Monday, October 31, 2005

A debate in Venezuela on sold out courts and useless politicians, all differ but all agree

The week-end has passed since last Thursday, for this blogger the official date of the final loss of any right to redress in any Venezuelan court. At least as long as you contest anything that matters for Chavez.

The opposition is not getting over that shock, and only some such as Julio Borges on Sunday night, show any combativeness. In fact, what we should have is a general outrage that would finally offer a strong common front to vote or not to vote in a month. Any option is valid as long as we all go for it. But this is not going to happen.

Three op ed pieces published today do show us how the Venezuelan few thinkers (there are some, you know, and all against Chavez who only attract sycophants unable of any original thought but full of original tricks, funny I write that on Halloween!). In these pieces we can see how the thought process is evolving, and how a few truths are written without any contemplation. Note, all published in subscription sites thus I have posted the articles in my Documents on Venezuela section (sorry, too much to translate I only will do some essential parts)

Armando Duran curses AD

His OpEd Piece is justly titled "Ramos Allup and the trumped up cards". Indeed, Ramos Allup, the leader of AD tried to have all of us believe that he had a genuine chance to have the constitutional court rule against the Morochas. When we all knew that any ruling would be whichever ruling Chavez thought would favor him.

Yet Armando Duran points out that in spite of the foretold death Ramos coherent legislative mind and his reasonable oratorical skills were enough to unhinge the assembled mediocrities (all branches of the judicial and electoral system of Venezuela!) and force them to reveal their lackadaisical status when they all scrambled to reapet, badly, the official line when before Ramos speech they still pretended to be in a formal and real judicial hearing.

However the verdict is harsh:
How is it possible that decades of political activities ended up in an act of such naiveté (of Ramos going to court)?

The sketch only served for the regime to legalize in front of the international community the death of proportional representation of minorities.
This is the strong point of Armando Duran: Ramos Allup did help Chavez. How? By attending this trumped trial he not only offered a veneer of respectability at what is a violation of all of our political tradition bent on avoiding the return of dictators, but he basically shut up the opposition of any fraud claim it might have for December. Just as accepting all the electoral violations pre-August 2004 basically forced international observers to accept the referendum result.
With this opposition direction, truly Chavez is in no risk. He might feel threatened by a possible social explosion, or an hypothetic fidgeting of some sectors of the armed forces, but not by political parties ready for anything for not losing a token electoral representation. Of this Chavez has been certain for years. A certainty that allows him to act in any moment with total impunity. And which allows him to say to the world that there is democracy in Venezuela and that if he wins all elections it is his opponents fault, unable to gain the trust of the voters.
[and commenting on the divorce between opposition voters and opposition parties]
(Since August 16 2004) paralysis and abandonment, the break up has been irreversible. Maybe if what happened in court last Thursday had generated a strong reaction from the opposition, such as withdrawing their candidates, if at least they would have declared that they would consider that option, there would have been the possibility to fix up things. Instead having accepted the result as Saint Francis simple throws to the ground the possibility of constituting a formidable opposition front. That was the only real reason to go to court over the morochas, to use the abuse of power of the High Court Not doing so condemns anti chavismo to a dark ostracism. That is why Rangel praised Ramos Allup and AD: to accept participation in a trumped electoral game is to even give up the right to complain. For the greater glory of Chavez, courtesy of Ramos Allup and the opposition political parties.
Quite clear, no?

Ibsen Martinez criticizes the abstention movement (and the opposition "elites")

