Orwellianismo Endógeno

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Creepy Fade
If you’re not creeped out, you’re not paying attention.

Yesterday afternoon was spent watching the procession to take Chávez’s mortal remains to what’s now known as the Cuartel de la Montaña on State TV. The experience left me reeling. 

Over the course of the afternoon, the broadcast –  which every TV and Radio station in the country was forced to carry live – described Chávez as the breath of every living Venezuelan, as hiding behind every smile of genuine joy in the country, as invincible, as immortal, as a second Libertador, as the only reason the people have the ability to love and an etc. too long and too baroque to reproduce here. 

I guess the best I can do to explain the mix of dread and alienation this grotesque show set off in me is via a simile. I’m aware that I don’t actually notice my 18-month old daughter growing. I see her every day, and it just happens so gradually. It’s people who only see her once in a while, they notice. “Wow, she’s so big now!” they’ll say.

Well, people in Venezuela are too immersed in state TV to notice just how insane it’s gotten. But, I only force myself to sit through several hours of VTV-style Communicational Hegemony at a stretch once every few months.  So I see it. And, wow…the crazy…it’s so big now!

We’ve heard plenty about cubanization these last few years, but yesterday’s cadena broadcast went well beyond that. It was positively North Korean in its lack of even minimal self-awareness, of sentido del ridículo. The chavista cult of personality seems to have gone over some Event Horizon where they can no longer conceive of the notion of going over the top.

Yes, I get it that it’s a funeral and all, but I think Juan Cristobal is on to something: that was crazy.

Consider the remarkable – unbelievable, really, when you think about it – fact that they’ve chosen to keep Chávez’s mortal remains, for the time being, at the single spot most closely associated with the single biggest debacle of his career.

For years, Chávez’s detractors mocked him as “el héroe del museo militar”, and for good reason: Caracas’s Military History Museum is where he hid out, incommunicado due to his own logistical blundering, as the coup he had been planning for over a decade failed entirely due to his shortcomings as a military leader.

Threatened with aerial bombardment, Chávez weakly gave up his position at the museum without firing a shot, even after his co-conspirators had all succeeded in taking their target cities. Chávez’s body, in other words, is being kept at the site of the failure of the one and only military operation he commanded in his entire career. They could’ve chosen any place at all, but that’s where they propose to keep his remains.

The sheer audacity at play here is…breathtaking! A less radical movement would’ve shied away from a site that can’t help but be associated with failure. But these guys are made of sterner stuff: Chavismo has taken the Museo Militar and resignified it completely, reimagining it not as a place of abject humiliation but one of victory and pride.

But perhaps it’s not so surprising, coming from a movement that retroactively imagined Christ as a socialist, Bolívar as a Marxist, and Cipriano Castro as an anti-imperialist resistance fighter. Perhaps it’s not surprising at all coming from people who see Zamora as a social reformer rather than a warlord, Maisanta as a freedom fighter rather than a cattle-rustler and Rómulo Betancourt as a bloodthirsty tyrant hellbent on overthrowing a benevolent Pérez Jiménez.

Perhaps it’s entirely in character coming from the people who rewrote the history of the communist insurgency of the 1960s as an unprovoked set of massacres perpetrated by a repressive dictatorship against blameless left-wing activists, from the people who claim for themselves the nationalization of an oil industry that was already in state hands 24 years before they came to power, who claim credit for massifying access to an educational system that had been massified half a century earlier, who managed to repackage an outbreak of mass opportunistic looting into a leftist rebellion against neoliberalism.

The list goes on and on. Nearly every event of any significance over the last 200 years has been mangled beyond recognition by this type of aggressive chavista revisionism. We’re really not that far here from Orwell’s dystopia, where:

Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.

As I watched yesterday, staggered by the now complete transformation of our hegemonic media system into an all-out Orwellian machine for turning demonstrable lies into unassailable Truth, I couldn’t help but sense – just sense – that in 10 or 15 years, when children are taken on school trips to what will, by then, surely be known as the Museo del 4F/Mausoleo del Comandante Eterno, some bright-eyed 9-year-old will ask “and why did they bury the Comandante here?” and a friendly, socialist tour guide will calmly explain, “because it was from this very place that the Comandante led the glorious insurrection that overthrew the bourgeois order and brought the working class to power on February 4th, 1992.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Quico, Did you see when Adan spoke? It was an emotional outpouring which was rather disturbing and moving at the same time… And it looked like Maria Gabriela shunned Maduro after speaking… Is that correct?

