Tracking Broken Promises


So, as we move towards Friday’s big flashy launch of Chávez’s pet Organization of American but Not North American States, I keep thinking someone, somewhere should be keeping a kind of searchable archive of crazy-ass regional integration schemes Chávez has promised that came to nothing. We can all remember the insane plan to send a natural gas pipeline from Caracas to Buenos Aires but avoiding Brazil! Of course, there are any number of others…

So, in my ignorance, I ask you, the reader: Is anybody keeping track of these systematically? And what’s your personal favorite broken regional-integration-scheme promise?

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  1. Nothing systematic and not all regional; just the cuff:
    * Gas (o was it oil?) pipeline to Colombia
    * Dozens of oil refineries all around the world (needs to be itemized), some totally vague but others more concrete-
    * Changing his name if there were still street children (aka “niños de la patria”) in Venezuela by some date long past.
    * Miraflores for a new university.
    * La Casona (Venezuela’s White House) for ? because he would be happier in a modest apartment.

    Maybe someone has kept systematic track but, if not, it would be great to compile promises here — even if they don´t convince the true believers — just for the fun of it. Perhaps both kept and unkept, but starting with the latter…

  2. I don’t know anyone tracking all of them, but me favorite is the Sucre initiative, the idea of create a common currency for all the area Mr. Ch influences, full €uro style. They are still pimping that, allegedly they had begun to use it already on import/export transaction and I have heard the propaganda on radio a lot, but I’m not sure yet if they are doing that seriously.
    And of course, there is the ALBA, who judging for their (lack of real) results, it’s more like a Twilight (but without the sparkle nor the glittery vampires).

    • My favorite (Bad joke) too. Sucre- I call “kisses” works with Hugo and Raul, Evo and Daniel
      and of course, was working with Zelaya. Let us not forget, Correa, Kirchner, Mugabe, and
      Quadaffi(late) and Amdidanutjob…
      Chavez claims Cuba owes nothing -they are paying with -sucre. Kisses from Raul.
      Anyway most of the money Cubans will tell you- was grants from Chavez anyway.

  3. Without forgetting the Camino vertical del gallinero y empanaducto hídroponico sucrense which has about as much chance of getting underway as the other more prominent ones…

  4. No, we would need a dedicated server for it all. Qué te crees?

    I was just keeping track of the magnicidios…but he shifted from magnicidios to his disease, as I remarked earlier. I also keep track of how the government announces ever bigger cocaine findings, particularly about the time when there is some international report on drugs.

  5. I could add the constant announcement of petrochemical complexes. First complex was supposed to be ready on 2011. Now a much less ambitious complex will be ready by 2016.

  6. “we do not need so many ministers. I will have 8 only.”Let” s sell those superfluous airplanes and luxury cars”. “I will never move to Casona, a small apartment is sufficient for my wife and me” “I am just unable to say a lie”

  7. – Desarrollo del eje Orinoco-Apure
    – OPEP del gas
    – Nueva OPEP

    The idea of keeping track is great. I particularly like when you point to a re-branding of a failed plan: planes de empleo, planes de humanizacion de carceles, plan siembra petrolera, etc.

  8. My two cents…
    I don’t know how quico plans to use the info, but in my mind infographis are always preffered to numbers, tables, chronologies for infor power…

    Imagine a bar graph with the number of ministerios and the month/Quarter that they were created!
    Add to that a foot note to when they say :…”Hay que reducir el numero de ministerios”…” El burocratismo es nuestro enemigo”,…” etc. (include source, link if multimedia, etc.) C
    Create a .pdf and a web site…
    Index, Publish and update from time to time…

    Everytime a new announcement is made, you can consult the index and add to the relevant log (refineria, Plan de empleo, Plan de seguridad, lo que sea…)

    If you really want to do the homework, loo in Gaceta and find out how much it costs us everytime the new plan is kicked off/ rebautizado, repotenciado, rebautizado, etc…

    (Que oposicion tenemos carajo!….)

  9. The one where Chavez was trading oil to Uruguay for genetic material for dairy cows-Chavez
    said some of the best!!) And Chavez trading oil to Uruguay for software. Yep.

