Enabling Chavez’ Pantomime

December 12, 2010

In his grand style, the little Dictator asked for his fourth Enabling Bill, which will allow him to legislate by decree,  to help him to face the emergency and the tragedy that is affecting Venezuela. But this is all simply another pantomime by Chavez, another expression that he is an actor and a Dictator at heart, because the last thing he truly needs is an Enabling Bill to confront and deal with the recent floods.

This is all a pantomime by Hugo, a show for the gallery that he expects will make him look like the hero he is not.

Because if he had any clue as to how to attack the emergency and the crisis he would ask some very basic questions: Who, with what and how?

And neither of these requires legislation.

Because when he calls on Farruco Sesto to lead another new Minsitry, this time for the Reconstruction, he is naming as gray a character as he can. Sesto, an architect by training, had publicly said he had no interest in urban planning, which never stopped Chavez from naming him Minsiter of Housing in between to long stays at the Ministry of Culture, Sesto’s real interest. And you have to wonder why Sesto’s time at the Minsitry of Hosuing was so short. If that is all Chavez can come up with in terms of who will lead the emergency, then he is in real trouble.

As to the resources, Chavez controls all the purse strings of the Nation, both the visible and the invisible ones, so there is little that an Enabling Bill will contribute financially to ease the pain of those affected by the floods. Chavez has all of the pockets, coffers and accounts needed, legislation will not helped. He has used the Development Fund Fonden and PDVSA as his petty cash funds, why not do it again.

As to the how. Of what we need is housing, to do that you need land and materials. The land, Chavez has been taking without any compensation for the past few years at will, so it should not be a problem. As to construction materials, Chavez nationalized the cement and steel companies that produce some of the most basic elements of housing. And he did it all without any special legislation and ignoring the mandate of the Constitution for expropriation. In fact, he has yet to compensate the cement companies. So, why go through this Enabling Farce?

The truth is that that is all Chavez is: a farce. He needs the Enabling Bill, because he knows the opposition will cry bloody murder and then he can point to how heartless they are and how they don’t care for the “people”. Because he is on his fourth Bill and he bypasses laws most of the time, so in the end what matters is the announcement, the propaganda, the view from below, not what he is going to accomplish or not with this Bill.

Beacuse for almost 12 years, Chavez has failed to build housing, but seems to have never asked why this is. By choosing the same incompetent comrades that suck up to him all the time, he is condemned to fail and he either knows this or thinks he can compensate for it by having these displays of doing something, which in the end has no impact on any results, if any, in dealing with the crisis.

But he needs the pantomime, the show, the images of a very clean Chavez “managing” the problem, calling on the National Assembly to help him urgenly, saying he used the phoen and told the President of the Assembly to approve the required legislation.

In his heart Chavez must also be relishing the fact that he may even extend his Enabling Powers beyond the 23 days left for the current National Assembly to legislate. On Jan. 5th. the new Assembly comes in and it would obviously be a Constitutional coup to extend the proposed Bill beyond that. But there have been so many coups of this sort that who cares? Really. We held a referendum for Constitutional Reform which Chavez lots, the people spoke and the President went on to legislate 80% of what was rejected by the voters.

What else is new?

All they will do is enable Chavez to continue to look like he is managing the country, until tragedy strikes again.

38 Responses to “Enabling Chavez’ Pantomime”

  1. […] Miguel Octavio from The Devil’s Excrement believes that the Enabling Law is a “pantomime” of president Chávez. […] the last thing he […]

  2. […] blogueiro Miguel Octavio do The Devil's Excrement [O Excremento do Diabo, en]  acredita que a Lei Habilitante é uma “pantomima” do […]

  3. […] Miguel Octavio from The Devil's Excrement believes that the Enabling Law is a “pantomime” of president Chávez. […] the […]

  4. AuvienLobo Says:

    Chavez rules by support of a newly empowered mafia, until the incompetence ask´s for a new head mob, while the ones that can flee form a diaspora who bitches at the crumbles others and their families are left with, and the worker ants who control the docks and vote keep the fungus fields alive and well, and so the poets of yester enjoy the eggs of ester,!,.

  5. rdb Says:

    the marriage thing is neither the fastest nor cheapest route.
    I married my venezuelan sweetie 2 years ago, so far we have spent just over10,000 USD on immigration attormeys,ICE fees, forms and various other hoops.
    hopefully we get the status changed from temporary US resident to permmanent this june.
    the fine for being caught in a marriage scam is high and the spouse will get deported and a lifetime ban from the US.
    then there is the little clause that even if I divorce her IF she goes on ANY form of public assistance I have to pay for it for ten years.
    ya need to actually look at the US immigration laws, simply getting married will NOT grant anyone a status.

