Monday, April 14, 2014

Munich versus Londres

Talking at the EU parliament. 
No, the spelling "mistake" in the title is intentional, I know how to spell London.  The point here is that catching up with my reading I came across a surrender article of Luis Vicente Leon on El Universal Sunday and a the account today of Maria Corina Machado exposing the Venezuelan situation at the European Parliament, that weeks before its election finds the time to receive her. The first is Munich, the surrender of democracy to a form of Realpolitik and the second is the courageous appeal to resist like de Gaulle in London in 1940 when all seemed lost. Thus French Londres.

I read twice the infamous article of Luis Vicente Leon and I really, really want to believe that it was ill edited and thus he did not mean what he meant.  In short, no need to elaborate, from reading the article you gather that not only resistance is futile, that the opposition is lost forever and that the best we can hope now for Venezuela is a corporatism state system, that is, a state that controls pretty much everything and considers interest groups and the private sector as mere contractors for its needs.

Luis Vicente Leon is the spokes person for Datanalisis, a pollster with a long tradition of occasional sulfur smell, and as such he is the frustrated wanna-be final guru of the opposition. In short, for years I have known that reading Leon, when you have the stomach for it, must be filtered by his desire to be considered the oracle of the opposition, the one through which we finally will get out from under Chavez shadow. Since he has failed I suppose that article is a his spiteful way to tell us: "I told you!"

The most striking thing for that OpEd piece is that the man actually seems not to mind the outcome, that it may actually be a relief to have a country where the regime exerts finally a tight political control but where in exchange it allows for more viable economic working conditions. As if it were possible considering that the extraordinary corruption of the regime would preclude for an equitable share of wealth between the regime potentates and the remaining private sector, either co-opted by force, or simply bought out. Truly, a corporatist state where the economical control is exerted by those with the political control, the worst form of capitalism, China like...

Now, Luis Vicente may be right, but he is politically tone deaf and deserves utter contempt for so openly preparing his comfortable future when repression succeeds finally.

That is,  if repression succeeds, because we have a more hopeful vision, a proof of stamina and democratic will when Maria Corina Machado, expelled illegally from Venezuelan Parliament, is received with honors by the foreign commission of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Interestingly we learn that the Venezuelan embassy was invited but declined to attend which is, in democratic European union parlance, unacceptable and an admission of guilt.

Whatever the effect of Maria Corina Machado (who was also received by the Brazilian congress and will be received in other places) we have two visions: the neo-collaborationist one of the L.V. Leon of this world and the resistance one, the democrats, like Machado.

The thing about time of troubles is that it reveals with great cruelty the truth in people.


  1. "Truly, a corporatist state where the economical control is exerted by those with the political control, the worst form of capitalism, China like.." or even the US where it may not be overt but it's there in the background. To become President of the US or enter Congress you need the (corporate) contacts and their associated financial backing. Very little else matters. This is reflected in the low voter turnouts in the US. Whoever has and spends the most, wins. In Venezuela the government shuns corporate interference (media control and retail/industry bashing or expulsion) but then makes a complete hash of governing the country. Only the ignorance and apathy of the populace allows this to continue. They vote for the devil they know despite the repression

    As my friend in Caracas says, even there food is becoming more and more difficult to get. Just doing normal activities for daily living (she says) isn't impossible but it isn't Life either. How much more can they take?

    1. jray556811:17 AM

      Sure the US is just like China and negative ads is all you need to win an election.

  2. Anonymous6:48 AM

    Daniel reading this article make me think of your business. How is that going? If I recall correctly last time you wrote about it you had inventory till May(ish).
    And on top of that you are now dealing with serious personal problems.
    I would like -and I suppose the rest of your readers would also like- to hear an update now that we are getting so close to May.

    1. Not to good. They approved some stuff but approval does mean that the dollars are automatic. But they do freeze your bolivares.....

      We did find some stuff locally from people importing it LATE LAST YEAR. Kind of scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

      Right now we are working at 50%, have ditched several customers and think we may make it through June 30.

      And of course they have paid ZERO from 2013 debts...... Not at 6.3 not at sicadI not at sicadII, nothing.

  3. Charly8:34 AM

    Leon has been preparing his exit for a while now, expect Datanalisis to go to the dark side and claim that Maduro has majority backup as Hirterlaces has done for some time now.

  4. "...a state that controls pretty much everything and considers interest groups and the private sector as mere contractors for its needs."

    Wasn't there a funny looking fellow (pre-disposed to certain ethnic prejudices) that established the same type of model in Europe a few years back?

    1. I hace no idea! We need more hints. Mustache? Bald head?

    2. Hummm... you're describing Great Britain during the war, now Winston did have certain ethnic prejudices but that was pretty much due to his Victorian up-bringing and the fallout of the ancient class system of the UK.


  5. I think Daniel is referring to the moustache and comb-over fellow whose ethnic prejudices were well ahead of Winston's.

  6. Hi there:

    I had the chance to watch the video of María Corina Machado's great and clear presentation at the Foreign Affairs Commettee of the European Parliament accompanied by the director of Noticias NTN24 from Colombia with an also exposing and explosive presentation on freedom of the press and how this Government / President took out of the Venezuelan market in a way democracies don´t act.

    When the President of the Foreign Affairs Commission asked if the Ambassador for Venezuela to the European Parliament was invited and the response was in Spanish and it was: ...aquí esta la copia de la respuesta que ha dado la Ebbajada de Venezuela, una carta desagradable, agresiva y diría que está en el límite de lo que se pudiera considerar un tono amenazante para el Parlamento Europeo... Here is the letter ( showing the letter ) response from the Venezuelan Embassy, a letter which is of bad tase, aggresive and I would say it´s in the limits of what I would say is a threatning tone to the European Parliament.

    You can find the video here The response is in minute 26:40 First speaks Maria Corina, the Claudia from NTN24 the two interventins where you can see the response I mentioned before and then there is a question answer secction


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