"It"

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You can't teach "it"
You can’t teach “it”

I’m sitting in a small conference room in e basement of a. Santiago hotel. A delicate breakfast is placed before me, and thirty people are gathered for an intimate conference on Venezuela. The attendees include former Chilean Cabinet members, members of the military, and powerful businessmen. The air is staid and the coffee may be bland, but the chemistry in the room changes as Maria Corina Machado enters.

She makes her way in, personally greeting all the guests. I guess this is what pros like to call “working the room.” They have to come to listen to her talk about the Venezuelan crisis, but mostly, they are curious to meet this standout of Venezuela’s opposition. She takes her place, center stage.

It’s my first time listening to Maria Corina live. Charming as she is in person (I picked her up at the airport, and she greeted me with a box of Torontos), I was looking forward to seeing her try to convince a group of skeptical, war-weary, experienced diplomats that our cause was a serious one. I wanted to see if Mario Vargas Llosa – who a few weeks ago described one of her talks as “one of the smartest, most moving political speeches I have ever listened to” – was full of it, or if Maria Corina actually deserved such high praise.

She delivered alright, big time.

Maria Corina touched all the bases. She was smart without being wonky, detailed without being overbearing, and sentimental without being hoakey.

One of the more interesting aspects of her enthralling speech is how every issue – the economy, the election, the violence she suffered at the hands of chavista deputies – is framed in the same way: it’s all a pattern through which a group of people dominates – subdues even – a majority of Venezuelans. Venezuela’s tragedy, she warns, is that the group in power has cut off our freedoms, the freedom of the majority. They are getting away with it, and they rub it in our faces – in her case, literally.

Maria Corina is unequivocal – the opposition is the majority, the election was stolen, Capriles is the President elect, and don’t you dare say otherwise. She does not beat around the bush. She even calmly deflects the obvious questions. When she is pressed about Chávez “caring for the poor,” she says that, indeed, he cared a lot about the poor remaining very poor.

She talks of the disaster that Venezuela’s economy has become, emphasizing how the root cause is the government’s control of Venezuelans’ decisions – again, the meme is control. She talks of government abuse of public resources – mentioning that she witnessed how ambulances and police cars were used for campaign activities – as a way of reminding people they can get away with it. And she included “fear” and – a new term I had not heard – “spiritual control” as the government’s main weapons for holding on to power.

The reaction was enthusiastic. It is hard to say if she was able to change the minds of the skeptical Chileans in the room, but I doubt anybody could have done a better job than this.

Later in the day, we held a meeting with the Venezuelan community in the “Honor Hall” of the old Congress building in downtown Santiago. Accompanied by the gallant Eduardo Gómez Sigala and Carlos Ramos – both of whom gave good speeches – she dispensed with formalities. This was her crowd (she was greeted by a spontaneous chant of “valiente! valiente!”), and she gave them lots of red meat.

Aside from touching on similar topics, she let the emotions run free. She talked of how stirring it was to hear the notes of the “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo” while far away from home, and about how, when she first went back to the National Assembly after getting her nose broken, she felt accompanied by all of us. She framed the struggle as “épica y ética,” saying it was a monumental fight against a petro-state, and as a fight for our very souls and the integrity of the Venezuelan family. Many people openly wept. (This grainy video of the speech does not do it proper justice)

I have always liked Maria Corina, but here at Caracas Chronicles we’ve been critical of her sometimes. What this visit brought home for me was how massive a political talent she is.

In 1993, I got to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton defend her health care plan at the University of Colorado. It was an unforgettable speech, beautifully structured, full of content and wit. That day Hillary didn’t skip a beat, and the rest, as they say, is history … still in the making. And while I never heard Margaret Thatcher give a speech, I assume her political talent came across as well when you listened to her.

Maria Corina … she’s in the same rhetorical league as those other two ladies. She’s simply that good. Great speakers have a preternatural ability to draw you into their argument. They never bore you, and you never feel like they are improvising. Every word that comes out of their mouths seems like it belongs right there and no place else, leading to the next word almost seamlessly. You don’t see them pulling the strings of an argument, because they are committed to what they are saying. They are consummate performers.

I don’t know how they do it, frankly. As a lecturer, I sometimes phone it in, and my students can tell. But these folks, they are usually “in the zone.” They have “it.”

Maria Corina’s visit was not an easy one. Some of her interviews were tough, and she found her arguments met some stiff resistance. And while she met with sympathetic politicians and presidential candidates, one particular big fish refused to meet her because she was too busy courting radical chavismo.

Obviously, Maria Corina has her shortcomings. She was in her element Friday evening, but less educated crowds will always be a challenge for her. And even though she made good impressions all over, she ran into the same brick wall many beautiful, talented, charismatic women have faced before her – sexist doubts about her abilities. For example, one Chilean I spoke to who is sympathetic to our cause assured me the cast on Maria Corina’s nose was fake, and that it was all a ploy to justify getting plastic surgery.

It’s never going to be easy for Maria Corina, just like it’s never easy for women in powerful positions. Then again, it’s not easy for any of our opposition warriors.

Luckily, Maria Corina has a healthy dose of “it” to help blaze her trail.

1 COMMENT

    • Yeah, he’s gotta be trolling with that. I can’t believe he’d believe that himself. MCM makes Palin look like a special needs person.

    • OK… Has this been re-edited? Because I can’t find ANY reference to Palin in Juan’s text, just here in the comments section.

          • OK… Thanks Keplar… and, yeah, I’d have to agree, Palin may be a charasmatic figure for your average fringe element in theTea Party movement, but I can’t get my head around why Juan would link to her. Other than that ‘faux pas’, an interesting piece on a woman I know little about.

          • I have heard Palin speak en vivo, and to be honest, when it is a relatively small group setting, she’s actually pretty awesome,. Moreover, a number of people that have met her from different sectors of the poli spectrum here say that when they’ve met her in person, she’s engaging, charming and comes across as a reasonably well-spoken and bright individual.

            Politically, she is most definitely not my cup of tea. She has been crippled by the makeover the tea party has given her and by simply not being urbane enough for their needs, but she actually represents pretty adequately their cross-section. Rural, moderately educated, conservative fiscally and politically, and disgusted with the rot in Washington. Had they grown her a bit more organically and allowed her to remain who/what she was rather than try to make her overnight into the female face of Republican party, she would actually have amounted to far more than what she did. As it was, they burned her up and I always believe she played a part in McCain losing the election. Sadly, the Republican fringe has to beat its head against a wall repeatedly to learn lessons, and it is now doing the same thing with a rather nice young woman who is quite charming, but nowhere prepared for what the Repubs want for her, by the name of Mia Love.

    • Emiliana, I have that problem because some people in the DC circles, and Eva Golilla always use that comparison to MCM, so is something that she needs to be aware of. Even some people have asked me how I could differentiate them? I just want to laugh…But that is the cruel reality and chavismo overseas, have “positioned” MCM as a “Palin”

  1. Thanks for this report. What were the toughest questions in your opinion? And did she explain in detail what we wanted from the audit? Because this can become rather technical for a lot of people.

