Monday, October 08, 2012

When mediocrity and resentimiento win all over

I remember when I arrived to the US, decades ago to do my MS-PhD, I met several Iranians. They were reasonably fresh from leaving their country, maybe a year or two before the Ayatollahs took over, maybe a year or two after. It did not matter, they all shared two things, a cosmopolitan worldly view of the world and a deep reluctance to talk about their country besides the ritual “yes, it is bad”, “we still have family there” and the ever coming “No, I think that I am staying here because, you know, an US degree is more marketable here than there”. Clearly, none of them wanted to get into details, none wanted to admit that they were never returning home.

Tonight out of the blue I recalled some of these scenes, when I chose to walk my dog for her midnight pee rather than listen to the high pinched, almost bratty voice of Tibisay. What for? Whatever edge Chavez had, I would read it on tweeter as soon as I plugged back in.

While I was working at the Election Day coverage I was urged to write about what would happen to this blog depending on the result. I really wanted to do it before the results came, thus in a hurry this afternoon I wrote that post. Now in hindsight I realize that deep inside me I knew what was going to happen, how for all appearances something was missing. That is what pushed me to write so crudely about what I would do if Chavez were to win, because I knew deep down that there was that possibility.

And it was walking my dog in the cooler night air, with all of my neighbors inside in silence while from downtown the fireworks were starting, that I went back to my Iran friends from long, long ago. I am not going to keep blogging as I have been doing because like them, I am ashamed of my country. I understand that now, why they always tried to avoid talking about their country and why they tried so hard to become as American as they could get away with. They were embarrassed that their kinsmen had surrendered to an obscurantist cult, a return to the middle ages, or whatever passes as middle age obscurantism in Iran’s history.

I am certainly upset and somewhat depressed at Chavez victory. But to tell you the real truth, I am strangely relieved because a few decisions have been made for me and now I just need to refocus my life. To understand this you need to recall that I am a scientist and that no matter how hard it is for us, there is no such a thing as bad data. Data is data, period. It is up to one to figure out its true implication.

When I predicted a Capriles victory by 500K, refusing, note, to get carried away by those who said 1 million or more, starting by Capriles himself, I never forgot to mention that abstention was the key, if not of victory at least on the margin of victory. My mistake in the end was to see that abstention was not going to be that high and then fooling myself into the capacity of Capriles to peel out directly votes away from Chavez as compensation. It did not happen, half of the people that abstained in 2007 and 2010 went back to chavismo in what we are told is the biggest turnout in a couple of decades.

During the day I was seeing all of these people voting, and the first reports of the mini CNE here did indeed worry me although I never let it show, though I resisted the natural urge of exit polls, remembering how those flopped in 2004. The lack of abstention propelled Chavez to his third term.  It is thus necessary to look at the data and interpret it.

The people who reelected Chavez today know exactly what they voted for. They know about crime and violence. They know about inflation and scarcity. They know about vulgarity as a way of life. They know about political prisoners while the most corrupt cast of our history roams the streets free. They know about power outages that will never be solved, about public services getting worse everyday, starting with the vaunted governmental misiones. So, why did they vote for Chavez? For a free washer? For the promise of a cheap and low quality housing for which they will not have good utilities and no job to keep it up?

People who voted for Chavez voted for him because of Capriles (it would have been the same with Leopoldo Lopez and even Pablo Perez for that matter). They voted against Capriles because they were reminded that education matters, that to get ahead in life you needed to improve yourself, respect some rules, respect thy neighbor. And they cannot do so or are unwilling to do so, same difference in my book. Chavez in 14 years has transformed into virtue what were the vices of Venezuelan society and thus, as I wrote more than once, Chavez was the true conservative, reactionary, candidate that you vote for because you are afraid of change. People vote for Chavez because even if they have no running water or electricity, they feel good about themselves because the president of the country is as flawed as they are, and in the mean version of flawed. He is the one that will insure that you may remain a sinvergüenza.

Chavez did not create them, they existed already when he became president. He just reinforced their beliefs in a worthy self loathing transformed into a weird arrogance: el resentimiento social. That is why invasiones are OK as long as they do not happen with your property. That is why you put up with the harsh life conditions we suffer now because whenever you feel like abusing society you need not feel guilty about it. True, not all chavistas are like that and some still, for some strange reason, believe that their salvation will only come from the state. But every day more and more are becoming resentidos.

The harsh fact we are facing now, with a result so clear of 54% out of 80% voting, is that 43% of Venezuelans hate people like me. Maybe not to the point of killing me but to the point of trying to screw me in any which way they can. And many of them indeed have no problem to kill me if given a chance. Now in Venezuela you will have all the trouble in the world to manage employees, to be served according to what you are willing to pay for, to demand that public servant do the job they are appointed to do. Because if you feel that you have rights then they will see this as a direct impingement on their comfort.

Do you want me to keep writing about such people?

When I started writing this blog in December 2002 the world thought that Chavez was the real thing. Now, outside of fringe creeps, the whole world knows that Chavez is a thug. I like to think that I contributed to this greatly. After all, in a mere three years I went from obscure blogger to writing a piece for the BBC for the presidential election of 2006 where I hinted at all that was going to happen in front of Chavez imminent reelection. Then came the 2009 referendum and I never quite recovered, my blogging changed to a certain bitter self indulgence, heralding the inevitable outcome of today.

Now outside they know that after 6 disastrous years Chavez still managed to be reelected as if nothing. Their question now is going to become why that is possible. We are a country entering international ridicule. And I want no part of it; I am too embarrassed to explain that 40% of the people that live around me are sinvergüenzas and that most of the 60% else are rather spineless. I cannot justify that I am still hanging out with them. Just as my Iranian friends were embarrassed that women at home gladly wore back the Chador just to make a point, even if it demeaned them immensely. They may regret it today but it is too late as it will be too late for that chunk of maybe 10% of the electorate that may have voted for chavismo for fear of losing their job or some other cowardly excuse. They are doomed to a mental Chador and they do not know it.

To finish this I do not want to put any blame on Capriles. He believed in what he did and he did it well, too well surely. His problem was that with most politicians of Venezuela they did not have the courage to lose an election based on true principles, to force the sinvergüenzas to vote for Chavez in full knowledge of the situation. Instead they pretended that by promising a better chavismo, a Brazilian Lulaesque approach, they would convince people. As I anticipated already in the primaries discussions, they failed because when everything is said a sinvergüenza is not going to try an ersatz when he already has the real thing.

