A day and a march: Staring right into the eyes of Chavez’ fascism

August 22, 2009

(Este post en español aquí)

It was in the end an ugly day. Not that it had to be like that, but it was. For me it was like watching a movie knowing how it would end, but I enjoyed the middle. It was not intuition, it was knowing that if the Government had set up the barricades that early in the morning and was manning them with all forces, it was because they intended to use tear gas no matter what.

So, I took my gas mask, which I don’t always do and even as I could not find it initially, made a point of looking for it and taking it along. Fortunately, I did not have to use it, as I had moved back a little when they began using the tear gas.

And they did, it was premeditated evil, it was fascism as everyone saw in the end. This Government has and gives no thoughts to human rights. Those that do not agree with it are the enemy and they are and will be treated as such. They deserve no consideration, whether young or old, male or female. It’s hate, it’s discrimination, it’s fanaticism at its worst, all for a worthless cause.

But we have to deal with and fight it. And we did and were successful. We showed our ability to have thousands show up even as the city is empty due to school vacation.

But going back to the beginning, our rights were not respected from the first moment. Despite the opposition requesting a permit to march first, a second request by Chavez’ PSUV to march on the same day was given priority and we were not allowed to march towards the National Assembly. That was the protest, to tell the Assembly that we would not put up with the illegal and unilateral approval of that education Bill. Instead, the Minister of the Interior and Justice, a man with a criminal record for acts during protests, approved the Chavista march near the Congress building, but we were only allowed to march to the end of Avenida Libertador.

It was the typical disorganized opposition march, concentrate at 9 AM (it seems it is being called earlier and earlier) and wait until there is a critical mass. It is as if people watch TV and when they see it growing they run for it, because all of a sudden it got really crowded and not even my tweets could get out through the congested network.

For perspective here is a picture from the back of the march in Avenuda Liberatdor. For those that don’t know it, it is a two level highway with two lanes on the upper side on each side and four underneath. For security reasons we are not allowed to march thru the underpass part which is what you see emptying the middle. But you can see the people flowing on all sides. When this picture was taken, there were people all the way down to the CANTV building where the National Guard and cops had set up the barricade early in the morning underneath the CANTV sign you see at the end.

globalback

The march was quite cheerful, may old people, many students, political parties brought their contingents, but so you can see the atmosphere, the picture below was taken as we moved into Avenida Libertador. Clearly, this man had zero expectations of trouble and the cheerfulness and spirit of the march gave him no inkling of what was to come.

kid

And they were reminders every corner when we saw the cops

cops

And it got very crowded as we got to the overpass before CANTV as seen in the picture below:

bridge

And then, as it began to sprinkle, the cops on the other side of the barricade began throwing rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd. Globovision showed a video that I can’t find on the Internet but I am sure we will soon, where you can clearly see who shot first (You can see the video in this article and a similar one from VTV, the Government’s TV station from up close here, showing the same thing and this amateur video showing it very clear). And it was totally irresponsible to shoot straight into a crowd a couple of miles deep and dense and full of older people. You can see it here (not my picture)

deep

and you can see the brutal attack of the police by this violent woman:

attack

Even worse, later the cops went deep into where the crowd was, the area for which a permit had been granted and they threw so many tear gas canisters, that some of them went down into the subway system, where people were trapped and gassed and people of all ages fainted due to the irresponsible actions fo the police and the National Guard. This picture taken from this page, shows what was happening underneath, as the Comander of the National Guard gave his  by now infamous political speech, full of hate, discrimination and fascism, besides the fact that his behavior was illegal according to the National Guard code of behavior.

2agencia4_2009-08-22_1250973178.orig

and above ground this threatening opposition people were being gassed (picture by gbastidas):

mujeres

But, of course, it was all the oppositions fault, the leaders of it caused it and the Minister of the Interior asked for an investigation and the ineffable General Prosecutor already opened an investigation, which apparently reached a conclusion, since she says the Government will not allow “alterations of public order” as if she has decided who was guilty in generating today’s violence. Did she see the video of the National Guard Commander? That alone should have given her the prudence of not saying anything.

