When sensible people are made too look like fools by the Chavez revolution

November 21, 2010

I always wonder when I learn about an academic, particular one trained in hard sciences, supports and is part of the disorder and disarray associated with the Chavez Government. Case in point is Francisco Garces (above), the current Minister of Transportation and former President of the seismology foundation Funvisis. I mean, Dr. Garces finished his Ph.D. in France in 2008 in something like methods for identifying damages in structures by measuring their vibrational modes.

Thus, I can understand Dr. Garces accepting to be Head of Funvisis, right up his ally, because somehow he supports Chavez or the principles of his revolution. In fact, he did a fairly credible job in Funvisis, had to appear in public during the earthquakes in the last two years and explained things well.More importantly, he was there, showing his face.

But since Dr. Garces not only comes from a world where things are structured, but his own “boss” Carlos Genatios left the Chavez administration disappointed at what he found: What could possibly prompt Dr. Garces to accept his new position, where he has looked like a fool (I mean, do you really have to put on that orange hat, well, at least it is not red, no?). Because Dr. Garces is trying to defend the result of corruption in the Metro (subway) system that he is in charge of. He knows, and his French buddies at the local Embassy I am sure have told him so, that the maintenance contract won by the Spanish should have never been awarded. But Dr. Garces has said nothing about it in order to “defend” the Chavez revolution.

I think he is going about it backwards. If he really is aligned with this sorry revolution, he should tell Chavez that he will denounce those responsible and go do it. And if Chavez says no, then Dr. Garces should simply resign. It is the only honest option.

While I am no Civil Engineer, Dr. Garces is, you can’t help but wonder about the most recent problem Dr. Garces is facing, when the Metro to Los Teques was halted last week, because a retention wall gave way and the landslide blocked the path of the train. This Metro line is less than three years old. I would think that building a retaining wall like that requires studying the terrain, the topology and the seismics of the site and building and anchoring a retaining wall that would last decades and that the probability that it would fall should be  simply very small. I am sure they build something two or three times larger than what is really needed.

But the damn wall collapsed! No subway for four days, at least! This is simply unacceptable.

But so far Dr. Garces has said nothing about this. I hope he does. Because if he tries to cover it up, he will be doing a disfavor to the revolution and to himself. As long as impunity rules and nothing gets investigated, corruption, shoddy work and incompetence will rule and people like Dr. Garces will never be able to do a credible job. The corrupt and incompetent and unethical will continue ruling at the expense of those that should be running things.

In my mind, Dr. Garces would be better off in Funvisis, or better yet, developing his scientific career, which never got off the ground.

The way he is acting, he is just wasting his time and ruining his reputation.

21 Responses to “When sensible people are made too look like fools by the Chavez revolution”

  1. Kepler Says:


    Women with curly hair look wonderful. Now, I live in Northwestern Europe.
    If a guy passes by with a pink dress on the street, I couldn’t care less.
    But there is curly hair and curly hair. That bloke looks just way too ridiculous and he would there or here.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with a minister like this

  2. Roy Says:


    It is not that he has been too long away from Canada. It is that he got out of Canada before PC completely stifled true freedom of expression. I feel perfectly comfortable with judging people for the way they look, so long as that judgment is in the context of who that person is, or what they are trying to be.

    Obviously, I wouldn’t judge the clothing of a Fortune 500 CEO by the same standards as I would a rock star… different people; different job; different standards. You probably would be reluctant to leave your child at a day-care center staffed by men dressed as construction workers. We all make judgments of people every day.

    In this case, Island is right… for his position, he should be doing everything he can to look older and more experienced, and by current cultural standards, that means cutting his curly locks much shorter. And, Island has every right to mock him for failing understand that.

  3. bruni Says:


    I think you have been living too long in Venezuela where looks are so important and that it is admissible to judge the others with respect to the way they look.

    Time to move back to Canada my friend.

  4. island canuck Says:


    It might if you wear it shoulder length like this guy and have an effeminate face.

  5. bruni Says:

    ..and Island Canuck and Kepler, having curly hair myself I don’t know why you make fun of his hair. Not everybody is born with straight hair and that does not make us “curly people” look like idiots..

