Archive for November 5th, 2006

Spinning the Official Story after Ramirezgate.

November 5, 2006

When something of the magnitude of Ramirez’s speech takes
place, the Chavista spin machine is usually quickly activated to clean the
mess. This time they’ve got a tough job. The speech comes out just one month
before the Presidential election and few weeks after the start of a new
“Chavez-loves-you-and-wears blue-shirts” campaign.

For a few hours after the speech hit the media, people were
wondering what would the government do with such a hot potato. Would Ramírez be
asked to resign?  Would the President and
his party support him, or would they detach themselves from it like they did
with Barreto’s speech? Would the Attorney General accuse the Minister? Would
the CNE impose sanctions?

As I said, the job was not an easy one. You all watched and
read what Ramírez said, how would you try to twist that or provide a new

The spin machine was, as usual, activated by the Vice
President, José Vicente Rangel who, like it or not, is the Machiavellian brain
behind the Revolution.  He
was the first to
equate the transmission of RR’s speech with April 11 and
the oil strike of 2002, even if the speech had nothing to do with it (except
the part where RR says that he already fired 19500 workers and if needed, he’ll
do it again). I would really like to invite the readers to go ahead, click on
the link and read what JVR had to say on the speech. One has to marvel at his
capacity to try to twist the situation.

Once JVR had spoken, we knew of course that the Chavista
Politburo had decided that Ramírez was safe.

The next step was Chavez himself. 

This time, he
said that PDVSA was in a state of Revolution
and that all workers had to
accept that, and that, otherwise, they should leave the Company.  He asked Ramírez to repeat his speech 100 times
if necessary and he made use of one of his favorite themes: a coup was being
prepared. He then recalled the events of April 2002, said that he would ask the
Attorney General to investigate and threatened the TV stations with removing
their licences for having aired the 14 minute video.

After Chávez, it was the turn of poker-face Minister of
disinformation William Lara who literally said
“from any angle”, “there is no element” that can be qualified as an
electoral campaign. And then he added, as if that was the theme of RR’s speech
“All those that work for PDVSA have the Constitutional obligation of following
the oil policies drawn by the Government”….who said they didn’t? Is that a
diversion spin or what?

Things had to be tough for the government because spinner in
chief Rangel felt it was necessary to talk again. This time
it was a come back to the nicer sweeter face of the Revolution, guaranteeing a
dialogue with all sectors after December 3. He went on, however, with the fact
that the government had intelligence information about some type of propaganda,
similar to the one that “was used four years ago”. Again, the government was trying
to recall the events of April 2002 and associate them with RR’s speech.

If Rangel spoke twice, Chávez had to do likewise. He
again about a plan to sabotage the Presidential elections and
recommended to “the Devil to tie up his mad men because he will regret it”. He
reiterated  his support to RR and asked
him to study what to do if the oil industry was destabilized.

Today El Nacional reports that The Fiscalia (Attorney General
office) considers there was no offense or crime in Ramirez’s speech. And, if
you still were not convinced,  the now ever
present José Vicente Rangel reiterated
that what RR said was a theme about “The security of the State” and that no
crime was committed.

So, you did not hear what you heard. This was never about political discrimination. This was never about the use of
a Public entity in the Presidential Campaign. This was never about political
freedom for PDVSA workers. And please recall that RR was just talking about
security matters.

Ah! And if you happen to protest, then you are a potential
coupster that wants to destabilize the government. Finally, if you are a TV
station that transmitted the video, then you risk that your licence is not renewed.

Hmm, I wonder why? Wasn’t Ramírez just talking about a State Security issue?

Reporting from Cyberspace,

Jorge Arena
The Devil’s Most Distinguished Ghost.