The Grass is Always Greener…in Colombia


I’ve never been the jealous type.

Until I saw this clip of Colombia’s Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Igualito a Diosdado.

Watch it and weep.

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  1. What has Venezuela come to that people have to *apologize* to the government for meeting the leader of half the country…?

    • Hey Juan, talking about the leader of half of the country y un poquito más, aren’t you guys gonna comment on the Bayly interview to Capriles, it was really good.

    • confused about how a republic works Juan? Maduro won the election so he is the leader of the ENTIRE nation. Even the Tea Partiers don’t go around claiming that Romney is the “leader” of 48% of the U.S.
      Now, Campriles is supposed to be the leader of Miranda state. Interesting that it seems to be such an easy job that he can dedicate virtually no time to it.

      • OW,

        Don’t compare countries, there are too many differences.In the USA even though we protest, we recognize the party of our opponents.In a country like Venezuela it would be absurd to do so.Even so, in the US there are some who will not properly recognize an opposing party win.

      • Ow, I think you are the one confused about what a republic works. Funny, but I suppose because you consider those countries with the term “democratic” or “popular” before “republic” are real democracies. You should consider living in one of those countries. The German Democratic Republic is no more but I am sure China would be something for you. Cuba is also a republic, pity they didn’t call it “popular” or “democratic” as well.
        Have you considered how much time Chávez or Maduro have spent actually doing their job as presidents?

        As for “leader of a nation”: sorry, man, but that is a definition that in pluralistic nations does not exist. In pluralistic nations (and you have big issues with pluralisms because you try to sell us the crap of false participatory democracy – read councils) you do not have THE leader.
        You can have a president. You have leaders of this or that group.
        And in Venezuela there were very serious irregularities that in any other country with real democracy would have called for an independent auditing.
        The Netherlands got rid of automatic voting system after much less than what happened in Venezuela.

        • There are two kinds of democrats , the Monocrats ( ‘one rule’ in greek ) who believe that winning an election gives the winner an absolute right to rule arbitrarily ignoring or shoving in the trash heap those who didnt win , and the Policrats ( ‘Rule of Many’ in greek) who believe that even though winning an election grants the winner a priviledged position in forging collective decisions also understand that for such decision to be truly legitimate it must atempt to accommodate as much as possible the views of those that didnt win , because the latter are owed the respect of the winner. One can derive into the Tyranny of the mayority the other into a rule by consensus . Monocrats view the excercise of Power as an act of war against their opponents , Policrats view the exercise of Power as something to be shared with the rest of the population over which they rule !!

          • “Monocrat” definitely comes from two Greek words, but: are you sure any Greek consider monocracy democracy? I don’t know, my knowledge of Greek history is rather feeble, but as far as I knew, those among them who appreciated democracy were clearly aware that you need more than elections. Even 2500 years ago they were fully aware that a polis without rule of law has no democracy. They wouldn’t have considered it a democracy if there was no possibility for real debates (as opposed to parallel monologues).

            But we know OW fancied psychopath Lenin. Perhaps he should go read Penguin’s History of Modern Russia, by Robert Service, to learn a little bit more about the actual implementation of what Lenin considered in What To Do and other writings (not that Venezuela had much of that either, mind, it remains an utterly feudal country, only that much more so than before)

          • Ortega y Gasset wrote an Essay decades ago in which he pointed out that the association between liberty and democracy was purely casual and that you could have a country which practiced democracy ( mayority rule) but was illiberal in the way it acted ( suppressing rule of law ) and viceversa . The moderns invented liberal democracy which is an attempt at combining the two concepts . The greeks thought that all systems had their good days but ultimately became corrupted ( democracy turning into demagoguery) so that the really important principle of government was that which prevented rulers from ever taking on too much power over the ruled ( the equality of rulers and ruled) . Lenin good russian that was in his heart of hearts a believer in a kind of theocratic autocracy , god ( the revolution, the proletariat as represented by the leaders of the Communist party) should monopolize absolute power and use it to keep people under their boots. Monocrats ( to which tocquevile referred as the Tyranny of the mayority ) are either illiberal democracts or self deluded believers in theocratic autocracy . Policrats are modern liberal democrats.

