Fifteen years is nothing

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You know what happens to people we send to Cuba, right?
You know what happens to people we send to Cuba, right?
You know what happens to people we send to Cuba, right?

I found this El Universal interview with chavista heavyweight Alí Rodríguez particularly galling. Rodríguez seems to have let his guard down, and we appreciate that, but in the process he lays naked the vast intellectual wasteland that is chavismo. Basically, he says that chavismo needs to define how much the State should do, and what they need the private sector for. Qué molleja

After more than a trillion dollars in oil revenue, after umpteen elections, countless political conflicts, and accumulating more power than anyone in the history of the country, chavistas are calling each other to think about the fundamental question: how much should the State do?

You would think that after fifteen years, they would at least have that down. But no.

Rodríguez claims that fifteen years is nothing, because they inherited the State structures and the culture from the past. Oh, he seems to be saying, if only Venezuelans were different, we would be able to implement the horrendous utopia we have in mind.

Few chavistas have occupied as many important roled as Alí Rodríguez. Faithful to the core, he has been Foreign Minister, Oil Minister, President of PDVSA, and pretty much everything in between. He is a smarter, more mellow version of José VIcente Rangel, but just as wicked. Here, he is simply stating what is obvious to anyone but radical chavistas, that the government needs to work with the private sector, and do so “for a very long time.” (Huh, what happens after that?)

Rodríguez is frank enough to admit what everyone in their right mind has been saying all along: the chavista State simply distributes oil rents … and pretty much nothing else. He goes back to his old hobby horse about how chavismo is extracting more of those rents than before, not stopping for once to think that, perhaps, that model is showing some serious strain. After failed oil plan on top of failed oil plan, after years of under-investment in the industry, the Venezuelan oil sector has never been in worse shape. And yet Rodríguez has the gall to say that the opposition simply has no plan for the oil industry, or for anything else.

When, after fifteen years, you are still debating with your own side about the merits of state vs. private interests, there is only one thing to do: buck up to your own failure and pack your bags to go to Cuba. At least Rodríguez is doing the latter. Let’s hope he stays there for good.

1 COMMENT

  1. This man, Rodriguez Araque is one of the most harmful/despicable characters of the regime. Terrorist years ago, expert in blowing up pipelines, he became instrumental in allowing the Cubans take over the government in Venezuela. He corrupted PDVSA, using oil installations and equipment for political purposes and propaganda. Now, in UNASUR, he has led a zombie organization. .
    He prepares to go back to his cave in Cuba, where he will be treated by the same doctors who finished Chavez off.

  2. The deluge of oil money hid the fact that the regime was absolutely inept at running the country even while retaining an ability to deceitfully manipulate the media and use corrupt and despotic practices to keep their followers well rewarded and taking over all State functions to hold on to power absolutely and indefinitely, What they didnt get from oil exports they got from loans suported by the expectation that the oil money would pour in indefinitely.

    Now they realize that incompetence and corruption has its costs and limits and that they have to become at least suffficiently competent to fund their many crazed dreams of absolute municicence and power .

    Most realize the problem but dont understand how to solve it , some people inside the regime dont even think thats its a problem they cant solve through ideological gesturings and announcements . One person who understands the problem is Rodriguez Araque . The other problem is also how to face the incompetence problem without recognizing publicly the extent of the crisis that its existence has created .

    So you hear govt reps talk about it in roundabout fashion , with a lot of caution and circunvention , with much fear of the political consequences of trying to take competent measures to begin putting the economy on track . This explains the language of Rodriguez Araque in the interview .

    They dont think the ideological model is a failure , they have to believe or make belive that its a failure of implementation not of conception , nevertheless being a failure they cant just admitt to it in plain fashion . That may explain the indecisiveness of the regime in tackling its many financial and functional problems.

    Their solutions has always been if a fire begins throw words and gestures on it or douze it with money , the second solution is now impossible , so the first solution has to be doubled .!! .

    Rodriguez Araque is a very old and ill man , he has no career prospects , he retains some measure of respect because of past servies to the Cause , he is given a golden retirement but he is no longer in the vanguard of the regimes decision making machinery . So he can shoot his mouth off , say things a bit more plainly , the system is broke , it cant continue to operate as before , it needs deep changing , behind the diplomats words thats his message. !!

  3. I agree with you 100%.
    I wish we had one, ONE single politician from the opposition who would give a series of speeches discussing what this murderer Rodríguez says, the contradictions and the lies and who would explain with a historical perspective why Rodríguez’s words are rubbish.

    We have a Capriles who cannot do anything but utter isolated sentences (more education, more education), who cannot develop a story, who doesn’t seem to have any background on history.
    Well: he does represent the vast majority of the population left and right.

    I am puzzled not even PJ has anyone else who can give a good speech attacking all these points.
    It’s hard to believe no one out of their thousands can come up with a general response, point by point, of all this BS Rodríguez and other criminals repeat.

    Venezuela is no Cuba and no Soviet Union. So: what is it? How old are guys like him and the rest who cannot even decide what kind of plan to develop? How on Earth do they even mention the Soviet Union, which collapsed completely after decades of forced labour, dictatorship and so on? Or Cuba, which is the EU’s brothel now after it was the USA brothel and that in spite of the fact Chavismo has given to it so many billions of dollars?

