While everyone has been paying attention to the details the new no-longer-secret Labor Bill (LOT) or whether or not Venezuela will or not withdraw from the Interamerican Human Rights Court, you may have missed many of these details of things happening at the same time:
-While President in pectore Maduro says that the new Labor Bill is the product of ten years of discussion, the truth is that the Chavista Government has simply ignored the issue. The 2000 Constitution mandated a new Labor Bill within a year, but Chavismo has never been the best friend of the workers or unions. In fact, the whole strategy has been all along for Chavez to be the President of the destitute, the unemployed, the one most receptive to receive gifts in exchange for votes. But with elections six months away, polls show that it is the working people who have turned the most against Chavez, thus the need to rush an improvised Bill, which will need lots of regulations in the future and contains a vacatio legis of a year in many cases.
-And while few paid attention, the “official” media spent the morning on Monday saying Chavez would sign the Labor Bill at the Teresa Carreño Theater, everyone who is anyone within Chavismo was there, but it was not to be. Despite all the efforts, the pain was too much and the President did not want to be seen in public in a wheelchair. Thus, “some” of the guests, curiously the civilians, were taken to the Miraflores Palace at the last minute, leaving the “people” and the military at the theater wondering what the hell had happened. The military was not too happy about it, least of all when the “Council of State” was finally appointed (another 12 year delay) with only civilians to “advise” a President that seldom accepts any advice.
-And yes, many thought the act was not taking place in the Presidential palace, as it did not look anything like the usual setting there. The whole thing had to be improvised, leaving sufficient space behind the lectern for Chavez to be wheeled in. Thus, the youthful low quality picture of Bolivar, the huge space behind the lectern and the limited space in front that left the military wondering why they were left out of the show and new civilian faces were brought in.
-And it gave people no comfort that German Saltron, Venezuela’s representative at the Interamerican Human Rights Court said that the Court was partial against Venezuela. Funny, there have been hundreds of accusations against Venezuela and hundreds of orders that Venezuela protect people and reporters from human rights violations. Despite this, the Venezuelan Government has acted in very few instances. Note too, that the Court has not been allowed to visit Venezuela since 2001. You have to wonder why? Is it the Court that is partial against Venezuela or is it Venezuela which consistently violates a human rights treaty that has Constitutional rank in Venezuela?
-And today to celebrate an exhibit incongruously named ExpoFonden, the Air Force had two Sukhoi’s fly over Caracas (one above), just to add to the general state of anxiety and nervousness in the population. It is a funny way to celebrate Fonden’s contributions to “development” to have these multi-million dollar planes fly over Caracas. Just think, one hour of a Sukhoi flight costs north of $40,000, but the robolution could care less.
-And in a country with the most incredible oil reserves in the world, the Minister of Energy and Oil denies there are gasoline shortages. Ramirez says that the problem was limited to “some” gas stations and it was due to the need to supply diesel to power plants. However, few cars in Caracas or Venezuela use diesel and the lines were huge on a holiday morning Tuesday. Some of my friends spent over an hour getting gas and others got so sick of it that they just went home. Another triumph of the revolution!