Archive for June 11th, 2003

Advantages of the Cuban model by Marcos Aguinis

June 11, 2003


Enjoyed the article by Marcos Aguinis in Argentina’s La Nacion on June 2nd., entitled “Advantages of the Cuban model”.  Essentially Auguinis’ sensibilities were insulted by the welcome given to Fidel Castro by the Argentinean Congress, the law Department of the B.A. University, the press and the new President. This led him to write a very fine and ironic article. Some highlights:


“Despite the dictatorships we have suffered, we love a Dictator, we are that way.


Of course, a Dictator who claims to be a socialist, whose tortures tickles and whose firing squads improve the quality of life. Nothing, no matter how horrible he does, matters. Whatever is denounced about violations of human rights in Cuba, is an invention of the CIA. Castro is an idol, a legend, emblematic of heroism and the noble fight against imperialism. Everything he does is fine.


I ask: if he is so admired, why don’t we follow his model? Supposedly, it is marvelous. Why emulate –New Zealand, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Canada-complicated modern countries-, if Castro’s model is simpler, mobilizes and is attractive?…


Fidel’s model has other advantages, I suppose:


For example, there would be no sterile debates over the Governments actions. Criticism would disappear and with that, it would push us all in the same direction. We would not have to spend neurons or saliva over society’s problems, because that would be the exclusive task of the regime’s functionaries, who never make mistakes. One would not have to choose between newspapers, newscasts, magazines, because there would only be the minimum needed, with official news only. In that manner we would not be able to doubt the various sources, or get depressed for the defeatist news of the enemies of the people…


We would also collect the benefits of not allowing anyone to leave the country. The enemies of the people would say that we have converted ourselves into a huge jail. Lies! The paradise is not prison: those that escape are traitors. This would solve like magic the perversity of wanting to do graduate work elsewhere or look for better prospects abroad. …


The only expense would be bullets against those that want to escape the regime. We could use preventive shootings Castro style; the same way that George W. Bush performs preventive wars.


Another great benefit would be tourism. The best places would be refurbished for the exclusive enjoyment of foreigners…”


Democracy is not alive and well in Venezuela

June 11, 2003


Chavista thugs interfered today with a march by medical personnel protesting the lack of budgets for medical facilities. The march had permits but Chavistas care little about that. Separately, the Mayor of Sucre District gave a permit for an open air market in the same place that the opposition asked for permission to have a rally. Meanwhile Chavista thugs still hang around the PDVSA building, a residential area mostly anti-Chavez, with no permission, installing structures like those in the pictures below. They have been there since December without permission. Such is the state of democracy in Venezuela. Note the dome on the sidewalk and the back of the stage which blocks the street.

Chavez the autocrat

June 11, 2003

Hugo Chavez was his usual autocratic and intolerant self today when he condemned the Venezuelan Supreme Court for “not jailing” the leaders of the oil workers saying “there is enough evidence”. Chavez added ” it is worrisome that these terrorists remain free” and that they are “allowed to go free on a technicality”. Only Hugo Chavez is capable of calling denying the right to due process “a technicality” and it shows his limited understanding of the separation of powers and legality. As if this was not enough, Chavez accused the Deputies who were elected under his platform of the Polo Patriotico of being “traitors to the people”. Obviously, substitute the people for “my whims and desires” and you get the right picture of what he really meant. Chavez added that he has not lost control of the National Assembly. While true, it is also true that the Podemos Deputies (former MAS Deputies) are now the deciding vote in the Assembly giving the President a very flimsy control over that legislative body.