Apt pupil


President-in-waiting Nicolás Maduro addressed the nation. We can already see glimmers of his style, and it is pure Chávez.

Instead of using the momentous occasion to unite the country, his speech is a distillation of the divisive politics that have served his master so well.

Us, love. Them, hate. Us, fatherland. Them, haters of the country. Us, unity. Them, anti-Venezuelan, Us, sad yet determined. Them, happy and despicable.

It’s a circus, folks.

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  1. Who cares about the other politic prisioners who are also sick, who is sad for them? where is all this love he is talking about in regard to their health? aren’t they venezuelans also….

  2. Back in 1972, there was a legislative election in Chile. The right-wing opposition won a majority of the seats. The leading left newspaper reported the result (numbers made up) as “The People 43 seats, the Mummies 57 seats.” (“Mummies” being their colloquial term for the right.) In other words, only left voters were “The People” – even though non-left voters were a majority of the actual population.

  3. This can’t be worthy of even a blog post after so many years. As reactionaries/conservatives you should be perfectly class conscious. Revolution is class warfare. Can we have some more class analysis on caracaschronicles? What class does the opposition represent? And why do they always ignore this central question?

    • Your comment is so wrong, on so many levels it’s hard to pick a place to begin.

      In the first place, why does Revolution imply Warfare? The fact that your brand of revolution requires warfare immediately makes it suspect and despicable. Change by violence may be “romantic” to people like you who are incapable of thinking on your own, yet it’s effects are pernicious and short lasting and produce more harm than good in the end.

      For so long, the poorer classes in Venezuela complained that they were marginalized, trod upon, etc. etc. With some truth, and some exaggeration thrown in as well.

      Now that the supposed “defenders” of the poorer classes have been in power for 14 years, we are left with a country on the brink of failing economically despite record oil prices, a sick man as leader who hides his true sickness and a probable successor who continues the diatribe and division of our society. Meanwhile, crime continues rampant, we still have double digit inflation and import 80% or more of what we consume and are still just an exporter of raw materials and not an exporter of finished products and other value added things.

      People like you keep forgetting that almost half (yes, 45% is almost half) of the country rejected Mr. Chavez and his 40 thieves’ way of thinking two months ago.

      We don’t need to analyze class, we need to have leaders that SHOW SOME CLASS and reach out to ALL to pull the ship of state away from the rocky shore it’s headed to.

      You want class analysis, head over to Aporrea and go smoke some green lumpia over there, for all the good THAT does.

      Your “revolution” is a massive failure and waste of talent, money, lives and opportunities.

    • Thing is, if yoyo had the slightest clue he’d grasp the classes that do benefit from a transition to Maduro:

      1-Those who happen to have the last name Flores
      2-Gasoline buyers
      3-Importers, Venezuelan out-bound tourists and others with access to Misión Cadivi
      4-Anyone else well-enough connected to ride high on the hog of Bolivarian-policy created get-rich-quick opportunities.
      5-Bond speculators…

      the list goes on…

      • Ha. If you could be convinced this was a genuine revolution to empower the working class and establish real participatory democracy based on popular ownership and control of the means of production, you’d support it even less.

        • Listen, I oppose the reality of what chavismo has wrought – you support a fantasy with no point of contact whatsoever with the governing system Chávez has brought about. You come here and cheer the looting of Venezuelan public resources by a rapacious governing clique purely because it’s nicely couched in the language of trasnochao marxism…so, ‘tamos chévere chamín…


          • So what’s in it for the looting, rapacious governing clique when they recommend that communities create their own local currencies? If you know anything about power and currency, that is the essential expression of popular power.

          • I suppose we’ll be selling our gold and oil and bauxite in “Negro Primeros” or “Catatumbos” or some such, right yoyo?

          • It is also an expression of absolute chaos. Tell me, out of curiosity, just how you’d organize an exchage of value system if the entire internal country alone was broken up into hundreds of individual currency trade zones? Where would the values in the exchanges be determined between popular currencies? How would you determine various liqudities and thus values of each currency due to money’s curious little “store of value” property if it would be all over the place on a daily basis? Would the Maracucho Fuerte be more valuable than the Falcon Negro or the Monagan Gatito? Would this change due to the futures price of oil or the futures price of goats in Coro? The arbitrage issues would be out of control, even more so than the ridiculous degree they are already taking place in the $-bond/CADIVI/SITME scenarios as they exist now. Even worse, inflation would be extremely localized and horrifically volatile.

