So here I am, at home after a day at work, reading my newspaper, wondering about yet new reports of decreased oil production in Venezuela and increased indebtedness of PSDVA when a cadena is interrupting Alo Ciudadano which on occasion I have as background noise. Now, the first thing is that just before the cadena (enforced totalitarian broadcast of Chavez whims on ALL TV and RADIO of Venezuela, simultaneously) the TV host was actually monitoring the event that provoked the cadena, just in case anyone dares to say that Globovision boycotts Chavez self aggrandizing propaganda.
So what is the cadena about? Note that since the cadena started I did the pictures attached, downloaded them, arranged them slightly with my image processing thing and started writing this post. Cadenas can be very long and one must get busy!
The cadena is the graduation ceremony of a the first Cuban trained contingent of Venezuelan students. Their objective is to staff the Barrio Adentro modules which are increasingly deserted by Cuban doctors, where some reckon that more than half of them are only open, if they open, a few hours a week. For memory, Barrio Adentro is the second mision started by chavismo, to create in real poor neighborhoods a small module where some forms of primary heath care is provided for free. A good idea of course if it were properly executed and coordinated with the recuperation of all the existing infrastructure, such as run down state hospitals. But revolutions are hell bent on reinventing the wheel and Chavez is particularly mean in trying to create the image that before him there was nothing worth remembering (making one wonder where the hell he comes from himself! A new immaculate conception myth in the making!)
So, for some obscure reason I decided to watch the cadena (by the way, as I type this finally Chavez has taken the podium, at least another hour of cadena!).
First we had a nice scan of the arena and we could see the now ubiquitous made for the occasion poster with a gigantic Chavez towering above everything (first picture, click to enlarge). Personality cult is going strong and stronger. But nobody seems to be noticing except a few Illuminati like yours truly.
I also took from my TV a picture of the hall (second picture). It is the Teresa Carreño Hall of Caracas, our biggest hall, designed for concert and culture and opera and which has been hijacked at will by chavismo for all sorts of political acts. Now, we do not know how these are paid for, though we are pretty sure that the government pays for all of these everyday more gigantic expenses (they include not only the hall but also all sorts of things such transportation of the crowds, the flower arrangement, the grandiloquent posters and what not...) but that would not be bad if at least the opposition were allowed to rent it for its own activities. But of course that is not allowed. The Teresa Carreño is now, for all practical purposes, the revolution and Chavez personal activity center, at tax payer expense.
The third picture seems to have been from the valedictorian of the medic promotion. I say "seems" on purpose because I am pretty sure that she has been chosen for bolivarian devotion and political purity rather than good grades. The woman happens to be of Native American origin from Zulia and made her first greeting in her native tongue. Cute.
But the poor woman had to read her speech (other officials did speak at liberty, she read; I will not speculate on the level of trust around these places). Soon enough we knew why she was reading: her speech was a rather out of place political pamphlet that included even a tirade against RCTV. The poor woman having to read so much political gibberish could not help but read it fast, without emotion or tone. Pathetic!
However she got kissed by he great leader for what will probably be the highlight of her life. Oh well....
But something was very troubling in her speech: she said that they studied for 33 months. That is right, in 33 months the revolution has formed "specialists in general integral medicine". I know nurse practitioners that have had to study and train for way more than that until admitted into an HMO... Let's just be sure that from now on we try to figure out where do the MD treating you graduated from before you let him even use the stethoscope on you!
Then we had the minister of the popular power ministry of public health (a mouthful, ain't it?). Well, he made a panegyric of all the ills of Venezuelan medicine. Interestingly he said that medicine started to run down since 1970 (why that date? and more interestingly, does he try to tell us that it was good beofre that? ) and that all successive government were trying on purpose as a huge conspiracy to privatize medicine. This is of course completely untrue and tries deliberately to confuse people just as Chavez is starting to talk about nationalizing medicine. In other words we start getting the idea of the reason of the cadena, the start of some new attack from chavismo on private sectors.
Then we had the Cuban vice president speech. I pass on that one as he could not resist extolling the virtues of castrist medicine. There might be some, but the vice could have been a tad little bit more modest for the occasion. That only can betray how superior he feels when he compares himself to Venezuelans...
And now we have Chavez (still, since I started typing). Blah, blah as usual, making as much politic as he can, drifting widely if necessary. We got a defense of the alcohol ban on Holy Week (which proves to us that the criticism did hurt him!). And we got a defense on the love and dedication of real revolutionary doctors (translation: you are not that great to begin with so do not expect fat pay checks; you are mere public employees o the revolution). And all sots of attacks against capitalism. Pathetic if you ask me, but very dangerous for our future.
And with this I have enough and end the post just as I hear Chavez saying that as children we were poisoned byte adds of the media that made us consumers, the worst thing that can be done to a society, to make them consumers. I wonder if he knows about the chavista higher ups buying hummers to drive around Caracas.... hypocrite!
PS1: as I was saving the post I heard Chavez attacking the church and attacking this holy week message of cardinal Urosa, that Jesus was not a politician. Well, apparently Chavez disagrees with it and offers us his theological vision of Jesus as the true one. Jesus was a socialist. A modern day Luther, ain't he? He is in the mood tonight, we are all going to get our lump of coal!
PS2. Chavez outdoing himself in cynicism has managed to say that in fact he only started to rule since 2003. That is, he did not do anything between 1999 and 2003 because well, he was too busy fighting the counter revolution.... He really must think that people are all stupid, just as the vice president of Cuba....