Saturday, June 04, 2011

Why I am not blogging much lately: the "gimme!" culture of Venezuela

I am not inclined to blog lately because the uselessness of it all on occasion is too much to bear.  Not that I think that my blogging would do much good, but I am reaching a point of getting too embarrassed about "la veulerie" (spinelessness?- 1) of the Venezuelan electorate to write more about it.  The fact of the matter is that in spite of 12 years of mismanagement Chavez has been able to bounce back to parity and up with the opposition in the polls by the mere launching of a "mision vivienda" which cannot be executed properly (a brief calculation of the promise yields that result that the country needs to build, DAILY, 900 housing units for the next 6 years when I know personally that I get into all sorts of trouble to get a couple of cement bags to fix the driveway at work).

Fortunately for us this week Weil at Tal Cual has drawn a BRILLIANT series of cartoons illustrating fabulously well how the largest chunk of the Venezuelan electorate works.

The political culture within chavismo (red berets) and opportunists: DAME = GIVE ME.  With a long nosed Pinocchio doll bait Chavez has no problem fishing for votes.  Extraordinary way, if you ask me, to make the point that even if they know that Chavez is lying once again, well, they still will extend their open hand to receive whatever falls for free.  That cartoon made me sick at heart...

This one in the same vein let's you know that the housing mirage of Chavez is going to work at getting votes even if the result of "mision vivienda" is more than predictable, and disappointment is certain.  But after 2012 when Chavez will be so entrenched in his castle that we are looking at a Libya/Iran/Yemen scenario.

This one is a simple take on the mirage of that latest mision: we all know it is impossible, and even those who ask here know that, as they sense that few will get a cheap to free home.  But they do not care, it is like the lottery, they think all that they will be the lucky winner as long as the regime remains in place.

But why have we become such a "gimme!" culture?  The next cartoon give us the answer: 12 years of "red" discourse, symbolized by that red mosquito.
Observe the nice allusion to the famous say "teach a man to fish...."

For Weil there is no doubt that chavismo has been a cancer on our spirits and he is blunt about it.

"Pancreas Cancer"; "Lung Cancer"; "Conscience Cancer" (with the allusion to chavista "Uh!Ah!, Chavez no se va" as something that will remain in our country psyche long after Chavez is gone).
And finally a clear allusion at how inept and maybe impotent the opposition is at countering such a discourse   But for more on that you will need to wait for a future post :)

"Justice!  Values!  Work!" against the Chavez promises of everything and the sink.

And you want me to keep posting?  What for?

1) I cannot find a good word for the French "veule" which means at the same time weakness of spirit but also the willingness to be weak, spineless, almost amoral.


  1. Anonymous3:21 AM

    "I cannot find a good word for the French "veule" which means at the same time weakness of spirit but also the willingness to be weak, spineless, almost amoral."

    You mean there's a French word for "chavista"? I thought it was the Germans the ones who had a word for everything.

    But regarding the rest of the post, two thoughts:

    1) Chavez screwed up big time by unveiling Mision Maqueta so long before the elections. Whatever points he might gain now, will revert with a vengeance before December 2012 when it'll become too patently obvious that he has failed miserably at building the houses he promised.

    2) If you want to help, just print the cartoons by Weil and some of the other guys and post them on every wall you see (and I mean real-world wall, not "facebook" wall). Those are better than anything the opposition will ever come up with.

    And just to depress you a bit more, you're doing exactly what you and Weil accuse chavistas of doing. You're just looking at the oppo politicians and yelling "give me"(freedom) "give me"(democracy) "give me"(a peaceful society). You're not working for it. You're not doing anything. You're just demanding someone else do all the hard work for you.

  2. Boludo Tejano3:27 AM

    I am reaching a point of getting too embarrassed about "la veulerie" (spinelessness?- 1) of the Venezuelan electorate to write more about it.

    In comparing Thugo and Evo Morales, I concluded that Evo would not be able to become as strong a caudillo as Thugo, due to differences between Bolivia and Venezuela.

    There is a very strong anarchic strain in Bolivian politics. The anarchic strain in Bolivian politics makes it difficult to enforce government laws and policies. As an example: blocking roads to get your way has been common practice in Bolivia for decades. Evo’s rise to power was facilitated by his followers blocking roads to get his way. After Evo became President he also used blocking roads against the opposition in the East/Medialuna.

    Evo has now been heist on his own petard. He attempted to raise gasoline prices, and got met with road blocks. Evo is finding out that while he may attempt to ride the anarchist tiger that is Bolivia, the tiger has a mind of its own and is capable of taking Evo where he doesn’t want to go.

    Miners and dynamite....