    We won’t have a debate between key figures of the opposition and Chavismo in Venezuela any time soon, but it would be great if the opposition could organise something
    abroad where people like Machado could debate against a Chavista.
    And if “they” don’t want, they will be put to shame, at least outside Venezuela you have more trouble trying to avoid a debate.

    • Oops…I hadn’t clicked on talented, “charismatic women”.
      Juan, ¡por favoooooor! De gustibus non est disputandum pero chaaamo, creo que allí te quedas solo. Machado es la antítesis de Palin a nivel neocortical.

    • Now I saw all the interview. I found it find. The journalists asked hard questions, they were even jodidos, but I think that’s what they should always do in politics. She was definitely good. Kudos to her.

  2. One can dream, I would be so proud to have her as president of Venezuela. Not only because of her resume and persona but because she is a woman. BTW, please! No comparison between Maria Corina and Palin, and you know I have sympathies with conservatives but not for soap opera queen Palin any longer.

  3. Sarah You-Betcha Palin???
    The brilliant woman who said she’d be writing a lot of laws as VP of the US of A?
    The bright mind who thought that just by living in Alaska would make her the best facilitator for improving the ties between the US and Rusia?

    Are you being ironic or just outa your effing mind?

  4. I don’t think Nagel was comparing them. His point was that women in general, and recently, have always met with the sexist brick wall, coming from both genres. I thinks it was one of the obstacles Hillary Clinton also faced when running for presidency in the democratic party.

    I think, with examples like Bachelet and Roussef, women in South America have a good precedent for presidency.

    • Palin met her brick wall because a brick wall is where she belongs, by virtue of being as dumb than a brick. Sexism has nothing to do with it.

      • Fifi,
        Being dumb has little to do with charisma.Charisma is more of an emotional thing .Also I would like to remind you that often our perceptions on another person’s intelligence are biased ; We tend to think that those who agree with us are smarter.

      • Agree sexism has nothing to do with it. It has much more to do with old time “envy”. No one can deny that Sarah Palin is very charismatic and in fact the more you might oppose her opinions perhaps the more you would need to recognize that. MCM is also very charismatic, which is why her opposition also goes to extremes trying to pull her down.

  5. What the blooming fuck are you guys (and gals) ranting about?
    Sarah Palin, you say? Pinpoint he passage where Nagel compares MCM to Alaska’s Big White Bear(ess).
    Having read his post, I only see Nagel comparing MCM to Hillary and Dame Thatcher. (Nice move, by the way: to make an across the board statement about political gumption and savvy in female politicians.)
    But where on FEarth, prithee, does he bring out Palin’s name?
    Now I switch to español mode:
    La lectura de estos comentarios es doblemente penosa. Uno, porque están basados en lo que no dice el post. Y dos, porque parecen darle la razón a Mario Silva: las mujeres, en América Latina, mejor calladitas y en la sombra.
    Shame on you.

    • Ana Nuño, como que no leiste los comentarios bien. Si los hubieras leido con calma y cordura, te hubieras enterado que la referencia a Palin estaba en el link entubado en la palabra “charismatic women” del antepenultimo parrafo, 3ra oracion. Granted, estaba medio enterrado, pero tu sabes lo que dicen, que del apuro lo que queda es el cansancio.

      I dunno about this comaprison to Palin, JC. I think maybe you can make it if you argue that she has the ability to garner attention and ignite emotion, and not just because she is a woman of the female persuasion.

      But I think she is WAY above Pailn in smarts, both wonkish and political, as well as charisma. Besides, I’m sure she can’t see Russia from her balcony………………

    • No Ana que pasó with the angry comment about women? Aren’t you one and Latin American as well?

      Juan posted a link with Palin on it “charismatic women”. But the point of Juan I think was based on how Palin was the target of the liberals relentlessly until she politically died. I think that’s the comparison, Maria Corina has been the chavista target as “la sifrina” like some sort of airhead.

      But the difference between Palin and Machado is that Machado have substance and keeps showing it and Palin didn’t much. At least she couldn’t win the battle for herself in the political arena. Not easy, one has to have those balls.

  6. good, full summary, Juan. Thank you for bringing this to us from your corner of the world. I might note that I agree with the surprise of most other commenters, regarding that Palin mention (she ran into the same brick wall many beautiful, talented, charismatic women have faced before her – sexist doubts about her abilities). For me, Palin’s brick wall was her own doing, when she kept making outrageous comments that showed a lack of political, if not geographic acuity and knowledge. So, nada que ver con MCM, except perhaps a shared .. lengua de oro, common to most adept politicians.

    • The Palin mention is a severe case of massive self-inflicted auto-trolling diverting the attention from the point of your otherwise excellent account. But kudos, anyway

      • I´m really sorry to have indadvertedly sabotaged Juan´s comments section. Its no secret to anyone that I work for MCM and admire her more than words can say, so I thought I´d just make a snarky comment on how she´s sooooo much cooler than Palin.

        Omar, you’re right, the Palin thread unfortunately distracted from a thoughtful, honest, and well-written piece. Again, my apologies Juan. Wonderful post.

        • LOL, now instead of talking about the topic of the article, we divert the conversation to something that was indirectly mentioned in some hidden link.

          By any chance do you click on every link? who does that LOL

  7. Excellent and interesting post JC.

    Defining ‘charismatic’ has always been difficult, and not all of us fall under its spell with every charismatic type.Some might not like Palin, others might not like Clinton or MCM etc etc.- But all of them have the ability to touch large segments of the people.An example might be Chavez himself, who for me never had the slightest charisma, though I can clearly observe his charisma for others.

    I think MC is a very powerful woman, and being a woman more than likely she has significant emotional skills.I am surprised that she has so much self confidence at such a young age and good for her.

    Below is some food for thought concerning the phenomena called charisma.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201002/charisma-what-is-it-do-you-have-it

    I never understood why so many people in Venezuela have declined to give her more support.I have often wondered if it had to do with machismo and/or fear.It would be hard to say.

    In any case, my full admiration for her !

    • “I never understood why so many people in Venezuela have declined to give her more support.I have often wondered if it had to do with machismo and/or fear.It would be hard to say.”

      My guess is that machismo may well be a part of it, but I think it also has to do with the image many may have of her as some kind of sifrina. You wonder how many women from Altagracia de Orituco or El Sombrero could find enough common ground with her.

      Personally, I like her style and I like her ideas. I really wanted to see how Chavez would have done against her in October, running against a woman would have been something to watch and MCM would certainly have run a more aggressive camapaign than the one Capriles ran, but I guess we’ll never know…………….

    • I totally agree with your view of Charisma, in many cases, this term is being abused by the media nowadays, specially the left leaning media.

      I totally admire Palin and MCM, for what they are, for being genuine, they don’t beat around the bush. Something that you can hardly find in any other politician. Where they can translate that into votes that’s another story.

  8. Sarah Palin? No comments. . .

    Ma Corina is definitely smart, but I wouldn’t say she is charismatic. She reminds me of the typical Colombian official: prepared, competent, educated, and classist. Nothing wrong with that. I’d be happy if all Venezuelan politicians were like that, but I wouldn’t think of her as charismatic, although judging this is subjective and even cultural, of course.

