It’ll never happen again, baby, I promise


This is simply upsetting. Speaking to supporters in Cabimas, Chávez literally promises to “be more efficient, a better companion, a better person,” adding “I won’t fail you.”

That “companion” bit got me. I mean, I know it’s a marialejandralopecista talking point, but jeezum crow, the cycle of violence overtones here are downright eerie.

Venezuela is a battered wife, and we’re very much in the Honeymoon Stage of this particular cycle of violence and you just gotta ask yourself…how on earth did we collectively get ourselves into this bizarre national psychodrama in the first place?!

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  1. In the interview with JVR he said he couldn’t imagine doing anything different as being the president. This guy is insane, really.

    • I watched the whole thing too, you can clearly see from his body language and words that no way he will be willing to do anything different than being the supreme leader for life. Disgusting.

    • That’s so 2006… Back then, when Chavez’s motto was “por amor” there was this snappy retort placing Venezuela as the battered wife tired of his false promises. Sadly I could not find it on the web…

  2. Read Gustavo Coronels Blog for this:

    Here is a part of a Manifesto form MBR-200 [Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario, created by Hugo Chavez) This was written in 1991 and would be used to justify the failed coup attempt.

    “El agotamiento del estado venezolano, y por consiguiente de su forma de gobierno, se presenta como situación alarmante y de extrema gravedad, que ha conducido a la sociedad venezolana a la más profunda crisis económica, política, social, moral y de identidad de toda su historia………una deuda impagable, cada vez más elevada; mayor dependencia de entes financieros internacionales…corrupción de todo tipo, en todas las instancias públicas y privadas…inclusive los partidos del status; narcotráfico, tráfico de influencias, venalidad en la justicia, caos en la prestación de los servicios públicos, particularmente los de la salud…inseguridad social. Estos son algunos de los aspectos que caracterizan la gran crisis general que vive Venezuela.. [crisis] moralmente más condenable si se observa que en los últimos 15 años el país ha contado con cuantiosos recursos económicos jamás imaginados que solo han servido y permitido una acelerada perversión social y de la dirigencia del país…..”.

    Looks like we can use the same argument……


    • Thank you. We should never forget that the circumstances that brought Chavez about were very real, and remain very real risks.

    • “The depletion of the Venezuelan state, and therefore of its form of government, is presented as an alarming situation of extreme gravity, that has led Venezuelan society to the most profound economic, political, social, moral and identity crisis in its entire history … ever higher unpayable debt; higher dependency on international financial entities … corruption of all types, in all public and private affairs … even in the parties of the upper class; drug trafficking, influence trafficking, venality in justice, chaos in the supply of public services, particularly health … criminal threat to society. These are some of the aspects that characterize the great general crisis in Venezuela … morally even more condemnable when one observes that for the last 15 years, the country has enjoyed enormous economic resources on a scale never imagined before, but which only have served to permitted the accelerated perversion in society and in the management of the country … .”

      • Reading that manifesto, you immediately know that Chavez had nothing to do with its writing. Some useful idiot wrote it and Chavez appropriated it to justify the only thing that was important to him: to get into power for life.

        It didn’t happen the way he expected but eventually Chavez got into power. Then he remembered the manifesto and made it the blueprint for his government vowing to show those in the fourth republic how it is really done.

  3. This isn’t really surprising. In fact, it’s always been a key component of Chavista soteriology. We always hear from them that Chávez is alone, that the mistakes of the revolution aren’t his fault, that he’s a man of good will who happens to be surrounded by greedy and unscrupulous men and that all we have to do is replace those men with loyal and committed revolutionaries. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    • The amazing thing is not that the people in the street follow, but that those being blamed continuously put up with it. Right? I am sure some of them fel they are doing the best they can and perhaps are under resourced or something, but the take the bullet and never complain.

      I am sure there is more than one dude out there picturing him or herself in the presidential chair.

