As close as you get to neutral

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This report by my friend Cristián Arriagada for Chile’s Teletrece is as close as you get to objective reporting on Venezuela. I think it’s very well made. (In Spanish).

1 COMMENT

  1. Very good job. I think good reporting trumps any of the idiotic bias we have seen on both sides. My highlights: (1) the lady on the street screaming and asking for support from Chile (I feel that way sometimes) and (2) the contrast between Maria Corina Machado’s clear logic and Diosdado Cabello’s irrational rants towards the end. Consider when Cabello asks “crisis? what crisis?” and then contradicts himself in the next sentence by speaking of “sicarios” (murder for hire contractors) embedded in the foreign press and then justifying physical aggression to reporters, etc.

  2. Yo no entiendo todavia como todo un pais puede ser tan inutil. Honestamente, El chavismo es la peor desgracia que le ha pasado a Venezuela. La dictadura de los peores, los que nada hacen bien… solo han logrado destruir un país que si bien no era perfecto por lo menos era digno. Esta dictadura malandra, hace 15 años que está formando una sociedad de pedigüeños: no solo gente que mal vive de dadivas del régimen si no empresarios que en condiciones normales no serían tales. empleados públicos que no trabajan, militares que solo desfilan para honrar la vida de un militar inútil que ni siquiera pudo hacer bien algo que según el tenía 20 años planeando. En fin, espero los chavistas estén orgullosos del estado de miseria en el cual han dejado al país después de 15 años de torpeza, inutilidad e incapacidad. Es increíble como toda una clase dirigente puede ser tan inútil.

        • Si todo el pais es inutil, pues empaquemos nuestras maletas y vamonos (a Londres??) y dejemos de perder nuestro tiempo con videos hechos en Chile y leyendo un blog sobre Venezuela escrito en ingles.

          Porque si hacemos lo segundo, parece que mas bien pensamos que el pais vale algo y que no es tan inutil.

          • Pues a ti que te parece que hice yo? Tú crees que por estar fuera de Venezuela me importa menos el país? Me importa muchísimo más que la gran mayoría de las personas que se dan golpes de pecho y se ofenden cada vez que alguien dice la verdad. No es inútil un país que con todo a favor para lograr tener un desarrollo (por lo menos sostenible) este en esta situación? OK, inútil no es la palabra… incapaz? Indolente? Egoísta? Creo que cualquiera aplica.

            Leo este blog en ingles porque a pesar de que muchas veces no estoy de acuerdo con sus posiciones, por lo menos es un sitio donde se puede encontrar información no interesada sobre la descomunal desgracia que está viviendo Venezuela, no ahora, que es cuando muchos interesadísimos y patriotas Venezolanos (residentes por supuesto!) se han dado cuenta; sino hace 15 años cuando la clase media súper capaz y mejor informada tuvo a bien elegir a Chávez en un alarde de “rebeldía anti política”

          • Alli estoy de acuerdo con cada una de tus palabras. Pero en vez de decir que el pais es inutil, yo prefiero verlo, como dijo una vez Manuel Caballero, desde los lentes de la historia y dijo:
            “La democracia en el mundo es una adolecente… En Venezuela es una niña… lo que vive hoy el pais es una indigestion historica”.

            Quizas suena como muy ligero, el problema cuando ve uno las cosas desde el punto de vista historico, es que para uno que tiene veintipico, este periodo ocupa la etapa mas productiva que uno deberia tener.

            Perdon por pincharte ahi con el comentario, pero acostumbro a hacer eso cuando leo comentarios generalizados sobre la realidad del pais. Venezuela tiene muchos habitantes, pero pocos ciudadanos.

          • Rodrigo… tienes razón. La generalización nunca es buena, pero a veces tengo estas etapas. Pase mis 20’s enteros esperando que algo cambiara en el país y hace 5 años que estoy aquí. Haciendo aquí lo que podría estar haciendo allá. Lejos de mi familia, mis amigos desperdigados por el mundo (literalmente) y sin saber que hacer desde aquí para ayudar un poco a que algo cambie allá.

