Don't cry for me


Venezuela’s cancer-stricken President, while addressing a group of young chavistas today, suggests time is not on his side:

“You will finish the job. It’s up to you to finish it. We have started it. But time will not be enough. And what do I care? That is how processes are, that is how time is. I, for as long as I live, am already certain that I will not see Venezuela like I dream it could be, but what do I care? My children will see it. My granddaughters, my grandsons, all you boys and girls, you will see it.”

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. well this is the principle of “Soviet Russia” style dictatorships right?
    im not going to live to see it,not my children,grandchildren,great grandchildren, great great great great great grandchildren. But we won’t stop fighting. And people believe it,they think they’re making a change.

  2. None will see it. That’ll be the legacy: one of the largest squandering of political capital, income, momentum, in the history of the region, certainly the largest of Venezuela’s history.

    When things are balanced out, Chavez will be aptly remembered as el cancer de Venezuela.

    • No, the “trumpet” players are taking their cue from Handel’s Messiah.

      “,,,the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

  3. I have decided not to give credit to any rumors or to anything Ch says about his sickness. I don’t believe anything, until I see the coffin followed by thousands of his followers – people that will always remember him as they guy who put the social agenda at the center of Venezuelan politics, even if at the same time they recognize some of his mistakes. As Alek, I believe Ch sucks because he wasted an amazing opportunity to do some good to Venezuela, but the most difficult argument to make in politics is the counter-factual one “he could have done much better” – specially to the average José. It is extremely harmful for the opposition to base strategies on rumors about death and sickness. We should stay the course and just plan for possible scenarios. But stay the course, until we see the coffin and the red hordes of supporters following it.

    • Precisely. It’s quite a leap from “Viviremos y venceremos” to “yo, por mas tiempo que viva, estoy seguro ya que no veré a Venezuela como la sueño”…

  4. I, for as long as I live, am already certain that I will not see Venezuela like I dream it could be..
    Was that dream.. or nightmare?

  5. Deontextualizing the translated passage is an excellent trick to try and read something into it that is not there. I have not looked at this site for months but “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”. Still living in pipe dreams and praying that Chávez is so sick that he cannot run or simply dies. You’re going to have to put up with chavismo – with or without Chávez for amny years to come. You need someone with some political class such as Mariano Rajoy 😉 So those on you in voluntary exile will be there for many years to come.

    • Well said. I find it amusing how the regular inhabitants of this blog ignore reality and prefer to simply rant and scream about how awful Chavez is while he continues to reduce poverty, improve the living standards of all Venezuelans, and fix the problems of the previous corrupt neo liberal order the US imposed on Venezuela. And of course they ignore the results of elections that are far more democratic than anything the opposition conducted when they were in power while doing so. And of course, they never, ever, go back and admit it when their absurd predictions about impending doom and disaster are proved to be false. Yes, they were really hoping that Chavez would die of cancer, and like all of their other false predictions they were certain it would occur, but unfortunately for them, the Communist health care system in Cuba thwarted their most ardent desires and exposed their gloriously uninformed stupidity once again.

      • IronyAlert: “while he continues to reduce poverty, improve the living standards of all Venezuelans,”

        Firstly, as I pointed out in another comment to you, his merely “reducing poverty” after 13 years having had access to over 20 times the development money to eliminated completely in much less time is a failure.

        Secondly, ironic that you would reply to a post regarding people in exile using the phrase “all venezuelans”.

  6. Your vitriol against Chavez never ceases to amaze me! You are counting your chickens before they hatch as he, Chavez, will have the last laugh, and outlive your vile blog. Keep looking for (and decontextualizing) comments to make your pipe dreams come true. Chavez and his dreams are here to stay, regardless of what you post.

    • You and Arturo must have the same class, you both used “decontextualize” in your comments.

      Did the word show up in a Chinese Fortune Cookie when you were out to lunch?