        • But Guido, the majority are not paid millions of dollars.

          One would like to think that they are all corruptos y malandros but some of them are people that are honest but confused (IMHO). Now, when it is clear to you that you are doing the right thing, then someone else ask you to do the opposite, and you warn them it will blow up if they don’t listen to you, and they don’t care, and when it blows up, they blame it on you on national tv? That’s got to burn.

          • I am not talking about the base, I am talking about the ones who “lo tienen engañado” and get the blame all the time. I do not think a single one of those is honest, even if most of the base is honest.

          • Most of the base is honest, because they have no choice–but, just give them a chance, and, they’ll say with pride, “No me lo des, solamente pongame donde lo hay…” There is a serious National problem with lack of ethics/morality, compounded by no judicial/societal sanctions/repercussions.

      • Ha. He even used to chastise his ministers and generals in Aló Presidente. It’s funny because even his acolytes look up to him as some kind of fatherly figure.

  4. I was reading the Dr. Suess book “Yertle the Turtle” my son the other day and could’nt help but comment to my lovely venezuelan wife that Yertle reminded me of Chavez. Loved the quote in the book “I know, up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”

    • “Yertle” is, in fact, an anti-fascist / anti-authoritarian tale, and perfectly applicable to Chávez. (Although in his mind, the comandante-presidente probably thinks he’s more like “that plain little turtle named Mack.”)

  5. Hey, here’s a thought! Wth will Chavez look like if he looses and survives?

    Most likely disappear into medical obscurity I guess…

    • He will go to Cuba… They will take him, as long as he has squirreled enough away to pay his own way.

      Cuba will probably collapse in six months after Capriles stops subsidizing them, but Chavez will probably die before then.

      • I can see that happening and can only say justice has not been served to Castro
        and how about this- demand extradition of Chavez for trial?

  6. We cannot understand our drama as country, or as put it by you our “battered wife”, simply because we stop being Venezuelans the day we felt, for the first time, what Octavio Paz called the “otherness” (in fact a very Hegelian theme). In the sense that there is a big gulf between the Anglicized, the Europeanized and so on, and those whose realm has never stretched beyond their town, city or region in Venezuela. For those on that stage, there is a sense of continuity on our democratic system, a sense of boredom, tiredness and hopelessness. Something Chavez seemed to be capable of break with 14 years ago. But to the credit of the system, change he could not. For us, the others, there was an obvious and radical change on the way politics were practiced in Venezuela. Funny thing is that these cycles seem to repeat from time to time. If I would believe on those stories, I would say that Chavez is a reincarnation of El cabito Castro, or even of that coarse Paez who took over after dismantling the Gran Colombia with the cosiata. Chavez in this case, as Paez did, had his Peñas in the form of Miquilena and JVR. It’s very difficult to forget those complains of Mr Cecilio Acosta in “Cosas sabidas y por saberse” right in the middle of the Monagas hegemony, in which he used to say that: “… if the government they´ve got [the Venezuelans] is not the better, is the one they want, and that suffice. Suffice does, not because of humiliation, but because of philosophy; not because is desirable, but because is what is possible.”
    So resuming, we get into this “bizarre national psychodrama” because contrary to what we think, there is no way around. There is no such a thing as a “sane Venezuela”. Because we forget what we are when we leave the country in search of this called peace, or progress, or simply civilization. That’s why the Chavistas call us “disociados”, a term that translated into Hegelian theory becomes alienated, or someone who feels does not belong to their reality. It does not mean they are right, or above us, they are as alienated as we are; even worse, they believe the solution of a country is a man, which demonstrates their membership to the XIX century Venezuelan society. Leaving aside those opportunists who tomorrow will be fanatical Caprilistas, which in turn are alienated as well because they believe they are beyond those “fanatics” who fight like partisans in politics, or believe another country is possible. After all, we are all mad, and Chavez is a reflection of ourselves (as a society) in the mirror.
    I accept kind rebuttals 🙂

    • Sort of. One problem is that otherness is not only experienced by those who have left their provincial backgrounds — it’s been with all of us for a long time. It is as old as the word patiquín.

