The Dirtiest Lie

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8628039190b09705290f6a706700757cThree months ahead of his death, Fidel Castro knew Hugo Chávez was a terminal case. He told Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa as much. It beggars belief that this fact was not ascertained ahead of last year’s October 7th election.

Yet throughout that time, the Venezuelan people were carefully, systematically lied to about the state of the president’s health. The government carefully kept up the absurd charade that Chávez was on the mend right up until the very end.

This much all thinking people can agree on: if they will lie about this, they will lie about anything. And yet the confounding fact remains: the lie is out there, the proof that it was a lie is out there. Yet through it all, millions of Venezuelans hang on to their determination not to see what is right under their noses.

Once an entire population has embraced its own deception to this delirious extent, where is the room for redemption? I keep wanting to find it. But I can’t.

1 COMMENT

    • De endentimos doto lo ge tijisde.

      It can be incredible but let’s remember this does not only happen in Venezuela. Take a look at Russia. Even take a look at Germany for several years after WW2.
      The problem with Venezuela is that we never ever learn from history.
      For most Venezuelans history, even recent history, is a myth lasagne.

  1. In the politics of audacity , the more outrageous a lie is, the more people will say “‘that’s got to be true ,otherwise why would someone make something like that up?'”
    Then there is the fact that people hear what they want to hear, or the lies come from their ” side” of politics which is a trusted source ?, not realizing that their authorities lie quite a bit, and on and on…..I love the mural Banksy put up that says something like…a lie told over and over again becomes politics.

  2. Nothing but the truth.
    The story of this regime is a chain of well linked lies, coming from the ‘comandante supremo’ or anyone in his court.
    There is a reason: control. Control is the name of the game.

  3. My question is, why did Correa reveal this? Is “Chávez was always sick” the new “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia”? Does he think that playing the “I suffered for months” card is better politically than coming out with the truth? Or are there other reasons…?

      • Do you really? Maybe this guys is far more aware of domestic Venezuelan politics than you think. I was wondering the same thing, why did Correa reveal this? Is it possible that he benefits somehow from telling that obvious truth that everyone else was denying? Is he also plotting with Diosdado? The second Silvagate would come handy here.

  4. There is no room for redemption. I am beginning to understand that those following Chavismo do so more out of their own resentment towards the Opposition than out of a wholehearted belief in Chavismo. Never mind what the Opposition and the myriad of parties under its banner, old and new alike, might represent today; never mind the rotten reality within Chavismo, long present before March 5th. What else can we read from all this? They resent the Opposition – which in justice can no longer be an old establishment – and therefore any excuse, however slim and naive, is a good excuse to carry on along Maduro’s lines; or to justify the lies.

    It will be a daunting task to reconstruct whatever is left after Maduro, and that is true for them to their own selves as much as it is for us to the wreck we will find.

    • We keep thinking it will “be a daunting task to rebuild after…” The big one used to be “after Chavez dies.”

  5. …and then there is always:

    “I have a constitutional right to believe things that I know are false 🙂 “

    • or who was it that said ? : “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.” which is why arguing is often in vain.

  6. This should also make you wonder as to how Hugo Chavez decided to ‘choose’ Maduro as his successor. During the first week in December (2012) Chavez discovered that he needed another operation, and quick. This time there would be no more grand exits to the airport in order to board a flight to Havana. No mass demonstrations of support along the route. No side-by-sides of Christ and Chavez on the front windshields. No more games. This was serious. He was probably scared sh!tless. It would be his final operation, and, it was a complete failure. “Please, don’t let me die,” were his final words. But, before he hightailed it back to Havana for that final operation, he broadcast to the nation the appointment of Maduro as successor. How’d that happen? Who chose Maduro, Chavez or the Castro’s? That’s the more interesting question here.

    • Who chose Maduro, Chavez or the Castro’s? That’s the more interesting question here.
      My assumption was that Castro did the choosing.

      • Ditto on the assumption. What was weird for me was the voice that Chávez used to “dedo-ize” Maduro. It was an empty, hollow voice. And from it, I presumed that Chávez was following orders.

        • Just because your side is controlled from Washington, Bogotá and Madrid, do not asume that chavismo is controlled from Havana. The castros don0t have any money to control us since we give it all to them….hahahaha. You believe anything. syd is the planet’s best expert at opining on Venezuela when she lives in New York.

          • wow, cubanito, you don’t get out much if you keep guessing wrongly my location. First you declare that I live in Australia, then California, now New York. And they pay you for playing the Gong Show?

            Must be on account of the jineteras that chavismo officials frequently fly to La Habana. Your sister, perhaps?