Need I remind you that I voted for Maria Corina Machado in February? Sure enough she would have done less well than Capriles, much less maybe, but at least she would have educated the people, forced them to consider the real option to get us out of our mediocrity. People would have known of a true different project so at least when chavismo fails, as it will do sooner or later, cancer or not, all such regimes meet their demise, people would have a clear idea on where to go, what the option is, even if they do not care much for that option. Now, after the Capriles' campaign the country as a whole thinks that chavismo light or hard are the only valid options and thus our agony will be unnecessarily prolonged, even if Chavez were to croak tomorrow. Once again, we have missed our option to a real education. Along those lines if there is one thing where I truly failed is to let the absolute need to get rid of Chavez force me to go along and pretend to agree with at least some parts of the MUD proposals.

I am not going to stop writing on what will happen next in Venezuela, not immediately. I will continue to blog for a while, trying to reach December with electoral analysis, scenarios and what not because like any good experiment a scientist makes, he writes a paper about it even if he is going to change his research interest. In December the blog will reach its ten years mark so I am aiming at that.

But when January rolls in things will be different. I do not know yet what it will be for sure, but one of the goals will be to create a more private and civilized sphere, away from the chavismo mental lumpen. A private refuge for those who want to discuss literature, history, art, music, tourism, related to Venezuela, perhaps. Political articles about Latin America instead? Too much blogging over the years has delayed too much reading and it has to stop. I need to refresh my mind. To survive the next years in Venezuela, there is a need for a classy place where few are welcome. As a start I have restored the full moderation policy so that as of now I will not have chavistas and assorted anonymous write whatever they feel like writing. Posting in the comment section will be a privilege and too bad if maybe I get zero comment in the end. I am now beyond all of that, beyond blog competition, beyond google analytics who beat all blog records tonight, beyond the possible glory of a black out by CANTV, beyond citation by JVR, beyond interviews, beyond.... And mostly beyond saving those that do not want to be saved.

And believe it or not, tonight coexist in me two feelings, depression and relief. The problems of my country are not mine anymore even if I have to suffer from them.


  1. Another stolen election

  2. kernel_panic7:56 AM

    Well, I'm glad that you will still blog, even if it wont be mainly about venezuelan politics (altough, pretty please, post on this topic at least once a month)

    I posted on the election day post, so I wont repeat that here, but please, read my comment there :p

    Regarding what you say, yes, I'm angry that how is it possible that with the country in the state that it is still keeps voting for chavez, and I agree, partly, on what you say. I'm not as ashamed as angry that a bunch of ignorant vagos get to enjoy when I work hard to improve my life (and others) and all I get are obstacles...

    I sincerely hope that things implode for chavez, as pointed in CC, next year with devaluation, rationing, blackouts and the like get to such proportions that this finally implodes... but I know that wont happen because el pueblo is enamoured with chavez, and in love, there's no reasoning... either that, or the messiah effect (my conclusion is still valid)

    The only thing left for me to do is keep opposing this lifestyle and to do the best that I can with whatever I have, I try to enjoy my life as much as possible and if I can still work on what I like to do, then it's not that bad (altough it could be so much better)

    And for you too, Daniel, if you want to change your writing path, it's ok by me (and I'm sure that by lots of other people), just please don't forget your "blogging roots". Whatever makes you happy (and doesnt hurt others) is good and you should do so.

    Now, you say something very interesting:

    "...she would have educated the people, forced them to consider the real option to get us out of our mediocrity. People would have known of a true different project so at least when chavismo fails, as it will do sooner or later, cancer or not, all such regimes meet their demise, people would have a clear idea on where to go, what the option is, even if they do not care much for that option."

    It's not too late to do that, the MUD should still keep up with the hard and good work, because even if not by a new government,we, as human beings, have to strive to become better persons and we have to know that the better we are to others and the better that others are to ourselves, the better for everyone.

    The last thing I can say is that, as soon as you can, meet with your SO, hug, lay down togheter in silence and rejoice for having each other because even if the world is a piece of crap, at least that piece of crap has something valuable that kinda makes up for it and that makes your life, not only less sh--ty, but even, enjoyable. That ought to give the strength needed to keep going ahead.

    Once more, thank you for everything, now, I'll crash.

  3. Daniel gracias por tu esfuerzo y por tu trabajo. Gracias por este artículo en especial. Describe en su totalidad mis sentimientos y la triste realidad d nuestro país. Si te sirve de consuelo, tu pesar es el mio y el de mi familia. Ser educado en un país donde te odian por serlo es terrible. Espero que algún día nos podamos conocer en persona (tienes una casa en México cuando quieras) y tomar un buen ron mientras hablamos de música libros o cualquier trivialidad. Un fuerte abrazo y recuerda que antes de ser venezolano eres persona.

  4. Daniel - traducelo que esto merece ser difundido.
    Daniel - la lucha (y el cancer) continuan! Pronto tendremos otra oportunidad!

    1. Me adhiero a esta petición. Necesitamos este análisis en castellano.

    2. If that is published in Spanish so many people will misunderstand it that I do not want to take the risk. I am hated enough in English as it is :)

  5. Daniel, thank you for your thoughts. I can't begin to comprehend your situation at the moment, but I certainly do empathize. I also can’t comprehend the mindset of Venezuelan voters who continue to throw their lot in with Chávez, but I can empathize with them as well. I believe many of them do so out of desperation, but one should never confuse desperation with hope.

    If you continue to write, I will continue to read. There is a datum for you, and a datum for me (I'm not a scientist, but I believe I think like one). It's not a reason for you to continue writing; I could give you reasons, but they would be my own, and they must be your own - as you well know.

    My hope for the future of Venezuela still exists, and now rests largely on one future possibility. I have heard some discuss whether or not Venezuela would be better off with some kind of Pinochet, with varying definitions of what exactly that is. My hope is not that Venezuela finds its Pinochet, but that Chávez IS Venezuela’s Pinochet. Obviously, that needs an explanation.

    While there may still be some in Chile who recall Pinochet fondly, and any number who acknowledge that he did some good things for the country, a majority are unified on one thing: that he was a murderous dictator. More importantly, they are unified by the idea of “Never again,” that they will never allow another murderous dictator to rule their country. (They are probably unified on each term separately, but more so together.) My impression is that, while they differ over whether Piñera’s or Bachelet’s way is/was better, or maybe something else, they are unified in their desire to strengthen democracy and make sure the alternative does not return.

    My hope is that Chávez becomes, in a way, Venezuela’s Pinochet - that he becomes the leader who, whether anyone remembers him fondly or not or recognizes good things about his tenure, makes a majority of Venezuelans say “Never again.” Never again to choose an autocrat who offers cheap promises he cannot deliver. Never again to choose a leader who rules by dividing the country and setting the people against each other. Never again support a leader who preys on desperation by pretending it is hope. Never again pick a leader who gives handouts to a lucky few while leaving the majority thinking their only future is to be the next one to receive, when they will not be because there is never enough to go around. Never again choose a leader who trades a license to steal in exchange for unquestioning loyalty from his lackeys in authority.

