VENEZUELAN FACEBOOK WARRIORS: “Optimism rises for Venezuelan bloggers” by Virginia Lampke

September 5, 2012

Faithful reader and internet friend Virginia asked me to allow her to contribute her thoughts to my blog. Enjoy!

I started blogging on the social networks, along with hundreds of other bloggers, sparked from my heartache for my homeland, Venezuela.  At less than 40 days until one of the most important elections of Venezuela’s history; I pause to reflect on all of the people, who every day thru the aid of platforms like Facebook, have helped fight the communist regime of Hugo Chavez.

Throughout the past years, we have released videos, articles, and posters that document the failure of the Chavez regime.   In the past thirteen years that Chavez has ruled as a dictatorial tyrant, he has turned Venezuela into a country with one of the worst crime rates in South America. Venezuela has also witnessed one of the highest inflation rates in Latin America, a huge external debt, a rampant housing deficit, and other socio-economic problems which include high unemployment, poor public services, and food shortages. But, despite the adversity, we have held true to our struggle for freedom of expression which is on the verge of being extinguished in Venezuela.

Just as social networks contributed largely to the Arab Spring movement, our blogging contributions have been equally important to opposing the Chavez regime.  This was witnessed in the success of the opposition primary elections in February 2012. The winning candidate, a young lawyer Henrique Capriles Radonski, received 62.2% of the vote.  The campaign for the presidency of Venezuela began on July 1 2012. A relentless Capriles Radonski has already toured more than 200 towns in less than 2 months of campaigning.   Each rally has brought together thousands of Venezuelans in favor of his pragmatic proposals.  Based on the outpouring of support for Capriles, there is no doubt that the Venezuelan people are looking for a change.  Our efforts thru Facebook have definitely impacted and have helped to ignite the courage of the Venezuelans and to create a matrix of positive public opinion against the dictator.

I feel, without a doubt, that most people, who have been active contributors on the social networks, have personally affected the fight to end the Chavez regime. We all, through our never ending blogging for the freedom of our Venezuelan people, have helped to turn the tides toward a more just and democratic government.

Some of our blogging community is living out of our native country Venezuela, but we are united by our spirit of freedom and democracy.   This spirit is being reborn and carried forward by the heart of our candidate Henrique Capriles, and also by the hands of our Facebook bloggers.

We have personally tried to make known the reasons why Hugo Chavez is a threat to the Venezuelan people and to world peace.  We have talked untiringly on such issues as Chavez’s alleged relations with The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the closure of the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami due to the alleged plan of a cyber-attack to the U.S., the shipment of Diesel to Syria’s Assad government, the building of drones with Iran’s help, and the German newspaper report that alleges Iran was building a mid-range missile launch site on the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela.

We are aware, that there is fear for a considerable part of the Venezuelan population, of losing some of their government welfare benefits obtained by the social programs called “Missions”.  Capriles has stated that he will continue to improve these projects because they constitute an “achievement of the people”. There is also a fear in the public sector by pro-Chavez supporters that if Capriles wins the election, they may lose their jobs.  Capriles, being sensitive to this fear, has further re-assured the public by saying that he will not lay off anyone due to their political allegiance.

It is remarkable that Capriles has never lost an election.  This was witnessed when he ran for various offices in Venezuela such as congressman, mayor, and governor.  His success in being elected as president of Venezuela is expected by all.  This especially holds true for those who have created a fraternity and a force through their social networks and in sharing their dreams and ideals of democracy and freedom for our homeland.

In closing, I feel that our social networking thru platforms like Facebook, have helped to ignite the passion of the Venezuelan population. The neighborhoods, once controlled by the Chavez propaganda machine, are becoming more and more supportive of Capriles.  We expect a historical turn out by the voting populous at the October 7, 2012 election and a triumphant victory by Henrique Capriles.  If it is necessary, we will defend our historical vote by any diplomatic and peaceful means necessary in order to see that justice and liberty prevail. In the meantime, we urge all of the political bloggers, to continue to be steadfast in their crusade against the tyrannical Chavez regime and to keep the opposition candle burning.

