Diary of a madman
Diary of a madman

Presidential Decree No. 541, published in yesterday’s Official Gazette, is one for the ages.

It contains not one, not two, not three, but nine (9!) poorly written, exceedingly sappy, irrelevant “considerandos” in its decision to decree the upcoming day of the municipal election as “Day of Loyalty and Love for Supreme Commander Hugo Chávez and the Homeland.”

Reading the text itself, it’s clear this is just a Día de Lealtad y Amor a la Cursilería Desenfrenada, mixed in with a Día de Asegurarnos que el que se Atreva a Votar en contra del PSUV es un Traidor.

In the decree, we get phrases such as

  • “su entrega amorosa al destino de libertad y soberanía del pueblo que tanto amó”
  • “consumió su vida para dejarnos la patria más viva que nunca ardiendo en llama sagrada”
  • “infinito pensamiento”
  • “amalgama perfecta para consolidar la independencia”
  • “se consumió en una entrega plena al pueblo y sus exigencias”
  • “la mejor forma de mandar es obedeciendo”
  • “el gigante de América no hizo otra cosa que profesar y practicar el más genuino amor sin exclusión”
  • “referencia irredenta para todos los pueblos del mundo”
  • “la preservación de la vida humana en el planeta”
  • “transformar la Venezuela que hace veinte años estaba sumida en las tinieblas del capitalismo”
  • “la consolidación de la suprema felicidad para su pueblo”
  • “Que fiel al acto más excelso y sublime que puede emprender la administración del espíritu de un hombre, el respeto Y EL AMOR A LA PATRIA, y en justa practica al legado de vida heredado y materializado en la continuidad de la independencia Venezolana, emprendida por el Padre de la Patria. Libertador Simón Bolívar,” (Note: that’s how it’s written, with typos, misplaced punctuation, and BOLD CAPS)
  • “respeto infinito por su pueblo”

(The whole thing is just one big sic)

What more can one say? There, right there, in the Considerandos of Decree N. 541, in a nutshell … is Venezuela’s problem.

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  1. I love the “Lealtad y Amor a la Cursilería”! I wonder why the more fascist/totalitarian the group or government, the more calls to love, loyalty, sacrifice, dedication to a Supreme Leader, hatred of an evil enemy there are. ” Cursi ” is such a great word and one which I have found difficult to translate: tacky, kitschy, sappy,over the top tasteless?

    • I don’t think it is a good translation of “Cursi”, but one word that I like for describing this is “Banal”:

      Def.: so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

      Synonyms: trite, hackneyed, clichéd, platitudinous, vapid, commonplace, ordinary, common, stock, conventional, stereotyped, overused, overdone, overworked, stale, worn out, timeworn, tired, threadbare, hoary, hack, unimaginative, humdrum, ho-hum, unoriginal, uninteresting, dull, uninvolving, trivial…

      • Banality of evil is a philosophical term meaning that evil occurs when ordinary individuals are put into corrupt situations that encourage their conformity. The phrase the ‘banality of evil’ was coined by philosopher Hannah Arendt after witnessing the trial of high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann who seemed, at least to Arendt, to be the most mundane of individuals whose evil acts were driven by the requirements of the state and orders from above.

    • Looking up the synonym for ‘banal’ already disqualifies this word to describe the cursi-set, generally not known for their intellectual prowess.

      My vote is with the contributions from Yvonne (all of them), neddie and Mark.

      • I didn’t say that “banal” was a synonym. I only said I liked it to describe the BS in the decree. What is happening in Venezuela is painful, because it is happening to us, yet removing ourselves from the picture, this is all so “banal”. It happened so many times in the 20th Century and the results were always, and dismally, the same. It seems that humans will just never learn from the mistakes of others.

        • In the meaning I used it in my comment, for the most part someone who criticizes and does not contribute to the fight for Venezuela.

        • Judging from her past posts, I think she means someone who doesn’t support with fanaticism Capriles, MUD and co. Also known as those who dare criticize and debate.

          • Imagine you and some friends are to be attacked by a pack of wolves.
            There is one that has a flamethrower who is the only weapon available. When he asks for your help to fight the wolves you go into discussing your perceived views of his politics, of what you perceive are his plans for after, and if, you defeat the wolves.
            Some of the “intellectuals” that post in this forum behave like that.

          • I would like to discuss not his view on politics, but the strategy and the tactics against those wolves. I wouldn’t want him to burn me along with the wolves, do I?

            I disagree with your worldview (or Weltanschauung for “intellectuals”) for two reasons.

            First there isn’t a dearth of venues of discussion for fanatics: noticiero digital, noticias 24 and la patilla, come to my mind. Maybe you’d like them, maybe not.

            Second, this blog comments or articles don’t really hurt the opposition in the eyes of public opinion at large. This blog isn’t like a newspaper, it’s more like a (science) journal where people with deep interest in a subject discuss regularly, and people with a sudden interest or doing research can get some insight into the topic. Plus, it’s written in English so it’s inaccessible to the vast majority of Venezuelans.

