Monday, October 17, 2011

Evo Morales gets his first electoral defeat but manages his coup d'etat

All for Evo's MAS
[UPDATED] An election sometimes is more than an election.  Evo Morales who has been sailing more or less straight ahead since 2005 suffered his first real electoral set back.  And yet he won what he wanted to win.  How come?

In the socialism of the XXI century we have merely an updated version of a totalitarian communism of the XX century, adapted to an age of mass media where Gulags and massacres cannot be used as convenient ways to dispose of those who annoy you.  The word has changed more than what you think the day that CNN was waiting for the marines ashore in Somalia over a decade ago.  So Chavez and his 1998 advisers, then perfected by his 2003 Cuban ones, found a way to avoid the Gulag ritual: take over the judicial system.  With a judicial system controlled for all practical purposes by the executive no law suit against the state may prosper and human rights can be easily trampled as no court will redress abuses.  True, you cannot avoid all that unpleasantness of people protesting and the press plastering over all the regime's abuses, but they all remain words, just words, no real consequences for the regime except for an occasional momentary step back.

Of course, there is the problem of international courts where people eventually go and win, but the regime is busy working at a solution to this problem by getting ready to denounce all past treaties, to leave all international restraints behind and by creating new international organizations that will not only forget about human rights but might even favor such abuses.

The moment when Chavez did his successful coup was December 1999 when a country traumatized by the Vargas disaster did not pay attention when under the protection of the new constitution "transition period" Chavez appointed all the judges of the new high court.  Everything that has happened then as to the regime's abuses and its power consolidation can be traced to that moment, when chavismo took over the judiciary to the point that today the head of the court is criticizing the notion of separation of power as an antique bourgeois concept.  The scheme has been more or less applied to Nicaragua and Ecuador who now have a much more compliant judicial system that allows even constitutional changes by judicial fiat in Nicaragua.

There was still Bolivia.  Since it is a multi ethnic country always on the verge of braking up, Evo Morales and his accomplices could not take over the judicial power just with the constituent assembly.  Some concession had to be made to ensure that Evo would become president and control at least the legislative.  But the judiciary had to be dealt with eventually.

A more convoluted system was chosen out of necessity and propaganda: judges would be elected, or rather, ratified by the people.  In short, high court judges would be selected upon objective criteria by the national assembly with a 2/3 vote and then the people would pick among the selection the judges they did want.  On paper it looks brilliant and democratic in an age of indignados that want to vote on everything; but in practice, in a very polarized country the result was that ALL the candidates submitted to vote were from the Evo Morales group.

Evo's party controls the 2/3 of the assembly even though he does not control 2/3 of the vote.  And in their greed they could not even allow a few token opposition associated judges.  You know, for the "dissent" voice that gives an aura of respectability to any judicial process.  In an already weakening position, prodded by his Venezuelan advisers, as the arrogance of the Evo entourage kept increasing, they could not resit to try to get all the high court judges in Bolivia.  All.  No compromise, no appearance saving scheme.  All.  They even decided to forbid any campaigning, so as to have people vote directly out of party's instruction since it seems that people had a hard time to get access to the CV of the candidates....  So much for XXI century socialism democratic talent!

So the opposition did the only sensible thing left: vote null.  It seems that they won the vote as the blank and null votes could reach 60% of the votes counted. True, they get stuck with the all but appointed pro Evo judges but they reach office discredited and Evo gets his first electoral defeat, losing his Chavez like aura of invincibility.

What is in store for the future of Bolivia this blogger cannot predict, but hard days are ahead for Evo now that his revolution moral ground died in a dusty road way a few weeks ago.  And after the example at Geneva last week on how the world has caught on the Chavez scheme of justice control I suspect that Evo is going to start losing fast all the sympathy he had in many capitals as he will look more and more like just another power hungry creep. Even "Liberal" media in the US are noticing it tonight......

UPDATE: with the TSJ ruling in Caracas today you can understand even better why Evo wants a submissive judicial power.


  1. Anonymous5:55 AM

    Dunno Daniel, but from our experience in Venezuela, I hardly believe that Evo will lose some sleep because the judges or the judiciary system have no credibility (remember Luisa Estela?).
    It won't matter if the new members of Bolivia's Supreme Court are a bunch of analphabet apes or blind parrots, as long as they can get rid of the dissenting voices...

  2. Sheep leading sheep. That's what can happen when "democracies" malfunction. They elected leader truly represents the pack, he's one of them. A recipe for disaster. As in Vzla, a medio-malandro, semi-campesino soldadito leading the uneducated pueblo, largely his peers. You can't have that. The elected oficials, and especially presidents, have to be Elite in many ways, not just like the average Joe. Smarter, prepared, better educated. This Evo coca-chewing clown is not even a Shaman or Cacique leading the rest of the Indians in Bolivia. He's a dumb, average, uneducated aborigen.