    Regarding her speech, she tries too hard. Does not sound authentic to me (again subjective).

    Regardless of this, I am immensely grateful to her for not abandoning the fight and remaining in Venezuela.

    • Other than that observation, I liked the post. I particularly liked the description of the room she was talking to, and of course, many of us have had that jaw dropping sensation in the presence of a natural politician.

      It is good the message is going to the international community.

  9. I agree on MCM, and have always thought that someday she could, and should, be the first woman president of Venezuela. On the oppo primaries I voted for her over HCR, and I still believe her to be the perfect combo of brains, looks, attitude and compromise (unlike the IQ-challenged Palin). Her only misstep so far has been the awful “Capitalismo Popular” slogan during her campaign. And what a misstep it was… That was a non-starter in 2012 Venezuela. Might as well called herself the Miss Ultraderecha!!! Still a believer though, she deserves a crack at running this country.

  10. Hillary may have made a great speech, but she is hardly known as a great orator. She’s competent and polished, but not a special talent in that regard. Nothing like her husband Bill.

  11. I am glad to read these words. She is indeed a fantastic woman. She distills conviction. Something I haven’t felt in many other politicians. She is in this out of righteousness.

    A way to describe here is as energy dense. And I am sure you and others felt it. You know that she walked into the room regardless if you were looking at the door.

    She is not the only woman like that in the Venezuelan opposition. If you ever meet Rocio San Miguel she is equally talented, charismatic, brilliant, courageous and energy dense as MCM. They are true role models for the Venezuelan women (and men). Their convictions and principles are unparalleled.

  12. It is possible to see the charisma behind a certain politician (like Sarah Palin) and still be able to recognize her deficiencies as a leader. We all know that Palin is misinformed and was unqualified to be vice-president, and it appears that she’s still ignorant about both domestic (U.S.) and international politics, but that doesn’t take away the fact that she has some kind of personal charm. She attracted attention, she filled up seats, she draw-in high television ratings, she revitalized the conservative base, etc. You can be charismatic and a complete buffoon. The two things exist in different realms. Juan is correct with the comparison.

    • He would only be correct if the doubts you just expressed about Palin — doubts which I think are shared by many people — are “sexist doubts about her abilities” as opposed to the sort of doubts one might have after reading anonymous transcripts of her utterances. Clearly, Palin has a certain charisma, but in my opinion her the evidence of her career does not justify the assertion that her potential has been thwarted by sexism.

      • Yeah, that’s my objection to Juan’s choice, as well.

        Sarah Palin is indeed a very charismatic person, but the obstacles she ran into in her campaign were hardly sexist in nature. She’s simply woefully unqualified to be president of an HOA, let alone a country.

        Actually, she’s exactly the kind of know-nothing busybody that would thrive in the average US HOA. I speak from experience :p

  13. Charisma represents the power some persons have to fascinate people with their looks , speech , personal manner, ideas , deeds , gestures etc. so that they feel irresistibly drawn to respect , admire or like such a person. . There is a US president (Harding??) who in the early 20th century was elected president solely on the basis of his stern senatorial good looks ( and who later proved an absolute ninconcoop ) . Hitler , Mussolini , Castro and Chavez had charisma , at least for certain audiences, in certain historical contexts and scenarios . Having charisma doesnt say anything about a persons moral merits or capabilities , lots of con men have been known to display considerable charisma in their careers. The thing about MCM charisma is that she is the emblem and voice of certain views and postures which we admire. This makes her charisma doubly powerful . The fact that she is a woman in a way adds to her fascination because we all love paradox and, convention has it that women are purportedly not endowed with that special forcefulness of character that we associate with traditional charismatics, It also hurts her because even if she can enthrall people with her presence and her speech there is this convention that ‘ordinary venezuelans’ ( men and women) are machistas and will never countenance a woman holding top positions of power. History of course teaches us that some of the most forceful leaders have been women . ( Queen Elizableth I , Golda Meier, , Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thacher) . The most interesting tribute to her charisma was made unwittingly by Diosdado Cabello when slouching back in his NA presidents chair hearing her ask whether permission was needed from Castro to approve a particular measure , he looked at her with a half contained admiring smile as if thinking “god, what a woman”!!.

    • BB, I very much like your no-nonsense observations. But I have to disagree on your interpretation of DC’s careful smile, after MCM rhetorically asked el señor Raúl Castro to give permission to (the child) Nicolás Maduro for approval of X. In that moment, MCM’s brilliant comment played into so many psychological issues, notably a contained rivalry between DC and Maduro. When I saw DC’s Mona Lisa smile, I thought it was related to the value of the comment, rather than the value of the person delivering it.

      If DC admired MCM so much, he wouldn’t have been so passive, or smiley when she was getting her nose busted in the Nat’l Assembly, a few weeks later.

      My problem with MCM as a presidential candidate – por ahora – has nothing to do with gender. Rather, my reasons are: MCM’s portfolio experience is very slim; she doesn’t have the heft of Meier, Gandhi and Thatcher (the Queen’s comes from the monarchy’s protective stamp); and her “relatability” to the common man and woman is at a pinky-finger distance.

      Like Geha, I voted for MCM in the oppo candidate sweepstakes, because I knew Capriles would win and I wanted her to have my vote of confidence that her voice was necessary. I don’t regret my choice. I would not vote for her as a presidential candidate. For now.

      • Syd: Love your reference to DC’s ‘Mona Lisa’ smile : ellusive , ,wistful , amused , ambiguous , maybe that’s what led me to interpret it in a way that fit my own impression of MCM on hearing the mischevously ironic tone of her question !! Your reading does fit the logic of the situation so most probably youre right . I’m not sure DC’s opinion of MCM had anything to do with having her face beaten a few days later. DC is basically a self centered opportunist , if he thought that having his sister beat up would help his standing with his Chavista colleagues he would have allowed it. Dont see him as being very sentimental . As regards your view of MCM as a presidential candidate I dont think I would have any difficulty sharing it , but in time , as changing circumstances allow MCM to show her mettle and grow as a leader she might well be up to it . Thats for time to tell . I would certainly relish it if she makes it !!

  14. Maria Corina touched all the bases. She was smart without being wonky, detailed without being overbearing, and sentimental without being hoakey.
    WELL PUT.
    forget Maggie, forget Hilary. Maria Corina’s the one. she doesn’t tolerate fools.

  15. I see a lot of people believe what they’ve heard about Governor Palin from the U.S. mass media. This is about like believing what you would hear about Maria Corina Machado from the chavista media.

    The parallels include class hatred.

    In Venezuela, the intellectual elite became very hostile to the old economic elite and their political allies, and turned full rojo-rojito. They have a deep visceral loathing for anyone of MCM’s background. Her good looks and political energy make her a particular target. She could be accepted only if she went rojo-rojito too. She has been spared all-out attack only because her appeal has been limited, and she has never been a threat to chavismo’s hegemony.

    The U.S. intellectual elite is predominantly leftist too, but much of the economic elite has leftist sympathies, and the intellectuals co-exist and collaborate with them. Jews, for instance: “earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” And the entertainment industry. Also, much of the “old Eastern money” has passed to third and fourth generation heirs, for whom leftism is an essential fashion statement (“Trustafarians”). The old “Establishment” churches and universities have become leftist. So the U.S. left is not very Red. Feminism, environmentalism, sexual liberation, and “anti-racism” loom much larger than redistribution of income.

