Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Blogging the day after Chavez exit

I have the feeling there will be a lot of stuff to say today....  So a single post, updated regularly  but this time from most recent to least recent, avoiding the mistake I did yesterday, sorry.

11:00 PM (final)

Time to close down this day long post with a summary.

While having dinner and a drink (orange juice with Carpano, go to wikibar) I rewound some of the scenes of Chavez funeral. Two observations: it was grotesque and overly militarized. And not by accident.

It was grotesque because of that feel of "entierro de pueblo" when a minimum of decorum should have been given to a dead head of state. But that was on purpose, to differentiate Chavez, to make him "el pueblo" even if in everyday life he lived well and fat, a Rolex or something luxurious at his wrist. I do not want at all to besmirch the genuine affection and grief expressed in Caracas streets today, but the cortege was too long and the activities at the military school included standing ovations for his kids which I am sure were not looking for that.....

It was overly military because the ceremonies were to bury a military hero, NOT a civilian president. That much was clear, that we are a military regime and it is not an eventual election of civilian Maduro that will change anything as he will be infinitely more beholden to the corrupt narco military establishment than Chavez was. We a narco state for the long run.

Not to mention that the cadena lasted around 10 hours, the longest ever, combining sycophantic adulation for Chavez imposed on all the country, simultaneously on all TV and radio, to the longest electoral propaganda ever for Maduro. Grotesque!

On other news it looks that article 233 of the constitution will be COMPLETELY VIOLATED. Not that it matters really, the difference between fascist Diosdado and Communist Maduro is the way they will spend the money they steal from me, not the amount they steal. But if Diosdado Cabello does not assume soon, like now, the temporary presidency of Venezuela then the new regime will lack legitimacy from the start. At least Chavez started elected in due form in 1998, what happened after being another story.  Maduro will start as an illegitimate president, an appointed one through some sort of Junta that included members of the judicial power and the army, who was not afraid to violate repeatedly the Constitution so as to become president of Venezuela.  This, my friends, will have consequences,  if anything because it will speed up a major break inside chavismo fast, fed by the starting economic crisis.

And to finish this post I found out that my anti semitism comments at Haaretz were found interesting in Argentina which translated the piece with its comments for InfoBAE, a big portal over there. The world is listening.

7: 40 PM

Shamefully lifted from a great post at Babalu from Carlos Eire

Shakespeare summed it all up very nicely:

For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings...
for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
( Richard II, 3.2.1565-1580)


Sorry for the delay. The talk with Silvio Canto went well. Nice to talk to people that want information and do not think that already know all what is worth knowing, like Bart Jones early today (and others whose name I already mercifully forgotten). I have been accused of arrogance and other related faults but even when I had my debate with Golinger on the Jamaican radio it was civil, polite and we both listened to each other....

At any rate, I think it is all media for today. I sent two more blurbs, one to England and one to Romania and I think I of that for today. From what I read on Twitter all your Venezuelans bloggers have been busy hitting all sorts of international stages. We have been a busy little bunch and I hope that we pleased you.

Now back to Direct TV to see where at is Chavez funeral. More comments on that in a little while.


Also, catching up on the past couple of hours news it is clear that the second part of the January 9 coup is well in progress as they will violate the constitution to make sure Maduro runs as SITTING president. Without having received a single fucking vote!


Now that I have battled the silly left at the BBC let me go and battle the Cuban right with Silvio Canto who also has as a guest Fausta. Starts at 5:30, Caracas time, I believe. Tonight I am having a tall drink.....


I had to go to attend some pressing matters at work but I am back.

Meanwhile I received a note from my participation in discussing the future of anti antisemitism at Haaretz where I am not the only one who thinks that a weaker Maduro presidency could only aggravate the problem.


At 5 PM Caracas time another show with Silvio and Fausta!  Link later.  Now I got to step out for at least a couple of hours.


Well, it is over and it was a rather frustrating experience. Fortunately other with more experience in talk show and how to manage the setting did say the stuff that I could not say. I did put a plug for blogs because I am getting tired of people like that Bart Jones complaining about not getting true information  Well, if he does not like VN&V electoral analysis he can read other blogs such as CCSCrhs or the Devil and read that yes, we know why Chavez wins....


I think they are not going to let me talk again....


As heard on BBC the rewriting of Venezuela history is quite extensive..... Of course, I blew a fuse. Let's wait for the second half.


Starting the BBC show


The cadena is going on and on and has turned out to be a mere electoral propaganda plot. All people interviewed not only praise Chavez but ask for regrouping behind Maduro. And as the afternoon advance more and more want Chavez sent straight to the new Pantheon, next to Bolivar.....


Taking a short break.


If my internet connection holds well you can listen to me fielding questions live on the Beeb. Around 2 PM and later Caracas time. 18:05 GMT according to the link but I do not know when I will get on the air, I am not the only one.


