Milagros Socorro muses this week on the tribulations of Luis Tascon, the assemblyman that became notorious for publishing in his web site the list of all of those who signed asking for a recall election on Chavez. This created a legal apartheid where the non supporters of Chavez would be denied basic rights such as obtaining an ID card, not to mention being fired freely from public administration posts. This finally has been noticed enough overseas that Chavez is using Tascon as scapegoat, when he is the one that should be severely punished for this grossest of Human rights violations. However the way in which this disposal is made is so telling that it became the inspiration for Ms. Socorro in yet another great OpEd piece. Translation of the good parts below. Original in Spanish here.
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The generalized tasconeria (1)
The tribulation of Luis Tascon can only move to pity whomever sees him running around to attract some commiseration that would relieve him of a certainty: he has become nothing. By being thrown out of the organization that gave him the illusion of believing himself to be somebody and to belong to something he will be left alone, with his abilities, with his talents, with the skills that he developed through his life, that is, he will remain with nothing. Completely helpless, supplicating his former allies for some attention, a little bit of condescendence, some small sweet deal that will leave him at ease. It is unlikely that this will happen. Tascon is a nobody.
He never was anything. He now returned to the nothingness from where he came. And he will not be the only one with this fate. As many analysts have observed, all seems to indicate that the first stone has been laid down for the highway of the cursed and it is be predicted that pretty soon that highway will see a gridlock of "revolutionaries" fallen into disgrace. We will see the muting of the loud and the return of the silly converted into ambassadors by the carnival of the most uninspired revolution that we have been told of.
We will see rolling bureaucratic heads inflated by a power that they have only used for failure and for their enrichment, of course. And we will see how they are replaced by others, equally improvised, equally hungry, equally blinded by ignorance, rapacity and cruelty (the most visible marks of the performance of the "revolutionaries" in power). [snip]
But the defenestration of Tascon did not surprise anyone. Many warned of it in the press: Chavez did not order to bury the Tascon list but Tascon himself. [snip]
But we should not be distracted from the essential. Of course, the spectacle of the author of the perverse list that destroyed the life of so many people, finished and sniveling, clinging to the pants of William Lara, who appeals to a justice that he denied to millions, can be gratifying for a country submitted to daily capitulation. [snip]
However, I insist, the show of Tascon being bared to his essence of the little kid from the high Andes must not distract us from the horrifying concurrent story. What is truly terrible is that what Chavez has done to his minion now dismissed is exactly what he is doing to the nation.
Venezuela is useful to Chavez in his project of international leadership, just as the Tascon list served some objectives at their time.
All of Venezuela is Tascon, all of Venezuela's resources are Tascon, the Venezuelan oil is the quintessence of the tascon. The democratic tradition of Venezuela, now so threatened, is Tascon for Chavez: a useful instrument to legitimate his actions, who, paradoxically, must culminate with the destruction of democracy.
It is enough to look outside Venezuela's border to figure out that this one is for Chavez what the large farm is for the second generation of owners, the one that did not had to toil for it prosperity, that perceives the hacienda as a foul place, with conflict and stinking of cow dung, but from which flows, of course, the millions necessary to buy apartments in the beautiful avenues of the world or to spend afternoons by the fireplace of the ski lodges.
With the monies of the national hacienda, Chavez has advanced like the spoiled heiress who comes back everyday with shopping bags where one can read the names of the most chic designers and who gives sumptuous tips to her manicurists. In a context of crisis in French editorial houses, to give an example, Le Monde Diplomatique has just acquired a building to make it its headquarters. Meanwhile, a good deal of French press business makes miracles by not to shutting down, sell actions or pact fusions and, obviously, fire dozens of workers. Ah, but Le Monde Diplomatique has called for a competition to design the architect that will redo the just bought building. But, how come? A monthly that has never produced dividends, now will have a new seat! Who pays for that building and all of its luxuries? All Paris gives it as a fact: Venezuela paid it. (2)
Does this show in the very least respect or, even, solidarity for a country submerged in a painful situation of economic trouble for the majority? Absolutely not. It shows that Venezuela is criminally ransacked to pay for favors, to finance propaganda campaigns abroad, to pave the way for the international preponderance of Chavez.
The income of the republic is at the will of a single person, who spends it liberally for the aim of financing his personal delirium. And for this he can rely on many Tascon. All of those who assist in this monumental fraud are the mirror image of the embarrassing Tascon, now of the switched off phone so as not be reached by the deafening screech of silence because he will not be reached by the call of forgiveness and restitution.
The enormous sums of the bribe have not been distributed only overseas, of course. Many are the millions deposited on the accounts of the Venezuelans that have offered their conscience on the market place waiting for a good bidder.
The tascons that enable the demented run of Chavez, who serve as operators, who do the job and every morning empty the pot from under the bed are not there for ideology nor are they attracted until loving surrender to the charisma of their leader.
That tasconnery is there because its services have been paid in gold. (3)
All is so low, so twisted, so perverse, so tascon, that it cannot end in a different way.
We are just left to hope that a country transformed in useful tool of the wasteful autocrat, does not end up punished by this sad role just as it has happened to the horrible metaphor of our decadence, the poor Tascon.
This will not happen if there is still some justice left in the world. Venezuela does not deserve anything but a turn from the present mist because even though tasconess has got loose in its core, it is also true that there are millions – in fact Tascon made the count with the help of Jorge Rodriguez, and forgive the redundancy – of the Venezuelans that are nailed to the defense of democracy and decency. And they do it so because they want. Nobody has paid them.
We must persevere in this determination.
All end up harvesting what they have planted.
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(1) tasconeria: "tasconess", from Tascon, the pro Chavez Andean boy who became famous for listing all those signed against Chavez in 2003/2004, into a useful format widely used to ban them from any public service, creating an apartheid in fact. A CNN link among the international ones starting to pile up, but also a whole series of articles in Miguel's blog tranalting many editorials to explain the abuses comitted (most recent), but also in this blog (most recent). The outrage cannot be silenced.
(2) Le Monde Diplomatique has indeed become a main supporter of Chavez. Its editor, Ramonet, who aspires to be the guru of the anti globalization movement, has detected very early the potential in Chavez, organizing his welcome to the Porto Alegre forum, the anti Davos. The people at the Diplo have indeed got out of their way to promote Chavez. For a recent example, if one read the latest article of one of its pseudo-journalists, Lemoine, one would wonder if it would have been written any differently had it been a commissioned pamphlet. It is quite impressive that a supposedly self respecting publication is willing to lower it standards of reporting so much for Chavez defense, compared to the rest of their articles. Not to mention that when Ramonet visits Venezuela he gets the 5 star reception on state TV, claims that he would not be caught dead in a restaurant in East Caracas, nor would he give an interview to an anti Chavez paper. No wonder Paris gossips...
(3) I have tried to "translate" the invented variations of Ms. Socorro on Tascon. The flavor is difficult to convey but I hope the reader will sense the effort of making tascon a synonym of all that is vile while lacking in character.