Virginia Lampke is a political blogger and human rights activist.  She is a native of Maracaibo, Venezuela, and subsequently became a United States Citizen residing in Seattle, Washington.  She continues her crusade to raise awareness of the socio-economic inequalities and political oppression in her native Venezuela.

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52 Responses to “VENEZUELAN FACEBOOK WARRIORS: “Optimism rises for Venezuelan bloggers” by Virginia Lampke”

  1. Ira Says:

    Canada pulls out of Iran vis-a-vis their embassy and all diplomatic relations. And Ahma is still Hugo’s buddy.

    You have to be really screwed up to get Canada mad at you like this.

  2. fmn Says:

    Excelente articulo, siempre pendiente de tus publicaciones amiga, Dios mediante regresaremos al camino del progreso para todos los Venezolanos

  3. m_astera Says:

    “NATO” talking points (e.g. Syria and Iran) aren’t relevant to most of those who will be voting in the coming election.


  4. Excellent commentary, Virginia! Most of the world’s so-called “human rights activists” are either conspicuously silent about Chávez or outright apologists for him. But let’s be very vigilant about the electoral processs — Chávez certainly has a “Plan B” up his sleeve if the early returns show him losing. He will surely try to steal the election. However, the human rights groups are going to certify the Venezuelan electoral process as being open and transparent so that if Chávez steals the election they will recognize his victory as being tghe democratic will of the people. Chávez is not Pinochet — he will never give up power through the ballot.

  5. KJM Says:

    Great Post Virginia!

  6. eloisa segura Says:

    VIRGINIA YOU ARE CORRECT AND GOOD WAY..YOU PERCIBE ALL SITUATIONS IN OUR COUNTRY…PLEASE FOLLOW OUR FIGHT DONT STOP..WE CAN NOT SILENCE ABOUT THE ABUSES OF THE DICTATORSHIP, PERSECUTIONS, MURDERS, VENEZUELAN POLITICAL PRISONERS AND LESA HUMANITY CRIMES….YOU ARE A STRONG WARRIOR OF OUR COUNTRY VENEZUELA!!! ELOISA SEGURA

  7. Roy Says:

    OT:

    Venezuela is holding a U.S. flagged ship captain on what may be trumped up charges. This story has been going on for a week, and this is the first I have heard of it.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/06/world/americas/venezuela-us-ship/index.html

    Is anyone else thinking that Chavez is trying to provoke the U.S. into doing something that he can use for the campaign?

  8. Kepler Says:

    “O/T-but so much incomplete, misleading bs, man! 67% of Iranians are urbanites, 27% rural.”
    Charles,
    OK, perhaps I shouldn’t have said “rural” versus urban, but I though it was clear: Tehran, I say it again, has only 10% of Iran’s population.
    There are big cities where mentality is way way way different.
    The same way see in Venezuela, even if things have been changing.
    El Tocuyo is “urban”…it is a city. Punto Fijo is even a much bigger city.
    Maturín has about 800000 people now. English speaking Caraquenos, Maracuchos and Valencianos have had traditionally
    little contact with or interest for the population there and they tend to assume
    these people are developing their same feelings. That is not necessarily so.

  9. Kepler Says:

    About the Paraguana “rockets” and the German journalist: that’s silly.

    I have commented on that German journalist here:

    http://settysoutham.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/so-maybe-israel-has-been-manipulating-chavez-coverage/

    I have been analysing all those pieces of news and they all seem to have two sources: Noriega and hawkish groups in Israel and everyone else stating that is related to either or both.

    And I know the Paraguana quite well and people I know live there and report things.
    Iranian missiles my foot.

    Chávez is learning from the Iranian militias, using Cuban intelligence and thugs, getting KGB training from Belarus etc, but not this.

