Even if you expect it, the Chavez revolution never fails to amaze and surprise

December 17, 2010

(Tyranny that respects itself will control the Internet)


It was an incredible week in Venezuela. While we have always expected the revolution  to step all over us, perhaps we were expecting Chavez and his comrades to continue a more slow motion take over and destruction of Venezuela, the same way that the Venezuelan President has moved in the last twelve years.

Instead, we got a the opposite, the nervous autocrat/dictator, trying to press on, move the revolution forward before it falls apart. And the speed and surprises were remarkable. The revolution simply never fails to amaze and surprise. From a Science and Technology Bill that basically defines science with the oxymoronic name of “useful science”, to a Social Responsibility Law that aims to shut down the Internet, or at least free speech on it, the Chavez destructive revolution moved at an incredible speed to control and intimidate the opposition and the people.

And perhaps, what was most surprising to even skeptics of Chavez’ democratic credentials like me, was the fact that there was no remorse or qualms about what they were doing. Perhaps the Bill for Political Parties was the most representative of the recent autocratic streak surfacing within Chavismo. Imagine that! a Bill basically saying that if you vote what you feel or think, you can be impeached for treason to the party slate you were elected on!

This Bill, simply questions the democratic mindset of Chavez’ PSUV members. After all, if everyone has to vote in the same way, why have a Parliament at all? Just calculate the percentage of Deputies for each party and for four years, say each Bill sent by Chavez down was approved by 61% to 39% or whatever the outcome of the election was. No discussion, no arguments, just have the party send the Bill, we will process it and we are done.. Why even pay the Deputies! They can build housing for example.

Thus, the “revolution” that rose as a possible alternative to decisions made in smoke filled rooms by the parties of the IVth. Republic, is ready to make an institution  out of them except that only Hugo Chavez and some Cubans hacks seem to be the only ones in that room room, and he does not smoke, so the smoke come apparently from the Cuban cigars.

But that’s what we have come to. Chavez’ leading supporters have never understood or bothered to understand democracy. Their game is power for its own sake. Preserve Hugo in his positions no matter what, even if he is doing a terrible job, which he is.

But from Escarra hanging up on CNN’s Patricia Jenot, to a bunch of Chavista Deputies trying to send a message to Hugo that something is not well in the revolution, you know that Chavez and his buddies are running scared. Nobody denies that Chavez is still popular, but even his own supporters can see that the failure of the revolution is hard to hide.

The problem is that besides the lack of funds, the revolution suffers from a lack of brains. Minister’s Giordani’s solution to the shortage of funds are simply measures to raise taxes only as a way of raising more funds for an increasingly incompetent Government. And as oil prices push higher and higher, there are more and more signs that the Chavez administration is incapable of dealing with the President’s ambitions. And more taxes will simply increase inflation and insure that the recession will remain with us another year, as Giordani’s economic ignorance continues to dominate decisions.

Things are likely to continue getting worse. Stagflation can’t be fought with tax increases, the feeble recovery expected for 2011 is now in jeopardy unless a bigger and better social program is implemented. But there is no money and Chavez’ supporters are getting antsy. There are no signs of recovery and the floods did not help.

And nothing can compete with the “bad” private sector which has built 70%-plus of all housing units built in Venezuela over the last four or five years. But under the recent threat of invasion and intervention, private developers are likely to stay away until the threat is clear. But no logic about prosperity or accomplishments works with Hugo and his cohorts. Power and ideology are the goals even if after tons of ideology and money have yielded very little over the last couple of years.

And with Chavez assuming enabling powers to continue in his search for a model that works, he fails to realize that it is not only the model that fails, but also the people that implement it and he is not ready to change that.

Thus, the solution is to press on, increase control, increase the threats, have the weapons ready, limit free speech and wait for things to improve and if they don’t by 2012, then simply gamble with the elections, there are only two outcomes, Chavez wins or Chavez loses, but he stays as President in both.

15 Responses to “Even if you expect it, the Chavez revolution never fails to amaze and surprise”

  1. island canuck Says:

    I was reading yesterday that the minister is charge is saying that the electrical system for Caracas is “blindada” for 2011. That means that it will not fail.

    He also didn’t mention the rest of the country.

    Anyone want to take bets?

  2. deananash Says:

    A great acceleration is happening…it’s going to get MUCH WORSE before it gets better.

    Chavez really has no choice, as 2012 is right around the corner.

  3. Gringo Says:

    I saw a headline on El Nacional yesterday to the effect that anyone revealing secrets about the National Electrical System can be imprisoned for 18 years.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, the OPSIS website has been down for ~ several weeks “under construction,” so information about electrical generation, water levels at Guri and the like are not currently available from OPSIS.

    If the information is not available, no one can complain about what the information contains. And if one does complain, one is revealing state secrets, according to what you posted.

  4. Moses Says:

    Right now there are protests south of lake maracaibo where the guardia nacional is trying to take over several dairy farms

  5. Lorne Marr Says:

    Who is more powerful than a person who is able to have the clocks in his country set back half an hour if it is one of his wishes?

  6. Roy Says:

    Yep! We have reached the “Ok, no more Mister Nice Guy”, part of the revolution. He has run out of carrots and now it time for el pueblo to feel the whip.

