Monday, July 08, 2013

Chavez golden-red boys: Temir Porras as a poster case

Porras and pals
Perhaps the most interesting read this Sunday was El Nacional investigation on Temir Porras, the man Maduro seems to trust the most these days. The importance of this article is not actually in the information it gets about Temir Porras, a member of a regime becoming everyday more secretive. What makes this article important is that it describes how chavismo is creating its set of cadres, and thus this blog entry. El Nacional says that this is the first in a series of articles on this new generation formed into politics through these 14 years of chavismo. Something to look forward to.

Temir Porras is a nobody that made it big. He is smart enough to have benefited from the educational policies of the reviled ancien regime who sent him to study in Paris. Which does not stop him from criticizing anything that happened before Chavez.  While in France he joined that decaying left from the commie sympathies to the trotskyst one, a left that would become the "Front de Gauche" later, led by one of Chavez biggest admirers, Mélanchon, one of the most cynical and destructive of French politicians today. That left pseudo intelligentsia (with people like Ramonet) welcomed Chavez as a savior for their outdated ideology. That did help him a lot to burnish his credentials inside chavismo as a true lefty with contacts in France at a time where Chavez needed as much favorable propaganda as possible, around the years 2002-2004. From then on his career was on the rise even though his uncle is the bishop of Merida and one of the main opponents of Chavez in his earlier years.

Now Temir Porras who accompanied Maduro while he was foreign minister by becoming slowly but surely the real power at the ministry (the article gives him the power of being the one liquidating the old forms of diplomacy to make the ministry a mere propaganda agency and a Cuban ministry executive branch of sorts). With Maduro now at the presidency he has been entrusted the management of the funds that Maduro can control away of Giordani, Ramirez or Cabello grasp. Where real power resides in Venezuela. And Temir is now starting to put his own people in charge such as a French guy who remembered that he also had a Venezuelan passport, Maximilien Sanchez Arvelaiz, former writer for Narco News among others.
A product of the French system, nothing less but ENA

Now for the part that truly concerns this post: what is the profile of these golden-red boys that chavismo is forming (golden because in addition of their red ideas they do not seem to be allergic to money, including Temir who quickly dismisses financial accusations against him and his wife as right wing conspiracy).

They need to come from leftist background either through social resentment (resentimiento), their family, or actual Cuban education. I suspect that Temir is a resentido. His physique is what we would call in Venezuela a "bachaco" a very pejorative term who represents people light skinned, almost Caucasian looking, but with clear African ancestry. I am willing to bet anything that he has suffered from that and that his extensive education in France has not cured him from his social resentment. Even more if he associated with leftist groups who love exoticism.

We can get more hints of his condition through his Facebook page, his blog and a comment from El Nacional article as to him loving to speak in French in front of Venezuelan nationals that do not understand the language. Clearly, based on the pictures shown (of which I lifted these two), the guy has an active ego and is trying to compensate for something. This would go a long way into explaining why he put his skills at the service of a regime that has evolved into the most corrupt of our history but that allows him plenty of figuration. Heck, he was even the official representative to the IberoAmerican summit last year when Chavez was in death throes and Maduro too busy to cash in the inheritance to be bothered by the said summit.

And yet we suspect a lack of personality. His Tweeter account consists mostly of retweets, and when he tweets himself it is a mere rehash of the usual chavista attacks.  Has chavismo filled a void in his existence?

Is he any good?  By normal standards of ethics no. Besides what I El Nacional tells us, I happen to know someone that worked next to him for a while. I reserve the details to protect that person. Temir had an important supervising position that he never exercised. He spent his days behind closed doors, either in his office or the one of his boss, receiving people that had no business to do there. In short, his official job was an excuse to get a paid check while he was doing political activities elsewhere for his boss of the time. I have been told that his departure from that position was greeted with relief because his continuous absence from his job was creating many problems for the activities of other people in the office whose work depended on his absentee decisions.