  10. Freddy Marshall Says:

    Hola Virginia, a comment on the following paragraph:

    “Chavez’s alleged relations with The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the closure of the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami due to the alleged plan of a cyber-attack to the U.S., the shipment of Diesel to Syria’s Assad government, the building of drones with Iran’s help, and the German newspaper report that alleges Iran was building a mid-range missile launch site on the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela.”

    It’s known that Chavez cohorts with Iran and Syria. The activities you cite are not illegal or unusual except for who’s doing it. Everyone has a drone program and Chavez feels he has to join the fray. His partner is laughable at best. The next sentence is where you have to be careful. Esto es pura paja. The situation is very much under control militarily para los gringos. There are some remote scenarios that are not worth mentioning por ahora.

  11. CharlesC Says:

    Quote from Dr. Faustus
    “What he is saying is that if the opposition somehow wins, it will only be because of fraud. “re. Chavez, of course.
    Chavez has been saying this for most every day, every occasion and also
    claims the militia, military, el pueblo “are prepared” for this.
    He claims there will be protests in the streets and “el pueblo” will not allow it.

    • CharlesC Says:

      Quote from Carter Center today (they will be passive observers of the election process 7O.)

      “In a highly polarized political climate, “to prevent conditions which may lead to potential situations of violence or severe instability, the basic need is to provide mutual guarantees on both sides,” said McCoy, during an event in Washington on the analysis Woodrow Wilson Center.He felt the conditions that can generate violence occur when people feel that if their candidate loses you can stop receiving benefits, be excluded or even be subject to reprisals.”We hope that the candidates try to avoid these scenarios,” he said.But he said that until now the campaign of President Hugo Chavez, who wants to be re-elected in the elections of October 7, “is not giving this type of mutual assurances and is rather belligerent”.

      Note: It is Chavez who makes this an issue-everyday as I previously mentioned.
      “..the campaign of President Hugo Chavez, who wants to be re-elected in the elections of October 7, “is not giving this type of mutual assurances and is rather belligerent”.

      That is describing Chavez’s behavior and language rather mildly, don’t you
      think so?

      • Ira Says:

        As a liberal Democrat…and an old fart one at that (55)…it’s kind of difficult to explain the total disdain most Americans have for Carter, our worst president of modern times. (Yes, even worse than Ford.)

        The guy has wonderful intentions, talks good, and dedicates countless hours to building homes for the poor.

        But as far as geopolitics goes, the guy should just go home and lock the door. He has nothing of value to contribute.

        • NicaCat56 Says:

          I so totally agree with you re Carter being the worst president of modern times. How many times can one president totally screw up? I mean, really. I’m not even sure about his “good” intentions; I don’t know that he had any intentions at all, they were so unambiguous. I also agree that he just needs to completely retire from all political exposure. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night.

  12. firepigette Says:

    Dr Faustus

    Sorry to reply here but the program does not allow me to reply directly to you.

    It is absurd for Chavez to claim that the opposition could win through fraud because he is the one who has total control of the CNE, the DIEX, and the army.

    The press that pretends to be objective really has a Lefty bias( and here I include the social democrats) and give a free pass to any leader that pronounces the magic words:

    I am helping the poor and I am standing up to US imperialism.

    Whether or not he accomplishes this is beside the point.It is about propaganda and a collusion of interests.

  13. Manrique Says:

    Does anybody know THEY will rather die than lave the power? the elections is just the beginning Chavez will never acknowledge his defeat! nor the milicos who support him.

    • jau Says:

      Manrique, chavistas will not die for anything… They are a bunch of cowards, so forget about collective harakiri or anything like that.

      Lets take this step by step, first Capriles needs to win the elections, then lets see what happens and act accordingly. Of course, we should expect the worst from chavismo and try to be as prepared as possible, but lets not throw the towel yet…

  14. firepigette Says:

    It is not front page news all over Dr.Faustas for reasons.These reasons are never discussed on the forums, or at least rarely so.