  6. Antonio Says:

    metodex, one alternative is to go as a Cuban doctor. All you need is a Cuban birth certificate, which you can buy at the embassy, saying that you were born in Jagüey Grande or even Santa Isabel de Las Lajas. Then you befriend a Cuban doctor (female, if that is tour inclination) and get a Cuban accent. At the same time get a medicine book from any first year student and learn your stuff. When you can talk medicine in the accent of those doctors, go to visit the Niagara Falls, Canadian side. You need a padded barrel for the jump Houdini style. Then go to Miami and build a raft. Get on the raft at night and paddle out a couple of miles (not too far: the Americans will take you to Cuba if they catch you on international waters). In the morning come close to the shore and start shouting that you want political asylum. You start receiving benefits right away, and best of all, you don’t have to marry anyone.

  7. deananash Says:

    metodex, just one word for you: Marriage. It’s simply the best (read easiest) way to migrate. Last I checked, the going rate to marry an American was USD 5-10,000 A bargain considering what an American passport grants you.

  8. firepigette Says:


    It’s unfortunate that democracy has this flaw.Nothing is perfect, but who would determine who knows enough to vote? This would turn into another flaw.We cannot control everything, we have to work with the best system we can.We cannot say that educated and intelligent people count more than those who are not.

    Venezuela does not have a democracy where honesty in elections prevail.This is the biggest problem.


    “they continue to support the government because, however fat the chance, they feel it is the only chance they have of being helped.”

    This is the crux of the problem right here.When a populist government promises the moon and people get used to it, they learn to think they cannot solve their own problems.When a responsible person is down and out, he doesn’t blame others, he goes about resolving his own problem.People have more resources than what you think.

    I am tired of people making poor people look stupid.This is the main problem in Venezuela right here in a nutshell.The arrogance of poverty enablers.

    It is not that the government should or cannot help.They can and should, but the people should not always be made to feel their life depends on government entitlements.It makes it harder for them to make the right choices.

    It doesn’t require formal education to make some right choices , it requires the correct attitude.

    No matter how much we try to control society it will never be an equal one for all.We have to accept that and each do his best for himself and others without comparing who has what and ‘why don’t I have more’.

    Anything less, is a very sick and manipulated society.

  9. island canuck Says:

    Looks like the new enabling law will be either 6 months or 18 months.

    My bet is on 18 months.

  10. vdpsc Says:

    The floods will probably push people away from Chavez in the end. His inability to respond will be another failure. How many families are going to win the Chavez lottery and be helped? How many families are going to get the shaft and suffer? I am confident that many more will suffer, than those who receive help. The more people suffer the more you will find that begin to turn away. One day there will be a spark which leads to a fire which he will not be able to put out. I think of the description of pots and pans being pounded in Caracas during power rationing. Chavez changed his program quick! It will be an event that starts outs with pots and pans banging which will sweep him out the door.

  11. metodex Says:

    every fucking month that i spent here in my own country it gets WAY more difficult to leave.
    Somebody please help me,i don’t care if i do graduate and get a degree anymore,i just want out before it gets to the point where im gonna have to go running in the jungle to colombia or swimming in an inflatable boat to aruba.

  12. A_Antonio Says:

    La Haya Court or La Carcel del Tocuyo.

    I am wondering how many problems Venezuela would save if Caldera maintains Chavez in jail and do not gave him amnesty. He deserves the most severe punishment, but no, not in Venezuela, now we have Pandora Box opened for long time.

    I expect Caldera now seeing their results, from you know where.

  13. Maria Says:

    From: http://www.laverdad.com/detnotic.php?CodNotic=47939

    My favorite: ” Adelantó que uno de los temas principales es la creación de un sistema de viviendas y proyectos urbanísticos. ”

    I guess they went 12 years without formulating a housing project/plan for the country.

  14. Odef007 Says:

    Thank you Mo for this venue.

    Yes this whole situation already is HCF fault. The Opera has been well orchestrated in as far as he has taken a disadvantage and turned it into a personal opportunity. He uses the current ( I say current because VE appears to move from one to the next ) crises with Floods as a smoke screen.
    He was very aware, even before the 26S that he had no chance to pull a full assembly in his favour. That is why elections took place at a time that would give him ample time to manoeuvre prior to Jan. 5th. All this that is happening would have happened anyway … floods or not. The new TSJ judges all party Slanted, to ensure that the Facilitating powers would not be overturned once the new Assembly comes in. The new organic law of Communication forcing many independent information distributors to either pull the party rope or shut down… all was planned. The MUD knew this was going to happen. It was not to their advantage though to let the country know that the guillotine was eminent. When the new laws take effect, ( they will pass, we all know this) what alternatives will be available in VE to keep pushing back towards a Democratic Society? The current Constitution is unrecognizable. There is no evidence that it is in effect if one looks at the way the Country runs. How many beatings does it take before a wife walks out on her husband? If you think VE is corrupt now, wait until there is no way to convey the information. ONEs, Universities, private property, freedom of speech all under attack at the same time. This divides the population into smaller groups depending on what affects them the most directly. Democratic and free elections 2011/12? It is not up to the politicians, although they must do their part, to lead the way, it is up to the people to say in a very loud and strong way that they have had enough. The wife does not have to leave the marital home. God protect you all for the rest of the world is neutered in this arena.