    The list can go on, but in a way, while Chávez winning defers my hope, it also increases it. Because the longer this farce – this fraud – goes on, the more obvious it will become that his way is not a true solution for the country. The longer it goes on, the more people will join the “Never again” belief, and believe it more firmly. I feared that a Capriles win might see too many problems to resolve, and a wish by voters to return to “the good old days” under Chavez, or someone making the same promises, much like we see Argentina continually trying to regain the days of Perón. Venezuela has clearly not reached low enough to want a change, and so has certainly not reached the point of “Never again.” Not yet. Though it will only get there by continuing its downward spiral. But the deeper it goes, the greater the chance of coming out of it and “never again” returning.

    Que Dios bendiga a Venezuela.

  6. Eduardo11:15 AM


    I have taken a quick look at your e-mail. Let me talk about my experience.

    Im am Peruvian. I remember that in 1990, Alan García left the countrie shattered.

    To be concise, imagine basically the Venezuelan situation now.

    -Add 3500% of anual inflation (yes, more than 30% monthly), and economic recesion.
    -Add two terrorist groups operating.
    -No international reserves, no operating money. No international loans.
    -On the plus, less criminality, the water service operating acceptably in Lima (bad outside Lima).
    -Big corruption, but less than in Venezuela (maybe because we had less money).

    There is a long plus, including that they did NOT raise gas and many other government controlled products on the last months of government.

    So, the scenary was ready for the following government to go to hell. And Alan García was happy stirring that hell (there is a tape on this).

    Well, in 2001, Alan Garcia got the second place in the presidential election. Absolutely incredible for such an irresponsible president. In 2006, I was astonished that people placed him side to side with Ollanta Humala. Therefore I was sure that Ollanta was going to get elected in 2011.

    I decided it was enough. I had push a long way, with no results. And it was clear that my mentality was not suited to it.

    So I emigrated, (by chance) to Norway. Of course this entails many problems. There is a lot of adaptation effort (I'm not a boy anymore).

    -Basically, people follow the rules.
    -There is an absolutely incredible low criminality. I've a lot to talk about it.
    -I have a job, as engineer in my specialty.

    So, I will never regret leaving where I feel better.

    I hope the best for Venezuela, even in this gloomy times. And I hope the best for my country, of course.

    Thanks for all your effort up til now!.


  7. I just came across your blog yesterday, I'm too a scientist that looked for a way out of the country where to have a better live and I'm now living in Europe.

    Yesterday I voted and was excited to see so much people voting and so many expressing they will.

    Even if I don't agree (or want to accept) the most bitter parts of your post I do feel a great deal of empathy and many of your thought are also mine.

    It is a pity though, but I stayed up all night thinking why that happens and your comments make the better sense thus far.

    I'll be surely following you while you continue blogging bith, for politics and for new distractions out of Venezuelan politics talking about tourism and natural beauties of Venezuela.

    Un saludo caluroso.


  8. Stefan11:46 AM

    Daniel, I`m a journalist, that is, I write for a living. And yet I´m impressed how, just a few hours after the shock, in a state of sadness, you could write such a thoughtful and brilliant essay which sheds light not only on Venezuela but also -- and maybe much more -- on parts of the human nature. I have one wish: that one day you write a novel, to tell future generations about this madness whose chronicler you have been. In the spirit of Horatio: “And let me speak to the yet unknowing world / How these things came about; so shall you hear / Of carnal, bloody and unnatural acts, / Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, / Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause, / And, in this upshot, purposes mistook / Fall`n on the inventors` heads: all this can I / Truly deliver."

    1. Stefan is on to something. I bet a book would be cathartic, educational for the rest of the world, and profitable for you :-)

    2. Anonymous8:53 AM

      Dear Daniel,

      I agree with Stefan and KS. I thank you for everything.


  9. That was one of the best posts in a long time - especially considering the circumstances. You have put in a hell of a lot of good work. I keep coming back when the news just doesn't fit together in my mind. I am sadenned as well by the mediocrity expressed in these results. I find it difficult to imagine that Chavez has six more years in him - but what difference would another sinverguenza make? Good luck in your future endevours.

  10. Milonga12:37 PM

    Sad, so sad. Nobody can convince me that numbers were not tampered. Any babe can hack a computer nowadays. I have thought that all along and commented on it. There was no way HCF would allow some votes to stop his "revolution".

    1. Anonymous3:01 PM

      According to the numbers posted at the devil, more than 15 million people voted yesterday. Does anyone actually believe that?

      Not to mention that most people accept it because Boccaranda's twits saying that the election was turning in Chavez's favor thanks to the late votes. But those twits happened after the account was hacked. They came from the government to soften the blow of the fraud.

      And by the way, take your money out of the bank IMMEDIATELY. The government's vote-buying efforts left them without a cent and they're about to expropriate all the banks to steal that money.

    2. Sorry but there is no vote rigging in any large scale. The problem is that the fraud is PRE election, in vote buying. And there is nothing you can do against that when you have such a thuggocracy in charge.

      Chavez won, even if the country is deadly quiet today as the winners seem somewhat ashamed of what they did. Good!

  11. the clearer the better12:45 PM


    I totally agree with your post. It is so depressing to have confirmed what we always knew about our fellow Venezuelans. As I have said to too many people to recount, the real reason Chavez is still in power in Venezuela, is because there are too many people for whom he represents everything they are themselves. Sinvergüenzas as you say, and especially Vagos.

    "They voted against Capriles because they were reminded that education matters, that to get ahead in life you needed to improve yourself, respect some rules, respect thy neighbor. And they cannot do so or are unwilling to do so, same difference in my book," as you say yourself.

    This is the sad fact about the majority of Venezuelans today. They are only concerned with "Cuanto hay pa'mi", in return for nothing from them - I correct myself, they will keep you in power as long as you keep on distributing- irregardless of the fact that the state is falling apart all around them!! Embarrassing as a Venezuelan to admit that they represent the majority.

    I have already left, I can only imagine that the brain drain will only accelerate once again after this depressing reelection of Chavez.

    Good luck and thank you for all you have contributed in telling the story of our country over the last ten years. No matter which way you choose to go with your blog, I am sure your readers will follow.


    Un tocayo

    1. Tocayo

      Yes, the brain drain will speed up. We are fucked.