  7. Speaking of lies (and I know I’m liable to pay for Quico’s visit to a mental institution because I’m bringing up the topic) what’s the deal with this guy Cochez showing a birth certificate that’s más falso que una moneda de cuero? You can hear/read the details here: http://www.bluradio.com/#!37331/falso-y-mal-hecho-registro-civil-colombiano-de-nicolas-maduro-registraduria

    But the gist of it is that the document is nothing like an original certificate, it’s number corresponds to some guy called Plutarco who lives in the middle of the country (and registered his cédula in the 1950’s), and that the “funcionario” that signs has not been working for two years.

    Capriles has been very vocal in pointing out when Maduro is lying and being deceitful (the best/worst example being clearly shown in this post), but Cochez has just given the gov’t ammo to say that the opposition is being dishonest. Sure, this guy was probably working alone in his delusion (the document is evidently false and anyone with access to internet can see it doesn’t exist on the database) but his actions will be lumped together with what the oppo does in Venezuela.

    Sure, lots of people have become disenchanted with chavismo ever since HCF died, but there’s no use in that if they feel the oppo is just as bad. And this Cochez affair is harmful in that sense.

    • My sense is that, percentage-wise, there is a similar number of cranks and obsessives in chavismo and in the opposition – and, indeed, in most political movements worldwide. The question is whether the crazies RUN the movements they inhabit, or whether they’re shoved off to the margin where the damage they do can be contained.

      We have no shortage of cranks and obsessives. But they don’t run our movement. They do run chavismo, though…

      • Man, oh man…..you live in a dream world.

        The great thing is that with this sort of discourse and no sort of policy, your side will have kittle chance of winning an election in Venezuela.

        When have you ever proposed anything positive instead of whining? You always whine. Face the facts.

    • I hope that Cochez loses all credibility over this incident, as does Patty Poleo, whose credibility wasn’t strong prior to this amateurish display. That Cochez, a lawyer, would not be more careful in his diagnostics of authenticity, does him no favors. Furthermore, when he actually went to Cúcuta, a few months ago, or so he said, to investigate.

      I truly believed that this certificate was for real. But then, I’m no lawyer trained to be dispassionate in all analyses.

      Black marks for Cochez and Poleo, daughter. Pa’ fuera.

      Oh, mea culpa, Quico. You were right to take a back seat.

        • Pablo Medina’s reasoning is the folowing: Obama can sympathize with Venezuelan birtherism, because his nationality was questioned by a bunch of loonies with zero evidence, who wouldn’t stop even when he produced his birth certificate that evidenced that he was born on US soil. Now, of course, he sympathizes with Venezuelans who are making a similar claim about Maduro.
          About the fact that he and his sisters have consecutive cédula numbers, my dad and his brothers who are several years apart, proudly (believe me) born and raised in Maracaibo to Venezuelan parents, have consecutive cédula numbers because my Grandmother took them all in one trip to whatever Saime was called in those days at the same time to get their cédulas together and I’ve heard of similar cases.

      • But it’s nothing of a light issue than an Panamanian ambassador for the OEA has come out with a false document without taking his time and contacts to prove it was the real deal? There is something very odd about that, that I cannot get my mind around it, like who does that. And it;s not a good thing for the oppo if he loses credibility either since he is one of those strong and consistent voices against Castro and Chavez. It’s very bad. Who wins with this? Obvious answer.

  8. We all knew Chávez was terminal. The problem, I think, is tht many people don’t mind the fact that we were lied to. Basically, they all bought into the whole “his health is a private matter” narrative, without batting an eyelid at the fact that the President being terminal is not something you simply hide away until he dies. Ultimately, the fault lies with Hugo Chávez himself. He was the one who decided to lie, and people went along with it.

    • And I think this ties into the general problem with the Venezuelan mentality. It is that being a bullshit artist* is laudable. It inverts all the values of the enlightenment**.

      *Harry Frankfurt’s concept as explained in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit
      ** and yet how refreshing not to take everything so seriously

  9. When the Electoral authorities announced that elections would be held in early October rather than in December (as had been the custom for decades) it became obvious that the change in scheduling somehow served Chavez political agenda , If he was strongly suspected of carrying a very nasty cancer (with a lethal outlook) , then it became easy to connect the dots and inferr that by anticipating the elections they were allowing him to participate in an electoral campaign he would not be phisically able to make in october and november . Everyone knew ( Chavez most of all) that none of his accolytes had the charisma to win an election at that time thus the need to anticipate the date of the elections to allow him to run ( also giving time for his divided followers to come to terms with the acceptance of whoever he chose was to succeed him) . Depite all the endorsements and preparations and manouvering Maduro was barely able to muster enough support to allow him to claim the presidency some 5 months later ( with a bit of help from his friends) . Correa must have known or suspected the truth long before december . His coming out know with this puerile story tells you how much pols of his ilk despise other peoples intelligence and overrate their credulity . !!

