New Venezuelan National Assembly Sworn in today

January 5, 2011

I know, I know, I should have blogged about today’s swearing in of the new National Assembly. Sure it was good to have opposition Deputies back, my biggest surprise was that there was no violence, I guess Hugo must have ordered good behavior to his troops because the world was watching, I was sure there was going to be violence, the same way I was sure Hugo was not going to back track on the University Bill, which shows how much I really know, even if I try to “think” like Chavismo, which sounds oxymoronic.

So, let’s review: No violence, that was good. Signs saying 52.2% for the opposition, you have to love this picture:

that was also good, seeing opposition Deputies there and talking, that is also good. Even juts bringing up boring points of order, like the fact that the Supreme Court request could not be in today’s agenda, that is good. Having Chavez say that they are going to crush opposition Deputies, that is also very good. Just wondering what he means for now.

The cool thing is the opposition is back, “No volveran” is dumb at this point in time, so it is good for Chavez and his minions to keep repeating it, they are back, whether they wanted it or not.

The bad part was watching the new President of the Assembly, Fernando Soto Rojas, swear himself in. He made Cilia Flores look good, imagine that! But knowing the guys background is the worst part. Talk about being Vende Patria! This guy killed Venezuelan soldiers and is proud of it! This guy is a Cubanoid, he helped Cubans attempt an invasion of Venezuela! This guy was actually rejected by the voters and Chavez illegally inserted him into the slate in a State this guy does not live or vote in!

Just watch him, Was he really drunk? I don’t know, but his intimate chat with Simon Bolivar gave me the creeps, he is certainly not what I want for our leadership. Where did he get that suit? If you don’t speak Spanish, it does not really matter, the body language says it all :

But maybe what bothered me the most was the public, not only applauding him, but taping him! Were they his grandchildren?

So, this is my much reluctant National Assembly post, sorry if you expected more, there wasn’t much beyond what we already knew…

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45 Responses to “New Venezuelan National Assembly Sworn in today”

  1. Kepler Says:

    Sorry, the guy from the DW link is not a fundamentalist, but has a similar background. I mean: guys like Soto.

  2. Kepler Says:

    Guys,

    A useful idiot for Chavismo had a link that I put here:

    Apparently, the guy’s brother was killed in the sixties.

    This guy’s brother was also -apparently- killed by the Army:
    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5332183,00.html

    These guys are really fundamentalists and have their personal traumas.

  3. liz Says:

    PB, some of us -venezuelans- didn’t understand many things he said!

  4. PB Says:

    Is there an English translation? I can only judge by the looks and the tone of voice . . . . and thats scary enough but I would appreciate understanding what was said.
    Judging by the his audience I don’t think I would be the only one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  5. firepigette Says:

    Gee what a guy!

    Guarico abounded with this type of bocon, alcoholic, con artist, buffon who loves to play both victim and angry hater at the same time .On one side a pitiful victim and on the other side determined to strike revenge.Funny how after more than 10 years of a dictatorship, he actually can claim victim-hood from the opposition.

    I guess he has to struggle against the awful capitalist business men who are so incredibly powerful that they can be expropriated by Chavez by the simple the stroke of a pen:)

  6. Kepler Says:

    What counts is what we do now.
    It should not be like this, a Venezuelan called Luis Alberto Caserolli Schneider
    should be the same thing as Pedro Pacheco, but the situation is as it is.

    I believe the main alternative parties should promote to the top more people with this profile: capable, with great ideas, charismatic BUT not from Caracas, Valencia or Maracaibo, not from the UCAB/Metropolitana (much less Santa María), not adeco or copeyano and preferably
    people – I know, I’m getting into deep waters here- whose 4 grandparents were born in Venezuela. Above all, they have to bring more people who can be seen as “del pueblo” but who are good communicators and vectors of new ideas to the people.

    Is it that hard?

  7. loroferoz Says:

    Among people who suffer persecution, experience loss and know hate…

    There are those who rise (or were to begin with) above violence, persecution and hate and become examples. They decide that no goal justifies hate; leading by example even at the price of their own lives.

