Thursday, February 21, 2013

The organized chaos of Venezuela

For the casual observer visiting Venezuela these days two things must be striking: the chaos surrounding almost everything and the feeling to live in a magic realism novel that not even Garcia Marquez could put on paper. Unfortunately for those of us who live here it is all but too real as well the realization that it was all planned, at least at some point.

We can start by the magical part: the president is/is not back in Venezuela. He is/is not at the armed forces hospital. But he may be/maybe not in a secret compound of Fuerte Tiuna. He is smiling and well with his daughters but Evo Morales, his close ally cannot see him when he visits,  not even through a window, not even through a computer screen. His vice-president has spoken of his forceful voice but the regime spokesperson, ever so proven wrong/or right, says he cannot talk because of a tracheotomy. And more of such contradictions which make it impossible to reach a grand unified field theory on what the heck is going on.


The magical realism merges nicely into chaos theory as we see what the regime has been doing lately. Since the original purpose of the regime was to stay in power at all costs, already since 2002, after having overspent our loans and income to get Chavez reelected on a lie the regime now not only devaluates the currency but it is trying to increase taxes as a recession is about to start. At the same time it tries to make the feeble private sector still barely alive as the grand culprit of everything. In other words the regime is trying to kill the lone sector of the country that could help them fix the mess they created in the first place. Certainly it is not the bureaucratic sector of the country nor the oil industry that is going to do the trick as all indicators report continuing decline and increasing inefficiency. Power outages never ceased and are on the rise again while scarcity of goods seems here to stay. Which does not stop the streets and roads to be a worse chaos than ever as gas is now free and public transport system inoperative.

Meanwhile, from chavismo there is chaos but accompanied by a monolithic resistance while from the opposition there a professed a monolithic unity while in reality we sense a desire for chaos.

Is there any possible way to understand what is going on? Possibly not. So we all may chip in our theory. there is mine, for whatever it is worth.

Chavismo and Venezuela have come to get in the grip of Castro-Cuba. In the process, the required corruption, material or moral, to reach such an objective has created a class of corrupt officials and/or narco traffickers. Any change of regime, any independence from Cuba, means that some/many/a lot will find their way to jails, here or overseas. So, since there is a succession coming there is an apparent rivalry leading to chaos inside chavismo but as soon as they settle behind X there will be a monolithic support for electing X, electoral fraud and all.

I mention the word succession because no matter what the emotional/political manipulation of Chavez disease is, one thing is certain: in the best of cases it will take months, many months for Chavez to be able to reassert the forceful leadership that comes with a messianic movement as the one he has led. His followers know that only too well and thus they also know it too well that without Chavez support they will not be able to make it. For indication, the obscenely bought election of October 2012 only managed a 55% for Chavez in spite of every possible trick used against the opposition.

It is thus necessary to destroy the opposition to the regime. This is done through the economy where now dollars will be restricted to those close tot he regime even if this bankrupts the country, even if this makes scarcity of goods the norm. Better! We create a society of dependents, not at 47%, at 99%! This is done by jailing any opponent of the regime that speaks too loudly, that is too successful  They will be ruthlessly blackmailed into changing sides or put to jail. This is done by showing the regime has no mercy by aggravating the conditions of political prisoners, preferably if the new conditions speed up their death. This, of course, combined with an intense rewriting of history spearheaded today by the public ombudsman/ defender of "el Pueblo" inaugurating an exposition on the victims of "puntofijismo" instead of checking out the jail conditions under chavismo.

Without dwelling on the excess of this chaos, it has to be cleared that it all follows a deliberate strategy. Through a chaos more or less controlled, all the tenets of a society are eroded until there is only left the command of a mafia gang. As such, who cares whether Chavez is alive and ruling? The system he created has already overtaken his persona before he dies.


45 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    The coming to life of Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) continues.

    "This is done by jailing any opponent of the regime that speaks too loudly, that is too successful" is almost a word by word quote from the book. Unfortunately, the end of the book is pretty much what Venezuela is experiencing today so we cannot even use the fiction to imagine what comes next. It's a long book, but be ready for chills down your spine every time you read a chapter that feels like reading a news report from Venezuela.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Socialists-communists love bringing civilization down, but the part middle before -->Utopia... is still blank

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  3. Daniel. Obama is taking the same road for the USA. I wish I had more to add, but that's pretty much it in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Brooklyn's David8:12 PM

      Les you beat me to he punch. Reading Daniels text you replace Chavista for Democrat and it is the same thing. Increase taxes no matter what, the private sector is always the culprit.

