Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Catch up posting!
Part 1: An article in the Washington Post

Wednesday 14, January 2004

I will not be able to post until Saturday or even next week. So today I will do a series of small posts to catch up with some recent issues that I addressed recently, or had in mind. I will start with an article from Marcela Sanchez, who I have already quoted a few months back. Although she has a rather a good understanding of the situation she still makes an occasional slip. Or is it that I am so jaded by what I read on Venezuela?

Venezuelans Get Sacrificed in Blame Game (washingtonpost.com)

One good paragraph:

This is mostly a challenge for the opposition that hasn't quite digested the fact that even if Chavez is recalled, Venezuelans would still be more inclined to vote for a candidate that is more like him and less like his predecessors. Furthermore, the opposition has yet to capture the hearts and minds of those who perceive that their priorities are still better addressed by Chavez, even if his efforts fall short.

Indeed! I am tired of addressing this subject either in Venezuela or through this blog. Perhaps there is something from that in the recent Primero Justicia blow up, but more on that in a later post.

A not so good paragraph:

A more inclusive, conciliatory leadership would be a better match for the country's own peaceful culture, which has shown considerable resilience during Chavez's divisive tenure. Such leadership would appeal to Venezuelans' pride and nationalism without antagonizing nearly the entire international community. The opposition certainly has greater cachet with powers abroad, but its decidedly anti- Castro posturing makes it appear more a Washington puppet and less a conciliatory Venezuelan movement.

I think she is confusing issues here. Elswhere in the article she criticizes the opposition to Cubans participating in social programs. She fails to realize that 1) Venezuelans have opposed Castrism since ever even though Venezuela had decent realtions with Cuba, 2) that many chavistas do not support the Cuban link and that it is more a result of a personal love affair between Chavez and Castro than a National wish among Venezuelans, and last but not least 3) that Chavez "deliberately" prefers Cubans to Venezuelans whenever he can get away with it, and that is what is criticized the most!

Nobody contests seriously that many Cubans are actually making a good job in poor neighborhoods. But Ms. Sanchez should know better and realize that many Cubans are also involved in covert activities and training chavistas to who knows what unholy end. That is the gut reaction that we express when we reject Castro intervention in Venezuela.

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