Friday, February 15, 2008

Chavez criticized by the world intellectuals and artists, the great ones at that

Poor Chavez, since his august 15 2007 announcement for a referendum cum power grab, things have been going downhill for him. First, the campaign sucked. Second, milk, sugar, flour, beans, etc... started missing on the shelves. Then he lost the vote on December 2 and ended up making a ridiculous spectacle of his bitter self. Moving on late December he botched a hostage "rescue" show. When he got them finally in early January he had no better idea than to endorse the FARC and blow away any points he might have won though the hostage release. Since then he kept running into more trouble such as the Exxon scandal where the ineptitude of the "people"'s PDVSA is now the laughing stock of the world.

But things can always get worse. Now an old censorship issue came back to visit him: the Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz (one of my favorites by the way).

Mr. Sanz had the bad fortune to criticize Chavez polices when he was visiting Venezuela last, around the heydays of the Recall Election. Since then chavismo has been trying to discredit him but it seems that Sanz is winning the party after all. After having refused to rent him the Poliedro for a Caracas concert, the government sort of allowed him to reschedule his concert. But lo' and behold, Sanz canceled it because the logistics were too complicated and no hotel wanted to receive his party. Hotel owners were quick to refute this, as expected, since they know full well that were they to confirm that they discriminated against Sanz for fear of the government, they would have got a visit of the SENIAT within days. Here we know better and if we have a hard time to forgive hotel management at least we do understand that this is the way to survive in a lawless country, and they owe it to their staff stability. Some of us also remember the recent example of the Primero Justicia convention which was postponed because nobody wanted to rent them space until finally the EuroBuilding did.

So Sanz canceled but any mean victory that chavismo would have been celebrating, many are despicable enough to celebrate such things, was quickly undone by a communique where the creme de la creme of the world entertainment and recognized musicians took the side of Sanz. These include more than a hundred folks (so far?):

Top artists such as Shakira, Juan Luis Guerra, Joan Manuel Serrat, and Mark Anthony, along more fluffy but equally well known artist/celebrities such as JeLo and Ricky Martin.

David Beckham: from the sport world but entertainment side, and surprisingly politically aware, a nice change from the Hollywood tasteless crowd that has been hanging around Chavez lately

The list also include many Venezuelan singers of course, the most known ones here but also many musical groups from all around Latin America.

A few days ago I was thinking about the chavista carnival and the poverty of thought and creativity it meant. Well, when you see the roster of the people supporting Sanz agaisnt Chavez you get the best possible confirmation of how low and how discredited Chavez has gone outside of Venezuela, at least among people who have a few functioning neurones.

But that was not all for Chaevz. One of the greatest writers alive in Latin America, Carlos Fuentes, went out again agaisnt Chavez. And the worse part for Chavez is that in the very same interview he praised Castro while trashing Chavez, with some the marvelous expressions, here below:
Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes qualified this past Wednesday president Hugo Chavez of "demagogo lloricón" (crybaby demagogue) without any redeeming traits and he added that he completely dislikes him.

"He almostlost power. He protected himself with the church. He cried. He is a man without substance, a cheap tropical Mussolini. He has matters little."..."Mussolini with bananas. Banana Mussolini (...) He seems to me a demagogue crybaby".

According to Fuentes, the political system of Venezuela is not socialism but fascism.

[he] compared Chavez with Fidel Castro, who he described as "respectable man". "One is genuine the other is a fraud". "One might not agree with Fidel, but he must be respected... The other one is an amateur... that will not last much".

"[It is Chavez] function, his dictatorial pretense, that mania of Latin America dictators, of the authoritarian type, to hide his at home failures creating foreign problems".

"Chavez lives of that, personality cult".

"I think that the great failure of the Bush presidency is that he thought he entered a world he would dominate... and we saw that it was not so" " His project crashed down because today's world does not admit a single power".
Accusing Fuentes of right wing conspiracy, of serving the Empire, well, it will not fly.

For the thinking world, Chavez is a clown, a sad clown at that.


-The end-

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