Archive for October 9th, 2005

Goodbye to the bicha by Perkins Rocha Contreras

October 9, 2005

Bicha is a
pejorative term for an animal in Spanish, in this case female. For quite a while, Chavez referred to
his Bolivarian Constitution using that very term. It has been a while since we
have heard the term, as the “bicha” no longer serves the “process”very well. In the
following translation of a very good article by Perkins Rocha, former Justice
of the Administrative Court, which was simply eliminated by Chavez’ Supreme
Court with one swipe, I have left the term in Spanish, it just seems unfair to
attempt to translate it in any possible way. This
excellent article appeared in El Nacional Friday October 7th. (By subscription

Goodbye to
the bicha
by Perkins Rocha Contreras

We still
find fresh in our minds all of those sublime adjectives that would place it
superlatively at the same level as the great books of humanity such as the Bible,
the Koran or the Quixote. “The greatest masterpiece written in the Spanish Language!”
The best constitutional text in the world!”

By the
way, now, retrospectively, I don’t understand why it was not compared to Marx’s
Das Capital or the Five philosophical pieces of Mao, whose pocket edition-but
in the red version, not the blue one-I imagine the leader  always keeps on
the left side of his suit waiting for just the precise moment to use it.

obviating its evident conceptual failures (a decentralized federalism, a
Constitutional Hall and not a Constitutional Court, a citizens power that is
neither autonomous nor independent, Government functions within the judiciary,
etc.), incongruences (a federal state without a Senate) and even the wrong
legislative technique (the annoying and unnecessary use of the feminine
gender), truth be told, we learned to love it thanks to the way in which it
approached institutions such as effective judicial guardianship, states of
exception, due process, the referendum, concurrent competences, the Federal
Council of Government and Constitutional protection, among others, all treated so
successfully, that it made us forget momentarily, the bad taste left by its

transit from a programmatic text to one with real regulatory value of immediate
application, gave us after some time a little breath after the storm.

the “War till death” (Guerra a muerte) has already been declared and the decree
that contains it was formalized at the event where the candidates for Deputies
of the officialdom were named. And I ask, what has happened to that same text
printed in the same shops of the Parnassus in
the image and similarity of the noble and exquisite spirit of our tropical Zeus?
Well, that the bicha became an uncomfortable animal. The bicha is biting the
conscience every night. She was politically written so that the leader would
return to his ashes after his first Government, with civil society
strengthened, but not to maintain him in power. It was written with the frame
of mind of being opposition, not of being Government.

And now it
has to be killed, because each time a farm is taken over by assault, without
being preceded by the public affectation contemplated in the law, the bicha
bites over there in that land that borders between the Me and the Super –Me,
that one that perturbs us at night and does not allow us to sleep. Because
besides not talking about the “social role” of property (in contrast with that
of 1961), the bicha of 1999 requires public utility and social interest, a firm
sentence and the payment of prior idemnization as presupposed and indispensable
facts to take over the assets, and he knows it, but because he believes that
all property has been stolen, then, according to his criteria-it comes form
some illegality that someone made at some time in the chain of titles, the animal
of 99 makes it inconvenient.

defends those that have the best title and the burden of proof is placed upon
those that pretend to take away the property, not the current owner or beneficiary.

He also
knows that the kids that accompany him, despite being leftists, ultra leftists,
stone throwers and perfect rabble rousers, were born and grew within a system
that with all of its imperfections, did not establish when, push came to shove,
bigger political differences that those of the white ones, the green ones and
the red ones, with all of the intermediate tonalities included. A world without
hierarchies and without no major homage if not for those like comrade, “compa”,
“broder” for the reformers and “camarada” for the most radicals.

That stuff
about saluting a guy dressed in olive green and asking for permission to speak
sounded in those times like fascism and unfortunately for him, that libertarian
and irreverent sensation is hard to lose. It is there right below the skin. And
when those comrades become Governors and Mayors, nothing stops them and their
heads begin to be filled with flapping of the greatness of a true revolution, romantic
and idealist and that is where the problem begins. But, because the bicha
protects them, since it establishes a federal system that even if imperfect, consecrates
direct and secret election for state Governor and Mayors, it is necessary to create
a monster that will return the power to the boss, a Unitarian state, communist,
which does not share power nor establishes common responsibilities.

The bicha
disrupts. The bicha took its own shape in the streets and in the leadership in the
barrios, in the universities and in the unions. The bicha with all of its ailments
is an instrument of the international democratic measure of his democratic

They have to kill it before it continues to grow, just in
case one day we might truly believe the tale that it is a beast at the service
of our rights.


Two Species, a local one and one from far away

October 9, 2005

Two different shots of the same Cattleya Lueddemanniana Maruja x Purto
Cruz, which I got from Orquimiel two years ago as a seedling. This is
the first time it flowers, very nice color, hopefully a little bigger
next tiem.

Weird Dendrobium Alexandrae, a species from Asia. This one won third place at the exhibit last week.