            Supongo que es cierto, y que todo es una etapa, pero esta etapa me la he calado yo completica desde que tenía 20 exactamente. Viendo impotente como entregábamos el país.

            Intentare no generalizar…pero no prometo nada 🙂

      • Sabes lo que me preocupa? Que sea tan difícil trasmitir que la verdadera justicia social y económica implica que se necesita pagar por ciertas cosas para que más personas las alcancen.
        Fíjate:
        * la gigantesca mayoría de la población aun hoy en día se opone a que se amente el precio de la gasolina (pese a los entrevistados allí).
        * la gente que recibe casas GRATIS del gobierno reciben más de lo que incluso recibieron los soviéticos en sus mejores tiempos, que jamás obtuvieron la propiedad de sus casas, sino un alquiler baratísimo.
        Pero la vaina es que con el dinero que implica dar 100 mil casas gratis se podría financiar el alquiler a precios sociales (digamos, 1/3 del salario cuando máximo) de un millón o más de casas (realmente sería interesante que alguien sacase números reales sobre eso).

        Es verdad que un candidato a la presidencia o a la Asamblea difícilmente podrá salir a explicar todo eso, pero es trágico que no haya nadie más que pueda o quiera hacerlo, que quiera educar a la población sobre el coste y el desarrollo sustentable. Lamentablemente, los voceros que tenemos ahora se relacionan usualmente con gente que viene de los grupos más pudientes de la población.
        Si hubiera un grupo de personas de un origen como los de Andrés Velázquez o, incluso, los de Ocariz, que explicasen esto a la población, podríamos comenzar a preparar el terreno para un cambio.

        • No es cierto que el Chavismo entregue la propiedad de las casas. Todas esas personas de Misión Vivienda son adjudicadas, y no pueden ni vender ni alquilar esa casa. Se parece más a un alquiler perpetuo a VEF 0 que a un título de propiedad.

          Si se quiere que la gente humilde aprecie los derechos de propiedad, hay que poner propiedad legalita en sus manos. En ese sentido, no estoy de acuerdo con convertirlos en inquilinos de bloques que terminen siendo tugurios por la indolencia del que no se siente dueño, sino que el Banco de la Vivienda tome las cotizaciones de la Ley de Política Habitacional y las utilice para otorgar créditos preferenciales a parejas jóvenes, trabajadores no-calificados y otros sectores vulnerables, quitando la ridiculez de topes que hay ahorita que no deja comprar nada con esa plata (qué coño hace uno con VEF 300.000 aparte de comprar un carrito Spark usado?).

          Pero la efectividad de esa política de precios pasa porque (1) el Estado deje de inducir la escasez de materiales de contrucción con la pésima gestión del cemento, hierro, etc; privatice esa vaina y las costructoras puedan conseguir lo necesario para hacer su trabajo, (2) se apliquen los incentivos adecuados para que las constructoras dejen de dedicarse con tanto empeño a viviendas de lujo.

          • La practica de no otorgar titulos de propiedad a los beneficiarios de una casa subsidiada viene de la cuarta y responde al hecho que quienes las recibian frecuentemente la re-vendian al poco tiempo a otra persona a un precio normal , embolsillandose la diferencia .!! se inventaron entonces unos titulos de adjudicacion que permitian el uso pero no la transferencia de la vivienda entregada .

            No dudo que tambien se hacian guisos con este tipo de programas de vivienda donde quien las adjudicaba y quien las recibia se partian la cochina por la reventa .

            El problem a veces no es solo la demonizacion de la propiedad privada por los doctrinarios del regimen (algo sin duda pernicioso) sino la existencia de una deficiente apreciacion de las virtudes de la posesion privada de una vivienda por parte de la gente comun y de a pie y su gusto por ganancias obtenidas a travez de la viveza o el engaño. !!

