Saturday, December 11, 2010

Too good to be true but true: a cable on the chavista paranoia

Because a chavista jerk does not speak properly English he calls he makes his representative friend try to arrest the crew of an American Airlines flight.  Do not miss that cable of the US embassy that cannot tell you better what is inside the chavista mind: arrogance, paranoia, ignorance, vendetta, plain idiocy and what not.

I used to hang out with a couple, friends of my S.O.  In 1999 I had an US friend visiting and we went out all together for diner one night because one of the item of that couple had lived a few years in the US.  At the time I did not know that this item was deeply chavista (apparently he still is but I have not wanted to see him since 2003).  Of course, being the anti-militaristic I am and being already anti Chavez since 1992, I was already talking negatively about Chavez then.  Well, that item was deeply offended.  At the time he did not say much (and then I was not as vocal as what I am today!).  However a few weeks later I was out of the country and that item took the opportunity to have a long talk with my S.O. trying to make him break up our then still starting relationship.  I think words such as vendepatria were used and arguments that one should never criticize his country/government in front of foreigners were advanced.  My S.O was actually shaken enough to confront me over the phone during an expensive long distance call!   Yours truly of course had no problem trouncing chavista arguments at such an early date :)

Needless to say that it took a great effort for me to still socialize with them until the 2003 January strikes when I could not take any more of their silliness and told my S.O. to visit with them as much as he wanted but I was through.  He still visits them once a year I think, but really more out of duty than anything else.  As far as I know they have never expressed a desire to see me either.  I wonder if they know I write this blog :)


  1. Daniel,

    I think the crew failed to understand the local customs of...

    - ¿Qué dijiste, escuálido de ultraderecha? Loco te vas a quedar tú con la cárcel en que te metemos ahora mismo

    Kepler is taken away by four members of the Bolivarian "Intelligence" Service.

  2. I read the cable and frankly the crew member that used that greeting was unprofessional.

    Saying "local Chavez time" is the equivalent of saying "local Obama time" in Washington or "local Harper time" in Ottawa: it has a hint of mockery that is OK in private conversations but is not OK in a formal setting. An airline company greeting arrival to a country is a formal setting.

    It does not excuse the response of the goverment and the mess that was created afterwords, but if I had been the American Airlines executive that had to take the decision to take the crew back at huge expenses for the company, I would have suspended the crew member that used that greeting.

  3. bruni

    yes and no.

    i agree with you that no matter what the crew members thought they should not have run the risk, not the respect, chavez does not deserve any respect, but the risk implied. and i hope that american airlines confined them for a few months to a nasty route, if not even fire them.

    however the problem there is that just because chavez says so and just because he is elected by the people (well, at least once in 1998 that we can be sure of) must we abide and respect any "national" decision he takes? when there is a cadena, do you stand still in front of it because it is the president who speaks? should foreigners in venezuela stop everything and listen to cadenas?

    governments must earn the respect of their people. in the US even as a foreigner i can burn the US flag and the worse that could possibly happen to me is that I am deported of the country. if we go through technicalities, the american airlines flight was a US flight and by the time the crew said that they were probably still over international waters. and if not they were still in US territory so to speak. their only obligation was to follow aviation rules until they docked at the gate. then on, as they exited the plane they were under venezuelan law.

    that the US embassy did not dare to lodge a formal protest is not a mark of respect to the regime of Venezuela, it is becasue they know in Venezuela chavistas can abuse everything and they have too many Us citizens here that they need to protect.

    in other words the abuse of the regime goes way further than the troubles that the crew got at Maiquetia....

  4. Bruni Please...

    Unprofessional? Chavez did change the time didn't he? What was said was the truth.

    Since when is being " professional" the highest compliment anyway?

    Chavez has no respect for anyone or thing except for his own will and self centered greed.

    If people worry about how professional their behavior is in referring to him don't expect for him to leave anytime soon.

    If someone yells 'Obama Time' in the States it would make no sense at all of course but people would be more likely to laugh than suggest the yeller be taken to jail.

  5. Daniel,

    What is it that we hate in Chávez and in the chavistas way of working? Many things but among them, that they are not professionals. The President does not act like a President should act, the same with the rest of the goverment. When the President presents himself in the UN and says "huele a azufre" he is being unprofessional and he has done everything for people not to respect him. In that aspect I agree with you.

