Chavez went yesterday to inaugurate the Valencia Subway. Well, of all his "inaugurations" this one is truly the least impressive of all. See, of the 7 stations that this first stage of the Valencia subway only three will open, and only for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. The five others, and full schedule, will have to wait for sometime in 2007. As for the rest of the Valencia subway, do not hold your breath.
To add insult to injury now Chavez does not even pretend anymore to disguise his inaugurations as governmental work. They are all out and out campaign crap as this picture from El Carabobeño shows us clearly. All in red on board! Meanwhile the CNE is doing fine, thank you, not considering for a tiny second to raise its voice against its master's daily multiple abuses (not for the CNE to block Chavez accounts for overspending as it just happened in Ecuador).
Now, this would be all standard fare, except that Chavez, to nail the point once and for all that he is the only master, did not invite the mayor of Valencia to the inauguration. I mean, the mayor of Valencia, Paco Cabrera, could have at least be given a seat where the cameras do not reach, but NO, Chavez would not have any of that. He is the one and only who is “giving” the subway to Valencia (pretending to imply, I assume, that if Valencianos want more subway they will need to toss out Cabrera ASAP). You should have seen him gloating on the news last night.
Now this Cabrera non-invitation is particularly galling because it was Cabrera who in 1997 decided on all the contracts and designs of the Subway. He is the one who has had to face and deal with all the contrarieties that Valencianos had to suffer over a decade. He is the one who had to beg for ten years for the Subway to advance, a subway that could have been finished, COMPLETLEY finished at least 2-3 years ago. He is the one who has been on top of things all these years, a fact acknowledged by Valencianos who have been reelecting him consistently. Today Chavez should have been inaugurating the first EXTENSION of the said subway. Even El Carabobeño previously linked article reports that some chavistas thought that it was a little harsh no to invite Cabrera (though of course all said that “off the record” and not a single one of them would dare to say a word about it to El Supremo).
But this non-invitation besides revealing the ego of Chavez and the servility of his followers, is also stupid. Because, see, Paco Cabrera is one that we could call “opposition light”. Cabrera is exactly the type of opposition that Chavez should be promoting, the opposition that is willing to cooperate, to distance itself from the past (Cabrera is a political adversary of the Salas of Carabobo state). But no, Chavez only understands the politics of burnt earth. He cannot share ANYTHING WITH ANY ONE. Such is the beast and the parasites that live off it.
Daniel in Valencia
As it turns out I was yesterday passing through Valencia on an errand, on my way to Caracas. Well, the central highway was a militarized zone. There were groups of three soldiers with big weapons every 100-200 feet along the park, away from any inhabited area. The traffic was a complete gridlock. I had to go back out towards Puerto Cabello to take the Valencia by-pass.
But it got better. On my way back to Caracas I got tired of counting the buses full of chavistas with red shirts. That is right, Chavez brings his claque, his groupies, from Caracas. Apparently they were not sure they could get enough Bolivarians to cheer him up in Valencia so he brought his touring circus, a paid for chavista group form Caracas who performs wherever needed. And he claims 60% in polls? Gimme a break! Too bad that I could not take pictures as I was driving. Besides if the folks in the bus were to see me taking pictures they probably would have tossed beer bottles at my car.