          • “responde al hecho que quienes las recibian frecuentemente la re-vendian al poco tiempo a otra persona a un precio normal , embolsillandose la diferencia”

            Ese es el mismo arbitraje que hay ahorita con el cupo viajero, la harina pan, la leche o los productos de mercal. Si el gobierno regala o subsidia bienes escasos, se crean los incentivos para vender esos bienes a precio de mercado a quienes no son beneficiarios, cuando el bien en cuestión no era prioritario para el beneficiario o su necesidad ya está satisfecha.

            “la existencia de una deficiente apreciacion de las virtudes de la posesion privada de una vivienda […] y su gusto por ganancias obtenidas a travez de la viveza o el engaño”

            Creo que esto está más relacionada con el tema de “lo que nada nos cuesta, hagámoslo fiesta” que con un desdeño al concepto de la titularidad de la vivenda.

            La solución no es excluir a los pobres de la propiedad inmobiliaria. Un buen comienzo sería formalizar la propiedad de las casa que ya poseen, como parte de una “reforma urbana” que regularice la tenencia de tierras en las ciudades con énfasis en las zonas populares.

            Con un título de propiedad les será mucho más sencillo acceder a los créditos de Banavih para la autoconstrucción, y si eso se acompaña de asistencia técnica, podríamos ver que en un plazo de 5 años se reduciría el hacinamiento familiar gracias a que más jóvenes en zonas populares puedan construir segundas o anexos a las viviendas de los padres (como ha estado haciendo la clase media durante la era del Chavismo).

            Y una casa que ellos hayan construido con sus manos, o que hayan tenido que pagar bloque a bloque, creo que es menos probable que la vendan para algún gasto frívolo o chanchullos.

  3. Did I miss something? Where was Maduro? I didn’t even notice a still shot. It would seem that Chavez and/or Diosdado were the presidents. That seems to be a significant subtext to the story. The gentleman with the newly acquired public housing owes everything to Chavez and there is Diosdado claiming much ado about nothing, but no mention of Maduro from either one.

      • If neutrality helps us reach objectivity, then we should be relying on the foreigners to understand ourselves.

        Neutrality stems from a desire not to take sides, which could be useful in some sort of arbitration.

        Objectivity is a desire to see the truth, which is useful for determining right from wrong.

          • I don’t think so because if you are really searching for the truth it is because you value it….whereas if you you are looking for neutrality you are avoiding to take a stand whatever the truth might be

          • Sometimes one has illusions, aspirations that the truth you find fits some conceptual map. This type of biases are not only present in journalist but scientist.

            Everyone, scientist, journalist, cooks, before you set forth in the search of the truth, hypotheses are form, and the create biases. Some people get entrenched in them. And as a consequence you get bad scientist and bad journalist.

            Truth is a very interesting concept. And one that it is very hard to define.

          • If it is earnest it is still a search for the truth….whereas a desire for neutrality is just that.

            Nobody can every totally prove the truth….it is something that each one of us has to decide for himself.

      • Counterpoint:

        ” I could be wrong, but I think we are in the midst of shift in the system by which trust is sustained in professional journalism. David Weinberger tried to capture it with his phrase: transparency is the new objectivity. My version of that: it’s easier to trust in “here’s where I’m coming from” than the View from Nowhere. These are two different ways of bidding for the confidence of the users.

        In the old way, one says: “I don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t have a view of the world that I’m defending. I’m just telling you the way it is, and you should accept it because I’ve done the work and I don’t have a stake in the outcome…”

        In the newer way, the logic is different. “Look, I’m not going to pretend that I have no view. Instead, I am going to level with you about where I’m coming from on this. So factor that in when you evaluate my report. Because I’ve done the work and this is what I’ve concluded…”

        If the View from Nowhere continues on, unchallenged, trust in the news media will probably continue to decline.”

        emphasis mine.

        http://pressthink.org/2010/11/the-view-from-nowhere-questions-and-answers/

          • I agree with you Navarro.