    And there are people like Hebe de Bonafini and Fernando Soto Rojas, who simply don’t learn and don’t change. Who show that in fact, improvement through experience is not a given and that some people will never learn to step into the shoes of others.

  8. syd Says:

    great photo op for the op. Like it.
    As for Soto Rojas and his show in ‘la asamblea populal’ … qué horror.
    He does look like an alcoholic. His speech reveals a very, very narrow education. His bio mentions that he registered at the fac. of economics of UCV, where he actively partipated in the formation and organization of the student movement. No word that he actually completed his university studies, if higher education was even his intention, when he registered.

  9. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    Kepler, that is exactly the point. Hard core chavistas can identify with this guy…he is like them, a guy from “el pueblo”, he does not talk fancy and now he is an important part of the government.

  10. captainccs Says:

    Pygmalion :

    52.2% is what we call “Consuelo de tísico.”

  11. Pygmalion Says:

    I thought that no volverán meant that the opposition would not get back to rule the country rather than not have any representation? Good post but too depressing for me as Day 1 of the new AN was PSUV 5 MUD 0. 52% does not mean a lot and perhapos it’s just a gimmick.

  12. Kepler Says:

    Interesting article…I am not sure if that is the reason. In the comments I read about people who knew him and say he was already “un revolucionario” in secondary school.
    I also read he was giving Hayes books as present.

    I am just having the impression a lot of people in Venezuela are stuck with, say, a couple of authors from a list of 10 books and they go from one to the other without any real historical framework. As another blogger told me: los venezolanos tienen un pasticho histórico. And it’s true. And something I never thought so: many Venezuelans do have big identity issues.
    It goes from “hijos de Bolívar (puke) y Guaicaipuro” and idiots such as Luis Britto García pretending to be the “Afro-native American” to the others pretending they have nothing to do with it or just not having the slightest idea or interest (neither do the first ones, actually).
    And that’s how we get a milico like Chávez telling stories to the people in Lara about them all being pure Guayones and native American being socialists and so on.

    I saw that pathetic video with Soto looking at that mythical and a-historical figure of Bolívar and on the verge of crying and I wondered if he ever read – as a Marxist – what Marx wrote about Bolívar. I would have expected at least that but I don’t think he did.

  13. Mercedes Says:

    Kepler,
    Read about Loyo, the psycho weightlifting Minister on http://blogs.noticierodigital.com/cazafantasmas/?p=1436 and see how people sell their soul to the devil.

  14. Tom Says:

    anyone know anything on the military districts set up last week?

    sounds suspicious, and scary, to me.

  15. Kepler Says:

    María González has very good points.
    The speech of this guy may seem incredible but our comments will be taken as “racist elitist” etc, etc.
    Mind: I know people who were/are very poor and illiterate but could speak as well as anyone. Still, this won’t be the point and this is something they won’t take.

    I do think it is interesting to examine this guy’s background not out of curioisity but out of a way to define a strategy to counter-attack.

    When Liz said not everything in the Llanos is like that, I was thinking about what she mentioned about her family. They surely had to work a lot and may have been poor, but they were probably better off than most there. Actually: most people did not own the land in the Llanos. They still don’t. And actually: many people, I mean at least hundreds of thousands, in Aragua, in Carabobo, in Miranda, now living in casas sociales built 20, 30 years ago do not own the land they live in.

    I am sure this guy did not have a hacienda. I know the wealth of a piece of land is very relative, etc, etc, but one of the points I am trying to refer to is there was a large part of the Llanos’ population that justifiably or not felt they got less than the others.
    To some extent that is true: there were a few terratenientes and others were more like serves to them and there was no clear way of escaping the vicious circle there for them. It was less clear than on the coast, along the Aragua-Valencia Valley and the like.

