The Antidote to Collective Amnesia


logo.pinochoWow! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this site before.

The concept behind is disarmingly simple: the site aggregates promises made publicly by various office-holders in Venezuela over the years. No editorializing – beyond what’s implicit in the logo – and no comment.

Did you remember, say, that back in October 2010, Chávez had promised us a factory to build small satellites would be running by 2012 in Borburata? (Me neither.)

It’s a simple – too simple? – form of accountability. A kind of accountability distillate.


[Hat Tip: epablo.]

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  1. Yo estoy como loco buscando el aló presidente donde Chávez prometió la creación del “instituto para el estudio de las propiedades alimenticias del pabellón nacional”. ¿alquien se acuerda cual es y cuanto fue el monto prometido?

    • It could be a graph, perhaps as an applet or the like, by theme.
      Like that you can cluster related promises like reduction of poverty.

      I am working on another graph but about nepotism:: who is related to whom and is in what position.

        • Nope, but I think the real time consuming issue is to get enough cleanly annotated and consistent records. There is not enough raw data to expect getting something out of it.
          Once the information is there on promise cases or corruption cases, any more or less decent visualization would do.
          I could simply re-use some code I have from Jung
          a little bit fancier than that perhaps…but to make it worthwhile we need an interesting case and enough clean data.

          My ideas:
          corruption cases (certain nodes the corrupt, another nodes of different colour the ones denouncing, some nodes with another form the type of cases and edges describing some relations like implicatedIn)
          nepotism: much simpler, it would show all the main actors, their governmental positions and what their relatives are doing (imagine the Ramírez, the Cabello of this world)

          • Oh, wait! Kepler, you need to let Shame give you these figures, right? After all, only he and the other PSFs REALLY know what´s going on in VZ. Um…not.

  2. In my opinion amnesia is not the real issue, it would be very difficult to remember all the bulshit politicians are spitting the whole day. What Vzla needs is a new political class the one that talks less and works more.

    In the meantime the society (organized) should play actively the role of auditor concerning the work done by their representatives (president, ministers parliament..), focusing on what’s really important and not “Satellites Factories” .

      • To be accountable that’s the question and I’m not sure Venezuelans know what that really means. I also think that media plays a very important role regarding the impact of the news they broadcast.

        A lots of TV channels, newspapers and radios are just giving their microphones and cameras to politicians that like to talk but say nothing.

  3. I went straight to the education tab and I couldn’t believe that the ONLY unfulfilled promise is actually Capriles’.
    Really? How about all the promises to erradicate illiteracy and the epic failure of Mision Robinson?

    • Indeed. And even the census of 2011 contradicts the announcements they did about illiteracy back in 2004.
      Actually: I remember back in 1999 (or was it 2000?) when Chávez promised “us” in Bonn, Germany, that we would have reasons to go back to our country and become “súper doctores”. Although almost all of us who saw him in Bonn disliked him already – one exception was a certain Fidel, student of law, whose father had been recently been appointed to some high ranking position-, we wanted to go back to Venezuela.

      All those I know of have decided to stay abroad or went abroad once they tried and tried and tried to get something decent up and running in the country with the highest murder rate of South America.

  4. Discrediting Chavez (and Maduro) is a concern that has not gone well for the opposition. Chavez had an emotional connection that could not be broken by valid reasoning. People trusted Chavez to follow up on what he promised. But if a goal was not reached, Chavez simply fired a minister and forgot about that goal.

    However, Chavez poor actual performance compared to his promised hypothetical performance can be demonstrated by this website. Good deal. Now how to let all of Venezuela know about

    Maduro has not delivered on anything significant. Maduro is all empty promises. His campaign against corruption will likely concentrate more of the corruption into high-level Chavistas rather than stop the overall corruption.

  5. OT: Do you think that stripping Primero Justicia congressman Richard Mardo of his parliamentary immunity yesterday was a backdoor attempt to assure a 2/3 majority on Maduro’s upcoming vote to get decree powers?


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