    Etc

  4. Its not enough to have people feel that the regime is a blatant failure at running the country making the life of most worst than it was in order to have them switch to the opposition because there is a deep emotional connect between large number of the poorest and what the regime has come to symbolize . The failure will be ignored by those who are so attached to what the regime symbolizes that they dont want to see its failure or recognize it for what it is . Others will recognize the failure but will still not switch to the opposition because they dont know that things will be better with the opposition and because their attitudes toward what the oppo represents have been poisoned by past brainwashing, and because they still feel a sense of identity with what the regime symbolyzes , at most they will abstain from voting if the govt machinery doenst coerce them to vote threatening them with the loss of some future or current small benefit they enjoy from the govt.

    If the oppo were to develop a message depicting the ideal model of governance that it supports in terms of the long term welfare of the country and preserving its civil and political freedoms many people would find that lame and unsattisfactory beause what people have come to expect is to feel paternalistically loved and taken care off by an all powerful and munificent State and Big Daddy Figure who also makes them feel important , warrior like and powerful and who represents itself as ‘one of you’..

    So, how do you craft a message that appeals to the still loyal altough dissapointed Chavista poor so that they begin voting for the oppo candidates . What appeals to the kind of oppo mind that visits and writes in these blog pages is very different from what appeals to these masses of people who have developed a taste for all the BS and small gifties that they have been recieving or who are afraid to lose the little that they are given by the regime is this is replaced by a different regime. The problem has to be recognized and faced. Its not a reasoned logical plan for rescuing the country what most people will understand and agree with . The pyschological packaging is more important than the ideological content because the latter has no appeal for most of the people whose votes are needed .!! Lets get real !!

    • As for Ali Rodriquez (AR), it seems he has been long seen by some top business-oriented chavistas as having an approach that is an alternative to Ramirez’ track record at PDVSA. AR, as I understand it, went head-to-head with Ramirez back in about 2002 (+/-1) over PDVSA policy … and lost. But, the details are not so clear (I was much more closely following Mideast issues at the time.)

      AR, as I understand it, apparently opposed combining the ministry with the presidency of PDVSA – that they needed to be separate for control purposes – and he seems to have opposed Ramirez’ use of PDVSA as manpower for social projects. (Actually, it’s been awhile since I heard these stories and I have to go back and see, but this is the jest. And they are recollections of persons sometime after.)

      I have certainly heard people in positions of power at oil-sector conferences or similar events (on the side, etc) make rather derisive comments of the performance of HC-plus-RR, … and also say positive things about AR, or, say that so-and-so was in the oil sector when AR was in charge as a way of endorsing that person as competent.

      I don’t quite know if Ramirez, now that HC is gone, has settled with these guys who admire AR and whether they will all work together on the plan “to rebuild PDVSA.” It rather looks that way. (Certainly neither group had had respect for Giordani.) (I note too that most originally came from the same party, PPT)

      Anyway, it is true AR is too old and ill to play a role himself in any ‘rectification’ at PDVSA or elsewhere. However, I am suspicious that the fact AR is in the news, and being interviewed, and stressing matters of oil and resources (as he did in his previous public interview some time back) means that he was in CCS to discuss the trajectory of the ministry and PDVSA. The new crew who has been supposed to come in at some point seems to think highly of him.

      Anyway, …. these are things to be looked into further. But, seriously, no matter how low things seem to get, one has to understand and take seriously these sorts of dynamics.

  5. You would think from this interview that what ails Venezuela is a problem of semantics.

    Use of political prisoner in quotation marks by El Universal noted.

    • They will respond that there was a 2007-2013 plan. I saw the pdf, piece of rubbish. If I remember well, it was produced from a PDVSA computer.
      In any case: it was – again – a pity we didn’t have a figure back in the day who would hammer through that that document was no plan at all but some kind of weird wish list.

      • “In any case: it was – again – a pity we didn’t have a figure back in the day who would hammer through that that document was no plan at all but some kind of weird wish list.”

        It would have been nice, but do you really think it would have made a difference? I don’t.

  6. So those 14 years of Chávez were like a dream or something? Cause they seem to talk as if we had the problems of 1998, and 14 years of administration never happened. Chávez verdaderamente era sólo un hablador.

  7. Reblogged this on anagrammatt2 and commented:
    The supposed to be wonders of chavismo has become a failed majority benefit, which has been limited to smaller groups, as happens always in ancient communist-socialist states regressed in time and history !

    Testimony to this is the “exodus” to other frontiers and even to the neighboring Colombia of around and over 1 million Venezuelans! Most of this exodus are of the normal educated Venezuelan’s!

    Testimony to this are the empty Supermarkets, unavailability of essentials and most anything! Costly or unavailable medicines! And a very high cost of living! Extreme violence worse than previously before these “false macho’s” and masked thief’s!

    The stench of the general ill feeling in the population lying to themselves that all is well, regardless of all being wrong and bad, is nearly getting to be a modern Cuba!

    The only way to recover Venezuela would be to get a complete public displeasure manifestation, and international intervention, from the too many deaths!

  8. “Rodríguez claims that fifteen years is nothing, because they inherited the State structures and the culture from the past. Oh, he seems to be saying, if only Venezuelans were different, we would be able to implement the horrendous utopia we have in mind.”

    That’s one of the most common and older excuse of the communists, along with blaming emperor Palpatine, supreme leader of the CIA and Mossad. They will never have enough time because they have no idea of how to use time, also known as planning, for the economy at least.

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