I just want to be a good fascist and the Government won't let me…

Emi's Office
Emi’s Office

So it’s Wednesday morning in the International Office of the MUD and I’m walking in, bleary eyed, heading straight to the coffee pot for my requisite 8:00 a.m. fix. Before I can put my bag down, open my laptop, and start on my morning ritual of checking the news and scheduling our daily fascist agenda, we get our first rapid-response issue of the day, which is not uncommon in my chosen occupation. “Damn it,” I think to myself, “I’m going to have throw out my plan to spend the next few hours hatching fascist plots to deal with this bullshit.”

It turns out, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) officers raided the private residence of Oscar López, Henrique Capriles’s campaign strategist and chief of staff. Nameless search warrant in hand, DIM agents broke into López’s apartment with the help of a locksmith, and seized personal documents, electronic equipment and mobile phones. Although the purpose of the raid was never made clear by authorities, López’s lawyer believes they were looking for evidence linking López’s financial activity to that of MP Richard Mardo, who is being investigated on corruption charges (even though he does not administer public funds) after being stripped of his parliamentary immunity last week,  (unconstitutionally, lest we forget.)

And so we patiently got to drafting the umpteenth statement to alert the international community of said event.

But just as I was about to click the SEND button and get back to my daily fascist punch-list, I get word that the Supreme Court (TSJ) just rejected all 10 legal petitions, 2 of them submitted by the MUD, to challenge April 14 election results, on grounds that there were flagrant violations of electoral norms that might have altered the voter’s will reflected in Maduro’s victory. Oh, and Capriles, and his legal council were slapped with a fine for calling into question the Court’s impartiality, and the Attorney General was instructed to launch an investigation of Capriles for his offenses.

So back I go to draft another letter, informing the world about the Court’s decision and listing all the ways in which due process was ignored, showing how domestic legal recourse has been exhausted, and ratifying Capriles’s decision to take this cause abroad, since the Venezuelan judicial system gets insulted whenever it’s delicate sensibilities are so rudely shocked.

With the final period of this letter typed, I sit back and sigh with relief. “Finally,” I think to myself, “now I can get back to doing what it is I get paid to do, which is being a fascist.” (I’d already missed my 2:00 pm “Rubbing your hands together and being a nefarious villain” seminar and I was starting to get irritated).

But my excitement was short-lived. Just as I was about to kick my feet up and delve into chapter 4 of the Fascism 101 handbook that Ramón Guillermo Aveledo lovingly dedicated to me, I get an email notification that MP María Corina Machado has been once again summoned to appear before the “Joint Committee to further investigate the Anti-Democratic, Anti-Patriotic and Fascist confessions of MP María Corina Machado” or whatever it is they called it.

Goddamit! How am I supposed to get any work done around here???

So, for the third time today, I sit in front of the computer and type up a communiqué to spam world leaders about how parliamentary immunity is being decimated in Venezuela, how separation of powers became an outright fiction, and how legislators are being targeted for smear campaigns through State media outlets and slated for inquisition in detriment to their mandates as elected representatives.

As you can imagine, all these distractions take a toll on my productivity. I am sorry to say that our facist activity is currently quite inefficient. I really hope someone in PSUV can read this and help me help them. I’m really just trying to do my job.

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    • Oh man, how could I forget?? That one’s a classic!
      And no thanks necessary, I get paid handsomely by the Empire.

      • I bet you half of your slush fund in the Cayman Islands that the irony of your post will be completely lost on any (or all) of the 4 chavistas that read this blog.

  1. Emiliana – An amusing reflection on your daily job. My sincere sympathies!!

    However, beyond your particular responsibilities in this regard, it seems, to generally be that the party setting the agenda in Venezuela — in the daily press, and beyond — is oficialismo. They of course have a big advantage in this in that, they are in power. they run the country, etc..

    Nevertheless, it seems to me that, aside from the necessary press-release denouncements of oficialistas for arbitrary measures against the opposition (which you so admirably accomplish), there seems to be very little in the way of programmatic and analytical information from the opposition aimed at either the more politically active strata (intellectuals, active-minded worker/activists) and the popular classes generally.

    A party or coalition in the opposition, especially in a country with such polarization over poicy, as Venezuela, will very regularly issue analyses and critiques of things like what is going on with the economy, what is going on in the oil sector, with foreign relations (i.e., with USA, China, Colombia, Farc peace negotiations, …), with, the internal labor issues/movement, with the student issues/movement, etc. etc. They would be holding frequent public meetings and forums/panels where experts offering analyses, as an indication of what a new government’s policies would look like, in contrast to the present oficialismo, educating and building support in a detailed way for their policies and analyses. (Denouncements of attacks by oficialismo are necessary, but generally they don’t change votors’ affiliations.)

    Am I missing something?? I can imagine that such activity by the MUD simply might not be reaching the press that I can see from abroad. Perhaps that explains it.