    Consider these two biographies.

    A: graduate of a private school, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School. Recipient of a generous book contract at the age of 27, a teaching position at University of Chicago, and appointments to the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Annenberg Challenge. Married to a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, former associate at the elite Sidley Austin law firm, and U. of C. administrator with a six-figure salary.

    B: graduate of University of Idaho; small-town sports reporter/broadcaster; married to a commercial fisherman and oil-field worker.

    Which of them is the Establishment insider, with all the right attributes?

    And which is the working-class outsider?

    The latter class are patronizingly accepted if they have the right ideas. They are sneered at if they are apolitical, with the occasional ironic patronizing token compliment, such as the recent hipster fad for Pabst beer. They are disdained even more for opposing left policies. And if they dare to oppose effectively, if they organize, if they show strong political appeal – they get trashed.

    Whose political appeal was grovellingly welcomed and fulsomely promoted?
    Whose political appeal was instantly opposed and relentlessly attacked?

    I don’t claim Governor Palin is a genius. But “IQ-challenged”? That’s absurd.

    Of course, there was the incident during her visit to Mexico, when she was shown the miraculous icon of Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe, and asked “Who painted it?” (Oops – that was the highly capable Secretary of State, Hillary Cliinton. The person of whom Prof Brad Delong, a life-long liberal Democrat, wrote “[she] Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life.”)

    • Actually, Rich, I get my information about Palin from the horse’s mouth. You can claim media bias all you like, but you can’t erase her own words from the record.

      And as an atheist, “who painted the ‘miraculous’ Guadalupe icon?” is a great question!

      • Rich made some excellent points.Someone being the guest of a foreign country like Mexico should not belittle their beliefs by showing atheistic skepticism.This to me shows a lack of intelligent thinking.

        • I’m not saying Hilary asked the question out of skepticism, I fully believe she asked the question without thinking of the implications. My calling it a great question is my own opinion. I agree with Rich on that one, she goofed. In an atheist-friendly way :p

          • Even if it was a miracle, someone must have painted it, no? Mary painted it? It was a self-portray? Or an angel? I am all open to the possibility the painting painted itself but one should be able to ask that.

          • you’re right, Kep. Hillary’s question was valid. But only in certain circles, at certain times, certainly NOT during a State visit, where the rules of protocol and diplomacy are paramount, where a foreign official should be briefed that a certain effigy holds mystical attributes to a large population, and that the effigy demands a certain respect from a visitor, for the implicit symbolism, beyond the mundane aspects of who painted it.

            Let me put it another way. Suppose you, as representative of the Congo, are invited to the Oval Office, where there is a wooden carving of George Washington. You ask: Who whittled it? There’s an implicit disrespect in the question, though you might not have meant it that way.

    • This doesn’t have to do with class hatred. I speak for myself here but there are a lot of people who had a few or more than a few similar thoughts. I watched Palin talk several times. I read general news about her in Washington Post, New York Times and yes, those communist media outlets like The Economist and BBC.
      I am against capital punishment. I think a woman should be able to abort in certain cases,
      I think someone supporting the teaching of “creationism” in a science class is not from this century, I heard her talk about her policy on Israel and I find it wrong.

    • Kuddos to your comment Rich, and you are absolutely right. Class hatred is part of why some people cannot stand Maria Corina. If she would have come from the hood she would have been more accepted. Sifrinos are second class citizens that is if they are still citizens on Chavista’s (and including some opposition as well) eyes. The Chavistas have a very tight very classist echelon just like the old days. And it always been like that in Venezuela and the rest of Latin America with the class thingy. About Hilly, totally right. About Palin, I never said she was an idiot, but I personally didn’t appreciate many things about her and things she said in the long run, but I liked her in the beginning and loved the fact she was a woman like I appreciate Hillary only because of that. That’s the only good thing I will say about Hillary. But you are absolutely right about the way liberals and feminist (for the love of God!) ganged up on her until they saw blood. Same with Michelle forgot her last name. There is an interesting article from Camille Paglia taking about the hypocrisy of the feminist on the way they treated Palin when she came out to the political scene as vp nominee. And on that note, Donna Brazile on Thatcher http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/04/08/Donna-Brazile-Insults-Thatcher-After-Briton-Great-s-Death I guess being the first female prime minister of the UK is not good enough, but Hillary stick to free willy after all is very empowering yeah… yes it’s much worst to be a female or black and be a conservative without been totally trashed, the worst, by your own gender and kin.

      • Forgot to add, remember Joselo pre-Chavez when he used to say “la cultura ofende”? That applies to Maria Corina, glad she is not paying attention but working hard for all of us, including the people who resent her.

      • “Class hatred is part of why some people cannot stand Maria Corina.”

        True, but let’s not forget that class hatred can go both ways.

        “If she would have come from the hood she would have been more accepted.”

        By whom? I doubt she would have been more accepted by the kind of people that called Chavez “ese mono”

        • By all kinds of people who wouldn’t see her as a sifrina. But she is coming strong when she talks, her real privilege is that she is very smart and prepared.

    • As someone who has voted Republican most of my life, Palin is an absolute embarrassment and utter disgrace.

      I still managed to hold my nose and vote for her ticket in 08, but if I had known how bad she was I don’t know if I could have done even that.

      There is no class element here. She plays on ignorance, fear, and hatred. She has no ideas or formulations of her own, and she is as honest as Hugo.

  16. Why am I not at all surprised about Michele Bachelet’s refusal? One of these days she’ll die of guabineo overdose.

    Anyhow, kudos to Maria Corina, we have a great ambassador for our beloved country and its cause.

  17. The fact that Palin is “coñazeada” so much here, while Hillary “vast-right-wing-conspiracy” Clinton mostly gets a free pass, baffles me.
    Some people need to step down from that fence and define which side they’re on.

    • Hate to break it to you, but opposing chavismo doesn’t make one a Republican, if that’s what you mean. People like Capriles and Machado get called “right wing” only from the point of view of the radical “revolutionary” government. Anywhere else, they would be considered moderate lefties. It’s entirely possible to be right-wing where Venezuela is concerned, and a leftie anywhere else.

        • “And that makes sense to you?”

          To him and to anyone not hobbled mentally by some myopic manichean view of the world.

          • On the contrary. The left-right divide, in practical terms, varies according to a specific country’s frame of political reference. The “centre” or wherever that elusive place where moderates gravitate towards is not the same in the US. of A. as it is in France, Venezuela or Sweden.

            Add on top of that the multiple axes that make the political spectrum (social, fiscal, religious…) and your “bunga bunga” comments could come across as even more idiotic (if that were possible).

          • The bunga bunga is for all those who dared to repeate the same idiotic arguments, of the left leaning media about Palin. Nevermind that we are talking about Maria Corina, and they couldn’t resist the urge of spouting nonsense all over the comments, losing focus of the main topic of the article: Maria Corina and her performance in Chile to denounce the Venezuelan situation.

