Even though I was busy with my return to San Felipe after two weeks away, I did manage to catch enough glimpses of the bad taste show.
It started by a multi hour speech where Chavez really did not promise much new except that he wants now to redraw the Venezuelan administrative map. Of course he must do something revolutionary and since he has destroyed pretty much everything else, he has only the traditional territorial arrangement left to show that he is the big man. A little bit like the nationalization of a few private companies announced Monday just to prove that he is a true socialist.
If there are a few valid reasons to redraw the map of Venezuela why was that not done in 1999? Why now? As usual the answer is more power to Chavez. See, Rosales did scare Chavez and he is all upset that he ONLY got 63%. So considering that the rise of a new challenger is more likely to come from a successful governor or major town mayor, the best way to avoid this is to eliminate them. Now we will be managing ourselves in unspecified "communal councils" where I suppose local residents of Caracas will decide where the subway station will be placed ahead of the engineers who studied the soil nature and traffic of people patterns. In other words, you got that right, it will be done everywhere as Chavez please since he will be the central government that will coordinate these nebulous communal assemblies, and fund them if they behave nicely. More centralization, more power to Chavez. The beauty of this is that he calls that an improved federalism!
At the end of the swearing ceremony at the National Assembly governors were rushing to the microphones to announce that they will resign as soon as the president asks them to do so, that they will give up their state, etc... Not a single one of them mentioned that, well, maybe they would consult the people who elected them in the first place. Perhaps the people of, say, because its governor was one of the vilest in his abjection today, Cojedes might want to remain together in the same administrative district? Perhaps they might want to split but they might want to fix their new divisions instead of these drawn from Caracas? This idea does not seem to have crossed Jhonny Yanez Rangel.
But the governors who were invited to the inauguration had a good lead to follow with the chair of the National Assembly, Cilia Flores, a.k.a. Silly Flowers. The woman, who is obviously limited and Chavez likes limited but devoted folks, said that she was waiting for the instructions of Chavez on how to change the constitution and that she will give him speedily the enabling law he wants to rule by decree for a full year. In other words we had the chair of the National Assembly confessing that the said assembly could close shop for one year while it would vote speedily a new constitution whose idea did not even start from where it should start, at the said Assembly. Cilia Flores ain't no Nancy Pelosi.
Then Chavez went to Los Proceres for a military parade. He paraded first. All alone standing on his convertible with plenty of body guards running along the car, following about 5 horsemen on parade uniform who looked very ridiculous in the whole circus. But Chavez did not mind. The crowds were kept very far away from the parade grounds, a gigantic TV held on a truck was obstructing the view and nice perspective of the Proceres Monolith but were allowing Chavez to watch his own TV image of his personal parade. This was already bad enough but it got worse: after a U-turn Chavez went back, smiling stupidly, body guards running, 5 horsemen riding (and horses pooping under the feet of the body guards?) Then it hit me why Chavez has not remarried yet. In addition of wanting to imitate Castro who never married/remarried and kept his family life away, I realize that Chavez is so egotistical that he would not even want to share his ceremonial cart with anyone. Only someone so egotistical would put such a show without realizing how ridiculous he looked.
During this parade, the gigantic eight starred flag that was attached on the monolith acted as a sail and eventually broke its lower ties. Luckily for Chavez it did not flew away to rain on his parade. Really, they got the worse ring circus leader to set up this show!!! How could they not think about the windy day before attaching the flag? Could they not have weighed it down?
Eventually he reached the grand stand where he was welcome by the top brass and a boat load of officers. It was rather disturbing to see so many military in the inauguration of a civilian president. I mean, the chiefs of staff and the top generals I can still see, but it was rows and rows of officers full decked and the civilian cabinet tucked away nicely and discretely. We are indeed in a military regime and these bastards did not even have to do a coup!
Oh, and when he arrived Chavez was led by Jorge Rodriguez, the new Veep, to Tibisay who Chavez kissed on both cheeks. The organizer of the 2004 electoral fraud, and the holder of the flame since. Chavez indeed owes a lot to these tow creeps. It was nice to see the whole thug gang together smiling at each other, or rather gawking for Tibisay.
Eventually I hit the road for San Felipe and got stuck in a traffic jam at the height of Los Proceres. Traffic was blocked because the chavistas that had been ferried by bus were leaving. So I saw dozens of buses where even the conductor had a red shirt. They had right of way, I did not. I wonder if these people are now just a professionally paid cheering section.
Later on the road I learned that the inauguration of Ortega in Managua had been delayed by more than hour: they were waiting for Chavez who was late to inspect his new colony. But heck, he was having so much fun in Venezuela! Nicaragua can wait for a few more hours for the 200 000 houses that Chavez promised to Nicaragua, a number that he cannot fulfill at home. But Chavez knows that international press only reports on his announcements and never does follow up on its stories.
This was just the first day of the next 6 years. Hold on to your seats.