  10. Chavez said “will be a socialist green revolution and Venzuela will become
    totally self- sufficient in food production very soon. The opposite has happened…

  11. Remember when Chavez discovered “hydrocarbons”
    and said -there is so many more things we can produce from oil-blah blah blah
    and will be making plastic houses cheap for everyone soon-yeah I saw a whole
    bunch in August (not) ,,

    • Yeah, they actually started building a very long ladder that was to reach the moon, but since the moon shifted position every day and sometimes disappeared altogether, they gave up as they did know in which direction to go.

    • Oh, I remember that! And they actually launched a Chinese satellite from China under the bombastic name of “Simón Bolivar”, allegedly from telecommunications and stuff. That failed, too, despite all the propaganda: there was a dude in Atajaperros, sorry, Noticiero Digital, who using open satellite data available to everybody who wanted to use it deduced that the satellite was launched wrong and malfunctioned spectacularly.

  12. My favorite was the South American Version of NATO called SATO where he would include Libya, Cuba and I think it was Iran…not sure. But hilarious needless to say. Not to mention Libya is now out of the picture!

    • And ALBA of course, Russia, Iran, invited to be members; Libya, Zimbabwe,
      Chavez said “anyone who is aganist US can be an ALBA member…

  13. A wiki should be made with the promises, threats and their sources, and hey, even let people add the ones that were accomplished.

  14. Let´s not forget the 1998 pre-electoral CNN interview — a real gold mine. And the the post-electoral Ateneo speech; that almost had me fooled.

  15. Jules Frider for the win. That first quote he cites is on something so utterly simple. ALBA, CELAC (aka CELIAC, leave out the gluten which is what holds things together), the pipeline (I admit I don’t remember a version that didn’t cross Brazil, I just remember the out-of-hand dismissals of possible environmental damage when crossing the Amazon region), and pretty much everything else require either cooperation and agreement from international partners, or are some massive domestic project that takes real effort, dedicated funding, and expertise. (On a scale of 1 to 10, which of those reaches even 2 within chavismo?) Reducing ministers requires nothing more than his own willingness, and lack of hypocrisy. Which makes that failure self-explanatory.

    But “I am just unable to say a lie” – well, that just can’t be topped.

    • I’ve always said that this is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate the complete and utter failure of this government ever since inception. It should be in the first page of the leading dailies, with a scorecard showing the program/public works/social goal promised, the money spent and whether it has been executed. It just takes a little time, but you would think the opposition would have the list ready and updated on a regular basis…. Distribute the lists at the bus, por puesto, camionetica and metro stations, etc… maybe that will refresh people’s memories when it comes time to vote next October?

      here are several more for the list:

      – Housing developments and programs starting with the plans form 1999 (Ciudad Miranda) upto the latest for the “damnificados”
      – Electricity system
      – 6 Million Barrels of production….

  16. Trying to veer the discussion into the deeper end, why, I ask, is it that the opposition doesnt do this? why, ist that accountability is sometihing very few actually investigate, track, publish and demand?, why is it this large gorup of Venezuelians that are competing for Alcaldias, Gobernaciones and the primaries, do not call the corruption card.

  17. And, of course, “…mientras los gobernantes andamos de cumbre en cumbre, los pueblos van de abismo en abismo…”
    However, any possible inconsistency was already explained away in La Hojilla: last night. Those were pure blah, blah; the ones el Comandante favors or sponsors are pure substance.

  18. a bridge to connect the islands (Margarita)? The railway to Argentina, the Argentine and Russia nuclear reactors, the oil tanker fleet, the russian rifle factory, failed local-assembly joint-venture projects

  19. At least one thing Chávez has accomplished that not even the US has done before: millones de venezolanos están en la Luna. Which country can say that? The US has had only 12 so far and we keep millions up there.

    • Kepler.

      You have said on multiple occasions: ‘hey guys’.

      ‘Guys’ refers to men only, and not to women.There are quite a few women on this blog.Am i to suppose you are not addressing any?

        • Pandora, Yes….this i why we have to educate in order to create more awareness.Personally I doubt that Kepler is intentionally sexist, but maybe he is so used to sexist ways that he hardly notices the impact certain habits have.