    I come from Carabobo and I was asking around in many poor areas there. The majority of those whose great-grandparents were living in Carabobo are clearly anti-Chavez, whether they are poor or middle class or not. The probably exception to this is the Morón area, where mostly descendants of slaves have been living for centuries (way before the independence).
    When I talk to people in areas such as Guacara and the countryside in Carabobo and around and ask about where those people come who are among the most rabid chavistas, many tell me: they are “new”. With that they mean people who may be there for 20 or less years. And a lot, apart from the immigrants, are poor from the Llanos with no sense of history or identity with anything but the little myths anyone may have planted in them.

    And such groups as the Communist Party were working on such communities both in the Llanos (specially in Eastern Llanos) and in the slums for decades now.
    They were doing that in a way that really mimics the way fudamentalist evangelists do.

  16. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    My reading of his designation is to keep somebody that will be very loyal to Chavez, radical and that looks like is part of the”pueblo”. I bet that hard core Chavistas are happy to see this guy there…while we are discussing his suit. I may be crazy but I think the suit was also part of the play…Why talk only about this guy and not about how big where the crowds in the street in support of both sides? Why talk about this guy and not about Caldera about he representing the “rich of Petare”?

  17. moses Says:

    Miguel:

    Check below more info about Soto Rojas, from General Angel Vivas P. (soon coming in English, according to his Twitter account)

    Links:

    http://losescritosdelgeneralvivasp.blogspot.com/2010/12/si-el-general-en-jefe-simon-bolivar-en.html

    http://twitter.com/#!/Gral_Vivas_P

  18. Kepler Says:

    Apologies for the poor editing.

    I agree with Gordo. One of the couple of topics the opposition needs to talk about is pluralism. This is something Venezuelans can grasp even if they do not have much educatio: Venezuela needs political pluralism and open debate, not “farce debates”.
    Chavismo knows it cannot prosper where there is real debate. It will reject it “like the Devil holy water”. The so-called “parlamentarismo de calle” is going to be a farce. This is something that also took place in the Soviet Union during Lenin’s time. Of course, other than that, this regime has little to do with Soviet times, but some of the propaganda methods and the soft intimidation parts are incredibly similar. The rest cannot be implemented in the XXI century, of course, much less in Venezuela.

  19. Gordo Says:

    Brainwashing has been the tool of communist revolutions since the time of Marx and Engles: (http://www.tau.ac.il/~agass/joseph-papers/brain.pdf)

    The above link describes the process of indoctrination which involves a combination of psychological, political, and economic tensions where one’s belief system is gradually replaced with one that is not necessarily rational.

    The long absence of opposition voices in the NA, a consequence of the election boycott, probably aided and abetted this indoctrination process. What we see today is possibly to some extent a result of that boycott.

    Now that the opposition is back, there may still be time to reverse the brainwashing process. This is absolutely critical as the economy disintegrates into chaos, and Chavismo and its irrationality rises up in the public consciousness.

  20. Kepler Says:

    Liz,

    Thanks for the story. Of course not everyone is like that in any place.
    This was one of the greatest Venezuelans of his time even if few know him:
    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_del_Pozo_y_Sucre
    Still, the Llanos has its “issues” and that is the product of the whole of Venezuela’s evolution from even before the Indepdence…and of course, with the decisions goverments and people took after that (not to amend the misery and ignorance and caudillismo).

  21. liz Says:

    Kepler, just a personal disclosure: my mom is Gracitana and was born around the same time as this guy. Sadly, her Alzheimer won’t let the memories kick in. All the other family members are dead, but I’m sure they must have known this man… Altagracia was just a small town back then. Birth certificates were kept in the local church.

    With that in mind, let me tell you, not all llaneros are not like you think! My grandfather fought against Gómez and was imprisoned. In the mean time my grandma had the hacienda occupied by the army during 60 days! She had to deal with the soldiers outside her windows, literally. She told their ‘mandamás’ that as long they would keep outside of her home -as she had daughters- it would be alright.

