This one’s crazy enough you could pass it off for a Borat skit,
“In US and A, first you go to university and then you become congressman. But in Kazakhstan, first you go to parliament, and then to university!”
Turns out that the Chavez government, shocked by the ignorance of the people they nominated to the National Assembly, has given the nation’s legislators marching orders to go back to school. In this case, it’ll be the Armed Forces Experimental University (UNEFA) that will in charge of indoctri…erm, teaching the new parliamentarians such cutting edge topics as Marxist Analysis.
Pedro Carreño, we’re helpfully told, will go study Law, while Cilia Flores has set her sights on a doctorate.
Now, the questions this poses – to say nothing of the comedic possibilities – are almost endless. Precisely how ignorant do you have to be before Francisco Ameliach thinks, “christ, this guy needs some schooling!”? What criteria did chavismo use to pick its Assembly candidates? If as Chavez keeps saying, Socialism for the XXI Century is nothing to do with old style Marxist socialism, why do A.N. members need instruction in, erm, Marxism? And what exactly happens if an Assembly Member flunks his Marxism course? Do they get to repeat, or is their mandate immediately revoked?
Horrified snickering aside, the serious subtext to this latest bit of revolutionary dadaism is the Nth low point of parliamentary oversight in the Chavez era. The history of the world’s Marxist legislatures is not exactly known for the muscular exercise of their watchdog duties, to say nothing of proper debate over legislation. With no exceptions I can think of, Marxist legislatures limit themselves to rubber-stamping executive dictats and convening once a year to shower the leader with applause. Petty bourgeois concerns over the separation of powers and such and such are openly scoffed at.
And so Article 187, Paragraph 3 of the best constitution in the world (The assembly shall exercise oversight functions over the government and the Public Administration…) joins the long list of openly mocked constitutional promises.
Certainly, this has pretty much been the situation in Venezuela for years already. It’s just that now National Assembly members will have the diplomas to prove it.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.