The Groundhog Day Revolution

Hugo Chávez first promised that the La Carlota Air Force Base in Caracas would be turned into a big urban park back in 2001. Nothing came of it.

The promise resurfaced in 2007, and this time it was going to be “a fabulous theme park with artificial waves” which he was going to call “Parque Bicentenario”.

Well, the Bicentennial was two weeks ago and, no park. So you’d think out of an elementary sense of letting-sleeping-dogs-lie, the president would refrain from calling attention to the broken promise, right?

No dice. He just promised it…again!

This time it’s going to have an “immense ecological overpass” linking it to Parque del Este.

Five years from now, when the promise resurfaces again, it’ll have a free 24-hour wet-bar and subsidized rainbows and unicorns.

La Carlota is just a very, very visible example, but it’s the same thing with housing, with “prison humanization”, with the Guaire River clean-up, with street kids…again and again, the same promises resurface, but when they do, they always resurface as though it was a bright new fresh idea.

Chávez never says “of course, we had intended to build this park some years ago but couldn’t because of X,  and Y. This time it’s different, though, because of Z.”


At times, I get this sense that he genuinely doesn’t know that the promise is a retread. It’s like he can’t process that somehow. El peo es psiquiátrico…

To my mind, a huge share of his animosity against the independent media comes purely from the fact that we call him on this kind of bullshit. To a narcissist, that’s just intolerable.