But all we did today was march cheerfully and happily in defense of our rights, only to find ourselves staring right into the eyes of the open fascism of the Chavez administration.

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39 Responses to “A day and a march: Staring right into the eyes of Chavez’ fascism”

  1. Crow Says:

    Where is Amnesty International and the OAS when protestors in Venezuela are beaten and shot by thugs under the protection of Hugo Chavez? Where are the news stories of the daily struggle of elected officials in Venezuela who cannot run their office because the police and military have locked them out and taken all funds to run their local governments. Where is the rights group Amnesty International and the OAS when those who oppose Hugo Chavez are jailed, assassinated or disapear?

    When is the ASSOCIATED PRESS going to write about the nightmare that the fascist dictator Hugo Chavez has brought to Venezuela?

  2. Nobody Special Says:

    Hey Bruni

    I live in Venezuela, and I know what I’m talking about.

    While I’m not sure why you think that “everybody has guns” I can assure you that not enough of the decent people have guns. I have had several friends who suffered a home invasion in the past 2 or 3 years. In both cases, IF the husbands had possessed a decent shotgun (pump or semi-auto) they would not have been robbed or put in the hospital, their wives would not have been raped, their children would not have been severely traumatized and things would have been much different. But they were unarmed, and that’s what happened.

    The bad guys had guns, the homeowners didn’t, and 2 different families- friends of mine -each got their own personal night of hell. At least they all survived. It doesn’t always work out that way: One of my clients recently flew down here to settle the estate of his father… because the men who invaded his father’s home and tortured his father for hours trying to find out where the money was (he didn’t have any) decided to drown him in his bathtub before they left. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point: the police weren’t there to help any of them.

    You say there are too many guns? It’s now virtually impossible to legally purchase a weapon suitable for home defense in Venezuela, and given the number of police/military or former police/military who are doing the crimes and are quite well armed, I can only say that your desire to see the population disarmed is so naive as to be disingenuous.

    I’m sure that you feel quite safe in Canada and don’t feel the need to possess the means to defend yourself or your family, but if you are ever placed in the position of listening to someone kick in your door and laugh at your inability to defend yourself… I think you’ll reconsider your position. If they break into your house and beat your husband unconscious and then cause you great pain to force you to reveal where the valuables are kept; and then rape you and sodomize you with your young children forced to lay on the bed next to you while it happens, and during all this you have to listen to the men laughing and mocking you… will you still be so smug in your opinion that only the police and military need guns?

    I doubt it.

    I pray you never have to go through anything like that, but perhaps you should listen to the point of view of people who have been through it. Just don’t try to tell them that they should not be allowed to possess the means to defend themselves. That would result in a learning experience you’d not soon forget.

  3. bruni Says:

    Nobody Special, “The problem of insecurity is simple to solve: every head of household needs to be issued a rifle or shotgun by the government. “, WOW! Now I am really REALLY in disagreement.

    The problem in Venezuela is that there are too many guns around. Everybody has a gun….the problem should be solved by REMOVING guns, not the other way around. Even the very armed police escorts of several ministers and public figures have been victims of crime.

    Come on! You are not serious, are you?

    I live in Canada and in every single shooting that we have had (including in my school) the weapons used were LEGALLY PURCHASED. So my view is ZERO weapons. No firearms for anybody. Only the military and the police. Nobody else needs it.

  4. Nobody Special Says:

    Kepler

    I am fully cognizant that “justice” in Venezuela is a commodity that is for sale to the highest bidder.

    And… if history is a good metric… it’s obvious that if everyone in Venezuela were armed, there would be a bloodbath. Who can imagine that the people of any particular pueblicito don’t know who the malditos and malandros are? With a level playing field the decent people will get together and clean house. I suspect that a lot of police will die on that day, as well as more than a few judges, attorneys and bureaucrats.

    With the murder rate approaching 20k per year, there are obviously many thousands of people in this country who need to be taken out and shot in the head. Yes… I’m of the belief that when an individual engages in violent action such as murder, kidnapping, rape or armed robbery… it’s obvious they have proven they’re societal rejects: they need to be terminated. I make no apologies for this… I have children. I want them to inherit a better world than the one I live in.