    • Hello Juan

      I only recently learned about this forum and was told it was about intelligent discussion, not about the commonplace practice of insulting the other side. So it surprises me that in this thread it seems OK to demean participants as long as they are on the “incorrect” side of the mainstream. Maybe I was misinformed, but how is that not repeating the mistakes from others?

      Mind you, I am one of those in self-imposed exile (even if the current administration had nothing to do with my decision) but I think some Venezuelans abroad suffer from the same malaise as the Cuban exile; wishful thinking, that is. I think it is both exhausting and inefficient to have a large piece of political planning manpower devoted to the possibility of divine intervention. That is faith, people, not work. And blind faith, in my experience, DOES NOT move mountains, just has you crash into them. So I am with Venegringa on this.

      Also remember the late great, Venezuela’s mind-frame psychiatrist -our country’s shrink-, Francisco Herrera Luque, who once wrote that, at least in our land, power is good for your health.


    • cmoore56, *You* need to go back to the foul smelling hole that you came from. What do you bring to the table, save for calling others names?

  7. Chavez´ principal virtue and also his main flaw: He doesn´t know how to shut up.

    His tongue took him to the top, but presently he can´t control the thing, it´s dropping hints everywhere of his upcoming “leg stretch”. That´s the problem when you “wing it”, the truth inevitably comes out when you improvise (something Chavez does constantly, and quite well I might add).

  8. The regime is spending serious cash on cyber attacks against the opposition. I saw a lot of twitter accounts hacked,mostly journalists and a few politicians and i’m sure we’ll be seeing more Arturos in a while.

  9. Oh, the drama….!
    Why we have to have so much draaaamaaaa, so much soap operaaaaaa about everythiiiing!
    Muchachos y muchachas, gente y genta, jovenes y jovenas…!

  10. It could be just the standard Utopian Socialist spiel to.

    Whereas countries that developed not following the Socialist model, even in dictatorship, such as Korea, Chile and Taiwan, saw hard times and not stellar starting conditions for workers. But they saw improvement for them and their children during their lifetimes, and then freedom came back, or just came.

    Let’s (please) not engage in Kremlinology. Remember, we don’t have yet information, and the fatso is a liar to the core. That’s his gravest illness.

    Certainly he looks more bloated and yellower by the day, and all the obfuscation about his condition does not help either.

    It seems however that your post touched some trolls’ sciatic nerve. Hence the butt hurt.

  11. Funny thing. I was just telling to a friend a couple of day ago about how Chávez’s speech has changed his mood to a more somber tone during the last week. First, I thought that perhaps he is in worse shape than they let us know, but it’s very like that it’s just the depressive phase of his bipolar disorder…

        • I believe he is capable of pretending to be dead, asking to be “buried” next to Bolívar and then getting out on the third day to tell us all Bolívar told him his time is not over yet.
          It’s Venezuela.

          • then he’ll be associating himself with Jesus Christ, as Hugo’s followers shout hysterically, “ha resucitado!”

          • Well…we know our country has a sickness of the mind when a “classic” folk group sings “Cuando Bolívar nació, Venezuela pegó un grito diciendo que había nacido un segundo Jesucristo.” (Un Solo Pueblo: Viva Venezuela)
            Venezuelans really go bananas on this stuff, the disease that started to develop two centuries ago with the personality cult has only gone worse.

        • That’s definitely preferred over going the Full Monty!

          Though with the “Fair Price Law” coming into effect today, following the ridiculous rent control law, I fear he has pretty much gone full monty on the economy. He has doomed even more to a future of subsistence farming.

  12. In order to understand that “the entire opposition as a shrill, unfeeling, tragically out-of-touch cabal of East Side Caracas plutocrats?” is incorrect, rather than media hype and extravagant characters, or even worse this weird kind of gloating-before-he-kicks-it-rememer-Fidel…

    I am interested in understanding what is the opposition’s platform with respect to several initiatives and programs that the Chavez administration has undertaken, with varying levels of success but undoubtably a level of innovation unseen across South America and Latin America in the last 50 years, mostly related to South American and Latin American/Carribbean integration, which the opposition seems to dismiss all in the same bag as more of Chavez’s “lunacies”.

