Crazy Media Day (Updated)


Correction: I just finished on Al Jazeera English TV together with Miguel Octavio .

I was on BBC World Service radio opposite Mark Weisbrot earlier – link to come.

Update: Juan C. is going to be live with CTV News in Canada at 4 PM EST. Not sure there are links…

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  1. Mark “Chavez ass-licker” Weisbrot? He never addresses the issues of crime, shortages, blackouts, etc and he uses misleading half quotes to support his views. Kick his arse for me.

  2. Watching you guys!
    One thing: they keep saying that free higher education is part of Chavez’s legacy. What a lie! I went to the UCV 30 years ago and it was free, same than many others like USB, LUZ, etc.

  3. quien es el pendejin que parece actor de telenovela hablando de las maravillas de chavez? school for free, social programs, nationalized oil, all of that before Chavez, so what’s the real Chavez legacy but hatred, more corruption and big habladera de paja

  4. In Venezuela, “The private sector has expanded” Wow…another blatant suspension of logic.
    I’m amazed at how Quico can keep his cool.
    Alguien traele un cerveza fria

  5. I am disappointed that neither Federico or Octavio refuted the comment made by the guy, setting with the girls, about Chavez being the first in giving free health care and education to venezuelans.

    • In a large enpanelment like that, it is difficult to really “refute” much as you end up following the host’s directed questions simply due to time constraints. Refutations typically come up when they are planned, more or less, to generate a debate, by the host. This was more of a Q&A informational session; there will be endless analysis and debates over real impacts in the coming months as the whole mess unwinds. Right now, it is pretty much a knot of Gordian proportions.

  6. To our esteemed bloggers: When you are given an opportunity to speak on national radio, etc., kindly ask the programmer to provide you with the specific URL so that the audience listening to those media bytes can increase by way of a posting in your blog. Lógico, no?

    • Pissing on Quico’s turf, just for the fun of it. Either that, or they prefer someone, ahem, not in a foreign country like Quebec.

  7. Meanwhile, back on the streets of Caracas: our dear defense minister (speaking in his capacity as member of the military-civilian junta that rules Venezuela) has just invited all Venezuelans to vote for Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming elections and ‘darle en la madre a todos esos fascistas’. (I don’t think there’s an easy translation for that, but how about, ‘give all those fascists a good thrashing’?). This follows his cheery remarks in the early hours of the morning on VTV to the effect that the armed forces ‘mission is to put Nicolas Maduro in the presidency’. So we’re all headed for a ‘free and fair’ presidential election in which the guys with the guns in charge of logistics and security have ‘thrashing the opposition’ and ensuring the government candidate’s victory as their official policy.

    Behold, Chavez’ legacy in action. Comments? Jimmy Carter? Jose Miguel Insulza? Lula da Silva? Anyone?

        • Problem is, Juan, that that has zero traction internationally. It would be to disappear down the 2005 rabbit-hole all over again. This really is a horrendous Catch-22, with which we’ve become very familiar over the past decade. Only now we’re one or two stages beyond the elected authoritarianism and proto-totalitarianism we had under Chavez. Now we have an unelected, military-civilian junta running things, in blatant violation of the 1999 constitution.

          And here’s another one to chew on: Art. 229 says the vicepresidente ejecutivo CANNOT stand for the presidency. And just because Nicolas Maduro is currently (or so they tell us) acting president, that doesn’t mean he stops being vice-president. He is still the vice-president, and among his duties is to occupy the interim presidency. Just as Chavez’ candidacy was illegal and unconstitutional in 2012 (because he was a serving military officer) – only more so.

          • I’m not sure competing in an election massacre just to appease international public opinion is a worthy enough goal, but perhaps it’s the lack of sleep talking.

            BTW, there is no such thing in the Venezuelan Constitution about an “acting President”, is there? At any rate, this is a futile debate. They will do what they want, and what they want is for Maduro to be President AND candidate.

          • I think the correct term would be ‘presidente-encargado’. But it amounts to the same thing. And you’re right, of course, they’ll do what they want.

            I don’t think it’s a question of ‘appeasing’ international opinion. It’s really a practical issue as much as anything else. So you don’t present a candidate… and then what? Invoke Art. 350? There are more reasons to participate in an election than just because you think you’re going to win it. This is a looooong battle. And I don’t think for the opposition to take its ball and go home is really much of a plan. It just looks like pique.

          • “Problem is, Juan, that that has zero traction internationally. It would be to disappear down the 2005 rabbit-hole all over again.”

            They don’t have to call for abstención, just run somebody from the Arria wing of the MUD. I think the PJ/VP wing is smart enough to know that there’s no way they’ll win an election in 2013.

          • I agree with you, why burn a viable candidate in this circus, let them win and handle the fall out of their own mismanagement. I don’t think we really want to inherit this disaster

          • Hmmmmm … I can’t wait to hear the MUD’s panjandrums explain how they reached the decision to run a candidate who got less than 2 per cent in last year’s primaries, or didn’t participate. Because, let’s face it, ‘We don’t really want to win’ is not much of a slogan.

          • Or, why not take someone from the disenfranchised portion of the psuv coalition and try for a split that would give the oppo a bit of power now and a better opportunity later. Someone who is not content being a bit player in the grand scheme of Maduro or Cabello, but who can take the hit for the “adjustments”?

