Thursday, July 22, 2004

Homophobia and chavismo

Check one more evidence for chavismo as a fundamentalist creed

One thing that I enjoy about blogging on Venezuelan politics is that sometimes I write something that might seem to strain belief, and within a few days events manage to confirm my prediction or comment. A couple of days ago I discussed which aspects chavismo could be assimilated to your average fundamentalist cult. Well, today from the home page of aporrea we get this lovely picture.

I will be the amateur deconstructionist here.

Observe the opposition character, with the CD shirt, showing unmistakable signs of homosexuality, according to Venezuelan conventions:

pink skin
pointed long tongue
swaying wide hips
long nails
shaky demeanor overall

These match some of the characteristics of the devil except that he would be more macho.

I need not comment of course on the US flag use.

And the "coup de grace": the ¿ZI? banner, which is of course the lisped SI, the SI of the opposition voting consign (the YES to the recall election). The question mark probably alludes to the fact that when the CD finds a real male (female?), there might be no more question marks...

The message is quite clear.

On the other side of the cartoon you have Maisanta, the road robber turned hero and apparently one of Chavez relatives. He is the code name of the Chavez campaign. He has the nose of Chavez. He has the lips of Chavez. He does has grey hair in spite of his young age, suggesting of course wisdom. Maisanta seems quite amused while pinching the ZI shirt bottom while the horse shows contempt, the rightful contempt of the people for such a wretched creature.

There is even a great detail (perhaps accidental?). The t-shirt of ZI is actually rather drab when you think of it. But it has the three colors of the political parties that signed the "Pacto de Punto Fijo" that gave Venezuela 40 years of relative peace.

Some people might think that I am exaggerating a little bit. I will remind them of the August 2002 public uttering of Juan Barreto in front of the High Court while inciting to violence a group of chavistas out of control. "Los Patiquines Maricones de Primero Justicia", the faggy preppie boys of Primero Justicia. If you want to see what Primero Justicia represents for chavismo you can read Alexandra Beech excellent post.

No, chavismo has a long story of using homophobic comments when it is away from the cameras, and even in front of them sometimes when Chavez suggested the opposition to roll their newspaper and stick them [pregnant pause] in their pocket... They have been careful not to show that ghastly face, but they use it, and more often. Like any fundamentalist creed, they are not afraid to use personal disqualification and ignoble tactics when necessary.

I do not wish this to be construed as an attack on Aporrea. They are what they are. It is just fun to see Aporrea on the same page gloat about the Brazilian intellectuals coming to Chavez rescue and show a homophobic cartoon that probably would cost them some support in Brazil.

PS: I have the complete picture that also shows the day when it appeared in Aporrea, just in case they were to withdraw it. But if they write to apologize I will withdraw this post gladly.

1 comment:

  1. Stereotype is the language of propaganda. The mincing, effeminate homosexual is "ideal" for the role of cowardly American pawn and it's inevitable that it would be used that way.

    I don't know how anyone could deny it. You'll see this kind of thing in every conflict, everywhere, until being gay is accepted as a normal (so, maybe never). I imagine you also see cartoons likening "the enemy" to gorillas or monkeys or other unpleasant animals. It's one of the oldest insults in the book -- a means of slinging feces at the opposition.

    The cartoon has been created in such a way to allow some plausible deniability. But the message is clear. I've seen other cartoons where the author could say, "you must be imagining that context" while making the intent completely clear. Everyone gets the message.

    The only remarkable thing is seeing it in an official venue rather than on a bathroom wall. It suggests that they believe their followers don't have any problem with outright homophobia.


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