Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Chavez equation

The Petkoff editorial of Tal Cual today was simply irresistible and I had to translate it. It was also accompanied with an image that illustrates more than anything else the administrative failure of the worst government in Venezuelan history. The only question for us, for amusement, you know, is to hear the excuses of the PSF, more and more silent these days as they shift to Honduras their attention, a more palatable cause in their book I suppose.

Teodoro Petkoff

Over the country three major crises are converging simultaneously. The public security crisis, the crisis of the electrical system and the crisis of public health system. They are not the plagues of Egypt, they are the plagues of Chavez.

Not that Venezuela was a wonderland
before Chacumbele [Chavez] , but what we had in those three areas then could withstand the worst eleven years of public administration this country has ever experienced. The oil boom, of course, disguised incompetence. But now the service structure that the government manages can no longer stand. Of course, these three crises are not unique.

Public education also is severely damaged and on the horizon rears the ugly head of the water crisis. Not to mention the economy. But, is the crisis of insecurity, health and electricity which at present fall with greater weight on the back of everyone in the country, particularly on the poor.

The poor cannot close up their streets, as do the inhabitants of the residential areas of middle class or the rich, nor can they afford private security; and police patrols do not circulate along the routes in the townships. The poor then are absolutely defenseless and unprotected and the public security crisis hits them with a particular harshness. For the poor there is no police and most of the crimes that overwhelm them go unpunished . 99% of homicides occur in the townships and a similar percentage of them are not even investigated. There are no courts of justice for the poor but what they have is prisons, the worst and most violent in the continent.

The poor can not go to private clinics and for them there is no HMC. Hospitals and clinics are overwhelmed and the relief that Barrio Adentro meant was short-lived. The Social Security system already has eleven years of delay. The Great Charlatan, without the slightest sense of the ridiculous, is "inviting" the gringo president "se venga pa’l socialismo" [slang: come over socialism]but Obama, in just nine months, is about to get Congress to approve his universal Social Security, while for the "revolutionary" and "socialist" Chacumbele almost eleven years have not been enough to settle this debt with the people.

In terms of electricity we have started to plunge into the "mar de la felicidad" ["sea of happiness" in which supposedly according to Chavez Cuba and Venezuela float]. Who would believe that this country, energy rich by definition, would know long hours of electricity rationing. Who could believe that Venezuela was going to live "alumbrón" in alumbrón "- as the Cubans say, to mark the end of the blackouts - [apagón=outage and the pun is that alumbrón would be the occasional non outage]. Of course, the poor are most affected by power failure, but this calamity indeed does not make for class distinctions.

Rich and poor alike suffer the consequences of these destructive plagues that has fallen over the country. [untranslatable expression closes the text: ¿Será verdad que todavía la sarna con gusto no pica?]

-The end-

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