I am reading in some tweets that people are upset at the lack of regalia, at the mess of the funeral procession.  What did they expect?  Even that mess is planned because it is a true reflection of the chavismo style, popular mob rule if you like.  That casket making its way slowly through the crowds is a touch of genius if you ask me. Some will never learn!!!!!!!!

But this also allows me to point out the meanness of a regime who saw the death of three ex presidents and was unable to offer even a minimum of decent state recognition. Only Chavez deserves national status? Truly, they think that there was no life, no country before they came into office to plunder it.  Sorry, I am digressing once again....


Al Assad loses a supporter: Hugo Chavez
"he was loved by his people"
"that was our only difference"

A great political cartoon by Plantu from  Le Monde in France (tweeted by rayma, @raymacaricatura). The world knows...

And indeed, the crowds in Caracas are impressive.


I had to attend a few things before I could come back home this morning (more on that later). Fortunately thanks to Direct TV recorder I have been able to rewind to the time the funeral cortege started. Of course, as soon as the open air truck/hearse started moving, we were in cadena.  not that it was really necessary, even hated Globovision was already passing the images of the grieving crowds.

The thing is that once in cadena, the regime was able to control the sound track of the country and it has been an uninterrupted flow of eulogy to Chavez blended quite deep with propaganda and history rewriting. Amen of the fantasy numbers carelessly dropped.  I do not understand well, would not be the genuine expression of grief of the huge crowds lining the streets enough? Do grieving chavista today actually pay attention to the sound track? Is there some subliminal psy tool being used that I am not aware of?

The point is that for once chavismo did not have to resort to busloads of people to fill up the street. People came because they loved Chavez, politically correct sound track notwithstanding  Heck, had I been in Caracas I may have even considered going for a spin, this is history after all and I am a frustrated historian....

On other matters. Chavez little friends are arriving in town and among the marchers there is Evo Morales, the one true admirer Chavez had (the others, well, I have my doubts...).  But what should be ideological foes are also coming as we learned that for example Piñera is coming for the funeral. Let's see if this international solidarity percolates through chavismo and they have the good idea to have at least a delegation of opposition parliamentarians attend the funeral next Friday....


Obituaries keep piling up. In addition to those I pointed out yesterday here on on Tweeter, let me add:

The long one from Juan Forero in the Washington Post, from someone who at some point was close to the sun but saw the light.

For the record there is an harsh and short one in Esquire...."Hugo Chavez died an irrelevant dictator". A serious contestant for best title of the series.


The day started quietly, except the occasional trouble here and there to be expected. For example they burned down the students's tents set up in Chacao before they decided to remove them. After all, they were to do that now that we know what happened to Chavez...

All in all a majority of business did open without trouble, what is off is the government (duh!) and all the schools.

Meanwhile, to give yet more arguments to chavismo, Doral in Florida was a party last night..... but can we blame them really? Who forced them to leave Venezuela in exile?  At least in Venezuela as far as I know the opposition has shown near perfect restraint, if anything in fear that a chavista mob attack them.....


  1. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Thanks for doing this

  2. "No es motivo para celebrar, porque no se celebra la muerte de nadie, pero sí sentimos un alivio, un fresquito, porque sabemos que ahora vienen cambios para nuestro país", dijo a Efe Alexandra Ibarra, una de los más de cien mil venezolanos que viven en EE.UU."

    Si es motivo para celebrar. Ese canalla, asesino, dictador, megalomano, llevo a nuestro pais a la ruina, nos saco a todos los que pudimos irnos al extranjero por la falta de seguridad personal, para que no nos mataran en Chacaito por un par de zapatos. Nos fuimos todos pal conio, los que no tenian demasiadas responsabilidades alla, muy pocos de mis amigos quedaron. Y cada fin de semana, mas muertos que en Iraq o Afganistan. O pakistan.

    El hecho es que ese maldito Chavez no se hubiera ido NUNCA del poder, rompiendo todas las leyes, constituciones y haciendo trampa una vez y otra en las "eleccciones democraticas".. Como los hermanitos Castro, esos dictadores o los tumban, o se quedan en el poder por medio siglo.

    Osea que lo digo bien clarito: Menos mal que ese diablo se murio a temprana edad, se lo merecia.

    Venezuela debe festejar la desaparicion de ese canalla. De lo que nos salvamos,, preguntenle a los Cubanos.

    1. Anonymous3:58 AM

      But there is still a lot of chavistas out there, the country still is in deep shit. This is how I feel... I didn't celebrate his death or him getting cancer but for Venezuela move forward. Now, if Bush had gotten cancer and die, I could have seen the mofo celebrating his death with a big Chavista circus concentration, and telling how it was God's punishment. I cannot help to think God got a chuckle out of this one.