      Truth be told, there isn’t such a thing as a uniform, monolithic, Venezuelan culture. Our history is rife with bitter conflict between El Valle and the bucolic and regionalistic cultures of the interior, the former representing the modernist, the “progressive” and “enlightened” ghost of the times. No wonder why chavismo perceives a direct continuum between the colonial elites and the business and media groups of the 4th Republic. In that sense, chavismo is a deeply reactionary movement, all talks of socialism and revolution be damned.

      But, given our historical record, there is nothing new under the sun. In the end, we have to live with each other, whether we like it or not.

    • Rebuttal?!
      Dude, you just changed my perception of myself for ever, while at the same time freeing me from the load of the un-catchable solution: We are all mad. In truth, I love the madness, and wish that we could fess up as a society and try anarchism. We are well versed in pseudo-anarchism anyways…

      • We are, in fact, well versed in anarcho-tyranny. To quote the late S.T. Francis: “What we have in this country today, then, is both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny – the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes […]”

    • Philosopher in the house! Very thought provoking, Mayke.
      “After all, we are all mad, and Chavez is a reflection of ourselves (as a society) in the mirror.
      I accept kind rebuttals :)”

      I don’t know how “kind” I will be, but,here is what I think. So, you woke up this morning and all of this stuff was in your brain? No, you are piecing together using Hegelian thinking
      and you appear to be a student of history, too.
      Many statements I don’t buy-meaning I don’t believe that.(Well, sometimes I do-ha)
      For example “we are all mad”.
      Anyway, my most serious criticism of you is a subtle slipping in statements claiming Chavez is somehow successful [in your eyes]and chavistas are smart, too.
      Bunch of nice words and some real, rotten ___ mixed in…

  7. Quico,
    Que vaina tan buena este post. It’s a firm candidate to the dossier of most tragically hillarious and sadly true Caracas Chronicles posts ever.

  8. Opposition Discusses “Plans” With Foreign Diplomats
    Oct 1st 2012, by Correo del Orinoco International

    Opposition politician Richard Mardo hosted the meeting between foreign diplomats and opposition figures (
    Over the weekend, investigative journalist Jose Vicente Rangel warned of backroom opposition attempts to prevent another election win for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    Citing a private meeting between members of opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) and Caracas based diplomats from the United States and Spain, among others, Rangel warned of ongoing efforts to “convince” the international community that anti-Chavez candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski “is set to win the October 7th election”. Inflating expectations in the press, Rangel explained, MUD strategists intend to carry out the recently-uncovered “Rapid Reaction Plan”, a violent post-election strategy made public late last week by Chavez Campaign Coordinator Jorge Rodriguez.

    Speaking to viewers on Sunday 23 September during his weekly television program Jose Vicente Hoy, former Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel warned of suspicious opposition positioning in the final weeks of the 2012 presidential campaign. Referring specifically to a September 12 meeting held at the private residence of opposition gubernatorial candidate Richard Mardo, Rangel explained how “representatives of the Venezuelan opposition tried convincing foreign diplomats that Capriles is set to win the October 7 election, even if only by a small margin”.

    According to the investigate journalist, “special guests” at the private meeting included Paolo Serpi, Antonio Perez-Hernandez, and Luis Raygada Souza-Ferreira, the Caracas-based Ambassadors of Italy, Spain, and Peru, respectively. James Derham, the top US diplomat in Venezuela, as well as Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s highest authority in country, also attended the luncheon. Brazil’s Ambassador in Caracas, Jose Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho, turned down the invitation.

    In addition to Richard Mardo, the MUD’s candidate for Governor of Aragua State, those representing the Venezuelan opposition at the meeting were Luis Miquilena, an open supporter of the 2002 coup d’ etat against President Chavez, Marcel Granier, Managing Director of radical opposition media network Radio Caracas de Televisión (RCTV), and Carlos Bardasano, member of private media giant Venevisión’s Board of Directors.

