Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Empty victories, filled defeats

Is it possible to get a balance for yesterday.?I think so.

Chavismo

It got a rude awakening. The students that it hoped were neutralized through summer vacation woke up with a roar. If this was the first improvised street activity, I wonder what is in store in the coming weeks. Chavismo is painfully aware that the constitutional reform has failed to charm the country. Chavismo is aware that it cannot get the people out in the streets, and certainly not under the rain as the students did yesterday. The speeches of chavistas deputies and chavista pseudo-students sounded hollow, void of any new ideas, filled with rancor and vengeance even after 8 years in office. The beating was so bad yesterday that today they toned down the new article 337 debate, allowing again for due process in time of national emergency, albeit killing freedom of information in time of emergency (think Burma to understand what this means).

But at the same time you could sense in the words of some chavista speakers a true desire to get it over with the opposition once and for all. The words and tones of people like Cilia Flores and Carlos Escarra were crystal clear today: there will NEVER be any possible decent opposition for them. All opposition will always be treasonous no matter how democratic, no matter how new that one might be. When you accuse students that were less than 15 year old in 1998 of supporting the ancient political system, as if they had created it, you know that some in chavismo have reached the end of the line. For such people, the horizon line has red blood in it and they are looking forward that day.

The opposition

Its awakening was as rude as chavismo. They saw that weeks of arm flailing paid no dividend. They have no control over the opposition ideas and movements. The political parties seem not even to be able to follow. Some figures like Rosales look pathetic, even more so when he committed the astounding mistake to go to ask for help in the US. Does the guy have image advisers? Is he as blind as Chavez is? I wonder if yesterday at the march the students would have booed Rosales less than they would have booed, say, Cilia Flores....

Civil society

It is all in their hands, from the Catholic church, to the academic community, to the students. will they rise further or will this be a gigantic souflé? The answer soon.

Chavez

He seems more out of touch than ever. Since the last person able to say NO to him, J.V. Rangel, was fired last December, Chavez has been surrounded by low life yes-people who are happily looting the country while flattering his ego. It starts to show in Chavez speeches such as the ridiculous announcementCuba and Venezuela could become a single nation. Cubans accepting Chavez as president? That'd be the day.... His anger is more and more apparent and we do not know if it is directed against a still resilient opposition or at his incompetent staff. Yesterday must have been a blow to his ego, as his help cannot hide everything from him. He must be anguished that there is no milk in the shelves. He must be anguished that the ridiculously low energy prices in Venezuela are everyday eating more and more into the money he has available for his projects. He must be anguished that all around him ask him for money everyday, more and more, from the Kircheners pimps, to the Misiones poor that are starting to get tired of getting only scraps when his ministers buy Hummers.

Questions

After yesterday the question in everybody's mind is when will Chavez start repression? When will blood be drawn?

At least if some of the main guilty party of this disaster such as the OAS and the Carter Center are unwilling to mutter a word, hopefully realizing that they have screwed big time and that Venezuelan blood will be on their hands anytime soon, the US had the good sense to at least say that Chavez wants to help maintain communism in Cuba and install it in Venezuela, considering it unacceptable. But the US seems to be prepared to go further by offering Cuba more money than what Chavez can ever hope to offer Cuba. And how will the post Fidel regime reacts to such an offer is another crucial question which will have implications inside Venezuela, and implications that Chavez might not be able to control. Because the US wallet will always be bigger than the Chavez wallet and the success of Chavez with his wallet might be giving ideas to the US on how to use their wallet more efficiently.....

And thus the tile of this post.



-The end-

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