Is There Blogging Life After Chavez?

September 11, 2012

I have always wondered what would happen, were Chavez to lose, to my blogging. Would I lose the drive to blog often? Would there be enough material to blog on? While I have always seen a possible Chavez departure as a likely end to my blogging, the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that I will continue.

The reason is simple. I don’t want a better Venezuela, I want the best possible Venezuela. But it is clear that the effects of the devil’s excrement will simply not go away with a change in Government and I will continue to have a lot to write about (and criticize!). Of course, Chavez represents the worst effects of the devils’ excrement, he put high power steroids into its effects by his ignorance and belief that you can invent a new economic model out of the blue. But it does not look like all the effects of the devil’s excrement will go away with a new Government.

While I support Capriles and I am sure that his Government will be orders of magnitude better than Chavez’, the pressures on him will be enormous and it is not clear to me that he has a clear line of thinking on economic matters. And while oil can cover up the mistakes in economic decision-making, we will not have the best country possible unless we impose a rational economic system in Venezuela. Capriles’ Chief economic adviser said it well today, when he said “We don’t have a grave financial problem, we have a management problem”

But I think it was absolutely irresponsible for Capriles to say last night in his presentation of his first 100 days that he would increase the minimum salary and index it to inflation. The first part I agree with, but to build inflation into the economy via indexation is playing with fire. It has not worked anywhere and as it happens when you impose such artificial rules into the economy (Chavez has imposed dozens of them), they are easy to implement, but almost impossible to remove.

And it is irresponsible for Capriles to say that, because he either means it or he does not. If he does, he will create a new economic distortion that Venezuelans will pay for for many years. If he does not mean it, then he should not say it. Period. I know that he wants to get rid of Chavez, but over promising may be the surest way to not be successful once he is in office.

Once Capriles is in office, he is going to have to deal with the myriad of distortions imposed by 14 years of ignorance and improvisation. He can not start by adding to the foolishness, there is simply too much that needs to be done and fixed.

And you can be sure that I will be here blogging if Capriles wins on October 7th. In fact, there will probably be less incentive to blog if Chavez wins, he is simply too repetitive. But you can be sure that I will be here stirring up the discussions on the economy and criticizing what I don’t like if Capriles is President. We do need the best Venezuela we can make and it is possible with rational and coherent economic policies.

So, it does look like there is certainly life for this blogger after Chavez. But let’s get the job of electing Capriles done first. There will be plenty of time to criticize him later, if he does not do what needs to be done.

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37 Responses to “Is There Blogging Life After Chavez?”

  1. CharlesC Says:

    Yes, there will be blogging after Chavez. Miguel, you are a very good citizen
    journalist. As I said before-I come here first to get the news!
    (Occasionally bloggers miss some stories-(Example- General Revilla Soto
    testifying about Chavez connection with ETA, FARC-Strange this story was
    not interesting to more people…)

    http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2012/09/09/milton-revilla-soto-tengo-las-pruebas-de-la-conexion-entre-eta-las-farc-y-el-gobierno-de-chavez/

  2. Songster Says:

    The stranger option is for Castro to do in Chevez and blame it on the oppos. Thus Chevez goes into the hearafter pantheon as another Allende or Che. Better than a lingering death due to cancer.

  3. Bill S. Says:

    I doubt he will lose no matter what the real vote. His people will invent their own voting result. And buying votes with free stuff often works, until you run out of free stuff. Since Venezuela is now acknowledged to have the world’s largest oil reserves, I doubt he will run out of money anytime soon.

  4. Bob Taylor Says:

    Why are there no big posters in the streets…No More Corruption
    No more Violence.
    No More incompetence
    No More Accidents
    No More Chavez !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Bob Taylor Says:

    I too am afraid songster might be right with a capriles assasination just before election day. Perez and Lopez should have had a higher profile during the electioneering. I am praying for his safety,but the chavistas are desperate,and have so much to lose ………………..

  6. Bruni Says:

    I am truly looking forward to a more serene political situation with sane disagreements on social, political and economic issues. It is amazing how successful Chávez has been in polarizing the country and removing common sense from everybody’s mind. Even intelligent and capable people have fallen in the trap of becoming slaves of the extremes, functioning with labels, name-calling, half-truths and manipulations for so many years.