    • I agree with Tom here. At least that’s the observations I get from people in Carabobo and Lara. There is little if any program for setting up information networks, spreading the word about principles we stand for, about the real situation, about the long term perspectives, about how where Venezuela stands today in Latin America (murder, real development, exports, education, etc).
      What do we want? (not just a “Venezuela bonita” or simply “Venezuela próspera, educación, educación, educación, educación”). What does that mean?

      Still today, in 2013, it is more important to reach the blokes in the buses heading for Maturín or Los Teques than the twitter sphere.

  2. I think this Orwellian nightmare is coming to an end. Don’t ask me why or how it will end. I just feel it. Emiliana: thanks for sharing your thoughts. At least we know there is a bunch of us in the same state of mind. Misery loves company.

    • That’s half the problem in Venezuela: “don’t question it, I just feel it”. Surprised you didn’t add “el tiempo de Dios es perfecto.”

      • LOL… I’d agree with you in general about your condemnation for visceral reactions where cerebral ones should take place. In this case, my post was a continuation of a number of failed attempts to find a rational way out of this conundrum the opposition currently faces. Instead of venting my frustration openly I opted for a message of hope. Around here, regardless of your opinion, there will always be harsh criticism.

    • Is Reinaldo Dos Santos now making house calls? Haven’t seen or heard from him lately. Yet, his visionary effects are being felt by certain individuals.

  3. Where is the anger?? Where is the outrage?? I just heard Liliana Hernandez on Cesar Miguel – one of the few open forums left to the opposition – and she, too, instead of rousing outrage and leading an opposition, sounded annoyed and bored with the whole process. . The opposition is going nowhere by being sarcastic and condescending in response to the outrageous, illegal manipulations of the present power structure. We can keep being clever and flippant and they will continue to progress doggedly towards their objectives. Are you asking for commiseration because your daily routine was interrupted ?? or anger and resistance to a relentless encroachment of all hope for democracy and rule of law?? Keeping you off balance and in reaction mode is exactly according to plan – they do know how to stay on message.

    • iro·ny
      noun ˈī-rə-nē also ˈī(-ə)r-nē
      plural iro·nies
      Definition of IRONY
      a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning
      b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony
      c : an ironic expression or utterance
      a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity
      b : incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play.

    • How can anyone maintain a state of outrage day after day, week after week, and year after year? Outrage requires a high expenditure of emotional energy. Also, outrage requires an outlet. Where are we supposed to vent this outrage?

      • @jmac, I don’t know what else she or anybody for that matter is suppose to do. We all have to be thankful and very proud for Emiliana, Liliana Hernandez, Maria Corina, Julio Borges, and you name it, everybody else who is dealing with this shit 24-7 and living inside Venezuela, decided not to leave and face the beast face to face, and on top of everything trying to have a life, raise kids and have some sanity. Not easy.

    • It was near the Sambil shopping center and, according to the police, it lacked vital security. It appears from photos that the front gate was left open & the 4 thieves just sauntered into the reception area & forced the receptionist to ope all the rooms.
      There was no video surveillance system & inadequate lighting.

      Our posada is on the other end of the Island & we have locked gates, electric fencing & video surveillance. Not that that would stop determined thieves but it makes it more difficult for them.

      It reminds me of the British tourist that was killed a couple of years ago. The owner of the hotel opened the gates at 9.30 PM to 3 men & a woman asking about rooms. Absolutely rule #1 when you run a posada. NEVER open the gates to someone without a reservation – day or night.

      • Absolutely rule #1 when you run a posada. NEVER open the gates to someone without a reservation – day or night.

        Which shows how the crime situation has deteriorated over time in Venezuela, From many years ago in Latin America I recall hotel employees in some places- not all- sleeping by the front door in order to let in night travelers. Reservations-never.

      • Interesting rule #1, IC. Glad you have video surveillance. OT: When I travelled through the northern parts of Poland, I stayed in a simple village posada.. The owner thought that, given my tiredness after a long journey, I’d gone to bed early. Not so. After a nap, I went out looking for something to eat. I didn’t know enough to tell the owner. Got lost on the way back, through a light forest, horrified by a pig the size of a VW beetle. It grunted and showed its horned teeth. Clearly I was not in Kansas. At about 9:30pm, I found the posada, rang the doorbell, knocked, called out. Nada. Waited awhile and tried again. Walked to the next posada, about 100 feet away, did the same thing, in spite of their dogs barking. Nada. So I returned to where I had reservations and entered their greenhouse. There, I found planks of wood and slept — if you could call it that — between two rows of radishes. The worst night of my life. Until you mentioned rule #1, I couldn’t figure out why there was absolutely no response to my after-nine-pm pleas.

