Chavez orders his science and technology Commissar to tighten the screws up on oligarchic science

May 13, 2009

Given that so little works well in Venezuela these days, the idiotic Dictator is nevertheless looking for new places to use his ignorance for destructive purposes. Two Sunday’s ago he did such a thing, when he ordered his Science and Technology Commissar, Ly. Jesse Chacon, to tighten the screws (The nuts in Spanish, but I did not want to get into the symbolism of that!) on Venezuela’s premiere science institution IVIC (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas).

Chavez asked Chacon to end “oligarchic”, “pitiyanqui” and “squalid” science and force scientists to do “useful” science for the “people” and to have them go to the barrios.

This is so stupid that it is even hard to get a handle on starting a discussion on it. First of all, there is no such thing as “useful” science, there is good and bad science, the rest are the refuge of the mediocre. If something can be deem to be useful science, it is beyond the science stage and into the development and/or technology. You can fund science in areas that are more likely to yield useful results, but you don’t know ahead of time what may or not happen.

But of course you cannot expect Dictator Chavez or Commissar Chacon to know any of this, the same way you know that Chavez has earned little about economics in the last ten years. It is the same idiocy coming into play, but now being used against an Institution whose role in Venezuela is now likely to be diminished into irrelevancy by the revolution.

IVIC is an institution dear to my heart. I owe a lot to it, not only because of what it gave me, but also because of its importance in my life as a person and as a professional. To see it in the hands of a Director who flapped like a seal applauding every word by the ignorant Dictator, as the institution’s final destruction was being ordered tells you a lot about how the low levels IVIC has already reached. Sad, very sad.

But it is even more ironic to hear Chavez attempt to construct a coherence sentence on science and technology, when it was Chavez that destroyed Venezuela’s Oil technological center INTEVEP just because it served his political purposes. In 2003 Chavez simply wiped out the world’s best heavy oil development and technology center located in Venezuela, but even worse, drove over one thousand scientists and engineer into the hands of foreign competitors, as he blacklisted them from working in Venezuela at scientific, technological and educational institutions.

Intevep was truly science and technology at the service of the people, helping the country improved and increase its oil production. It was replaced by a void that the so-called revolution has failed to even attempt to fill in the six years since that scientific genocide was committed.

And I am sure that Chavez is setting himself up for his own Lysenko to dazzle him with his discoveries and some arrogant and daring charlatan from Chavista science will become the new leader of Venezuela’s useful science.

Because ironically, Chavez inner circle has a number of scientists in it, most very mediocre, few in any areas of relevance to the country, but all cowards who are now silent as Chavez tramples what they claim to work for and believe in the years leading up to the Dictators ascension to power.

But now more than ever we are forbidden to forget these collaborators and insiders of the regime, who sold their souls and their pockets for a few coins to the autocrat, helping destroy what was once was a unique domain of excellence and achievement of which Venezuelans could be proud.

8 Responses to “Chavez orders his science and technology Commissar to tighten the screws up on oligarchic science”

  1. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work
    and reporting! Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve included you guys
    to my own blogroll.

  2. […] scientists, Chavez naming Lt. Colonel Chacon with no prior experience in science as Minister and admonishing him “put the screws” on the scientists as well as the firing of Jaime Requena when he requested his retirement from IDEA, a scientfic […]

  3. GeronL Says:

    Again Ayn Rand knew this kind of thing would happen, remember the State Science Institute in Atlas Shrugged?

  4. Karthik Says:

    Chavez seems to have read (misread) “Atlas Shrugged”…. all that he is doing follows suit from the book… sure the end results will be the same too….unless….

  5. Antonio Says:


    Barbarians have been pushing at the door of Venezuelan science for a long time, as I recall. They finally got in. This was inevitable, I suppose, or at least predictable. The future? Well, I don’t think they’ll be pushed back out: they’ll just leave when the destruction is complete and get bored with what’s left. The reconstruction? I wish we could live long enough to contribute to it even in a small way, but I don’t think so. A new cycle of reconstruction will begin one day.

    I agree with you: science is useful if it is good. Bad science cannot possibly be useful. Meanwhile, you young guys, go and study engineering, which is a good second best choice.

  6. paul Says:

    This page should be read.
    Weird how Chavez’s ‘court’ mimmicks Henry VIII’s.
    Here is a quote, and it gets better if you read and see the similarities.
    The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
    Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

    (break subject) new quote

    Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is “Qui tacet consentiret”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.
    Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?
    Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.

  7. A.Guinand Says:

    El Gobierno venezolano intervino a puertas abiertas el principal banco estatal del país por “algunos problemas de cierta severidad”, dijo el miércoles el ministro de Finanzas, Alí Rodríguez, garantizando la continuidad de sus actividades.

    La decisión se produce el mismo día que el presidente Hugo Chávez anunció que el 22 de mayo firmará un acuerdo con el grupo financiero español Santander para comprar su unidad en el país, Banco de Venezuela.

  8. marc in calgary Says:

    Hugo is going to do for science in Venezuela, what he has done for economics?

    well hopefully, what he has done for the economic situation will save Venezuela from all that mediocrity… good that you didn’t bring up any of Cuba’s contributions to… oh for example, the science and economics of sugar production.

    the idea of being a “yes man” to science in order to gain foothold into Hugo’s inner circle? how can someone answer to two opposed forces? deeming science to be of use or not, based on an ideological standard, makes as much sense as deeming economic growth to be of value based on ideological standards.
    How’s that working out? Where’s the toilet paper Hugo?

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