Thursday, October 03, 2013

Hard blues to shake off

Explanation in text
I have to admit that I have a hard time to recover from the news of the last two weeks. And my deep blues comes in part from that Cassandra syndrome that affects me on occasion. People minimize what I say or feel and I am, unfortunately, proven right later, but too late for any good or any comfort. There is always a Clytemnestra to put our kind out of our misery.

The two news that bear heavily on me are the 1.3 tons of coke through a regular Air France flight, and the looting of a truck over the dead body of the driver. I think that these news were covered barely adequately but I fail to sense a feel of outrage, even among readers of this blog. I read here and there stuff that can be summarized as follows: "there has always been looting in Venezuela" or "Air France, Water Spain, Truck Mexico, same difference". It is not. I see those two events as seminal examples on how bad, and doomed?, Venezuela may be.

Yes, indeed, bigger loads of coke have been caught. But they came from stolen private planes, kidnapped fishing boats, unregistered lorries crossing borders, etc... The mean of transport was by itself product of a crime. Never mind that the cargo was even bigger of a crime. But the ease in which the traffickers sneaked in 1.3 tons in a regular air flight is one order of magnitude bigger. This prowess implies too many things that are dangerous. First, since airport security depends on the armed forces, then it follows that these are deeply involved in drug traffic at very high level, much higher than the silly sergeants arrested at first. We are talking generals here. Can we entrust the future of our country, a possible coming "transition" to an army that is so corrupt that even those not in the money loop prefer to shut up rather than protest, or at least leak the names involved?  We have grave concerns for the Venezuelan army, be they those that traffic or steal state money, or those that enable them by their silence.

But this is not all. It was a ruthless act to put such an amount of drug in an airplane, even if we assume airline complicity, voluntary or not. It can be a major security risk for passenger as an airplane may be easily overloaded. It could have been bombs, or explosives that could have exploded during the flight. The reckless contempt for the security of innocent passenger speaks volumes about the amorality and cruelty of those involved with that shipment. Now we can only feel safe away from Venezuela only once we are outside of the receiving airport....

We would be mistaken in thinking that 14 years of Chavez degraded deeply only the military sector. A week after the drug haul we were reminded, for some, or told, for most, that there is a civilian component to that cruelty against the victims. Certainly, we already knew what happens in the horror of Venezuelan jails, or how easy it was for gangs to settle accounts in the barrios, or how unnecessarily victims of robbery were killed for a mere few bucks worth of loot. We also knew that on roads inside the country the stopping of trucks for looting is not an isolated incident. Last Friday it all converged on a truck, in Caracas, in a business district, not a residential one, and within minutes a horde of motorbikers were looting the truck, for this climbing over the agonizing and soon dead driver, without offering any assistance.

There is a video that gives only a partial impression of what the looting mood at Los Ruices was last Friday (in the second half) with authorities barely exerting control. But what that video illustrates quite well is the plague that motorbikers have become in Venezuela, the huge numbers they are and their ruthless contempt at blocking traffic and reckless driving. Chavez is the man that has allowed the rise of that cast of violent folks. True, they may be, for all that I know, a minority inside the motorbiker "community". Chavez made motorbikes easily available for his supporters, and with the ridiculous price of gas they had no problem in learning to use their bikes all the time. Chavez wanted that because he wanted a form of storm troopers ready to mobilize on short notice across Caracas, to launch counter protests wherever needed, the threaten whomever was necessary with a "spontaneous" protest of chavismo own. Soon, they were even allowed without helmets in the highways, a place they were banned from until Chavez.

The result was to be expected. After a decade of driving recklessly, of scratching and banging the cars stuck in traffic as they sneak through it, these storm troopers are realizing that they can mobilize themselves by the hundreds, attack whatever they want to attack, and push back the authorities. They are on the loose on Caracas, a violent mob like gang.

It is clear that the regime permissiveness has created these unruly monsters of which I only describe two today.  And what is the reply to this by the regime. None, because they have none credible to offer, being the Dr. Frankenstein of the story. Or rather, they regurgitate the Cuban invented leitmotiv reply: it is someone else fault, preferably the US and its right wing fascist allies at home, never mind that a Liberal holds the chair in Washington. But the increasing uselessness of the standard reply is forcing the regime into direct threats against the press, threatening sanctions if this one speaks of stuff such as the food scarcity. If the enabling law that Maduro is requesting passes, will it ban coverage of gruesome looting like the one in Los Ruices?  The response of the regime is, as usual, of the same moral caliber as the ones that smuggled the drug in Air France plane, or those who looted over a dead body.

Thus to finish our opening cartoon, another multi layered geniality of Weil at Tal Cual. Chavez is dead, driving an egotistical oversize image of Venezuela that could not pass under the bridge (note: Weil painted Chavez as an army boot). And his wreckage, which is also ours, attracts all sorts of rats stealing our oil, our riches. He created our current society and he escaped having to face the consequences of his misrule.


  1. Charly2:36 AM

    In the Weil picture, I am only sorry that Chavez is compared to what was likely a decent driver. Chavez was not decent, except one time, when he died, the only decent act he probably did.

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  3. Maybe I am not upset about the 1.3 tons of coke as I believe that there should be NO restrictions on drug consumption by adults. (except for antibiotics).
    I believe that all drugs should be OTC.

    1. Well, this is another story altogether. But one thing is pot and another coke.

    2. Lemmy Caution7:36 AM

      The goal of de-criminalizing drugs is to eradicate the very basis of the business model of criminal organizations. To participate in drug smuggling in the current system means to cooperate with criminal organizations. Its the direct opposite.