      • No no no no, until the audit is done, Maduro is not the president my friend. Elections day, no audit and named the guy president like the day after, uh uhm.


        • The audit is nearly over tweetie pie and unfortunately for you 99% of the world already recognizes Maduro as President. Tough, isn’t it?

          • Oh yeah, who is auditing, Capriles and the rest of the opposition haven’t been invited to Maduros little private audit, lol, you should be able to let everybody come and check burrito, otherwise cannot be legit.

      • “confused about how a republic works Juan?” You mean separation of powers and ensuring a mininal of security for citizens or respecting the rights of minorities? I’m suddenly confused being lectured by a chavista how a Republic should work.

        • MAduro, if he won, he would be the president. However, let’s say he won, for the sake of the argument…I don’t see him behaving as a president of ALL venezuelans, he keeps insulting half the country, they are calling on reviewing lists of people that does not agree with the revolution… We already have problems having an electoral system of FPTP ( first past the post, the winner takes all type of thing) If he want to be a president he has to recognize half of the country that does not like the revolution, and a country that in 2007 said I don’t want Socialism, ( and that word is not in any part of the Constitution) So a president should respect the “minority” not trying to eliminate it, and it should not impose a concept that in 14 years have been rejected… Again, we have voted against the “socialist” or whatever you want to call it as a way of life!

      • “Maduro won the election” If so, why avoid the audit to which he committed once? My prior probability estimate is that he lost the election by 400,00 thousand votes. He stole the election.

      • Yes Oil Skirmish, your former hero Jesus Hugo Chavez could receive FARC leadership in Miraflores but it is wrong for Santos to receive the leader of the opposition to explain to him how Maduro ripped him off in Unasur. You have a really screwed up sense of logic. I guess that is why your blog disappeared, the illogic became unbearable.

      • OW,
        You were once a chavista, then you realized you’d been backing an inept failure, so you abandoned your pro-Chávez blog. Now you’re a madurista?

        • No. I don’t support Maduro nor, sadly, see any indication yet that he will make any of the changes Venezuela needs. Calling out the opposition on their spurious, dishonest, and almost certainly false claims of fraud doesn’t equate to supporting the person against whom they are making those claims. But it doesn’t bode well for Venezuela that a big part of the opposition to the government has regressed to the bad old habbit of impugning the legitimacy of the elections simply because they don’t like who won.

          As for my owns views of the political actores there, I see no improvements by the government and I see an opposition which regularly lies, apes the government’s populist positions which we know in reality they don’t support, and demogogues pretty much all issues. Even someone like Julio Borges, who I used to think was a reasonable person, has shown himself incapable of taking honest positions which are meant to point to real solutions for the country rather than just gain political advantage for himself.

          I am therefore strongly in the Ni-Ni camp.

          I see no one in Venezuela who speaks forthrightly about what the countries real problems are and what needs to be done to solve them. All Venezuelan politicians and media, on both sides, lie incessently to the Venezuelan population and then they have the cajones to blame the Venezuelan electorate for its alledged ignorance. A very sad state of affairs without even a glimmer of hope on the horizon

  2. The journalist said that the Colombian government recognised Maduro’s win but if this meeting meant they would recognise the opposition…. Eh… If you recognise a government, you recognised the opposition to that government, they come together. Vienen en combo puej. Right? Is that what all democratic countries would and should do, right? 😛

  3. Yes but the words of the late HCF were “Polvo Cosmico” so opposition is a really bad thing, next week I am sure Maduro will tell that to Piedad Cordoba or a Farc representative when they meet.