  3. Anonymous5:02 AM

    Daniel, we love you, man.

  4. Charly5:05 AM

    The closest I can come up with a trnslation for "veule" is sub-servient or servile but it does not convey all the crass thoughts and actions this sub-servient is ready to go trough, "veule" implies the lost of self respect when one is ready to do anything to please the master.

  5. anonymous

    one has to admire the self-satisfaction in someone that does not have the creativity to sign "joe" and in addition blames others for not doing anything while not explaining what he does.

    credibility does not come from a single snark remark, you know.

  6. Anonymous6:52 AM

    Hola compadre,

    Cuando no hay trabajo y no se puede trabajar afuera como buhonero como en CANADA, yo diria que no es exactament DAME, DAME !

    Aqui en Canada tambien hay pobreza, degradacion y falta de trabajo !
    El Gobierno da un poco mas que el de Venezuela.

    Los Adecos nunca dieron lo que da Chavez !


  7. Anonymous8:51 AM

    All that matters is what each person makes of him/her self. Moral values exist, and can be followed by each individual, regardless of the environment around him/her. Most philosophers have spent their lives explaining this in great detail in their own particular ways (existentialists, anarchists, christians, buddhists...). Forget the collective consciousness. It's a trap invented to support communism (the red bug in Weil's cartoon). Life can be hard, of course. Think of the slaves in the Roman empire who later helped to shape western civilisation.

    People around us don't live according to their moral compass? It doesn't matter. That shouldn't affect one's conscience. Their veulerie is their problem.

    Regard for others? Well, OK, I'll get up and cook breakfast.


  8. I diagnose a darkness of the spirit. I prescribe salt-spray, I suggest a North Atlantic Crossing in late summer early autumn. A deckchair will cure what ailes 'ya (at least for a week).

  9. I agree with Anonymous #1 in his first point. This mision will just be another failure and will boomerang and knock Chavez on the head big time.

    There are about 300,000 "dignificados" waiting for a solution which won't come in time to do much good electorally speaking.

    And while I know that words are not going to cure your feelings, I will say that it is always darkest before the dawn, Daniel.

    Some of what you feel is because deep down you believe there is a good chance we'll finally get rid of the clown, but it seems like 2012 can't get here soon enough.

    Animo, chamo! Don't let the clown get you down. He will fail in 2012.

  10. Daniel, Antonio makes sense to me.

    " Quien no tenga quien lo mece, empuja con el pie"

    AS inhabitants of Earth we all live under the laws of gravity and inertia.The law of inertia concludes that there is a tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. Therefore LAZINESS is always lurking and it just needs a little push from corrupt politicians who will encourage us to receive and be lazy rather than give and work hard.More importantly we allow ourselves to be convinced that just like children we are AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLED to do so.This keeps us dependent on the corrupt, instead of becoming independent participators in the creation of our own destinies as individuals and as members of a society.

    I hear your pain, and can relate.
    I think many of us can probably relate to discouragement in the face of overwhelming odds.This feeling is universal, only the circumstances in which it manifests vary.You are not alone, and your cause IS worthy;Not just for Venezuela but for the world because what is happening in Venezuela is but a caricature of worldwide struggles.

    I think one of the best ideas that helps me in times of low energy and pessimism is to remember that enlightenment( you might substitute here the phrase" release from suffering") comes when I can let go enough to participate fully without worrying about the results ...Participation brings the energy and passion needed to achieve and to feel " a part of", and 'letting go of useless suffering'( worrying about the results) :brings the freedom from pain.We can't control results- we can only control our commitments.

  11. At its heart, the appeal of socialism has always been a culture of "Dame" for the common man on the street. People simply want the government to guarantee them everything and they will vote for politicians to promise it, independent of the likelihood of that outcome. This isn't limited to Venezuela by any means but chavismo is perhaps its starkest manifestation.

  12. Anonymous1:41 AM

    "Veule" has also a lot to do with one of the 7 deadly sins, according to Catholic people and such.


    and something else, which I keep reiterating, which is not really the fault of our pueblo:

    Ignorance: Lack of Education.

    Another observation: I our countries, tu puedes botar semillas "al voleo", and something will grow. The land is fertile. There's oil everywhere. People have been spoiled for decades. Ther's no brutal winters to deal with. Nice summer weather all year long. No major natural adversities, like tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, tsunamis, freezing cold snow storms, or even tremblements de terre.

    So, our uneducated, complacent people keep being corrupted, complacent, taking the easy way out, dame, dame y dame..

    It's all interrelated. As with most complicated matters, it's due to a combination of factors, not just one easy answer.

    Carlos I.


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