  3. Daniel the crying was not North Corian style, much red complete with caps, forgot to take them off if the corps is passing and the flags on top by most people. Decent is un onkown word I think. The family is less important, behind the bar Maduro, Celia and Evo I registered.
    Perhaps some education is need in future.
    Regards Claco

  4. Anonymous6:27 PM

    Thank-you! This continuous narrative is most appreciated.

  5. Yesterday's and today's live-blogging is much appreciated. Thanks, Daniel. --jsb

  6. Damn that Fernando guy just tornado'd the place

  7. What a bunch of nonsense some of these people believe and say!

  8. What are you talking about? Daniel spoke...

  9. Watching this on Globovision, it's somewhere between Diama and the Ayatollah in its obscenity.

  10. thank you Sledge for being "honest", why can't we say he was evil and deserved what he got. Why can't we say we are happy an evil of unmatched magnitude is gone and at least "he" can not do any more damage, even though his spawns will continue. Why can't we say it, why do people make such a dishonest effort to sound nice? I dont get it? Why are so many countries in LA taken 3 days of "luto" for the person that represent the worst that has happened in the region in 20 years? Why is Yoanni being persecuted outside cuba and this bastard mourned? No wonder we are in the situation we are, this @#%$ world is upside down!!!!

  11. Daniel I don't get it. Is Cabello completely out of picture? I understand ministers and other yahoos claiming Maduro's legitimacy as they'd be without a job otherwise but what about the constitution? Where the hell is Cabello?

  12. Anonymous11:41 PM

    This morning in plaza Bolivar in Valencia people wearing red t-shirts were asking passer by and bystanders to go to Caracas. Dozens of buses waiting to be filled with "mourners". Free trip, a bag full of groceries and 1000 BF.

  13. Worst military band, ever.

  14. Orlando and all, I even compare that piece of crap named Chavez to Hitler, in disguise. He hated every other social class not named "pueblo", hated North america, hated every educated "bourgeois" Venezuelan. He couldn't commit mass murder as Hitler did because times have changed, and no one gets away with that unless you're in Africa or Serbia these days. Cancer killed Cancer: poetic justice. Look at Cuba after 50+ years of Chavez's heroes.. If Fidel had DIED a looooooong time ago, the Cuban people would have suffered so much less!!

  15. "in Venezuela as far as I know the opposition has shown near perfect restraint, if anything in fear that a chavista mob attack them"

    Yes, Our daughter in Caracas told us this morning that nobody dared express anything other than utter remorse for the passing of Chavez, for fear of being killed.

    Obviously if I were there,I would be killed.

    Neither hell nor high waters would keep me from it.

    I wonder if this is some sort of religious false nobility.Respect for the dead? Did he earn it? Respect for the grieving, yes, but not for the person they grieve for.

    I guess this is why Venezuela is a dictatorship.

    No room in the inn for people who are different.We must all 'ser conforme'.firepigette

    1. Cerdita, I'm so tired of finding messages of respect to the death in my mail and different personal web accounts. I'm gonna steal your sentence "Neither hell nor high waters would keep me from it".
      I was pretty busy yesterday, but the little I could watch on TV was a shameful representation of the sad country we live in.

    2. feathers7:48 AM

      I have noticed how much people are quiet...

  16. Enjoyed hearing you just now on Blogtalk Radio.

    1. Glad you liked it. I hope I was not too forward. I am getting tired, you know....

    2. Daniel, mi respetado y muy querido amigo:
      I've been so busy -thank goodness, no complaining there!- just had been able to read you and check the internet here and there. I'm very thankful for the info posted, if not I would have missed a lot of the things happening during these days...
      Me hubiera gustado escucharte también :(
      Anyway, keep on the good blogging as always.

  17. Venezuela, luces y sombras del mandato de Chávez … Venezuela, lights and shadows of President Chavez

  18. Anonymous3:52 AM

    I heard you online Daniel, good job!

  19. Anonymous4:15 AM

    I enjoyed the Shakespeare quote on Richard II. The comparison of the two struck me as being profound. They were alike! They were both full~of~themselves, condescending bullies. I gotta find my history book tonight. Thanks!

  20. The discussion of future antisemitism was interesting. Given Maduro's previous gay-baiting which can be seen on youtube, an article on the future of that prejudice might also get serious exposure worldwide.

  21. Great job Daniel, really, I always love your thoughtful honesty.You are the deeper analyst,and the one who has a broader perspective.So now they prayed to the wondrous King, in whose mind they never found the perfection of equilibrium.The King displayed his power of magnetism , lifting a simple attraction to the power of almost near extinction of the country as it once was.A deity 's burial took place under watchful eyes,but all the street lamps were filled with the aroma of decay.
    The 2 factions of the country unable to meet,or to separate,as
    Chavez's halo pervaded our body of experience.We all store our pain in our hearts in one way or another.Some for his loss, others for the loss of what Venezuela once was or could be, AND IN PAIN we are united.firepigette


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