    1. UNASUR – would this be entirely abandoned, sidelined behind OEA, CIDH, etc.

    What about using it as a tool against the drug trade.. or would the opposition simply follow the failed script implemented by Colombia and Mexico of kowtowing directly to the dictates of Washingon and the DEA. (Yes the FARC seem to be on their way out, but only a simplistic analysis could say that the drug war is being “won” anywhere in the world, much less in Colombia)

    2. Unprecedented bilateral cooperation for development and regional policy with Brazil, especially the Brazilian states neighboring Venezuela.

    3. ALBA – answer which on this blog I can guess, nonetheless it seems the opposition is ignoring a part of the electorate which may disagree with the implementation, posturing, rhetoric, and what could be considered the general give-away of Venezuela’s wealth to its needier political allies… but this part of the electorate could still be in favor of the general idea.

    4. The empowerment of the sector of the Venezuelan population which has received free or subsidized education, health services, food, etc. Put aside the political and economic aspects, in the social aspect will this group of people basically be shoved aside when such programs are cutoff in an Opposition government? Will their newly acquired skills be ignored by both a anti-Chavez government running the public sector and also the private sector, which is more likely to employ middle class Venezuelans who have their own economic problems but mal que bien, obtained health, food and education by their own means before Chavez?

    5. Free Software – Linux – Telecommunications. The Chavez government has undertaken a variety of initiatives aimed towards technological independence based on the free software / free knowledge movement, which has largely failed due to inept/incomlete implementation, but which a sector of the Venezuelan electorate favors greatly and is highly trained to collaborate in. Would the opposition implement this better, or simply follow the Microsoft-enforced and in my humble opinion- wrong- paradigm of proprietary technological/computer development?

    6. Telesur – Would an opposition government ignore what is positive of this new regional cable news channel, discard it completely, set in on a back burner with limited budget (starve to death slowly), or turn it into a new CNN en espanhol with only the same pro-market pro-empire politics?

    7. Mercosur – Would the opposition government decide to withdraw Venezuela’s bid to enter Mercosur, if so on what basis?

    • “with varying levels of success but undoubtably a level of innovation unseen across South America and Latin America in the last 50 years”

      “will this group of people basically be shoved aside when such programs are cutoff in an Opposition government?”

      See, Poder, that right there is your problem. These are important issues, ones that I would gladly discuss. But when you throw phrases like that around, blatant untruths combined with euphoric hero-worship … well, we know where this is going.

      You’re not interested in a debate, or in information about the opposition. You’ve made up your mind and are here to troll, to take over the conversation and to throw out pamphlet-level cliches about your dear leader.

    • 1. UNASUR

      International organizations are, for the most part, created solely to give high-ranking politicians an excuse to spend several weeks a years in fancy hotels located in fancy touristic towns, with absolutely no meaningful consequence for the actual people in any of those countries.

      2. Unprecedented bilateral cooperation for development and regional policy with Brazil, especially the Brazilian states neighboring Venezuela.

      Sucking up to Brazil and buying lots of their stuff because we are unable to produce anything here does not qualify as “bilateral cooperation”.

      3 ALBA.

      See 1.

      4. The empowerment of the sector of the Venezuelan population which has received free or subsidized education, health services, food, etc.

      Giving people free stuff doesn’t “empower them”, It makes them dependent upon the state and completely powerless to accomplish anything on their own. Giving people a job good enough so that THEY can provide themselves with everything they need without needing anyone else’s help and giving them the freedom to build what they want to build without fearing that the government will come and take it is what would truly be “empowering.”

      Seriously, you people probably thought the slaves in the 17th century were “empowered” because they didn’t have to pay for any of the food they ate.

