Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What is chavismo smoking?

This is the question that one can ask after more and more days like this last Tuesday. Chavismo never stingy in its displays of intolerance and inanity regaled us yesterday with yet more fodder for “Ripley’s believe it or not”. Let’s look at a few tableaux:

One for self-vilification: Arias Cardenas as UN ambassador

Francisco Arias Cárdenas, ex 1992 conspirator, ex cell mate of Chavez, ex governor of Zulia, ex artifice of the 1998 Chavez victory, ex opponent of Chavez in 2000, ex sworn enemy of the dictator in the making, ex intriguer so desperate to come back to the chavista ranks that he destroyed the political party he built to run against Chavez, ex scorned candidate for chavismo in 2005, has now finally made it back into the fold of chavismo as he becomes the new ambassador to the UN. The undignified way through which Arias came back is worthy of a modern morality play as to how El Supremo breaks the will and honor of his opponents. Assuming of course that Arias had will and honor to start with. I am pretty sure that Chavez must have been beaming inside as he swore in Arias, the more so that many inside chavismo dared to complain about the “good fortune” of Arias. With one Machiavellian stroke, Chavez put all of his sycophants on short notice that he is the sole dispenser of punishment and forgiveness. He is good!

Will Arias write again for El Universal?

One for inanity: Sanmartiniano

Tuesday swearing in was yet another excuse for Chavez to utter an excruciatingly long speech with all of his ministers in attendance (do they ever have time to work?). He was demanding his new ambassadors to propagate the words of the revolution that will free all of LatAm and the world. Or something to that effect. Among the banalities exposed was a list of the heroes but with a twist: they were listed according to the ideology they supposedly represented to the people they freed. Thus adjectives were built to link a liberation theology to the liberator: e.g. Bolivar-iano. We did get sanmartiniano as of San Martin the hero of Argentinean independence (he did stumble at O’Higgins though, not daring to make it an adjective). The only problem is that Chavez got it wrong as San Martin was at least for a while partisan of creating a South American monarchy. Wiser than Bolivar, he eventually left for peaceful exile in Europe rather than dealing with the petty intrigues of folks at home.

Can anyone give Chavez adequate cue cards?

One for freedom of information: reporters banned from Caracas slums

The latest ill aimed attack on freedom of information came when the army expelled the independent press from crumbling Caracas slum. Globovision could not cover the removal of people out of sliding down mountain Gramoven (above the recently collapsed bridge) and RCTV was on his own banned from Tacagua. Of course they wanted to report on how for security reasons the government is trying to “convince” people to leave the area but is not giving them the means to do so in a dignified way. Not good “in the news” for an electoral year.

Does Lara, the new communication minister, send us a clue as to what will come?

One for self delusion: Rodriguez political speech

Jorge Rodriguez departure (?) from the CNE is giving us quite a continuous show. Journalists were curious as preparations were made on Tuesday early at the CNE doors to welcome a “spontaneous” rally to support Rodriguez. The “spontaneous” rally did arrive and Rodriguez did come out to make a political and partisan speech most unbecoming for the head umpire of the electoral system (he is still the head until sometime in May, you know). The positive aspect is that for those that still think Rodriguez was impartial, it will suffice to show them the tape to shut them up. For the rest of us is the realization that only an unstable shrink could have attempted such a double game for so long (though the strain did show during his speech). Interestingly the “spontaneous” supporting crowd did attack the press covering the rally. When journalists tried to seek refuge inside the CNE, the CNE security actually tried to bar them from entry. Thus the CNE, the institution that supposedly belongs to all of us could not help it and showed its support to Chavez, the boss. All as seen on TV.

Free and fair elections anyone?

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