Missing him

Fun times
Fun times

After a long day full of meetings, errands, and other such trivialities, I sit down to write a post and, lo and behold, I can’t find a worthwhile topic.

I scan the news, and what I find is not worth a tweet, much less a post: Information Minister Ernesto Villegas calling us all coup-mongers, Prisons Minister Iris Varela repeating what the voices inside her head are telling her, and, oh yes, inflation last month was a whopping 4.7%.

All of these things are significant in their own way (well, except for Iris, she’s just plain sad). But still – how many posts can we write about inflation in Venezuela? Is Villegas even worth a second look? Even Maduro’s bizarre courtship of Edward Snowden gets boring after a while.

It’s in times like these when I remind myself that, wait a minute, Hugo Chávez is dead.

He. Is. Dead. Long gone. Sleeps with the fishes.

No more cadenas of Chávez singing live. No more crazy policy proposals. No more provocative, unheard-of-statements. No more pomp. No more circumstance. No more silly hats, talks of bowel movements, and of conjugal bliss. No more rousing the rabble like only he could do. Chávez is gone, and the only news he’s making is when he pops up in a bust somewhere. It used to be he was fodder for those of us who write about Venezuela. Now … well, he’s just fodder for worms.

This – the slow yet unstoppable decay of what remains of a revolution, now led by unimaginative wannabes – is the new normal. It’s not pretty, and some days it’s not even worth writing about. Chavismo has become the culmination of error upon error, capped off by the decision to leave bland, uninspired characters at the helm.

It’s in days like these when I secretly wish – for only a second – that Chávez was still around, if only to make my job as a blogger a tiny bit easier. But he’s gone, and in his place we have these losers.

Thanks a lot, Chávez. Again.

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  1. Fun times indeed.

    Oh yeah I remember those funny times, when he used to calls us escualidos, vendepatrias, burgues, vendepatria, majunche, frijolito and whatnot. Remember how he used a list to ban people than signed a petition against him, that was hilarious man.

    And when we achieved our first electoral victory since 1999, he called that victory a victory of shit, oh yes that was amusing.

    Oh I miss him so bad…

  2. It sounds bizarre at first but this is a form of mourning (as are Emiliana’s posts). I say this because Chávez made up a very important part of your lives, his funny (and not-so-funny) antics always gave you (and everyone) something to talk about, it was part of daily life. His personality shaped Venezuelan reality (thus your experiences and the blog) for many, many years. For better or for worse he has in fact left a void, and you can feel that. We might be able to rationalize his death, and argue that it might bring about change in Venezuela sooner, but it is still a loss. And losses (no matter how we perceive their consequences) have to be mourned.

    Mis condolencias Juan, Emiliana y a todos los demás.

    • P.S. Just for the record, what I wrote above is strictly tongue-in-cheek. In reality, I’m relieved that the hurricane (cult of personality that Chávez manufactured) can no longer keep the country in a state of turbulence, can no longer damage to the same extent. That hurricane has already destroyed Vzla’s social and economic fabric, destruction designed from the get-go for political infiltration by Cuba, and aided and abetted by: weakened internal institutions, manipulated imprimaturs (the Carter Center), and paid agents from the foreign media and the arts.
      In the hurricane’s wake, it will take time to build a strong consensus that understands the need and really wants a more representative democracy, based on the rule of law.

  3. Chávez was a great contextualizer. In a way, there’s a crazy rightness to his getting the National Journalism Award: he knew how to do something crucial most Venezuelan journalists fail catastrophically at. He could take any bit of news and place it in a great historical arch – one of his own invention, yes, but a meaningful one to millions of both supporters and opponents. Chavez made information meaningful. It was a great gift, and one he wasted to great effect.

    (btw, I was on this bandwagon before the guy was even dead!)

    • I agree with you a 100%. I am no glad because he die, but I am very glad that he is gone from the political scene in Venezuela. Too bad for you bloggers you will need to be a little be more creative.
      … “he’s gone, and in his place we have these losers.” Thanks a lot, Chávez. Again.

  4. I just happened to find this blog today, and only read a post about Iris Varela, and this one, and I have to say that is pretty sad that your inspiration was Chavez!? with him gone, there is not more fun? I think Venezuela deserves more, maybe you have to search other sources. I just can’t believe what I just read. It’s true that unreal things happened with Chavez in the power but for bad, for involution, not something to laugh about, it was sad having such a president, get over it. And sorry if I couldn’t caught wether this is pure sarcasm or real thinking.

  5. The post is worrying but some of the comments even more so. The entertainer and the man who destroyed much of the country are one. Now I realize the intensity and extent of the Stockholm Syndrome among us. This is a dead we should not feel nostalgic about.

  6. For the record, I don’t miss him. I understand why some miss him, just by looking to the bunch of folks we’re now stuck with. Yes, he was also entertaining sometimes. But personally, I never have that kind of attachment with him. So, there’s that.

  7. I do not miss him, I never wanted him in my life coverage area. He is to blame for most of the social situation we are living today, and the deplorable conditions in the country. Because the bunch in power are a walking disaster I do not miss the previous destroyer, I would like to have a fairly efficient, reasonable and coherent leader on board.