    • You be the judge:

      I was too depressed to pay close attention at this point, but the comments on YouTube make it seem like the full video paints a somewhat different picture than this clip:

      Pero en el video cuando ella finaliza el discurso Maduro es el primero en saludarla con un abrazo e incluso va hasta ella luego saluda a todos. Seria una tonteria volverla a saludar con un abrazo……

      • Here the complete video:

        she hugs Maduro at 3:34 actually.
        I see too much “quintopatismo”, and that is leading to wrong actions, see the pictures in Cuba (that an computer forensic expert reported as not photoshopped after a detailed analysis), the doubt on the death time, the “coffin change” (using a modified picture), Pérez Arcay speach… Sometimes it looks like an strategy, but hey, that could be too much “quintopatismo” too!

  2. I can understand your fear but you needn’t worry too much. This bubble will burst. Orwell and 1984 is a good description of the sort of ‘Newspeak’ etc we are seeing HOWEVER, the Soviet Union fell by it’s own hand (with the help of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and the Pope John Paul II) and that was in an era without Internet. It will be IMPOSSIBLE to hide the world from Venezuelans; when they see how the world advances, how other neighbouring countries have overtaken them even in social issues like reducing poverty etc, how backward Cuba rots, they will turn and the memory of Chavez will remain but ill fade, that is why there is this desperate nauseating shit-fest which will not doubt continue until after 14th April…but then the worm will begin to turn, the chickens will come home to roost, the writing is on the wall, and any number of other cliches will apply!

      • Not really. you have admitted yourself that HCR will almost certainly fail in the coming elections so you know you are in for Hugolite Nick; you’ll only have to put up with one term Maduro disaster (which will affect ALL Venezuelans)…maybe not even one term, by the end of this year I bet the Chavament by proxy will be like a sack of cats.

      • The difference was that the Ukrainians had the real deal before them. Murder, Intentional Famine, Collectivization. And also a real will to industrialize the Soviet Union or die trying. A real Revolution. We Venezuelans cannot hear about the Bolivarian Revolution without guffawing.

    • Here’s where Buddhism’s credo– things are as they should be– applies. Sadly, to achieve full recovery from what ails us, the course of the events must go on. It may extend beyond our lifetimes, but the country must implode under this putrid political mass for it to develop the social conscious necessary to evolve.

  3. In one of Plato’s dialogues the phrase is spoken to Socrates by a person who has just been humbled by the formers acrobatic dialectical ability ‘beware Socrates that eloquence does not make you mad’. If we translate eloquence into an overblown florid use of language we can understand that speech , specially florid fantasy filled speech can have an intoxicating effect on the mind of the speaker and on those that listen to him , distorting and mythologizing their perception of reality, warping their sense of reality and making them emotionally drunk on their own rethorically induced delusions . An example of how this happens can be seen in how the evangelical eloquence of the preacher who is the main character in Duval’s film ‘The Apostle’ transforms his personality so that he sees himself as kind of frenetic saint..We can also remember Fernandos Coronil writings on the Magical State which was the State in Venezuela and his attempts at explaining Chavez profusse and confused rethorical outpourings as an attempt to create a new view of reality for his followers . The pretentious pompous delirious language and symbolic rituals used during pres Chavez funerals are an example of this capacity of the human mind to use language as kind of drug that changes reality into a magical dream , certainly a kitzchy unbelievably irrational dream but one which gives them no end of emotional thrills!! .

      • Buen escrito Isaac. La pregunta es cuándo es que los venezolanos van a querer salir de ese vicio?
        Parece ser un mal común en el ser humano el querer escapar de la realidad a través de distintas formas de aturdir o nublar la conciencia. Chávez fue el aturdidor de la conciencia de los venezolanos, más que solucionar los problemas de los venezolanos lo que hizo fue ayudarlos a olvidarlos. Por eso mientras el país se venía abajo y los problemas se multiplicaban los venezolanos seguían votando por Chávez como su mejor remedio no contra la enfermedad sino contra la realidad.

        • Gracias por tu comentario. Estoy de acuerdo con tu apreciación sobre el efecto “alienante” del chavismo (otra contradicción más para quienes se dicen marxistas y pretenden luchar contra la alienación). Creo que en un tiempo relativamente corto veremos cuán profunda es la ilusión chavista (en el sentido que dio Freud al término ilusión). El despertar de esa “ilusión” (estos días han sido particularmente ricos en ilusiones) podría ser brusco y provocar algunas reacciones violentas en muchos venezolanos. Maduro lo intuye. Sabe que ese es uno de sus puntos débiles.