    I pray October 7 brings us serenity.

  7. Roberto N Says:

    There is going to be so much to write about, post 7-O, Miguel, regardless of who wins.

    I agree with LuisF, 60’s-90’s Colombia for at least the first decade if Chavez loses. If he wins, we’ll really be up shit creek without a paddle

  8. moctavio Says:

    I write the blog in english because there is a vacuum out there, there is a lot written in spanish. Hey! I have a life, just a week riding a bike in Piedmont and you guys did not even notice!

    • CharlesC Says:

      From one eating station to another- wine,cheese, desserts, meats…
      You probably gained weight on that bike trip! You must
      certainly be energized now!!

    • syd Says:

      Do NOT tell us you’re travelling, Miguel. Remember the Marqués de Riscal. (Es que necesitamos la mano dura :-))

  9. Roy Says:

    Miguel,

    In order to make the “best possible Venezuela”, you will have to change the culture of Venezuela – not radically – but in the little ways that count. To do that, you need to reach Venezuelans, in Spanish. I don’t see how an English language blog is going to help.

    And, although I know it is hard to imagine, but after Chavez, there is always the option to “have a life”.

  10. LuisF Says:

    I am on the uphill battle camp here.

    THE REAL turning point is not a win on october 7, 2012, but a profound change in the petro State model toward a productive taxable/ taxated economy, with true competition bringing out the best and skiming the unproductive.
    In Venezuela our main competitive factor is O&G. It will take a successfull re-enactement of 1975 Nacionalizacion Petrolera, to bring forward a strong Regulator, and a free competitive market for E&P and other midstream and downstream bussiness…
    We will face a 60-‘s-90’sColombia-Like enviroment with former Chavismo morphed with FARC obstructing every step of the way, and this is the best sceanrio possible.

    We could also fall down the trap of Civil war, between two chavista factions spliting after a Chavez death, or worse, a opposition defeat in 7O and a final strenghtening of the Cuban invasion model.
    Challenging times ahead for Diablo comentary.
    Kudos Miguel
    LuisF

  11. Douglas Says:

    I’m really uplifted by your general optimism of a Capriles win AND coming to power. I just can’t see the Chavista elite giving up power so easily after working for 14 years on a permanent dictatorship model. Let’s hope I’m wrong. Regarding the continuation of the blog I agree that it must continue. Chavez exacerbated the Devil’s Excrement effect but it was already out of control for most of the 24 years of my professional life in Venezuela, (and I always fought against it whenever I could in my local sphere of influence). It will take leadership, management capacity and a lot of re-education to instill the values of a healthy economy and a healthy political system in Venezuelan society.

  12. Songster Says:

    I hate to bring this up, but it should be considered. No one has mapped the possibilities of an assassination of either candidate.

  13. Pedro Says:

    Relax, Capriles will not win. The election is rigged.

  14. JB Lenoir Says:

    In what parallel universe do you think that the situation in Venezuela will improve if Capriles wins, assuming that 1) he wins (or is permitted to win by those who control the rigged electoral system), 2) is allowed to assume power, 3) isn’t sabotaged from day one by the PSUV and the inevitable current-allies-who-will-turn-against-Capriles after the elections when they don’t get a sufficiently large share of the pie? Given our current age, mi very estimado Devil, you and I probably will be long dead by the time Venezuela turns the corner and finally sees a dot of light at the end of the tunnel. Venezuela has no historical memory. So many people forget how Chavez came to power, and who supported him way back then. You’ll be blogging for a long time to come, methinks. And possibly your biggest challenge as a blogger will be to maintain your critical edge and avoid seeing a Capriles administration through rose-tinted lenses at the outset.

  15. Bruni Says:

    Jaja Miguel.

    The truth is “que Chávez te las ponía bombita”…you’ll have to work harder, my friend.