    Those of you who don’t agree need to talk to people in the barrios. I’m willing to bet serious money that well north of 90% of them agree with me. The fact that they’d vote to remove the death penalty is merely evidence that they have absolutely no confidence in the Venezuelan law enforcement and the legal system. In that, I agree as well.

    Arm the people and justice will prevail in the end, so long as there is a level playing field. That’s why my prescription was for the government to issue weapons to heads of households. If only the people with money can purchase weapons, the decent people who happen to be poor will still be defenseless and the situation would be worse than before. Malandros always seem to have plenty of money…

    The legal system in Venezuela is a Civil Law jurisdiction, descended from the Napoleonic Code. It’s a system that’s ripe for abuse, witness the court system in Venezuela today. Personally I prefer the original Common Law system that the United States had… where a jury was competent to judge both the law and the facts. If the jury thought the law was a bad one, they voted “not guilty” and that was that. I wish it were still in force today… but the United States is now a police state. I have far more freedom in Venezuela than in the US… but that’s another story.

    The main reason for arming the population is that the population, the body politic, is made up of adults: not children. The government is not there to rule them, but to simply administer some basic civil service functions. In reality, there are few (if any) of the traditional functions of government that could not be better served by a free market solution.

    The problem is that governments, as a rule, are just a bunch of thugs who engage in legal plunder to enrich themselves and lord it over their fellow citizens. Chavez and his cronies are simply a more disturbing manifestation of this tendency, less sophisticated with much more transparent corrupt practices. In addition, a significant portion of the Venezuelan population are willing accomplices of this corruption.

    Everyone advocates a non-violent solution… but really… can anyone in their right mind compare Venezuela to Colonial India? Was any significant portion of the population of India in support of British rule at that time? C’mon. A HUGE percentage of the population of this country is willing to mama huevo if Chavez unzips his fly. There is no comparison… this is a nation of accomplices… and in the end a good portion of them are willing to engage in violence to keep getting their share of the plunder.

    Before it’s over there will be a civil war in this country. I would guess that it will only be another year or two… Possibly as soon as early 2010.

  5. Anon Says:

    @Nobody Special

    Democracy, in order to be legitimate as a means of selecting the administrators of government, must rest upon a foundation of LAW that is applied equally and without favor to everyone. At the point any individual or group subverts the LAW, they are usurpers of justice, tyrants who have forfeited their mandate to administer their office, and they along with every person who enables their acts should be subject to the penalty for treason.

    I am not a lawyer, but I do recall that Aristotle, well over 2 thousand years ago, expressed a preference to the rule of law to that of individuals. Chavista laws are far from the rules a society draws up to govern itself. Hugo Chávez and his fellow supporters, being the acutely distorting influences that they are, have embarked upon a process to disfigure the rule of law and constort it as a means towards the caudillo’s end.

  6. Kepler Says:

    concerned,

    There must be accountability, indeed. I am not sure giving weapons to everyone would help much ceteris paribus in Venezuela.
    Some of the people with weapons I know in Venezuela came to my mind: my neighbour had a couple of them, burglars broke in, used some gas to keep them asleep, robbed them all, took away the great weapons.
    The husband of a friend’s sister was going to the capital from Valencia and his car was attacked on the motorway, he was forced to stop and the thugs got away with his brand-new rifle with night-vision.
    Bad gun users? Probably.

    The case of Switzerland is something different, that was a war and anyway, reasons were more complex than just that. Germany needed also the finance facilities of Switzerland, among other things, to sell out their or other people’s gold, for one.

    Anyway: unlike what many people think in the US, it is possible to buy weapons and use them in most places in Europe, even if perhaps the use of Uzis and the like are more limited. Still: in most places people simply do not use them. The main exceptions are Finland and Switzerland.
    Do the others have higher crime rates? Nope.

    Western European countries have a lower rate of violent crime than the US and so does Canada.

    I don’t take people’s right to have guns (provided they are not proven psychos and they know how to use them and account for their use), but that won’t solve it.

    Everyone in Afghanistan has a gun. Actually, a lot of people in Venezuelan slums have guns and they are killing each other.

