Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Yet another wanna-be fascist moment

Wednesday 7, Janaury 2004

I am stuck in Caracas for work and actually had to learn the news of the day reading Miguel's post today.

In a nut shell, Chavez is still insisting on getting his hands on the day to day reserves of the Central Bank. Besides showing a total ignorance on how a monetary system is run, it demonstrates once again his utter disregard for the rule of law. It seems that today was yet another page taken from the "HOW TO" series, namely how to establish an authoritarian state. It came complete with "spontaneous demonstrations", threats "in the name of the people that want what is theirs" (don't I have some rights myself on that money?), emotional blackmail and what not. Plus a few assorted "cadenas" through the day.

But do not be fooled by Chavez rhetoric, the real objectives are:

1- bend to his will one of the last institutions that still try to work by the book
2- get some cash for distribution among his followers
3- distract the opinion from the Recall Election
4- try to provoke something, anything, that will allow him at the very least to delay any election that he cannot control.

Expect further actions in the coming days, from outright intervention of the Central Bank to a "spontaneous" workers take over of the Parmalat assets in Venezuela. Anything to occupy the front pages and pretend to be leading the country "for the people and against the ennemies of the people". Authoritarian characters (fascists?) are very good at inventing ennemies when needed to justify the unjustifiable. Even when they claim to be from the left political side, acting for the poor and the forgotten. Look at Zimbabwe! Same difference! Except that trains are still not running on time. Or whatever symbol of efficiency you pick if there are no trains.

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