Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How the revolution lies to the indigenous people of Venezuela

The pen of Simon Romero today brings us through the New York Times yet another damning article on the mismanagement and arrogance of the Bolivarian pseudo-revolution. He neatly describes how the famous Yanomami of Amazonas state have been taken for a ride by chavismo who expelled the long established missionaries. Chavismo has proven unable to substitute them. The reasons are very simple: the military were put in charge and in Venezuela the military is lazy, corrupt and arrogant enough when trying to hide its shortcomings. Required reading.

My personal addition.

First, Mr Romero observes some of the same things that I observed myself when I was in Delta Amacuro a few months ago. Namely, the resentment of the natives in front of the "criollos" who get the biggest share of the spoils, when not all. Second, how good intentions are only too often useless when the ideological and bureaucratic machinery comes into action.

But I can also add something that either Mr. Romero did not know or did not dare to add to his article: the FARC influence. This was certainly in large part the reason why the missionaries started to be expelled as chavismo did not want them to be reliable witnesses of the FARC and Venezuelan Army dealings. Although this is basically public knowledge in Venezuela it is not reported nor investigated in detail because, well, it is dangerous to go down there and do research as you are as likely to be shot by FARC irregulars or by corrupt Venezuelan Army officers. In fact it is so bad that I did not even require to go there to be shown an example on how this operates.

Last year I started contact with an operator who does visits to remote areas of the Orinoco,
Ventuari, Casiquiare and Caura rivers. He told me that he could still organize trips to visit such landmarks as Casiquiare or Autana but that it was risky not only because you never knew who you could meet but because it was very possible that you could get stranded for days if not weeks until you could come back. The reason? The army had taken over the gas distribution from the private distributors that ferried up river gas supplies. Now the army sold gasoline at any price it wanted, and giving priority to the FARC. That is right, if you had the bad luck to arrive at a relay station after the FARC did its "shopping" you could find yourself out of luck and in need to wait several days until a new supply arrived. Unless of course you were willing to paddle your way for days down stream. In other words, trips by that operator were now much more expensive as he needs to carry in advance or along his own supplies of gasoline, while of course becoming an even more desirable target for river pirates.

It is easy to imagine what other traffics take place under the cover of protecting the Yanomamis and Venezuela from US "spies".

The hypocrisy and cynicism of chavismo truly has no bounds....


-The end-

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