Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ñangaras in the mist

There are no new news in Venezuela. It is all a repeat performance, each time running lower in its theatrics.  Take for example the talk of the week, that three zeroes are going to be chopped off the currency reading because, well, some web pages cannot handle anymore the full extent of digits in large financial sums.  It would be funny if it were not so sad and dépassé. After all we did that in 2008 (I think). There you have your measure of chavismo fiasco, in ten years the currency has lost 99,9% of its value...

Thus ignoring that 1 Bolivar of 1998 is equal to 1.000.000 Bolivar of June 2018 let's see if there is something else worth talking about.  Worthy of discourse are lack of food and medicine and hospitals and security and cash and...  but nobody really cares. Except those protesting that are swiftly repressed while state TV says we are in the best of all possible worlds. No point discussing that again, I guess.

We are thus left with politics, a smattering of discussion allowed on that since, after all, there is an election next May.  But talk to anyone in the streets and see if the election is a major concern of theirs. It is not.  Chavistas will vote because herded, opposition will not vote because unherdable and Henri Falcon supporters will vote but like in the forest falling tree tale, will we hear their vote?

Venezuela is careening un-driven towards May 20.   The regime is doing a campaign without major public appearances by Maduro, only selected close up pictures. We hear that Falcon went here and there. Nobody cares. Maduro may be winning but he may be losing according to some pro regime pollsters. And if he wins, he is already demoting and jailing many active duty military officials for reasons that no one truly knows. Meaning that the election results results will be dictated in military barracks. That is participative democracy for you.

Meanwhile the opposition "frente amplio" seems unable to go further than Kumbaya chants. No active boycott. No resistance. No program. No bellicose unity. Only love and peace and gathering of people proposal for a new government as if we did not know already what is wrong with the country.  [deep, deep sigh]

No wonder that the still born creature of the Falcon bid is apparently stirring.  Doktor Frankenstein was here.  There are enough people in horror that Maduro will be reelected that they are showing a new found will to vote for Falcon. That he has no means to ensure that votes are counted is no objection, what matters here is that you go and vote against Maduro even if the machine were to print a Maduro ballot. Will you have the guts to complain at the polling station? I did not think so.

So we read surprising things. For example that there are bankers that are taking some interests in Falcon run. Really? How convenient....  But most surprising are those apologies coming from some who supported Chavez 20 years ago and who, with at most a dismissive apology on their past errors, are selling you Henri Falcon.

I remember in 1998 when Chavez was in campaign and that the MAS, still a reasonably strong party then, were the ones that organized the mass event on Avenida Caracas of San Felipe.  Yes, the MAS was the organizer. They were the ones that knew how to put up a show, with a few banners from Chavez's MRV5 added and probably printed by the MAS....

The MAS ended up a wreck but did not die altogether., Now under the misguiding hand of Mujica it tries to distance itself from the opposition in the vain hope or regaining favor from disenchanted chavistas.  And for them Falcon is a godsend. As such Mujica is the prime example of "ñangara", even though he is kind of young for that.

Ñangara can be loosely translated in US English as "fellow traveler". But in a Latin America imbued of the Castro Romanticism it has an added dimension of nostalgia, of unreconstructed Marxism in spite of all the evidence against the model.  So yes, many ñangaras, perhaps most, did break with Chavez.  Enough of them have enough decency to be forced to stop their support when the regime became a narko-corrupt dictatorship.

But for them the problem was Chavez, drugs and corruption, never the original model. And now that gerontocratic turned guru crowd tries to make a discreet comeback supporting Henri Falcon, as a more palatable Chavez, a more up to date model coming from a guy with little charisma and no existing model he believes in.  Truly, these unfortunate souls are more lost at sea than ever. The country needs shock therapy before we die, and they suggest more of the same but under new management.

And then some wonder why I am not planning to vote, why I have such a hard time resuming regular blogging...  To write about what?  Kumbaya? Ñangaras? You tell me.... They are all the same, afraid to face the music.


OH heck, why not.... Carreras is more convincing than anyone in the opposition Frente Amplio


  1. Thanks for your posts. It reminds us people that care for Venezuela (but don't experience the socialist paradise first hand) to do whatever we can to keep awareness of the issue in our environs.

  2. Tom in Oklahoma8:47 PM

    Daniel, It is easy to note the deepening despair in your posts as time passes and of course it is almost impossible for those of us on the outside looking in to fully comprehend the level of despair you and so many others are feeling. Any event that would trigger regime change will also bring more death and carnage whether it is outside military intervention, complete and total financial collapse, etc. There are no easy ways out this calamity. Regardless of how events unfold in the coming months I think I can speak for other readers as well in wishing you and SO the best if luck as you try to navigate your way to better times. We are all rooting for you and are very appreciative of the observations and insights you provide to all of us. Hang in there!

  3. With regard to what Tom in Oklahoma wrote...yes, yes, yes and yes.

  4. You know even though the opposition views running a candidate will legitimize the election they could have done it smartly. Run someone acceptable (not a regime plant like Falcon). Mobilize everyone with the movement that everyone voting for the opposition should wear a set color say white or blue or whatever. Or hand out bandanas of a set design or shirts that say voting opposition. Then film the lines at all voting stations. Have observers count those wearing and not wearing the shirt. They could then prove they won the election. Whether they assume power at that point is unlikely but better option they they are doing.


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