    The problem is justice. Bring more justice to Venezuela, bring capable, well payed policemen, bring good judges, create employment.

    In Venezuela social disparities are huge and a lot of people with money got it the easy way. There is a culture that “everyone with money” got it robbing, which is untrue but there are a lot, specially connected with the government. The Venezuelan hard-working entrepreneurs are seen in the same light as Arne chacon…only that Arne chacon has bodyguards and is the minister’s brother and the remaining entrepreneurs are not.

    Gladiatorinasia,
    Yes, but he was mostly elected by the gullible middle class. The poor were not voting. Even though there has been massive cheating, the guy still has support. If you don’t believe it, go to Venezuela and talk, talk, talk to the people in slums and villages.
    He doesn’t have the majority anymore and his popularity has been dropping but the opposition does not have the majority either.
    There is a 30% probably that are absolutely for him and have nothing, nothing to lose. There is a 25% to 30% who are opposition like us and then there is the huge nini and many of them keep supporting the comandante while he gives them the crumbles.

  7. Gladiatorinasia Says:

    Remember too, that even though it was nearly 10 years ago. “El Comandante” was elected under the lowest voter turnout in Venezuelan history!

  8. Nobody Special Says:

    Bruni

    You’re missing a certain element… it’s the essential part of “democracy” that doesn’t get touched on very often:

    There must be accountability.

    If someone does something wrong, there must be accountability. There must be a mechanism to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice. Justice must be not only visible, but accessible to all.

    En este momento, no tenemos en Venezuela.

    The problem of insecurity is simple to solve: every head of household needs to be issued a rifle or shotgun by the government. Until the problems with insecurity are over, it should be a common sight to see men and women walking down the street, visibly armed. Weapons should be a part of everyday life. The government should be building shooting ranges everywhere and winning marksmanship contests should be more admirable than winning beauty contests.

    Back in the late 1930’s, a German Diplomat said to a Swiss Diplomat: “You have a 500,000 man army. What will you do when the German Army comes across your border with 1,000,000 men?”

    The Swiss diplomat replied: “Our men will each shoot twice and go home.”

    Switzerland was considered to be too well defended, and Germany chose not to attempt an invasion of Switzerland. All able-bodied men in Switzerland are members of the Swiss Army, and they keep their fully automatic Rifles and Machine Guns at home… yet their crime rate is negligible.

    Someone is kicking in your door or otherwise breaking into your home to rob or assault you in Venezuela? Shoot them. Kill them. Let the Pueblicito bury them. End of discussion. No need for the police who are never there when you need them… The problem is solved.

    THAT is justice. If you don’t understand or believe me, try living in a bario for a few months. Best of all… if the people are armed, the government thugs won’t be able to intimidate them. IMAGINE that. If the people are armed, they will intimidate the government thugs. Imagine THAT.

  9. bruni Says:

    Alek, true: we don’t have a Rómulo Betancourt now and we need him. But you’ve got a point when you say that last time the conditions were far worse and that makes *precisely* the whole difference.

    In fact, Chávez has not yet created a Seguridad Nacional type of police that comes to your home at night and makes you disappear like PJ did.

    When Perez Jimenez is removed from power first he cheated in an election and next people were fed up with the repression. I also think that the economic situation of the country had worsened by that time (Maybe Miguel has the economic data).

    My point is that a clear majority wanted PJ out, people were truly fed up with the regime.

    So far, a large majority of the East of Caracas is fed up with Chavez but I am not sure that a large majority in Venezuela is feeling the same. So we have no choice but to gain little by little that majority…

  10. Alek Boyd Says:

    Bruni, last time Venezuela was under tyrants, the opposition was working underground non-stop to oust them. The conditions were far worse. Political assassinations were routine. Las carceles estaban full de politicos. When you read who formed that opposition then, and compare it to what we have today, you can only conclude that Chavez, as good old Moises Naim said recently, has the means to stay there for a long, long time. I have said many, many, times, that we have the means and that there are ways of getting rid of this caudillo and the criminals that sustain him. Problem is, no one in the opposition listens. The opposition leadership is, at the end of the day, a bunch of Chavez mini-mes. I have seen it, heard it, con estos ojos que la tierra se ha de tragar. Como dice el dicho, con pendejos ni a misa.

