For I also remembered that his actions caused civilian deaths (and a yeyo in a La Pastora-based dear aunt) in 1992.

          Also disconcerting was the frivolous and light-hearted manner of elites and middle classes who were the first groups to band together in ‘marchas’, especially in Caracas and Valencia. That is before many left the country.

          But really troublesome was the force from the Venezuelan Information Office in New York, churning out the translated press releases from the Bolivarian government, and sending it to all global media, most of which, along with editors and writers, drank the Kool-Aid, regurgitated the Potemkin village fairy-tales, and gave oxygen to the regime, nothing more than what is now clearly a drug and crime syndicate.

          As for your “you guys are being a bit unfair with the poor and uneducated…” I would change that directive to the singular.


        • Marc , you may have a point , the middle classes where initially as taken in by Chavez wiles as the poorest and least educated , but there are two things to consider , most of them did abandon Chavismo once its true nature became more noticiable and secondly that the middle class have always been a small minority in Venezuela (20%-25%?) with much less electoral impact than the other classes .

          Also because of the rapid social mobility of venezuelan society , many middle class people where of recent origin and still had a bit of ‘rancho’ lodged in their brains and so were somewhat vulnerable to what a deceitful Chavez initially had to say .

          Having said this I also have a lot of misgivings about the general civic virtues of large portions of Venezuelas middle class, Venezuelan education is mediochre at best and some drawbacks of the national ethos iare broadly spread among people of all social origins to a greater or lesser extent.


          • “Venezuela (20%-25%?) with much less electoral impact than the other classes .”

            But I’m not talking about their votes only, I’m talking about their impact on society overall. Because 20%-25% of well-educated, well-connected folks who also happen to own the means of production and mass media could have easily influenced the rest of the country for their agenda by the time the chavismo monster started leaving the nest. And yet they chose not to do it.

            “Also because of the rapid social mobility of venezuelan society , many middle class people where of recent origin and still had a bit of ‘rancho’ lodged in their brains and so were somewhat vulnerable to what a deceitful Chavez initially had to say .”

            That’s a good point. But as Syd implied above, the ‘old money folks’ were not that worried about Chavismo’s ascension either. Look at this blog, for example, how many of the ones who either write articles or comment here didn’t vote for Chávez back in 1998? Probably very few!

            Those folks probably wouldn’t have tolerated the ascension of a far-right political party for obvious reasons, but they didn’t have the ‘antibodies’ to detect and abort an equally dangerous far-left threat when was still possible to do it. And why was that? Because, as you know, most of them were either leftists or lighthearted about socialist principles… That was their sin.

            When you understand these particularities, you understand HOW Venezuela has reached this point.
            It’s was a crime perpetrated by many hands, but the hands that could have reverted the situation were completely clueless about what’s going on. Babies wandering in the wolves’ den.

            The good news is that the antibodies have been inoculated now. And in most of South America too, I must say. We will have our countries back.


            • Chavismo knew how to attack the majority of Venezuelan masses, the poor, uneducated or under-educated, rural or ranchito varieties, the average middle and lower class Criollo. That vast majority long felt Alienated and excluded by the political elite of Adecos y Copeyanos, or even during Perez Jimenez.

              Alienated, with an inferiority complex of sorts against the Burguesitos with the money, Tired of being ignored, of being poor and excluded, they listenen to Chavez’s opportunistic socialism bullshyt.

              Ironically, “democracy” sort of worked, and they elected one of their own. Not an “elite” burguesito politicians from the exclusive, corrupt 2 parties of which they had had enough over the years.

              It had to explode, sooner or later, with that much oil and riches to grab, and the majority, the masses getting just a few crumbs trickling down..

              Of course it was a fallacy, and it became an even more Corrupted, authoritative dictatorship, as our more alert students soon found out in the streets


              • I see it the same way you do.

                And I can tell you that a very similar pattern happened in my country from 2002 onwards, and to other South American countries too. The process you have described was not unique to Venezuela at all. The difference is that some of these other countries had stronger institutions than Venezuela, which didn’t allow governments to kill the opposition in the streets (Argentina, Brazil), others didn’t have stronger institutions than Venezuela, but they also didn’t possess ‘the largest oil reserves in the world’, what would have allowed them to buy political support, do populism, and ultimately solidify their power PSUV style, thus they could be easily deposed by other political forces/military, or even by the masses, if they started failing like Venezuela (Ecuador, Bolivia), so they ended up being restrained.