  4. Daniel, this is a deeply and well thought out opinion, for which I thank you. The only thing I would have added was Chávez's early dictum that it was OK to steal for food. Combined with the encouragement he gave to his motorized Sturm Abteilungs to create havoc, it's easy to see how the swarm, without a moral code or hunger, could do what they did, in a country that pays a blind to the rule of law.

    What Chávez did was essentially bless the worst aspects of the Venezuelan population. To get back to the fulcrum will take, I'm afraid, much longer than it took to destroy.

  5. NorskeDiv6:13 AM

    And Sovereignty, it is France's decision to make Cocaine illegal, just as it was China's to make Opium illegal (before it was forced on them and in the estimation of most Chinese I have talked to helped set China back a generation).

  6. Lemmy Caution7:19 AM

    I think you are absolutely spot on with being preocupied about a collective and deep erosion of the most basic ethical standards.
    Especially the international apologists of this drama tend to mention that the popularity of Chávez first appearance on TV was due to him assuming responsability as a leader of the movement ( , 00:57). Compare this with their shoreless routine to blame others for the consequences of their failures, which become more obvious any week.

  7. Ay Daniel, I hear your cry, even as your heart lacks perseverance, and may the rays of the Sun have compassion for our dear Cassandra,
    worried, and alone.

    It is quite true( I believe) that people are getting used to the horror and downplaying it.In the case of those of us outside Venezuela I believe it is hard for us to picture the extent of the deterioration -That would take a different focus in reporting.The posts would have to go beyond reports and into the realm of evocative illustration .Just yesterday I heard this same complaint from an intimate friend that we just don't seem to get the horror of it.I am sure that I cannot picture it in its fullest horror.

    I understand totally the frustration of seeing something that others do not see because it also happens to me all the time.Often it happens to me that I walk into a room, and see a criminal where others see a nice guy( even nicer than the others)only to catch hell from the rest, until the day he is indicted for violent crimes, etc etc...This sort of experience happens all the time to me.But most people are 'lawyers' by nature and cannot ' see' that which is not proven to them on some material plane.It takes all kinds to make a world, but some of us live in a lonelier world than others.

    It is hard to take the drugs out of the hearts of men,just by making them legal.They still find a way to create evil and lack of consciousness when USED, but there are those who are still stuck in the memes of yesteryear( perhaps they too are part of the using trend).

    My impression of many honorable friends and family in Venezuela is that they can no longer face the problem...they try to block it out, and yes, the right winged evil gringos are the ones to blame, or else it is just part of the process that in the end will pan out, or both. "Nothing is my fault" was always allowed to pass in Venezuela even though the extent of it has multiplied a thousand fold.Consolation:Those who don't block out the truth suffer more, but at least hold on to reality.

    But just look around,even many anti Chavez are' enchufados' Daniel because they hold the value that they have to survive....yet how does one explain that many of the poor are not' enchufado', and still survive, albeit struggling,but they do survive...I say this comes from not seeing that each of us is part of the problem. firepigette

  8. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Forget about whether drug use is illegal or not. The criminal act was the placement of 1.3 tons of anything on a full international flight without regard for the security of the passengers, and the lack of security allowed by AirFrance to allow it to happen. There will not be any real review or accountability from Venezuela, but every passenger on that flight on 9-11-13 should file a legal suit against AirFrance for reckless endangerment and lack of control compromising their security. That should stir the pot from across the pond, and at least keep it in the news.


    1. Thank you, thank you! That is the point!

      France has a golden opportunity to screw the regime. After all this one has been screwing France for years, what do the French have to lose at this point?

    2. Concerned,

      True that they can and should sue, however I doubt seriously it will effect the regime in any way shape or form.The complicity between drug users, drug dealers and corrupt governments is way stronger than any complaint from passengers could ever be.

  9. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Maduro will request Decree Powers next week. Time to kick him out.

  10. Anonymous10:55 PM

    this all leads to the source of the problem that you mentioned, venezuela has no morals. If an employee is stealing the other employees say nothing b ecause they fear retaliation at their home.
    ask people if they know a mechanic for hire and they all repeat the same words, "none that i would recommend."
    the events you mentioned are the results of lawlessness. without the rule of law there will be those who abuse, take advantage and even kill others. it is sad to see how far the nation has fallen.

  11. Anonymous3:25 PM


    I have no misconceptions that any legal action against AirFrance would have any direct implications to the "gang", but it could keep it fresh in the press for a little while longer. It is old news here now, and few are even talking about it. Like Malegate and the countless other "Hand in the cookie jar" revelations, it is water under the bridge.

    The fact that France waited several weeks before even announcing the seizure is fishy in itself, and makes you wonder if they were trying to leverage the find with the Vz. government, or just trying to remain quiet in order to nab as many as possible before announcing. Maybe wait and see who spoke up and started questioning "Where is my coke"?

    My point was any international bad press for maduro at this time is another nail in his coffin. Internal press is controlled, with threats now of going to jail for even mentioning "inflation" or "scarcity". Chavez had enough support to weather the storms...maduro, not so much. With the economy collapsing and not even China wanting to extend more credit, the castros may look for another puppet or revive chavez.


    1. Anonymous10:03 AM

      Compassion is low on the scale in African or Arab countries.
      Venezuela is in that "shadow".

  12. Stefan10:38 AM

    Reading the article it came to my mind that there is already at least one airport which is under the control of the drug mafia: Beirut International Airport, which is controlled by Hezbollah. Now, although it is still difficult to smuggle weapons, drugs or explosives from Beirut to, say: Paris, or from Caracas to London, we can imagine how drugs, weapons, money for terror financing, or maybe even chemical weapons or components for a nuclear weapon go to and fro between Caracas and Beirut.

  13. Reminds me of some post apocalyptic film...a preview of things to come?


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