  11. bruni Says:

    Kepler,
    guilty as charged : I’m an USB graduate. Once in Sartenejas, always in Sartenejas. And your point is very important because it shows why Chávez is trying to destroy the USB and the other Universities, it is precisely because they are real institutions, the only real institutions (besides the Miss Venezuela pagent) that exist in Venezuela. (I’ll do a post about it, eventually).

    Now, the political class in Venezuela is deficient and ineffective and that’s why we are in such a mess. The reason? The old politicians did not allow the political class to be renewed. My generation never had a chance to get to power. So we are still using the good ol’ tactics and philosophies of 50 years ago.

    Nobody Special:

    yes, democracy is based in the rule of law applied equally to all its citizens, but is also based on separation of power and respect of minorities. I defined democracy in this post:
    http://cuentosintrascendentes.blogspot.com/2009/05/chavismo-no-es-democracia.html

    as a set of rights and freedoms so that the electorate has the means of freely kicking the goverment in the ass.

    The post explains what “freely” means.

    Alek, we must try first. The opposition has no means right now, but we have to organize, try to gain our spaces back.

  12. Alek Boyd Says:

    Buenas everyone. I am just going to quote a USB professor, Raquel Rivas Rojas, who has provided what’s, IMO, the best explanation to what we’re up against (apologies to the language impaired):

    La tirania, tanto de la multitud como de su mas temible producto, el caudillo irredento, no puede ser contrarrestada con la letra (and I should add con la razon). Al caudillo solo puede vencerlo la naturaleza implacable -la fuerza de los hechos- o la traicion de las masas, que es como un cataclismo natural, como una avalancha indetenible. De ahi que (place here name of caudillo of choice) este condenado desde el principioa la derrota y que esta sea producto de la base misma sobre la cual se sustenta su liderazgo, la condicion insostenible de su empresa. A fin de cuentas lo que (place here name of caudillo of choice) realiza es una ficcion de revolucion de la que nadie esta enterado hasta muy avanzada la aventura, y son estas ficciones de revolucion las que parecen ponerse aqui en escena, en una vuelta de tuerca que permite observar, por su reverso tragico, las incursiones atrabiliarias de los caudillos espontaneos. Siempre temerosos de sus pies de barro, atentos al murmullo de los traidores que amenazan su precaria estabilidad, luchando incansables contra sus propios delirios. Porque si en un primer momento esta ficcion presenta al tirano como una fuerza natural indetenible, hacia el final del relato su caida resultara tan inevitable como lo fue, en un principio, su emergencia.

    The above relates to this and the previous post. The opposition has no way of forcing Chavez’s hand: es un perro desdentado que ladra mucho. Unfortunately the current caudillo has got enough money and goodies to spread around. Gomez did just as much and stayed in power for 27 years.


  13. […] The Devil’s Excrement has a report on the demonstration. […]

  14. Kepler Says:

    Bruni,

    The only people I know in Venezuela that think like you are a bunch from the USB and a couple of other top institutions and who are now professors or researchers but who would never, ever go to politics.
    Our politicos are mostly a bunch of retards or, the ones with some punch, have this Simon Bolivar syndrome and would rather see everything crumble down than losing the opportunity to become the next caudillo. They hardly cooperate.
    What is it that we need to do to get the right people?

    What is it that has made Venezuela so poor in educated citizens who understand Venezuela’s deeply rooted problems and who actually care for the masses, not just for their group?
    What is it the few more or less bright ones have this Simon Bolivar complex, want to rule things alone and so little desire for cooperation?