          Awareness is half the battle.

        • Thank you for this, ET. Before the anti-sexist Legionnaires pee on my head, I’d say that I’m not offended by the use of the all-encompassing ‘guys’.It’s short and to the point, it implies inclusion for both sexes, and I prefer it to the ‘hey guys and gals’.

          But above all, the issue is small potatoes. And there are much more important battles to be won.

          • More important battles to be won? certainly.

            However often times these small things are part of a general trend to disqualify women out of habit…

            I don’t go bananas over people calling me anything though I do feel strange to be referred to as a guy……but mainly my point is not that I am offended,because I am not ,
            but this way of speaking shows a typical lack the awareness that is so common ….

          • Firepigette, Do you see that when someone says “hey, guys” to a group you’re in, they are not referring to you as a guy, and that they are not showing any lack of awareness regarding gender disqualification, by definition?

          • No, FP, you go bananas when people discuss Chavez’ health issues, rumored prognoses and the like, which you have proclaimed to be a distraction, while dissuading us all from discussing these aspects.

            Seems to me, she who is so bothered by chatter now attempts to distract by creating linguistic mountains out of molehills.

            May I suggest that you roll out your task force on the desexualization of the language, closer to your home base? Start local before exporting your ideas! And do let us know your progress.

          • Im from Australia and I can tell you that ‘guys’ is not gender specific here at all. Get back to the issue of Chavez!

          • One step back and one step forward here:
            I recognize that “guys” can be genderless. In fact, I must have used it as such thousands of times as when saying “OK guys, let´s get moving” when speaking to women.

            Seemingly innocuous but, as Firepigette points out, it does seem to indicate unconscious assimilation of male dominance reflected in linguistics This is less obvious in English than in other languages, including Spanish ,where the masculine gemder dominates: “los alumnos” although there are only two boys in a class of 35; “los violines, violas y flautas”, etc., downrate the feminine gender and implicitly disqualify women. To say nothing of “Fulana de …” or “Fulanová” while single and “Sotanová” when married.

            I must admit I feel uncomfortable with the awkwardness of the attempts to correct this “los … y las …”, “jueza”, etc. but they may be necessary to raise awareness of a social, not merely linguistic reality.

          • Pandora, perhaps the signs of sexism in the misuse of language have greater need of addressing than the supposed signs of sexism in its proper use. My only reason for even commenting on this was your seeming giddiness to have discovered sexism in someone else based on an incorrect observation. Talking about awareness being half the battle…

      • FALSE!! “Guys” is an informal cognate that can be easily used and is actually used by both sexes! Women in the US call each other “guys” and even “dude”. If you are going to be all oversensitive and P.C., at LEAST get your facts straight!

        Here from the Merriam Webster online

        Definition of GUY
        1- often capitalized : a grotesque effigy of Guy Fawkes traditionally displayed and burned in England on Guy Fawkes Day
        2 – chiefly British : a person of grotesque appearance
        3 – a : man, fellow b : person —used in plural to refer to the members of a group regardless of sex
        4 – individual, creature

        Sorry, but this kind of non-issue made big makes me mad.

  20. The biggest promise Chavez has made and broken is when he claimed to be a democrat who represents the interests of the poor.The poor live worse than ever, terrorized by high levels of crime….

    He is not a democrat, and he represents his own selfish interests and those of a Narco state.

    • “The biggest promise Chavez has made and broken is when he claimed to be a democrat
      Again, his claims in that 1998 interview on Univision (not CNN as I previously wrote) is the best place to start the this growing list of broken promises[

  21. Chavez is probably among the world champions when it come to Lies and false promises, but in all fairness, that’s what most politicians everywhere do all the time. You could also start a list of broken promises from any previous Venezuelan president, or South American, American Democrats or Republicans not to mention African or Asia nations, and even the most “straight forward” European countries.

    That’s what politicians do: they promise too much to get elected, whatever gets votes, they plain lie, or at least miscalculate, and then, when in power, they might deliver 10%, 20% of the crap they sold, if we’re lucky. Chavez is no exception in that regard. Except he’s probably one of the biggest deceivers in recent history, that’s all.