    Partly because people are afraid , naive, and too politically correct to do so.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      For people who purport to be social democrats, that statement by Chavez, (“impossible for us not to win”) should frighten them. It doesn’t. Why? Chavez has just made a statement that an opposition victory on October 7th is ‘impossible,’ yet it barely raises a murmur amongst the social leftists and intelligencia supporting the Chavistas. Again, why? Don’t they, like, call themselves democrats? They were apoplectic when Pinochet said the same thing in Chile a few years back, yet are strangely silent now. Shouldn’t people like Sean Penn or Eva whats-her-name be concerned? What Chavez is saying is to ‘hell with this democracy thing.’ Our means of social governance is always, …always right. Liberty and free choice be damned. The core thought behind all of this is quite simple. If the type of government established by Hugo Chavez nearly 12 years ago, essentially socialism with smatterings of communist ideology, is such a perfect example as to how people should be governed, why should they be afraid of a silly election? The obvious benefits of living in such a society should easily crush any alternatives in any election. But it hasn’t. It’s been 12 long years and things in Venezuela have gotten worse, much worse. Yet, the political left around the world is silent when Chavez makes a statement like that. What he is saying is that if the opposition somehow wins, it will only be because of fraud. Wow. Calling such an outcome a ‘fraud’ is another way for Chavez to demand violence in the streets. Like Hitler sitting in the bunker in 1945 as the Russian tanks approached the outskirts of Berlin, Chavez is calling for his own ‘Goetterdaemmerung.’ Chavez is merely a thug, and that’s plain an obvious to see.

  15. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Here is what is frightening:

    This was Hugo Chavez ‘yesterday’…..

    “It is absolutely impossible for the rightwing to win in Venezuela;” “It is impossible for us not to win on 10/7;” “Losers should acknowledge their defeat, and winners (should acknowledge) that they know to win;”

    When a sitting canditate for the Presidency of Venezuela announces at a press conference that it is “impossible” for the opposition to win, he simply means that he will not “allow” them to win. Er, why bother holding an election in the first place? This, …this is scary stuff. This should be front page news all over the world. The man is clearly a megalomaniac.

  16. Rachel Ray Says:

    “have helped fight the communist regime of Hugo Chavez”

    LOL. That’s where I stopped reading.

    • Kepler Says:

      I have to own up it is really a foolish statement. Chavismo is not communism even if some of the key guys are commies. It is an authoritarian utterly feudal country. But then Venezuela was always feudal, only that the feudalism was giving away to some form of “feudal democracy”. Now it’s autocratic feudalism with a strong banana republic military stench.

      When people – particularly the US right but also the Venezuelans living in the USA – talk about communism they mostly don’t know what that is.

      The problem is that their statements make the opposition a laughing stock. There is no communism in a country where you have such blatant show of wealth next to poverty, where the rich get subsidized petrol, where most people prefer to go to private schools, etc.

      If you want to know what communism is, read some commie stuff. It is not very readable but it is out there and part of the general culture. If you want to know what communist leaders tried to do in different parts of the world (virtually always ending up in very bloody dictatorships), you can read some history books.

      But Venezuela is right now not a “communist regime”. It is a bloody autocracy, but a feudal one.

    • Freddy Marshall Says:

      Rachael Ray, te gusta comer? Sabes que es una PSF?

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      Chávez on Fidel Castro:

      “I am only a soldier in this battle. Fidel is our president. If we had to name a president of the world with enough powers to set it right, it would be Fidel. I believe in one decade he could set the world right.”

      How many people who are not communists believe that Fidel should be President of the world?

      A better description of Thugo’s politics is that he has never met a tyrant he didn’t like. Chavez on Bashar Al-Assad:

      “We have the same political vision.”

      Chávez on Mugabe:

      “You are and always will be a true warrior of freedom.”

      Tyrants like Thugo, and Thugo likes tyrants: Ahmadinejad on Chávez: Ahmadinejad on Chávez:

      Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, said he saw in the Venezuelan president a kindred spirit. “I feel I have met a brother and trench mate after meeting Chavez,” the state-run Iranian television quoted Ahmedinejad.
      Chavez, who peppers his speeches with mentions of assassination plots and purported US efforts to oust him, said he admired the Iranian president for “his wisdom and strength.”