    There is a frase in spanish for this “Cara e tablas”

  4. Contrasting Diosdado with Dr. Augusto Posada is a nice prelude to a thought experiment we can all perform: Imagine on the one hand a mechanism that produces quick answers and another that takes into account different views before deciding. Apply that to the game of chess, for example. One player makes a move very quickly and the other looks at the board, evaluates positions and simulates two or three moves down the road, before making the move. Who’s gonna win the game? Apply that to any activity that comes to mind, a trip to the beach with the family, for example. One guy drags the family, jumps into the car and gets going, and the other looks at the weather forecast, traffic conditions, and then goes through a checklist of suntan, food, first aid, phone, maps, and the like. Who is going to enjoy the day at the beach?
    The mechanism has a name in mathematical statistics: the Bayesian conjugation. The beliefs one has are called “the prior;” the data input provided by the situation one is deciding about is called “the likelihood ratio” and the Bayesian engine combines priors with likelihood ratios to produce the results, “the posterior.” Bayesians know that when the prior beliefs are very strong, the information contained in the likelihood ratio is heavily discounted.
    “Reality doesn’t tell me anything; I already know the answer before you ask the question” is the principle that diminishes the efficiency of the Bayesian engine.
    Dogmatic regimes work by creating strong priors in the decision making apparatus of its functionaries. The economic realities of inflation, empty shelves, unemployment; and the social realities of destitute hospitals and schools, crime, and the long list of calamities that afflict Venezuelans today, do not carry important information to the chavistas leaders. They are not there to solve problems, they are there to force their beliefs on others.

    • Nicely explained, CarlosE. Thank you. Somehow your name rings a bell, as though I recall — and I could be wrong — that you were once a believer in Hugo Chávez. If so, at what point did you find your beliefs changing?

      • Excellent comment by Carlos. Sometimes I have thought about Chavistas’ ways of parsing their experiences. Recently a former Chavista (but still, he was a Chavista for so many years) visited Europe for the first time. I asked him how his trip was. One of the things he said was that his sense of insecurity was immense, there is no security here: his -very expensive- sun glasses were stolen while he was queueing up in Le Louvre.
        He also saw a lot of beggars (he visited the most touristy places in Spain and Italy).
        Thus: Europe is extremely unsafe and poor. This is a guy who almost died after getting shot at noon in the middle of the city in Venezuela because a thief wanted his money, someone who is a doctor and who has had to operate lots of patients shot by the V Republic crime.

        Probability or logic? Well, perhaps they are construed in our brains in a similar way.
        Sometimes I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the way they try to process logic. Sometimes it’s a false premise, sometimes non sequitur..there is so much wrong, even among those who otherwise have good formal education records.

        I wonder what would happen if these people (perhaps someone like a Giordani) were to take a test of logic.

      • You are right, Syd. I once believed in chávez. Not so much in him, since there was little to examine in 1992, but in the need to eliminate what then I called “la ADemocracia” a word gimmick that used the negation prefix A and the brand of one of the most important political vultures of the time, AD. Ademocracia is best illustrated by Alfaro UnCero’s quote “Acta mata voto.” The dynamics of ADemocracia took place in the inner corridors of the parties. It was not AD versus Copei, but Claudio Fermin vs. Hector Alonso, or El Tigre vs. Caldera, or Araguatos vs. Astronautas. I witnessed how destructive that dynamic was.

        I worked at the Fundacion Ayacucho under the leadership of Leopoldo Lopez Gil (I believe is the father of the current Leopoldo Lopez) and witnessed Hector Alonso in the 10th floor of Torre Phelps demanding outright “becas” from Leopoldo Lopez to buy goodwill among the AD youth and defeat Claudio in the national convention. Leopoldo refused and he was dismissed a few weeks after that unsavory encounter. I could tell you more bitter stories, but let’s save bandwidth. Suffice is to say that the vast majority of Venezuelans were fed up with the putrid ADemocracia.