            I mean come one! Palin wasn’t even mentioned directly, but with a link.

            Anyway they are deserving of a price and bunga-bunga, is quite appropriate for them, for diverting the conversation. Do you want to earn that too?? you now how to get it.

          • Haha you’re going off-topic from my original off-topic comment, taking us back to the original topic. Anyhow, it seems to me that by your standards, you are as deserving of whatever the hell “bunga-bunga” means to you as they (we?) are. I’ll go ahead and assume that it has nothing to do with Silvio and much to do with “mindless” chanting of some African tribesmen, which would put you even deeper in the manhole of subconscious racism…but let’s not go there.

            If they spout some soundbite or common place from the left-leaning media, your reply is to do pretty much the same from the other side.

            Yawn.

          • You were so close man! you need to work hard to get it!

            I hardly repeated any remarks from conservative leaning media to praise Palin, other that small acknowledgement of her qualities, than an objective person can find.

            Anyway bunga bunga, comes from the prehistoric caveman, wandering around with a log, who can only say as much about bunga bunga… did you see my picture right? You can hardly argue that I’m white nazi supremacist, stuff that you guys love to spout too.

            Maybe I should rename it… to avoid confusions… hmmm…

          • Repeating diametrically opposite remarks from conservative media or deriding any remark that might come from what you consider to be worthless “liberal media” with an onomatopoeia indicating lack of ability to form one’s own thoughts…

            …equally boring.

  18. Enough already with the side bar about Sarah Palin. Isn’t there anyone else that sees the significance of the Opposition sending emissaries about to various South American countries to make the case for the illegitimacy of the Chavista regime?

    • El Pollo Feo was in Central America with some deputies from different countries. He was not allowed to enter Nicaragua, though. I’d rather have someone else do that.
      There were a couple of deputies in Old Europe as well. For the first time I even saw one from PJ travelling together with one from AD. That’s good, people see the opposition goes from socialists to centre right or whatever PJ might be.

      I wish someone would show the trade imbalance between Venezuela and Brazil. Machado could do it well: “miren porqué el gobierno de Brasil está tan calladito”
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RbSzrbboEE0/T_lNIv_PSuI/AAAAAAAACSM/LC6pVA3hl20/s1600/venezuelabrazil.png

      • Kepler,

        What I meant was that the Opposition seems to be launching a PR campaign to convince the other nations of Latin America to support the Opposition’s claims against the regime by showing them that the Opposition is serious, and that their own interests lie in seeing the current farce ended.

        The whole Palin thing bores me. She was a flash in the pan, and clearly not yet ready for prime time. The U.S. public recognized that.

  19. I just finished watching the interview with CNN Chile. She really handed helself beautifully, did not dodge any questions and she kept her cool even when the journalists were rude to her.

  20. Esta mujer va a ser, más pronto que tarde, presidente de Venezuela. Creo que en algunos años entnderemos que la misión de Capriles habrá sido la de abrirle el camino a ella. And, if I might add, she’s hot as hell.

  21. Preocupense porque en muchos circulos en el extranjero te sacan esa perla! comparan a maria corina con palin gracias a Eva “la golilla”, que gracias a una entrevista en CNN, la puso así… todo el Aparatik comenzó a rodar esa comparación , hace unos días me preguntaron cómo yo las podía diferenciar….Casi me desmayo….pero si te preguntan, es porque lo escuchan y hay que prepararse…

    • Eva who?
      I think Christiane Amanpour pretty well discredited la golilla during a CNN interview. Last I heard, Eva’s pushing her baby stroller around in Brooklyn, when she isn’t trying to prove that the CIA injected cancerous cells into Hugo Chávez. #anotherNutCase

    • CNN? pero si CNN es uno de los grandes medios que apoyan al partido democrata. Si la golilla lo dice es porque conoce a la audiencia. La gran mayoria de los periodistas y comentaristas de CNN simpatizan con el partido democrata. El punto es que debido a eso, CNN dejo de ser una referencia importante de periodismo objetivo, especialmente ahora en la cobertura que ellos le dieron a los recientes escandalos que esta sacudiendo al gobierno de Obama.

      Incluso John Stewart, califica a CNN de nido de payasos. Incluso el!

      Si te preguntan, bueno la respuesta mas coherente, Hablemos de Maria Corina, no de Palin, quieres que hablemos de Palin? dejesmolo para otra ocasion.

      • Citando a CNN? Que gonadas!

        Todos sabemos que la unica fuente de informacion imparcial es Glenn Beck.

        See what I was doing there? Sounds familiar? Deserves a “bunga-bunga”?

        (Por cierto, Jon Stewart ha dicho mas de una vez que una de las pocas cosas que redimen a CNN es tener a alguien de la talla de Christine Amanpour, in case you have forgotten that little detail)

        • “una de las pocas cosas que redimen a CNN”

          I rest my case

          Bueno en todo caso, yo dije “La gran mayoria de los periodistas y comentaristas”, con mi reconocimiento tacito de que hay en efecto buenos periodistas, lo cual indica que no todo en CNN esta perdido, claro si se enserian con su linea editorial.

          • More to my point…people show Amanpour handing Eva her arse on a plate and your reaction is to swat that away because of the state of CNN as a whole.

          • So what’s the point. What’s the merit of her being there, if her colleagues gets more air time than her, and they are bringing the channel down. Eventually she would go down too. Like I said they need some serious changes.

          • Not arguing against that, I agree that they do need serious changes. I for one would divert all money they are wasting on clunky holograms appearing around Wolf and Anderson at random times to pay for on the ground in depth reporting of key international issues (like they used to have, not some newbie correspondent standing in front of a print out of some city landscape). But hey, I’m not the owner of the network and I’m not trying to make money by attracting American viewers and advertisers. They are a for-profit arm of a bigger for-profit conglomerate, after all. And not performing very well at that, even (last time I watched CNN was because I was at an airport lounge and I had no choice)

            Now, MY point was that you seemed to disqualify what people were saying on their comments (about Amanpour schooling Eva on TV) by simply pointing out the woes of the particular news network she was doing it on.

          • Well I wasn’t directing my comment to the fact that Amanpour schooled la Golilla, my comment was directed to the fact, that since CNN heavily supports the Democrat party, when they hear the comment that Maria Corina is same as Palin, they will start (started?) dismissing Maria Corina out of hatred towards Palin.

          • Sorry, but I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying…

            Who’s “they”? Be it CNN or “the readers/comment writers of this blog”, your last post doesn’t seem to make much sense.

          • Oscar I was referring to CNN. My comments and my points on this particular thread of the comments is about CNN, sorry If I didn’t make that more clear.

  22. Reading my fellow bloggers I come to realize that social prejudices (although better hidden) are as ugly and extended as racial or gender prejudices and that social prejudices include both the traditional one of the better of against the worst off and the more classy jacobin one of the worst off against the better off. Social resentment of the latter kind has always been strong in Venezuela , This resentment is used by the Regime to belittle and disparage people like Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez and MCM.because of their social background/ class origins. I sometimes fear that this love of the little or less fortunate guy and resentment of the big fortunate guy deeply permeates our culture so that we automatically are unfair in adversely or inimically judging the latter and in favouring or privileging the former. ..