  15. Nobody Special Says:

    I’ll start with a favorite quote:

    “…in our intercourse with our fellow men, certain principles of morality are assumed to exist without which society would be impossible, so certain inherent rights lie at the foundation of all action and upon a recognition of them alone can free institutions be maintained. These inherent rights have never been more happily expressed than in the Declaration of Independence, that new evangel of liberty to the people:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident” — that is, so plain that their truth is recognized upon their mere statement — “that all men are endowed” — not by edicts of emperors, or decrees of Parliament, or acts of Congress, but “by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” — that is, rights which cannot be bartered away, or given away, or taken away, except in punishment of crime — “and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and to secure these” — not grant them, but secure them — “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Mr. Justice Field, of the US Supreme Court, in his opinion from the case Butchers’ Union Co. v Cresent City Colorado, 1884

    I find the situation deliciously ironic: the intelligentsia of Venezuela are stuck in the middle- on one side is the defense of democracy… which requires a support of Chavez (or at the very least a support of the process that produced Chavez), and on the other side is the recognition that democracy is nothing more than a sophisticated form of mob rule which requires opposition to both the legitimacy of democracy as well as the current despot who achieved his power by pandering to the poor.

    It all begs the question of what government is: are the officials rulers or administrators? Are we ruled by law or men? If we are ruled by men, then democracy is simply a nice name for mob rule. If we are ruled by law, democracy might be a reasonable way to select the individuals who are required for the administration of the necessary functions of government (what is “necessary” I will leave for another discussion).

    Democracy, in order to be legitimate as a means of selecting the administrators of government, must rest upon a foundation of LAW that is applied equally and without favor to everyone. At the point any individual or group subverts the LAW, they are usurpers of justice, tyrants who have forfeited their mandate to administer their office, and they along with every person who enables their acts should be subject to the penalty for treason.

  16. GWEH Says:

    OT: The United States and other countries, were surprised by the way prices escalated in recent years. Many people blame demand from China and other emerging markets. But the sad fact is that four oil-producing countries failed to live up to production expectations. In 1998, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, and Venezuela were producing 12.7 million barrels per day. Everyone — including major companies such as BP and Saudi Aramco — expected them to be producing 18.4 million barrels per day in 2008. Instead, due to civil strife, failed investments, or in the case of Iraq, a U.S. invasion, they were producing only 10.2 million barrels per day. That drove the price part of the way up. Then speculators, in the form of hedge funds, did the rest.


  17. […] A day and a march: Staring right into the eyes of Chavez’ fascism « The Devil’s Excrement devilsexcrement.com/2009/08/22/6673 – view page – cached #RSS 2.0 The Devil's Excrement » A day and a march: Staring right into the eyes of Chavez’ fascism Comments Feed The Devil's Excrement Hugo Chávez: From illegal amendment to illegal Constitutional reform The revolutionary “privilege” of getting rid of the country’s best scientists — From the page […]

  18. bruni Says:

    “If it is true that people are so well informed to think they are better off with Chavez than not, then let Chavez stay.”

    This is what has been happening up to now. And if that people are the majority, we cannot do anything about it.

    “I don’t believe many people are that well informed.”

    I disagree. I think that those that vote for Chávez know exactly what they are voting for. Chavez always announces his colors. He always says what he will do. It’s the opposition that does not believe him, but the ones that vote for him are very clear on what they are getting.

  19. firepigette Says:

    Bruni,

    I agree that oppos have wasted too much time complaining and not organizing and I agree that we need to choose a leader and train him if he/she is not a natural.

    But an aggressive campaign hasn’t even begun in a consistent way..At least Not in the way I see it.I don’t say this in a way that is meant to denigrate the oppo because I am grateful for all that is done- but the oppo has always been too divided and too inconsistent.There has been way too much infighting and competition to be really effective.That should change.

    If it is true that people are so well informed to think they are better off with Chavez than not, then let Chavez stay.Why would we insist on something that is not good for the people?

    I don’t believe many people are that well informed.Being well informed in my opinion means knowing the consequences of decisions, and I don’t think this is true with many Venezuelans unfortunately.So many folks are just thinking short term and with their emotions.

    I do agree however that whoever replaces Chavez in the future should make sure that the mass of poor have basic rights, freedoms, protections and dignities that I think Chavez does Not give them.He only pretends to.He cons them.

  20. jsb Says:

    Fascism, nothing less. I admire the courage of the marchers.