        I believed in his crusade against corruption. I saw him as the undertaker of ADemocracia and wanted to contribute my handful of dirt to bury it. Then one day I was with a friend in Av Nueva Granada to buy a washer and dryer and saw the disaster around. The Bus Caracas project was already in its 3rd year and nothing was happening after they tore up the streets. My friend told me about the numerous projects that were initiated with great fanfare and abandoned shortly thereafter. In four hours my support for chavez evaporated in a cloud of disappointment. I realized that the disease of ADemocracia had grown immensely in the body of chavismo. I wrote about it here

        • What amazes me is how you could have believed in Chávez with the history he had. I was disgusted by Acción Democrática as well, always was. When I saw CAP winning in 1988 I was appalled. But Chávez came to notoriety by carrying out a bloody coup. That’s as much as I need to know, with or without the Caracazo (which, by the way, happened 3 years before the coup and was in no way “prevented” or investigated properly until now).
          And if anything should have told me Chávez was a no go was his clear, repeated admiration for Pérez Jiménez, who was also a thief, even if so many romanticize those times (“al menos hizo algo en infraestructura”), when Venezuela had just 5 million inhabitants. Pérez Jiménez was even responsible for many more murders than those caused during the Caracazo (and don’t tell me it was 3000, I have read the reports)

          • You are right, Kepler (I like the name, I am a fan of Johaness), looking in retrospect I am also disappointed at myself. But the repulsion I felt for ADemocracy was overwhelming. One day I will tell you the disaster caused by AD to the water treatment plant in Valle de la Pascua.

          • “What amazes me is how you could have believed in Chávez with the history he had. I was disgusted by Acción Democrática as well, always was. When I saw CAP winning in 1988 I was appalled. But Chávez came to notoriety by carrying out a bloody coup.”

            Were you in Venezuela around 1992? Chávez’ stardom wasn’t black magic. Dictatorship, or at least a bloody coup, as an antidote to corruption was not precisely an unpopular idea back then. The desirability of “kicking the table” was in the air. But hey, it’s easier to blame Ibsen Martínez…

          • Sorry, but I have felt profound disgust towards the military at least since I became a teenager.

            As I was a child my dad told me how Venezuela’s economy was going to collapse. That was shortly before 1983, when all Venezuelans were with their ‘ta barato, dame dos. He was an economist and told me about the oil disease and the dependence on raw stuff and all that stuff.

            I remember he told me that on a trip we did to Guyana, visiting Cerro Bolívar and then watching the ships loaded with iron depart in the Orinoco, then travelling through the oil fields of Oriente.

            In 1988 I became 18 just in time to vote. I voted against AD with all my heart and I knew he was going to win because I knew people didn’t get it, they thought he was going to repeat what he had when oil prices were high and I knew he couldn’t deliver.
            My parents told me the whole thing.

            I was not surprised that he took the measures he took. I was not surprised with the Caracazo either. I had seen from very close how the extreme left was playing a cat and mouse with the government for months before. I was at the UCV back then and I saw a lot of the extreme left crap and their constant infiltration to provoke violence and how the cops played along. They needed each other and real students were always the ones to lose. I happened to overhear a lot of the disgusting indoctrination talk because I used to be getting books from Russia and back then, unfortunately, it meant going to the Soviet embassy and to the PCV house (I never liked the commies, though, enough family friends had fled from the USSR).

            In December 1991 I remember how I was discussing with a good friend of mine about the imminent coup. Neither of us had anything to do with the military, he is related to a former governor, I just knew about the malaise because of the economy and our bloody history of caudillos trying “to redeem the country”. We both were sure the coup was coming at the start of 1992 and tried to do some guesses. I don’t know what month we thought was most likely, but it was just one more or less.

            On 4 Feb I was awakened by the shooting. I was living in a student residence close to the Marina at the beginning of San Bernardino. Initially, half in sleep, I thought it was some thugs from a slum nearby. I threw myself to the floor and then I realised those were machine guns. Back then non-official thugs didn’t use so many machine guns, so I realised it had to be the coup.

            I turned on the radio and heard Carlos Andrés Pérez talking. I later heard Chávez and knew how bloody emotional Venezuelans would become. I then listened to Caldera in Congress and also thought how people would react. I thought Caldera was a horrible opportunist. For most people, very sadly, the foe of their foe is automatically their friend, the one to criticize the one who is bad is supposed to be good for that alone.

            I knew there were lots of people saying “se lo merecía”, “es que había que pasar algo”, etc. I thought they were foolish.

            History should have told us that. But I guess I didn’t know how history is definitely not Venezuelans’ forte, even if they delve so often in our naphthalene-smelling Independence War mythology. We are part of a world and yet we seem to view the rest as another world that does not apply to us.

