Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The ad infinitum reelection thing

There is an item that I was refusing to discuss but that I am dragged into writing about.

Last Sunday Chavez announced (or was that threatened?) us with launching a referendum campaign to allow him to run for reelection as long as he damn well pleases. Fine with that, anyone with half a brain in Venezuela knows full well that the excuse for the constitutional assembly of 1999 in Venezuela was to establish immediate reelection and more than one chavista sycophant (or is that psychophant?) has been suggesting (begging?) that the brand new constitution be already modified. The objective is for Chavez to stay in office as long as Castro, but somehow elected to it. I suppose that some would call this progress.

As usual in the bolibana revolution, the timing is more important than the substance. Why did Chavez announced “officially” what we all knew? Because he is so scared to be alone running in December that he is thinking about tying up a referendum to force people to come and vote at least for the referendum. Any electoral trap that he might set then would look much more palatable if there are voting lines, an item sorely missing on December 4 and from which the chavista smarting seems never-ending.

Of course the bluff was promptly called by Teodoro Petkoff.

I thought that this would be it, that Miguel’s translation of Tal Cual editorial would be enough, but no such luck. On Monday, Isaias Rodriguez, the Nations’ General Prosecutor, the head of one of the five powers, was defending Chavez words qualifying them, in utter banality, as mere exaggerations because “you know, he like myself is a Llanero and our Andalucia origins make us exaggerate things”. Or something like that.

Now, the reason I write about this is not to comment on the news, not news per se, but on something striking about them. Three observations:

I did watch when Chavez made his “exaggerated” announcement. As he was announcing and repeating himself and gorging himself with words, the attending crowd (or was that a claque?) was screaming in total ecstatic delirium. I confess that I am unable to understand why someone would be delighted to have the same person ruling over them during most of their useful lifetime. I just cannot get it. Then again I have left organized religion since I was 16 so perhaps what I am watching is the Chavez cult in all its horror and I just cannot get it.

Why was the General Prosecutor of the nation defending Chavez words the following day? Why oh why? Is he a Chavez employee or is he an independent power that should NEVER utter a political word as the person that is required to be the most impartial in the country? Does he still think he is Chavez vice president? Is he so distraught by his failed cover up of the Anderson case that all the pills he is taking make him lose any perspective?

And finally, what about the communiqué of the Communications ministry? Not for the rebuttal of a caricature-like editorial of El Nacional that the humorless chavistas failed to get. Not for addressing the legitimate concerns of El Nacional at the CNE ONCE AGAIN failing to fulfill its own declared commitments (after it was Sumate, not El Nacional, which pointed out that the CNE is late by several weeks on its pre December 4 promises). But look at how the communiqué from the ministry ends (in bold characters at that!):

Pero el Presidente y el espíritu de nuestra Constitución lo dicen:


But the President and the spirit of the constitution say it:


Now we are finally fixed: the constitution of 1999 was set in place so as to Chavez to stay in office until he dies.

It is all so clear. Democracy anyone?

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