  4. Yes, the only military adventure of Chavez ended in failure if we see it only in the military. More so when everybody else in the conspiracy managed to reach their objectives. He was the only one unable to complete the task. But, you must remember that the failed adventure allowed him to said the infamous “por ahora” that introduced him to the Venezuelans and marked the beginning of his political era.
    A high price to pay with all the people that died that day. Considering the results i think more than one would be willing to pay such a sad price

    • Exactly. The first concrete action of the revolution, not merely protest or planning, was the ’92 coup attempt. It demonstrated Chavez’s willingness to die, especially if we consider the low chances of success and high chances of injury or death.

      • All 4F demonstrates is that it’s possible to spend 10 years planning a crime and “forget” the detail about how you plan to communicate with your accomplices as it’s going down. #WalkieTalkieFail

        • Can I add that any country where the most electable quality is a desire to overthrow the elected goverment is in dire need of revolution.

          • HCR’s most electable qualities are that he says he can do certain things better than the current government. He may not even believe he can.

          • He knows he can because he’s done it. Don’t go off mark, you have a point with the thing about a country where the most popular politician became a golpista soldier in almost a heartbeat. Wtf is wrong with our country that this points out? I don’t know, but I’m almost positive that Capriles has no intention of confronting it.

            Hopefully, his making-life-better-concretely plan works to make all that unimportant to the Venezuelan psyche. I truly believe he can do it, I know the people he chooses to work with.

            I’m not voting simply because, even if the pueblo can forget, I can’t.

          • Just about anyone can do better than this regime. “Anything he can do I can do better..”

      • It demonstrated Chavez’s willingness to die, especially if we consider the low chances of success and high chances of injury or death.

        Really, yoyo? Really?

        If Chávez was so willing to die, how come he ran to the military museum to hide, shitting his pants until he was found?

        He was hiding, you indoctrinated troll.

        • Syd, he was in Ccs fighting fierce foes. The fighting was room to room. Ever heard of the Hermanos Guevara? They negotiated partial armed surrender. Chavez fucked up and I have the book but it was not like he had much of a chance. He knew when to surrender.

        • Very fitting that Chavez’ remains now lie in state in a “work of art” that very much resembles the product of his incontinence while hiding from combat on 02/04/1992: a flattened turd. Seriously, one cannot just make this type of thing up. You would think that he would be put to lie in state in a much different place, taking into account his reputation as the “heroe del museo militar.” This is precisely why chavismo is doom to fail and be forgotten … eventually.

  5. Hi Francisco, spot-on, you DO see, following the Poor Man’s Christ parabole of “Let those who have eyes, see.” El que tenga ojos, que vea.

  6. Francisco, The photo with the 4F is ironic to me becuase here in the states that put that on your papers when you are unfit for military service!!

  7. I was ready to make fun of you and call you out for your Marialejandralopez-ification, but after learning that my niece – raised by hardcore anti-chavistas and attending a catholic school – included the “corazon de mi patria” in one of her drawings and another one screamed “Viva Chavez” as the procession passed by, I am starting to be a little bit concerned…
    And don’t get me started on my nephew, whos is raised by a not very well closeted chavista relative…

  8. What is totally incredible is how they carted this cadaver around everywhere up and down without the smell becoming intolerable. Remember, this is the tropics. My theory is: he was embalmed when the rumors appeared (during the long SILENCE), and now they’re saying HE WON’T BE EMBALMED so that at some point in the future they can point to his UNCORRUPTED remains (St. Hugo), similar to St. Therese of Lisieux’S, and other phenomena attributable to the saints. REMEMBER, he’s being deified and elevated to the highest spheres.

    • At this point he Has probably so chemoed that he won’t spoiled for a 1000 years! Also, the delay may have been that they stuck him in the countries one reactor to get him well done.

  9. There is a precedent to the .kitschy bombastic rethorical style used in narrating Chavez funeral procession and that is the language accompanying the tv transmission of military parades of the past now with an added very thick dollop of sirupy pontification . Reality of course is now being reshaped to fit the revolutionary envangelism of the Chavez Cult , The old histrionic Chavez discourse is being adapted to suit the needs of the newly founded pathetic Cult of a sacralized/mistified dead Chavez Icon . They used to say that he was ‘bigger than life’ , now they will say that he is one with the saints and martyrs , that he is supernatural. !!

  10. Fun in the Thanatocratic Era of Venezuela.

    May His Corpse be with You. Que Su Cadaver este con Ustedes.

    Or rather not. Tasks: Push for the truth to come out. Perform a decent and sober burial for a President.