    • No, he’s not alone in that respect (and while he’s not alone, most of the group at least offers excuses when they fail to deliver), but he is the poster child and the (fool’s) gold standard.

      • “do you think we could have government without politics? i do.”

        I don´t, by definition, but this makes for a nominalist squabble best left for another hour (4am here) and a thread other than broken promises.

        • Pandora…you are right, another battle, another time..

          I agree it would be highly difficult, and perhaps not even possible at our stage of the game….but I do think there could be a possibility( as opposed to a probability), and I have been researching the idea.As long as votes depend on promises, we don’t have a lot of hope, even if education improves.There are just too many people who see things in their own egocentric ways, and to an extent, this is true with all of us.Wherever there is a connection between advertising agencies, power structures and campaigns it is highly unlikely that too much truth will be expressed…but yes, the theme has little relevance with what we are dealing with now.

          • Hey, we just agreed not to start it — though it was actually started by another guy ;).
            I would probably enjoy a discussion of what politics is about in view of its several definitions (since political science was my field before I retired from the UCV) but consider it off topic here, so enough said.

  22. Your post doesn’t entirely make sense, as far as regional integration schemes, UNASUR, ALBA, and the SUCRE are all a reality. You can think what you want of them and their is plenty to criticize, but they exist. Banco del Sur is in the works, CELAC began today and there stops the count of ideas I support, especially if they were well executed.

    Now, as for other things-in-general (not regional integration schemes) that Chavez promised, the pipeline to Argentina is also my favorite hairbrained idea, glad that one didn’t come to fruition! And there’s plenty more of stupid, idiotic, irrational, heat-of-the-moment and even earnest plans which were dumb, just that the main regional-integration-schemes have actually come true.

    • EaP, UNASUR and ALBA certainly [i]exist[/i], but what exactly do they [i]do[/i]? Same wiht CELAC, if you think having a meeting means it exists as well. Quico said those ideas “came to nothing,” and your point doesn’t refute that at all. You cannot justify the existence of an organization – especially not one that uses up resources like money and time of national leaders, which should be spent accomplishing something concrete – by merely pointing out that it exists.

      As for BdS, I doubt that they will have an easy time figuring out how much each member will pay into the system, but what will really keep them from getting off the ground is deciding who gets to borrow how much. The requests will be for four or five times the capital they have, maybe more. Look at the IDB, and then start imagining what would happen there if the U.S., Canada, and certain other funders started demanding their “fair share” in loans.

      Glad to see you think at least some of the things are hare-brained (even if your spelling is the same).

      • well, I beg to differ: existing does not equate nothing. ALBA has palpable results for the member countries, not much but they are there and the fact that it might bother you that Venezuelan money/resources are being used majoritarily doesn’t negate the fact of its existence, which is not “nothing”.

        UNASUR had a big moment when it helped, lead by Bachellet, to avoid further violence spiralling in the conflicts in Bolivia of Sept./Oct. 2008. it may have fizzled thereafter, but

        At least its a start, and I would say it takes 10 to tango, unfortunately the other 9 countries have mostly taken a stand-offish attitude except when it favores them in typical clientelar fashion, but that isn’t Chavez’s fault per se. Also to succeed would need the input and positive contribution of private sector, academic sector, intellectuals, etc. from all 10 countries… geez CharlesC what a sour-puss hope I speeled that one corrictly for ye. peace out gentlemen

        • “existing does not equate [to] nothing”

          I didn’t say it was nothing (that was Quico’s word – I only noted you didn’t refute him); rather my argument is that mere existence doesn’t prove it’s worthwhile. (If you reduce your argument, it becomes, “It exists, therefore it should exist.”) I won’t argue there are “palpable results” of ALBA, but rather the cost/benefit to Venezuela. Venezuela is offering such generous terms that countries might be considered foolish not to accept, but how does this help Venezuelans? And Venezuela didn’t need ALBA to offer cheap oil to anyone, so that example does nothing to prove your argument.