            You could break up into local currencies by fiat (no pun intended), but eventually, they would dissolve and break down and coalesce around one or two currencies or, lacking any sort of solid federal backing power, cause an external currency to become the de facto means of exchange. You know. Like the dollar. Not that this would impinge upon the sovereignity of a country at all. Or, for lack of sound fiscal policy, not that this is happening currently.

            If you know anything about power and currency, the latter is usually an economic representation of the former for any country. The weaker the country becomes in either real or economic terms, the weaker its currency becomes. Social theory involving money is all well and good, but in practice try selling that to the bankers who understand what money really is.

          • There is at least one in 23 so far. But the important point is that it’s not illegal and actively encouraged. The most incompetent dictatorship ever?

          • Hey guys, I’ve got an idea! Let’s get some guns and go overthrow the despicable ruling classes! Then we set up our own government but it will be just and pure, not at all like the one we just overthrew! But we’ll need a secret police to stop the counterrevolutionaries and boy this presidential chair is real comfy, I might never want to leave….show me a country where violent revolution has actually worked. I mean actually created a socialist paradise instead of bringing about decades of bloodshed. There’s a reason successful countries evolve through consensus politics and crappy ones fight it out.

          • Listen, Toro. You support a fantasy with no point of contact whatsoever with Venezuelan reality. You come here and cheer on the aspirations of the oligarchy to regain control over the public resources and unquestioningly lap up the completely empty rhetoric of their candidates because it’s nicely couched in the language of “progress” and “democracy”…. so what exactly is the difference?

          • GAC:

            The foot is in the other shoe. Mr. Toro has at least some knowledge of the country… you just have démodé theories…

            Besides, after FOURTEEN years in power… who is the “oligarchy” you speak about? The Colonial “Grandes Cacaos”.

            Get A Clue… really…

          • Oh, I forgot, during those fourteen years in power somehow Chavez made the country’s largest economic groups simply disappear. So there’s no more Cisneros, Polar, Mendoza, Zuloaga, Vollmer, etc. etc. All those guys just disappeared into thing air I guess…

          • They are still around. That’s another marxist trend. They worry more about the fact that there are rich people instead of worrying that there are poor people.

            Those groups are not guilty for the poverty or crime in our country. If anything they have created jobs and value.

            The illnesses that we suffer are due to poor governance, past and current.

          • Rodrigo,

            What you have made are assertions. Not arguments. I can equally respond with empty assertions claiming the exact opposite of what you just claimed. But that’s obviously a waste of time, since you will simply respond with more empty assertions.

            Amazing I have to point this out, but in a debate you usually have to back up your assertions with actual arguments, evidence, etc.

            I have already disproven your nonsense about poor governance elsewhere. The country was much poorer BEFORE the state began to intervene in the economy in the middle of the 20th century.

          • GAC,

            WWI death toll. 16 million
            WWII death toll 60 million

            Stalin’s death toll 20 million
            Mao’s death toll 70 million

            Let’s leave it at those.

            Not all marxist were evil and I think early attempts were justified in the pursuit on justice. Today experience has taught us that such system is not viable. But some of them were mighty evil.

            And GAC. I think you perceive me as a liberal which I am not. I believe in well regulated markets. Again, like Chile or Brazil. If you want to place me in a political bucket I am center. I think social policies are as necessary as private enterprise.

          • Again Rodrigo, your ignorance speaks volumes.

            The death toll you cite for Stalin and Mao are the ones used by their most fervent opponents, and are not even taken seriously. They include all deaths during their reigns, regardless if it was their intention. For example, over half of the number attributed to Mao were victims of famine, something that obviously was not intentional, and debatable how responsible Mao was for it.

            But regardless, the real reason your argument falls flat is your attempt to link either of these leaders to Marxism. It shows you haven’t even the most basic understanding of marxism. Just because a leader evokes Marx and claims to be a follower of Marx doesn’t mean his policies have anything to do with Marx. Have you read Marx? Is there anything in Das Kapital about gulags or forced labor camps? Show me the chapter on the Great Leap Forward.