    During 2 months she had to feed them and run things. Mean while she was hiding rifles under the coffee harvest. They never found them and grandpa returned home. His brother was not that lucky, Gómez had him in shackles in La Rotunda, he was tortured.

  22. capitankane Says:

    I’m shocked they couldn’t even get him a nice well fitting suit.

    I’m sure by the time he leaves this gig, he’ll be covered in bling and suits tailored by Georgio Armani himself ala Cilia.

    http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2010/12/24/las-joyas-de-cilia-flores-fotos/

  23. Kepler Says:

    Thanks, Correfoc, Liz.
    As I thought: another Llanero. It is strange, but: did you know Alexander von Humboldt wrote in this Voyage to the Equinoctial Region about the potential for threat to Venezuela from this region, which was being populated by fugitives from prisons and the like?
    I also watched in German TV last year a programme where a guy talked about some repression during the IV República. Of course, the German TV did not know what to make of it and it was just a tiny detail in the whole programme. The programme itself showed how the “revolution” was transforming Venezuelans into beggards.

    Now, I want you to take a look at this.
    This is machine translation, so it sucks, but it gives an idea.
    This is an article published in the Soviet Union in 1983 (and digitalized much later)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vokrugsveta.ru%2Fvs%2Farticle%2F2016%2F&sl=ru&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8

    There you can see a lot of what was going on in the eighties in those slums. These guys were brainwashed like some sort of sect. These guys were really acting like missionaries. I saw them several times getting into buses (as I had no car) and talking wonders about the Soviet Union even in the year it fell apart. I also saw a bit of them because I visited the embassy of the Soviet Unions from time to time as that was the only place I could find Russian literature (they gave me a lot of crap for free, I suppose believing I was going to turn into a commie, I was going just for the non political stuff, which was not much but there was a bit)

    These are the people we have to deal with. It would be good if we organize movements to penetrate those same areas. Right now and specially since 2007 abstention there has increased several points. Those points and part of the others are for us to take, but for that our parties need to work together and go to those places,not just tweet their way around.

  24. liz Says:

    For some reason my comment above is awaiting moderation (I guess it’s because I posted twice or too many links) So, here it’s just 1 link (sorry for double posting Miguel)

    Kepler, she’s the journalist from VTV, Vanessa Davies. I cannot find the link right now.. but you’ll find her prontuario in the net easily.

    Soto is from Altagracia de Orituco, Guarico. Look here:
    http://fernandosoto.psuv.org.ve/biografia/

  25. Correfoc Says:

    truly Pathetic

    Kepler,
    “Vanessa Davis”

    she has a tv show on VTV

  26. Bill Simpson in Slidell Says:

    If they had a remote Internet mind reading machine, I would pay $20 to read what the people listening to that speech were thinking. I wonder if he came up with that ‘talk to the dead guy’ idea, all by himself?
    Was he wearing a bullet proof vest under that suit? If so, those Cubans gave him a really cheap one. Can you see them falling down laughing watching him.
    While watching a Venezuelan conduct the L.A. orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker on TV on New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t help but think that he should be working in Caracas. But it doesn’t look like the brain drain will be ending anytime soon.

  27. liz Says:

    Kepler, she’s the journalist from VTV, Vanessa Davies. I cannot find the link right now.. but you’ll find her prontuario in the net easily.

    Soto is from Altagracia de Orituco, Guarico. Look here:
    http://fernandosoto.psuv.org.ve/biografia/
    and here:
    http://libertadpreciadotesoro.blogspot.com/2011/01/curriculum-de-fernando-soto-rojas-nuevo.html

  28. Kepler Says:

    Well, Liz, at this stage most guys like that are either milicos or guerrillas, plus a couple of weight-lifting psychos like the “agriculture” minister.
    Could you please tell me which was that woman you mentioned who took part in the Caracazo? I am looking for more information on that. I know some people from the PCV etc had training from KGB on how to organize riots and stuff like that.

  29. liz Says:

    Yesterday I wasn’t watching the affair, but I was reading the tweets about it and had to turn the TV on. I couldn’t believe it till I saw him!

