Saturday, June 23, 2007

Flag wars in Venezuela

I am not sure what will be the end result of the RCTV closing and of the student protests that followed, but one thing is certain, during these past 4 weeks we have seen how uncreative, reactionary even, the Chavez administration has been while all the initiative, all the ideas and all the creativity was in the street protests of Venezuela. Nothing better than to watch a few videos to illustrate this point. Let’s start with the flag issue which is the latest life saving jacket that chavismo ideological wankers have grabbed. For good measure at the end I will point to a couple of other meaningful videos from high ranking chavistas.

The flag issue

Scoundrels usually take refuge in cheap nationalism and chavismo will be no exception. Lately the government has been promoting a crusade to "defend the flag" stating that turning it upside down as many dissident students do in their marches is an attempt to Venezuela's sovereignty and other miscellaneous nonsense. In that they meet the US right wing nuts who have been fighting for years to get that flag burning amendment where no US citizen could desecrate the US flag under no circumstances. Ah! The coincidences of history!!! But do chavistas even realize how stupid they are with that issue? How close to their enemies they are becoming? How reactionary their "revolution" has become?

To illustrate this we have some videos. The first one is an ad. By law, the infamous "gag law", the government forces private networks to pass its “messages” at no cost for ten (10) minutes a day. Globovision protested this particular ad because it said, and I agree, that it was a mere political propaganda and as such it violated the "ley RESORTE" a.k.a. "gag law" which states that the free ads must serve educational or informative purposes only. The government replied that "tough, but you have to pass it anyway", showing the little joys of the autocratic state when you are top dog. The text is short so I am taking the trouble to translate it.

Who turns upside down his flag
Is not a good Venezuelan
He behaves like any villain
And does not love Venezuela
My flag is yellow
Blue and beautiful red [sic: rojo bonito]
My flag must be respected
And must wave upright
Whoever puts it upside down
Offends the whole country
I want to claim it back
For our blessed fatherland

Now, how simplistic, chauvinist, close minded and vile can you get in so few words? No comments are needed.

Note that they use a "gaita" rhythm, probably trying to associate this with Zulia's governor, Rosales. Or to try to make it more "popular", more genuine? Whatever it is I do not think it will work much outside of the creepiest chavismo strata. But sine this the target, to keep the ground troops motivated against the dissident students, I suppose that chavismo will call it a success.

There are also other attacks of a well orchestrated nature, but of equal vile content. For example if you can stomach it you can watch an excerpt of the "La Hojilla" were the flag issue is addressed, as well as cheap criticism of a Miami group which has very little influence in Venezuela. But they do love to link anything they can to a US led conspiracy. Watching the first minute is plenty enough anyway. By the way, Globovision was prompt in reminding folks that "La Hojilla" has been using the upside down flag on its blade, as you can see in this 30' clip. Double standards, the hallmark of chavismo (and fascism if memory serves me well).

Let’s move on to two other examples. One is one of the Desiree Santos Amaral speeches. Not a particular meaningful one per se, but in my opinion a very characteristic one of how hapless and bereft of ideas chavismo has been exposed this day. Something by the way I was announcing as early as May 31. The other example will be no one else but the TSJ president, Luisa Morales.

Desiree Santos Amaral

This former journalist activist, human rights freedom fighter has turned out in quite your conservative character. Now she is the vice president of the National Assembly, a position she won by helping to write, and defending outrageously the first law to restrain journalism freedom in Venezuela, the infamous "gag law". That is, she got her job by trying to silence her former colleagues.

So, when the students stated to protest and to claim for their freedom of information and expression she had no better argument to offer but to ask Venezuelan mothers to keep their child at home. Her "arguments" are worthy of any radical conservative Christian right fundamentalism, showing that extremes do manage to touch eventually. Hear it at 40' of this video (do not bother after minute 2, it becomes an Orvex editorial of arguable value, though it shows that Orvex bothers chavismo as Santos mentions them, as well as La Hojilla. Funny!).

Luisa Morales

I have already discussed the pathetic criticism that the head of the Venezuelan high court, TSJ, gave to Baltasar Garzon speech. No need to come back on that, but you can watch a few seconds of this video to have a pretty good idea about the quality judges we have in Venezuela. Listen at 15 seconds the "colonial" comment she gave. How can the highest judge of a country lower herself to such level? Can you say "banana" republic?

The response

Now that you have seen these displays of chavismo in counterattack, let’s look at the single reply of the opposition to all of these criticism. No other reply was needed.

Using the talent of “El Puma” a famous Venezuelan Pop signer of years past, who by the way was an early supporter of Chavez until he saw the light, a homage to the dissident students was issued. The video is below. You do not need to have it translated to appreciate the vigor, the freshness of it all, and to sense the failure of ideological chavismo.

-The end-

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