  21. El Nacional Says:

    a very interesting post by Caracas Gringo on what is actually goin’ on inside El Nacional

    http://caracasgringo.wordpress.com/

  22. Kepler Says:

    Bruni,
    I agree on what you said. I do think something else is equally important: a thinking group, more than just one big individual with ideas and personality to express those ideas. One individual can be killed or annihilated in another way, but a group of people? More than a leader, we need several women and men working together to produce a better vision and proposals for 100% of the population.

  23. bruni Says:

    Friedpigette,

    an agressive campaign against the chavismo has been going on for 10 years and it is not enough.

    The reason people keep voting for Chavez is not because they are undereducated, in fact, even poor Venezuelans have in many cases more education and are better informed than many North Americans or Europeans. It is because they are better off with Chavez than without him, as simple as that.

    You’ve got to convince those people that they will be better off WITHOUT Chavez.

    For the time being, even when things are no good, they feel that if Chavez leaves they will be forgotten. That’s the bottomline: convince millions of Venezuelans that their lives will improve with an opposition leader in power.

    You’ve got to first find that leader, or form that leader. So far, after 10 years, that leader does not exist…and we are three years away from the elections!

    So that’s where the opposition has been irresponsible. It has lost too much time complaining without organizing.

  24. friedpigette Says:

    Kepler I do NOT advocate what you say I do.

    I also do not advocate yours and Bruni’s advice.I advocate an aggressive campaign against Chavismo that is one pointed and relentless.So far we have had to many wishy washy and divisive people interfering with this process.

    A long as there are MANY people unwilling to risk their jobs and their comfort to join forces with the opposition without “peros” there will be no end to Chavismo.

    It is not about love Kepler, it is about UNITY…JOINING FORCES.it will take power to get rid of him.It is not about peace, it is about war- even if the war is physically non violent.

    I never said Venezuelans were stupid, but undereducated.Undereducated people do not have the same appreciation for ideas than someone like you has.

  25. Kepler Says:

    Firepigette,
    Your opinion is, in my view, even more naive. We are not going to go further if we all join hands in Altamira or in Sambil and cry “Libertad, libertad” and then “the force” will be with us and we, the opposition, will overcome.

    That population is, I repeat, is not stupid. They have never ever received a clear alternative but been seen as idiots.
    There are ways to move both with emotion and ideas, but for that thinking is necessary, not some New Age-give them cake attitude.
    Indians got their freedom and their education was lower than Venezuelans’. We don’t need a Gandhi. We need much less than that.

  26. friedpigette Says:

    GWEH,

    Fight back not with guns obviously but with relentlessness passive resistance and a disconnection from Chavsimo in all areas.As long as there are oppo folks out there who accept the goodies from the government in any form there will be no powerful resistance.Unity is the key.

    Bruni and Kepler, your ideas while well intentioned are too naive.An uneducated public that has proved itself time and time again to be duped by a corrupt, undereducated, amoral, populist/fascist ‘president’ is not likely to suddenly respond to ” good ideas”.

    The key to turning things around lies more with emotional experiences and persuasion than with technicalities and maps.Unity can create that sense of belonging needed to forge a new future.

    The contrary would be a contradiction in terms :An undereducated populace responding more to ideas than to emotions.

  27. Lone Star Says:

    GWEH,

    “So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.” — Dark Helmet, from the movie Spaceballs

    “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

    There are only two things the opposition has over Chavez: the only parts of the country that come remotely close to working competently are in the hands of oppos, and Chavistas as paranoid.

    So, what to do? Well, everyone knows that high-level Chavistas (e.g., members of the AN) put their children in private schools because government schools are worthless. So we get all private schools and universities to gather the data, including ID, full name, address, phone and photo of every son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson, and granddaughter of every member of the AN. Send this info to them in a lovely envelope with the words “no se metan con nuestros hijos y nosotros no nos meteremos con los suyos”.

    If that doesn’t work, we publish the info on the internet for everyone to see.

  28. Kepler Says:

    I agree with Bruni.
    It is difficult, very difficult but people need to fight with ideas, with alternatives and those ideas should go to all Venezuelans of good will.
    Venezuelans on average are spoiled, very unqualified, very disorganized,
    but they are not stupid. Give them alternatives, a vision.