    This is part of his resume: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/7ukka9 (sorry in spanish)

    So, the man is a former guerrilla member, a communist at heart. He show’s it without any remorse. See the link that Maria posted above.

    Again, I see the hands of the Cubans in this decision. His appointment doesn’t make any logic otherwise.

    @Bruni: yes, I was clamoring yesterday for Cilia to be back!

  30. Kepler Says:

    ¿De qué región es Soto?

  31. Bloody Mary Says:

    The logic behind having this guy presiding the Assembly looks pretty clear to me: Hugo wants to do the same he did with military forces and the judicial system, which is destroying it from the inside, taking its power by depriving it of its credibility…. At the end, if the Congress is seen as stupid and drunk institution (its leader clearly is only that), more power is held by Hugo. Of course this is especially important to him now that the opposition has some voices there. This is the Hugos’ way to strike back the opposition’s triumph at the elections. Once again, forget about Montesquieu and his “creazy ideas”….

  32. Mick Says:

    I would assume that the dictator would have to sign off any legislation they tried to pass. The only reason he would let them pass something would be to give them future blame of keep them arguing about insignificant things.

    “See, I let them have this law and it went bad, I let them have that law and it was a waste of time. That’s what you get for trusting the legislators. You should ban them altogether and let me have total power”, said Hugo just three months before he declared himself Emperor.

  33. Maria Says:

    Freaking unbelievable!

    “(video) Soto Rojas develó busto de Tirofijo en 2008 ”

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=726364

  34. jsb Says:

    The enabling law, does it take power AWAY from the AN? I mean, I understand Chavez can now make law, but can the AN also pass laws concurrently during the 18 months?

  35. firepigette Says:

    Bruni,

    Don’t look for’ your’ brand of logic here.You have to put yourself in the mind of a CRAZY Chavista to understand why.That would require a very developed instinctive intelligence to do that; the kind that dogs and cats have.

  36. island canuck Says:

    The “show’ yesterday was pretty depressing & is a portent of the future.
    The 12 year olds on the government side chanting & yelling while the oppos try to argue intelligently.

    The new president Soto is such a clown. The suit – wow. He’s an obvious alcoholic – just look at his face.

    You have to wonder why Chavez would permit this bobo to lead the AN. It makes all Chavismo just look stupid.

  37. captainccs Says:

    How many elections has Chavez stolen in these 12 years? I bet more than half.

  38. moctavio Says:

    That’s the number od Deputies, not the number of total votes. That’s the point the oppo got 52.2 of the vote but only 40% of the Deputies because of the tricks

  39. captainccs Says:

    Miguel: The math doesn’t add up for me. The oppo has 65. PPT has 2. Chavez has 98. How is 67/165 = 52.2%? New math? I only get 40.6%

  40. GB Says:

    Those Cuban tailored suits will be all the rage this season.

  41. Roger Says:

    We have all heard the term Minister without portfolio. This is best described as Congress without Portfolio. Im not sure what they are going to be doing for the next 18 months seeing as they gave Chavez absolute dictatorial powers for that time period. Also, I don’t think they will want to do much so as to deprive the opposition of a platform to speak. But, its Venezuela after all and what is illogical always happens.

  42. Bruni Says:

    The serious question that I have is why Cilia was removed? What is the advantage for the chavista band to get a guy like that as a President of the new Assembly? What was the logic behind it?

  43. moctavio Says:

    PPT is oppo now 🙂

  44. captainccs Says:

    Miguel:

    ¿Como hizo la opo para tener el 52.2%?

  45. Bruni Says:

    Please bring Cilia back!!! Quick!

    If you had not put the video, I would not have believed you. I would have thought it was an exaggeration. This is how bad this is! I am speechless.
    As they say: beware of what you wish, because you may get it. For those of us that wished to have another AN President…oh boy! Look what we got!

    I am amazed that the opposition deputies did not protest the speech.They should have booed him! I know I would have!


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