Archive for June 12th, 2013

Venezuela: From Magic Realism To Bizarro Country

June 12, 2013


Venezuela has been the land of magic realism over the last fourteen years. Under the spell of Hugo Chávez, the country lost a decade of development under the guise of a revolutionary process, that brought little revolution anywhere, when you consider that the country enjoyed the biggest oil windfall in its history. Chávez could sell the people anything, an attempt on his life, borrowing at 12%, while lending at 2%, demonizing the opposition, recovering from cancer and even blaming nature for many of the problems he caused.

But over the last six months, Chávez’z successor has turned Chávez magic realism into a bizarre concoction that makes no sense. He managed an electoral audit that was not one. Maduro has been in power for over ten weeks, but has made no important decisions about the most pressing economic matters. He blames problems on things like consumption, as if his party was new in Government. He says the universities have received sufficient resources, but a Professor’s salary is near the minimum salary and since 2008 autonomous universities have not had any budget increase.

But things get really bizarre when important discussions are distracted by events such as:

-Jose Vicente Rangel, a former Minister of Defense and “reporter” saying the opposition has purchased 18 airplanes to attack Venezuela and that they are in Colombia. Of course, no mention of who, when, how, just like that, 18 planes, not 2 or 3, all of eighteen planes, bought with money that came from nobody knows who, to buy whatever. Maybe Rangel saw an Amazon purchase for 18 planes to fight Maduro’s drones.

-A Judge, Judge Afiuni, ordered incarcerated by Chávez, who has yet to be tried, but was raped in jail, has the Prosecutor ask the Court to change her prison for home and five days go by without the inhumane Court saying a beep and ordering that she be released. Whatever happened to compassion in Venezuela?

-A thousand cases of the H1N1 virus are not enough to have Venezuela’s Minister of Health worry, declare an emergency or anything like that. Never mind how contagious it is. Never mind the ignorance of the average Venezuelan on the subject. This is simply another plot to destabilize by the opposition. The country is even out of the vaccines, but don’t worry, toilet paper should be arriving soon.

-An obscure Director of the price control office is jailed for corruption in Venezuela, but the SEC charging that there was a massive kickback scheme at Bandes, which made that bank lose US$ 66 million, gets no reaction from any official in Venezuela. (The fourth person was jailed today in the US)No investigation, no questions asked. But Maduro still says he is going full blast against corruption. Sure Nico, I believe you. (Cross my fingers)

-In a country with excess lawyers. In a country where nobody in important positions seems to have experience in the area of the position, an engineer is named to supervise the Judicial system. Never mind he failed as Head of the electric company, his supposed specialty. Never mind there are thousands of Chavista/Madurista Judges, lawyers and the like. Choose failure, choose ignorance, choose a guy that failed. Oh! I forgot, he is Chavez’ brother Argenis.

-The Head of the Electoral Board comes out and says that the “audit” was perfect, not a single error. But after a reporter finds 90 dead voters in polling stations with 100% participation for October, the next day (June 3d) the CNE changes the records from October 7th., all of them, reducing, but not eliminating dead voters. But, says Ms. Tibisay, Venezuela’s electoral system is “shielded”.  Not from the dead, Tibi. BTW Tibi, we are still waiting for the fingerprint records from the SAI, which has turned out to be a useless system: It did not stop anybody from voting! Which is why they don’t want to give the opposition a copy.

Oh yeah! A guy named Kerry, who apparently holds an important position in the US Government, meets with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jaua, who grins at the meeting at Kerry, very much like Venezuelan kids do when they meet Mickey Mouse in Orlando.

Really, bizarro country, with a Capital B (not “V”), is getting harder and harder to understand it. All of this happens and not much of a reaction. Bizarro is, bizarro happens. Nothing happens.