            Rodrigo,

            It is not a matter that one is absolutely sure of one’s truth…but rather that truth instead neutrality is one’s goal.

          • And I do not see how you have made the case….neutrality strives for neutrality( not taking a stand)

            Not taking a stand has nothing to do with upholding or arriving at a truth

          • it is easier to arrive at the truth if whatever conceptual map you have of the phenomena you are witnessing doesn’t create any biases.

            Like, for an individual will be harder to recognized that the left is doing something evil, if for instance, their that, which they I admired used to be a hard-core leftist.

            If you had no stakes, emotionally or intellectually in some ideology, then it is easier to see or “accept” the truth when it is presented to you.

            Another example is, in the case of a scientist, that you had been working all your life in theories that involve ether. And every piece of evidence you gather, reassures you that you are on the right track. You start to become entrenched. Get frustrated when the new evidence doesn’t fit your theories. Rather than looking for a new conceptual map you bend yours, make it convoluted and complex. Until someone else comes up with something that merely destroys everything you have worked on so far.

            Take Einstein’s example. As a young scientist, with very little entrenchment in physics was able to put an end to what was known then and created a new order, but as he became entrenched in relativity, he refused to accept, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, the theories of quantum mechanics proposed by Bohrs.

            Neutrality doesn’t strive for anything. It is merely a condition. You can’t strive to be neutral. Either you are or you aren’t.

            I think what we have here is a difference in semantics. To me neutrality is a condition in which you really don’t have any stakes on the outcome. To me neutrality is not refusing to take sides, which I guess is a common interpretation of the word.

          • The sum of all natural numbers is???

            Basically when the idea of infinity was brought into the table, which is a completely abstract concept. One you can’t measure math became something else.

  4. That lady standing in line that stated: “It’s not the government’s fault, it’s our fault” (the lack of food and the lines to buy what little there is) is pretty much the nub of it.

    Until the opposition manages to reach folks like her and open their eyes there will be unending 21st Century Socialism in Venezuela.

    How poor can she have been before Chavez that what she has now seems OK (or at least bearable)?

    • It’s not only here, a lot of former Chavistas who are wobbly something now (ninis or the like)
      think that “bueno, en parte es que el venezolano es tracalero”.

      I have heard that from my former Chavista aunt. And then I have asked her:
      “coño, tía, pero explíqueme Usted a mí, que vivo en Europa y que he viajado por aquí y por allí: qué es lo que tenemos los venezolanos en la sangre o en los genes que hace que seamos peores que otros? Por qué los empresarios venezolanos “acaparan” más que otros? Qué tienen en los genes? Qué es lo que hace que ellos y no los de Colombia, Brasil, Chile, etc estén “jodiendo”? Cómo es posible que sean siempre los venezolanos? Por qué no aquí y en Colombia y en Chile la inflación está más o menos controlada y en Venezuela no?

      Venezuela might not be an island but Chavismo has managed to isolate it almost as good as the Castro clan has done it with Cuba. And we don’t react. This is a problem for those in the opposition who just forget how ignorant a great part of the population is about what is happening outside.

      Even my hard-core oppo aunts, the ones really as oppo as any of us but who have never been abroad didn’t know a teacher in Chile can actually pay the rent for a small flat and is 1/50 less likely to be be shot dead on the streets.

      We need to give them references to the rest of the world, less they really become as disconnected with the world as someone from a secondary city of Cuba now.

      • The problem is not with people being cheaters or not; its how society treats the cheaters.

        I work for a multinational. We had one big boss doing a tour because there was a financial scandal in one of the branches and he was giving us the whole ethics training stuff thing.

        You know which branch was cooking the books? The scandinavian one.

        The important thing is how seriously you take the breaches, how do you react to them, how do you try to minimize the possibilities of then happening again. When, culturally, the most you get is “well, we are just like that”… well, you just have set the price for being a cheater at “no price at all”.