    We know the frustration and anger of the waste, mediocrity and banality of this revolution. Now we will learn to know fear…

  7. loroferoz Says:

    Like Ghandi said,

    “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    He can be expected to commit more and more mistakes, to drive Venezuela deeper into the ground, and to deepen the impression and the consensus abroad and at home that he is a tyrant. No amount of propaganda can save him.

    We have, unfortunately, to count on that, given that it is impossible for him to become moderate or rectify.

    Then, Venezuelans will have a unique chance to get rid of him and of whatever passes here for Socialist ideology, as well as of the military, as we know (and knew) them. If we use it well, there will be no residual chavismo to torment and mesmerize future generations, like peronismo still does in Argentina.

    Socialism, the idea that the State should have a monopoly of any area of activity, economic or not, will (if Venezuelans have a hard time because of it) become synonymous with tyranny and poverty. Both of which it IS when you remove justification and euphemism from the bare fact of enforced, arbitrary State control and no choice, coupled with (and causing) no incentive for improvement, or economic efficiency of any kind.

  8. Are you really still surprised ? I cannot believe it. It was not difficult to understand just from the beginning, what had Chavez in mind when won the elections 12 years ago, I remember I kept writing that for all over those 12 years, you can read these articles in all Venezuelan big papers.
    It seems that many forgot what was doing Chavez in Cuba in 1995, when he was received at the Cuban University. Fidel Castro and Chavez’s speech’s talks for themselves, Venezuelans did like those famous monkeys, one closed his eyes, the other closes his mouth and the third one closes his ears.

  9. m_astera Says:

    I saw a headline on El Nacional yesterday to the effect that anyone revealing secrets about the National Electrical System can be imprisoned for 18 years.

    What counts as a secret? Emailing friends elsewhere and telling them if the juice goes off for a couple of hours most days? (note that I didn’t say that it DOES go off, purely hypothetical, y’know, “if”).

  10. moctavio Says:

    PDVSA is in trouble, but oil prices are up 33% in the last two months. The Venezuelan oil basket was around $60 and is now at $80, that is a huge difference for PDVSA and the Government but they just spend too much.

  11. island canuck Says:

    “…increased oil income…”

    What increased oil income?
    According to everything I’m reading PDVSA is technically bankrupt.
    It’s expenditures now exceed it’s income.
    That’s why all this sudden rush to new taxation.

    The funny thing is that with private business collapsing the increased income will be offset with the smaller taxes collected.
    I see a new wave of Seniat repressions to try & increase the collections.

    On another note our car is now over 5 years old & has more than 100,000 km. We have been looking for a replacement. Forget it!

    The prices they are asking for used cars 4 or 5 years old are higher than the listed prices for new cars. The listed prices for new cars are sky high. A car I bought 5 years ago for BsF.21.000 is now BsF.185.000 which doesn’t really matter because it’s not available unless you go on a list and wait god knows how long. That’s US$35,000 @ the SITME trading price of 5,3 or around US$23,125 at the other market rate. For a car that cost around US$8,500 just 5 years ago at the other rate. This car would probably sell in a normal market for around US$12,000

    The local Toyota agency has no cars & does not know when any will arrive. Any cars that arrive have been bought months ago. They had no used cars for sale. The repair depot is backed up. You need an appointment just to get your car checked over.

    It’s just incredible the way we live these days. The political things that are going on now are enough to keep me awake at night. The stress is incredible however there is no escape. Your property is virtually unsaleable unless you give it away.

    Hopefully something will happen soon to take us out of this nightmare. A Margariteño business man just told me that he feels like he’s living in Africa. You have live here to understand how shocking that statement is for this gentleman.

  12. Ken Price Says:

    The more power Chavez grabs, the more he feels he get away with- and unfortunately, he’s been correct up to now. As Chavez grabs more agricultural land food production in Venezuela will continue to go down, and increased oil income will be absorbed by the need to import increasing amounts of basic foodstuffs. In nthe meantime, the Venezuelan people will continue to ship their human and financial capital out of the country. The long term effects on the future of the country are incalculable.

  13. metodex Says:


    it really does not fail to amaze,shock,surprise and anger me.
    Yesterday i was feeling chills down my spine when they were stripping the AN off its power. These are even darker,EVEN MORE VIOLENT, hateful times for us living here.

  14. Johnny Says:

    As we say here, “el papel aguanta todo”. No good whatsoever will be implemented by the largest raft of bad and incompetent politicians and rulers we have ever had, testimony to the dreadful education too many people received during the so called IV republic and living testimony to Gresham’s Law applied to politicis and government “service”. The only way out is to clean the Augean Stables and start anew allowing for no manure buildup.

  15. Robert Says:

    Everything Chavez is doing and has done over the past 12 years has been about staying in power. This week is nothing new; it’s the beginning of the “campaign” for the 2012 election. Mark my words you will see more laws that mask or muddy or steal election results as I’m certain his first choice in 2012 is to be perceived as re-elected. If this perception is impossible, will he care? No. He’s not going anywhere and now you can no longer hope for any influence of the oppo. September elections will have been meaningless. Chavez lost the 2007 referendum and rammed through his changes, as he said he would. Now he has cut off the oppo at the knees, as he said he would. The AN is now radicalized ahead of schedule.

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