          • I disagree that this forum does not hurt the opposition. I do not know its readership but I have seen references to it and news pieces about it and mostly its posts, with few exceptions, are despondent.
            To discuss tactics when the wolves are about to go for your jugular is distracting.
            In the present world circumstances the only way out for Venezuela is electoral, and in the present time, its only flame thrower, capable of mounting a significant defense, is Capriles.
            And you, that do not want to be burned, burn him all the time. This to me is suicidal.

          • It seems there is a difference between intellectuals and “intellectuals”.
            So: are “intellectuals” people like you, who “fight” for Venezuela? And intellectuals are those who criticise people like you and don’t fight for Venezuela? Or perhaps it’s the other way around? Or you meant “intellectuals” all the time?

            Intellectuals…was Uslar Pietri an intellectual? Or was he an “intellectual”?
            Were Chávez or Lina Ron intellectuals? (or “intellectual”)

            The word intellectual is mostly used on one side mostly by people claiming to be intellectuals because somehow they read and claim to have some insight. They use it about themselves, they say they are intellectuals. On the other, it is use by people from the conservative side with not much desire to think too much, who want to have a very simple view of the world, who feel ridiculed and insecure. Neither side can give a proper definition of what they really mean by intellectual.

          • This blog went through a cheerleader phase during the Capriles v. Chavez election. During that time MUD committed several mistakes, and they weren’t called on it. Capriles lost badly, not as badly as the Rosales election, but enough to depress 40% of the country.

            If the opposition doesn’t engage in internal debate it would be no better than Chavism. Instead of an enourage of sycophants, politicians need criticism to keep them honest and to prevent them from turning into Emperor without clothes.

          • Well i would never say about myself i am an intellectual”or intellectual…because e really people that presents themselves like that give me some kind of rash…I am sorry but I thing that just self censoring , because how we dare to criticize the things we are seeing , is doing the same as Chavismo…and that would be like a cult…Personally I don’t like cults, or organized religions… if i see something wrong…I think if my duty to point it out, otherwise you are just supporting a wrongdoing…It is like tons of people that say , oh if you are not in Venezuela you cannot have an opinion because you are not “fighting”… And twitter is one thing but I don’t see anyone getting weapons and going to the mountains…And I am sorry There are tons of mistakes…for example I want capriles to explain how come they swore that they have all the witnesses everywhere ( and was not true) or how exactly he is going to Cobrar? or what was that guachafita of the second audio…Es uel mismo discurso maniqueo del chavismo y yo me niego a eso…

      • Pilar Palatino,

        Isn’t it ironic to attack chavismo, criticizing its lack of discussion, by supporting a group also lacking discussion? That’s like fighting for equality by creating laws that are unequal.

        We shouldn’t want to win chavistas over by marketing techniques of uniformity of support. We should want to win by offering a platform that makes them want the platform regardless of the internal criticisms and discussion, because it’s the arrival at good platforms and good decisions *by way of discussion* that we are truly selling. If one doesn’t think that that’s the best way to arrive at the best strategies to fight off wolves, then why support democracy?

        • I personally do not attack chavismo because of its lack or discussion. I repudiate chavismo because chavismo wants to impose its creed on all of Venezuela.
          But certainly chavismo is right about the need for its internal unity.
          The “intellectuals” in this forum do conspire against the unity of the opposition.
          Democracy is not incompatible with unity. You can choose to be a madurista. But to choose to be antimadurista and work against the unity of the opposition is bad politics.
          The quotation marks in “intellectuals” mean that there are intellectuals, without quotes, that do not need to use words from Latin, or German, that do not really add anything to the discussion but only show how learned they are. The “intellectuals” are snobbish.
          Why is this forum in English? Is it designed to limit the participation of people that do not speak English? Many of you do give the impression of believing that they belong to a select group of “learned” people that place themselves above of those that actually do work the barrios and risk their skins to bring about a change in Venezuela.
          The criticisms about Capriles collar and beard shadow are out of place. He was trying to avoid looking sifrino by his appearance, something that most of you do look in your writing.

  2. Amazing that all those yoyos in Maduro’s cabinet signed this decree and were willing to attach their name to that sappy piece of junk.

  3. Let’s not forget the actual operative clause in this whole decree: “Realizar eventos y actos conmemorativos en todo el territorio nacional”.
    Basically, all political demonstrations are allowed on election day, so long as they show their love for the supreme commander.

  4. Maduro just legalized shock troops for the elections. Now nobody can complain about assholes in bikes, wearing PSUV/Chavez (no distinction basically) shirts, harassing people at voting centers. Awesome.

  5. Chavista rethoric is always cluttered with cloying or apocalyptic hiperbole , they can never say anything straight and sober. Remember the sickening declamatory speechmaking that acompanied the old military parades , never imagined that such florid-ponderous language could ever become the language of officialdom in Venezuela . If god loved language all these rethorical clowns would be rendered mute if only out of compassion for those who must hear them !!


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