  16. David Says:

    We hope Capriles wins but we wont know till October 7/8. Capriles has been saying all the right things to get elected. After all his campaign is all about minimizing the fears of ni ni voters and government employees. The opposition voters were with him from day one. Venezuela needs a change for sanity, for restitution, for the sake of the country and to live in peace. As a Russian friend told me, in Russia we always know who is going to win. Ojala que esto no pase en Venezuela y se cuenten los votos de verdad!!

  17. firepigette Says:

    Miguel,

    A forum like this is always needed with or without Chavez.Venezuela , and the world is in crisis, and Capriles cannot change that.He can give hope, and improve things, but to make a profound change, it will take a lot more than Capriles.

    Providing a meeting place for the minds is an amazing gift.

  18. Alfredo Says:

    Caprices won’t win. Let him promise. Chavez will win by a small margin, the opposition will get depress, they fell into the trap making it impossible for them to complain about cheating. Sorry guys, I hope I am wrong, but I know I am not.

    • island canuck Says:

      You are wrong. Capriles will win with more than 1 million votes. I’m taking bets.
      All you have to do is see what’s happening in Chavismo these days. They know the truth.

      Se ve, se siente!
      Hay un camino!

    • Alek Boyd Says:

      Alfredo, we seem to be in agreement there. Does that turn you into a radical?

    • deananash Says:

      I.C., lay off the kool-aid. Alfredo means that Chavez will win because it won’t be an honest election.

      I have no idea whether it will be honest or not – but knowing Chavez, I suspect not. REGARDLESS, Chavez won’t be leaving via the ballot box, you can take that to the bank.

  19. Pedrop Says:

    Yes, that’s exactly what we should do !

    For a man who rescued us from our own collective stupidity, pulled us back from the abyss, yes – let’s all offer him public constructive criticism. A walking target for both to pop shots.

    “…..absolutely irresponsible for Caprilles to say last night……”. It’s started already.
    Such views may not be significant at this stage however they indicate that the fractured society in which we live will continue post Chavez.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong but a harassed Capriles at this stage is the last thing we need. In fact we should be looking at ourselves and asking what was OUR part in the rise of Chavez and the near fatal consequence for our country. WE did that, not Capriles.
    Self criticism instead of constructive criticism………

    • syd Says:

      I say YES to both self AND constructive criticism, the former to improve ‘la materia prima del electorado’, the second to avoid messianic complexes among those who think Capriles single-handedly “rescued us from our collective stupidity, pulled us back from the abyss”.

      Capriles and his team wouldn’t be where he is/they are today, without serious support from the MUD, which has done an outstanding job of navigating the terrain, up to the point and beyond our pre-candidate votes.

      Yes, accord Capriles respect. He deserves it for his correct and far-reaching vision of unity and peace, where other candidates, such as Diego Arria and MCM, held a battle ax in hand, or were unprepared (LL).

      But let’s not treat Capriles like a Messiah. That would be the perpetuation of collective stupidity.

      • Pedrop Says:

        My mistake then, ‘Capriles’ was a general term for the opposition and all it’s timely and .

        However if we are not delivered from evil, and it will be evil, it may be that the only form of redemption will be through the Messiah himself.

  20. geronl Says:

    If Venezuela once again allows the media to be free and allow multiple POV’s and all that, it might not be as important to blog. Someone has to keep an eye on those politicians. If not you, then someone else.

  21. syd Says:

    Hooray on 2 counts. That if Capriles wins (and I’m cautiously hopeful) you will continue to blog. There’ll be tons to write about during the transition to sanity, a road with many bumps, I’m sure.

  22. NET Says:

    You’re right on indexation–an immediate salary increase was enough one-upmanship. Indexation was unnecessary with this economically-illiterate electorate, and is an invitation to economic disaster.

  23. BB Cuiba Says:

    We definitely will have to continue to give constructive criticism and hope that Capriles will be surrounded by the best minds. It’s hard not to want some one-upmanship when this crooked regime is throwing the house out the window to gain votes. Latest one is $200,000 to “salter la talanquera” available at the Hotel El Conde, Room 409!!!!

  24. Ronaldo Says:

    Capriles is doing what is necessary to win. Remember that Chavistas are not rational but are easily persuaded by simple words. First win the election and take power. Then fix the problems.


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