          As for your UNASUR point, I don’t recall the details of that incident, but I’m not going to suggest that peace in Bolivia is not a laudable goal. But are you going to tell me that, without UNASUR, it was a hopeless case? I have no doubt that, if UNASUR had not existed, the parties would have found another forum for working things out. Maybe the OAS; if you don’t like that one, how about the Rio Group? Or just a few interested parties, as with the “Friends of…” groups that pop up ad hoc from time to time. Asking UNASUR to do what any of those could have done is like putting a lawyer on retainer (which means continuing to pay him something) and hiring a new lawyer to do what the other used to do. It makes no sense. If it’s my money wasted, nobody has any right to complain. But if it’s a country, the citizens have every right to complain, and a government should always be accountable to its citizens.

          Where is the accountability in Venezuela? Until there is some, in terms of money spent on these Jeremiads, then how can you even evaluate cost and benefits, and say something is worth it? Since I see no benefits, I can argue that it isn’t worth any cost. You, on the other hand, are arguing that it is worth it without knowing what it costs. That’s a blank check! Always nice when it isn’t drawn on your own checkbook.

          (I apologize if my joke seemed harsh; I was simply pointing out that “hairbrained” isn’t the right spelling. I agree with what you said about CharlesC – I’m the one who gave the thumbs down to that comment, since it was uncalled for and didn’t advance any discussion.)

          • AIO, it’s the eternal dilema with non profits. With a for profit organization, profits are, not only the measure for them to maximize, but also the measure against which to compare competing organizations. But when the Red Cross claims to have helped 100,000 people in a year, is it a lot, a little, worth increasing donations to them, or bumping up their managers’ end of year bonuses? Your argument is along those lines with ALBA and others.

            I usually argue along different lines: grouping up with the least developed nations in the world only makes sense if the other nations are trying to take you down, which is chavez’s premise. I disagree with him, so I lean towards old adages like “a quien buen arbol se arrima”. Why is Venezuela signing with riskier clients, instead of with richer, better paying clients? Why is Venezuela selling to clients with riskier and costlier shipping costs, than to clients who are closer? Especially when we are talking a fungible item like oil, that someone like Cuba just turns around and resells at the price we could have sold in the first place. It’s just giving away the money to foreigners while complaining that the rich are taking the money out of the country. It’s all nuts.

          • torres, my friend, I think your first example is rather misplaced. I can certainly understand your cost/benefit questions about Red Cross. The difference, however, is that the Red Cross unquestionably provides benefits. 🙂

            As for your second paragraph, I could hardly agree more. Well said. Chavista foreign policy in a nutshell: “It’s just giving away the money to foreigners while complaining that the rich are taking the money out of the country.” The fact that domestic politics are so inextricably entwined with the foreign policy speaks volumes about Chavez’s intentions. They say “All politics are local.” Fine. But generally that means a politician will do (or attempt) things in the foreign arena to get votes back home, because he is doing things (he thinks) the people want. Chavez is throwing money around to curry favor with foreigh leaders, for one. But he’s also doing so to create an issue he can make political hay out of. He’s doing it to get votes, but only by twisting facts and turning what he did into something it didn’t actually do.

          • I know what you mean about the Red Cross; I only brought that example up because positive uses for ALBA were being bounced around. The only true benefit of ALBA and the other organizations that I think chavez truly cares about is getting as many countries as possible voting the way he wants in bigger organizations, like the UN. Remember, his goal is to bring down USA’s “capitalism”. I think he’s doing it from within, with drugs and terrorism, and from outside, getting Russia, China and all little countries dependent on his money to vote the way he wants against USA’s interests. He’s a dangerous little man, not just to Venezuelans.

          • …And of course economically, by trying to get as many nations to boycott USA as possible. Ironically, what he’s trying to set up is a MUD, but bought…

  23. To me the craziest of the Regional Integration schemes is the regional integration goal itself, coming from Venezuela. Given Venezuela’s resouces per capita makes it not in Venezuela’s best interest to be the one seeking out integration with nations that will merely lower its competitiveness against the rest of the world. But what makes it almost an absurd is the premise that we avoid economic relations with USA, and unite to defend ourselves from a potential takeover by USA.