  12. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Best post ever, Daniel, congratulations. I have long looked for the right words to express what you are writing here, but never was able to do so. The only thing I would add is that it's not only the 43% that you descrbe so well, it's also the approx. other "half" of the nuveaux riche and middle class sifrinos, who cannot imagine a life without e.g. a maid, a living style reserved in developed nations only for the true and traditionnally rich or for aristocracy.
    It is those non-chavistas that are equally sinverguenzas dividing people in the well to-do and the "others.", or chusma and such create resentment. Staying with this example, I now understand why the sifrinos have such a hard time to find a reliable maid. The maids have had it, they have Chavez who they believe will eventually provide for them without being mistreated as a 2nd class citizen.
    It is also those sifrinos tourists who come here, respecting no basic citizenship rules, such as a stop sign, littering, waiting in line, getting drunk and loud publicly and drive drunk while at the same time showing off their Blackberry and newly enhanced breasts not realizing the fools they are making out of themselves.
    Maybe I am stereotyping, but for the most part Venezuelans have not earned any respect, like e.g. the hard-working Cubans. American businesses take their money, but behind their back ridicule them. I am ashamed for them, when I see some of this worst sinverguenza behavior here.
    And btw, I noticed you using the word "American"? Slip of the pen, or your subconscious mind realizing what an insignificant topic this really is compared to Chavez being reelected?
    I totally disagree with your forwardgoing moderation policy. No, nobody wants "uh, ah" Chavista bragging here, but to me it shows some bitterness that gets relieved at the cost of freedom of expression, but hey, it's your blog!
    Otherwise, I wish you the best wherever the future takes you. I feel like I have a made a friend over the years reading you and commenting. I got some of my comments erased, most of them deservedly so, because they were driven by the emotion of the moment. But, what you never will get from this redneck, is hypocricy or a "yes-man" attitude.

    1. American for me is from the continent America. Otherwise I generally specify North American

    2. Good comments will always be posted, no editing, no reproach. People just need to be patient.

  13. Ronaldo1:41 PM

    Thanks Daniel. Your best post ever. I am sad and will probably never visit Venezuela again.

    Capriles will be spared from fixing all the problems created by Chavez.
    Moreover, Chavez can now be the complete dictator with an election to show it. Venezuela will get the leadership they wanted.

    I predict that everything will get worse. Human rights are on their way out. The economy is going downhill. Public services will stop. Chavez and his inner circle and family will become royalty.

    This blog has been a favorite. I hope you keep it going if in smaller state.

    Thanks again.

  14. Greetings from South Africa,

    Commiserations to you and all non-Chavista Venezuelans. Reading your heartfelt post made me shudder as I realise that, although not Venezuelan, I too live in a country where a majority continue to vote for a man who is leading the country to ruin. In our case he's a middle school drop out, a polygamist, fraud and accused rapist. A man who wallows in a cesspool of corruption, nepotism, classism, racism and jingoism. And they vote for him because, as you say, they feel good about themselves because the president of the country is more flawed than they are.

    Cry, our beloved countries.

  15. I echo what a previous poster said. The fact that you have written such a well-written piece, during such an emotional letdown...that's very impressive. We, your readers, appreciate your hard work.
    One question that no one seems to address is, are the numbers of the CNE trustworthy? Is it possible to know? Is there a paper trail, or does the CNE just release numbers and that's that?
    Again, Daniel, many thanks for all of your hard work.

  16. Daniel, The fight has just begun and it is not just one that pertains to Venezuela, but to the World.I can understand your frustration about continuing or not.This is a decision that is yours and I respect it, though I would hope for you to continue the fight in someway or another, inside or outside of Venezuela, as it is best for you.I am traveling right now and can hardly write, but just wanted to say my heart is with Venezuela...estoy de luto tambien!!My husband and I love you, and are very grateful for your efforts.I have some reasons why we "lost", but would rather not go into them today.....maybe when I return home next week.

    Abrazos !

  17. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Thank you very much for your dilligence over the years. I usually toggle between you and the devil for updated information about what is going on around me. I know he reads your blog, so I will not duplicate this note on his site. Thanks to you both. With the media blockage and government propaganda, the truth seldom surfaces about the "real" Venezuela that so many don't know or understand. They only see what the government model wants them to see which is, everthing is fine and we are an example of the most democratic government in the world...What a fk'n joke that is.

    I am not a Venezuelano, but after living here for over 10 years and being married to a Venezuelana for half of that, I feel enlightened enough to make comments from time to time on these sites. A benefit of not being from here is that I see things sometimes differently, and I realize the black hole that Venezuela has become in recent years everytime I cross the border (doesn't matter which one as all countries visited are a relaxed improvement).

    What bothers me most about the vote result last night is that it was the last straw. We will never know the real vote count, but we now know that it is useless to vote again. Whether the CNE adjusted the vote count, or the rabid chavistas, wealthy opportunistas, drug cartels or the castro connection were actually able to inject that many votes to hold onto power, the result is the same. Useless or Hopeless, either one fits. The will of the people was not rewarded last night, and the disbelief this morning echoes a deafening silence. If Capriles reads this, I would like to say thanks for giving us the hope.

    As soon as the borrowed flash election money dries up, conditions will deteriorate quickly. Parallel dollar rates at over 12/1 makes another devaluation certain. I am not sure what accelerating the socialist model means, but I am sure it is not good.

    We have options that my wife's family, and the friends that I have made over these 10+ years don't have, and we will probably move on. But I am mixed between sick to my stomach, and mad as hell about the future of the ones who will have to stay and endure this bizaro world castro model.

    Thanks again for all you and Miguel have done for this country. I wish you the best.


  18. Siempre hay esperanza cuando hay voluntad.La tristeza, la ira, la rabia... se pueden usar para el bien...asi ,convertirlo en sabiduria, fuerza de seguir, poder, y persistenicia.La pelea no ha terminado...

    Ya apenas comienza ! Esto no es un problema solamente de del mundo entero...hay que seguir denunciandolo con todos los detalles !!!!


  19. Daniel, thank you. Just thank you.

  20. I have been out of words since last night when I learned the results. Out of words and full of tears and much sadness, not so much for losing the election, but because of the embarrassment I feel when I think that people like iris Varela and Mario Silva won with Chavez, and they will continue rubbing on our faces that they have the absolute power and there is nothing that we can do about it.

    Reading your article I realize I feel the same embarrassment like your iranians felt back then.

    Thanks for these words and for giving us a balance ground in the middle of these madness.

    Meanwhile, I'll keep singing the mecano's song: "no me pidas que sonria, que estoy triste."

  21. Hi Daniel;

    I feel bad for Venezuela today, but let’s face it without sounding elitist, we are in the Minority. Intelligent and civilized people are not the common denominator, especially in most of Spanish Influenced countries. (Spain itself is not far behind).
    I feel bad for saying this, but unfortunately the countries have the leaders they deserve.
    Here is a true story, 2 weeks ago, I just received a cousin that had just arrived to Miami, while having a barbecue at my House, Chavez’s conversation started and my appetite went away when I hear my cousin who have wasted her life and part of her daughter’s in Cuba’s sea of crap, say that In Cuba we were all praying for Chavez to win, because if he was to loose, things would have gotten tougher. At that point I realized that just like your Iranian friends I had made the right choice 17 years ago to leave all that behind.
    Sad, but true story.