            You can’t criticize something unless you at least understand the most basic elements of it. You’ve never read a single page of Marx, and your criticism is so infantile it is insane.

          • It simply has to do with the fact that every marxist attempt has led to people like Mao. Of course they are not part of the marxist goal. But going against human nature led to those guys. Everytime, over and over.

            You know who has’t read Das Kapital, well he is a notorious figure having cancer surgery in Cuba whose name starts with ‘Ch’ and ends with ‘avez’.

            It is disappointing how you refuse to see the facist trends in Chavez. GAC, he is neither a democrat nor a marxist. He is playing you and your kin.

          • Funny, I suppose the politicians you support are “democrats”, except when democracy doesn’t work for them… then they try to overthrow it through coups, oil strikes, guarimbas, etc.

            Capriles and Leopoldo have impeccable democratic credentials… oh, except for that one time where they hunted down and arrested the democratically elected officials of the Chavez government. Did you say fascist? That same day dozens of pro-Chavez officials were gunned down in the streets.

          • Rodrigo:

            The last part of the “non-capital-reader” rhymes with “aves”… de rapiña… que es lo que se le viene encima…

          • That should say pro-Chavez protestors, not officials.

            BTW, it sure is interesting what you find when you look at actual statistics, instead of nonsense estimates from right-wing ideologues. The death rate in China under Mao actually dropped dramatically…. even during the time that he was supposedly starving millions of people to death.


            Did you ever think to ask yourself why Mao is loved across China to this day? Is it because he killed millions of people? Or because he made life better for them? Hmmmmm….

          • “That should say pro-Chavez protestors, not officials”.



            En lenguaje freudiano, eso se llama “acto fallido”. En Venezuela, eso se llama “pisarse una bola”. En el resto del mundo, lo llaman “autogol”.

            “Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta”, would have said a Roman…

            The worst part is that you know that you know the REAL events, but hide them to fit your, ehem, “discourse”. “Officials” they were… and you KNEW that all along…

            I rest my case…

          • ??? Your comment doesn’t make any sense.

            I said pro-Chavez officials were gunned down, when what I meant to say is pro-Chavez protestors were gunned down. Either way, they were pro-Chavez people gunned down on April 13th, by the opposition government.

          • If my comment doesn’t make sense, is because your grasp (either of the Spanish language or the Venezuelan dialect) is quite rudimentary…

            You “corrected” yourself when nobody was asking you to do that… Got it? Or, at least, “a clue”?

            As I said, I rest my case.

        • I’m sorry, I thought Participatory Democracy meant, among other things that: “….it strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision-making, and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities.”

          So when Maduro, following Chavez’ lead, alienates at least 45% of the population by in effect, telling us that we are not even citizens, THAT is participatory democracy?

          Bieeeeeeeen chamin, ffffffffffffffffff!, don’t bogart that joint, my friend!

          • Dear Sir or Madam, How are agricultural products from Bailadores to be sold in Caracas if both areas use differing currencies. Not to speak of an oil filter from a Barcelona filter-distributor for a black-bean producer in Bolivar state. Local lotteries ought to be interesting too, at a ‘turnip and a half’ per ticket.

      • Toro,

        What your response shows is that you apparently don’t understand what class warfare is, or even what makes up a “class” in the marxist sense. You have to first understand what you are criticizing before your criticisms can make any sense.

        Example. Gasoline buyers aren’t a “class”, nor are bond speculators, or people with a certain last name. Class is determined by a common relationship to the means of production, and the common economic interests that confers.

        Talk about having “the slightest clue”! Learn how to engage an argument, and not simply parody it for christ’s sake.

        • OMG, the genius expounds. I’m dying to read his published arguments. Please lead me to them, oh learned sheep, who gathers at the feet of cults of personality.

          • Its cute when people realize they can’t seriously engage an argument, so instead they respond by trying to ridicule it. Just cute.

        • Based on what is mostly produced here (oil) the biggest oligarch is the government. It has been for a while.

          I had never met a happy marxist. They are always bitter and resentful. It is a very interesting trend.

          • It is absolutely amazing how terribly flawed your understanding is of very basic things. The oil sector only makes up about 10% of the country’s GDP.

          • Oil is more like 15% and total government services+oil+state own companies is closer to 40% of the GDP :o. Check the BCV resources and you will find the same.