  15. island canuck Says:

    Here’s more propaganda from the AN
    Google translate:

    “The National Assembly will approve tomorrow the first discussion of the Act enables the President Chávez to issue decree-laws under the emergency caused by the rains, explained the director of the United Socialist Patrtido Venezuela (PSUV), Carlos Escarrá.

    At a press conference at the headquarters of the political organization Escarrá explained that the Council of Ministers will determine the timing and the substance of the decree of the Law Hablitante even announced that among the topics could be the creation of a system of housing and urban development projects “things like that.”

    Escarrá said he hoped the Enabling Act is passed unanimously “in solidarity with the Venezuelan people” in the National Assembly “because it would be an act of treason.”

    Don’t you just love the last line. You can’t criticize this or you are a traitor. LOL!

  16. Roy Says:


    Yep! But, a train wreck in very slow motion… As inevitable and deadly as at normal speed, but the pain and horror go on, and on, and on…

  17. Juan Cristobal Says:

    I love that picture of Chavez as Chabba The Hutt.

  18. island canuck Says:

    Here it comes:

    Isea: Habilitante tendrá un plazo “suficientemente amplio”

    Oh boy – it’s like watching a train wreck.

  19. Andres F Says:

    torres, I like that idea. Hopefully it can happen before oil revenue is too small for it to work.

  20. Kepler Says:

    Torres, lo habrás escrito en cristiano en algún sitio, no?
    Si quieres, me lo pasas y lo pongo en mi bitácora en español y lo envío a un par de personas. O escribe una carta para El Universal o El Nacional. Si quieres la reviso.

    It is hard to find out the right approach here. The opposition did not take party in the 2005 elections. What happened? We lost a lot of credit everywhere and Chavismo could do a lot of things it could not have been able to do. So now? And be sure, as we have being saying: the regime will completely emasculate the alternative forces at the National Assembly.

  21. Kepler Says:

    Chamo, no es mala la idea, pero no lo digas aquí, pierdes tu tiempo.
    Dilo a los venezolanos que no leen en inglés. 🙂

  22. torres Says:

    Maria: “How? By being more populist than Chavez? By saying what they, the “pueblo,” want to hear?”

    The term populist has a negaitve connotation that is not necessarily valid. For example, women’s suffrage was populist amongst women, but it was not a bad thing. What I propose is a populist thing that I believe is also a very good thing: equal and daily cash distribution to all citizens of all oil and other natural resource revenue. (see a long version at: http://caracaschronicles.blogspot.com/2007/07/torres-in-bethlehem.html and a short version at: http://caracaschronicles.blogspot.com/2007/07/torres-for-dummies.html )

    If this proposal had been carried out over the last ten years, Venezuelans would have been receiving over 10 USD/day, and the government would have been forced to live off of taxation alone, an economically healthy limitation.

    So, no, not by saying what they want to hear, but by saying something even better!

  23. deananash Says:

    Sorry, it should read: “And never, EVER let the pueblo FORGET that Chavez had ALL the cards…”

  24. deananash Says:

    Why not give him what he wants? Why fight him and give him the political ‘victory’ that only fools will believe.

    I say, “enable him”, then hold him responsible. Publicize his decisions AND their consequences. And never, EVER let the pueblo know that Chavez had ALL the cards and that this was the best he could do.

    I mean really, what is the danger? As M.O. has more than adequately documented, Chavez already has all the power he needs – legally or not.

    I say make him accountable by removing ALL of his excuses. You (all the opposition) really have to learn to play the game that they are playing, not the game of politics, but of perception. And while you’re at it, you’d better learn to stretch the truth as far as you can get away with.

    I’m not saying I like it, I’m just saying…..Castro, 50+ years.

  25. An Interested Observer Says:

    I think Sesto is qualified for Minister. At least the way it works under Hugo, because the job has nothing to do with urban planning.

    In fact, being an architect might be the perfect qualification. All he has to do is design some nice-looking, relatively low-cost housing. Chavez sends a billion or so his way, enough to get a couple hundred built. Then the give-away gets press attention, perhaps some nice photos and a write-up in some fawning sycophant’s blog. It’s enough to fool the foolish into thinking the problem is actually being solved.

