If I had to characterize Chavez’ speech today, the only word that comes to mind is simply:
He told a story of April 11th. 2002 that even included his heroism that day! He talked as if in his brief departure those days, he was in control all the time, as far as choosing to go to the island of la Orchila because there would be communications and Jose Vicente Rangel would be in touch with him. He is now the hero of that evening, after the murderers of Puente El Llaguno who saved his butt, saying he decided to resign in order to save lives, as if the bodies were not already cold by the time he resigned that night.
And then he says the “people” want to be armed and that on the 13th. he will distribute rifles to the “people”. (Do I get one?) By now, he says that if the opposition threatens again, he will become even more radical. Read this as: if the opposition has any sort of victory in September I will become more radical, find parallel ways to deal with legislating and become even more non-democratic.
Which goes to the point of this post: It becomes harder and harder to write about all this. The country is being destroyed? We all know that. The Government has divided the country into two classes? We all know that. There is no justice? We all know that.
So, it becomes harder to write, to get enthusiastic about writing. Venezuela is simply facing economic collapse. Just this week, Veneconomy estimated that PDVSA needs $117 billion to develop the projects of the heavy oil crudes of the Orinoco. That is how nutty the whole PDVSA strategy is. But these guys gloat when they talk about it. Is it that they do not know how to add? Where do they expect that money to come from? Half those projects have to be canceled and the rest given to the partners, increasing their stakes. For free by the time it is done.
The same with the elections. The opposition so far has disappointed me, but even if it had not, what will happen if it succeeds in September? More repression? A parallel system in which the communes receive the money instead of the States? Looks bleak if it loses, bleak if it wins.
And then there is the ever deeper penetration of the country by the Cubans. Venezuela is supporting Cuba, but Cuba has invaded Venezuela silently. And I can’t help but fear that if the Cubans need it, they will get rid of Hugo and simply take over. And you know what they will have to do if they do this…
It has been a while since logic has served much in Venezuela. The swap rate soars, the Government does nothing, inflation pushes up. Tomatoes went up 120% in March, I guess I will eat a Capresa only with cheese which only went up 30% (Its controlled). Went to the supermarket today with a list of eight items, after visiting three of them, found half my items only. It wasn’t even pay day or weekend. Have had water rationing for two weeks now. Despite many personal measures to save electricity at home, my electric bill says I spent more than a year ago and got hit with a 75% penalty on my Bill. Should I just stop the measures and see what happens?
I feel like going and stealing you know whose bust in front of the Capitol building as a symbol of protest. I am sure I could get away with it easily, but I worry that I would get mugged getting there or back, so, I will leave it at that.
In some sense, it is easier these days to write about the Guri dam level, or deficits, than to write about an incomprehensible Government and its demential strategies. But, I end as I began, Chavez seems deranged, changing history, blaming all his failures on someone else, but not realizing he has no successes to boast about. It is all failures, except for the fact that he still there talking about a revolution that is not. A process which is a failure. A sovereignty that he is giving away long term with his actions. A country that he is destroying economically, socially and morally, one step at a time.
And he gloats and talks about it, as if he lived somewhere else in another dimension…