Friday, December 31, 2004

The New Year's eve post

The return to San Felipe was not very pleasant. Through Carabobo I could see the mark of Acosta Carlez changing everything from uniforms to park names. One would think that there are more urgent issues than changing the name of Valencia main public park, but apparently not.

San Felipe welcomed me with the return of the "buhoneros" in the main shopping streets. Under authorization of Gimenez, the new governor, who made a mess of his own township before being sent to the top office thanks to Chavez and his vote buying tactics. After 4 years of having been the only state capital free of the informal street vendors plague, Gimenez had to rule over the San Felipe mayor to bring back to San Felipe that scourge. But I suppose that when you have garbage in your mind, you like to have garbage in the streets.

In barely two months two of Chavez governors have already demonstrated clearly that their style is crappy and authoritarian. Woe is us! And I will pass on that item in El Nacional yesterday where Miraflores Palace is setting up a "command post to monitor by Internet" the work of the governors. Good bye decentralization! It is official.

One characteristic of fascist or proto-fascist regimes is their vulgarity, be it in ideas (for lack of a better word) or administration or urban matters. The only thing that counts is to erase the memory of those that were in office before, of destroying anything that might be looked as even slightly positive. Why? One reason is that they know that they are very incompetent and very undemocratic and thus the need to erase any point of reference. Though on occasion mythical references are called upon to give some sense of direction. Even if that past was far from being a model. Think Valhalla, the Roman Empire or Simon Bolivar. This last one is probably tossing back and forth in his grave as is name is invoked in vain!

Meanwhile, although with a slight cold which will limit my year end activities, I wish all of you a happy new year and good partying tonight if that is what you are inclined to do. And I wish you plenty of energy to undertake the long road to recovery of our democracy. We will need all of our energies!

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