                “Alienated, with an inferiority complex of sorts against the Burguesitos with the money, Tired of being ignored, of being poor and excluded, they listenen to Chavez’s opportunistic socialism bullshyt.”

                But that’s the point: the other side must offer a counternarrative, which unfortunately didn’t happen when Venezuela needed most.

                If you have a son and you are a good father, and you notice that he is walking around with other kids who represent a bad influence for him, you will try to convince him that he shouldn’t walk with those bad kids. The problem is that, for most of the last decades, a similar counternarrative didn’t exist to dispute the “opportunistic socialist bullshyt” screamed at the poor. They became hostages because no one would dare say anything against the left! Why? Because the left was good! The left was pure! The left was hope! Anything against the left was just pure evil!

                See how the very own founder of this blog defines right and left:

                “Hay partidos que tienden a ser apoyados por gente con un pelo más de plata y de privilegios (piel blanca, heteronormatividad, capital social y cultural) y que por ende tienden a reflejar sus visiones y sus aspiraciones. A esos los considero de derecha. Hay otros partidos que reciben su apoyo desproporcionadamente de quienes tienen menos plata y menos privilegios, y que por ende tienden a reflejar sus visiones y aspiraciones, a esos los considero de izquierda.”

                How can you be against the left in such toxic and limited scope? You can’t! So, you must necessarily give your hand to Chávez if you have a heart! And without a counternarrative for this, the masses became totally vulnerable to their lies. And that reflects the present situation of Venezuela.


      • True, but with the Internet today, and the wide availability of information with the media, anyone with half a brain can access enough data to realize that Castrismo and communism are a tragedy and a farce and a lie, for instance, with very limited education.

        Venezuela has 54.9 Internet users per 100 people [2013], so there is a wide swath of Venezuelans who don’t fit your narrative. Moreover, the media in Venezuela currently has a lot fewer oppo voices than it did ten years ago. Your narrative is simplistic.


        • That’s a lot better access to information than the Nazis had, or the Cubans have had for decades. So my reply in that context was accurate, even without mentioning other media as TV and semi-free-flowing papers left.


    • Thank you, Bill, for your bird’s-eye view, your humanity and your wisdom. Understanding the root of a complex issue calls for careful consideration, rather than dismissive address that invites misinterpretation.

      I agree with your points raised. In my opinion, the largest pools of chavista adherents are found among the psychologically handicapped (meaning, those who feel they have been victimized in life). And those psychologically handicapped can be found, not only among the impoverished — financially and educationally, but also at all income and educational levels.

      In my experiences formed over many decades, I have encountered communist cells and chavista “trade shows” on various campuses of North America. These “factories of conversion” are not coincidental set-ups. For communist apparatchiks and their chavista subset know they can gain converts among students who are at a vulnerable point in their lives, many testing their wings in independence, not always successfully, moreover if they grew up in broken homes.

      How does one improve upon psychological conditions (inner demons) at any point in the income-education spectrum? Just as much as I don’t know how, I suspect that authoritarian regimes know what buttons to push in order to better sell their propaganda and gain adherents among the fractured. We’ve seen this time and again throughout history, regardless of educational levels.


    • Thanks, Bill, for injecting some maturity into this discussion.

      One point I would like to add to the discussion is that the most important elements of “education” in human development occur from birth to about age 6. By the time a child reaches six years old, he/she has already formed his/her basic personality and has been imprinted with the cultural and moral foundation upon which all further learning will be built. When we discuss “education” we need to remember that formative education received from a child’s parents, and particularly the mother, is incomparably more important than what that child learns beyond that age. This is why efforts to change or improve cultures through childhood education do not have much effect in only one generation.

      Personally, I believe that the one single most important thing any society can do to promote improvement of the overall education of its population is to provide economic and social long-term stability. When people can visualize the future, they can then plan for the future and invest in the future. And that includes how they raise their children. In today’s Venezuela, we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, much less next year, or 10 years from now.


  9. “psychologically handicapped (meaning, those who feel they have been victimized in life). And those psychologically handicapped can be found, not only among the impoverished — financially and educationally, but also at all income and educational levels.”

    Hummmm.. . sounds like a lot of hot air. For the most part, well-educated people do reasonably well in life in terms of income, and are much, much less likely to be “psychologically handicapped” and become Chavistas, I would think..

    Sure, then they pay for “counseling” and “psychologists”, I suppose, but doing quite well in their Miami homes, or with the very few good businesses left in Vzla, and ten d to be for the opposition, because they are somewhat EDUCATED, to begin with. That’s probably the case in 90% or more of the cases of ” well-educated but psychologically handicapped, whatever that means..