    One of the things showing the greatness of nations like the U.S.A. is the quality of it’s “traitors”, it’s objectors, rather. They have had, to their credit a Daniel Ellsberg and a Bradley Manning, who could not bear their own citizens to be scammed with deadly results.

    When will I be able to cheer a Venezuelan Bradley Manning? When will I be able to see a Venezuelan with that much principle in their selves?

    • I have some: It’s sad that we Venezuelans are reduced to Kremlinology. To perform mind-readings and exegesis on sub-mediocre minds, just because they have power, are compulsive liars most of the time and keep secrets from us. Anyway the truth shall out, and these people will look like scammers, or more likely conspiratorial clowns.

  11. The national paper in Canada has some interesting info on what’s being distributed at the funeral:

    And the state oil company PDVSA has been distributing a flyer titled “Chavez Crucified” amplifying the government’s accusation that he may have been infected with cancer by his enemies.
    “Chavez is a Christ, he suffered for his people, he extinguished himself in their service, he suffered his own C Calvary, he was assassinated by imperialists, he died young … and he performed miracles in life,” it said.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/venezuelans-flood-streets-for-another-chavez-coffin-parade/article9849951/?service=mobile

  12. Enough, I say, to all that hysterical televised rolling through the streets hype.

    Here is the blah – blah on MY leader. He’s an ALPHA, he’s my pack leader
    and I’m voting for him in april.

    [An Alpha Male has certain unmistakable characteristics. A natural leader, he is a pack builder. He leads, provides for and protects his pack (his woman, buddies, teammates, and so on).
    The changing world presents a continuing opportunity for an Alpha Male. Where other guys see change as crisis, an Alpha Male is in his natural element. He continually observes cause and effect, and turns every opportunity to the advantage of his pack. He loves to win and is good at it.
    He is unconcerned with his image — he just goes about winning the game at hand, whatever it may be, and others follow. They copy his style, speech and look. An Alpha Male never copies anyone else. Often laid-back until there is a need for action, an Alpha Male is fearless in a necessary fight].

    • I give up. Endogenous Orwellian total immersion is just for the
      birds. The new italian speaking pope, got me thinking of
      Camilleri and Inspector Montalbano. I also found a new penguin
      paperback called Dance of the Seagull[ translated into english].
      I’ve seen the tv story, but today I will enjoy Camilleri and his
      written fantasy world.

  13. Quico — seriously, ANOTHER tour de force? It’s come to the point where I cannot even watch events unfolding without wondering simultaneously what your take is going to be.

    • Oh thats rich, the only thing they can come up is americans have a diet of snow and pigeons… (Nevermind the alarming obesity, thats not the point they are trying to push, thats saved for another video I guess) And the most hilarious part its that thats better that the typical north korean diet of nothing and air!

      This made my day!

  14. If we start treating this issue as strictly political now, like Capriles started off doing I think well, maybe it can be easier later to separate church from state.

  15. Btw, I think Chavez’s condition as a military coward raises my esteem for him as a democratic leader, not the reverse.

  16. Pues yo detesto ya suficiente a Chavez y el Chavismo! Con la fortuna que tienen y sigue robando! Incluyendo a Maduro y Cabello!

    Lo que si se dir’a en el Museo Historico! ES QUE AQUI EST’A EN EL SITIO QUE PERDIO Y LUEGO GANO POR 14 AÑOS…! PEDAZOS DE BRUTOS…! EL MAYOR LADRON DE VENEZUELA !

  17. Hi, Greetings! You write very well and I congratulate you on that. It’s nice to find good post like this. In order to this, I’d like to help you, if I allowed translate into Castilian and disseminate your post here on his blog and on my. Is a small proposal that I make. For the rest, it is true, Orwell, apocalypse now, or any novel by JG Ballard? But I remain optimistic, the most difficult situations, generate opportunities and most spectacular victories!

    Greetings, and I hope your answer.

  18. Hi, Greetings! You write very well and I congratulate him on that. It’s nice to find good post like this. In order to this, I’d like to help, if I allowed translate into Castilian and disseminate his post here on his blog and on my. is a small proposal that I make. For the rest, it is true, Orwell, apocalypse now, or any novel by JG Ballard? But I remain optimistic, the most difficult situations, generate opportunities and most spectacular victories!

    Greetings, and I hope your answer.

  19. Funny how places change their identity , now its the ‘Cuartel de la Montana’ , but not so long ago it was ‘La Planicie’ , in the 30’s and 40’s site of Venezuela’s Military Academy , in the 50-s and early 60-s site of the Ministry of Defense , from then onwards the Military Museum, then the spot where the leaders of a failed uprising gave themselves up and now the resting place of a deified Tyrant. Wonder what else it may become in the future.

