The Chavez praying mantis effect is alive and well!

September 23, 2005

If you think Chavez is tough and intolerant with his
enemies, he has always been worse when it comes time to get back at his friends
and staunch supporters Chavez is not only intolerant, a trait from his military
background, but simply has to have absolute and total loyalty, which has led me
to coin the term the “Chavez praying mantis effect”, he simply eats his own,
once they have done the job for him. There is a long list of those that have been
eaten by Chavez of which Miquilena, Arias Cardenas, Urdaneta, Uson and Rosendo
are just but a few.

This week the effect was back and with a vengeance, demonstrating
that Chavez ahs no loyalties than to himself and that he is as intolerant and ruthless
as they get.

While there were incidents involving Luis Tascon, promoter
and executor of the infamous Tascon fascist list, Lina Ron, the fiery and aggressive
communal leader who has defended Chavze at every step and union leader Ramon
Machuca for joining a protest against Chavez, no case has had the resonance and
impact of TV announcer Walter Martinez, which Tal Cual has dubbed “Waltergate”.

is a veteran TV reporter and announcer who sided with Chávez in 1998 and had
become prominent in the Government TV station VTV. Martinez has been a rapid promoter of the revolution
and Chavez via his program “Dossier”. Everything was fine and dandy until this
week Martinez charged
that there were too many people betting at “Chavismo without Chávez” and that he
had proof that there were Government officials who wore red berets in order to make
a buck. This did not set well with the Minister of Information and
Communication Pimentel who took him off the air and reportedly was told that he
would not go back on the air until he provided the proof.

This has led to rallies in favor of Martinez outside the TV stations
headquarters, graffiti in his support all over the walls of the station and constant
crowds and chanting almost every hour of the day. Two TV announcers from the TV
channel were removed from their jobs fir refusing to read a communiqué asking Martinez to make his accusations to the Prosecutor’s
office and Martinez
also had to stop his radio program. But Martinez,
who says he is a solider of the revolution, did not get the backing he expected
from the President. Showing how much the President pays attention to the minutiae
of politics, the President himself called a TV program where he attacked Martinez rather than defend
him. Chavez defended Martinez’
suspension saying “people have to be humble and not let themselves be driven by
their effort to be protagonists”. With that, it was clear that Martinez was dispensable. You just don’t accuse
this “pure” revolution of corruption. Chavez will do nothing against it because
it helps him achieve his political goals.

Thus, the soldier of the revolution awaiting for
orders from the Supreme being found today himself without support, victim of
the revolution and the corruption that surrounds it and may be eating it from

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