    PD: Patria no es la que te vio nace, sino la que te dio de comer.

  22. @Anonymous >> "Maybe I am stereotyping, but for the most part Venezuelans have not earned any respect, like e.g. the hard-working Cubans. American businesses take their money, but behind their back ridicule them. I am ashamed for them, when I see some of this worst sinverguenza behavior here."
    >> Who are you talking about? Boliburgueses or Venezuelans living abroad. I am part of the second group and I can tell you that this country (and many others) has got a good bunch of excellent professionals that feel Venezuela is no longer a place for them. Most of the Venezuelans emigrating so far are in fact "hard working professionals", with high levels of education and experience, that are now employed in many different places that appreciate the talent leaving our country.

  23. kernel_panic5:24 PM

    I was revisiting the old "chavez advantage in the 3 key states" and I think we have to be optimistic for the regional elections:

    Chavez made a recovery of 13% in those 3 states from 2010 to yesterday, and he dropped about 10% from 2006 to 2008.

    He won because the electorate went to vote for him, because HE was the one that was at stake and we have now confirmation that, historically, the chavista will defend chavez but not as much his henchmen.

    The oppo won 3 states:
    Merida: 52-48
    Miranda: by 0.03%
    Tachira: 56-43

    I'm rounding chavez national advantage in the 7O elections to 10%, so this are the states in which chavez won by less of that (nationwide) margin:

    Zulia: 53-46
    Amazonas: 52-46
    Caracas just lost by 0.06% more than that, I'll include it anyways
    Anzoategu: 51-48
    Bolivar: 53-46
    Carabobo: 54-45
    Lara: by 0.3%
    Nv Sparta: 51-48

    Those are the states where the oppo has a shot at, and if you look, except for monagas, aragua and falcon, those are the most important states for the economy and education of venezuela.

    The oppo HAS to keep fighting to win those states, because one thing is that chavez ignores 4-5 states, but half the country? specially with the most important half? that's got to be tougher for him

    He managed to win the presidentials because it was HIM at stake, he won la reforma in 2009 because it was HE at stake, now he is not, and las bases are very very pissed off with some of their leaders, and it's not about chavez anymore.

    To all of you that voted for capriles and feel lost and dissapointed, shake that up because the game is still on, and now, it's a much better shot than yesterday's, if you let chavez get away with the governors, just like on 2006 regional, you'll be completely and utterly S-C-R-E-*-E-D, but if you stand up to the challenge and win the states listed above, the fight will still go on and the camino will be closer.

    As CcsChrnicles said: hay un camino, just not tonight, but it's one that all have to walk

    1. This is not my fight anymore. And after the utter failure of my prediction yesterday I am certainly not going to do electoral predictions anymore, even if the one in 2010 was brilliant.

      I will go and vote for whomever the opposition tells me to vote in Yaracuy. That is it.

    2. Yvonne9:37 PM

      I will do as you. I'll vote, but without hope. As Stalin once said "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything"

  24. Daniel,
    I agree with some stuff you mentioned in here;however, I do not agree with the fact that you called us sinvergüenzas for being part of that 40% who voted against him. I was born in Venezuela and I'm still planning to live here for a couple of years more. But I find quite disrespectful for us the way you express your thoughts. It's easy to express those kinds of feelings when you are not living in the country you are writing about but it doest hurt to the ones who have to keep on living under this "democratic government" in which you cannot express your own thoughts because if they do not follow the government you are suddenly tagged as a betrayer. I am about to graduate from one of the most respectful Universities in here ( ULA ) and I find quite hard and sad the fact that in here no longer exists the pay scale that existed before. Nowadays, no matter how long time you studied in a university and where you are going to get paid the same amount of money as someone who barely finished their degree on high school which is inmensively unfair needless to say. It is unfair that you go to public offices which belong to the Government's administration and you get to see people without any previous preaparation to be there whatsoever. They only need to do is to BE a Chavez's supporter and wear AN EFFING RED T-Shirt on and, the last but not least, say YES to every single foolishness that comes out of his mouth.

    1. Stephen

      I live in Venezuela. I write from Yaracuy. And the sinvergüenzas are 95% in the Chavez camp.

      Read again.

  25. Daniel,
    I am also grateful for your blog over all these years. I have lived in Canada for the last 37 years and it allowed me to follow and understand what has been happening in Venezuela day by day in you brilliant posts and the comments of your readers. This last one, is most enlightening because it makes me look at the things that are hard to look at in the nature of the Venezuelans that have voted for Chavez. Mike's comment above also brings to light the nature of many of the ones the did not vote for Chavez and it is not pretty either.
    It all comes down to a lack of awareness of patterns of belief and behavior that date back to the days of the colony, days slavery and aristocracy.
    I see a downward spiral with Chavez in power for six more years. It will be more of the same and worse. Chavez and his people will seek revenge on those 6 million that are not with them.
    I will always continue to read your posts because briliant and honest people are rare and I feel lucky to have run into your blog.
    Thank you, Daniel

  26. I wish I could offer some comfort but I have no words other than expletives today. Good luck. I look forward to reading your non-political posts!

  27. I will keep on reading as long as you keep writing.Thank you Daniel for the writing.

  28. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I have been reading this blog since 2004 and, for the most part, enjoy the analysis and insight. I happen to disagree with this one entry. I do not believe that the great majority of Venezuelans are "sinverguenzas." Chavez is a master at having the masses connect with him. Most people already have said that they do not approve of Chavez's government, but that it is not his fault. These people identify with the dream Chavez has painted for them; i.e., "I love you: I am here for you when others were not." They don't care about the efficiency of government. Moreover, for the last 14 years Chavez has put together a communicational juggernaut on top of a welfare state. It would have been a miracle if he did not win. The data were there all along, and they had little to do with abstention. The aggregate of all polls indicated that Chavez was going to win by about 11%, and that is exactly what happened. See


  29. A tí que te gustan los números, Daniel. A ver qué de esto es cierto o "whishful thinking".

    1. Pendejadas de amargados que no entienden numeros.

      No point discussing such people, they only make things worse. It is not because in 2004 there was fraud that we shall have it every time. The fraud was BEFORE the vote and that is the one that the MUD did not deal with as it should have done.

  30. Anonymous8:08 PM

    To All:
    Are we seeing the USA following these lines???

