Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reconstructing Venezuela

With the drop in oil prices, the obvious madness of Chavez and the slow reawakening of a more combative opposition perhaps it is time to consider discussing ways in which Venezuela can be recovered and rebuilt. The New York Times ever helpful brings us the first problem that will need to be resolved, via Zimbabwe.

Apparently the agreement brokered by defenestrated Thabo Mbeki is sinking fast because the military that orchestrated the massive beatings and killings during the last electoral campaign are afraid that they are going to be judicially prosecuted. Imagine that! And let's not discuss all the loot the military took in the past decade or so (the article does not even go into that aspect). So Mugabe has decided to retain all the key political ministries and let Tsvangirai take care of the boring economic stuff where people will be expecting a miracle that will not come, even less if the military are allowed to continue looting that last crumbs available in the country. Morgan ain't buying, understandably.

This is pretty much what is expecting us. For at least six years a new political class has been allowed to grow corrupt and fat and these people do feel scared that their loot might be taken away from them, or that they will be thrown to jail for allowing the loot or taking part in it. We can think of Diosdado, Jorge Rodriguez, Rafael Ramirez, Isaias Rodriguez or Jose Vicente Rangel as people that have a lot on their conscience and cannot possibly look at a Chavez departure from power with a still heart.

The military is in equally bad shape. Since February 2004 there are plenty of Human Rights violations that could be nailed on them. And the looting started since since the "Plan Bolivar 200" where some characters such as Cruz Weffer looted so much that Chavez was forced to put them in the background, when not mounting a mock prosecution, that is, they are placed under investigation and we never hear anything from it anymore while they quietly make their loot flourish away in different sorts of money laundering schemes.

And let's not even get involved into all the flourishing drug trafficking in Venezuela or does anyone think that an increase in drug busts does not mean that there is also an increase in drug trafficking through the country? Who controls the ways through which traffic goes? The opposition politicians? The Civil Government? OR the armed forces? Probably all but I am sure your guess as to who as the lion's share is the same as mine.

Chavismo has created a politically and corrupt higher class of power, a class that now works more along the lines of mafia deals than of political give and take. A class whose penetration by mafia rules also implies that violence as a way to deal with problems is acceptable. And a class that holds all of the guns and that will have no problems sending young indoctrinated recruits beat up on us as it happened in Zimbabwe. We, as the opposition must think as of today in ways to deal with that problem that we will inherit from Chavez. Outright amnesty is not possible but total revenge could end up costing us much more.

-The end-

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