Saturday, March 12, 2005

Venezuela dysfunctionality

This last couple of days show again the psychotic dysfunction that Venezuela has become. Let's look at the government first

Chavez receives Khatami

Fresh from insulting people's intelligence in France, Chavez arrived in the same mood to receive Khatami, calling his visit a "blessing" for Venezuelans. Well, not this Venezuelan blogger who can hardly see how a theocracy ruling a country where it forces women to wear veils and limits all sorts of Human Rights can be a blessing anywhere. But it seems that in the Chavez new world order, enemity toward the US is the high mark of civilization. Indeed, Iran's Khatami, a failure in his promise of moderate liberation at home, eventually caving in to the conservative Mullah, is certainly not going to criticize the repression being installed in Venezuela where the press is getting its tchador as bloggers wonder if their fate will be like the Irani bloggers.

Nevertheless Irani (free?) press reports happily on a billion dollar series of agreements between the two countries. These include a tractor factory, Venirán Tractor C.A. (I am not making this bad pun up).



For this Khatami received the nice cordon of the Libertador, famous non religious person, to go with his dark clerical outfit (this photo is certified photo-shop free by this blogger). Plus the keys of Caracas and much more important, a full Chavez support for Iran nuclear program. Is Chavez expecting Iran to step up to nuclear facilities once tractors are running? One can only expect the worse from a guy who has the chutzpah of needlessly supporting Iran in the middle of an international debate where even Europe is edging against Iran. Al Jazeera promptly reports the good news.

The Venezuelan opposition tries out a new organization

While Chavez and Khatami played world trouble makers in the tractor factory, the Venezuelan opposition played yet another scene of its painful Hamletian tragedy. Unable to come to grips with the necessity of coming out clear as to what happened in August 15, its actors are trying to come up with ways to reactivate that 40% (as of Chavez numbers) of the electorate that supposedly belongs to them. From Quiros Corradi in Globovision saying that it is time to stop trying to settle accounts to AD pretending that they are the main party of the opposition, they all miss the point: the opposition electorate is not in any mood to trust its vote to the clowns that blew it on August. Or at least not until a convincing explanation comes forward. Today it is safe to say the opposition leadership is even more discredited than it was in the post referendum days.

Failing to renew its political leaders, a section of the left wing side of the opposition tried to do the next best thing: to create a new umbrella organization, hopefully as a prelude to a social democratic party. If the success of such venture, Polo Democratico, is to be wished by all, this blogger has serious doubts that a milder version of chavismo with the discredited leaders of the past will dent Chavez electorate (at least as long as oil price is high). In particular when people from AD or ex AD are haunting the halls of the gathering.

At least, in a more realistic approach, SUMATE decided to become more than just a consulting electoral group and joined the ranks of active grassroots. Indeed, it is probably a good move for the most technically proficient group in the opposition (and probably in the country) to use its skill to organize people politically. After all, if chavismo looks at them as political players, might as well try to get the benefits of being a political player. Their goal is simple: become a grass root organization to force the government to allow for clean elections. Back to the basics, what politicians seem unable to do these days (in the hope of Chavez providing them with a few crumbs?). It is recomforting that at least some folks like Sumate in Venezuela are thinking about the rights of the people instead of inflating further their distorted ego, or looking for one.

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