Recipe for polarization


1. Make otherwise sensible people talk about the death of Chávez.

2. Use the courts to pick on the opposition’s leaders and slowly take away their rights.

3. Poke Globovisión in the eye.

4. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Keep this up, and you ensure there is no space in the news cycle to discuss actual proposals, no vision for an alternative, no hope for the future.

The clock may not say so, but we’re still stuck in 2002.

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  1. At this point, I would imagine that Chavismo is just as surprised by what they are getting away with. It underscores the necessity for a strong quality education system for all to preserve freedom and democracy. A lesson that seems to pass by the ultra conservatives who don’t like paying higher taxes.

    • “It underscores the necessity for a strong quality education system for all to preserve freedom and democracy. A lesson that seems to pass by the ultra conservatives who don’t like paying higher taxes.”

      OK, first off, in case you have been sleeping through the last 13 years, giving the government enough money to provide everyone with a solid education does not, in any way, invariably produce a country with good education. That’s the silly “Libtard” notion that the solution to every problem is to throw someone else’s money at it, which has been proven false in every single case it has been tried.

      Second, you know what the difference is between a good (private) school and a crappy (public) one? That the good school demands that the students work their buts off, and has no qualms kicking them out of the school if they fail to hold up to their high standards. While the bad school treats the students like pampered little prima donas who deserve a B+ just for showing up to class.

      Good education is something you have to earn through hard work and tears and sweat. And you know what is the opposite of that? To tell the students that they don’t have to worry or work or do anything because they’ll get everything for free without having to actually work for it.

      And lastly, where the hell do you get the notion that the popularity of Chavez has anything to do with the ignorance of the Venezuelan people? You don’t need an education to know that robberies, murders, narco-traffic, corruption, rapes and every form of illegal activity has risen thanks to Chavez. The kick is that so many people still support Chavez because they are the ones doing the robbing, murdering, narco-trafficking, corrupting, raping and everything else. Having an education would not have prevented those people from becoming chavistas. It’d only have made them more efficient at handling the money they steal every day.

      • Funny that this kind of reactionary rant should follow a post on the way the government encourages intemperate, hyperpolarized opposition discourses because it knows it profits electorally from them. 14 years into this, el pana Joe still hasn’t quite grasped that calling people robbing, murdering, narco-trafficking, corrupt rapists is maybe not the best way to persuade them to vote for you.

        Deep sigh.

        Some people are just never gonna get it…

          • It is not just his silly rhetoric- Chavez is the biggest robber of Venezuela-far and away the biggest.
            ex “more than $980 million to 100 Cuban companies”-some of this is grants-and
            even the “loans” -will they ever be paid back, I doubt it?

        • Muy interesante sutileza, en espanol para expresarme mejor:

          Cierto, descalificar a los chavistas con estos adjetivos, justificadamente o no, no nos gana adherencias, sin embargo, dirigir estos epitetos y estos senalamientos al regimen traidor manejado por intereses ajenos a la nacion, podria usarse como cuna para meter al chavista de corazon, mas no al chavista por interes(el corrupto, el beneficiado por clientelismos, etc) de nuestro lado.

          Interesantisima arista para la comunicacion….

          • No you are lying. You attended to a public school, therefore, you are a parasite, doing the robbing, murdering, narco-trafficking, corrupting, raping and everything else. Everybody knows that Scandinavia is a silly libtard myth. Only penguins live there.

          • thanks Jeffry fort that comment, I wish more people knew about other examples of countries where services provided equally for all do work. I guess the thumbs down are from people who get angry that Scandinavia is actually doing well! wow

          • I tell you. This is puzzling to me. Instead of having as a goal a more inclusive, healthy and educated society, it seems that some people is really bothered by the perspective of poor people actually achieving stuff thanks to better opportunities.

      • You are flat-out wrong. Most of the people that support Chavez are not
        criminals. (Granted- many criminals probably do support Chavez).
        Most Venezuelans are not criminals. Only a small percentage are.

        • Let’s leave it at “only a percentage” or “only a minority are criminals”.
          The percentage is obviously higher than in many other places, let’s not fool ourselves about it, whatever the reasons might be.

          And I admit: criminals can be found in every political group, even if at different concentrations.

      • Sorry to break the news, Pana, but now, due to some kind of law, private schools cannot expel students at will, no matter how much they deserve it. i don´t know how it works, but I´ve just seen it work: expelled youngsters had to be re-enrolled… Of course, otherwise, they would have to transfer to the collapsing public school system or just drop out.
        i share your concern for the quality of education but totally reject the sweeping indictment in last paragraph. Sorry, but contradictory and fuera de perol aka, it sucks. Geez, some 20 – 30% of the population?

      • Yes, but when the time comes-we will stand together.
        I hope I am right-I think when Chavez is gone- “chavistas” will scatter quickly.

      • ElJefe,

        I agree…some of the folks on this blog are definitely harder on each other than on the Chavistas.Sometimes it makes me wonder it isn’t some sort of ‘claridad en la calle, oscuridad en la casa’ kinda thingy….which would easily explain why the opposition has had so much trouble.

  2. But on second thought…that strategy is gonna demand that highly unusual events take place every day until a new president is elected. So, these guys better have a long list of tricks up their sleeves. So, Nah….this is juts more of the same in the Macombo that Venezuela has become.