      • I believe it is mostly a state of cultural mind.

        I cannot ever forget years ago I would travel abroad and noticed companion passenger would leave Maiquetia’s sitting areas in a total mess without feeling any embarrassment. As soon as we landed in another country they would politely walk to the trash bins and get rid off trash (and this was middle to high-middle class). Why are the same people ashamed in visiting country and not your own? Maybe they feel that at home everyone does it and no one says anything, while in other countries someone may say something?

        Same concept applies to many facets of our lives in Venezuela and it covers all classes, ages, and genders. Look how long it has taken to change the collective perspective on smoking. It takes a generation and an enormous amount of public campaigning to change this.

        • I don’t think it is necessarily the people, but having consequences to your actions. If there weren’t policemen in the US ready to ticket you for speeding, don’t you think more people would be driving over the speed limit? And the same with everything else. Where I lived, there was a $20 fine if you didn’t pick up your dog’s poop, the same if you walked them off a leash, and you would be fined if you didn’t respect these rules. In Venezuela there aren’t any consequences if you break the law.

          • Partially agree. When it comes to breaking the laws and there are consequences we react positively in other countries but not ours even if they are enforced (and I’m not talking about this last 15 years, even before). I know plenty of Venezuelans living abroad that would easily tend to “trancalear” if they can get away with it.

          • Yes but if the laws and rules were enforced, they couldn’t…I suppose it takes time to change all that though..people would be tempted to give into their friends….

            One thing I notice also is that friendship is not always based on ethical considerations…..but rather on what that person can give you….and who that person is etc…..the desire to stand alone, and the pride in doing so is just not often there.If a friend of mine were to treat another friend of mine unjustly, I would drop that unjust friend in a minute even if it meant I had no friends left, because I know for a fact that I don’t need any friends who could turn in a minute depending on their interests.It is actually dangerous if you think about it.

            A lack of foresight is involved I think….

            We also lose( in the end ) when we align ourselves with injustice…

    • [I’ve deleted the rest of this thread but can’t bring myself to zap this one -ed.]

      I’m guessing that in your world view people choose to be poor so they can suck on the teat of whatever government program may be available. That has not been my experience at all.

      I rather believe that no segment of any society is any more “important” than the other. Some segments contribute more, perhaps, and earn more, and that is right. If your work gets you more money, good for you. If it doesn’t and you are happy with that, good on you.

      You will never have a society where every single individual is materially “rich”, but you certainly can have them where everyone is materially “poor”.

      Some folks in Venezuela are materially poor not by choice, but by circumstance. They were born into it and did not get the chance to work themselves out of it. Or had the chance and did not take it.

      I do not believe in unlimited government largesse, but I do believe government should provide something to enable the less “fortunate” to have access to the basics of education, basic healthcare, food and habitation. Beyond that, anything else is up to the individual. Whether they decide to remain in government subsidized housing, earn minimum wage and have free school or to make something bigger out of it is their choice.

      You are correct when you state that in a dictatorship votes don’t mean anything. But if you are in a dictatorship, and you wish to get rid of it then you had better count on all segments of that society, from the poor rag picker to the richest person to back your movement or you will go nowhere………

      Take Venezuela. The way out of this mess goes either through elections managed by a pro government electoral board that has to oversee any type of constitutional solution, invoking Article 350 of the constitution which has so many holes in it you can drive a fleet of Mack Trucks through them or some form of coup which has all kinds of hazards at home and abroad associated with it.

      In any of the above scenarios you need massive support from “the poor”, since they make up a large and vocal part of Venezuelan society.

      As a parting thought, I have sat here and read your comments these past few weeks since you appeared and have to say I think you need to live a little more in the real world.

      It is very easy to see why Quico may think you are some sort of Chavista troll whose mission is to make this blog look like some sort of Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthal hangout.

      Notice I didn’t ask you to stop, as you asked me to do.