    Think about it: it’s Hugo’s m.o. for governance.

  26. Kepler Says:


    Venezuelans are ignorant, but not stupid.
    I think there are chances they go for a politician who tells them the truth, only “claro y raspado”. Uslar Pietri tried, but apparently and after all, he did not say it in a way masses understood. He did not have the support of many, anyway.

    Nobody has ever done it, apart, as I said, from Uslar many decades ago and only partially. I do not see anyone with cojones for that, though.

  27. Maria Says:

    “they continue to support the government because, however fat the chance, they feel it is the only chance they have of being helped. The opposition needs to let people feel that they have a greater chance of being personally helped, and by more, by supporting the opposition than by continuing to support the government.”

    How? By being more populist than Chavez? By saying what they, the “pueblo,” want to hear?

  28. Kepler Says:


    María Corina está conmigo aquí en Europa. Estamos paseando
    y no quiere que la molesten.
    ¿Para qué la quieres?
    OK, not really. She must be “en lo de las inundaciones”


    I wonder if someone is keeping an eye on the place where the Asamblea Nacional has a couple of dossiers about corruption. Chances are many of those dossiers will disappear before 5.1.2011

  29. Alek Boyd Says:


    ” The idea was that those who wanted to be able to vote on something should prove that they understood the basic facts about what they wished to vote on. No other qualifications needed.”

    If that were to happen, then 85% of the people that vote in any given election, in any given country, could lose their vote.

  30. Kepler Says:

    Hugo does not deserve the Hague. That’s actually a nice, if boring place. He deserves a cell at the cárcel de Tocuyito, where he will have to pick up the soap for all other prisoners for 30 years.

  31. Lim Says:

    I agree with Torres. Imagine you are stuck in a smelly shelter with 785 other families, your house gone down in a landslide, fridge and all, and your job an unreachable 50 miles away. You need a new rancho somewhere near your old one, but the chances of beating the other families to it are slim (these popular dwellings are expensive, and you haven’t got no money). There is absolutely nothing the opposition can do for you, or for any of the other people in the shelter. Your only hope is Chavez, whether you like him or not. The bastard caused this housing situation, and now takes advantage of the sufferings of his fellow citizens to secure their desperate support. He doesn’t deserve a nice jail room in The Hague: a smelly cage in one of those shelters would be more appropriate.

  32. torres Says:

    they continue to support the government because, however fat the chance, they feel it is the only chance they have of being helped. The opposition needs to let people feel that they have a greater chance of being personally helped, and by more, by supporting the opposition than by continuing to support the government.

  33. ElJefe Says:

    It is sad that people that are up to their necks in water (in no small part due to this government’s ineptitude) are still singing his praises. This is because the average Latin American has such a poor education and limited worldview that they can’t put A and B together and see how the incompetence flowing from Miraflores is directly to blame for their situation. The opposition needs to place the blame where it belongs without appearing as if they’re taking advantage of a tragedy. However, with MUD’s track record I’m not sure that they’ll seize the opportunity.

  34. metodex Says:


    there is one thing that worries me.
    People that are now in shelters or drowning to hell are still supporting him.
    And in the shelters,im sure, they are(and will) being exposed to government propaganda of the “socialismo es felicidad” kind.
    They are using this tragedy to cleanse some minds.
    The opposition has a rough time ahead.Because they need to
    1st- HELP the people with supplies and stuff
    2nd- Show,through mass media, how this is all chavez’s government fault because of the failure in housing.
    3rd- Since the crisis is sure to be still going on in January, the new NA will need to TRY at least to make some other chavista deputies to turn their back against that monster in Miraflores.

    This is not easy,and it worries me very much that the gov’t is already on it.
    And the MUD is still celebrating sept-26.
    Where the hell is Maria Corina Machado? she was the most voted

  35. m_astera Says:

    Never let a good crisis go to waste. If you can fool enough of the people all of the time, that’s good enough in a majority rule electoral system without any qualifications for who gets to vote.

    When the abysmally ignorant have the same vote as those who have taken the trouble for thought and to educate themselves, you will always get what the abysmally ignorant have been sold by the politicians and the media, a vote for free lunch.

    I seem to recall Plato pointing that out.

    I read an interesting proposal online earlier this year. The idea was that those who wanted to be able to vote on something should prove that they understood the basic facts about what they wished to vote on. No other qualifications needed.

  36. Robert Says:

    2 years. That was a lot of rain. Palo de agua

  37. island canuck Says:

    Anyone want to take bets on the length of the enabling bill?

    21 days? (new Assembly convened)

    6 months?

    I year?

    2 years? (Presidential elections)

    5 years? (Term of new AN)

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