What this blog is about?
This blog is about exposing the fraud that the Chavez regime represents. It is thus an anti Chavez blog which continues since his death as an anti "chavismo" blog. This blog aim is simply to narrate how the country is falling to pieces, trying to explain some of the events that took place to account for the demise.
What you will not find in this blog
You will not find here detailed explanations about Chavez movement, nor indulgent views on activities of the ill called "Bolivarian Revolution". The blog only will describe chavismo tenets and organization as needed.
You will not find much in this blog about what should be done with the country. Any discussion on the subject is in the author's opinion a waste of time: as long as chavismo dictatorship remains the country will keep becoming worse, further mismanaged, further pillaged by corruption. Any plan we may discuss today to rebuild the country will become moot by the time another semester goes by. The only thing we need to discuss is ways to bring back democracy with as little violence as possible, and perhaps some of the necessary first measures when the time comes.
Another thing you will not find much in this blog is discussion on USA politics, personal stuff, etc.... this is a blog about Venezuela and when personal or non Venezuelan topics are broached it is because they are at least tangentially relevant to Venezuela.
Is this blog objective?
It is an objective blog though it is not neutral. It is important to understand this difference whether you read this blog or any blog or newspaper that come from or is about Venezuela today. Neutrality is impossible and any one who pretends so is either a fraud or utterly naive or worse, a chavista agent.
Has chavismo done any good?
The author considers that all the ills that have been created since 1999, when Chavez took office, cannot be compensated, not even in significant part, by the so called good that came from the regime, according to its propaganda. And even in the few cases where we could speak of "good" coming from the regime, it is uncanny how the regime has found ways to sabotage even the occasional good deed it perpetrated....
What does the author understands about holding a blog on Venezuela today?
In February 2009 a referendum allowed for unlimited reelection. The author has realized in full that we Venezuelans deserve the punishment that is coming our way because we allowed that to happen when we could have stopped Chavez there, bloodlessly. After that referendum Chavez became indeed a president for life with all its implications that this entails about the political future of a country and its demise on democratic principles.
The author has to struggle to keep his business alive in the current situation so it is impossible now to find the time just to write "news", though occasional true reporting appears when time and opportunity allows. Thus what you read here are researched OpEd pieces, interpretations, some actual reporting and the occasional venting off.
In short, this has become a resistance blog. The author assumes that people have done some home work on Venezuela and that there is no need to instruct readers as to why Chavez has been bad news. Readers ought to know these days.
How long has this blog being running?
This blog started as letters of the author to the friends he had left in the US of A where he lived for a decade and a half. The first entries of this blog, posted in January 2003, are some of the letters he wrote in December 2002 during the general strike/lock-out against the beginning of the Chavez regime. The blog has been running continuously since, never stopping to publish for more than a couple of weeks, due to travel or sickness of the author.
Who is Daniel Duquenal?
It is a pen name because the author considers that in a dangerous environment it is best to only compromise himself with his writings, protecting thus friends, relatives and business partners. This has not stopped the author to appear even in international television. Exposure or not, there is already enough in this blog to send him to a political concentration camp, or exile, when the time comes.
In short, the author knows that a pen name is no protection and he is quite certain that the regime can track him down whenever it pleases it, if not already done. After all he has been already pointed out as a US agent by many, including the ex vice president Rangel, in his TV show. Yet, no one ever has presented any proof of that and the author asks politely that if he is in the payroll of any US agency to please forward to him all the checks that he supposedly should have received for his work. Besides an occasional lunch invitation with a foreign press correspondent the author has never received a penny for his labors.
Can anyone else write for VN&V?
Maybe. It has been done in the past and three people at least were regulars for a few months. Unfortunately it seems that it takes a special breed to write consistently now for 11 years. This being said, hat tips or spontaneous submissions are always welcome if they go in the spirit of this blog.
Can this blog eventually end?
Besides the obvious answers of jail or death, the author has no intention to stop writing, though in the future the frequency of texts may lower significantly. Only when democracy comes back can this blog willingly close and the author retire, or start a new blog about the rebuilding of Venezuela.
When chavismo is gone Venezuela will be in a post war era, without having suffered an actual war. The current state of our infrastructure neglected for decades will make it seem that some sort of strange war went by. The fate of post Chavez Venezuela will be for the country to tie its future to foreign partners, just as Western Europe did with the Marshall Plan and the US after WW2, or Eastern Europe did with the European Union when the Berlin Wall fell. That is, we will either fall into Brazil's orbit, or go back to a US integration as in the mid XX century since we will have no capital, money or human, to rebuild on our own. Our only hope of mitigation by third parties will be a renewed friendship with a powerful Colombia or a helpful EU. This also will be very interesting to narrate in a blog, but it is another story.
What do you think about those that still support the regime, and do they read you?
The author thinks that today chavismo is a minority group inside the country. However through their abusive use of power they can blackmail enough voters to sustain thin electoral majorities that cannot be kept for long. Thus those who call themselves chavista today are in fact supporters of a dictatorship or naive souls that do not know better.
You will thus not find either much patience with those who still support Chavez. The author has had more than 15 years to make up his mind about Chavez and his crowd. There is nothing anymore these thugs can do to change the author's mind. Nor change the mind of the regular readers.
The author suspects that his blog is monitored by the regime. Yet rare, very rare is the local or overseas chavista that dares thread these pages. Most people outside Venezuela know better, know that this is not a leftist progressive regime but a dictatorship that uses populist and leftist arguments to justify its hold on power. And the chavistas here live in denial of the crime committed against our future as a nation to bother reading a blog like this.
First time here? FAQ
1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.
2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.
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Great blog, thanks, our country needs this kind of writing, though I differ with you in some things. I would hope people like you, with your consistent writing and clarity of mind (though I repeat, I think you are sometimes wrong) would continue to write here once this regime comes to an end hopefully not too long from now and hopefully for something radically better. Will keep reading, best wishesReplyDelete
Hi, I'm reading this from Australia (though I'm from NZ) Your writing is great, very on the ball. I've read above that you have no interest in 'what should be done' as a feature of this blog. Though I'm left wondering what it is you see as an alternative? that is you say , ''...this is not a leftist progressive regime..." Does that suggest you'd like one? And if so how far would you like nationalisation, and redistribution of wealth et al to go? Cheers RussellReplyDelete
Let me rewrite it in a different way: whatever I would write about future options for Venezuela has very little chance to happen. Why? Because as long as chavismo is in office there is no point in considering pragmatical and doable things that chavismo would not be able to control. After 15 years there is a clear need for regime change and anything that moves towards more democratic forms of government can only be an improvement by itself.Delete
Just a thank you for the blog. I spent some time a few years ago working (and playing) in Venezuela. I was there for the last Chavez election and never fully understood what was and has been going on there.
Thank you for this blog.
I have a great friend, a retired American journalist, who lives in a small village outside Caracas. I used to visit him twice a year and always loved my time there. He and I traveled throughout the country. I was especially enchanted traveling through the Andes and over to Merida. I am saddened by the fact that I can no longer visit. It is nearly impossible (and cost prohibitive) to arrange flights, which are not reliable. Food, services, necessities are difficult or impossible to obtain with any regularity. Given the crime, my friend doesn't feel it is safe these days. My heart is broken.
At the same time, Obama is intent on doing much the same to the U.S. what Chavez has done in Venezuela. And too many Americans are too ignorant to understand what is slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly happening. All they have to do is look at the past 15 years in Vz. But they don't. They won't.
In any case, I appreciate your updates and long for a day when things might be different in Venezuela.
P.S. I dream about arepas . . . . ;-)