      Thugo doesn’t care about ideology: it’s all power to him. Communist or not,Thugo is a tyrant.

    • joe Says:

      Rachel,
      I think what the author is saying is that blogging helps to plant a seed in people’s intellect that can blossom into awareness and motivation i.e. people taking to the streets and fighting for a change. Blogging is a new form of communication, and afterall, rallys, political protests and eventually political overthows usually start with some form of communication?

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      “have helped fight the communist regime of Hugo Chavez” LOL. That’s where I stopped reading.

      Here are some tyrant-loving quotes from Thugo that were formerly on an older version of Caracas Chronicles.

      Chávez on Fidel Castro :

      “I am only a soldier in this battle. Fidel is our president. If we had to name a president of the world with enough powers to set it right, it would be Fidel. I believe in one decade he could set the world right.”

      How many people who are not Communists think Fidel should Be President of the World? It’s a bit of a shortlist, I would imagine- though Thugo is probably on it, as the following Thugo quotes show.

      Chávez on Qaddafi:

      “…a friend and brother.”

      (Thugo received a Human Rights award from Qaddafi, a person who knows human rights. As more in the breach than in the observance. 🙂 )
      Chavez on Bashar Al-Assad:

      “We have the same political vision.”

      Chávez on Lukashenko :

      “Here, I’ve got a new friend and together we’ll form a team, a go-ahead team. I thank you, Alexander, for solidarity and we’ve come here to demonstrate our solidarity.”

      Chávez on Mugabe :

      “You are and always will be a true freedom warrior.”-

      Chávez on Saddam :

      “…he’s a brother…”

      Thugo likes tyrants, Communist or not. To paraphrase Will Rogers, Thugo never met a tyrant he didn’t like.

      What is your reaction to these tyrant-loving quotes of Thugo?

      I left out links because a previous comment with links got shut out by the commenting software.

  17. firepigette Says:

    Virginia,

    I lived in Venezuela almost a lifetime, and I never saw poverty as the biggest problem.To me it was the lack of Justice that stood out like the big elephant in the room.Lack of justice towards women, towards the poor, the poorly connected, the wrong political party, the foreigner, the uneducated etc etc.

    This lack of Justice provided a fertile playground for criminals.

    The year Chavez won I had a nightmare.Suddenly in a flash I saw who he was and it scared me.I saw him connected to Narco- trafficking.

    Then I found out shortly that the ” Socialists” supporting him were also friends with drug dealers.

    1+1= 2 Virginia.The main problem here is world wide connection between false socialists and the drug mafia.

    Venezuela will need outside help to get rid of that, for right now Venezuela is the biggest playground for criminals because nobody has had the guts to get rid of crime.Everybody goes around with the airy fairy idea that it is always better to support reconciliation with the devil.

    I hate to speak this harshly, but the stakes are high.

    I always have hope, but the hope is veiled by the naivety I see in the people.

  18. Kepler Says:

    I agree with most of what Roy said but would add this: even if Chávez was the spark, it would have never blown up the way it did without petrol, literally.
    That’s Venezuela’s Alpha & Omega.

    As for Virginia and others: I am worried when I see over and over again such easy comparisons to this or that movement – the Arab Spring, the Orange “Revolution” (it wasn’t any), the Velvet Revolution (it was one) and so on.

    If you want to compare things, you firstly need to the time to discover not only if there might be similarities but what fundamental differences there are between these nations and times. Else, it is a futile thing.

    Secondly, you need to ask yourself: do I really know the other “Venezuelas”?

    And here lies the rub: there is no single Venezuela. That thing never existed.
    We always had parallel Venezuelas evolving all the time, more so than the US or Germany, much more than Ukraine.

    Venezuelans have been a very dynamic nation but their national identity is quite a messy thing and so is the way most of them
    use to determine what is responsibility, what’s the cause of the mess and in what situation they are really.

