Archive for May 20th, 2008

A glimmer of hope as Goicochea speaks out for the individual and freedom in Venezuela

May 20, 2008

Sometimes it gets really boring to write about Venezuela. I
mean, how repetitious can I get:

Should I write about PDVSA’s new
3.8 billion US$ loan from some Japanese companies and wonder why with il at US$
130 per barrel, PDVSA needs to borrow money in exchange for oil?

Been there, done that, the deal is
quite similar to one made last year
by PDVSA with some other or maybe the
same Japanese companies.

Or how about the Government “intervening” (self-intervening)
airline company Conviasa, removing its board and throwing another US$ 120
million at that worthless airline. Talk about throwing bad money after bad
money. I actually wrote
about it
a while back and even got hate mail and comments for even
suggesting it would be a losing proposition. I like to tell the anecdote that
billionaire investor Warren Buffet was asked at Columbia if he had a single
piece of advise about investing, what would it be? His answer: Don’t invest in

Or I could tell you about all of the accusations
of violations
of Venezuela’s air or land space. Colombia says they didn’t
do it, there is no reply. The US says sorry, Venezuela says that’s not enough.

Then Minister of the Interior and Justice says the Interpol
evidence would not be valid in a Court of Law. So what? Neither would his
testimony that all contacts with the FARC have been under the approval of the
Colombian Government, which never approved Ivan Marquez being brought to
Caracas or Rodrigo Granda becoming a Venezuelan under Chavez’ Government
auspices. And that Mr. Chacin can be proven in a Court of Law, if we wanted to
indict you or Chavez.

Or the Chief Prosecutor calling Interpol “clowns”, what else
is new, if you are not with Chavez you are an enemy.

Or I could tell you about how stupid or boring the
opposition has been. Divided, split or simply talking about elections rather
about real problems.

Like the fact that this weekend alone, one person was killed
every hour in Caracas alone…

Or that Venezuela ranked in the 123d. place in the global
peace index sandwiched between Zimbabwe and Ethiopia and “losing” only to
Colombia in the Continent. Is this what revolutions are about?

Instead I prefer to dwell on more positive notes, As you know
I am a Red Sox fan, so it pleases me like you would not believe that Jon Lester
a 24 year old pitcher who less than two years ago was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkins lymphoma, managed
to pitch a  no hitter last night
It is not about the no-hitter, it is about rising above problems and having the
can do attitude to do it.

Or simply read
, to gain a measure of the ability of the young and the strong to
achieve the impossible.

But another 23 year old, this time a Venezuelan, made me
extremely proud when he was given the Milton Friedman Award at the Cato
Institute. Yon
Goicochea gave a speech
in a language that was not his own, which was
simply charming, exhibiting what made him the natural leader than he is. But if
I found his speech charming, he told me more in those few sentences, than
opposition leaders have told me in many years. When Goicochea said that it was
only the individual and their hard work and beliefs that can change poverty and
their fate of our countries, he told me more than any Venezuelan politician in
the last few years.

Even if he is twenty three years old, who cares? The other
“experienced”, “seasoned” and “older” politicians have failed utterly in
unleashing the intelligence of the Venezuelan people the way other countries

Watching Goicochea gives me a glimmer of hope in our future,
at a time that we seem to be in a path of self-destruction, by both Government
and the opposition. He gave in Washington the only speech I have heard recently
calling for less Government, more empowering of the people and using the will,
intelligence and talent of the people.All in an atmosphere of freedom to unleash the power of the individual.

Compare that to the Chavez Government whose idea of “high
tech” is changing clocks by half an hour or chopping three zeroes off the

Only ideas can change Venezuela and not the bad ones the
Chavez Government seems to come up with daily. Hopefully, hundreds of
Goicocheas will sprout off the student movement, giving rise to a Venezuela
different than the ones that seems to have been running in place for years.