  8. “Missing him” Sooo perverse! Just as I find perverse the continued headlines in the national press about an auction of US currency has pushed away the killing of an innocent mother and child by a group of GNB. Its not just about Chavez or Maduro or any other individual, its the government or regime and their policies that need more detailed analysis.

  9. I don’t miss him one bit.

    It took him years to make us feel that our life belong to him, that we were what he said and what he did, not being able to think for ourselves. We lived in the middle of a storm and there was no way but to follow the guy in command (or leave).

    The guys in power are trying desperately to do the same, but they are just wimps, which in a way is good. The waters are calming down so we can see clearly. We now can go back to our lifes.

  10. I don’t miss him either. I am sorry for him as a human being. He should have lived longer so that his followers could link him better with the growing decay. I would have liked to see him behind bars, together with a lot of his clan.

    Admittedly, he was our golem -or rather the one the previous generation concocted-. He was just a terrible TB produced by the socio-economic AIDS our feudal country has been suffering for so long.

    The guy, although with a weak educational background, had a better command of Spanish syntax than almost all Venezuelan politicians living now.
    Even with his very random reading habits and his belief in “mankind being 20 centuries old”, he also had a more solid knowledge of the world than many of our top “elite” politicians.

    That is quite meaningful. Of course, all that didn’t do any good to the country but it could have, had the person also been honest and psychologically balanced.

    Even without him opposition politicians should be thinking about how to hone their rhetorical skills and above all show they have a vision of the country, a comprehensive story to tell, something going beyond slogans.

    A group of real story tellers who can also work as organizers and team players could help us to develop a Venezuela that leaves behind more easily this clownish caudillo.

  11. As someone whose country was under attack for several months in 2009 from this maniac I can’t say I miss him. Hope they buried him deep.

  12. How about we discuss what needs to be done now? Oil production policies? Oil distribution policies? Economic policies? Energy? Defense? Drug traffic? I certainly hope that this community is not a snobbish, english-speaking that virtually meets to gossip on chavez.

  13. F**** Chavez lets worry about Venezuela, a beautiful woman with no self esteem, she’s in an abusive relationship with a psycopath and can’t get out. Get some help!

    • So she turns into an abusive alcoholic as well and we are her children. We have to decide into taking her to rehab, or to leave her.

      Corin Tellado, where art thou?

  14. Now something makes sense. Chavez was a novela star and that justified his $500,000 per day salary. He certainly did not deserve a penny for running the government.

    Maduro is a lackluster understudy who tries but cannot read the lines correctly and does not understand the plot.

    • Maduro is dyslexic. He cannot read, at least, not well. So instead, he travels far and wide, shows a toothy grin under that mustache, plays a little cuatro, and puts on an army-like shirt when he wants push his weight around on the home front.

      • Do you know for a fact he is dyslexic? For me he is rather slow, which is a completely different thing. Or perhaps he is slow AND on top of that dyslexic.

        • No, I don’t know for a fact that Maduro is dyslexic. I read that in the journalistic/political tweets that I follow. And I thought at the time, hmmm, that might explain the abysmal scholastic performance (for which there are records), the compensation for that poor academic performance through self-mockery, the reposerismo at work, his lacklustre ability to effectvely carry out Chávez’s orders.

  15. Both Maduro and Chavez are/were puppets. They are distractions, tactics executed by the people in power to makes us look their way, to laugh/love/hate/be amazed/ashamed by their antics.

    The real puppet-masters have managed to embezzle over one and a half trillion dollars in 14 years of oil boom and the country has nothing to show for that. If anything is much worse with decaying physical infrastructure and dysfunctional society.

    The hope that was sown on the less wealthy classes, mixed with the ideology and the hatred, will com back with a vengeance to collect when the country finally defaults and the puppet-masters are enjoying themselves in golden exiles. Meanwhile Stockholm syndrome and jodedera keep u looking at the puppets.

    Sad, very sad.

    • LuisF,
      One and a half trillion dollars divided by 29 million people is $52,000 per person or $208,000 for a family of four. Enough for a nice house and more.
      Toilet paper is the new currency in Venezuela. One and a half trillion dollars is 3 trillion rolls of toilet paper. That is 103,000 rolls per Venezuelan. Or about 3 rolls/day for life for each person in Venezuela.

      Sad, very sad.

  16. OT: Anybody noticed the implication of Maduros recent speech on it being the right time to create a socialist economic military zone ( i.e. giving the military a stake in certain industries and business for them to handle on their own ) just like they do in China and Iran ( and Egypt ) to tie the Army people to economic privileges which make them more government aligned !!

    • Or Pakistan and North Korea.

      China has actually been attempting to get the army out of economic activities, it is a huge source of corruption and abuse of power. It also makes the army less professional as members of the army think less about combat readiness and more about how much money they can make in their enterprises. Are the new socialist economic military zones in fact a CIA plot?

  17. Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden.

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    • NO, please do not waste such a lovely poem on an undeserving swine -apologies to the swines! Chavez should be relegated to oblivion, wiped out by the sands of time, returned to the obscurity he came from…. if it were not for the fact that such forgetfulness would increase the chances of Venezuela electing another one like him!!!!!


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