11:00 PM (final)
Time to close down this day long post with a summary.
While having dinner and a drink (orange juice with Carpano, go to wikibar) I rewound some of the scenes of Chavez funeral. Two observations: it was grotesque and overly militarized. And not by accident.
It was grotesque because of that feel of "entierro de pueblo" when a minimum of decorum should have been given to a dead head of state. But that was on purpose, to differentiate Chavez, to make him "el pueblo" even if in everyday life he lived well and fat, a Rolex or something luxurious at his wrist. I do not want at all to besmirch the genuine affection and grief expressed in Caracas streets today, but the cortege was too long and the activities at the military school included standing ovations for his kids which I am sure were not looking for that.....
It was overly military because the ceremonies were to bury a military hero, NOT a civilian president. That much was clear, that we are a military regime and it is not an eventual election of civilian Maduro that will change anything as he will be infinitely more beholden to the corrupt narco military establishment than Chavez was. We a narco state for the long run.
Not to mention that the cadena lasted around 10 hours, the longest ever, combining sycophantic adulation for Chavez imposed on all the country, simultaneously on all TV and radio, to the longest electoral propaganda ever for Maduro. Grotesque!
On other news it looks that article 233 of the constitution will be COMPLETELY VIOLATED. Not that it matters really, the difference between fascist Diosdado and Communist Maduro is the way they will spend the money they steal from me, not the amount they steal. But if Diosdado Cabello does not assume soon, like now, the temporary presidency of Venezuela then the new regime will lack legitimacy from the start. At least Chavez started elected in due form in 1998, what happened after being another story. Maduro will start as an illegitimate president, an appointed one through some sort of Junta that included members of the judicial power and the army, who was not afraid to violate repeatedly the Constitution so as to become president of Venezuela. This, my friends, will have consequences, if anything because it will speed up a major break inside chavismo fast, fed by the starting economic crisis.
And to finish this post I found out that my anti semitism comments at Haaretz were found interesting in Argentina which translated the piece with its comments for InfoBAE, a big portal over there. The world is listening.
7: 40 PM
Shamefully lifted from a great post at Babalu from Carlos Eire
Shakespeare summed it all up very nicely:
For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings...
for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
( Richard II, 3.2.1565-1580)
Sorry for the delay. The talk with Silvio Canto went well. Nice to talk to people that want information and do not think that already know all what is worth knowing, like Bart Jones early today (and others whose name I already mercifully forgotten). I have been accused of arrogance and other related faults but even when I had my debate with Golinger on the Jamaican radio it was civil, polite and we both listened to each other....
At any rate, I think it is all media for today. I sent two more blurbs, one to England and one to Romania and I think I of that for today. From what I read on Twitter all your Venezuelans bloggers have been busy hitting all sorts of international stages. We have been a busy little bunch and I hope that we pleased you.
Now back to Direct TV to see where at is Chavez funeral. More comments on that in a little while.
Also, catching up on the past couple of hours news it is clear that the second part of the January 9 coup is well in progress as they will violate the constitution to make sure Maduro runs as SITTING president. Without having received a single fucking vote!
Now that I have battled the silly left at the BBC let me go and battle the Cuban right with Silvio Canto who also has as a guest Fausta. Starts at 5:30, Caracas time, I believe. Tonight I am having a tall drink.....
I had to go to attend some pressing matters at work but I am back.
Meanwhile I received a note from my participation in discussing the future of anti antisemitism at Haaretz where I am not the only one who thinks that a weaker Maduro presidency could only aggravate the problem.
At 5 PM Caracas time another show with Silvio and Fausta! Link later. Now I got to step out for at least a couple of hours.
Well, it is over and it was a rather frustrating experience. Fortunately other with more experience in talk show and how to manage the setting did say the stuff that I could not say. I did put a plug for blogs because I am getting tired of people like that Bart Jones complaining about not getting true information Well, if he does not like VN&V electoral analysis he can read other blogs such as CCSCrhs or the Devil and read that yes, we know why Chavez wins....
I think they are not going to let me talk again....
As heard on BBC the rewriting of Venezuela history is quite extensive..... Of course, I blew a fuse. Let's wait for the second half.
Starting the BBC show
The cadena is going on and on and has turned out to be a mere electoral propaganda plot. All people interviewed not only praise Chavez but ask for regrouping behind Maduro. And as the afternoon advance more and more want Chavez sent straight to the new Pantheon, next to Bolivar.....
Taking a short break.
If my internet connection holds well you can listen to me fielding questions live on the Beeb. Around 2 PM and later Caracas time. 18:05 GMT according to the link but I do not know when I will get on the air, I am not the only one.
I am reading in some tweets that people are upset at the lack of regalia, at the mess of the funeral procession. What did they expect? Even that mess is planned because it is a true reflection of the chavismo style, popular mob rule if you like. That casket making its way slowly through the crowds is a touch of genius if you ask me. Some will never learn!!!!!!!!
But this also allows me to point out the meanness of a regime who saw the death of three ex presidents and was unable to offer even a minimum of decent state recognition. Only Chavez deserves national status? Truly, they think that there was no life, no country before they came into office to plunder it. Sorry, I am digressing once again....
|Al Assad loses a supporter: Hugo Chavez|
"he was loved by his people"
"that was our only difference"
A great political cartoon by Plantu from Le Monde in France (tweeted by rayma, @raymacaricatura). The world knows...
And indeed, the crowds in Caracas are impressive.
I had to attend a few things before I could come back home this morning (more on that later). Fortunately thanks to Direct TV recorder I have been able to rewind to the time the funeral cortege started. Of course, as soon as the open air truck/hearse started moving, we were in cadena. not that it was really necessary, even hated Globovision was already passing the images of the grieving crowds.
The thing is that once in cadena, the regime was able to control the sound track of the country and it has been an uninterrupted flow of eulogy to Chavez blended quite deep with propaganda and history rewriting. Amen of the fantasy numbers carelessly dropped. I do not understand well, would not be the genuine expression of grief of the huge crowds lining the streets enough? Do grieving chavista today actually pay attention to the sound track? Is there some subliminal psy tool being used that I am not aware of?
The point is that for once chavismo did not have to resort to busloads of people to fill up the street. People came because they loved Chavez, politically correct sound track notwithstanding Heck, had I been in Caracas I may have even considered going for a spin, this is history after all and I am a frustrated historian....
On other matters. Chavez little friends are arriving in town and among the marchers there is Evo Morales, the one true admirer Chavez had (the others, well, I have my doubts...). But what should be ideological foes are also coming as we learned that for example Piñera is coming for the funeral. Let's see if this international solidarity percolates through chavismo and they have the good idea to have at least a delegation of opposition parliamentarians attend the funeral next Friday....
Obituaries keep piling up. In addition to those I pointed out yesterday here on on Tweeter, let me add:
The long one from Juan Forero in the Washington Post, from someone who at some point was close to the sun but saw the light.
For the record there is an harsh and short one in Esquire...."Hugo Chavez died an irrelevant dictator". A serious contestant for best title of the series.
The day started quietly, except the occasional trouble here and there to be expected. For example they burned down the students's tents set up in Chacao before they decided to remove them. After all, they were to do that now that we know what happened to Chavez...
All in all a majority of business did open without trouble, what is off is the government (duh!) and all the schools.
Meanwhile, to give yet more arguments to chavismo, Doral in Florida was a party last night..... but can we blame them really? Who forced them to leave Venezuela in exile? At least in Venezuela as far as I know the opposition has shown near perfect restraint, if anything in fear that a chavista mob attack them.....