  20. This video from 1981 is apparently recently made public:

    You wonder if he was not all the time thinking about a president-presenter career…

  21. “from the people who claim for themselves the nationalization of an oil industry that was already in state hands 24 years before they came to power”

    This is specially annoying. I am now living outside of Venezuela and whenever I speak with someone about my country they always claim Chávez was a great guy because he nationalised the oil industry, then I have to explain how it actually happened decades before during another government. It made me realise how strong the Chavista international propaganda outlets really are.

    • Strummer : they are uninterested in our reality , they think in terms of a fantasy they enjoy believing , thus they think that backwards countries are always ruled by a traditional class of powerful cruel and corrupt landed aristocrats that oppress a noble, good and long suffering poor mass of people who led by a messianic deliverer rise up to free themselves from the yoke that oppresses them to find happiness in a land delivered of all wickedness and corruption . Big corporations supported by evil Governments in their home countries are guilty of using their inmmense power to exploit the riches of these poor countries and poisoning their enviroment thinking only of their own profits. By indulging in this fantasy they see themselves as romantically enlightened in their support of those oppressed people in their heroic struggle for democracy which tickles their ritghteous ideological narcicism no end. !! trying to correct this fantasy is what FT and JN and their collaborators have dedicated themselves to doing in this blog !!

    • They’ve recently started using the argument that the oil industry was “effectively nationalized” since it was taking 65%+ of the proceeds. This of course ignores that PDVSA at the time was 1) over staffed 2) the management was idiotically ignoring OPEC rules and allowing oil to flow regardless and 3) oil prices (in some part due to 2) were low. Firing people and following OPEC quotas would’ve brought the price of oil up and Chavez did help do that but management overall needed a shakeup and that didn’t happen until they gave Chavez an excuse.

        • I dont known were people get all this boloney, one thing at a time , 1.- the only partially privatized part was the faja projects (max 30% of total production) in which pdvsa had 35% to 50 % participation and the means of exercising effective control over all of the upgraded oil’s destination , (the convenios operativos gave the investors no control whatsoever over the oil they produced for Pdvsa) . 2.- On the regimes direct oral orders Venezuela was to start producing more than its opec quota , Gneral Lameda has mentioned this to the press, the regime was desperate for more money . 3.- If pdvsa was overstaffed with 35.000 employees what is it now with 135.000 employees . Chavez did not shakeup ,management he destroyed it completely and replaced it with a throng of incompetent and mainly corrupt amateurs or third rate tehcnicians . The notion that Chavez measures after the strike changed the oil prices in any meaningful and sustained way is pure crap, Venezuelan production represents only a small portion of the world production. The true cause of higher oil prices was globalization which made China’s and other asians nations prosperity causing a huge increase in world demand !!

          • Forgot to mention that a mayor part of the faja projects upgraded production went to US refineries for processing and marketing , where pdvsa owned 50% or more of the stockholding .

          • JC: we agree (i think) in our criticism of the regime but I read you as not rejecting all the regimes silly fables you repeat about why the price of oil went up !! Chavez had nothing to do with it , there was no privatization of the oil industry , (the 67% figure is totally made up) the order to exceed the Opec quota came from the govt itself ( as Lameda has declared) , there was no overstaffing compared to what they have now. Management of Pdvsa was gutted not simply reshaped , and the reason prices went up was because globalization was a game changer that made China and India etc much richer countries greatly increasing the worlds oil demand and thus oil prices . I’ve seen others use ‘crap’ in this blog before but if it offends you do substitute for ‘stupid nonsense’. funny isnt it that Chavez so fiercely criticized globalization despite the fact that it rewarded the regimes coffers with more money than all its hated predecessors ever recieved!!

  22. you’re so full of shit, Francisco. it’s not hard to figure out why 4F symbolizes an important event in the history of the revolution. the fact that the coup failed–which *no one* but the future socialist tour guide that exists solely in your imagination denies–is only relevant to the extent that it was Chavez’s very ‘concession speech’ that catapulted him into the national spotlight! that turned him into a national hero. it marked the beginning of his political career, you tool.

    i am positively certain that there are intelligent people in the opposition who can figure this out.

    why would Chavistas cover over the fact that when Chavez eventually returned to politics, he did so by adopting an electoral strategy, and won successive victories in election after election? we are enormously proud of this history, so sorry that you are not proud of this history too.

