I was too tired last night to write about it but I did not want to let a few things go by unnoticed.
Chavez yesterday did two, TWO, cadenas. I am sorry to repeat this once again but that means that twice during the day Chavez forced a simultaneous broadcast of his speeches on ALL TV and ALL radio stations of the country, for as long as he wanted, without anyone getting even a 5 minutes right to reply.
Readers of this blog have long know about these repeated abuses of Chavez but they should know that these abuses are reaching new heights. I missed the first cadena yesterday because I was at work (not that I am looking forward watching Chavez dirt, I learned about that cadena when I came back home). The second one started around 7:30 and lasted until 10:30 PM. 3 hours of prime time where people are robbed of their entertainment and the networks of their revenue. I tuned in on and off because I was writing an election post so I was interested to keep him in the background to see what was going on with his crowd.
From what I could gather the first cadena was in a military air base where soldiers where kept standing up for the length of the cadena under a bright sun (a way for Chavez to show how much he controls the army?). From the excerpts I saw Chavez attacked vilely Antonio Ledezma, new mayor of Caracas Metropolitan area. He even accused him of wanting to be president as if that were not the wish of any professional politician. Chavez is trying to make Ledezma in a weird way as the leader of the opposition which it is far from the truth, and far from possible. Chavez also denied vehemently that there was any political prisoner in Venezuela, a spectacular lie for him to say at this point. But then again it was Human Rights days and mounting international criticism must be reaching him and people "serving" under him (the army, for example?).
But if the first cadena had at least an extremely distant relationship with state matters (by denying the existence of political prisoners even as a patent lie) the second cadena had no such redeeming quality. The objective for Chavez in holding the country media hostage for three hours was to swear in the PSUV folks that will be in charge of the campaign for the amendment to ensure Chavez reelection. The whole cadena was spent in defending Chavez personal interests, not on anything that could be considered a state interest. Unless of course you think that Chavez is the revolution, that the immense of majority of Venezuelans follow the revolution and thus that the permanence of Chavez and the integration of his interests with those of the state are a given. But since 2007 we know for a fact that this is not true.
There was a pathetic moment during the night cadena. At one point Chavez pleaded, pleaded, for the middle class and the professionals to join the revolution, not to be afraid of it, that it was good for them, not to allow themselves to be poisoned by the private media at the service of the empire. It was pathetic, truly pathetic to see the man still at this point unable to understand why the educated, working, professional folks after ten years still refuse to join him. He has no clue, he cannot understand how come he only attracts to him mediocrities who allow themselves to become sycophants. He does not understand, and he is probaly very afraid, of people that are self relying. At some level Chavez knows that all his failures are due to the fact he cannot get good help and last night I saw clearly that he is unable to understand why talent does nto flock to him, that his bloated ego has long ago obscured his perspective of reality.
But that pleading was for nothing since as usual later in his speech he undid any good he might have done. The way he went around was to remind the middle class that he is the only thing that will protect them form some obscure threat, namely the revenge of the poor, real class warfare. Self relying and educated people do not take lightly on blackmail, another thing he is unable to understand as his word today is full of threats and of blackmail to keep his sycophants in check. In fact, the contrary effect is achieved as middle class and many of the poor will resent such blackmail. Today as Chavez stamped the first signature for the amendment recollection he reminded all of us that he is the only guarantee of stability in Venezuela. He is now unable to pretend anymore, the blackmail is direct, not even through third parties.
I do not want to speculate on what is going on inside chavismo these days that Chavez needs to put out so many cadenas, needs to browbeat so much his supporters, needs to insult and threaten so much his opposition. If you ask me it is a sign of increasing loneliness, the telltale signs of a scared man. We will know more about Chavez angst if he dares to jail Rosales today.