Saturday, July 12, 2008

Official electoral cheating in Venezuela and the people who do it

Today Venezuelans hit the streets to march and protest yet once again. It was surprisingly big enough that it got several international articles out already: from Spain El Pais, close to the Socialists over there, El Universal of Mexico more to the right, and even Reuters who speaks of several tens of thousands when usually it gives much lower numbers to Venezuelan opposition marches. This is even better as the issue is not of those who drive easily the largest chunk of hoi poloi to the streets, not to mention that the march pathway was about 5 miles under tropical noon sun, on a not too easy course.

The issue that rather surprisingly propelled so many people to the streets was the famous "inhabilitaciones" of Clodosvaldo Russian that I have already discussed at length such as here. Check for key words such as '2008 election' or 'Russian' for additional entries. In short, the comptroller has taken for himself attributes that are clearly under current constitution strictly reserved for a court of justice after a final, without appeal sentence.

What the ruffian Russian is doing is to forbid a select number to run in next elections on charges of having done illegal disbursements that most time where forced upon them by central government decisions and which in any case never profited them. Which of course did not stop some vile and hysterical chavistas such as Carlos Escarra to call these people thieves even though their offenses cannot actually be put in a court of law!!!! Not even as a misdemeanor! Curiously some of these names included almost shoo-in candidates for critical positions that chavismo holds at heart dearly such as Caracas mayor at large or Tachira state where a complacent governor is essential to help along all the illicit exchanges done between Venezuela and Colombian irregulars, not to mention heavy contraband.

I am being a little repetitive here but it was important once again to remind the readers of this important civil rights issue because that is the only way they will get an appreciation for the what comes next (warning: following comments will sound quite bitchy; stop reading right now if you live in an exceedingly political correct world).

The picture next was published by El Nacional today as it narrated when Clodosvaldo Russian brought to the Electoral board of Venezuela, CNE, the final list of people barred from running for election (again, NONE OF THEM having stood a trial where a sentence was emitted allowing for curtailing their political rights). The two women on the picture are 2 of the CNE directors, Sandra Oblitas on the middle and Janeth Hernandez on the left, receiving the list.

What is wrong with this picture?

The first thing that should strike the reader is that three of the most important people of the country, one who ensures the fight against corruption and two who are the guarantors of free and fair elections, are all laughter as they know perfectly well that they are screwing 250 citizens and setting a precedent to allow them to screw any political opponent that the regime might deem necessary to neutralize, as it is done in Russia, in Zimbabwe, in Iran. Talk about "a picture worth a thousand words"!

But that picture goes further because it reveals to us what type of people do we have in charge. I wish I had the acidic hilarious pen of "Go Fug Yourself", the famous fashion dress down of the celebrities to describe the fashion abomination we see in the picture above. I know, I know, attire and excess weight are not a reason to disqualify someone from office but the above picture does make a case for this.

I will start with the simplest one to deal with, Clodo. This suit is not well made, looks even cheap. However I have seen him with very fancy suits and nice ties. Let's say that for such an occasion he might have wanted to look cheap, least anyone thinks he is corrupt, screwing 250 Venezuelans for money. The next one, Sandra Oblitas, who was an umpire reported to cry when her side lost December 2, has always a frumpy to overage student look. This time she is particularly bad as she looks like wearing her wrinkled pajamas shirt. Running late for work that day?

But the "fug disaster" is Janeth Hernandez. Imitation faux-fur on a Caracas business day? Tight pants on an obese person for business? And what is the story with her hair? For chrissake, any one of them makes enough money to afford a personal shopper, a personal trainer, custom made clothing and twice a week hair dresser visits. And I am not thinking even about the personal "commissions" they might be getting on occasion if they want too.

But in the case of Janeth Hernandez we have a damning official picture in the web page of the CNE that obligingly I reproduce here in full, when she got the job barely two years ago. Then she looked mean and revolutionary though the picture is obviously one she gave the CNE press office and she might have chosen one from years ago.

But if you look at two more "recent pictures" you would have a hard time recognizing her!

This is her, dispatching from her desk, with religious statues on the back, and a Direct TV remote on her left hand. Obviously she does not want to be distracted from world news when Chavez is in cadena! Though already a few extra pounds from her official CNE picture, she still is not as dreadful as in today picture: at least her hair still seems taken care by some professional even if of dubious taste.

But we could guess that disaster was rushing to met her with this next color picture which reveals her taste for heavy and vulgar make up.

Shinny lips? Stretch top of hideous color barely good enough for little girls or gym wear, that matches her eye make up? Would you trust that person with your vote?

I know better than judge someone for her weight (I could lose 20 pounds myself). I know better than to judge someone only on the clothes they wear (as a scientist I lived in Birkenstock for years, wearing socks in winter that matched my sweaters colors, always). I know better than judge someone for permanent bad hair days. But there comes a point where it all adds up and you have the right to wonder about the social and cultural and intellectual background of the person that sits across the desk.

Janeth Hernandez is the Venezuelan equivalent of "trailer trash" and these people, no matter how nice they might be and what a mighty biscuit they can cook, are not fit to hold a position like the one Janeth Hernandez is holding. These people, in the very best of cases, can be efficient advocates for their cause and friends, never the political umpires of a nation. These pictures simply confirm (would have predicted?) what Janeth Hernandez has turned out to be since she was named to the CNE two years ago.

Thus we see documented, yet again, one of the reasons why chavismo is unable to run the country: it names people that should never have been named to the position they occupy. People by the way who seem unable to learn a minimum of public behavior and example setting once in office.

-The end-

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