Ibsen Martinez is one of my favourite OpEd writers but too long and windy to translate. In fact, his articles are full of intellectual and cultural references, a little bit like my posts but at least a league ahead of my modest efforts. Today he has a long winding article on critical journalism which ends up, at the end, and as usual, in a point that often is not anticipated by the reader. Today's object of the affection of Ibsen Martinez is Alma Guillermoprieto, noted bilingual Mexican journalist. Apparently she has decided to write on Venezuela and the result is not flattering, for the opposition at least. There are two assays from her in English that seem to be required reading. The last two paragraphs of Ibsen Martinez article.
A short while ago Adrián Liberman, clinical psychologist and unavoidable columnist of this paper [El Nacional], published in this very page, a devastating moral portrait of a good portion of the middle class, which is at the same time an iconoclastic dissection of the pathological and unproductive direction on how until now these middle and high classes have understood and lived the politics in a country which, no matter how much it might upset us, will not go back to the status quo prior 1998. [note to the reader, a few years ago Martinez by then already opposing Chavez, did not think that 1998 was as much a change as 1899 or 1946, but Ibsen perhaps suffer from the same frailties we all suffer on occasion].

These classes, self pleasing in the moral question and dim witted on the citizenship duties, want to relieve now that the abstention movement is going to be the neutron bomb that Hill finish Chavez, World do good learning from the prodigious hidden truth detector that Alma Guillermoprieto has seen for the immediate future of Venezuelans.
If anyone has those articles, please send them in for posting!

Teodoro Petkoff tells us our job is still cut out for us

In an editorial much more constructive than the very appropriate and deserved lashing by Duran, or the lengthy but amusing musings of Martinez, Petkoff goes straight to the point. He starts by reminding that not even two weeks ago actually the CNE had was on record against the Morochas. And then starts with his opening salvo.
The constitutional hall of the TSJ did not produce any surprise. A tribunal where the magistrates are among others individuals as "tramparente" Carrasquero [the manipulator of the CNE pre referendum], the bodacious Velazquez Alvaray [the one of the constitutional reform to allow ad infinitum re-election of Chavez and more powers to him, by the way] and the ineffable Cabrerita [pejorative diminutive for Cabrera who apparently has never voted in any decision that could cast any feeble limit on the bolibanana revolution] would have never ruled against the will of Yo El Supremo.
We all new that, Ramos Allup knew that.
What the ruling ratified is the depth that autocracy-- the concentration of all public powers in the fist of the president-- as a defining trait of the government.
See your blogger comments on that a few days ago. Bloggers do not have to wait for Mondays to publish editorials. But Teodoro goes ahead and says that it was still worth it to go to court.
Each time that it is possible to put forward, in front of its own organizations, the authoritarian, the autocratic, the militaristic and corrupt nature of the governments, we must do so. This is never a waste and underlines the will of the country not to surrender, not matter how adverse the circumstances.[snip] A democratic strategy to confront chavismo feeds on such acts, no matter how irrelevant they might seem short term.
And now, back to earth.
Before Thursday the morochas were valid, and since that day the TSJ kept them valid. There is no change. Whomever wanted to vote before the TSJ decision ahs no reason why to change his mind.

[snip] To vote or not to vote is a political decision and not a moral or ethical one. In the present conditions of unfairness and obscene official advantage, the more so; it is more efficient that political parties develop an alternative, to put on trial the incompetent administration, to denounce and stand up to unfair advantage […] instead of believing in pregnant birds of the 350 [civil disobedience within the law, as per the 1999 constitution] of which political deficiencies we have enough proof. But there is one thing, parties and candidates must run their campaign, because asking to vote and not campaign, nor organizing an electoral machine would be as bad as calling for abstention. And energetic campaign is the best electoral motivator.
Ah! Teodoro is the man!

So there you have it, the hawk, the dreamer and the pragmatist. Pick your choice.

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PS: I cannot resit also posting the words of Ibsen Martinez on Juan Forero
The worst of these repeat offenders "correspondents" might be Juan Forero, the hound that the New York Times sends us regularly. With his operation base in Bogota, Forero is only a short hop from Venezuela whenever there is some ground disturbance, and invariably sends his readers something that, believe it or not, seems coming from the press offices of Miraflores palace or the hard drive of Ignacio Ramonet.
Only Ibsen can ridicule so elegantly Forero, Ramonet, and chavista propaganda. And be so right by the way. The new York Times lowered to the level of Le Monde Diplomatique by one who certainly used to be a reader! I love it!

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