In the preceding post I tried to illustrate how the pro-Chavez culture has robbed its followers of free will making them a flock of luxury beggars, and/or desperate ones. In this text, which follows Chavez once he entered inside the Basilica of our Lady of Coromoto, I am going to try to let you understand how low chavismo has gone to the point of making blunt politics with religion and faith, while INSIDE the most sacred of our shrines. If the previous post needed no translation of the sound track, this will require some. Still, they are still quite short, at a minute and a half at most. Commentary starts after the video image.
This shot is a few minutes after Chavez entered the sanctuary, which is decorated at the altar with the huge flags of the Vatican and Venezuela (you will see them in a following video). Although at all time we will hear crowds during the cadena we never see them in full, just close ups. There are at least three priests welcoming Chavez, and a choir near the altar singing all sorts of things from middle age monastic responses to more modern stuff as at some point the audience and Chavez are treated to a brief concert.
|Our Lady of Coromoto|
What is interesting in this segment is the soundtrack. The media folks are interviewing some woman from the "consejo comunal", the communal council who are supposed to be the backbone of chavismo. They sure enough picked someone with a "tierrúo" enough accent, that is as popular as possible but still quite understandable to all, from me to the rankest and filest of chavistas. Her intervention starts at second 4 and the highlight of what she says:
"Le pedimos a dios todopoderoso que, que, su sanacion sea efectiva que ya el esta sano esta declarado sano. Entonces nosotros, en nombre de los consejos comunales y en nombre del poder popular que esta relegado [sic?] aqui trabajando hondamente con el gobernador del estado y con, con la revolucion que tenemos aqui un gran presidente que se ha preocupado por los humildes, se ha preocupado por los niños, por los ancianos, todos "
We ask God almighty that, that, his cure be done 'cause he is already healthy he is declared healthy. Thus we, in the name of the communal councils and in the name of the Popular Power which relegated [delegated?] here working deeply with the governor of the state and with, with the revolution that we have [got] a great president that has worried for the lowly, that has worried for the children, for the elderly, all.
Observe that her speech is not polished (she was chosen on purpose, she is not faking it, and yet understandable) and that she makes sure to quote the essential of Chavez reelection program, namely the Popular Power and the misiones recently relaunched, ignoring that nothing was done in 12 years, and that these recent misiones are just remake for the second or third time of previous misiones from 2003 and 2006.
That is what you call a well oiled propaganda machinery which main purpose is to create a class difference.
This video is shorter to comment. First there is a blessing from the main priest (I really do not care who is it so no name searched but I am sure that the Catholic hierarchy will have its say somewhere). And then Chavez places a rosary on the image of the Virgin!!!!!!!! A rosary!!!! At which point a big applause breaks which suggests to me that there must be a TV screen somewhere for people to follow. You can hear in the background "celestial" music.
Now, you may remain stuck on the pagano-religio-ridiculo aspect of the scene but you would be wrong.
First, Chavez has decided to play at the Catholic Church level and hunt for its votes, trying to neutralize it for the next election. For somebody who has demonized the Catholic hierarchy, there cannot be any bigger reversal but to come to Coromoto with as rosary, the symbol of old church goers (think about the mision he just re-launched for the elderly). This is XXI century tropical Canossa.
But in second there is also a major gamble from his part. For years Chavez attacks on the Catholic church were interpreted (wrongly) by the evangelical movement of Venezuela (20%?) as an indirect support. For Chavez to do the rosary scene means that he either takes now for granted the evangelical vote (more worried about rivalry with the Catholic church than moral issues like in the US, this being Venezuela after all) or that he is giving it up. Because you can trust me on that one, if this image circulates among the Evangelicals of Venezuela, he is going to lose votes, many votes.
And we come to the last but not least part of this series of 9 videos.
Chavez uses the sanctuary of Our Lady of Coromoto to make a political speech. He starts by asking the permission to the padre but does not wait for it, not even pretends to look toward the padre.
In this video you will see how he calls to the pulpit the three major political forces of the area after himself (governors or ex governors of Barinas, Lara and Portuguesa), at second 20. All running for office in December, by the way.
And then he calls Rangel Silva at second 22. He announces at second 55 that he appoints Rangel Silva as the new minister of defense, asking for the blessing and protection of the Virgin (1 minute and 11 seconds). Rangel Silva being, for memory, the general accused by the US of drug trafficking, the general that announced he would not accept an electoral result unfavorable to Chavez.
I do not know about you but such a political act in a major Catholic Sanctuary is profanation, and it is an agnostic who is writing this. Be it a Mosque, a Synagogue, a Temple, a Church or a Pagoda, the only speech one can ever do there, and on very counted circumstances, is on religious matters of tolerance, brotherhood and the like. NEVER to ask the deity to protect you and your goons. Will the Venezuelan Catholic church reply?
- Tal Cual makes fun of this by wondering whether it is the Lady of Coromoto or Jose Greogorio Hernandez who cured Chavez.
- Tal Cual also suggests that the main priest of the Basilica seemed to be surprised by Chavez daring to touch the statue of the Virgin and pout a Rosary. That would make sense because it is hard to believe that the Church would willingly have allowed all what Chavez did Friday evening.
- Apparently, at this point, the national press does not seem as offended as I am by last night pathetic show. But El Pais in Spain noticed and used the words of Chavez asking for the Virgin's blessing to highlight their note on the matter.