    Even in the animal world, tribes and packs have their very best as leaders. Elephants follow the wisest, smartest, most experienced Matriarch, and such. But not in Vzla or Bolivia..

  3. RabbiBulla10:19 AM

    Beautifully spoken, Sledge!
    They (Chavez, Evo,Rafael,et al)are all "drama queens"-psuedo-modern/retro actor clown lying,cheating ham racists.
    I hope people turn off the TV when they show these creeps-because they are ruining the minds of children...

  4. Agree with Sledge. But, I am more concerned with the “pack” than with the clowns. The mantra that we keep repeating is that Venezuelans are uneducated, and we present that fact as the reason why thugs like Chavez have the support that they enjoy. People like Chavez can be found probably in every society. Also, the “mob” or “sheep” are a majority in every society. However, there has to be a problem in the “quality” of the sheep. There are countries in which the sheep is uneducated and perhaps outright stupid, but they mostly behave according to very basic principles and values, which has the effect to hold together the social contract. You could call it, “common sense.”

    There is no common sense in Venezuela. No principles and no values. If someone ever believed that animals could behave better than humans, then, this example – Venezuela – cannot get any better (well, perhaps, Somalia is better). It is astounding that despite the pervasive destruction on every order, the thug still has a healthy amount of support. The highest inflation rate in the planet, total deterioration of public services, one of the highest murder rates in the world, and etc., etc, and etc., is infinitely more than enough to get this band of thugs out of power, but not in Venezuela. So, I currently ask myself what can really be done, because it is clear that if Chavez dies soon he will get replaced by someone from within the ranks of this band, and the “pueblo” will barely protest. See, when this guy Navarrete says that if Chavez dies then the military would have to take power, I begin to think that something is irreversibly damaged in the psyche of Venezuelans. Their behavior defies all and every logical thought.

    Any reasonable person knows and agrees with the notion that those in power have to be better than the average Joe. They have to be very educated and knowledgeable in the arts of government. That is, they have to govern, not “mandar,” which is exactly what this thug is doing, with the “beneplacito” of the mob. Thus, Venezuelans placed an order for destruction of their country, and it is proceeding very well. Is there any reason to be optimist? I don’t think so. There are countries that are just destined to fail no matter what.

  5. Chavismo( including its LA offshoots) values complying to the letter of the law while totally violating its spirit and essential intention to impose a dictatorial system while keeping a democratic veneer.Fortunately there are many people inside AND outside of Chavismo who equate the letter of the law, with morality and/or validity.

    The law is intended to create justice, but when its intentions are to pervert it, it no longer serves its purpose.

    Complying to the letter of the law allows them to argue that they are adhering to the will of the people while imposing their own.

    For this reason it must be uncomfortable for them to be an open breach of International agreements and they would prefer to withdraw from these organizations and join other more like minded groups, even if these would not have the same democratic credentials.Some might even call this " progress";)

  6. RJ,

    I agree with much of what you say; a lack of education is not the main problem but there is a lack of common sense and deficiency of values in doubt...but I would add the following which I consider of utmost importance and somehow related:

    Psychological research has shown that people vote with their emotions and not their minds....I invite others to investigate this because I am not willing to go through that on this blog .The problem is that most of us are unaware of this factor. But the emotional brain can cloud awareness to such an extent that normally intelligent folks lose their reason.Venezuela has many emotional hangups.It is a country of great resentments and emotional immaturity illustrated by a tendency towards blaming others for their own inadequacies.

    Germany was the most educated country in Europe when it elected Hitler.The real cause was that they were in a bad emotional place feeling victimized by the victors of the first World War.Their indignation and hatred came from the feeling that their rightful place as the most powerful country in Europe had been stolen by others by treacherous means.This augmented national paranoia.

    In Venezuela, Chavez fills an emotional void by reinforcing people’s feeling of victimization and their need to identify emotionally with a leader of their own kind who is promising to retrieve the Nations wealth that had been stolen by the Empire and by the rich.

    In both cases vengeance and hatred towards the supposed perpetrators of great injustice were underlying motives that have/ or had little to do with education in any traditional sense and more to do with negative emotional patterns. easy to read book and good enough is: "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation " by Drew Westen PHD.....despite his bias towards the Democratic party he manages to illustrate this point...

  7. Charly2:04 PM

    I came across an interesting definition of Venezuela in a book just published called "The Quest" by Daniel Yergin, a foremost authority on energy. One chapter is on the petrostate and Vnzla was chosen as an example. The fellow managed in 17 pages to capture the essence of the country. It left me with a bitter taste. You see, whether Chavez disappears or not does not matter. The country is doomed, at least until oil disappears. The "dame, dame" syndrome.


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