      5. Free Software

      I’m writing this of a Fedora 14 box (linux), and I make a living by designing web pages using Mysql, PHP, and Apache, so I consider myself more than qualified when I say that free software isn’t ready for widespread government use.

      To begin with, it’s about as user-friendly as a chavista CNE worker in Valencia and just about as useful for someone who doesn’t have the right knowledge and attitude.

      The software might be free, but the talent and knowledge required to make good use of it aren’t.

      6. Telesur

      You must be joking with this one. Telesur makes Fox News look fair and balanced.

      And as an aside, isn’t it hilarious how every political troll on any side of the discussion thinks all news outlets are frantically against their position? Listening to the right-wing loonies from the GOP describe both CNN and MSNBC and “anti-american” “pro-communist” drivel and then hearing Chavistas describe them as “pro-empire” just goes to prove that they are just two sides of the same retarded coin.

      7. Mercosur

      The only reason Venezuela isn’t in mercosur is that Chavez is a dictator with the mentality of a rich, pampered six-year-old child who thinks that everyone else should follow his rules but he isn’t obligated to follow anyone else’s rules.

  13. Yep, same question, hazard an answer perhaps? Call me a PSF but I’d bet a bottle of
    “Ron Abuelo” that at least a few dozen thousand voters care about these same issues rather than hardcore pro or anti-chavismo.

  14. Most voters care about violence, crime and murder, unemployment and shrinking opportunities, inflation, corruption, political polarization and scarcity. Namely, that there are lots of it.

    If I went to some forum for government supporters with a nick like “Malandraje Chaburro”. I certainly cannot expect them to actually debate me. It’s the virtual equivalent of walking into the Harlem borough of NY in a sandwich board reading “I hate niggers”. It’s either trolling or that you think we like the nickname and the satirical implication.

  15. Ok, i’ll give you that one on my name, but a good trolling name is hard to come up with, and I must admit I’ve grown attached although its been years since I trolled here regularly.

    Well I appreciate the answers, basically the main point which I don’t get is the assigning of ZERO value to Chavez’s efforts to further regional integration, no doubt his exaggeration and rhetoric have done much to drown this out, but I can’t avoid the impression that the Venezuelan opposition doesn’t see any strategic importance to bettering relations and cooperation with its neighbors, as a diehard South American nationalist (the only ism which I proudly admit), this irks me and also worries me…

    On the free software point, I’m not advocating “free beer”, but the paid use of free software where it is appropriate and advantageous… giving jobs to Venezuelan developers and software companies who provide free software as a service rather than to Microsoft or other foreign proprietary companies… as I said I think Chavez has failed in this miserably, but the opposition seems just as clueless, if at least they had a plan to support local proprietary software companies, i would support even that. Probably a generational thing as well.


    • “ZERO value to Chavez’s efforts to further regional integration”

      Was chavez elected to further regional integration? And even if it were so, would it be acceptable in detriment of Venezuelan interests?

    • Furthermore, if the costs of this regional integration come at the expense of the well being of our people, what good is there in that?

      Our Hospitals suck, our roads are crumbling, we import 80% of our food, and we still have an economy where it pays to play the foreign currency shell game more than it does to do an honest days work, whether you are managing a huge industrial concern or selling hot dogs on the street corner. You can’t have a Blackberry or go out at night because you never know if you’ll come back alive.

      And you have the balls/ovaries to ask why are his “achievements” not recognized?
      Why zero is assigned to his efforts in regional integration?

      I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe you must have your own house in order before you start helping to fix your neighbors houses or before you throw a party.

      As far as I see it, our house is one of the worst in the neighborhood, if it weren’t for an earthquake in Haiti, who knows where we’d rank.

