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Is Venezuela beyond recovery?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 15.12.04 | My pc went busted a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the new one with the latest technology, equipped with wireless satellite internet connection and all, that I was to receive from the Pentagon was sent instead to the remnant of Iran's bloggers that are still out of jail. So I had to fix this old machine with the help of a friend. Said friend is French, he's never been to Venezuela and his interest for the country may have peaked due to the fact that he's dating a Caraqueña. As we were having dinner, after he could get the bloody thing running, we, as ever, started discussing about Venezuelan politics.

I said to him “I wish the price of oil comes down to $10 a barrel. In that way we will see how long Chavez' 'popular support' would last”. He replied “you don't care about the people, I care a lot about them!”. Well I reckon that sums everything up nicely doesn't it, such a fashion statements to pretend to care about the world's poor. Chavez is popular because he's got a truck load of cash, that he can dispose of in the ways he sees fit, be it 'social missions', political propaganda, destabilisation of democracies at the international level, etc. He said that the majority of the people in Venezuela were supportive of the revolution, to which I replied arguing about the sanity of rigging elections: “mind you, if you are a politico supported by the vast majority, why would you stop international observers from doing their job? Why would you break agreements? Why would you prevent the opposition from counting every single vote, should they wish? That does not fit in my dictionary of the democratic acts of a widely popular politician”. He said he did not believe that the elections were rigged. At this point I said “mate it is totally irrelevant whether you believe they were rigged or not, the facts are there. If you can not be bothered to check them that does not mean that the elections were clean”.

As readers may remember I had a few exchanges with Jennifer McCoy in that respect. I also got in touch with the opposition representatives Asdrubal Aguiar and Timoteo Zambrano. The Hausmann & Rigobon report remains to be debunked by able statisticians, what's more it has been reinforced with other hypothesis produced by Pericchi, Torres and Mikoss. An how about Tulio Alvarez' work? Of course none of that is public knowledge, nor does it interest the public. The point that matters, for these 'interested observers', is that Carter said that the elections were fair and clean, Carter's -and his team's- absence from the tallying rooms and sheer negligence in electoral observation performance notwithstanding. It's a non issue, “time to move on” he said.

Fine, we move on, but along the way we see how the regime unleashes a campaign to destroy democracy, to crush dissent and to encroach upon our rights. We have, as opposition, no bargaining power. England's Home Office Minister is being berated for allegedly having sorted out a visa for his partner's nanny. His equivalent in Venezuela, threats to deploy the army and arrest those electors who exercise their rights and heads a commission of assassins who take pride in killing other human beings. Isn't it surreal? My French mate then said “I am pissed off with Venezuela's opposition” and I cannot help to wonder, why do these Europeans hate our political stance so much. He went further, he advise me to undermine Chavez by way of winning people's hearts and minds. Sure, my chances of succeeding at it are great, especially if I take into account that Bush and his whole political apparatus is behind me right? Think again, the sole credible politicos left in the country are the chaps from Primero Justicia, they are also in dire straits. Not long before they too get some sort of revolutionary lawsuit going against them, perhaps from newly appointed Carrasquero... Chavez will never allow anyone to cast a shadow over him and to keep his shine he's got millions of dollars and millions of socially resented idiots to spread his message. Thus, where does one take the road to recovery?

I feel we are beyond the point of proving that we are on the right. Facts speak louder than rhetoric or propaganda, however no one seems to be interested in revising them for starters and secondly there is no way we can vote out of office a criminal coupster who has absolute power.



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