Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chavismo in disarray?

[Updated] I have been receiving phone calls with all sorts of concerns, people afraid that Chavez is preparing some undercover action, stirring deliberately the current protest for some evil purpose.  Maybe, but it seems that the genie is escaping the bottle.

With the second closing of RCTV Chavez has started a movement of unexpected intensity, and one it does not seem to be able to control, one for which his only answer is repression, something which at this stage is highly counterproductive.  This is not a triumphant chavismo, it is a cornered one, afraid, scared and ready for useless violence.  You know, like the rabid dog of old times.... Though rabies might also be making a come back in Venezuela along other infectious diseases that the Chavez health care system fails to counter.  But I digress...

The fact of the matter is that chavismo once again lighted the fuse that could mark its undoing, just as it lighted it in 2007 to lose the December vote on the constitutional reform.  This time the stakes are higher: the National Assembly vote of September.  He starts with a serious handicap.  In 2007 he was fresh from his reelection large victory and yet he lost the vote one year later.  Now he starts with high inflation, increasing unemployment, less money to buy votes, a brutal devaluation which inflationary effects will be felt before September, lower poll number, a recession that is one the verge of becoming a depression once we consider the electric power crisis.  Just for a short list of ills.

And then he decides to close RCTV, on cable only, out of sheer ego!  Out of a vendetta against Marcel Granier!

As a result students are again in the streets, but this time around in many major cities of Venezuela at the same time!  In 2007 it started in Caracas ad slowly propagated.  His international image has been hit much worse than in 2007 when he still managed a fat check book.  Now even the French are bitching at Chavez.  They have lost many contracts to very inferior competitors due to bribe schemes (I have been told by very reliable sources that shall remain nameless).  And Chavez takes away the EXITO retail chain!  Without any real reason besides disposing of space for his latest distribution scheme of COMERSO which is doomed to fail just as Mercal and PDVAL did.  It is indeed easier to steal what is already built than to create a brand new structure, a normal reasoning in a government of thugs.

All of the current mood is quite well summarized in today's Washington Post editorial

But it is on the mundane we best see the disarray of chavismo and its inability to comprehend what is going on.

Yesterday for example I was mentioning the words of Merida 's governor, an irrelevant rambling betraying his incapacity to understand, at coping with the situation besides gun shots, tear gas and murder. 

Or we can look at the pathetic display of the chavista "student" movement leadership which after three years is still only able to present the same few characters like Robert Serra, long graduated, ensconced in some cushy government or governmental associated sinecure.  Goicochea and his 2007 combo are not seen in the streets, or are not at the front anyway, having made good with their gifts at getting real political jobs.  It is not that there are no students that are chavista, it is that either they are not that good at leadership, or that chavismo at all level suffers already that terminal diseases of political movements, not to let new blood emerge.

Another good example of the chavismo brain washing that blocks them from adapting to new realities can be found in yesterday VTV visit who forced the state propaganda machinery to give them a few minutes of air time.  When they left a near hysterical VTV journalist was asking them if they were going to go to Globovision to demand the same thing!  I could not believe her!  You can hear part of her insistence at around 35seconds of the video that accompanies the preceding link.

Truly the poor woman does not watch Globovion ever, which is routinely complaining that government officials refuse to visit their talk shows.  Had she watched Globovision she would know that the student leaders visit quite often and need not put any pressure to have their existence acknowledged.   I could keep going giving more examples of the fairness of Globovision compared to the propaganda of VTV,  but I just need to mention Chavez cadena that repair any "imbalance" that any network would have.  No, the issue here is that the VTV journalist not only espouses the official line as her job requires, but she actually believes it in her heart, bait, hook and sink.  She has lost the man attribute of any serious journalist: a minimum of critical and inquisitive spirit.  As such she was shocked at the VTV visit and had to express that unseeingly aggressive questioning you can see on the video.

But the best example that chavismo is out of base on this one comes from Chavez himself, condemning the twittering typists of terrorism (hoping not to date myself to much with this paraphrasing, a bonus point for whomever detects it first.).  In a display of how archaic is his thought process he could not hide his distrust for new technologies that allow people to escape from his reactionary  thought-orders.  Thus, as his good Iranian friends, he called twitter a terrorist weapon.  Indeed, though twitter yesterday the students showed him how to escape his goons and reach the doors of VTV in a great political stunt.  But Chavez ridicule does not stop some of his acolytes who know better to try to invade the twitter world.  Are they going to be terrorists too?


