Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Carmona versus Chavez

Since February 15 a new wave of abuses from the executive power of Venezuela has come to castigate us who did not vote for the man (and arguably a large amount of those who voted fro Chavez as the workers of, say, CVG, will let you know if you ask them).

Discussing things such as the expropriation of Hato Caroni or the rice processing plants is really irrelevant for this blogger: he discussed such similar events extensively since the 2004 take over of Hato Piñero or CANTV in 2006, to name two of such events. If people then did not understand what this meant for the country, what else could I say today to convince them that I have not already discussed? That we cannot feed ourselves or that Internet is increasingly failing speak by themselves.

No, what I would like to share is the parallel between the Carmona coup of April 12 and what Chavez has been doing since April 13 2002. Carmona wanted an instant power grab that supposedly would have lasted 6 months. For those who forget conveniently certain facts, in his infamous decree (who never made it to the official journal of Venezuela, an important legal remark) he said that he could not run in the general eelction to be called by April 2003. True, we will never know whether Carmona would have kept his word but we know for sure how Chavez is not keeping his multiple words.

Since April 2002 Chavez has been slowly but surely concentrating all power in his hands. Fraud has been his great ally as well as a very incompetent opposition. What Carmona wanted in 2002, Chavez has obtained it, and more, since those days. Venezuela is today much less democratic than what a Carmona 6 months interim would have probably been. Again, we will never know that for sure but we know today that Chavez will make sure that he will never lose power through pacific means. Those who claim the contrary are either woefully uninformed, are propaganda agents or are cashing in at the Miraflores cash window.

Chavez has been clever though. Instead of dissolving the National Assembly like Carmona did, he made it irrelevant. Instead of removing the governors and mayors elected by the people, he made them irrelevant. Instead of firing the High Court, he changed the law, removed some undesirable judges and drowned the other ones by packing the new court. Instead of taking over VTV, he closed RCTV outright and covered the country with an overwhelming net of propaganda audiovisual waves, while neutering most of the remaining private media. And more such comparisons. However there is something that Chavez did and that Carmona did not contemplate: Carmona would have worked with the 2002 current economic system until a new government dealt with the necessary reforms whereas Chavez destroyed it without replacing it with any viable alternative. What Chavez gave us was the most corrupt regime in our rich corrupt history where only those close, very close to the higher echelons of government can operate freely. Though with the end of high oil prices it is quite possible that these ones will also be robbed of their "new" possessions as Chavez crass populism needs to keep "giving".

All in all what Chavez has done since 2002 is much worse than what Carmona intended to do. As April looms with its "cada 11 tiene su 13", it is useful to remember these details, that the real coupmonger since 1992 has been Chavez and that he has never stopped since then. He just went more slowly about it. In this regard Carmona was just an idiotic amateur whose mistakes are paid dearly.

-The end-

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