Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Calixto Ortega on Globovision

You always know that chavistas are in trouble when they go back to the private TV stations, namely Globovision. I do not know how much it helped them in the past but I know that they only visit when they need badly to put their message out. This election is no exception.

Monday night the late talk show of “Buenas Noches” saw the visit of Calixto Ortega, Assembly Man for Zulia state and one of the hatchets of chavismo when a debate of ideas is required (that is, defining debate of ideas as anything more palatable than a shouting match).

Really, Calixto Ortega was his usual self pompous roundness, though perhaps with a tad stronger touch of bitterness. As if he could not believe that once again he must face Globovision. Calixto is the kind of chavista pseudo democrat that loves to have an opposition in parliament as long as this one is never more than 10% of the seats and thus easily shut up. Though I start to suspect, form his impotence Monday night, that he has learned to enjoy a parliament where the opposition can never express an opinion.

Just a few snippets will illustrate how useless debating chavismo has become and how the electoral campaign is now a matter of killing the opposition once and for all for chavismo. In this Calixto was particularly offensive.

One heated exchange was the dismal Venezuelan performance at the UN. Calixto said that all Venezuelans that do not support the actions of Chavez in gaining an UN seat are traitors. That is right, traitors, words repeated when the journalist astounded demanded a restating. Apparently according to Calixto you may dissent with Chavez about wanting to get a seat at the UN, but if Chavez decided to get a seat (which of course he did not consult with the opposition, not even his party so you could never express your dissent) then all Venezuelans must make due effort to help Chavez get it. Otherwise they are traitors. In other words yours truly was declared Monday night officially to be a traitor to Venezuela. Never mind Calixto’s own betrayal of ethics, morality, basic intelligence and rationality.

Other gems are not to be missed. He bemoaned that he has been subjected to 15 years of Rosales rules and thus he knows very well that Zulia will vote for Chavez. How Rosales could be reelected for those many years does not seem to be an anguishing question for Calixto.

But Calixto aggravated his case by saying that Chavez has ruled for only 8 years, more than half of them cut out because of political unrest. And then he goes back to the 15 yeas of Rosales in Zulia. I cannot find, for the life of me, a clearer example of chavista intellectual dishonesty (or is that dysfunctionality?). Calixto is ready for the totalitarian state that Chavez is promising us. He will be the perfect Zulia Kommissar (or is that Gauleiter? Sometimes I get confused).

He also said that chavistas would come more often to Globovision if they were allowed to speak the way he was speaking. The journalists promptly reported that they were permanently invited but they never came. They did fail though in asking how come so many oppo leaders could not make it to VTV.

And of course he defended Chavez refusal to debate with the most outrageous arguments. For example we were told (lectured?) that Chavez is debating constantly with the people, that it is the only debate that matters. I would suggest to Calixto to tell us how often in 4 hours of Alo Presidente Chavez actually debates anyone, and I mean anyone, people, minister, journalist, whatever. Other allusions as to the lack of intelligence of Rosales or to his lack of representativity were hurled. I liked the one that since Chavez has already the backing of 70% of the population then he does not need to account for anything, that everyone was clear on the issues.

And more but by then my feeble mind reeled.

What can I say? The most worrisome thing in the whole sad spectacle is that the Calixto of last night was not the Calixto of 2-3 years ago (which was not much to begin with). He has become a tired and impatient Calixto that simply put has no interest anymore for democracy, debate, discussion, or even the patience to listen to the other side politely before doing as he pleases anyway. The deterioration chavismo thin democratic veneer keeps apace. If Calixto has reached this stage I wonder where are the others such as Iris, Cilia or Lara.

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