      The thing is, Obama is now for gay rights (remember he wasn't when he was campaigning in 2008 but he "evolved") so everything is forgiven besides the Republicans are "racists" or "its Bush's fault" right?

      It's amazing the similarities, the way the Democrats threaten FoxNews -the only remaining outlet that gives you somewhat balanced news- is the same thing they do with Globovision in Venezuela.

      I bet Daniel favors the Democrats, I wonder he can see beyond the Gay Rights issue.

      Delete
    2. NorskeDiv10:00 PM

      If someone like Chavez is ever elected in the United States, I'm going to hold people like you and Les responsible. Crying wolf for years and seeing communists behind every tree is a sure fire way to eventually get one elected.

      By the way, Obama is absolutely free to gripe about fox news, just as Bush was free to complain about unfairness in the media, just as the founding fathers themselves complained of a biased press. Fools like you intentionally confuse free speech (opining about the role of various media outlets) with legal, financial and regulatory attacks against media outlets as Chavez engages in. Get that through your thick head - free speech means Fox News is free to trash Obama, but he is free to respond! OK!? Free speech does not mean freedom from criticism!

      By even comparing Obama and Chavez you show a lack of understanding as to what has even happened in Venezuela, and an appalling lack of compassion for what Venezuelan opposition journalists experience.

      PS. This is totally apart from any argument about policies, you hint at opposition to Obama's tax policy, but a higher marginal rate does not equal communism, unless you're going to call Eisenhower a communist. We can argue about that, but please let's stick to the facts.

      Delete

    3. Norske

      Thank you for saving me the trouble to reply. Heck, I will not even dignity the bigoted comment with a further reply.

      Delete
    4. Idiots like Les and Brooklyn are giving honest knuckle draggers like myself a bad name. In a free market one can purchase most anything, so I suggest you save up some cash, go to WalMart and purchase yourself a fine Grip. Get one, life is easier with a grip.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous2:10 AM

      I would have assumed a better complaint with the US system is that both parties are under the control of big money interests and the military-industrial complex, and that Obama has not been that different from Bush, so you only get to debate social hot button issues. In the case of Chavez, he actually has been different from what others would have done, and now the country is on the road to a caudillo system, and not a particularly well-run one.

      Paul

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    6. "Free speech does not mean freedom from criticism!"

      Thank you for your sanity, Norske, and brevity. I'd add another:

      Free speech does not mean going around ranting without backup and logic, and without expecting criticism as a consequence.

      Delete
    7. Daniel. As far as gay rights are concerned regarding this post, I have NOTHING against gay people. I am not in any position to be anybody's judge in any way as far as things go in this life. I just wanted to make you aware of this, and please don't think anyone speaks for me if we seem to have a similar view in one area.

      Delete
    8. You may want to rephrase what you say because that is exactly how bigots start their speeches : "I have nothing against X" "soem of my best friends are X" X being black, gay, jew, women, martians....

      Delete
  4. I pity anyone stuck in Venezuela. It is impossible to get ahead and things are getting so expensive just to eat. I'm curious. Are a lot of people moving from Venezuela? Is there any data on this.

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  5. Anonymous2:14 AM

    It seems that , given a choice, about 55% of the people prefer to live under a strong government based on entitlements. It doesn't matter much if these policies mean more poverty, so long as there is some certainty as to what one can expect. The other 45% prefer to emigrate. Is this something in-built in human nature? My philosophy teacher, an existentialist, used to say that there is no such thing as human nature: we all are responsible for our actions. But I was never convinced. We seem condemned to an existence where the entire human race is polarized in terms of Chavistas and the rest. It doesn't mean that the rest of us at the bottom can't seize power from time to time and save mankind for another cicle.
    Albert

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    Replies
    1. I would not be so fast putting up numbers on such cultural attitudes that depend on too many factors.

      Delete
  6. Les and Brooklyn Most of those ripping on you here don't live in the US and aren't totally in touch with the intent to erode civil democratic rights in the US.These changes (socialism and communism)come in a series of small steps The constant criticism one hears regarding the outdatedness of the constitution is an example of the plan to run end game through stacking the supreme court to get the rulings you want. Precisely what has been done in Venezuela. On these blogs if you hit to close to home or say something not generally agreed with, others will quickly resort to name calling, rather than debate the concept. Also you may be in the process of discovering that most of the readers of this blog are committed socialists themselves. There is an elitist group in Venezuela that doesn't like the regime for good reasons,(civil rights and gross incompetency) but at the same time feel that they are the ones entitled to rule,like they used to be able to. Part of their frustration with the regime is that they are on the outside looking in. Part of their frustration is based on "the current "socialists" aren't doing it right and are giving socialism a bad name.