    I was puzzled when I saw the Western media becoming so excited about the Iran protests a couple of years ago. They failed to notice those English-speaking educated boys and girls who were on the streets in Tehran were not the majority. Iran’s regime is absolutely despicable and yet it does have the support of a large percentage of the population. A similar thing has happened in Russia.

    The moment when most of the English speaking Venezuelan bloggers tell me
    at least half of their friends in Venezuela are people like taxi driver José Rodríguez from Punto Fijo, who has never been abroad and does not speak English, or cleaning lady Yuleisy García from Acarigua, I will start to believe they know what the pulse of “the Nation” is.

    Let’s be realistic with what we can do from abroad.

    • CarlosElio Says:

      Many Venezuelas. I remember now a little verse my father was fond of saying. He attributed it to Andres Eloy
      Me preguntaste un vez ¿cuántas Venezuelas hay?
      Yo te contesté hijo mío: hay más de cien Venezuelas
      La Venezuela del rico, la Venezuela del pobre
      La del que tiene el conuco y la del que lo cosecha
      La del vestido de rayas que trabaja en carreteras
      Y la del que luego en auto pasa volando por ellas.
      Cien Venezuelas arriba
      Y abajo cien Venezuelas.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      “They failed to notice those English-speaking educated boys and girls who were on the streets in Tehran were not the majority. Iran’s regime is absolutely despicable and yet it does have the support of a large percentage of the population.”

      I’m afraid I’ll have to differ here. In Iran the ‘under 35 crowd’ is substantial. They are restless, dispirited. Having Iranian friends who are up-to-date on the political aspects of the Persian nation, I would strongly argue that the opposition does have the majority were they given a choice. As was the case in Nazi Germany, or the old Soviet Union, opposition parties are simply banished from the voting lists. No, the vast majority of the Iranian people want freedom and liberty, and would vote in accordance to these candidates, were they given the opportunity to do so. The Mullahs would be gone in a heartbeat were a true election/choice to be held.

      • Kepler Says:

        The 35-year crowd is the majority in Iran, Faustus, but they live mostly outside Tehran. That’s why I mentioned Tehran twice. Iran’s capital makes up 10% of the population. I also have Iranian friends. There is a difference between the urban and rural in Iran as well.

        This is also a problem with the Caraquenos and some others.
        I found it a little bit strange, but I realised that the opposition basically has the ample majority precisely in the places where the Spaniards controlled around the year 1595. It has been only since this year that PJ has been pushing into that territory

        Venezuelans have it easier than Iranians. And yet: we may have the majority right now but there is no way we can win in the urns if we get 51% of the votes only. With the CNE we have, we need 55% or more.

        These guys
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basij
        are mostly young and from rural areas.

        • CharlesC Says:

          “There is a difference between the urban and rural in Iran as well.”
          O/T-but so much incomplete, misleading bs, man! 67% of Iranians are urbanites, 27% rural. Unemployment among young males is 23% and
          females-38%.
          How do you jump to the conclusion-“Venezuelans have it easier than Iranians”?
          There are @80 mil Iranians-and many more are very educated than Venezuelans-who have @29 mil. (Both countries are growing fast population wise..) Iran has much more technology and history and
          diversity.They have @80 billion in debt and Venezuela -?30-40?
          Iranian claims to be “moving toward a free market “in the next 5 years…
          Mr. Kepler- do you think the “ni-nis” realize how far Chavez has bent over to kiss the ?feet of the Iranians and how many illegal things he has done to “help” the Iranians? How many Venezuelans visited Iran last year?
          I am sure it was a much smaller number than the number of Iranians who came to Venezuela? What are the Iranians really going to buy from
          Venezuela?

  19. deananash Says:

    So many things to respond to.

    Chairman Mao was responsible for tens of millions of Chinese deaths, yet is still revered by a substantial minority. And yes, he did some wonderful things. For starters, liberating half of his country’s population. It was his leadership (“Women hold up half the sky”) that really made a difference. Still, millions upon millions of deaths. Not to mention that the Cultural Revolution set his own country back 20+ years.