    According to Rangel, Mardo used the backroom meeting to express his “total lack of confidence in the National Elections Council (CNE)” and promise those present that he and “his people” are “prepared to take to the streets, using both motorcyclists and civilian groups to combat the Chavistas”.

    What was “most surprising” about the meeting, Rangel said, was how “some of those in attendance cautiously requested further information while others made worrying affirmations and expressed their firm, radical positions”.

    Private news media including opposition dailies El Universal and Noticias 24 also reported on the meeting, stating that Mardo and the others simply had gathered “to analyze Venezuela’s electoral situation”.

    “Rapid Reaction Plan”

    In addition to the troubling talks between foreign diplomats and the MUD, National Coordinator for the Chavez Campaign Jorge Rodriguez recently denounced what he called “irresponsible right-wing extremists within the (opposition’s) campaign” who have developed and circulated a document that details plans to cause political unrest in the aftermath of next month’s presidential election.

    Titled the “Rapid Reaction Plan”, the document is said to have been prepared by Alejandro Plaz, former Director of Sumate, the US-financed NGO tasked with fomenting a greater opposition presence in Venezuelan politics. In the context of next month’s vote, “the authors of the Rapid Reaction Plan discuss criteria for selecting key sites to be taken over”, Rodriguez explained.

    These sites include “national and regional freeways, major avenues, emblematic plazas, Governors’ and Mayors’ offices, strategic non-civilian points – meaning military installations – news media offices, ports, and airports”.

    “What do ports and airports have to do with voting centers?” he asked. “What do military installations have to do with an election booth, with an electoral contest?”

    Warning the Venezuelan people to “watch out” for possible opposition violence, Rodriguez added, “this plan describes nothing more than a desperate minority looking to react to a pending Chavez victory”.

    Majority with Chavez

    Consistent with polls reflecting a double-digit lead for President Chavez, but surprising to many in Venezuela’s anti-Chavez minority, Rodriguez also made public an email written by opposition lawmaker Julio Borges in which the Capriles ally affirmed “the majority of people are with the ruling candidate (Chavez), and this is something that can’t be denied”.

    Not just any politician, Borges is the National Coordinator of Capriles’ Primero Justicia (PJ) party. Sent to Miami-based, anti- Chavez blogger Eric Ekvall, who suggested to Borges that the opposition should “claim fraud” after the October election, the email includes Borges telling Ekvall that, in Venezuela, “claims of fraud are simply an urban myth – elections are won through the vote”.

    “Henrique (Capriles) is struggling against a tide that doesn’t allow itself be penetrated”, Borges wrote. In response to the message’s content, Borges denied having “any contact at all” with Ekvall and claimed the email address cited by Rodriguez ([email protected]) is “an account that doesn’t exist, and never has”.

    Investigative journalist Mario Silva, on the other hand, followed up on Borges’ denials by showing two different articles written by the right-wing lawmaker and published in Venezuelan dailies El Universal (23 April 2008) and Ultimas Noticias (19 July 2009). Both pieces, analyses that advocate an end to the Chavez administration, were signed by Borges and included his aforementioned email address.


    Source URL (retrieved on 01/10/2012 – 11:38am):

  9. Quico, a video of that little Chavez drama would have been a perfect accompaniment to this post. Verlo, escucharlo para creerlo. I listened to it (can’t recall where I came across it), and like yourself I too did a double take on the “companion” bit. No computaba. Perhaps it’s Chavez’ Freudian slip, when he falls back on an old behavioural pattern that surfaced with Marisabel and who knows what other woman.

    • In the interest of not deceiving ourselves when it’s dangerous to do so, let’s entertain the idea that it’s more a communist thing, like camarada, than an oratory faux-pas.


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