The Devil from Bratislava

May 7, 2009

As I look at the effects of decades of communist rule in Bratislava, I can’t help but wonder what the results of years of the Chavista will be in our battered country. Hopefully our music will not become as sad as the Slovakian folk songs I have heard (above) nor our look as drab.

But I am not here for political enlightenment, but to disconnect, a task which is made harder by the earth deciding to shake so hard that I get phone calls at 5 AM from Caracas that scare the hell out of me, but were somewhat aimed at getting some comfort . Which I give, but I have no basis for, as the fault that produced Monday’s tremors had been dormant for quite a while and while never responsible for a big quake, it could unsettle more “traditional” faults in the North. But tell that t the revolution as the newly minted Minister of Science and Technology Jesse Chacon, recycled through many Cabinet positions, uses the opportunity to cal the people with information gathered from who knows whom and says that having a tremor stronger than the 5.4 on Monday would be a one thousand year phenomenon and the aftershocks are “natural”.

An irresponsible statement, as unjustified as Mr. Chacon being Minister of Science. Because Caracas is surrounded by faults known to induce a 6-plus earthquake every sixty years on average, which would destroy Mr. Chacon’s statistics easily, Of Course, Chacon is likely to be crossing his fingers as he makes these outrageous statements, hoping that he will never have to justify his mistake. And even if he were shown to be wrong, it would not be a problem as the revolution would find a way to blame the opposition, God or whomever, but never the process itself.

We are after all reassured that the country has the most modern equipment to monitor the tremors, but that is all that can be done, monitor after the fact, and even in that US geophysical services were faster and more precise to tell us where and what happened in the early hours of Monday.

And I also stay connected because my infamous Bolivar credit card stopped working this weekend, a fact communicated to me by many friends. I can’t complain about a system that I abhor, but I don’t suffer much from it, I do have other credit cards to complete my trip with. But how many Venezuelans were left out there stranded by the irresponsible policies of CADIVI? They travelled believing that they had a precise amount of money to use, but were cut dry in the middle. Whether fair or unfair is not the question. The question is whether any system should have such a random and chaotic factor associated with it. Of course, most that travel are the rabid anti-Chavistas, so why bother at all in any case.

And I also hear that in a country where confrontation between the Government and unions is on the rise after a repressive may 1st. celebration, a high ranking Toyota union leader was killed today. Another mystery never to be solved by a Government that intimidates its enemies and never is capable in finding out who the intimidators were.

And thus, even as I disconnect, the ties remain, the links are there, the never ending presence of a fake revolution that never lets you sleep in peace even if you are in Bratislava.

9 Responses to “The Devil from Bratislava”

  1. billkralovec Says:


    I agree with Deanna and encourage you to stop and see Belgrade. I lived in Anaco, Anzoategui from 2002 – 2008, and left because of the security situation. I now live in Belgrade. What a breath of fresh air Belgrade is. A much better place to raise a family. I feel sorry for my friends that are left in Vene. I wish you all the best. Thanks for keeping up with the blog, it is my connection to what is happening in Venezuela.

  2. Deanna Says:

    Miguel, I don’t know whether you were able to go to Belgrade, Serbia in your travels. I must remark, however, that despite the US bombing of that city during Milosevic’s dictatorship, I am always amazed at the speed that Serbs have been able to rebuild their city and maintain it clean and quite safe. Quite a contrast from what I see and experience when I’m in Venezuela, especially if one has to live in Vargas!!! My question is, is this due to the government management (mismanagement) or the culture of the people who live in the country?

  3. Alex Dalmady Says:

    Are you going to Kazakhstan? Say hi to Borat from me.

  4. liz Says:

    I had to look Bratislava up! I get confused between Slovakia and Slovenia …
    My great great grand mother came from one of those….

  5. Syd Says:

    nice write-up, Miguel. Glad you’re deepening your exposure to eastern europe. Thought the earthquake factor, at least in Caracas, was every 50 years. Or so I remember from my readings after the 1967 quake scared the * out of me, not just in its intensity (fortunately the house was built on rock formation instead of whatever for the imploding buildings, and their poor inhabitants, in neighbouring Altamira). I remember, too, that 6 months earlier, an Italian psychic was predicting a major earthquake for a city in Latin America celebrating festivities. Voilà the 1967 cuatricentenario of the founding of Caracas. I think that bizarre coincidence scared me more.

  6. jsb Says:

    …simultaneously, I mean. Damn CIA keyboard.

  7. jsb Says:

    It was actually all of the Direct TV set top boxes with the cameras in them set to vibrate simultaenously.

  8. roberto Says:

    Nah, it was the Evil Empire. Donald Rumsfeld arranged for millions of Americans to jump off chairs at the same time.

    It was all done through an NGO called B.R.I.N.C.A, which we all know is paid for by the US govt.

  9. HalfEmpty Says:

    the revolution would find a way to blame the opposition, God or whomever,

    Nope, but let’s just say you’re on the right track.

    /Haliburton – Earthquake Division

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