      You certainly are free to be as strident as you wish to be, but if you don’t like what you read here then perhaps it’s time for you to find other places for you to bless with your wisdom

      Good Luck

      • Good comment. Hope it passes the ‘troll test’ currently in force here.

        Re: “Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthal”, IMHO that’s trolling, but I suppose because it’s from the left directed at the right it’s a-ok. Why not add “Fox News watching” or “non-university-educated” to that demeaning epithet meant to discredit a far-ranging swath of people while you’re at it? And this type of jargon is consistently coming from folks who think they know how to ‘reach out’ to the poor? Sheesh.

        • “Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthal” is not trolling.

          It is a description of the segment that is destroying the Republican party.

          • Roberto, I actually like when some of you write things like that here because I can truly comprehend from a privileged position (and for free) why Venezuela is in such situation right now: there’s simply no possibility of dialogue.

            People you don’t agree with are just “Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthals”/”escuálidos” for you, aren’t they? And since no one sane should dialogue with a “Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthal/”escuálido”, the peculiar bizarre “vermin” called “Tea Party-Radical Right- Asshat Neanderthal/”escuálido” have no other option than be banned/arrested, have their mouths shut and vanish forever! Can you see the Chavista inside you? I would bet that you don’t, and there’s where the problem lies.

          • Don’t put words in my mouth Marc. The fact that I am dialoguing with you is sufficient proof that I am willing to listen. I do not agree with your positions, I think you are an extremist. I do not believe extremism is the path, in anything, and especially in Venezuela.

            I have never used the term escualido, except to state that we should not accept being branded as such.

            I’ll leave you with a self quote from my comment above, directed squarely at you in case you missed it:

            “Notice I didn’t ask you to stop, as you asked me to do.

            You certainly are free to be as strident as you wish to be, but if you don’t like what you read here then perhaps it’s time for you to find other places for you to bless with your wisdom

            Good Luck”

  5. The argument about how the chavista group believe the current food shortage is the opposition’s fault is the main reason for Diosdado’s attack to MCM and the kidnap of the Tachira’s Mayor. They are just keeping the protest alive so they can blame us about the food shortage.
    I went to Cua last week and talked to some people on the street, they blame the protests in Caracas and Maracay as the reasons for the inflation and food scarcity. The chavista propaganda works and we continue to undermine chavista’s experience over this.
    We are getting screwed and we are just looking somewhere else

  6. I really loved this piece. Not only did he give equal air time to both sides, he even captured some of the nuances of Locozuela – the mototaxis, or the lady in the cable car talking about how she wasn’t properly dressed. It has become extremely difficult to do this type of work, so kudos to Cristián. He even captured Diosdado Cabello in all his maniacal, evil glory. The only thing missing was Diosdado laughing “muajajajajaja”…

    My only quibble is that the piece will make Chilean politicians even more reticent to opine about Venezuela. After seeing what a sulphuric, hot mess the country has become, what foreign diplomat will want to get involved?

  7. What I would really like, and this is a request, is your opinion/blogging on:

    Why the government has pushed for violence since the beggining of the protests and continues to push for conflict day after day, i.e jailing elected official, shooting and jailing protesters everywhere, insulting everybody everyday on TV, radio, internet, etc. lying caraetablamente everyday about the events, the causes, etc.

    What is their plan? is the country so fucked up economically that they prefer to have a quasi civil war than to try to fix something? they have not done shit in any of the areas of need. We have rising shortages in everything, rising prices in everything, rising costs in everything, rising crime and injustice. I mean, it obviuos that el proyecto is crashing. This is not a crash landing, its a full blown stoll. The shit is going down fast. But hey they keep burning bridges everyday with the people of Venezuela and its neighboring countries.

    How on earth, in the situation that Venezuela is living, has no one in the government deflected yet? Vielma Mora backtracked the same day. What am I not seeing that they see?

    In short, I do not understand at all what is going on on the government side. The actions of the government seem suicidal to me, but they have been on the same script since day one. Nothing has changed in their strategy. Why?