But for the regime he must have been a very good operator in ways that we, from the civilized side of society, simply cannot fathom, and less understand. Now his arrival to an outright ministry is a matter of time, depending on when will Maduro be able to finally appoint the people he wants to appoint.

It is interesting to see how someone who had access to French culture and education has been able to sell himself so well to an undemocratic system, espousing closely its intolerance, discrimination, corruption and vulgarity, as El Nacional piece also hints at with comments such as what he makes from the protesting students. But I suppose that this is what the regime does to you when you subject to its wishes for your personal gains and/or revenge.  Temir Porras seems to have become the type of person that will be able to destroy other people if needs arise, following orders.  We are left to wonder how far he has transitioned into fascism, and I am afraid that we are going to find very similar stories in the next installments of El Nacional series.  What we also need to be concerned with is that this class of non democratic bureaucrats are the seedling for tomorrow chavista politicians, those that the democratic opposition will have to confront if it makes it to power some day. A class of people that are at least as devoid of scruples as Temir Porras seems to have become.


  1. Dr. Faustus3:57 PM

    An absolutely fascinating post.

    Temir Porras appears to have followed in the footsteps of a long line of foreign nationals who came to France for an education and wound-up embracing traditional leftist politics. OK. Fine. Ho Chi Minh and countless other future third world leaders did the same. They came to Paris for an education, craved political power during the process and, in the end, they got it. Now what? Were any of them taught the basics of honest political thought in their French classrooms as demonstrated by the classic writings of, oh say, Voltaire or Rousseau? Honesty. Empirical evidence. This type of government works and this type doesn't because... I assume that all French leftists aspire to having Marxist socialism exist side-by-side with a democratic framework. Otherwise they, the French leftist culture, would be caught promoting despotism or a perverse type of tyranny. So, if democracy can work in a socialistic context, show me where it is successful? Where, and why? Honesty. Empirical evidence. Show me where people are genuinely happy living under these democratic, yet socialistic economic circumstances. It must work somewhere, right? If Hugo Chavez had 14 years to show that his new 'revolution' works, why hasn't Temir Porras taken the time to question his French taught political dogma? Wasn't he taught to go through life with open eyes? ...questioning everything? Didn't he read Jean-Jacques Rousseau? Isn't the objective of any university education to seek truth, regardless of where it is to be found? Temir Porras is staring at an economic catastrophe in Venezuela, yet he seems not to notice. Money. Power. Influence. That's what's important now. He obviously learned nothing....

  2. Anonymous2:50 PM

    By the time we make it to university our human formation is more or less set. I don't see this guy learning much by the way of morals from a French academic, no matter how exemplary, if his mother and/or father didn't teach him good manners as a child.
    Good boy 22.

  3. Anonymous6:44 AM

    I met Temir Porras before he left for France to get his college education (paid for the venezuelan government of the time). We were 18 or 19 at the time. I considered him a smart young fella back then, and we used to play music together. He was an average guitar player (quickly becoming a better player) and then he left for France (based to some extent on his intelligence. As you may imagined, I was completely shocked to learn this kid got involved with red Venezuela years later. It was completely unexpected that Temir would now be kissing Chavez's ass and supporting such an system of corrupt gorillas. I was shocked. For a very short amount of time I was in his list of "friends" in his Facebook account, naively trying to gather why he was now supporting the regime. It did not take me long to realize his hatred for the venezuelan opposition and how it would be a waste of my time to reason with him. I unfriended him on Facebook and perhaps will never know when his brainwashing occurred. It's such a waste. RIP Temir Porras.

    1. Well, this is why in the end it is gratifying to put up with the hard work of keeping a blog. It the occasional "testimonial" that teaches a lot.

      Of course, since that post has been written Temir has been sent to the dog house but if anything you've have allowed us to understand better how flawed characters like Temir cannot make it in a normal logical system, which is no guarantee in the end that they can make it in a corrupt system.

      Please, contact me if you can.


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