    • Some folks are educationally and psychologically unable to understand the complexities of human nature. Some folks are incapable of considering unemployment statistics, even in nations with a supposedly better-educated citizenry, and how unemployment cuts through ALL educational levels — aquí, allá y acullá. Some folks are bothered by the Hitler phenom among better educated Germans of the 1930s, because that cuts into their “I would think” and “I suppose” theories, so they rationalize that as well.

      The day you come across communist cells and sellers of chavista propaganda (including Bolivarian Circles) on a university campus, we’ll talk. Until then you’ll have to stick to your mono epithets, still used among chabacanos: gente ordinaria de poca educación.


        • do illustrate how I have not stuck to the topic, instead of dismissing what makes you uncomfortable, Nené. Well read in WW2/Nazi history, I don’t need a lecture on the topic by a racist who throws out “mono” as an overall ad hominem to the Vzlan poor and uneducated.


        • Syd : This language from Sledge marks him as a troll , pay attention to what he writes and if you find that he doesnt add up ,CUT HIM OFF !!


          • you have a point, BB. But it helps to mark an individual when he shoots slurs from the hip to disparage others, is unable to own his own instability, and mocks comments such as “psychologically handicapped”, only to use the same term later on to justify his own contribution. Un inestable arrecho y copión, cuando no le falta originalidad intelectual.


  10. I think that Syd is referring to certain kind of Chavistas who can be found among the educated and who find professing extreme left wing causes makes them feel noble , goody goody and righteously proud of themselves !!

    They then cultivate a form of self delusion that makes them blind to noticing the obvious shortcoming of the doctrines they spouse !!

    Also people sometimes like to adopt the role of noble avenging militants against a demonized foe because it excites them so to feel morally superior to those they loath . Its a form of morbid moral snobbery.

    Nietszche had a phrase which describes this atitude quite nicely “how well does bad music and bad speeches sound when one marches against an enemy” !!

    There are a lot of University Students in the Developed world who pathetically fall for this sort of thing!!


    • Che Guevara was a good example of the type Bill is describing. He came from a well-to-do Argentine family and was university educated. None of which prevented him from becoming a politically motivated psychopathic murderous tool of Fidel Castro.


    • ” Its a form of morbid moral snobbery.”

      Yeah, you can see a lot of that on these “intellectual” blogs, or in exile here in Miami.. lol. But I digress, that’s a rare minority, and for the most part they also happen to be rich, comfortable and long gone.. See, “Snobbery” by definition, implies more than haughtiness and arrogance, it’s elitism in the midst of comfortable financial situations. It invariably disappears at the very sight of the slightest adversity.


      • Sorry Sledge moral snobism is far more prevalent than you suppose and it doenst mean being rich it means that the more you think you have an ideological glamorous cause to scorn other people the more morally superior you are than them and moreover the more conceited you are about your sense of moral self worth . It happens to middle class kids but also to lower class people who add to it the spice of social resentement . Its all in previous blogs from about a month ago if your curious about the concept. !!


  11. “I think that Syd is referring to certain kind of Chavistas who can be found among the educated and who find professing extreme left wing causes makes them feel noble , goody goody and righteously proud of themselves !!”

    But that’s a rare minority! The educated, “psycholocally handicapped” Chavistas (did I just type that?!) you refer to.. who might turn a blind eye to corruption, and join the game to boost their egos (since they’re mostly rich to begin with..)

    The much, much more pervasive phenomenon in Vzla, if we’re talking Mass Psychology handicaps here.. would be a Huge Complejo de Inferioridad of our poor, uneducated populace, which felt Allienated by decades of Adeco and Copeyano cupulas corruptas, excluded and ignored in our society.

    Arguably, THAT’s what brought up Chavismo and the rise of an astute Chavez, who knew how to exploit that generalized feeling of exclusion, alienation and inferiority, (anger and jaleousy and all that too, of course) among the millions of poor, uneducated, rural, marginalized, ranchito-urban societies in the larger cities, etc. He spoke their language, recognized their existance, and then, more importantly, started giving them Free Stuff. Sharing the pie, a a little more, with the “rebolucion bolibanana”, nationalizations, appropriations, apartments, phantom jobs, free this and free that..

    But most importantly, started talking about the “burguesia”, putting down the upper classes (sifirnos, yankis, imperialistas, etc) and pretending to care about our vast majority of common Joe’s, urban and rural: The poor, lower classes, campesinos, clase obrera, millions of ranchito-people, the under-educated average Venezolano sencillo.