    • Forest? What forest? I’m just loving this here tree. Such a pretty tree!…ooooh, this one next to it, this one’s pretty too! Don’t know nothing about no forest, though….ooooh, another nice tree! What are the chances of that!?

      • what am i missing? your other point about the sentiment surrounding the funeral being ridiculous and over-the-top is something i can acknowledge, of course! when was the last time you attended a funeral? “he was the greatest [dad/husband]” is standard”. you’re just as ridiculous in the other direction when you portray this as an “orwellian dystopia” and bent over backwards pretending not to understand chavismo. now is the time to start bridging the opposition-chavista divide, but it looks like you aren’t ready.

      • not once have i ever seen you respond directly to criticism, btw. it’s your prerogative, but people are beginning to notice you making a habit of this. how terrible would it be if you acknowledge that you were being a little one-sided in your post, really?

          • It’s well known that Francisco has a hard time responding to serious points like an adult. Do you even know what a troll is? It DOESNT mean users who post in places frequented by people who think differently.

            Your comment is tantamount to saying: “Please don’t engage with this person who has a different point of view.”

          • Haha! Yes, now Toro says he won’t respond because they “insulted” him.

            (Yoyo, btw, did NOT insult you, it was “honestly” that started his post saying you are “full of shit”, which isn’t an insult anyway. Being full of shit just means you are wrong, lying, distorting, etc.)

            But this “you insulted me” defense is nonsense Toro. You never respond to Chavistas, and have openly avowed to not debate with them. In fact, you’ve often said that they “aren’t normal people”.

            What you don’t seem to realize is that you completely discredit yourself with this kind of stance, because you show that you don’t have even the slightest bit of objectivity, and that your political opinions are motivated more by hate than by logic and reasoning.

            Don’t think people haven’t noticed. There’s a reason that the only people who comment here are your little group of circle-jerk fans and sycophants.

    • Questions that have been repeatedly posted to the chavistas, to the point where it’s practically a waste of time to ask them, are:

      (1) how can you justify Chavez’s use of force on 4F against a democratically elected government? Why did Chavez not use the accepted political tools to which he was entitled to address his complaints? After all, years later he did in fact use what the opposition grants is the acceptable mechanism of democratic election to gain power. I ignore the fact that his campaign was based largely upon lies to gain the required electoral vote, after all what politician doesn’t lie during an election?

      (2) how can you not see his failure to successfully execute his plot as anything but a sign of managerial incompetence? At a more cynical level you might argue that he never meant the plot to succeed but used it as a stage, willingly sacrificing fellow soldiers in the process.

      I think chavistas cannot answer the questions satisfactorily, precisely because the 4F event is central to the chavista mythology and it is too profound in emotional/psychological importance. Chavistas could therefore never evaluate them based on democratic standards of behavior or on how they reflect on the personality of the participants in the event. The justification for the coup is based on the argument that the CAP government did not represent authentic Venezelan interests and was therefore not legitimate. Maybe if CAP had danced the joropo more often or had come from Barinas instead of being practically colombian things might have played out differently.

      I personally read Chavez’s actions as a desperate and envious power grab by someone lacking an understanding of the institutions he was a part of. I plainly accuse him of ignorance. In fact my answer is somewhat simplistic. Chavez felt betrayed by CAP who was elected on a populist campaign and then went on to “betray” his base (more accurately, poorly implement required economic measures), hence the caracazo. What Chavez did can be interpret as the polar opposite. He ran on a relatively moderate political platform, then turned on a large part of his electoral base by turning sharply left. And now we may well have another caracazo (but I hope not).

      • Agreed. Chavistas celebrate a coup against a democratically elected government, and then demand respect for the fact that Chavez was democratically elected. They miss the forest for the trees.

        And NO, Honestly, Yoyo, GAC and Arturo, you don’t get a pat on the back and a celebration for going the electoral route after the violent coup route failed. This is something that is beneath debate in decent circles, the fact that you think this point is even worth a debate shows how far gone you are. The opposition did not demand Cramona be allowed to return to Venezuela to run for election, and they don’t demand a cookie for now going the electoral route. Instead, Chavez holds the 2002 failure like a sword of Damocles over the entire opposition, especially those who were not involved.

