Friday, February 18, 2011

Death in Venezuela: a regime that does not value human life

I have been a little bit reluctant in covering the latest hunger strike in Venezuela.  I am so sick to see that the regime is so willing to let people die of starvation that I am almost opposed to people going to such extremes when, well, lets' say it, we are still better off than people in Egypt.  True, the way we are going soon we will be in a Cuban like scenario where hunger strike will be the only tool left, but that day has not come yet and making hunger strike a go for all tool is not conducing to anything good.

Maybe I am wrong and the visit yesterday of the police minister to a group of the striking students might prove that they are having some effect: their bravery should never be questioned even though their foolishness could be called upon.  But then again, from what we hear the regime is willing to negotiate who could be released of the political prisoners and this seems to me much more like an attempt at breaking up the strikers front than any real purpose to amend.

The fact of the matter here is that the regime has long ago placed human life in the bargain department.  How can you explain that Chavez does not lose any sleep over the thousands and thousands of violent murders taking place every year in Venezuela?  When someone has the chutzpah to say that those murders are not his responsability then you know he is not hurting whatsoever.

Amen of those who die in Venezuelan jails shot by the other inmates as if nothing!

The way the regime has managed the natural disaster victims since 1999 is another telling sign: they are simply exploited for political purposes and real help is barred if it does not serve the regime purposes.  For memory, the refusal of help from the US in 1999 or the confiscation of the relief truck of Voluntad Popular last year.

And equally as damaging if not as bloody, is the total ignorance by the regime of the brain and energy drain that Venezuela is suffering.  For all practical purposes these people leaving Venezuela in search of better hopes under other skies should be also accounted with the "death toll" of the people we will never see again.

The reality here is that we are dealing with a regime who is not afraid to eliminate its opponents.  It has not been that obvious so far in an era of Internet and CNN, but all the signs are there, do not be mistaken, elimination is an ever present option for these people.


  1. And you may observe that in an unusual act of delicateness I have not even mentioned the obvious necrophilia of chavismo in the main body of this post..

  2. "For all practical purposes these people leaving Venezuela in search of better hopes under other skies should be also accounted with the "death toll" of the people we will never see again."

    And for these people it is often felt like a little death as well.The other day we had lunch with a guy from Nicaragua who was exiled years ago for not going along with the Sandinista corruption.He expressed something that is very true to us, and I relate quite well to it, which is that the pain of exile is a pain that never goes away.

    It is incalculable the amount of pain and destruction Chavismo has reeked on Venezuela, and there are still people out there who are so perfectionist that they are more afraid of who might follow Chavez than they are about getting Chavez out.Should we be afraid of the pain caused by standing up against Chavismo and just accept the pain of his destruction ?only because in some people's opinion it is not yet as bad as Egypt?How bad it is, is a subjective evaluation rather than an objective one.

    The problem I see is that many people have come to rely too much on objective proof which is so hard to find in a system like that of Venezuela.Venezuela also has not had 30 years of Chavez.But 30 years of Chavez will only bring 30 more years of death and destruction whereas to accept death on behalf of getting him out seems more sane to me.The insanity of a country that is as fearful as Venezuela, is what gives power to Chavez.Without it , he is nothing.

    It is only through foresight and not through proof they we can avoid being stuck indefinitely .When we get all the proof some people need, it will be way too late.For those who think that risking one's life is not worth it,perhaps they should sit back and enjoy their time.Everything is a choice.

    Having said that, I think it is a shame that more older folks do not step up and leave this task to those with a life time ahead of them.Shameful !!

  3. Daniel,

    Thank you for your post. You may have already seen the article on The Economist "Criminals or Dissidents?" about judge Afiuni, jailed politicians and the students on hunger strike. Their sacrifice at the hands of Chavez is known to the international community, but I have to agree with you that a hunger strike is not the best way to proceed.

  4. Anonymous9:59 AM

    This effort will only be in vain if people keep rationalising about it instead of supporting it wholeheartedly.

    After 19 days it is obvious these young people mean business, the international media are taking notice, the OAS has debated about it, and here we are still thinking if it will be of any use? They have a concrete goal: free the political prisoners. Isn't that a goal worth supporting? What is "the best way to proceed"? Leave them alone, yet again?

    We have no other choice than to support them, massively.


  5. which is so hard to find in a system like that of Venezuela

    Which leads me to ask a question I've been pondering on for some time. Has there ever been anything like what is now in place in Venezuela? A hard-soft, sentimentalist-coldhearted, dictatorship-anarchy? Or is the seeming dicotomies a product of the internet? I've never set foot in Venezuela, I've picked what very little I know of your country from English blogs such has this one, the one I first started reading more years ago than I can believe. It's a strange hobby/obsession I have. :)

    I've amazed a few people at the odd dinner party tho. heh heh.

    Thanks Daniel and good luck to you and yours.

  6. Half Empty,

    What an interesting hobby you have!I am sure you are learning a lot.

    Chavez is an authoritarian who rules differently than some other dictators do.He takes the natural tendency of the country( chaos), and increases it to his advantage.In this way he doesn't have to have iron clad rules to defend his power.In Belarus for example it is easier for most people to see a dictatorship and it is easier for the world to criticize Lukachenko .But by allowing crime to go out of control in Venezuela, people are too fearful and too busy surviving and become submissive: meanwhile Chavez doesn't look like the culprit.I mean after all it is also the fault of the criminals, no?And maybe even the opposition have their hand in it as well ;)

    As for objective data..just imagine, it does not show the holistic truth of the country.

    I can't think of another country similar to this, maybe there is but I don't know of it.He( or rather his advisers) uses the Venezuelan idiosyncrasy of anarchy to his own advantage


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