  31. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Solo puedo decir que las primarias sirvieron para dos cosas, para poner a un mojonero de candidato a presidente y para destruir moralmente a la oposición zuliana, y hoy recojemos los frutos!
    Por mas esfuerzo realizado por UNT en el zulia, solo se logro convencer de ir a votar por la oposición a los q ya estaban convencidos! el resto se fue con chavez, sus razones tendrán pero una de las mas importante, para mi, fue el hecho, q para muchos tenían q votar por el anticristo zuliano, un caraqueno millonario.
    Asi q gracias MUD, gracias por dejarnos bajo el peligro de padecer a un gobernador chavista por primera vez en la historia del estado e igual seguir teniendo al mismo presidente!
    Capriles ha sido el peor error de la historia de este pais. en el peor momento del chavismo, solo logro aumentar el voto opositor por medio millon de votos mientras el chavismo crece 3 millones! que viva chavez y primero justicia nojoda!
    ahi están, los mismos que en 2006 llamaban a rosales vendido por aceptar la derrota felicitando a capriles por el esfuerzo hecho, cual esfuerzo, si no se logro NADA!

    1. Una cosa es segura, mientras los zulianos sigan pensando como tu no vamos a llegar a nada.

    2. Anonymous6:57 AM

      Igual se pudo haber dicho de Pablo Perez, por cierto que Capriles obtuvo una mejor votacion que Rosales. Con tu linea de Razonamiento, que sentido tiene tener un gobernador no chavista en el Zulia. O es que los Zulianos necesitaban de un Zuliano como candidato a la presidencia? Eso es lo que estas diciendo? O de un ex-adeco que moviera masas como CAP o Lusinchi? Tiene sentido lo que dices?

      A mi lo que me revienta de toda esta verga regionalista, es que seguramente como su candidato no gano, UNT no haya hecho el suficiente trabajo politico para convencer a la gente de votar por Capriles por el bien del Pais. Ojala que este equivocado, pero dios quiera que esos bichos no hayan negociado el Zulia con el Chavismo.

      Como dije ya no tiene caso un gobernador no chavista en el Zulia, quizas lo unico bueno que saldria de todo eso seria la tan anhelada desaparicion de AD, Copei y UNT a nivel nacional. Ya esta bueno de politicos que solo piensan en su parcela y sus privilegios, ya esta bueno de politicos capaces de vender su alma al diablo y negociar bajo la mesa con el Chavismo.

    3. Xenofobía, tan presente en los que están en la oposición como los que están con el gobierno de Chavez. Y no es de ahora, hace más de 20 años me cansé de escuchar como les decían a mis padres españoles de mierda.

  32. First off, a big thanks to you Daniel for all the time and sweat you put into the blog.

    I understand perfectly your reasons for hanging up the political part, and look forward to other subjects, like food perhaps?

    I am not going to give up, I guess I'm a foolish man tilting at windmills and I understand that it is uphill both ways with snow on the ground and I am barefoot, but I am not ready to call it a day quite yet.

    Again, thanks for the blog. I make it a point to check you, CC and the Devil every day, and still will.

    Gracias, mi pana!

  33. Mi querido Daniel,
    hoy sinceramente no tengo ni palabras... te mando un gran abrazo, pronto te escribo.

  34. Anonymous8:56 PM


    Zulia: 53-46
    Amazonas: 52-46
    Caracas just lost by 0.06% more than that, I'll include it anyways
    Anzoategu: 51-48
    Bolivar: 53-46
    Carabobo: 54-45
    Lara: by 0.3%
    Nv Sparta: 51-48

    I am not sure what you are missing. There is no way chavez won Zulia, Anzoategui, and NV Sparta. With that being said and although I admire your spirit about the regionals, do you think it really makes a difference who gets how many votes?

    1. kernel_panic12:06 AM

      Those numbers come from the CNE, at least, as of this morning

      What can I tell you...

      Now, do I think it makes a difference?


      Because it's one thing to ignore 4-5 states, another is to perform a ledezmazo in a single town hall... but to bypass the governments of HALF the states of the country, specially when that half is practically the whole industrial+oil states (just aragua and monagas missing)... that's another thing

      The only way to keep fighting is by winning the states, so that chavez has to deal with the country or come out as the complete autocrat that he is but lots refuse to acknowledge or simply don't notice.

      The oppo can do it, in how many places are the bases of the PSUV mad at their leaders? They arent going to vote for them with the same intensity as they voted for chavez, and that's why the opposition has to at least perform just as it did yesterday.

      This one is FAR winnable that 7-O, and it would be a shame not do do so.


  35. I find the word "sinverguenza" captures the following attitude: I will vote for Chavez despite the fact that he put 4 million Venezuelans and their families in a black list that reduced them to non-citizens (apatridas), denying them many rights and persecuting them politically, judicially and economically
    BUT...he promised to give me an apartment I wont have to work the cost of denying a similar apartment (along with many of their basic rights) to the people in black list ...if so, what's the problem with that? ... as long as I get my apartment without working?
    That is what I call a sinverguenza.

  36. For what is worth I'll repost some comments I posted elsewhere:

    It is important for the politician and the public as well not to see elections as the be all and end all of politics. A do or die event. For sure, elections are defining events and they gather, require and generate enormous energy and resources from the candidates and the people. But the political work is a continuous sustained work.

    Now that Capriles has raised a lot of support from Venezuelans and has become known by everyone, he has become a reference for a large sector of the country. He needs to take that political capital and use it to raise the spirits of his followers and inspire them to participate in the next upcoming event: the governors elections.

    In 2004 after the Referendum Revocatorio was lost the opposition was leaderless and rudderless and only a small percentage of those that voted in the RR people voted in the governors elections. Chávez and his people decided to do an encore this time around when they decided to separate the two elections. It may work just as well this time or it may not. It all depends on the attitude of the people, if they feel defeated they wont participate in December but if Capriles succeeds in lifting their spirits and the candidates do a campaign following the model that Capriles demonstrated in his campaign, then great triumphs are possible.

    That’s why it is important to look ahead and keep going. A little mourning time and then keep forging ahead. Those coming elections are the most important ones, they will determine if the political capital that Capriles created is squandered or if it is increased.
    Remember politics as life is a continuous process.

  37. and another one:

    Even though it wasn’t enough for this elections, it’s clear that Capriles’ message it’s reaching the people. Look at the numbers:

    From 2006 to 2012:
    - the REP grew 19% = 18,903,937 / 15,922,003
    - Chávez grew 13% = 8,223,598 / 7,273,823 (extrapolating)
    - the opposition grew 57% = 6,680,786 / 4,266,937 (extrapolating)

    If for each 20 Venezuelans just one changes his mind the balance is even.
    Think about it.

    There are new elections coming:
    - December, governors
    - March, majors
    - Deputies

    And we don’t know when the next presidential elections may come.
    Hay un camino, arriba ese ánimo.

    1. Certainly an election is not a do or die. In my case it is that 14 years are do or die.

      When my blog is 10 I think I am allowed to retire, or at the very least to take it easy. To find the energy I 'd need to remain in the fight I would need the opposition to abide by some of my conditions and frankly, I do not think anyone is even willing to listen to them.

      Let me remind you that some of my criticism of the Capriles campaign was that if he had won his electoral strategy would put us very close from a Caracazo bis. In a way I like the idea of Chavez having to deal with his own mess rather than the MUD.