          • i admit i shouldn’t have used profanity. but the truth is that they were just looking for an excuse to disregard what we say–and, apparently, to ban me from posting comments!

            but i do not blame other commenters for regarding us as trolls. i don’t think that they are responsible for reducing us to this status by virtue of the fact that every time we make an appearance, regardless of what we say, they promptly chase us out of here.

            so it’s really no surprise that when we do return to comment, we do so angrily. we comment knowing in advance that there is not a single sympathetic individual here. what gets obscured, unfortunately, is the fact that we’re here because of a genuine desire (at least, speaking for myself) to foster dialogue across the political divide.

            listen, i believe that fair, legitimate criticism of the chavez government can, of course, be made, and sometimes Caracas Chronicles provides that criticism. but often, usually whenever there is an election on the horizon, it is engaged in partisan hackery, no different from what you find on any typical democratic/republican blog in the u.s.

          • oh, my, how contrite you are all of a sudden, honestly. You don’t even sound like the same person. For months, if not years, we’ve had to put up with your angry parachuting, with no prior provocation from any one of us in the sanity spectrum. You come to this board to do nothing more than provoke, and to deviate our discussions. Then you get into a further lather when you’re opinions are discounted. Your now attempt to rectify smells false.

            P.S. Do not confuse blog discussions on Vzlan politics with those on US partisan issues.
            P.S. 2: Don’t like what you read here? Go to Aporrea, or any like blog. Need suggestions? Contact Eva Golinger. She’ll set you straight, if she hasn’t already done so.
            P.S. 3: Buzz off.

          • syd, you do a disservice to the opposition when you falsely identify as “chavista” and proceed to chase off the site someone like me who, although sympathetic to Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution, is not exactly a blind supporter of the government either. admittedly, i contribute to this false perception as a result of the fact that i am motivated to comment only when i take particular issue with something that is said on CC. i assure you, however, that i am not beyond the reach of persuasion through reason and argument. i know there are problems with the current government, i am aware of its failures, and, at least on a personal level, i consider Capriles a very upstanding person, a respectable politician. i am one of the few who occupies the center of the political divide, capable of seeing from both perspectives, finding it difficult to identify with any particular side or group, frustrated all around. it is strange to me how the opposition can hope to defeat chavista politicians in elections without welcoming people like me who previously supported chavez but remain open-minded politically.

      • I appreciate your comment. Since (with all due respect) I do not expect anyone here to read what I have to say, I do not feel it is worth my time providing a lengthy response.
        Let’s just say that I would be more than happy to discuss our disagreement in some other venue than Caracas Chronicles from which my comments are routinely deleted. Let’s just say I respect your position because I believe you are sincere in making it, and although I can see why you may think some of these things, I believe that you overlook certain points that lend support to alternative interpretation of these events.

    • honestly,
      Chavismo celebrates 4F with a military parade. Military parades are used all over to celebrate military victories, not failures. If it was a civic victory, the it is not celebrated with a military parade. 4F was a day that Chavez was catapulted to the public sphere while doing treason and at the expense of fellow Venezuelan lives. It is an insult to the memories of those that such a day is celebrated. Specially because Venezuela then had constitutional means for ousting a president. I remind you that CAP was elected with very similar results as the last 7-O election. He was a legitimate president.

      You seem to have been already a victim of the rewriting as history, as you presented, does not matches facts.

      • Easter Rising, Ireland.

        The only other ‘failure’ celebratred with a parade. Although they went out to fail, they had no chance and wanted to wake up their countryman with a ‘blood sacrifice’.

        Not quite the same as a coup that easily could have been pulled off if done properly.

      • “Venezuela then had constitutional means for ousting a president” No it did not! The constitution did not provide a means to recall a sitting President through referendum!

        Congress could impeach the president for a crime, but not for betraying the people.

        I agree that celebrating 4F with military parades is unusual, and definitely ironic (look, i am reasonable, you are right that it does not make great sense), but at the same time, why not?

  23. It is obscurely interesting that 4-F, prominent in this article’s photo, is a USA classification of a recruit unfit for military duty. I should know … I was 4-F when the government tried to “draft” me to “visit” the tropics (Vietnam) in the 70’s.

  24. Coño chamo, es que me sentí aludido!! Y eso que soy hincha de Jorge también, ahora esto no se qué tendrá que ver, probablemente nada y no dudo que Jorge estaría de acuerdo con usted, en parte al menos. Pero también diría lo mismo del Norte? Efectivamente, en Londrés, existen las cámaras que tanto temía. La lucha contra el terrorismo en los últimos años, el inmenso poder sin rendición de cuentas del capital internacional no ha detenido su avance desde 1984, amen de lo que quizó hacer Hugo..