  10. It would be interesting to compare a poll of what percentage of people support the regime, versus what percentage of people trust it.

  11. Well, that’s the thing, there is no room for redemption. Venezuela failed as a society, even as a disarrayed group of human beings. There is nothing of value whatsoever to be recovered or protected anymore. There are still worthy individuals trapped in that hellish Petri dish of human failure, but they are by far exceptions to a very standard and widespread rule

    • If nothing else Venezuela has lead to some really memorable quotables: “hellish Petri dish of human failure” gets a major thumbs up

      • Aye, aye!!

        Everyone knows in venezuela that Chavismo is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the country, the problem is that as good “Venezolanos vivos” there are a bunch that want to also be in on it! Eg. CADIVI, free gas for all, etc. they don’t want to be the ones that didn’t profit form it.

    • I know that it is tempting to write off Venezuelans as being unworthy. Even Venezuelans talk this way in despair of their own countrymen. However, the tendency to be “vivos” comes directly from a lack of confidence in the future. It is not related to being Venezuelan or to the essential nature of Venezuelan culture.

      When people cannot see a stable future, there is only the present. It makes no sense to invest in a future one does not believe in. And when I use the word “invest” that includes being honest in one’s business dealings to maintain a sound reputation. That includes making sure that you pay your taxes and are in compliance with the laws. That includes treating your employees fairly (or your employer, for that matter). It even includes how a person conducts their personal relationships.

      When there is no future, it is human nature to simply grab what they can now. Not only is it human nature, it is even a rational response to the circumstance. I have seen this before in other countries. As soon as a stable and just society is restored, and people gain confidence in the future, the individual calculations of each citizen will start to take the future into account again.

  12. The cynical route: who cares as long as he cannot do anymore mischief. As for the effect on December elections, with or without Him they would have ran away with the jackpot anyway. If you don’t believe it look what happened last April.

  13. Venezuelans like being lied to and they also enjoy a traditional caudillo that walks all over them so they can worship him as a human god. This is an acquired taste, like a strong cheese or a good wine. Venezuelans also take pride in the fact that our criminals are the best in the world. Al pueblo le encantan las promesas de un futuro mejor que nunca llega, but they don’t actually want to work for it.

    • Sorry bro, but we have the best criminals in the world like McDonalds has the finest hamburgers.

      People here would work for a lot, maybe it’s the fact that what they do end up working for is day to day meeting of ends… How can you expect anybody to pay attention to grand narratives when paying attention to the small minded foolishnesses of work-that-pays-just-under-enough-to-keep-a-ranchito takes all your time?

      What would you have them do? What concrete steps lead from our wage slavery to political engagement (that’s political engagement, not political entretainment)?

  14. I am trying to look for a direct source to Correa’s statement. I do not seem to find it. I do not want to say this is not true, and in a sense it’s pretty obvious it could be the case, but I wouldn’t take bloomberg as my first place to go for unbiased information.

  15. He said……then she said….and then Fidel said….and Correa said…..the usual labyrinth of convoluted evidence to throw accusations around by Quico.

    Where is the direct link to what Correa said? I cannot find it either.

    Even if Maduro, for example, knew that Chavez was going to die, why on earth cause even more anguish in the population?

    Just because this did not suit your political game it certainly was the correct, responible thing to do as far as the country was concerned. However, you with your antecedents and “rencores” and complete lack of political vision can never understand that.

    It’s over. Maduro is President and the trash such as Mardo, MCM, Capriles and others will face the scales of juctice. Wait and see.

    • Even if Maduro, for example, knew that Chavez was going to die, why on earth cause even more anguish in the population?

      Yeah, if you’re going to lie, lie big. If the president of a country is dying, don’t as his second-in-command say that his condition is serious to the public who voted for that president (under false premises — but that’s another story). Convey to that public that, as second-in-command you and that president held a FIVE (5)-hour working session.

      Did your mom not read fairy tales to you, Arturo, when you were a child, that you so fervently need to believe them now, as an adult?

    • Arturo,

      “labyrinth”? “convoluted”? This was from an interview on Telesur. Do you think that Rafael Correa is lying? Or do you think he knew what Maduro did not? Do you find either of those theories credible? Because if those two theories are not credible, then the only other conclusion is that Maduro lied to the Venezuelan people.

    • Scales of justice? Maduro has declared Mardo’s guilt. At what point prior to that verdict was there a fair trial?…wtf planet are you on Art?

  16. “The government carefully kept up the absurd charade that Chávez was on the mend right up until the very end.”…. and for more than two months afterwards!

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