    • BB, true that…but what is less obvious is that one leads to the other, and those who feel justified in their bias against those who have ,in order to favor those who have not , are only making it worse for those who have not.Same game.

    • The difference is that the lower classes actually have something to be mad about.

      It all comes down to whether you think poverty is systematic, or because “esos flojos lo que pasa es que no quieren trabajar,” “those lazy bastards just don’t want to work.”

      To use the term “class hatred” from the bottom up is like saying some thing which is even dumber “reverse racism.” Sorry, but racism and “class hatred” have very strong historical facts to their favor, the reverse is just rich douches not liking the resentment of the people whose misfortune our systems of politics and economics depend on.

        • Scorning a person just because he has had a better life , assuming that just for that he is guilty fo some kind of historic crime is just as irrational and unfair as thinking that a person can be scorned for having a life of privation or want .Social Romantics love blaming the rich for the poverty of the poor and get a righteous kick from their indignation , They forget the strong influence of happenstance and hazard in the way conditions operate that help some people rise to level of welfare while keeping others in deplorable living conditions , they also forget how sometime those conditions however hateful in their effects are not the result of deliberate human agency but of natural or cultural conditions that are the result of impersonal life processes . If we look at history and anthropology the natural condition of early man is poverty and how with great effort and LUCK some segments of a population start slowling achieving better conditions for themselves sometimes thru means which are condemnable ( exploitative use of superior power) others because of being able to accomplish good things through their own efforts and talents . I fear the human penchant for oversimplification and omniexplanatory grandiose melodramatic formulas that make people find themselves proudly on the side of the angels and heroes and other people on the side of the demons and witches (thus dehumanizing them) because of how such conceits feed their own hunger for narcicistic self gratification .This penchant made Chavez the despotic hatemonger he became . The richs stupid snobish scorn of the poor assuming that they are somehow inferior is as lamentable as the poors resentment of the rich because their better life is a living (humbling ) reminder of others having achieved what they have failed to achieve. This topic is too dense and complex to sort out in a blog message and too emotionally loaded to be able to get discussed rationally or sanely in an open forum .so here I let it rest.

          • “Scorning a person just because he has had a better life ,”

            I stopped reading here. It’s silly to claim anybody is doing this.

          • Faust: Regretfullly these are things people feel and hide through subterfuges from their own instrospective sight , they are kept under the radar of their consciousness , they are dressed up as ‘the rich are snotty’ or ‘ the rich exploit the poor’ or ‘the rich form cabals through which they protect their privileges’ , Human beings capacity for self delusion and rationalization of irrational motives is huge . Cabrujas wrote about this , Axel Capriles also and a great many contemporary psychologists have studied the phenomena . Have you heard the german term ‘scheudenfreund´ ( sorry if I misspell it) , peoples perverse pleasure at another discomfort or suffering , it happens although people make up spurious explanations to justify their feelings . If someone is more succesful than yourself and you think you feel you deserve the same but life has denied you that success , your ego feels hurt , humiliated , why him and not me? and then it begins, ‘he really is a crook who took unfair advantage of XYZ circumstance’ , or ‘he doenst really deserve being recognized that success , he is a fake’ etc etc. These are offensive feelings and our unconscious mind does an excellent job of hiding them behind elaborate fachades!!

          • Tas tirando piedras de una casa hecha de vidriesito…

            Instead of accusing me or anybody of hidden intentions, read what we actually write. It’s not about a childish quierolotuyo, it’s about very legitimate concerns about how the economic and political systems we work with OBVIOUSLY privilege some people more than others from the get-go.

  23. Although I respect a lot her work and attitude, I can’t stand the tone of kindergarten teacher reading a children’s book to her students, with a fake smile and way too much drama. I’ve always had a hard time listening to her. I prefer to read what she has to say.

    • Well, although Machado has great moments, I agree she can be a bit of that teacher and her smile can be very fake but then, had I commented on that, some people here would have said “hasta cuando, coye, o sea, estoy harta de estos acomplejados y de esta class hatred contra nosotros que tenemos clase, o sea”. 🙂

      • O sea, me entiendes? Excelente.
        En serio, from the opposition the worst speaker is Capriles himself, but he’s humble and speaks from the heart, so he charms. He got better, but still chops the phrases before finishing sentences and that drives me crazy.
        I like LIliana Hernandez better than MCM.
        The one that speaks the best is still Leopoldo. I think.

        • Carolina,

          You have the perfect right to your thoughts and feelings.Nobody is right or wrong on the issue of Charisma.

          Like I said before , it is a question of each person’s values or views,their past experience and associations, which is why we have choices.

          • We are talking strictly about “speech styles”. It has nothing to do with values or views, not even charisma.
            You never seem to be able to separate the topics.

          • Of course it does , your values are what determine how you judge another persons behavior, and in turn how youfeel about a given persons message and delivery.I cannot feel the Chavez charisma because I very much disliked his style and values.you do not like the way Mcm schoolteaches which is an indication of how she makes you feel.i don’t feel her that way.our emotions and values detmine our judjements.

          • Wrong.
            I like Capriles and a lot. I like him because he’s a normal, humble, hands-on type of guy. I like him because “le echa bolas”.
            I still think he’s a horrible speaker.
            I respect MCM values and the work she’s doing in the assembly, but I hate her stupid smile when she speaks down, lecturing to people.
            Personally, I dislike people that have the urge to lecture everybody.

          • I REALLY like how Liliana Hernandez speaks. She is a real hoot!! Autentica is the best word to describe her…..

          • Me too Roberto, she’s awesome and way stronger than MCM.
            As for class, MCM has it, true, but I like Mercedes Pulido de Briceno way better in this respect.
            Now talking about the old ones, Argelia Laya comes to mind.

          • Hmmm, autentica, autentico. There is a difference between the quality of authenticity and that pertaining to those who need to project perfection, while lecturing to create a barrier of “me” versus “the lot of you”.

          • Argelia Laya sure didn’t have “hair on the tongue”.

            Syd:

            The thing about “autentico” I guess we tend to use to say that a person “is who he (or she) is, and what you see is what you get.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Carolina. And thanks for mentioning what I, too, perceive, while analyzing different aspects of MCM’s political persona.

      I, too, respect MCM and perceive great qualities in her, though I don’t view her anywhere near ready for prime time, as a presidential candidate. On a personal level — if such is possible with a public figure — I find there to be a small, but visible element of phoney-ness to MCM, perhaps brought about by her need to let us know how hard she’s trying to be perfect. (Isn’t that a necessary condition for many who viscerally need to lecture?) It’s this need to project perfection (shared by many teachers, in my experience) that does not allow MCM to behave with a certain inner humility. And that, in my opinion, is why, when she gets together with ‘pueblo’, MCM appears uncomfortable, unable to relate.

      • I agree Syd, and thank you for putting it together for me. I wasn’t even looking at the need to show perfection, and that was spot on.