    “The essential point is that all this time I had been isolated — for at the front one was almost completely isolated from the outside world: even of what was happening in Barcelona one had only a dim conception — among people who could roughly but not too inaccurately be described as revolutionaries. This was the result of the militia — system, which on the Aragon front was not radically altered till about June 1937. The workers’ militias, based on the trade unions and each composed of people of approximately the same political opinions, had the effect of canalizing into one place all the most revolutionary sentiment in the country. I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life — snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc. — had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money — tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master. Of course such a state of affairs could not last. It was simply a temporary and local phase in an enormous game that is being played over the whole surface of the earth. But it lasted long enough to have its effect upon anyone who experienced it. However much one cursed at the time, one realized afterwards that one had been in contact with something strange and valuable. One had been in a community where hope was more normal than apathy or cynicism, where the word ‘comrade’ stood for comradeship and not, as in most countries, for humbug. One had breathed the air of equality. I am well aware that it is now the fashion to deny that Socialism has anything to do with equality. In every country in the world a huge tribe of party-hacks and sleek little professors are busy ‘proving’ that Socialism means no more than a planned state-capitalism with the grab-motive left intact. But fortunately there also exists a vision of Socialism quite different from this. The thing that attracts ordinary men to Socialism and makes them willing to risk their skins for it, the ‘mystique’ of Socialism, is the idea of equality; to the vast majority of people Socialism means a classless society, or it means nothing at all. And it was here that those few months in the militia were valuable to me. For the Spanish militias, while they lasted, were a sort of microcosm of a classless society. In that community where no one was on the make, where there was a shortage of everything but no privilege and no boot-licking, one got, perhaps, a crude forecast of what the opening stages of Socialism might be like. And, after all, instead of disillusioning me it deeply attracted me. The effect was to make my desire to see Socialism established much more actual than it had been before. Partly, perhaps, this was due to the good luck of being among Spaniards, who, with their innate decency and their ever-present Anarchist tinge, would make even the opening stages of Socialism tolerable if they had the chance.”

    • Well quite, Chavismo managed to reach the later stages of Orwellian dystopia without even making a brief stop in those early stages of redemptive egalitarian euphoria.

      (As for the lazy moral equivalence in your first graf, pasó y gano mi pana…)

    • The idillic anarchist magic utopian moment belongs,to Orwells Homage to Catalonia which was published in 1938 and which is the chronicle of a dissappointment on how the Republic failed to live up to its noble aims ( you may remember that all those lovely souled anarchists were massacred by the Communists during the War), 1984 , the book which voices the concerns that FT points out apply to todays Chavista regime came out in 1949, 11 years later , when Orwells ideas had reached a deeper level of development . No doubt Orwell would today share FT’s concerns about the Chavista regime . .

    • In the spirit of Orwell’s poetic passage, three thoughts:
      (1) Desperate times (such as war) flatten class distinctions and humble everyone.
      (2) A physics analogy: at 0 Kelvin (no translational motion), all particles have an identical amount of energy; as you increase the temperature, some particles acquire higher levels of energy. The analogy: as you increase the wealth of a society the distribution of wealth becomes more uneven (pareto distribution). Note: while the underlying mathematics may actually be somewhat similar, this is just a poetic comparison.
      (3) I’d rather work in a flat socialist society such as google inc.

      • Indeed, perhaps Chavez planned to have some economic chaos, in order to finish his revolution, todo está friamente calculado 😀 He did predict his death in 2013, some years ago. Just that this situation, seems a little more Animal Farm, but then again, who knows. The thing is, Orwell did travel to Spain to “fight fascism”, so yea he would agree partially about Hugo’s crazy obra, but he would also realize what else is going on in the world. Not to justify, but within context, the Bolibananas are just farce, not credible enough to be a big brother, even with their Cuban counterparts. So the bizzareness applies, but not so much the totalitarian super-state aspect. Anyway. Happy San Pato

        • They love chaos, the chavistas. Revolution is a synonym for confusion. Repeating an old line, the communist ideology of core chavistas serves as a convenient front for populist handouts and for ideologically less scrupulous boligarcas interested in economic gain. With such a formula you might end up as China on the one extreme, that is complete hypocrisy, or you could have the ideologists get the upper hand and you end up with Cambodia 1978, not a pretty sight. So you simultaneously weep and count your blessings that things are not worse and hope more reasonable elements will push ahead.

  25. Maduro is playing his hand masterfully. Oil prices should be high enough (anything above 70 is more than enough) to keep Maduro in power for the next 20 yrs.

    • True- talk of oil dropping back to $20 strikes me as nonsense, but what do I know. Have to read in detail about oil futures, but these are famously cryptic to decipher.

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