    2. kernel_panic12:08 AM

      "When my blog is 10 I think I am allowed to retire, or at the very least to take it easy. To find the energy I 'd need to remain in the fight I would need the opposition to abide by some of my conditions and frankly, I do not think anyone is even willing to listen to them."

      Yes sir, you do, but once again...pretty please... don't retire

      Other than that, do as you feel most comfortable.

      P.S.: Daniel, it's YOUR freaking blog, OF COURSE there's a lot of people willing to listen to you, and, luckily, one of them will be someone with the power to actually do something for the country at a more active level

  38. Anonymous12:52 AM

    Daniel, Ojala todos los Zulianos pensaran como yo, capriles hubiera sacado el 100% de los votos, el gran error del resto del pais, es q nunca terminan de entender como son los zulianos.

    y por cierto, no suelo hacer copy paste de comentarios q haya hecho en otros blogs pero, como veo que aqui tambien andan con lo mismo, pues lo repito>

    Si comparar los resultados del 2006 con los de ahora es lo único q les da esperanza bien por ustedes, pero están equivocados, elección es elección sea cual sea, y en las ultimas elecciones la oposición consiguió casi 6 millones de votos, y el chavismo un poco menos, desde el 2006 un numero importante del chavismo paso al abstencionismo y esta campana fallo en atraer a ese grupo de casi 3 millones q a la final se fue de nuevo con el chavismo, la oposición saco prácticamente lo mismo que había sacado en la ultima elección, capriles el gran puente entre los dos mundos quedo como aquel puende caido de miranda!
    si quieren subirse mas el autoestima pueden comparar los resultdos con los de 1998 y decir q la oposición subió 900 %.
    Capriles no sumo votos, al contrario, logro que los q se habían alejado del chavismo, volvieran a el.

  39. Anonymous1:42 AM

    I'm not Venezuelan but someone born in the US from Colombian parents. Tonight I'm more than embarrassed for my parents than ever before. They are admirers of Chavez, even though they don't live in Venezuela nor plan to live there any time soon. It's hard to understand for an anti-Chavez Venezuelan why they have those opinions but they jive with the explaination given by Daniels about resentidos and why people continually favor Chavez.

    My mother and father never went to college because they were too poor. Both were born in the city of Cartagena and there has been tension between the Costeños and the Cachacos (the people from the interior of the country). Issues of class, race and politics permeate. Along the road they've come to sympathize with the radical left of Latin America as a way of salvation for the latin americans. When they emigrated to the US they kept those opinions and have come to hate not only the Cachacos but the Miami Cubans as well. They love Castro because he continually pokes the eyes of the miamenses and once Chavez came to the scene they naturally gravitate towards him.

    Of course, I know better about the reality of Venezuela but, unfortunately, I'm a minority of one in my family. Even though I've been living by myself I still don't want to tell them what I really think because I don't want to lose them (but may have to some day). Whenever I visit them, it's sickening when they flip to channels on their cable system like Russia Today, CCTV and the like to find any report favorable to Chavez or any vulgar anti-American figure. Needless to say they don't like Uribe but even Uribe was gracious enough to abide by his country's supreme court decision and not run again until at least 2014.

    The reason I'm posting my story now is because you'd find that this resentimiento is not limited to Venezuelans but infect plenty of latin americans. I'm afraid of what happens if latin americans become the majority in the US and start electing charlatans like Chavez.

    1. Anon@7:12, I look forward to reading more of your political/sociological insights, based on your specific personal experiences. Personally, I think what you've written here is worthy of development and publication, in an appropriate journal. Best wishes.

    2. Anonymous,

      I have seen a lot of this in NC.

      Question: Why do your parents stay in the US ? Why don't they try Venezuela or Cuba? Just curious.


    3. Anonymous3:00 PM

      Anonymous, I empathize with you. I also would like to ask Chavez and Castro lovers if they would move to Cuba or Venezuela. The answer is almost always no. It is amazing and fortunate that your parents were able to come to the U.S. It is sad that they cannot appreciate the U.S.

    4. Anonymous4:51 AM

      @ firepigette

      They're walking contradictions. On the one hand, they like Chavez because they say he's for the poor and unrepresented. On the other hand, they support teams like the New York Yankees and Real Madrid, two teams that symbolize rich clubs that spend money to win, the elite in sport. My father worked at a hospital for 40 years as a maintenence worker before retiring. While working he was a member of 1199, a service employees union. My mother never worked full time, IIRC. She stayed home to raise their four children, including me. So my father's really the one that's more political. He's an avid reader of El Diario, a local paper that's very known for left-wing opinions. Most Spanish-language media here lean well to the left, with stories favorable to left-wing figures including Chavez.

      My theory is that it's similar to a soap opera. There are your cartoonish heroes and villians. Chavez represents the misunderstood hero who does what's necessary to help the poor and ignored. His every outrageous utterances are applauded because the viewers like that he's "standing up to the malvados" i.e. the wealthy people in Miami. My mother, in particular, loved that infamous line "esto se huele al azufre" said at the UN. It doesn't matter how immoral the hero is as long as he's standing up to "the big guy."

      No way my father gives up his pension and benefits from the hospital. Both are in their late sixties and I kind of doubt they would survive one day trying to survive in Venezuela or Cuba. Yet, they love to watch Russia Today and read Prensa Latina to get "the real news."

      Like I said before, hard for any anti-Chavez person to understand.

    5. Anonymous,

      Thanks for trying to explain.I suppose the word 'contradiction' that you used is the most telling.Maybe they want to have their cake and eat it to, or something like that....I am glad that at least you through through it.firepigette

  40. Augusta Mia2:55 AM

    I was born in Ecuador now living retired in US. I tried to explain many years ago to a young man (my boss in a global consulting firm) how very different former-UK colonies, like US, are from former-Spain colonies. Since then I have seen US move more & more toward what I perceive is the Spanish model (nepotism, greasing the palm, strong-man rule, disrespect for property rights). US election next month: will the chavistas-sinvergüenzas-resentidos model win?

  41. I am not only willing but I will very much appreciate to hear about what conditions would you need the opposition to abide by, actually I am sure many would like to and benefit from hearing to them.
    Please ....

  42. Anonymous4:23 AM

    First messy decision: When to devaluate and hoy much, this is going to really screw the economy.

  43. Anonymous4:43 AM


    God's speed. Time to pack the bags and move to greener pastures if you're able. Six years is a lifetime at your age. Time to think about your future pana. Look at facts (ie data). It doesn't look good.

    Best of luck

    Alejo Venezuela Paraiso Perdido

  44. Anonymous5:40 AM

    So what Chavez is president for life. I bet its the shortest term he ever had. I think he is too paranoid to push any law that makes his VP a heartbeat away from his job.