      • That’s the way she is Syd, she is the daughter of her parents, if you remember her parents Corina Parisca, a hair doesn’t move out of that lady never, and Luis A Machado the minister to develop inteligence, remember? Like how come she is not gonna be the way she is. She is a perfectionist, you got it. Nobody’s fault, but it’s sad we live in a society where people like her, (or Abraham Lincoln to put the big example) couldn;t win an election because of his speech or his tone, looks… etc…. I don’t see an attitude in her but if people see it, well they do, it’s sad tho.

        • My point the way I see it, is that a president or a public official for that matter, doesn’t have to be your friend, or friendly, he only has to be good at what he does, I dunno, questioning too much a person, there is always gonna be something off since neither of us are perfect or moneditas de oro.

  24. I don’t care if she is a black, gay, drug user, or any other politically prosecuted group, capitalismo popular misses the point of “capitalismo” and “popular” on so many levels that it makes me think she is either dishonest or dumb.

    • I think the short time frame of the oppo primarias hampered those who were not as educationally prepared or politically experienced, while they sought to gain political differentiation on the basis of their concepts. MCM and LL, in particular, suffered the consequences in this regard. MCM winged her too-quickly conceived concept of capitalismo popular. I saw it more as a quick sales pitch without a lot of deep thought or due diligence behind it.

      Capriles, in contrast, has the educational formation of a deep thinker. He also has a longer trajectory as a political player, hence, he enjoys connections to role play and refine his concepts, within a short timeframe.

      • That’s a fair point, yet it says something that she tried to pass off right wing economic policy as, in a sense, socialist, or at the very least egalitarian. One learns a lot from mistakes, too.

        Capriles, for example, taught us a lot by how awkward he feels with pueblo-talk. His mistake was to try to pass off an intellectual as a grass-roots socialist.

  25. On the other hand, getting past my “class hatred,” it just hit me how important it is that her and any other person willing to campaign against the autocracy is out ther in our sub-continent creating an aura of awareness.

    • Yes, very important that several are out there, creating an aura of awareness. Now, we have to do something about that “class hatred” of yours. Social variety, as long as it is not abusive, is a good thing. We can’t all be the same. Law of the jungle.

      • Yes, syd, indubitably. But in what ways are we currently all not the same, and in what ways do we know it would be more honest, naturally occuring and comfortable to not all be the same?

        One could argue, for example, that projects in the US and barrios here function as kinds of concentration camps. One thing is to behave differently, quite another to be forced into specific behavioural patterns.

  26. MCM is also very convincing. A great asset for Venezuela’s cause. People attack her (specially from the oppo side) because they feel threaten by her potential. That’s all folks.

    A lot of noise and hatred from female chauvinists, class resent, etc…

  27. What amazes me, Juan, is that you had not been under MCM spell before!
    She is the most intelligent and competent politician there is today in Venezuela. No doubt about it.

    I am quite proud in saying I have been with MCM even before she was a candidate. Here’s an old post:
    http://cuentosintrascendentes.blogspot.ca/2011/01/bravo-maria-corina.html

    IMHO, and sadly because it says a lot about the political maturity of Vzla, if MCM had been a man, she would have already been president.

    • Ahhyy Bruni… I agree with you. Makes me sad that some people cannot pass the way she talks. I guess she has to talk like Iris Varela so that would be okay. :/

      • There are more ways to talk than Machado’s and Valera’s. Spanish, even within a group belonging to the same class and education level, can take many styles. Even RP English has a lot of ways. It is not about social classes, it is about attitudes.

          • If she wants to get more votes, definitely yes. Meanwhile, she only has chances as deputy for whatever voting circuit Chacao and Baruta are in. But she does a good job as deputy, I think.

          • Maybe she will, to appease people like you who cannot pass the sifrina accent. Then it will be something else. Reminds me that posthumous letter from Miguel Angel Quevedo.

            “Culpables fuimos todos. Los periodistas que llenaban mi mesa de artículos demoledores, arremetiendo contra todos los gobernantes. Buscadores de aplausos que, por satisfacer el morbo infecundo y brutal de la multitud, por sentirse halagados por la aprobación de la plebe. Vestían el odioso uniforme que no se quitaban nunca.

            No importa quien fuera el presidente. Ni las cosas buenas que estuviese realizando a favor de Cuba. Había que atacarlos, y había que destruirlos. El mismo pueblo que los elegía, pedía a gritos sus cabezas en la plaza pública.”

            Vete en ese espejo, tú y todos los criticadores profesionales Venezolanos.

  28. BTW..for those of you that say that Palin is charismatic…SP is attractive, but not charismatic. Chávez was not attractive but was charismatic.

    • Sorry but attractiveness does not have anything to do with charisma. Honestly where did you read that she was deemed charismatic because she is pretty?

      She is charismatic for her ability to connect, in an emotional level with a good portion of the American People. As much as Hugo Chavez had the ability to connect with a large number of Venezuelan People.

      • I think the problem is with the fact we were considering that to be really charismatic you needed a higher proportion of the population under your spell.

        I have reviewed my idea about charisma here, but I still see this is the difference we have. For instance, I don’t think Palin got a spell over even 30% of the population. She did enchant millions, but what proportion could they be? Even a lot of Reps disliked her.

        So: where is the range for a charismatic person? More than 1%? More than 10% of the general pool? 40%? 50%?

        • “I think the problem is with the fact we were considering that to be really charismatic you needed a higher proportion of the population under your spell.”

          You are right, my previous comment seemed that way, I totally agree with your challenge, I don’t think you need a large number of people backing you in order to get the Charisma stamp. Is like Juan said, is the “it”, you have it or not, I met charismatic persons, but they weren’t politicians.

          Though, I think Obama is in the same position now, he enchanted millions in his first campaign, but now, he can not seem to ignite the passion in the people the way he did before. Some people are thinking that the Charisma of Obama was really overestimated.

        • Kepler,

          Obviously if 30 % of a given population finds you extremely attractive and persuasive, that is quite a bit.4 percent of the population of sociopath and look at the damage they do.

      • Different things make certain people charismatic to different people , Some people of course are universally charismatic not in the sense that they arouse the automatic admiration or sympathy of those that come under its influence,, but in that they make their presence felt even if they dont talk much or say the things you want to hear. they make you notice them and grudgingly attract your notice or respect even if you dont particularly like them !!. Looks sometime will make a person charismatic , already mentioned in this blog the historical fact that there was a US president in the early 20th Century that got chosen to run and thereafter got elected just on the basis of his distinguished presidential good looks even though he was a rather mediochre person overall. There are people who are charismatic only within their own small professional or social group, Perez Jimenez was charismatic to his fellow army officers but not to people who knew him purely as a public personage. Very important thing for a person to be truly charismatic is that peoples self pride doesnt feel consciously or unconsciously threatened by the charismatic persons too intrusive aura of superiority. Have you ever noticed how some woman are sometimes discomfited by feeling the presence of someone much more attractive than themselves and how they start talking about how fake the other womans beauty is , or how snotty and superficial she is and so on , happens all the time !! Some people are not naturally charismatic but are made somehow charismatic because of the charisma of the social or political position they hold , some crowned heads or heads of state are made charismatic by the fact of their office or title .and would pass unnoticed as private persons. Charisma can be enhanced and it can be developed , it can also wane and wear off . Ive talked to people who knew Castro in his younger years , before he took to politics and they tell me he always proyected the aura of someone possesed of extraordinary character . Also people who knew Chavez when he was a young officer working for higher ranking officer and how charming and easy mannered he could be , stopping on the road to buy their wives little ingratiating presents !! Charisma is a complex psychological phenomena , whatever is written here will only scratch the surface of what makes a person charismatic and to whom!!