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    Replies
    1. Ken, I think you are really missing the nature of those who comment regularly on this blog. TO paint us with such a broad brush and call us committed socialists that are upset with the "current socialists" does us a disservice.

      You and I may not agree about the role of government, or the size of it, or just how unfettered the market should be, but to resort to the very name calling you whine about only shows how immature you really are.

      For the record, I am a businessman in both Venezuela and the US and was anti Chavez back since 1994. I voted for Obama, TWICE, because the alternatives presented by the Republicans both times represented the worst possible choice for the US.

      How the Republican party let itself be hijacked by the nincompoops that call themselves the TEA PARTY is beyond me.

      At least in Venezuela, where there is more of a reason to swing as right as the idiot tea party, has there is still some centrism. Thank God for that.

      Delete
    2. Bostero para siempre9:01 AM

      Nasser, what is happening in the US is very similar to what has happened throughout latin america. The people get sick of the so called traditional parties, rightfully so, and vote for a populist leftist that always masks his extreme views before the election.
      In the US the democratic party -a traditional party- has assumed the role of the populist leftist saviour.
      I completely agree that the Republican candidates have been deplorable, the same thing happened in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela. And people like yourself end up voting for the lefty saviour. The results are in, you fucked up.

      You call the Tea Party idiots and nincompoops? Look in the mirror you fool. All they want is fiscal sanity. Sixteen trillion in debt and you insult the ones who say stop before we become Greece or Venezuela. You call yourself a businessman?

      I totally agree with Ken there is an undercurrent of socialism/antiamericanism in this blog. I think they hate the US more than they hate Chavez.

      Delete
    3. Bostero para siempre:

      1. This blog was not designed to vent your political frustrations with the US Democratic Party, or Obama. (See blogger's comment rules, 3rd sentence.) When you and Ken repeatedly do so, you hijack the purpose of these comments. As such, you should seek a blog -- and there are many out there -- that caters to your needs, rather than this one, which focuses on Venezuela, the chavista mess that it's become, and related issues.

      2. Just a side observation. When you say that all Tea Partiers want is fiscal sanity, why would they behave, to this objective outsider, as anything but sane?

      3. For the record, I am not a socialist/antiamerican/anti-democrat/anti-republican. Nor was I ever during my decade, living in your country. I believe in a free market with reasonable controls from the State. I believe in an efficient State apparatus. I believe in the rule of law, and in checks and balances. And I believe in two (or three)-tiered health services, one of which is paid for solely by contributions to that State.

      4. Also for the record, Venezuela has a very long history of left-of-center politics and government. I suggest you calibrate your vision of the country with that historical perspective in mind. That is before you start ranting on the "socialistm/antiamericanism in this blog". In spite of some of their virtues, tea partiers would absolutely fail to succeed in Venezuela. Period. Chávez was initially voted in, albeit on a false platform, because the majority saw his vision as necessary, to fix the problems of the past, in which a majority -- still -- recognize some responsibility.

      5. Final questions:

      a. In that you're so loose with your labelling, care to name who exactly is antiamerican among the commenters on this blog?

      b. In that you see this antimericanism as an undercurrent, why on earth would you be spending time reading this blog, likely coming back time and again? #doesn'tcompute.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous3:28 AM

    Ken, Les and Brooklyn,this blog is about Venezuela - not the USA. Stay with the text please, or go elsewhere. Oh by the way, I'm not a Socializt, and the thing that frustrates me right now is your kind of unthinking contribution here.

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  8. Anonymous4:34 AM

    "I mention the word succession because no matter what the emotional/political manipulation of Chavez disease is, one thing is certain: in the best of cases it will take months, many months for Chavez to be able to reassert the forceful leadership that comes with a messianic movement as the one he has led. His followers know that only too well and thus they also know it too well that without Chavez support they will not be able to make it. For indication, the obscenely bought election of October 2012 only managed a 55% for Chavez in spite of every possible trick used against the opposition."

    You seem to think that populism, anti-elitism, or opposition to what as seen as crony capitalism dominated from places like Miami or Madrid can't get 51%. Why? The coming bad economy may or may not be enough. The bad economy didn't get Romney a victory.

    Paul

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure I get your point Paul.

      What I am trying to convey is that in the best case scenario FOR chavismo is that Chavez recovers enough to resume office. However if that were to happen he could not rule the way he did before.