I reread this piece and I realized that there was something missing to make my point clearer, to tie up better the whole post.

I am not ruling out that Chavez indeed took the crazy step of shutting down RCTV to bring the students back in the streets and create a crisis that would justify some harsh reaction.  After all, he has not been afraid, and admitted to create the 2002 crisis,  to ruin PDVSA as long as any cash it got was sent his way for discretionary spending.  Once you have played with the future of a whole nation, what are a few cadavers along the way?

The mental state of Chavez today is comparable to the one of Hitler in the movie "The Fall", a guy that is not afraid to bring whatever havoc it takes to remain "in control" even as control is escaping his hands.  As a skilled politician with enabling doctors/pushers he can put a front; but that is what is going on, a bunker mentality that is setting up at Miraflores Palace.  Naming Elias Jaua as vice President, a radical that refuses to discuss with the "enemy", of proven ability to destroy the opponent by ruining them first and threatening them if needed, proves that point.

That Chavez succeeds, that he controls the situation to reach only the necessary violence for the excuse he seeks is possible, but I doubt it.  Mad rabid dogs may look as if they have a strategy, but the end is always the same.  The only difference is the body count.


  1. 1979 Boat People9:11 PM

    The cornered MAD dog is turning around to do its last BEST bite before it is put to sleep.

  2. Chavez's insecurity might make him more paranoid and inflated.

  3. concerned9:34 PM

    This "Tas Ponchao" is really hitting where it hurts, as this is one of the few things that Chavez understands...Baseball. He doesn't know shit about government, or the economy. I hope the Leones can pull out another win and take the series to game seven. You just can't buy that kind of publicity.

  4. Could this be the beginning of a 'green' or 'velvet' revolution, call it what you like? That depends quite simply now on the will, and the guts, of the Venezuelan people. There is definitely an opportunity here; it will not be the last, God willing, but it is the clearest chance you have had for a long, long time. A definite momentum has begun; that much is clear from here. That is the source of the panicked reactions of chavismo, just as Ahmadinejad and Co were freaking out last year. It is now up to somebody - actually a lot of people - to take this ball and run with it. The next few days will be crucial. But with, as I understand, most of the country making do with four hours of electical power a day, and with a sudden near one hundred percent rise in the prices of most basic necessities, it would seem to me that, for once, there is a real opportunity here for the Venezuelan people to grab the reins and take their country back from its Cuban masters, as Sheik put it so well in a previous post.
    By the way, Daniel - beep! - what is, Spiro Agnew and his nattering nabobs of negativity; he said it, but he didn't write it; I've forgotten who that was.

  5. nattering nabobs of negativism? From the Imperialists. Agnew?

  6. Boludo Tejano10:57 PM

    Martin: "Nattering nabobs of negativity" came from William Safire, IIRC.

    One thing for sure, a lot of stuff is hitting the fan in recent weeks.The only excuse that a dictator has is competence, that he gets things done.Looking at concrete accomplishments of government, by which I do not mean being able to stay in power and amass more power, Thugo's resume would not get him hired as a manager of a Dairy Queen.

    Like the students say, three strikes and you're out. ( Easier said than done, that one.)

  7. That's right, it was William Safire!

  8. 1979 Boat People4:43 AM

    Check out Chris Carlson's comment on Daniel's "VENEZUELA: CHAVEZ ON SILENCING MEDIA" article (Jan 26, 2010) in the INDEX ON CENSORSHIP web-site.

  9. 1979

    carlson comment is so off subject that one wonders if had be drinking too much solidarity rum before writing it. it certainly does not require reply from anyone :)

    and it also gives you another example of chavismo disarray

  10. BTW, I don't think that was Chris writing that at Index on Censorship. Sounds like someone satirizing his comments. Plus he doesn't use his real name anymore.

  11. Terrorist (in the Chavez dictionary - maybe someone needs to start one of these, kind of like, to interpret all of his double-speak): Anyone who publicly displays displeasure with me, any of my policies [such as they are], or my cronies.

    Therefore, twitter is indeed a "terrorist" tool. Because it helps people gather, and that strikes terror into his heart. Or at least, really pisses him off.

  12. Anonymous2:24 AM

    Hugo Chavez is a notorious fool. Remember when he said he smelled sulfur after following Bush. Truth is, he was merely smelling the fringes of his own intense odor. No sane person would take this loud-mouthed clown seriously. Venezuelans put him in power; let them live with it.


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