  6. bruni Says:

    The problem with Venezuela is that people think that they can replace experience either with titles or with political devotion. A young fellow two years out of his Ph.D. does not have the experience to be a minister of anything.

    In an academic setting he would now be a post doc or an assistant professor at most. Nobody would dream to name him department chair, let alone minister of transportation in a complicated country like Venezuela.

    There is saying..”el tiempo se burla siempre de las cosas que se hacen sin su autorización”…it is absolutely true.

  7. jen Says:

    I agree with my fellow Canuck…this country will collapse…it’s just a matter of time

  8. He sucked up to Hugo, gave fiery speeches, looked reasonable. Got the job!

  9. mick Says:

    Ok, so the guy finished his degree in 2008 and now he is the Minister of Transportation. Doesn’t sound like a big resume is needed in Hugoland. Just why did this guy really get the job??

  10. loroferoz Says:

    For all I know he might write for Nature every other week.

    But joining Chavez’s Revolution at a political post is not what I would call a the summit of sensibility. From a professional standpoint at least.

    Maybe the financial rewards outweigh the aggravation and the working with gorillas.

    But sensible it is not. Job security is less than stellar. And then, there’s the itty bitty matter of presiding over the Spanish Concession and the Metro de los Teques new wall collapsing.

  11. island canuck Says:

    What’s with this idiot’s hair.

    He looks like Liza Minelli

  12. Pelao Manrique Says:

    This says it all: The guy mistyped the title of his doctoral thesis, for crying out loud!

    I am not making this up. Go see his thesis.

  13. Roy Says:


    Now that is just wishful thinking. If that were to really happen then it would force change.

    No, Venezuela will just keep muddling along and the conditions will deteriorate a little bit at a time. Eventually, malnourished people will be grateful to Chavez because the rotten potato they receive today is not quite as rotten as the one yesterday. And they will be grateful to Chavez for admonishing his gangs of thieves not to steal quite so much and to leave the people with enough to live for a couple more days.


  14. island canuck Says:

    Apparently the metro repairs are being delayed due to continued rains in Caracas.

    Anyone one want to take any bets as to when the whole country just breaks down completely & nothing or nobody moves?

  15. Kepler Says:

    Lo primero que me pregunté fue: ¿son esos ricitos naturales?
    Lo segundo fue: ¿qué carajos hace ese tipo allí?
    Somehow you have to see it like this: it is either that or “¿lo quiere con
    ketchup o con mostaza?”
    I’m curious to see for how much time he goes along with the military junta.

    Is it really true people cannot take pictures anymore of the underground? Is there something written somewhere you can photograph like “Cameras are not allowed here because this place blablabla?”

    And what has happened about the minister of Health? The stories I get from physicians are very depressing: hospitals are more run down than ever.

    And oil prices are over 600% what they were in 1998.

  16. AuvienLobo Says:

    Should I say more than this, or would this explain the Venezuelan Psychi; time to cry, time to challenge religious or atheists beliefs, or prepare for war, one way or the other. Maybe it will drown in history, if we are lucky, but the dna and conditions are there to re-appear.

    A son of a rising generation.


  17. Roger Says:

    As Minister of Transportation he has a lot more to worry about than the subway and a wall falling in. The roads and bridges in Venezuela are not only outdated from the 1950’s they are in total disrepair. Whether Caracas or Boston (Big Dig) this sector is one of the most corrupt. Young Skywalker is going to be playing with the Dark Lords. Still better someone with a brain rather than another general.

  18. Guido Says:

    Scientific career?
    How you dare?!

    How is he supposed to, live on Bs. 1700 + cesta tickets?

  19. moctavio Says:

    Now, that is really asking for too much: You want him to do some scientific work, he is already a big shot!

    Big shots don’t do s….

  20. AuvienLobo Says:

    He can blame the wolve´s a coming!Auuuu Auuu Auuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuu…

  21. Maybe he could have identifyed damages to the damn wall in the Los Teques line by measuring their vibrational modes… Just saying…

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