    Keep up the good work Daniel

  45. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Siempre he leido tus opiniones con mucho respeto, estoy totalmente de acuerdo con tus reflexiones.Yo en lo particular tuve que construir una coraza(mi casa) , un paraiso (mi jardin y dedicarme a mi pequeña familia.Es inportante descansar y recarga las energias.Te lo digo yo , que en mi caso mis palabras son por partida doble ya que vivo en Nicaragua. Cuando quieras, descansar , estas invitado. You will be surprise , How all those thoughts that you have about Venezuela at this moment,will press your head like a wall. Thank God you are reactig in the right way.Please do not develop Atention Deficit Disorder just stay focus at other matters. More appropiate to your soul .You Sacriface all this days are worth bbeter chances. First time I write here hope it pass . A RINCON

  46. Thank you Daniel for connecting me/us to what's been taking place in V over the past many years.
    The results of the election were saddening indeed, and your decision to retreat, regroup and focus on other aspects of life is understandable.
    Expect the unexpected after this election.
    Now, nearly 50 % of the population know that they, the nearly 50%, oppose Chavez. Knowing the size of your movement, knowing how large it truly is, is strengthening.
    And Chavez's health; we cannot know, but.....
    Daniel, in Canada and many parts of the U.S., governments, whether state, provincial or local ( city/town ) attempt to stay in power by bribing/buying their own civil servants with larger than deserved salary increases, huge pensions etc, because civil servants, including hospital workers, teachers, all govt officials, police etc, are a substantial % of the adult population and an even larger % of the voting population because they all go out to vote to support the govt which is overpaying them.
    ie. exactly the same thing as has just happened in V.
    In my part of the world, where a 60 % voting turnout is good for a state or provincial election, and a 40 % for a city election, the huge turnout of civil servants to vote determine the result, which is why many of our
    governments are going bankrupt.
    Same game.
    Drink some beer, sip some wine, smoke a good cigar, read a good book, hug your main squeeze, enjoy the sunset, swim in the warm ocean, smell some flowers, eat your favourite's Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and even in V you have much to be thankful for.
    Good luck Daniel, and looking forward to reading whatever you decide to blog on.

  47. Don't be too discouraged! This is a prolonged struggle.... It is difficult to compete against the Chavez regime, which has created a dependent class on the basis of governmental largesse. That is difficult to overcome. Capriles did an amazing job and with his loss emerges a broad, solid and united opposition. There is a silver lining to all this: the entire model is based on allegiance to one man - Chavez. His ego has precluded him from establishing a succession plan. Sooner or later he will go away, and with that a power vacuum will emerge. There is an amazing lack of talent and capability in the Chavez organization. Street savvy and aggressive? yes...... Able to keep it together without Chavez? no.... This isn't the last chapter... this is only the beginning.

  48. Anonymous2:51 PM

    Daniel .

    You have done a very good job,I always consult you like a venezuelan oracle.It´s ok to be optimistic for our country .Half of Venezuelan do not care if the whole country blows away.Let them eat their cake.Take a break.I agree 100% in your essay about mediocrity and resentimiento that is why we have to built more stronger and protect from that.

  49. margareth2:52 PM

    Daniel I know how you feel. Lived in many countries in SA and I also remember the time under the regimen of Presidente Stroessner. I can wrtite a book of all my experiences since childhood. By the way Chile is divided about Pinochet and Allende. Under Pinochet the country went well. Paciencia al final todo va bien!

  50. Charly2:56 PM

    Resentimiento seems to be a common characteristics from Chavez to JVR and from then down, down, down el lumpen. I personally reserve my comments because I believe the story is not over but just unfolding, in particular the results of coming regional elections. Will the country remain then rojo rojito? Stay tuned.

  51. I agree with you about MCM.I think she would have had a good shot at reducing the amount of Stockholm syndrome, so abundant in various degrees in Venezuela.Of course she was less popular, but only the less popular people can really teach us something we might not know, that is why they are less popular.People tend to vote for people who think in a similar way to themselves.Maybe in another "life".firepigette

  52. Anonymous4:09 PM

    Another Anonymous

    Bottom line its all about oil. Humans are naturallly lazy, if you feed and cloth them and ask for little in return, they will happily lay about in the sun and do nothing. So long as Chavez has oil $$ to payoff the electorate he will stay in power. When oil prices fall and for Venezuela given the horrendous trade balance, it will only take a $20 fall for things to get really tight... at $60 or lower the country will completely fail. Meanwhile, if oil prices stay elevated, then the charade of bread+circuses will continue...

  53. I've been reading your excellent blog for a very long time , and never expected you to "throw in the towel" , but I understand your feelings , as you've been betrayed by your countrymen .
    I grew up with 3 very good friends , all from Venezuela , all very smart , all US educated , upper-middle class , each of whom had left Venezuela for the many reasons that you enumerate through all of your commentary .
    It pains me that you are so worn out , so beaten down . . . but I applaud you for staying strong for so long , for fighting the good fight

  54. 1979 Boat People8:46 PM

    What can i comment this time since i am not a Venezuelan.

    It has taken An San Suu Kyi a very long time to finally see her dream came true for her beloved country.

  55. It took me nearly 10 years to discover your blog. Apparently just in time to have you possible restrict access or stop altogether.

    Please don't.

    As an U.S. citizen having married a venezuelan, having raised my family in Venezuela, I share the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the impotence and even the fear that colors our lives.

    We need these forums as a form of group therapy. If there are too many "why's" and not enough answers, at least we can try to retain our sanity because, someday this country will truly hit rock bottom and, when that happens, there should still be someone around who can recall how a civilized society should function.

    I think that your description of Chavez' supporters and what they find appealing in him is right on. Although such a high voter turnout is admirable in any society, many of these voters have a very primitive, under developed sense of citizenship. They excercised their right to vote without any regard for the responsibility it truly represented.

    Finally, poverty is not a valid excuse for Chavez' popularity. My grandparents lost everything during WWII and my parents emigrated to the States with nothing but a suitcase of clothes and the family values and work ethic by which they had been raised.

    Another six years of Chavez simply re-inforces the sad truth that the moral fiber of the venezuelan people deeply corrupted. The question is: is it beyond repair?

  56. We are all Venezuelans in our hearts now

    There’s an excellent article from Brett Stephens in today’s WSJ who points to your blog. I finally got it. We are all doomed here in Europe because we are all Venezuelans in our hearts now. I somehow couldn’t get to the bottom of why all those half-baked, anaemic and paltry leaders (Hollande, Cameron, Rajoy, Monti …) are so popular with electorates of the Old Continent. Now, I know. Read the rest here

  57. Daniel, there's no need for you to apologize for something that each of us chose to believe in. Please, as they say here in the South, "keep on keepin' on"!


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