Well, whatever the merits of the Friedman's award are, the chavista crowd is surly. Normally I would not paid much attention but looking at who visits this blog I noticed a strange link from "Axis of logic". So I went ahead and found out that I was termed one of "whacky internet blogs" though the plural seems to apply to me alone, rather flattering if you ask me. I decided to check out what they said about Goicochea.
First, the main chavista media says nothing. That is, no mention at V-analysis, ABN or RNV at this typing. Obviously the line has not been decided yet and thus silence. A consistent response from chavismo who waits first to know about what Chavez and his camarilla think of a given issue before starting any necessary information blitzkrieg. The closest thing to an official response I could find at this time was a quote from Eva Golonger in an AP dispatch. As expected from her it is just another way for the US to finance the opposition to Chavez. I will pass on how little 500 000 is to unseat Chavez, letting Golinger sink in her woeful low grasp of numerology, but I will focus on the real question: could not the AP find anyone better to talk to than stringer Eva Golinger? Gimme a break! But worry not, some attack will come soon enough, perhaps as early as the first half hour of Alo Presidente this week end. If you doubt it you can read for preview the minor pro Chavez sites, those who are in charge of the first defense line on the web.
With pleasure I noticed that VN&V was quickly duly noted at Axis of Logic. I suppose that I am not cited in full because well, by the time they checked on blogS, I was the only one with a comment up on Yon's award. Their article is interesting by the virulence expressed against Yon, including select pictures to highlight a mad face and the violence it supposedly inspires. I will pass on the propagandist part of the article against Cato and Friedman, limiting myself at wondering in which way the Yon award is any less respectable than the Qaddafy one to Chavez...
What is more important is the instant character assassination at Yon, who is termed "represents the most privileged class of youth in Venezuela". This is followed by an alleged story on riches which is a misinterpretation of an original of Aporrea. Now, admitting that we are not in front of base slander from Aporea relayed by Axis, assuming that the numbers are right Yon would be rich by 36 000 BsF, a whopping 18 000 US Dollars, earned in 2005. Well, if this is rich, anyone owning a home in Venezuela is filthy rich.... Because the fact of the matter is that when Yon was interviewed by the New York Times' Romero we learned that he had to change cel phones frequently for security reasons and that he also had to keep moving around to sleep safely. This is hardly the sign of any one rich enough to afford safe housing. Besides the article of Romero shows also how removed from the rich elite the student leadership in Venezuela is: they are boringly middle to lower middle class. Those who know Venezuela well know that really rich kids, including chavista kids, tend to study overseas.
But I suppose all is valid to do proper character assassination when you are a chavista in the defensive. I am not too concerned about their effectiveness: since I was quoted in Axis of Logic, I got 400 visitors and only a couple of hits from Axis that I could detect :)
Other web sites are hardly any better. Aporrea came out with an article titled "the empire awards Goicochea". Of course, at Aporrea they know that all grants and favors come from Chavez so they assume that in the US the CATO will not give anything that is not cleared by someone at the White House. It would be funny it were not so pathetic... The article is full of paranoia that is worth reading if you can manage enough Spanish. BoRev, the sophomoric page who supposedly exposes the media manipulations is not above manipulation itself using a Playboy interview of Yon. This did not stop BoRev from terming Yon as "pudgy". Ironic no? Never mind that BoRev who has a bone toward Romero could not help himself from using a picture of Yon taken from the NYT interview...
To finish we can visit Oil Wars who, by the way, would be a more credible person to talk to for the AP than Eva Golinger. But I digress. There the editor titles his post, without an once of self consciousness nor any sense of ridicule "It sure does pay to oppose Chavez". Let's assume for a few seconds that indeed Yon will keep the 500 000 for himself. At least he did hard work for it! What kind of work, for example, Antonini did to be able to carry 800 000 USD in cash in a suitcase?
When chavistas reach such low levels in their argumentation you can clearly see how bereft of ideas they are. And how upset they got with that announcement! I love it!