    However, in my view, that does not excuse everyone else for being unprofessional and behaving like him, in this case, it was a crew of an Airline.

    Whoever he/she was, he/she presented an unprofessional behavior. It was not a matter of "risk". It is a matter that you want your crew members to act professionally all the times.

    Now, with respect to Venezuelan laws. I have been claiming for years, even before Chávez got to power,that Venezuelan laws are archaic. The stupid laws have always been there. I recall once, in my youth, being stopped by a policeman because I was crossing the Plaza Bolivar with some bags: there was a municipal law that stipulated that I could not do that. There is probably an article of the penal code that says that you cannot insult the President or something of the sort. So the laws are what they are and will always be there. I have even recently fought to sell the idea that Venezuelan laws are too restricting for individual rights and nobody has even been interested.

    Summarizing, this is a clear example where everybody was wrong: the crew member, the chavista passenger, the goverment and the law.

    The only professional people in the story were the US embassy personnel that tried to find an effective solution to an artificial impasse.

  6. bruni

    that the only professional people were the embassy personnel seems to be the norm rather than the exception as leftists around the world are chagrined to find through wikileaks. i am starting to believe that wikileaks did not even bother to rad the cables, farming that work to the newspapers. but so far the unprofessional folks seem to have been people like trinidad jimenez or the saudi king....not to mention chavez and chavistas, but we already knew that.

  7. When flying from London to Belfast at the height of the troubles, the stewardesses used to announce that everybody should put their watches back 300 years!

  8. Roger5:28 AM

    My favorite, on a flight to Nigeria, the inflight dinner was pork chops! Not exactly Muslim fare.
    I have trouble imagining anyone would support Chavez just because he got ONE human rights issue right for what ever reason.

  9. The Cavern Myth Company5:34 AM

    Expecting for fruits to fall of a tree when they are ripe and not hitting them with a stick, is what will keep this country how it is.

    Humans are animals,so why do we treat them differently? Bruni?

    The day we don´t need a court system, laws, jail, expect a different result.

    get that last sentence?

  10. I agree with Bruni.

    You are trying to imitate Chavistas and that is absolutely counter-productive. We can have our opinion of Hugo and say in private - I shall say it in French- he is a wanker, which he is. We can say that in a blog. We can say that for all I care in a press conference. In a flight you stick to doing your job and not mingling it with local politics, whether they are about Finland or a banana republic dictatorship as Venezuela's.
    I actually hate when flight attendance start with stupid jokes. Sorry, I can take them from friends, from people at a party. While doing your job, you need to follow some basic rules.

    Of course Chavistas behaved in this incident like stupid thugs and they certainly broke a law or two. Still, it was predictable and it did not bring anything, unless what it brought was something for your own satisfaction. And precisely that is one of the main problems in Venezuela: a lot of oppos are saying things "to relieve themselves". It does not take them any step further with most people, whether they are also oppo or nini or whatever.
    It is some sort of political masturbation.

  11. I am surprised that anyone would see a joke like this and compare it to stooping to Chavez's level.I suppose the King of Spain was acting as an unprofessional King when he told Chavez to shut up as well.

    This interpretation could only be deemed, literal minded.

    If the world wants to rid themselves of Chavez it needs to rely more on truth and humor than on being professional in some 'farsante' way.

    In a democratic country few people would see this as wrong.However in a country where nobody wants to " rebajarse" in their professional stance needs to think twice about why Chavismo took hold in Venezuela in the first place.

  12. If I might add ... I would not suspend the crew; at worst a written warning to ALL crews traveling to Venezuela (probably unnecessary now!). As weird as this sounds, I can easily believe that the pilot was totally unaware of the politics and nuances involved in such a trivial issue.

    I recently met an engineer in Houston, working on a project for Venezuela, who was absolutely unaware of the way that the service industry around Lake Maracaibo had been taken over last year. I'm sure that he would have seen nothing wrong with saying "Chavez time" under this circumstance.

  13. Brett8:27 PM

    I had heard that the Chavista had misunderstood that the pilot had said "Loco Chavez Time" instead of "Local Chavez Time". The sensitivity appears to be getting worse.


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