    • ‘What is their plan? is the country so fucked up economically that they prefer to have a quasi civil war than to try to fix something?”

      Bingo. They want to keep up a crisis, get their core supporters whipped up into a war mentality. They need to always strengthen the “us vs them” narrative, flatter their core by convincing them that they are the footsoldiers in a glorious war against the empire. After all, what are shortages when you are fighting a glorious, patriotic war against fascists and imperialists?

      They need strife and division.

        • It’s like they stumbled on the idea of oligarchic collectivism. Or maybe they’re trying to implementing with the least amount of effort.

    • I think it’s clear: they calculate that to weather the storm, they need to “normalize” authoritarian control, while driving a wedge between the urbanización and the barrio.

      They think they can do both by provoking an increasingly chaotic situation in middle class areas – which gives them cover to do things like jail Scarano and Castellanos – while tamping down on any outbreak of barrio unrest.

      They think as long as they can portray the opposition as agents of chaos, the base in class D and E will keep going back to them as guarantors of some minimal services (misiones) and a modicum of order (no guarimbas).

      Why would they stop?

      It’s working great for them.

      • Quico, do you agree that the economy is imploding and that the scarcity index, to name one, in a couple of months could be 20 points higher than today, and today is shitty?

        If you believe in that, I honestly do not see how it is going great for them

        • I agree. But they take that as a given.

          GIVEN that the economy is in deep shit and the supply situation isn’t likely to improve, what can we do to hang on to power?

          That’s the question they ask themselves. And the answers these geniuses have come up with are clear for all to see.

          • OK now we agree. Lets say that they are contrarians! Contrarians to logic.

            So then, it is working great for them until the shit hits the fan, then is going to be shitty for them and for us…

          • There is no genius here, Quico. There is chaos because they are not in total control of the situation. Sicad II has been delayed, Sicad I is not assigning the level of dollars that promised, and the new Cadivi is totally opaque. Pdsva is a boîte noire. Don’t that the regime is that smart. In their way these thugs are in panic.

      • Lo único que va a detener a estos malandros, particularmente a los altos mandos militares, es la presión internacional para que les congelen las cuentas bancarias que tienen en el exterior y les quiten a ellos y sus familiares las visas para viajar a países como EEUU y Canadá. Eso le daría en la madre a los que mandan de verdad en Venezuela, pues estamos hoy en una dictadura militar con una fachada “civil”. A esta gente le duele que le toquen el bolsillo y que les limiten su capacidad de disfrutar las delicias del imperio.

    • Jau, I think that they are escalating the conflict in order to make the well-educated/middle class people who are still residing in Venezuela flee the country and go to exile. They think that it would weaken the opposition.

      And I would also argue that the Chavistas just “don’t care” so much at this point. Elections are meaningless. Their main concern is with the army being on their side. And that is probably safe.

      http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/generacion-diosdado-llego-a-rango-de-general.aspx

  8. Allow me to say that I welcome all comments, finding that no one has a monopoly on the “truth” about Venezuela, much less those who no longer live (or never lived) in the rapidly devolving Venezuela.

    Secondly, I wish to express that the above-noted video is the best objective reporting I’ve seen to date, on what I perceive (from afar) to be the Venezuelan reality. You could never get a gringo — and I use that term loosely to apply to all musiús — or a Venezuelan, for that matter — reporting with such objectivity, an action which demands taking a step back and relying on a cold, dispassionate eye in order to extract the essence. Thank you, Juan, for bringing this report to us.

    Thirdly, the money quote in that televised report was, for me, something to the effect: Venezuela, dónde la ideología es tan importante como la economía. The other thing that was worthwhile was hearing the man next to, or in line, for government-priced products, say that if you want chicken, all you need to do is go to the carnicería, or the butcher shop, where you’ll find plenty of what you need. That episode segued to the videotaping of line-ups and empty shelves in grocery stores normally catering to the middle class. Meaning, Gregory Wilpert, contrary to your televised attempts to minimize shortages of foodstuff, and discredit those who point them out, these shortages do exist.