    THAT was the big, overwhelming mass “psychological handicap” that Chavismo identified and was able to exploit, even to this day. Complejo de inferioridad, Exclusion y Alienacion del Venezolano medio y pobre.

    Not a rare syndrome of some “well-educated, but “psychologically handicapped”, rich Chavista revolucionario”. 99% of those are either still enchufados or left the country anyway because of inseguridad or banking security issues, long ago.


  12. “Personally, I believe that the one single most important thing any society can do to promote improvement of the overall education of its population is to provide economic and social long-term stability”

    Now that’s an entire, huge topic. How to improve Education in a nation like Venezuela, or in Africa, etc.. Not easy, indeed, because as you suggest it’s a Long Term project, where all the necessary effort are Not Recognognized immediately, nor directly attributable to this or that politician, this or that regime. Takes decades.

    It’s even harder than build the physical Infrastructure of a nation: its roads, power plants, industries, highways, hospitals, etc. Politicians would have to spend lots and lots of money and the rewards and results would not be seen in years.. Money that they prefer to STEAL, now, for themselves (corruption at every level) or that they have to spend putting out fires left and right, for basic urgent needs.

    Therefore, even in developed, more educated, prosperous countries, the long-term investments on education come last, even in the USA (our infrastructure of highways dates back to the 40’s and 50’s, our education and healthcare industry is a mess – long term / low immediate reward political issues)


    • Bill nailed the essence of my previous comment in his comment below. Right now, and for a long time in Venezuela, children have been raised in an environment of “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.”


  13. There are many programs in the US to help educated gettho children which have scandalously failed , its been thoroughtly documented , they spend on giving ghetto children special education but get no where , the evidence is that if the children are bought up neglected or lacking in good parenting or in unstale families they turn out incapable of profiting from their extra education . There are other experiences you should read about , on how character building (specially in a stable home) is so important to get children to really develop. Formal education without character building is near useless , The problem we have in Venezuelan is that the social enviorment of the poorest young is harmed by being brought up in dysfunctional famility group that cant take care of them or teach then responsible habits . There are anthropological studies both in the US Brasil Venezuela etc that give credence to this explanation . Think of the marginal ethos living for today , little concern for the future of children , the get rich quick mentality , continous prosmicuity , in contrast to the primary middle class mentality , future oriented , much concern and attention paid to children , concern for developing competence , responsability , discipline , self control etc. The ethos has to be changed and just giving people formal education doenst do it , is not enough .

    There are a lot of people among the poorest who have at least the stump of a middle class mentality and which can use education as a stepping stone towards an improved life , othes are just damages and whatever education given to them will be helpful but most likely will not be enough .

    Of course I havent made this up , there is a lot of sciientific literature supporting whats so sketchily explained above . literature based on study and observation throughout years of experience. .


    • B.B.,

      Exactly the point I was making above. When a society has stability and the possibility of upward mobility through work and education, parents will tend to raise their children more responsibly. But, you cannot expect to see immediate results. Change happens over generations.


    • agree with you, BB. Stability in the home is on first. And yet, I’d go a little deeper, or laterally, and add: good nutrition and a structure around meal times, not just for the child, but for the whole family, wherein at least one or two meals are eaten together and the day is discussed.

      It’s a huge topic and a mammoth task for any state to undertake. But even all the best efforts to implement better training in life-skills and improved early education won’t totally eliminate the “lost causes”. For, there will always be an organic element of mental instability in any given population. And that is not always a bad thing; witness the unstable elements that fuel the creative set!


      • An added thought … I’d go a little deeper, still, and say: without a society that provides a real sense of future well-being (not pie-in-the-sky fabrications), where there is hope for a material progress, none of the initiatives for the home and for improvements in early education will be of any use. In my mind, the only vehicle to provide that real sense of future well-being and material progress is capitalism and a “free” market, with oversight by the State, which is in the best position to implement the en-masse initiatives of social improvement.


        • Syd, I agree, except that my real point is that when there exists a “real sense of future well-being”, the improvements in early education occur automatically, with or without any state initiatives.


  14. Syd : All points you ve made are valid. Recapitulating the factors include :
    1. Character formation / good home and family environment ,
    2. Good health care and nutrition ,
    3. Good schooling including access to a favourable school environment and personal development opportunities ,
    4. Economic Conditions which allow most to have a good job or bussiness , one which gives them the chance of a decent remuneration and growing both ocuppationaly and personally . .
    5. A habit for being well informed and responsibly understanding and judging public issues .


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