        • In another planet…some five years ago we went to Montreal and had reservations at a B&B. The drive from our previous call took much longer than planned, and we got there around 11 p.m. The lights were out but a tiny lamp at the parsons table by the entrance, and against the lamp was an envelope with our handwriten names on it. Inside, with the key to our room, a note read: sorry we could not wait for you longer, but we have an early start. Meet you at breakfast, good night.
          Makes you want to bear with the cold weather and move there:

      • Holy smokes, paranoia. I guess backpackers like me would be out of luck knocking at your door, but I guess I am not the kind of crowd you must be looking for. Life in the jaula de oro. Still amazes me that people still hold on to their precious life behind bars in Venezuela. You are all hostages people. Move to southeast asie where you can breathe.

        • When you’re there it doesn’t take long for your perspective to change from that of a prisoner/hostage to something akin to a caged canary in a room full of cats.
          Then you go home and again see it for what it is.

          If you want to live without bars you can always go to a Venezuelan prison!

        • Have a hard time imagining my old folks and older family members going backpacking in south east asia in seach for freedom but I am glad young people like you can do it, you are right in saying they are hostages though, I think we all Venezuelans are.

    • Note that more of the article focused on the deficiencies in the security setup of the posada than the crime itself. It is the criminals that are “normal”, and it is the posada which is at fault for not doing more to stop them.

      • Agreed Roy but as an owner of a posada you have to face the realities of the times & protect your guests.

        It costs money to have security which is a problem when foreign tourism is non existent & national tourism is down 50% in 2 years mainly due to the collapse of Conferry.. There should be minimum requirements before you are allowed to open your doors. I know that’s a pipe dream with the anarchy that reigns these days.

  4. Where is the South American press on all of this, not even considering their respective governments? Brasil? Chile? Colombia? At what point did the politicians and the media come to the consensus that whenever political parties achieve an electoral victory, even if only by a single vote, said party has the ‘right’ to decimate its political opposition through the courts, bureaucracy, media, armed forces and police. That’s what is at the very core of this struggle. “Hey!…we won! the rest of you are just criminals.” The silence from the rest of South America is stunning, no frightening. It has a ‘Chamberlainesque’ feel to it all. This is all so very sad. The silence. The gawking. The fist-to-jowl waiting for what comes next. Where is the outrage?

    • If all the guests as a fancy hotel are presidents in town for a conference, nobody is more special than the next; if outrage is in order three times a day for outrageous political moves and manoeuvres and measures and official ransackings, nothing is more outrageous than the next and an outrage-washout syndrome sets in whereby one can get to a point when every headline might be prefaced, “Another Stripe For The Tiger.”

  5. “Joint Committee to further investigate the Anti-Democratic, Anti-Patriotic and Fascist confessions of MP María Corina Machado”

    I think she will get a fair hearing, what do you think?

  6. For all the well-intentioned criticism of the MUD, it’s not so easy as it looks to do measurably better than what is being done now: 1) They have very little funding, due to Government oversight/meddling/intervention; 2) All Government institutions of importance are corrupted for Oficialismo; 3)The basic Chavista base is bought off with handouts/Mercal/Misiones/Pensiones, which is the here-and-now, and their incredible lack of/inferior education makes MUD criticism/what-should-be/platitudes difficult to communicate at best, especially considering: 4)Virtually complete media domination by the Oficialismo; 5) Neighboring democracies (Brasil/Colombia), which might be influential in bringing democratic change to Venezuela, are being bought off by Venezuelan petrodollar imports. For Venezuela, the most-likely near/mid-term scenario now is what brought down the USSR/Eastern European satellites–economic hardship/collapse leading to popular discontent.

    • Excellent point.

      ” economic hardship/collapse leading to popular discontent.”

      Collapse. Rock bottom. Perhaps that is what the opposition should be waiting for. Nothing else makes sense. “See! Now do you understand how they lied to you?”

  7. Emiliana: great writing! I’m a fan of sarcasm so I couldn’t have felt more pleased after reading your article. But I do understand that sarcasm is an elitesque form of expression not understandable by just anyone and much less by people who can hardly read as most of the supporters of chavismo/oficialismo are. It gets much worse when it comes to topics so complex as politics and global social reactions. So in the end, and I am constantly focusing on this in my frequent conversations with friends and thinkalikes. To make this short I would recommend to read Dr. Faustus and NET’s contributions to this discussion. I think everything at stake is there. Against such formidable power and perverse excellent planning our only way out seems to be to wait until they fall apart in their power drunkenness, helped of course by all these pressures from the social networks and by these actions that are starting to be taken before USA courts (Derwick case, for example). In the end, most of the people in the government are only there thinking and protecting their exactions so they will be the first to abandon ship when things get hot and their reserves endangered. As the saying in Spanish goes, “esperarlos en la bajadita” seems to be the solution. Unless a Black Swan comes along… but that would be another story. Thanks for the good writing. Keep it up.

  8. Me again. I just noticed that I posted this phrase incompletedly “So in the end, and I am constantly focusing on this in my frequent conversations with friends and thinkalikes.” It should have been “… thinkalikes, this kind of analyses simply goes round and round among us who do not require any more convincing.” SORRY.


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