    Virginia, I’m sorry, there isn’t a Santa Claus and Chavez isn’t leaving via the ballot box. Period. Mark my words.

    And whoever made the point about Chavismo being more than just Chavez is spot on. The well is poisoned for the short and long-term future.

    I wish I had better news…

    • joe Says:

      Deananash,
      You must not forget that the brunt of the chinese deaths were due in a large part by the hands of Mao’s wife and the team of creeps who distorted Mao’s initial virtues of communism. Mao can not be soley balmed for the cultural revolution that history witnessed.

      • deananash Says:

        The virtues of Communism? We must come from different planets.

        Most of the Chinese deaths were not the result of the cultural revolution, most were the result of Mao’s decision to try and jump-start an industrial revolution – known as the Great Leap Forward – by having farmers abandon farming and start producing iron. It ended up starving untold millions of peasants. Of course, NONE of the Communist Party officials went hungry.

      • Ira Says:

        You actually believe that Mao’s wife had executive power to order the executions–and that she and her “gang” were responsible for all of the atrocities, miraculously and conveniently coming to trial AFTER Mao’s death?

        Leaving Mao squeaky clean for generations to come to continue to worship?

        Jesus fucking Christ–give me a break.

  20. island canuck Says:

    “This will take a long time and some people will never be convinced of chavismo’s wickedness and thievery. ”

    The 20% or so of cult members will never change unless some grand reality happens to wake them up. The revelations of huge corruption that will come out once HCR takes over won’t be enough. They will simply think that it’s lies.

    One good thing will be that their daily diet of VTV will be gone & all that venom replaced with words of peace & unity. Maybe that will have some impact.

    Unfortunately the believers are going to be in an initial state of depression. For those that don’t know I have family members that are part of the cult.

  21. Roy Says:

    To “understand” Chavismo, I would use the analogy of a fire. In order for fire to exist, you need fuel and a spark to ignite it.

    The “fuel” was decades of socio-economic inequity and lack of opportunities for upward mobility for the poorer classes. The oil-wealth of Venezuela was simply not being used to improve the lives of average and lower-class Venezuelans, while upper-class and wealthy Venezuelans were ostentatious about flouting the differences. Previous governments failed to recognize and correct the structural problems that created these conditions, and were deaf to the warning signals.

    The “spark” was Chavez himself. As ill-prepared as Chavez was to lead and administrate a country, he was (and still is) a brilliant natural politician. His political instincts are on par with or exceed those of any modern political leader I can think of. His ability to turn what for anyone else would be a stinging indictment of his policies into a debate on his enemy’s intentions and honor is remarkable. But, even Chavez could not have “just happened” without the conditions being right for a populist demogogue to be taken seriously.

    Without the “right” conditions in place, Chavez would have remained an obscure (but loud-mouthed)and incompetent army officer. Without Chavez, the recent history of Venezuela would be different. It probably would have been better, or it may even have been worse. But, it would definately be very different.

    • CarlosElio Says:

      I agree with Roy’s fuel and spark view. Under it, one can consider the following scenarios. Those that despise chavez today tho so because they compare how it is now with how it was, and how it was comes ahead. Which makes them people with a higher probability of being from one of those groups that were “ostentatious about flouting the differences” and today licks its many wounds. What about if the people who ardently support chavez comes for the other side, the people who perceived no role for themselves in the administration of a country, its policies and decisions? Now suppose that somehow (this is an easy one to suppose) they heard a message to them that was very moving, that awoke their political life and for the first time thought that they could also play a role. With what would they compare the current situation? In the current situation they feel politically alive. In the past they were marginal figures, “marginales.” That being so, it seems to me that they would prefer the current situation.

