(with two addenda)
I think it might be better to start by what could be the conclusion of an article bearing such title: Chavez does not believe, and less understands, what democracy is all about. But this is something that wizened readers of this blog have long known. So, why come back to beat on a dead horse? Because it is always fun to describe how often Chavez reveals himself and how often people are willing to make excuses for him (though admittedly this seems to happen with increasing difficulty).
A few things did happen recently that show how much contempt Chavez has for democracy. In no particular order.
First there was that scandalous attack of his henchman, Caracas Mayor at Large Barreto. The way he treated his other Caracas mayors colleagues, duly elected officials with actually more legitimate claims than Barreto has to his own chair, showed clearly of what caliber the rabble that follows Chavez is made of. No need to revisit this issue except to remind folks of the fascism in the rank and file of chavismo. Note, not all chavistas are fascists, but it seems that this number is increasing steadily, at least in view that Barreto is still in office in spite of such unacceptable postures.
Then of course was the now infamous UN speech where Chavez freely insulted another head of state. No matter what Bush has done and how richly he might be deserving of such insults, that was not the time and place to vent such anger and put up such a display in clownish bad taste. Even some of Chavez supporters in the US, true blue liberal democrats, stated that IN THE US it was not for Chavez to insult the US president, that US citizens were the only ones at home allowed to do so, thank you very much. But the true meaning of that UN bad joke was the now uninhibited desire of Chavez to occupy front pages. In this, he richly succeeded; the world has been talking about the break of diplomatic rules which serves for only further weakening of the UN, quite debilitated by itself. In fact, if anything, Chavez has been strengthening the hand of those within the US who want the US out of the UN and the UN pout of New York. But then again as a true fascist, for all its hypocrite statements of reinforcing the UN, Chavez does not want anything more but to kill it once and for all as the UN could well some day turn its gaze over Venezuela. Anyone who thinks that Chavez is genuinely trying to improve UN effectiveness is self delusional.
At any rate, the US government has a golden opportunity to show what democracy is all about when it finally crafts a reply to Chavez insults. I am not holding my breath.
But something quite telling also happened. In state TV, VTV, there is a late night show which dedicates itself to only two things: 1) character assassination of anyone opposing Chavez, Castro and chavismo and 2) outrageous defense of the indefensible. I am talking of course of “La Hojilla” a show that I have not had the stomach to watch ever in its integrity. Let’s just say that a show that uses a bust of El Che and political posters of dubious message as its décor cannot possibly be trusted on anything it says. In fact, if any private channel TV were to broadcast a show of such nature but against chavista ideas I would bet anything that he network would have been speedily fined, if not closed. But I digress.
At any rate, Chavez who seems to have settled for a virtual TV studio campaign (Rosales is bravely going to places where Chavez does not go anymore) did grace La Hojilla with his voice. I did not watch the show, nor excerpts as I was out of the country, but the echoes reached me, in particular an article on that subject from Alfredo Barrera Tyszka that I have posted in Spanish in my document section (1). Suffice to say that Chavez used of an extremely vulgar saying to refer as to what he was about going to do to the opposition candidates. In fact, it was not only vulgar but it is profoundly immature as only hormonal teenagers might use that “game”. It is called “jugar rojo” play red. It is a silly rhyme who basically means that if you accept to play you have to bend over to get fucked. (“rojo/cojo”). That a president of the republic uses such a language as to what he will do when he plays politics with opposition is demeaning, sordid, unsuitable, vile and what not.
Should I even remind readers of the charges of homophobia that I have reported more than once from chavismo, as early as the Maisanta campaign of 2004? How appropriate to put everything together, including the profound misogyny and primal machismo of Chavez and some of his cohorts…
So, dear reader, all is there: such a person cannot be a democrat because simply he has no respect for the ideas of other people, because he is willing to do anything, say anything, to gain advantage, to eliminate his opponent.
The basic rule of democracy, for those who still harbor doubts, is the respect of minority rights to make sure that the minority always gets a chance one day to become a majority. Do I need to elaborate further?
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1) I am not sure that Chavez said these words in La Hojilla. From the context of Barrera text I assumed it but I could not find an exact reference. I will appreaciate any reader bringing the exact reference, though the participation of Chavez in VTV to utter such words is not to be questioned.
Addendum: Miguel sent me an article confirming that the scene took place at La Hojilla. It is the editorial of Tal Cual who wonders duly as to the democratic concept that is inexistant in Chavez where screwing the opposition is all that matters. It also puts squarely the blame for recent political violence to the words of Chavez which can only be an incitement to violence pepetration by his followers (see Rosales multiple campaign agression).
Addendum 2: El Universal this Sunday carries two important articles on this "rojo" thing. One is from Manuel Caballero who muses about the language of thugs and ruffians. In other words, the true Chavez coming out at the UN. And the other is a delightful, and of course untranslatable, sonnet by Oswaldo Paéz-Pumar. Maybe not great poetry but a wonderful criticism of the inherent homophobia and undercalss machismo within chavismo.
Afirmó el Presidente
degradando el gentilicio
que practicará el vicio
sodomita en el presente.
Dice su mensaje abyecto,
propio en la revolución,
que es con la oposición
que realizará el proyecto.
Pero son sus camaradas
los de fama bien ganada
en el closet escondidos.
Ante ese inconveniente
le habló su subconsciente
y habrá un solo partido.