            I expected at least people with some education would know that in spite of CAP being so crap, they couldn’t allow a coup monger to solve things.

            I wasn’t in Venezuela for the second coup but I got some terrible accounts from physicians friend of mine who had to deal with the corpses. I was so sorry for the country and my disgust for the military grew.

            Did you see the pictures of the people murdered by the likes of Chacón & company? Some of my relatives saw the real thing.

            I also remembered, with all the differences in order of magnitude and all that, what I had read about Germany 1923 when some idiots tried to carry out a coup…and so many other occasions…the one in Spain around 1981, the Violencia in Colombia…

            So, that’s my story. I think Venezuelans are specialists in eating at the banquet but refusing to look at the wall and read what is written there. You do not need a Daniel to interpret what is written. You just need fucking memory. But our people, apparently, have complete historical amnesia.

            Their history is la madre que los parió, the hic et nunc.

          • “I knew there were lots of people saying “se lo merecía”, “es que había que pasar algo”, etc. I thought they were foolish.”

            So you know what I’m talking about. I’ll also always remember hearing first hand around 2000 from many a job-creator the lament of “we thought we’d get a Pinochet and instead we got a dictadura de izquierda”. No facepalms will ever suffice.

            “You just need fucking memory. But our people, apparently, have complete historical amnesia.”

            I’ll never know if it is amnesia, ignorance or cognitive dissonance. Witness the people that are rooting for Diosdado these days…

        • CarlosElio,

          A Culture takes time to change, and Political parties reflect this for sure, which is why it is logical to some extent for people to assume that a Revolution will take time.

          Yet having experienced Venezuela since the late 60’s until 2002,with all its faults both now and then, I believe the 4th Republic to have been quite a bit better than Chavismo.I think this might be so because ideology is stronger within Chavismo than it was with the 4th Republic.In my opinion where ideology is stronger there is far more tendency for people to excuse wrong doing, in the sense that people will think that the means justifies the end.

        • Well same as you me, nada que ver con los adecos and the degeneration of the punto fijo pact. In that sense, I personally never liked Chavez but was surprised for the people much older and wiser than me who like you though he was gonna do the right thing, because after all the red flags, the guy was “venezolano”, meaning he wasn’t gonna be the traitor he became selling the country to Fidel Castro and destroying the democratic institutions.

  5. An audit sin Cuadernos de votacion is not an audit!! No matter what they call it. An audit calls for all elements of a particular process to be reviewed….Diosdado is already finished. It is just a matter of when he gets out…

  6. I think you have all missed the point of Emiliana’s post. Colombia has national leaders who can speak clearly and respectfully, using eloquent and grammatically correct Spanish, without resorting to crass expressions.

    • I think it goes beyond the veneer of polite language. At the core is the question: do you see others as people who hold different opinions or as enemies?

        • Well, yes, that, and the fact that he speaks some crazy-talk about “adhering to democratic principles,” “being supremely respectful” of institutions, and affirming that it’s Congress’ duty to “welcome and listen to any international leader who requests an audience.” To Venezuelans, this man is an extra-trerrestrial. Man, those Colombians are spoiled and they don’t know it.

          • Claro que si, and without the sports jacquet, that remind me of the sopranos. Glad Capriles didn’t wear it for the Colombian congress.

            I agree with Roy about the language and the way they are. In Venezuela, today, having manners means you are an ewil Capitalist, and enemy of the revolution, and so one has to behave like a tierrúo and not take showers too. Instead of evolving we are going back like the crab.

        • Totally agree with you. I had made a comment on the same subject at a different post. It bothers me to see how Capriles using the same unpolite language some (many) times.I’ve seen him on international TV interviews saying “echarle bolas”and then have to explain what that means in Venezuela. Our leaders try to sound more like el pueblo (I guess that wins votes) instead of teaching the pueblo by example. Maybe this is just someting else that we owe to Chavez and that will take a long time to change.

          • Really? When did he say “echarle bolas” abroad? I believe you but if there is a video, please show it to us. I’d like to call the attention to that.