    • Rosanet Says:

      Supposedly, chavismo and its supporters is justified in exerting 14 years of vengeful practices against the rest (the “rich and guilty ones”) because of they (chavistas) were made to suffer 20 years of poverty while in the land of grace. It amazes me that even those who disagree with chavismo fail to point out that the price of oil stayed well below $30 (and sometimes dipped below $20) continuously for almost 15 years from 1985 to 1999, in 2010 dollars (see the graph here http://www.wtrg.com/prices.html) Imagine the chaos that would ensue in Venezuela if oil fell to below $30 for the next decade… Even if one accepts that corruption played a part, that revenge is misplaced, especially in view of the rampant corruption during the Chavez regime, no? Misplaced revenge = injustice, so supporting Chavez is the Venezuelan people’s way of giving up on justice, their way of accepting that in order to have a decent way of life for oneself in Venezuela it is necessary to trample on others, even of half of the population if necessary. So, it’s not about justice, it’s about giving up on justice altogether in the name of “justice”.

      • Roy Says:

        Rosanet,

        I never claimed that any of this was logical or “just”, nor was I making excuses for anyone. All I was trying to do was explain why Chavismo came to be in four paragraphs.

        One can write volumes on this subject. A blog post, must sometimes be over-simplified.

  22. Ronaldo Says:

    delegitimized, not legitimized. sorry.

  23. Ronaldo Says:

    CarlosElio,
    “As for bloggers and their opportunities to express their love for Venezuela, one interesting application is the deconstruction of chavismo. The cohesive theme is the understanding of why so many people love chavez. If we do not understand it, we will never be able to diagnose it correctly.”

    This is very true. Removing Chavez will not stop chavismo. Chavismo must be legitimized and shown to be a failure. This will take a long time and some people will never be convinced of chavismo’s wickedness and thievery. Financial records from PDVSA and all other government agencies must be recovered and made public. Chavez finances must be made public. Secret deals with foreign leaders must be made public.

  24. CarlosElio Says:

    Virginia, thank you for you nice article and the propelling spirit that lead you to post in this most loved blog of Diabolical pooh, but most of the readers already know the stuff, almost verbatim to you descriptions; that place is not a pleasant one. And a lot of circumstantial evidence suggests that chávez is a key ingredient in the formula for failure that our government has become, to our collective chagrin. However, how come so many people seem to love this guy? That is an important question and you do not address it in your article. You claim that chávez is a tyrannical dictator, but there is a lot of indicators out there that he is not such a terrible ass hole, someone like Pol Pot. He was an awesome son of a bitch. You go on a long list of reproachable acts like sending diesel to Assad, but there is no “smoking gun.” A more serious violations is the role the government plays on the storage and distribution of cocaine. There seems to be an incredible body of evidence linking the government to narcotics. In that case who would be pissed off has much bigger guns that chávez and one must always bear in mind that God fights on the side of the guy with the heaviest artillery.
    As for bloggers and their opportunities to express their love for Venezuela, one interesting application is the deconstruction of chavismo. The cohesive theme is the understanding of why so many people love chavez. If we do not understand it, we will never be able to diagnose it correctly.

  25. John Thompson Says:

    The language is not important. What is important is the destruction of South America’s longest lasting democracy by a dicatorial goon. Idi Amin is alive and well in Miraflores. Long live a free and democratic Venezuela.

  26. yoyo Says:

    I think your efforts would be best employed in writing Spanish stuff. The USAF is not going to fly in and save the day, nor are the Canadian mounties, nor the British SAS.

    If you want to defeat Chavez you’ll have to defeat him fair and square, using voting machines and your own pinkies.

    • Ira Says:

      My wife, a Venezuelan citizen, is not ALLOWED to use her own pinkies:

      Because your scumbag of a hero Stupigo closed the Miami consulate, disqualifying thousands of voters here.

      Gee, how CONVENIENT for him!!!

      Or is it the ignorant, low-class Chavista mentality that says it’s okay to disenfranchise Venezuelans living elsewhere, unless they’re living elsewhere in countries officially sanctioned by the regime?

      Like Cuba?

      Do you even realize what a joke you are? What a lie you live? What a criminal you are?

      Not to mention Chavez’s INCREDIBLE illegal use of state resources for his re-election efforts? And you say beat him “fair and square?”

      Jesus Fucking Christ.


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