    Over 80% of Venezuelan pupils go to public institutions.
    Still, a big part of the education proposals was discussed by the media
    as “no te metas con las escuelas privadas” or “don’t put more people into our universities”. I can understand those worries, but it seems those people don’t see beyond. There are many more things why we should reject that law or many other things and they refer to all Venezuelans.
    First, though, we need to see what those people need.

    Here I put the stats and a little poll I did of viewers of my blog: most
    studied in private schools or, like me, part in state, part in public schools.
    Only 3 of 16 studied in public schools.

    Venezuelan average pupils are the worst in Latin America. Do we care about that? Do we change the government? Do we tell people what we want? What she should be getting? What the rest of the world really is doing?
    Do we tell them about how we see concretely pluralism and transparency in finance, in taxing?
    Perhaps our leaders have no clue, perhaps they know they would not like a new, more effective system.

  29. bruni Says:

    GWEH:

    el pueblo te pone y el pueblo te quita. The only way to get rid of Chávez is to convince the people of Venezuela of a better alternative.

    Is the opposition organizing and uniting towards the 2010 elections? Has someone picked a leader to canalize that opposition? I don’t think so.

    If Chávez is where he is now is thanks to an inefficient opposition. They have made mistake after mistake for 10 years.

    There is just one way, fight and convince.

    Fight the injustice and convince that you are a better alternative. Do not lose ANY space, ever and keep fighting..and in the meanwhile have your leader ready for the 2012 presidential election.

  30. GWEH Says:

    fight back with what? this seems to be the topic du jour. You are dealing with Cuban trained hardcore fanatics. Whether it’s Eva Golinger and her written / TV appearances or GN officers, these people are trained by the Cubans and they control the country.

    The last chance to “fight back” was 2002 and everyone pussied out. It’s game over. Only a miracle will remove Chavez.

  31. bruni Says:

    My post of today. Plese watch the two VTV videos, the justification El Aissami gives to gas the march is just unbelievable.

    http://cuentosintrascendentes.blogspot.com/2009/08/marcha-represion-y-videos-de-vtv.html

  32. Robert Says:

    Meant to say “When is it that some of these folks will just say “no more?

  33. Francisco Says:

    It is obvious that Chavez has declared ‘war’ on the Venezuelan people. The question is, when will the people begin to ‘fight’ to free their country. The ‘democracy’ they have now is an ‘illusion’ meant to disguise until it is too late to fight.

    Castro declared ‘war’ on the Cuban people in 1959. The Cuban people did ‘fight’ back starting in 1961, even into 1966, and many died. But sadly it was too late.

    Will Venezuelans wait until it is too late??

  34. Robert Says:

    I’ve always wondered over the last 10 years about the police. Do they not have kids in school and realize what this event is about or relatives that signed the referendum and family with lost jobs due to this crap? Why is there always plenty of these people anytime the government needs them? When is it that some of these folks will just say “mo more?”

  35. moctavio Says:

    Well, I have one, but I actually bought a second one which a buddy is bringing from the US tomorrow. Why? Because if I go with my wife to the march, I will give her the mask and I will be in trouble or we have to leave like today. With two, I can tell her to go home and I can stay and harras the Natzional Guard.

  36. Robert Says:

    dammit- I read one paragraph and realize after 10 years of following Venezuela that individuals in Venezuela have their own freaking gas masks? WTF? I’m a gringo- we have loads of guns (I don’t personally) but we don’t have freaking gas masks!

  37. Floyd Looney Says:

    Marching in the street is not going to change things. They will do this and then their media will brand you as the violent ones. This is very typical of leftist behavior when they have power.

    Do you really think you have “rights” to march for any more with this regime in command? How long before the government/PSUV and their media minions accuse every single marcher of being in the employ of foreign corporations or something?

    This is typical scripted leftist behavior, even here in the US.

  38. karl Says:

    “but we are now” means “but we now know”. Sorry for the typo

  39. karl Says:

    Miguel
    Great post. I spent the whole afternoon coming back to the front of Av, Libertador knowing that we were going to get attacked by the government cowards, again and again, but we are now that we can only be defeated if we give up. Here is a pic I took this afternoon http://twitgoo.com/2mr8o


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