        • Of course. Charisma is also not only based on the person but on the people and the times. Adolf Hitler was considered incredibly charismatic by many, not only in Germany. Even in the US he had many admirers. And others were ridiculing him as well (remember Chaplin’s classic).

          I have watched full speeches of Hitler and tried to read his Mein Kampf crap (only half), trying to understand what was going on in Germans’ mind back then. I found his whole style – apart from all the rest- revolting. Was it only because of what I know he did? Not only, I think. Even back then there were also people, even in Germany, who found him disgusting, repulsive for many reasons combined.

          Now, one of the things I tried to do with Chávez was to translate some pieces of his speeches into German. I found that a better means of explaining Venezuela than María Corina’s speeches back then. And it was working. Of course, they recognised certain patterns and Chávez was using a style that is still attractive to a lot of people in Venezuela but is not longer so in Germany.

          Even the rhetorical gimmicks and tricks public figures use evolve through time and space.

          • Kepler : I find your idea of translating Chavez into German to see how he fit the Hitler mode of rethorical mezmerizing, fascinating ! big difference though is how Chavez could turn droll , intimate and playful and charm the socks out of ordinary venezuelan folk . Dont know that Hitler ever tried that in Germany ! probably wouldnt haved worked if he had.! Speer tells of how coming from well educated middle class background he initially saw Hitler as someone coarse and inconsequential , but then accompanied a friend to a nazi rally where he heard Hitler start his speech in a modest diffident voice and then slowly start to add force to his tone until suddenly ,without knowing how it happened he found himself screeching frenzied Heil Hitlers together with the rest of the crowd !! Your response to the Mein Kampf text doesnt surprise me, his ideas where crude and coarse in the extreme , devoid of any intellectual appeal , his words though where wrought rethorically so as to induce in people a wild enthrancing response if you were a german nationalist who felt germany had been cruelly humbled after World War I. At the time there was in Germany a huge free floating anger seeking something to give it phocus and direction

  29. When Maria Carina was a Presidential candidate, compared to the other candidates, she represented privilege and pro-free-enterprise economic principles that one would expect from an educated political debutante in politics. Although I was impressed by her speeches, and agreed with everything she said, I felt she, coming from privilege, couldn’t truly represent me. However, when learned more about her, her work in Fundación Atenea, Súmate, (an the list goes on and on), I realized that she is the re thing, a person of great passion and rare commitment. Most of us mouth our princies, very few measure up to her qualities. There are few people in history that have come from wealth and comfort that have shown her level compassion, vision, wisdom, and leadership, and of actually put it to use to create a democracy for all in Latina
    America that will endure for coming generations and provide opportunity for all children. I can’t be more thrilled that she is out there fighting our fight for us and our freedoms.

  30. Bill Bass,

    My above agreement was directed to you whose comments on this matter make perfect sense to me.I am sorry I called you Bob.I am stuck on the sofa with a broken foot, and using an i pad whose auto correct is driving me up a wall.

  31. Carolina,

    I said “which is an indication of how she makes you feel.”

    You said:

    “Personally, I dislike people that have the urge to lecture everybody.”

    When we dislike someone our feelings are involved and that is precisely my point.Pure intellect does not involve a value judgment.

    I think this point is important because too many times feelings are presented as something objective, and none of us are objective.Charisma involves our emotions more than our intellect.Some of our values are emotional as well, or at least an emotional reaction to a thought;.

  32. Since Maria Corina is such a charismatic speaker for the right-wing cause, I will go slightly OT and address my own feelings towards that style of politics.

    It’s not that I hate rich people. I am, arguably, rich people. My point is not about who is what. It is about LEGISLATION (coño perdónenme, no encuentro las estrellitas en esta computadora) both theoretical, practical and historical. Theoretically, pigs can fly. Practically doesn’t make sense without historically. In both of those cases, we have spent centuries legislating so that groups that ALREADY HAVE POWER in politics and economics can get even more, and can close it off from the lower castes. This is what right wing politics means: to protect and expand the economic and political power of those that already have it. It is also what capitalism means: the accumulation of the means of production, including intellectual and legislative production, in the hands of a few people. This is the genious of the term “boliburgues,” Chávez is a hard core capitalist, that is, very much in favor of accumulating the means of production in the hands of a few people.

    Growth of these types of power is exponential in capitalist systems, that is an evolutionary unavoidable. So when you try to legislate for this, de bolas que anybody that isn’t already at the top, or near it, is going to be pissed. Very pissed. They might get so pissed that they forget about clarity and renounce to more hardcore and easier to carry feelings like pure envy and hate.

    What do crazy “class hatred,” “trust fund leftist intellectuals” like me propose then? Will we just bitch?

    No.

    What we propose is to start legislating in favor of dismanteling the capitalist system, in favor of de-centrilized systems of distribution and production.

    For this, we ask for things that might seem very right wing. We ask that the processes of life be much, muuuuuch less regulated. Every paper you need signed is another mechanism that keeps you away from decentrilized creation and distribution, keeps you from just working it out with the relevant parties.

    We also ask that rich people stop fucking giving to charity, and invest in projects that they don’t necessarily have absolute control over. This can be subsidized, maybe, or legislated for in some other way.

    We suggest that you discuss things with the people you are scared of, consciously struggling against your perceptions and notions. Let people talk to you. Talk to them like a pana instead of a dangerous person.

    Most of all, forget your parents’ ideas. They lived in less connected, more difficult times. Our policies cannot be the same.

    • Why going against capitalism? What’s wrong with people having businesses, not working for somebody else but for themselves, having a better life for their families? And be productive instead of a leech? You want people with initiative to be always on the barrio asking for benefits instead of create jobs? mmmm

      • So you decided “fuck it, I won’t read anything this guy wrote and read all of my preconceptions into his comment instead.”

        That’s your prerogative, I guess.

        • Oh so totally misunderstood about your comment?

          “In both of those cases, we have spent centuries legislating so that groups that ALREADY HAVE POWER in politics and economics can get even more, and can close it off from the lower castes. This is what right wing politics means: to protect and expand the economic and political power of those that already have it. It is also what capitalism means: the accumulation of the means of production, including intellectual and legislative production, in the hands of a few people. This is the genious of the term “boliburgues,” Chávez is a hard core capitalist,…”

  33. “This is what right wing politics means: to protect and expand the economic and political power of those that already have it. It is also what capitalism means: the accumulation of the means of production, including intellectual and legislative production, in the hands of a few people. This is the genious of the term “boliburgues,” Chávez is a hard core capitalist, that is, very much in favor of accumulating the means of production in the hands of a few people.”

    Boliburgeses are not capitalist, they are thieves. Capitalism produce jobs and create opportunities.

    And the ones in charge to regulate production in the hands of only a few is actually the government, that’s why regulations exists.

    You are very confused.

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