          • Kepler,
            Can’t remember who was the interviewer, but I’m looking and as soon as I find it I’ll let you know.

          • Here ( at min 5:43 the word he ised was “arrechera”; which to some people may be OK, but I don’t consider it proper for a person in his position. “Echarle bolas” may have been in an interview for a Spanish newspaper. I’ll keep looking and let you know if I find it.

          • I think it was on the interview he gave to El Mundo (of Spain) a few weeks ago. I saw that too and was mildly disgusted, but not that much. My disgust was lessened by my expectations, which are never high, and by my sheer will to see Capriles in a good light despite himself.

          • The guy who first electrified Venezuelans by using an earthy ‘vamos a echarle pichon’ was Caldera . Before him no public figure used common vernacular expressions because they were seen as uncouth , instead they went for the corny pompous terms that made their speech sound ‘lofty’ and ‘up;lifting’ . Actually most Venezuelans were fed up with the unctuous artificiality of their speech . Chavez used both registers , his speech could be colourfully down to earth and sometimes as corny sanctimonous and pretentious as ever could be. Vernacular language in Venezuela is not usually very prim., it is spiced with picturesque off colour expressions with lots of punch which most Venezuelan males ( and quite a few females) like both hearing and using . To the extent Capriles wants to be heard by everyone in Venezuela he cant go back to the old political speech style , but strike a middle course which at times will sound coarse to some of us , but which common Venezuelans will connect with !!

          • culillo has a double entendre, and capriles has mentioned this word — on Bayly. I hope that Capriles has the enough decorum in more formal settings to avoid inappropriate words.

          • Yes I have noticed that too a little bit, read what I posted above your comment, on the same line.

        • Roy is right , polite language is a sign of civility and a spirit of civility is at the core of any functioning democracy still there are cultural differences which separate Colombia and Venezuela and which will tend to make Capriles speech different from that of any Colombian congressman. Colombians like using flowery speech and manners , are fond of formalities and pay much attention to appearances . Venezuelans for the most part are proud of their lack of pretense and their uncouth naturalness of manner , For the most part they feel impersonal conventions are either offensive or only for suckers (pendejos) . They like to see themselves as Machos, who dont rely on prim or petty conventions to lay claim to the respect of their equals . Capriles is talking to Colombians but at the same time to a Venezuelan audience, If his speech is too polished we might like it but lots of people will hear it as pretentious. Remember he has to fight that sifrino image that the regime is always trying to place on him because of his class origins. Chavez was a master at playing the folksy yet fiery, spontaneous macho and he was very succesful with it. Capriles should do no less!!

    • Roy – you may be right but these well educated people also have a tendency to murder other people who also speak gramatically correct Spanish. Or had you forgotten that point in your delerium?

      • You just prove my comment dude, in Venezuela, everybody including a hefty group of the opposition think that they have to behave with no manners and kill the Spanish lenguage, how disgraceful. How come being closer to the caveman makes us Venezuelans a better country, better people? Like Joselo pre Chavez used to say, one more time: “La cultura ofende”

  7. My take is that Chavismo is or was a coalition tied together by a common vision of a socialistic utopia. However, my experiences talking with high ranking Chavistas that I know is that this revolution only needed “more time!” That position has been their buffer for the cognitive dissonance resulting from the compounding failures and disappointments that have been worsening, and time is running out. The coalition is fragmenting for sure. Each fragment, in desperation, has its own way of dealing with the situation. Some fragments are ideological, and some fragments are political/social in nature, and they do not align. However, all the fragments were deferential to El Commandante, and now there is no leader.

    As for the logic or absence thereof, it is probably not coordinated, and therefore bound to be transient actions based on frustration and desperation. Anyway that’s my take.

  8. I was going to write up a long response about the Colombian Congress, but then I realized that when you’re in a political situation where that circo de lagartos that’s our congress looks like something reasonable, it’s definitely time to weep. Though, I must admit, they behave at their least worse when dealing with international relations, I do think it was a good move by Capriles and I hope Santos et al. actually do something about it. At least they have to call Diosdado on threatening to bring down the peace process.

