Archive for January 8th, 2007

Who was running Venezuela in the last eight years?

January 8, 2007

And the mos unfortunate comment yesterday had to come from the new Minster of Finance Rodrigo Cabezas, who said that:

“Venezuela will not be governed in the second term by economic groups, particular interests, but the people will govern”

I certainly hope Cabezas will tell us which economic group ran Venezuela in the first eight years of the fake revolution led by Chavez. What did he mean?

Chavez has a field day of announcements, all pointing to more autocracy, less democracy

January 8, 2007

And then in the afternoon, the autocrat Hugo Chavez announced that he will ask the National Assembly for extraordinary powers for one year so he can legislate by decree and at will, essentially anointing him as the King he wants to be. Chavez said he would use these powers to change a few things in Venezuela such as;

–Nationalizing the telephone company CANTV, which is 28% owned by Verizon but was the subject of a takeover by a group of companies owned by Mexican Carlos Slim at $21 per share. Chavez did not say whether he would pay for it or not.

Clearly, after dumping more than US$ 200 million in trying to start a state telecom company and not completing many phone calls, Chavez has decided to short circuit the process and go back to the wonderful system of having an inefficient state run telephone company. I guess he misses the times when olny one in three phone calls could be completed and it would take at least a year to get a telephone.

–He said he would nationalize the electric companies that were privatized. I guess nobody told him that Electricidad de Caracas was not privatized, but change from one set of private hands to another. (By the way that sale took place under the Government of ….Hugo Chavez himself!!!) The only electricity company that was indeed privatized was the Electric company of Nueva Esparta in Margarita Island and maybe the US company that bought that will be very happy to give it back anyway.

–He said he would abolish the commercial code which regulates legally how transactions are made in the economy.

–He said that he would remove the independence of of the Central Bank (which is almost non-existent) which he put into his own Constitution in 2000.

Finally, Chavez used his best Idi Aminesque diplomacy to call the Secretary General of the OAS a “pendejo” which benevolently can be translated as dumbass. Just to makes sure it was understood Chavez said that Inzulsa was a pendejo from the p to the o. Chavez also asked for Inzulsa’s resignation. For once, I may agree with the epithet used by Chavez given the customary position by the OAS on Venezuela’s affairs.

Just another day in the fake revolution!

Towards a communicational hegemony in Venezuela (or how to stop free speech without really saying it)

January 8, 2007

So today we started the day with the statements by the President of Government sponsored TV channel Telesur and former Minister of Communications Andres Izarra where he justifies the idea that the President can decide to shut down media at will:

“A Court? They can go to a Court and appeal. That is a decision by the President, fully…That is totally valid and why not?”

Of course, no mention is made of the independent institutions which regulate the media and are supposed to independently decide on such matters. Or the laws which regulate such matters. The autocrat rules Venezuela like a King; he is the Law, quoting an infamous French king.

But, of course, it is all fully justified, because “what we propose is to go towards a communicational and informational hegemony of the state. To build a hegemony in the Gramcsian sense”

Later, Izarra tries to get out of what this proposal means, but Gramcsi, besides being a Communist, clearly spelled out that the purpose of that hegemony was to dominate and even eliminate the other side and the opinion of others. Hegemony is not what he defines later as building the means to convince, it is building the system to dominate the other side, not only by “convincing”, but also by overwhelming the media and squashing opponents. A sort of democratic totalitarism or some screwed up, mixed-up concept like that-An oxymoron if I ever saw one.

In closing, Izarra justifies his own personal violation of the law on the day of the election by saying that Reuters (which is not a TV station or Venezuelan based or regulated) and some Spanish media (press and ditto) violated the law the day of the election. Thus, criminal acts by others justify your own acts in the perverse and totalitarian logic of this Goebbelian strategist of the fake revolution.