    • What did the ALBA countries do to defend their brother “Quadaffi”?
      How did that work our. How do youlike the remodeling job on the
      Venezuelan Embassy in Libya, Sr. Chavez?

  24. Torres,

    I just said I do not feel offended, basically because I see no intentional malice….my point is that it is typical that maleness is often put before femaleness, even in innocuous, unobserved ways…and it is through this innocuous that we often have difficulties in ridding ourselves of the sexist problem.


    correction: I don’t and did not go bananas over your discussing Chavez’s health issues.I stated that it bored me and that I felt it was perhaps even a bit destructive.The overly emotional form of writing to which you ascribe, does not always express appropriately the intentions of others 🙂

    • FP, your use of caps et al, more than once, was as close to a hissy fit as I’d seen from you, when we were enjoying our little discussion over Chavez’ health. And you know what all caps mean in internet-speak. Sure looked like you were going bananas over an innocuous discussion on what you did not approve of. Oh my.

      Have you considered applying to NOW? Your formidable talents could be put to good use while you desexualize the language in your region. Bubba could use some edumacating. He’s gonna love ya.

      • Good grief! It is a sad state of things when a couple of posts about a tangential issue, albeit relevant to JC´s recent post, give rise to ad hominem (or should it be ad feminem?) comments. I for one withdraw from this fray.
        (I wasn´t sure where to reply among several candidate alternatives, so settled on this easiest option)

  25. Remember the 2nd bridge on lake Maracaibo, la piedra fundacional is still there, all alone covered by monte! Also 9 months ago when they promised to build 2 million houses in Chávez’s next term, which would have meant building 913 houses each day, by now that number must have raised tenfold.

  26. So? Who volunteers to put all this promises together in an actual list?
    I’m losing track.
    (Con tan buena voz y mandando a catar dirian por ahi…)

  27. There was a list of His promises here on this site early on. We should keep it up. How else will He get Worlds Greatest Liar from Guiness!

  28. I was not planning to comment on this one… However I am fed up.

    Following an obvious liar and “mojonero” who has outshone everyone in a post with an unrivaled story of “mojonerismo”, inside a profession known in the country precisely for it (e.g. the Venezuelan Presidency, the top political position in Venezuela), is a task of sheer futility. Just worthy of the obsessive compulsive characters who, in other latitudes, collect Star Wars figurines, play World of Warcraft for days at a time.

    People in Venezuela are inured to mojonerismo, it’s part of the big show, they expect BS to be fed to them by all the candidates to Messiah (read President), and then for them, from their superior position, to lead them like sheep(le). It’s even problematic to track down corruption, which is worse (because people expect it to happen).

    However, If something useful can be done, it’s to track THOSE “broken promises” where a lot of money was wasted and produced the contrary effect to that intended. Particularly if the results affect daily life.

    Instinct is right on the money with Central Azucarero Ezequiel Zamora type-projects, particularly if Venezuela is robbed blind by foreign “partners” like Cubans, or hocked to others like the Chinese. We have myriad instances where govt. policy (in other places called robbery) has produced the exact opposite of Soberania Agroalimentaria, or Soberania Energetica. The state of govt. directed Social Enterprise and their production, or lack thereof. The use of badly needed money to bolster foreign “friends” like the Castros, Correa, Morales, Humala, Cristina Kirchner, Ortega, Humala or Zelaya…

    • Mr. Loroferoz-Your statement is an article within itself. Well-spoken.
      “Mojonerismo” links to Sr.Coronel’s article about;
      “Excremetrocracia” – horrible picture of a country.

      • No, I am just too long winded. I was just suggesting tracking only the broken promises with consequences. A people (us) inured to and expecting “mojoneros” (liars who feed BS to you) in high places won’t react to anything else if at all.

        The now-opposition should be aware that people like Chavez will thrive in an environment prone to figurative coprophagia, strive to break with, and maybe cure the disease.

        It’s not restricted to us Venezuelans or to Latin Americans either. For example, Italians (the former Presidente del Consiglio being the stellar example) are the obvious sufferers in Europe. The Spanish, I daresay, not at all. Strange…


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