    Finally, I loved the woman in the cabletaxi, caught off guard by the Chilean reporters, calling someone to tell of her anguish that her hair isn’t done and that she has corns on her feet. 🙂

  9. Great work uploading this video Juan! Maybe it will help a bit in the endeavor of unvealing Venezuela´s true colors

  10. Buen trabajo periodístico. Le faltó presentar el problema de la acción conjunta de paramilitares (“colectivos) y guardias nacionales en la represión. También pudo haber elaborado un poco sobre el asunto del control del aparato judicial por parte de la dictadura. Pero en general es un buen reportaje.

  11. A great many centuries ago Cicero declared that it was “better to be wrong with Plato than to be right with his opponents “, some centuries later Master Eckhart , a celebrated religious mystc wrote that “it was better to be in hell with God that to be in heaven with the devil”, in todays Venezuela there is a saying which proclaims “Con los de uno, con la razon o sin ella”. All these phrases spell something deep in humans that makes them feel that being faithful to what represents the foundational dignity of ones personal or tribal identity is more important than mere loyalty to truth . It is on the rock of this human emotional instinct that objectivity founders .

    When one assummes some ideological or religious identity as ones own , then anything that weakens the credibility or dignity of that image is automatically rendered rejectable by our unconscious mind , because we love our selves , or our adopted identity more than any unwelcome truth that might result from the exercise of our reasoning faculties . This instinctive passionate loyalty to that which protects the dignity of our chosen or assumed identity makes us automatically blind or resistent to any information or fact or interpretation that belittles it . We must always be right , We can never do wrong , We cannot err because to err humiliates us .

    It takes quite a bit of will power , and moral character to be able to surpass the hurdle that this partisan self serving emotional instinct represents .!! Not for nothing all human affairs are affilicted with the spirit of factional or sectarian strife , the normal stance we take when faced with someone with a different tribal identity is adversarial , contentious and sometimes confrontatinal . Love of confrontation enhances our self identity and is thus darkly delightful.

    To assumme that this ágonal spirit´, this tendency to always believe our selves right and eveyone else wrong is abnormal and the result of exceptional circumsntances is perhaps naive and unrealistic . We must undestand that its a human universal that some conditions worsen and reinforce but that which is always there to snare the thoughts of ordinary people , who must be intellectualy very brave and very lucid to be able to scape from its hold and achieve objectivity , the capacity to view the world ourside the lens of ones own entrenched sense of identity .

  12. I’ve been trying to write something relevant to the discussion only to realize the discussion about Marc is not relevant at all….

    So. Forget about all that.

    For the people there, or with a better understanding on current politics in Venezuela: can you give me some names of people in the opposition that are showing that understanding of how important is to build a bridge with the segments of the population that fear a move away from Chavismo endangers their “victories”, however illusory or temporary they are?

  13. I’m not sure if there is a God, but when I hear Cabello in all his “maniacal glory” (as another poster put it) I really hope there is some kind of reckoning on judgement day.

  14. Rodrigo,

    Yes perhaps we have a misunderstanding due to Semantics.

    If we really believe in the wisdom of not having any stakes in a situation then we could suggest turning over this blog to a more neutral source.

    While the ability to look at something without filters is very important in order to see things as they really are( objectivity)and here I agree with you…at that point we must take a stand.

    Everyone has values and tendencies, so in a sense NOBODY is capable of a complete neutrality.This is as it should be, given that there are some Universal values that FORM the basis for a healthy Civilization : Justice, honor, Compassion, truth, loyalty, dedication, beauty, protection, happiness, etc.just to name a few.

    None of these qualities can be absolutely proven in a court of law, and each of us has to rely on our own perceptions, and decide to take a stand or allow others to do so in our absence, because they will.

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