      Now that I cleared up my point, I hope, care to clear up yours?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:37 AM

      Actually, I agree with what you say here. From the context of the paragraphs around the one I posted, it seemed to me that you were painting a bad picture for Chavez supporters, but I question that. For one thing, they haven't used "every possible trick" yet. Just wait. They might even get more than 55% if they put enough pressure on the top two or three candidates that the opposition can come up with.

      Paul

      Delete
  9. Hay Dios Mio!

    In an atmosphere of free speech we should be able to express our opinions without insults. Aggression only takes away freedom because it intimidates, especially when you have a majority who think one way or another.

    All of you have a small piece of the truth to express, but few of you understand the fundamental principle of free speech, which is respect.

    There should be no reason for anyone to insult the intelligence of the other based on disagreements.

    This is EXACTLY what the Chavistas do.

    We don't have to agree!!!! We should be respectful of differences.

    firepigette



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  10. Apples and oranges. Obama is to the right of Capriles! There is no comparison between Obama and the Chavistas. None.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 1. Comments showing an out-of-touch perspective on the Venezuelan reality and with regard to the readers of this blog:

    "most of the readers of this blog are committed socialists themselves."

    "there is an undercurrent of socialism/antiamericanism in this blog. I think they hate the US more than they hate Chavez."


    2. The Chicken Little comment of the day, which sees the worst in nincompoopian exchanges:

    "Hay Dios Mio!..In an atmosphere of free speech we should be able to express our opinions without insults."

    It is precisely these types of exchanges that reveal people for what they are. And that's why they're useful. I say keep them, as long as they don't go overboard -- far from that at the moment -- rather than sanitize the verbiage as though we're all sitting on one cheek.

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  12. While it is true that we focus on Venezuela here, we don't live in a vacuum. We read about France, US, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, etc..on a regular basis here, because topics are complex and to explore them well at times is ok to "get out" of Venezuela...there is nothing wrong with it. It is also true that there is a political tendency among many of those who comment here, and it shows up vividly when someone's comment touches a chord. Then those (not all) will jump in, with name-calling or with really fancy words, but the object is the same, to "scare" you into shutting up. Thanks Firepig for trying to bring back a measure of civility. it is curious, to say the least, that as we talk about the represion of opinions in Vzla, we see the same here in the chat (keeping proportions of course). I hope we'll continue to be free to voice our oppinions here...even if the host or the mayority don't agree with them.

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    Replies
    1. Orlando,

      And thank you too. I also agree that discussing and making comparisons with other countries can be quite relevant if done properly which means taking care not to offend in as much as possible.The problem is that some people are offended only by differences even when they are expressed in a civil way.I think these people should become aware of that so that we can open up the discussion in an even greater way.There are many brilliant people whose opinions could actually be quite interesting when together with others are given full and protected expression.

      firepigette

      Delete
  13. I forgot to say in my original post, that some of those in the Venezuelan ex-pat community with elitist roots view themselves as the wizards of smart. Only they are entitled to comment on the current state of political affairs. The rest of us are racist,bigots,idiots and uninformed fools. Some of them haven't set foot in the patria for years.

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    Replies
    1. Evidently, Ken, you're having trouble assuming responsibility for your broad brush strokes, without providing specifics (yes, names would be helpful) in this little rant of yours:

      "Also you may be in the process of discovering that most of the readers of this blog are committed socialists themselves. There is an elitist group in Venezuela that doesn't like the regime for good reasons,(civil rights and gross incompetency) but at the same time feel that they are the ones entitled to rule,like they used to be able to. Part of their frustration with the regime is that they are on the outside looking in. Part of their frustration is based on "the current "socialists" aren't doing it right and are giving socialism a bad name. "
      http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-organized-chaos-of-venezuela.html?showComment=1361518961256

      Keep lashing out with that blunderbuss, located, where? Ohio? Or is that Idaho, or Iowa? While you rant on those who grew up in Venezuela and are now living outside it.

      Some folks can't afford a mirror, I guess.

      Delete
  14. Douglas Novo11:56 AM

    My two cents worth: I live and run a business in the US. Obama is no Chavez, The democratic party is no PSUV. Venezuela is not the US of the future, no matter how much you combine the words socialism and Obama in any sentence. The problem with republicans: They let an extremist movement hijack them and their last stay in the White House was the most anti-republican principles presidency in a long time. The US debt is what it is thanks to cutting taxes before paying down debt, funding 2 wars entirely with loans and cutting/eliminating basic financial regulation thru denial of resources, all fixtures of the past republican administration. It is true the the US has a debt problem and that tough decisions must be made in long term entitlement programs, defense, the size of government and taxes. Neither party seems to be willing to tackle these things but unfortunately american society is even less willing. The politics just reflect the will, (or no will), of the people. Until that changes the US will not get out of the quagmire it is in right now.