            I am not thinking of Briceno or Falcon, but someone else who has been excluded because they don’t toe the party line.

          • Is there such a person? No one who didn’t toe the party line has stayed with the, they either left or were pushed aside

          • Well, for sheer comedy value and to point out the farcical nature…unite behind Godgiven Hair (even if he disavows the support, which he would have to do). Yes, it is true that he isn’t an outsider, but talk about spitting in the eye…

          • “Hmmmmm … I can’t wait to hear the MUD’s panjandrums explain how they reached the decision to run a candidate who got less than 2 per cent in last year’s primaries”

            Well, that candidate would be the ultimate panjandrum, wouldn’t they? 🙂

            I don’t think it would be that hard. Just give free reign to those who already pooh-pooh the Capriles approach to justify it. Thing is, I’m not sure Arria even fits the bill. Ideally it would have to be someone related with the (former) military to get the “fraudeeee” crowd behind it. The only one with enough name recognition is behind bars.

            Capriles could demur by mumbling something about his commitment to Miranda. Everyone else offers tacit logistical support. Of course the real question is: who would want to finance this pyrrhic defeat?

          • I agree, the trap here is by not participating giving the impression of voluntary political exclusion from the process and thereby de facto acceptance of Chavista rule in the world’s eyes. The days of making a statement by abstaining from the process simply won’t work anymore in Venezuela. I thought that this might be a reasonable policy, but watching the ongoing stridency from the current fiatissimo (forgive my portmanteau, but it seems appropriate) makes it apparent that such would be a mistake.

            So, the opposition is really facing a difficult situation. Run, and win and potentially be saddled with all the coming problems due to years of misrule and promptly opening the door for Chavismo 2.0 in the next few years, whether by a replay of 1992 or 1998. Or abstain, but then run a risk of more or less permanent exclusion as the winners tighten their grasp on authoritarian controls and repression as the country sinks into anarchy.

            Best case scenario as I see it? Run and lose, but run with an MCM-style honesty and in-your-face criticism of the government pointing out all the problems, corruption, mismanagement and other stupidity that will continue under the dauphin without necessarily pointing to Chavez. Let his cronies take their lumps while continually denouncing them without touching Chavez or his “legacy” – which should become apparent in a few years. The people believe that the government, but NOT Chavez is to blame for the nation’s ills…well, give them the government vis-a-vis Maduro, Jaua, Cabello and the rest of the Chavista Gilligan’s Island cast and then watch them topple.

            In that case, how long until a recall? Unrest in the streets? Economic craptaculosity? 2-3 years? At that point, the oppo can point to everything they have said would happen actually happening (as long as they are honest about it and don’t fall into rhetorical spewing) and enough time will have passed after El Commandante’s death and subsequent farcical management by his ex-cronies to create a move for political change. After 14 years, is that so long to wait?

            As an aside, I think Cabello should be watched carefully for the next few weeks. These guys aren’t dumb, they know that they are in quite the dilemma as well and I suspect he’s the one least given to ideology over rationality.

          • Great post. Personally, I think winning would be more disastrous in the long term than losing. They’d think all the problems were because the imperialists were screwing them again. (though some of them will think that no matter what…hell they think that now when Chavistas control every last facet of the state)

            What do you mean by your last part though?

          • The Cabello bit? I’ve mentioned on other posts that of all the inner circle, that I believe he is the most ambitious, dangerous and ruthless of the bunch. I also believe he is the most unpredictable. He is a natural autocrat with all the right connections to obtain and keep him in power.

            As I mentioned above, the best scenario for the oppo is to run an honest campaign to lose and let Maduro take the proverbial (or literal) stoning. However, I believe this works to Cabello’s advantage as well and what he does over the next couple of weeks will tip his hand. Maduro wins, and you’ll see Cabello undermine him as the economic fallout adds pressure to his regime. Why? So he can take over as the “true” Chavista heir (since their view of history is what they choose to make of it) and you can make of that what you wish.

            I think he’s the stronger candidate and a capable campaigner. I also think that with Chavez gone, he’ll slip the leash of restraint to obtain his goals.

  8. Weisbrot saying than the previous government has been more repressing when Quico asked him what about the houses titles when houses have been given for free as political gifts, what an asshole…did he eats his own shit for breakfast… I think Quico replied to him very well

    • probably not Russian or Iranian or Cuban…. my curiosity goes with Mr. Cochez, who clearly was the one who forced the Chavistosos to finally declared Hugo’s death… my question is… his next question now, what he is pressuring to:

      ¿Cuándo habrá muerto el Presidente? ¿se atreverán a nombrar a médicos forenses serios para q lo determinen? ¿o seguirán con sus mentiras?— Guillermo A. Cochez (@willycochez) March 6, 2013

      • Mundo exige certificado de defunción respetable hecho por médicos respetables. Urge saber desde cuándo Presidente estaba muerto y sus causas— Guillermo A. Cochez (@willycochez) March 6, 2013

        Por algo esta presionando esto… será porque el tipo estaba muerto desde hace tiempo? Por que no se sabe que tipo de cancer tenia? mmm…


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