    • “El circo de lagartos” makes a greener pasture than the gray foreground that seals (perpetually applauding focas) make. All is relative in this universe.

      We all go around with ideal worlds encrusted in our heads, but we should avoid mimicking the flight of the gooney bird, that awkward feathered soul that flight in ever concentric circles until it ends up wit his head encrusted in his ass.

      There is no perfect congress, there is no perfect leader, there is no perfect right line in this universe. As Heisenberg proved and Gödel demonstrated, the only thing that is true in this universe is that everything is surrounded by a band of error. Don’t waste your time digging out imperfections; a more productive endeavor is trying to make the imperfections less painful. In Venezuela, the political powers work to make life miserable for everybody and then blame the “oligarchs” for every fuck up they create. Not surprisingly, they have not spelled out who the oligarchs are or how their mechanisms work.

  9. According to game theory, a good strategy is to diversify your portfolio of bets. That is what nature does when it creates brontosaurs and viruses. Some bets fail, others win. And in the average, the macro-molecules inch forward, as predicted by the theory of the selfish gene.

    Colombia should diversify its bets. A strong political opposition in Venezuela is good for Colombia, in the same manner that a strong and independent congress in the United States is good for Europe, or even for Iraq. Should they fail negotiating with Obama, they have the option of negotiating with congress. And a strong congress carries a lot of political weight: they are the ones who approve or deny appropriations. They control the purse strings.

    The meeting is also good for Capriles and the democratic opposition. They find relevance in the international political arena and can influence decision-making. It would be in Chile’s best interest if Piñera hosted Capriles. The same is true for every leader in the Americas or elsewhere.

    • What a load of BS talking about influencing decisions in the political arena. The President of the Bolivarian Republic sets foriegn policy, not the opposition. You must be living in a cave somewhere to write this crap.

      • as usual, Arturo, you miss the point. Here’s the money quote that sticks in your craw: A strong political opposition in Venezuela is good for Colombia, in the same manner that a strong and independent congress in the United States is good for Europe, or even for Iraq.

        And in case you haven’t noticed, the illegitimate president of the Bolivarian republic has no credibility for setting much of anything, other than appointments with little birds.

  10. All this praise for the Colombian Congress. The fact is that during Uribe’s presidency there were around 20 congressmen and senators in jail for workingg with the paramilitaries. So is that the sort of well-educated people you want to make the laws? My God, you people are incredible.

    • are you trying to say that you prefer government officials and members of the military to be free to deal with narco-traffickers?

      Oh, never mind. #DealingWithAnImbecile.

      • Yeah, really. Arturo is such a dimwit, he thinks a lack of prosecutions means a lack of corruption. I guess it goes hand in hand with the Chavista claim that Iceland is more dangerous because there are more reported cases of petty theft there!

        Once people like him form the majority of your country, its not long before liberal democracy and free media die. Dimwits like him truly believe a lack of negative media stories means things are going well.

    • I want the kind of independent judiciary that gets to throw the President’s allies in jail if they’ve been naughty.

    • Truro! You are alive, I thought you died of sadness when Hugo died. Are you Madurista now? What side are you on? Diosdado seems too smart for you to like, I bet you like Jaua, he has your intellectual depth.

      • Isa,

        To paraphrase an old parody: Some of the Chavistas are for Maduro, and some of the Chavistas are for Cabello. And, Arturo is for the Chavistas.

  11. Welcome Carlos saying something that is so often overlooked , how we all expect perfection and absolute harmony in the ways human systems work and then are dissapointed when such perfection is never achieved. We create a pure model in our head of how things ought to work forgetting how easy it is for even the wisest and most expert of people to be mistaken or not to be able to provide for the contingent , haphhazard , fortuitous unexpected influences that affect human plans or for the many frailties of the human condition , We always strive to imagine as feasable an absolutely rational world and must end up tolerating a merely reasonable one !! thank you Carlos for reminding us of that!!

    • agree. CarlosElio: You have the basis for a formidable, personalized account that should be published for a larger audience. Please consider it. And thank you for your sincerity.


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