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  15. Douglas If you are a Venezuelan or have Venezuelan roots, you don't know anything about the US, because you are probably a tool and a spy for the Cuba-Zuelian axis. And furthermore are an ignorant, bigoted, racist, fool.

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    Replies
    1. Wow. The real Ken comes through. Hmmmm. As I suspected.

      Delete
    2. Douglas Novo1:52 PM

      To Ken: ?????????????????. Name calling and baseless accusations do not a discussion make....... What do you really think?

      Delete
    3. Syd, it's a kook. We got millions on both sides of the dance.

      Delete
  16. To Bostero:

    I registered to vote in Florida in the waning days of the 70's, as a Republican. I did so because they represented for me the choice more in line with what I wanted for government to be for me and for those around me. I certainly wish for more fiscal sanity, but unfortunately the Tea Party stands for way more than that.

    The Republican party today is nowhere near those ideals, both the Christian right and folks like the candidate that affirmed that rape victims could make their bodies not get pregnant if they wanted to have taken over and now affect the positions that Republicans now have to stand for to be elected.

    So yes, believing a woman can decide just by instructing her body not to become pregnant when she has been raped, or that the earth has been around for 6-7 thousand years, or that we must support Israel only because this will bring along the second coming of Christ makes anyone who believes that a nincompoop in my book, and not deserving my attention any longer than needed to confirm that those indeed are their beliefs.

    Fortunately for Venezuela, we do not have those beliefs in the mainstream, although it is interesting to note that many influential Chavistas, including Mr. Chavez, share some of those same idiotic positions that members of the US tea Party embrace.

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  17. Syd Those aren't my opinions at all. Those are the words that get thrown at those us from the US if we dare comment on the Venezuelan scene. All of those words have been used in the comments above.

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    Replies
    1. Sure, Ken. Never take responsibility for your written word.
      http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-organized-chaos-of-venezuela.html?showComment=1361551070658
      You wrote that without attribution, without backup. Therefore, assume the consequences of our opinion about you, stated or otherwise. Here's mine: You're a nutter. Find a blog with the political bent that you seek. For, this one will never satisfy your needs.

      Delete
  18. Syd Very good example of name calling. Wow. The real Syd comes through. Hmmmm. As I suspected.

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  19. Note to self and others, always agree with Syd or you will be accused of being a racist, ignorant, nutter etc.

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    Replies
    1. Ken dixit @ 12:07PM:
      "Douglas If you are a Venezuelan or have Venezuelan roots, you don't know anything about the US, because you are probably a tool and a spy for the Cuba-Zuelian axis. And furthermore are an ignorant, bigoted, racist, fool."

      Delete
  20. Syd Apparently you are not familiar with sarcasm. I had you on the wizard of smart pedestal, but you have fallen today. Apparently the point I was making went way over your head.

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    Replies
    1. OK, let's cut this out. I cannot leave this blog unattended and after some people wonder how come I prefer a comment section with a dozen comments at most.....

      Ken

      I am sorry but I have to go with Syd on that one because of your ill use of sarcasm. Sarcasm only works when you you say it aloud in front of people are your body language cues allow some around you to get it. In case the target gets upset they will be able to step in and cool things off.

      In a written world only, such as this blog, sarcasm must be handled with great care, in proper context, and when in doubt about its clarity accompanied by some adequate smiley face. I am afraid that if you implied sarcasm in some of your comments, you missed them.

      I am sorry if I sound maybe a tad school marmish but after ten years in this business I have learned enough by experience to know that this is the way it works, at least for serious blogs. I hope you understand.

      Delete
  21. Daniel A sus ordenes.

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  22. To all the Chavez = Obama crowd

    I have already addressed this ridiculous point once and another time.

    You cannot compare apples and oranges because the historical and political and social differences are too huge to bear any comparison between the occasional tidbit of coincidence and the reality.

    I urge you to learn as much as you can about US history, or at least as much as I do, before you do such comparisons which are, I am sorry to say that, puerile.

    Also, for those internet warriors, take a breather and look how those wars have been led against Clinton, Bush, and now Obama (before I do not know). They are all of the same nature. That is a worthy comparison to take.

    And with this this discussion is close as far as comparisons are concerned.

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  23. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Vídeo de la reacción terrible de Maduro y Diosdado cuando se enteraron que era el fin de Chavez.

    http://www.muerachavez.blogspot.ru/2013/02/reaccion-de-maduro-y-diosdado-cuando-se.html#.USfPdx3HuSo

    ReplyDelete

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