Saturday, July 24, 2004

Things that would make Bolivar roll in his grave on his day

Saturday 24, July 24

Or this would be the slogan that Chavez would like us to believe. "PDVSA ahora si es del pueblo". One would be led to think that during the 2002/2003 strike Chavez freed us from some nasty bureaucrats that somehow had managed to take over PDVSA without anybody realizing it until Chavez came into office.

Well, there is a new meaning given to this slogan. As the referendum campaign proceeds, we are seeing things never seen before, and certainly not to the extent and crassness seen these days. All sorts of public places are now covered under pro Chavez slogans, in particular the red NO!. And I mean public in that they belong to the people as in social services, schools, etc, places that normally should never see electoral propaganda.

PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil company certainly will not escape this. Peopled now with political hacks that are more busy about looting it than making it productive (well, it does produce for them) PDVSA certainly has a lot to fear in case the political winds shift in August. Accounting, for one.

I had to be in Valencia Friday. And when I go there I drive by the El Palito refinery. This one was made famous during the strike of 2002 when the military took over and nobody from the independent press has ever been able to visit since. It has become the source of all sorts of wild rumors. Actually, to protect it from inquisitive eyes, PDVSA has set all along a concrete barrier on occasion gaily decorated by the local Bolivarian school children. In other words you cannot park along the fence and try to aim a telephoto. And if you were foolish enough to try that, the National Guard, abundantly posted around, would promptly seize your camera, at the very least.

As I was a passenger I did take a couple of pictures while we passed by. Two pictures. In one I blow up the banner, the other one speaks for itself. That second one does have some of that painted concrete.

Let's say NO! to those that want to take away this revolution

Now to give you a sense of perspective on how wrong and immoral that is, imagine for a second the following scenario in the US: there is a referendum to decide whether US troops should remain in Iraq. Bush campaign banners plaster public offices and state companies with red posters that say "NO, we will not leave Iraq". Imagine yourself taking your Armtrak commuting train and seeing such a banner welcoming you at the train station. And no banner anywhere saying "SI! Bring the boys back" except in front of private places.

Would you stand up for it? Even as an Iraq war supporter?

I thought not.

Only 23 days
until the Recall Election
on Hugo Chavez.

Do I want him out?

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