  3. Well now, ho now!

    The opposition has been acting DIFFERENTLY than in any other moment of the Chavez era. Maybe they have plans for this kind of same ol’ same ol’…?

    Maybe they have developped the gift of foresight? I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  4. Answers:

    1.-To Hell with Hugo Chavez and his failing health. Literally.

    2.- Rights can be regained only one way.
    3-. Globovision can sue for money back and then some damages. Only in one manner

    Only the opposition will successfully

    4-. STAY… ON TARGET!

    • Correction: Only if the opposition will successfully…

      And I add, because Venezuelans by and by might like him, but also they are weary of Hugo Chavez and don’t want him running forever. And chavismo they cannot really stand, it got old (and corrupt, and blind and deaf) much faster than AD.

      2012 IS THE TARGET. Unless you have a better idea for before. But I guess there is none. Venezuelans also want this period to end.

  5. Let me just say, as horrible as things are now… pray that education gets top priority someday soon. It is absolutely necessary in order to get the money into education and made sure that it is used effectively and non-politically. We need a voting population that is informed and that demands accountability from its government! Those who have the means can and do make sure their own children get educated well. However, it is just as important that those who don’t have the means get educated well. Excuse me if that seems to be reactionary.

    • I think the best example for Venezuela is an honest, hard-working government
      that is for the people, for the country-fair and square.

    • There extreme gap between the rich and the poor is the primary cause of political instability throughout the world. Regardless of who succeeds in power in the coming elections, my willingness to invest my capital in Venezuela will depend on whether there is going to be an effective, concentrated and credible effort to address this issue. I, myself, prefer to pay large taxes if they are used effectively. I love Venezuela, and this is where I want to live, but this political cycle must come to an end! Period.

  6. Juan, you forgot number 5:
    Write posts about numbers 1 to 4 and offer a mechanism to elicit responses so as to distract all commenters from forging ahead, beyond 2002.

  7. So I guess that the paranoids in the end were right when they judged Dr. Navarrete to be a pawn in chavizmos´ game. Which would make them not paranoid, but prophets.
    In any case expect things to get even weirder. What should the oppo do? stay focused on the goal. There are so many things that are wrong with today´s Venezuela that there really should not be a need for our politicians to delve onto this. There are so many topics that have a direct impact on people´s welfare that oppo politicians could talk about a different thing -being all of them of the utmost importance- everyday until kingdom come. Economy, joblessness, judicary system, prison system, democratic institutions, oil industry, mining industry, corruption anyone?, foreign affairs (Cuba?), infrastructure, role of public companies, private property, housing, basic services… should I go on?
    As long as only political commentators take a stab at these shenanigans we should´nt be in any serious trouble. We should really worry if the infighting begins in earnest, or if the political discourse from oppo politicians gets derailed into reactionary extremism a la El Pana Joe. But as long as it is only El Pana Joe or me or Quico or anyone else, the people that vent their more than justified frustrations then we should be OK. At least I hope so…

    • Under it all, I think most everyone wants to “get back to normal”. Venezuelans want to be themselves-not Cubans, not somebody else. Past years are full of so many examples of
      what we/a government and a “President” should not do, should not say,,,
      I hope a new government will simply be good, hardworking, honest.
      And, everyone go back to work doing the same…

      • Maybe not so much back to “normal”, but that this war between rich and poor has to stop. There needs to be a re-framing of the issue: The Unity Party should be for the ending of class war and establishing that, regardless of who we are, we are all in this country together, and we have to work for each others needs. It has to be open and transparent and honest and inclusive. There has to be a willingness to volunteer… not just government doing things. I’m willing to volunteer my time to help build houses! But, nobody is asking!

  8. Yes, we are seeing again a barrage of smoke screens which are being effectively deployed by government officials under the instructions of the terminally ill president. As much as we all know this, it is worth repeating: we are governed by outlaws that manipulate the institutions to blatantly violate the rule of law with astonishing impunity. The established opposition still does not know how to respond to a government that violates the laws so openly, but they have come a long way and are doing much better. We always had governments that broke the law, but at least they tried to deceive and cover up their acts. In the last twelve years we have witnessed a government of outlaws that feel immensely powerful, that for the first time after never having done anything productive in their lives found themselves in control of thousands of millions of dollars of the country’s budget to handle at their discretion. These people truly believe they are untouchable and can get away with anything. We have also seen the opposition walking away from elections because they believed that such an outrageous behaviour from the part of the government would cause a massive reaction from the population. They learned in a very hard way that Venezuelans do not react to indignity and shameful behaviour of their leaders that way, but on the contrary they tend to be accommodating and even accomplices with such disgraceful behaviour. We now know that they should have never walked away. We are witnessing a process of ramping up of smoke screens and violations of the law that are aimed to cause both distraction and desperation in the organized opposition. The opposition needs to keep their eye on the ball and ignore the distractions, knowing that are dealing with an opponent willing to break every law if necessary and that has literally unlimited resources available. It is an unfair battle, without a doubt, but at this stage of the fight the mighty revolution does not look so mighty anymore, in a good extent because we all know that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to stay in power. Nothing should surprise the opposition this time around, but it is going to be a hard battle. And it is only starting.


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