Sunday, March 04, 2007

How to deal with chavismo: taking them at their word

Considering that us, poor souls of the opposition seem to be condemned to have to bear Chavez, chavismo and chavistas for quite a while, I have been musing on how to write some form of post, manual, handbook or even field guide, to help the readers of this blog to deal with that cross on our shoulders. Today reading Milagros Socorro latest article I found the format I wanted: one item at a time. That is I will start a new feature such as the one I started sometime in December “What Venezuelans voted for”. Each time I will try to help people by suggesting a way to make the dark night of chavismo more bearable. I hope it helps.

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In today’s OpEd piece Ms. Socorro takes a shot at Maria de Queipo, assembly woman from Zulia state. In this state, the current governor Rosales, will be out one way or the other within two years. With a bought out country and a biased electoral system it is all but certain that a chavista will replace Rosales as elections will be a mere formality to ratify Chavez choice. Thus the wanna-be governors are already lining up and sucking up to the Beloved Great Leader to get the nod, the only vote that really matters. Maria’s latest occurrence as placed up quite well in that race and Milagros Socorro makes great fun of it today [my comments when necessary to clarify since it is a humoristic piece that might not be easy to get for the non Venezuelan]. Original in Spanish here, translation below.

We want this program, now
El Nacional, Sunday March 4, 2007

I propose that we take seriously the project of Maria de Queipo, president of the Education Commission of the National Assembly, “to study the thought of Chavez in the schools, the universities, the misiones”. I have taken it very seriously, because if representative Queipo had formulated her initiative to include the philosophical corpus of president Chavez in the programs of formation of the young people of the Republic without the real intention to make reality this purpose, then we would be before a case of flagrant flattery, a vice that is characterized to flatter a person with the objective of receiving in return some benefit, as it could be the one of receiving backing for a possible candidacy to the governorship of Zulia.

And that is discarded, because in the same interview in which Queipo deputy staggered the country with her motion, she defined herself like as a seraphic creature, born in a homestead and vaccinated against the neoliberal model by her “closeness to nature”. In addition, professor Queipo drives a 350 truck [Ford semi heavy duty trucks in Venezuela], as we were told in February of 2005, when an explosive device burst in front of the seat of the MVR in Maracaibo, and hit against this truck, of her property, that was parked there. Who could imagine that an individual who gets her hair wind messed in a 350 will incur in flatteries with the purpose of obtaining some privilege from the flattered person?

The other thing is that university professor Queipo uses the familiar you with president Chavez [in Spanish there are two forms for you, the polite/formal Usted and the familiar ], as witness the transcript of the Alo, Presidente N° 182, of the 15 of February of 2004, in that the Chief of State called on her to confirm that his government has been fabulous in Zulia, which she ratifies, underlining her words with “como tú dices” [as you say ]; and hastening to assure to him that the State House of that state is a done deal, that already general Gutierrez could start moving into the Palacio de las Aguilas, since it would not be “very difficult to take the governor seat of Zulia, because we are in front of a coup monger” (she refers to Manuel Rosales, not to the one, undeniably, she has in front of her).

Such friendly treatment annuls the possibility that the professor is going to incur flattery and with it to suggest, God forbid, that in Venezuela ascent in the political scale could depend on the support of a single person, in a this case such a key thinker for the national instruction. Even less that the flattery is effective because the flattered personage demands the protocol of crawling to accede to his favors. It is not conceivable that somebody believes, simultaneously, that the chief executive is source of a thinking of unavoidable debate in the classrooms and also that his will could vary through a good obsequiousness at the right time.

With complete certainty, Maria de Queipo, who has gone ahead to her possible competitors exhibiting her expertise in wise people matters, knows the reflections of smaller figures such as Locke, who established that flattery is a kind of breach of trust, in that the flatterer induces the self deceit of the flattered one, attributing to him capacities or virtues which he lacks with the purpose of gaining some advantage. Of course Locke, who at the end is no more than a smart boy in comparison with the scholar whom we are dealing with, centered his considerations on a political regime with limited and separate powers, in contrast with an absolute regime, where the flattery is a line of business because “those that aspire to obtain excessive power” are susceptible to flattery as flatterers come to stoke up their passion for absolute power.

But let’s leave this. The obsequiousness only finds ground to grow where reigns so excessive a pride and so susceptible to flatteries that then it is unable to detect the ridicule to which the flatterer exposes its recipient. And there is no reason to think this in the case of professor Queipo and, by all means, of the supreme thinker to be studied.

Nevertheless, there is not lack of malicious minds that have insinuated that with her proposal assemblywoman Queipo has put herself, in equestrian terms, in forbidden thirds; that is to say, she has placed an unbridgeable advance from the pack of flatterers. There is only one way to end the giggles and the murmurings. Professor Queipo must stop the commentaries respecting the casualness of her proposal and the rumors that give her a covert will to garner sponsorships through lies.

And this will only happen when professor Queipo presents to the country a complete plan, where the contents of the study program of the thoughts of president Chavez are presented. Well detailed. Of course, for this she will have to read all texts of the luminary. Absolutely all of them, no one knows where may be the luminous phrase, the founding concept, the enlightening notion.

And she must do it herself, she cannot delegate the search and, by the way, the honor. When we have that document, our apprehensions will be over.

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