            What it is absolutely amazing is how persistent are marxists on trying to implement a failed system (over and over) that had led to the biggest atrocities and injustices seen to mankind (over and over).

          • “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

            But obviously one has to be Albert Einstein to understand that…

          • In 2011, oil-related activities made up 11.3% of GDP. Try again my friend.

            But even if we were to accept your inflated numbers, and say that state companies made up 40% of GDP, that’s still a minority of the economy. More than half of the economic activities are in the private sector. So much for the state being the oligarchy.

            As for your incredibly infantile understanding of marxism, you might ask yourself the question: why did so many people in so many different countries around the world attempt to overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with an alternative? Are they all just a bunch of evil people?

          • Just a side note, the biggest atrocities known to mankind were the two world wars that occurred in the 20th century, both direct results of the capitalist system. That’s not even debatable.

          • “Just a side note, the biggest atrocities known to mankind were the two world wars that occurred in the 20th century, both direct results of the capitalist system. That’s not even debatable”.

            Ok, then the Soviet Union under Stalin should be counted as “inside” the capitalist system”… “That’s not even debatable”…

          • I wasn’t aware Stalin caused the Second World War. Nor was I aware that Stalin had anything to do with marxism. I’m learning a lot of new things here today.

          • So Stalin had nothing to do with marxism or “real socialism”… Reductio ad absurdum: you always get caught in your own muddle.

            Did you know that Marx married with a well-to-do and good Jewish girl, as was expected by his class? And that he stole her family silver and tried to pawn it? Did you know that he got one of the maids of the house (working class girl if there ever was one), and that she got sacked, and than Engels accepted the “defender of the working class” love-child so he could save his marriage?

            You need several clues, not just one…

            An advise: donate your brain to science: as it is as good as new (never used it, did you?), it can be a good material for research…

          • Get A Clue:

            This discussion can be closed with one single epigram:


            If he had had some dough, you’ll be making figurines with “Play dough”… and his heirs would be the owners of the brand…

          • Hilarious! These guys even respond to Marxism with ad hominems!! Now that takes an impressive will to not engage the arguments of the other side!

          • So true, Get A Clue: we are now importing fuel from the US, at “capitalist” rates, to sell it for much less…

          • Well, Rodrigo, as they don`t celebrate Navidades, they don’t know what a “noche buena” is… as the saying goes…

          • So the answer is, as always: “Do as I say, not as I do”. I don’t know, Clueless, but the best way to earn some respect is to live by what you say you believe. That’s not an “Ad hominem”. That’s asking for at least a the minimum courtesy of coherence…

  4. All thia rigmarole about “local currencies” is part of the “Hacienda” mentality that pervades the Chavista conception of State matters. You forget the practice: the patrones used to pay their workers with “fichas” that could only be exchanged in the “pulpería” of the Hacienda, property of said patrón… who, of course, sold everything with an overprice… This is the same thing all over again. Gómez re-loaded…

    Just for the record, the production of margarine in Venezuela was forbidden BY LAW until the 50’s… The reason? Gómez was the owner of Lactuarios Maracay, the one and only producer of butter in the country… so he passed a law “prohibiting” margarine… El negocio redondo, pues… Everyone forgot about that law after he died, of course, but it wasn’t repelled until a long time after his death…

  5. The other detail of lcoal currencies – which are time limited; the notes expire (!!) – is that nobody among common mortals can ever save or become ‘acomodado’, part of the charm for the ruling nomenklatur.

  6. yoyo asserts – As reactionaries/conservatives you should be perfectly class conscious. Revolution is class warfare.
    Googling, I find that
    reactionaries -> opposition to progress or liberalism;
    Class Conscious -> I won’t go there, but Economist Ludwig Von Mises argued that “Marx confus[ed] the notions of caste and class.”
    Class Warfare -> A political and military conflict between economic classes. The idea is typically identified with Marx, who characterized revolutions as conflicts .
    Revolution -> an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

    yoyo pues ahora vayamos al grano? What is your central question? class? caste? apples? oranges?

    • hint –
      A class system, you can move up or down
      A caste system, you cannot move up or down
      (people are flexible, they shift allegiances and fulfill themselves by moving into different classes)
      (ideologies assign you [a dedo], they single you out, and make you into a thing)


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