    • Chávez and regional integration? My aunt has done more for South American integration than Chávez. His ideological crap has anything but put that further away.
      Now: why should it be South American? Why not Latin American? Or why should it include Brazil? Why not Spanish American countries? What are your criteria?
      I feel proud for what I have done, not for having being born by chance within one ethnic group. And I realise the people who say the most they are proud of some clan/ethnicity/etc are the ones who end up screwing it up the most for said group (think of Onkel Adolf).

      I am all for integration. But you don’t do that by supporting a terrorist organisation as FARC. You don’t do that by promoting the bloody military caste.
      The military should take a back row role in Latin America if we are ever going to have
      integration. I have written a bit about this: we should promote the likes of what Europeans have for the Erasmus Programme (but for goodness sake, don’t call it after a military caudillo like bolivar, call it after a scientist or a writer or the like), students from Colombian universities should go to Venezuela and Venezuelans to Colombia, Mexico, etc.

      • I like the idea of integrating a region, not only through commerce, but through student exchanges. The trouble is, what parent in Colombia, Chile or Argentina wants to send their young to study in Venezuela? The lack of security would be my first concern, as a parent.

        • Actually, Syd I have been encouraging some relatives to consider sending their sons, daughters
          to University in Chile for example. It would not surprise me if Chavez begins to place
          Cubans in the Universities as teachers. I think I heard about that already at Simon Bolivar Univesity in Barinas?

        • Only stepfathers and stepmothers who really really really hate their stepsons or stepchildren. I’m just talking about what would be nice in the future.
          Venezuela not only has the highest murder rate, but education levels are pretty grim.
          Already in the seventies and eighties there were low middle class families sending their children to do bachillerato in Pamplona and the like because quality there was so much better…go figure.

      • Absolutely well-stated, Mr.Kepler. All you say I agree strongly with-and especially this-
        “I am all for integration. But you don’t do that by supporting a terrorist organisation as FARC. You don’t do that by promoting the bloody military caste.
        The military should take a back row role in Latin America if we are ever going to have

    • “I can’t avoid the impression that the Venezuelan opposition doesn’t see any strategic importance to bettering relations and cooperation with its neighbors”

      Do you mean POTENTIAL importance? I don’t think there’s anyone out there on the political scene who doesn’t see any room for something positive.

      But the real question is not about potential gains, but about actual ones. I don’t see you listing examples of how Chavez’s “integration” efforts have yielded meaningful fruits, either for Venezuela or for South/Latin America. That new organizations exist are not enough. What good has it all done, PE?

      I can give you examples of how bad his efforts have been. Let’s just start with arbitrarily cutting off trade with Colombia, and jumping out of the CAN (and never mind that he’s now trying to get back in, though the name of the arrangement is changing do he can save face).

  16. It’s hard to assign a positive value to the efforts of someone clearly perceived as the clumsiest of imperialists acting on behalf of a Cold War relic ideology and dictator, namely Castro and his brand of Socialism.

    It would go a long way if Chavez abandoned every effort to influence and decide elections (legally and illegally). It would help if he stopped financing compliant administrations and parties while sabotaging those less sympathetic; it would also help his popularity in Venezuela enormously, as such actions are seen as buying temporary allies and wasteful of precious resources. An egregious example: A history of the Honduran affair shall include Zelaya’s pre-coup actions and the Venezuelan influence on them. It would also help, if the Chavez administration behaved responsibly, avoiding verbal confrontations and personal insults towards other Latin American politicians in what are supposed to be official communications. And that it obeyed the OAS and the CIDH. There’s also the Colombian guerrillas and other “movements” in Latin America. A thick tome can be written just on the harm caused to international relations by Chavez’s actions and words. If money is saved, or even gained for Venezuela, free travel and trade are achieved, and if we have friendly relations with everyone, nobody objects. But these possibilities are being sacrificed, like everything else, on the altar of Revolution.

    I am also pro-free software and pro-open source. I don’t think it will be a failure if enough technically minded persons are hooked on free software. At the very least, they will become more knowledgeable, computer-literate and freethinking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here