#UnaMiradaDesdeAfuera: A rare misfire from @prodavinci


venezuela-una-mirada-desde-afueraThis was a tough post to write. I love the work that ‘the folks at Prodavinci do, but man, their latest gimmick really rubbed me the wrong way.

Maybe it’s me. I dunno.

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the street protest that began a new cycle of political violence in Venezuela. To “commemorate” the date, Prodavinci invited four foreign intellectuals to opine on where things stand in our country, and where things are going, under the hashtag #UnaMiradaDesdeAfuera.

My first problem with this idea is to wonder why it’s necessary. Is there any use to know what four foreign intellectuals think about our country’s politics? Their analyses are bound to be of lesser depth than anything we can get from Venezuelans. Their views are always going to be partial.

Personally, I find it arrogant for a foreigner who doesn’t even live in Venezuela to accept an invitation to give a political opinion on that country … in that country’s media. It’s one thing when, say, Mario Vargas Llosa talks about Venezuela to a foreign news paper. When he does it to our own media, he gets away with it because he talks in general terms, and because he’s frickin’ Mario Vargas Llosa.

But the knowledge of Venezuela these gentlemen have strikes me as superficial.

I live in a country that is not my own, and I give political opinions regularly, but they are about my own country. Seldom do I venture to tell Chileans what they should be doing about their own country’s politics. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find it a condescending and impolite gesture.

Second thing worth noting is that the four authors represent “progressive” (some would say downright leftist) points of view. Fernando Savater is a Spaniard who has founded a “progressive” political party. During the 1980s, Sergio Ramírez was Daniel Ortega’s Vice-President. Joaquín Villalobos is a former Salvadoran guerrilla leader. And Fernando Mires is a Chilean who played a role in the para-military wing of Salvador Allende’s government. Right off the bat, it is striking that none of them appear to have the credentials to defend the benefits of free markets or liberal democracies.

But, you know … open minds, people can change, and all that.

Now, I might be overly sensitive here. I’m no expert on who these people are, so my first impression is just that, an impression. Maybe they are not the biased leftists I take them to be. Maybe they are such bright luminaries that they deserve to give their opinion. Maybe my opposition-tinged glasses are not letting me appreciate serious analysis when I see it.

Knowing this, I put my smirk aside, and I read their pieces with an open mind.

Well, my first impression was right. I simply could not find many redeeming values in the pieces. As reader (and new friend, since we met twice this week) Carlos Mora says, an impression is equal to data plus opinion. Something … rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was the data. Maybe it was my opinion. Could it be that I’m projecting? Could it be that the problem is in my reading of the pieces and not in the pieces themselves? Sometimes a text can mean one thing to one person, and something else entirely to another.

Ramírez’s article is called “The Perfect Storm,” and in it he recounts overhearing a meeting of chavistas in early 2000, wanting to warn them about how “the movie” they were so enthusiastically participating in plays itself out – with shortages and chaos. Here’s a snippet,

“And as I listened people chanting ardorous bolivarian slogans at the other side of the wall, I was invaded by a confused feeling, one that mixed my memories of the moment the dam breaks, the raptorous waters are set free, and everything seems possible; my respect for the innocence with which those improvised militants, of diverse ages, share the dream they thought was fulfillable; and the voice inside of me that reminded me that I knew how that movie played out. Of course, I was not going to be arrogant enough to enter the hall where they held their seminar, or workshop, or whatever, but I did want to warn them what the ending was going to look like, because I had lived through it.”

Now, when you read that paragraph, you think:

  1. Ramírez learned the lessons of the failed Nicaraguan Revolution.
  2. Events from the early 2000s tell us nothing about Venezuela today.
  3. Ramírez is right about the “innocence” of chavistas.
  4. Ramírez is being too generous by respecting the supposed innocence of chavistas.

If you’re like me, you answered 4.

Ramírez appears to not have learned the right lessons from his experience. In his framework, he still seems to believe that class warfare, doing away with checks and balances, and restricting private property – parts of the chavista plank from the very beginning – all come from a good place. The problem seems to be, in his mind, that the policies that flow from these beliefs don’t work.

Ramírez fails to understand that the problem is not in the implementation or in the lack of results, but in the genesis. Chavismo, from its very beginning, was a movement that did away with the separation of powers and other core values of liberal democracies. It was never about giving people rights, but about claiming to give people rights. The model was always Cuba.

These “innocents” were basically buying into an ideology that submitted the individual to the rights of the collective, one that meshed democracy with the whims of a caudillo. It doesn’t work alright, and it has never worked … because, deep down, it is deeply inhuman.

In other words, these were no “innocents,” no matter what Ramírez says.

Savater’s brief text is called “In a democracy there is space for everyone.” It is basically a call for democratic tolerance in Venezuela as a necessary condition for whatever is to come. He says,

“I wish for Venezuela, a country that I love dearly and one for which I wish nothing but good things, a generation of democrats capable of presenting their arguments and accepting other people’s arguments, a democratic generation that takes pride in not always being right, but in recognizing that some people can also be right sometimes.”

Who is Savater talking about?

  1. Chavistas
  2. The opposition
  3. The opposition student movement
  4. All young people in Venezuela

I don’t know about you, but I voted for 3. Savater’s implication seems to be that democracy in Venezuela requires an opposition that is more tolerant and inclusive.

Since a large majority of the “new generation” is opposed to chavismo, Savater seems to be pleading for the people locked away in El Helicoide, being tortured in Ramo Verde, exiled, muzzled, or otherwise disenfranchised … to just become more tolerant of the ideas of folks such as Diosdado Cabello and Luisa Ortega Díaz.

Talk about tone-deaf.

Joaquín Villalobos decrees in his article, “Better a bad agreement than a good fight,” that chavismo has changed Venezuela for good, and that all parties need to accept this new reality. But in making his analysis, he conflates the two sides in a completely irresponsible way. He says,

“Compared to other cases, we could say that Venezuela is in a phase where verbal violence still prevails over actual dead bodies. The country is living in a pre-conflict situation, which can derive in an actual confrontation any moment. As in any street fight, verbal violence precedes physical violence. Venezuelans have shown great resistance to killing themselves in spite of the extreme polarization they are suffering through. Nevertheless, the “Caracazo” and the failed coups of 1992 and 2002 show that this can change suddenly. The country is living through a tie between the bolivarian regime’s economic failure and the opposition’s political failure. When there is a tie, what is crucial is not who is right, but how the country can be reunited. Being right in a profoundly divided country is worth next to nothing.”

What jumps out at you as wrong from that paragraph?

  1. The country is in a tie.
  2. The country is not in actual conflict.
  3. The country’s polarization is something Venezuelans “are suffering.”
  4. All of the above.

Yup – I think it’s 4.

The country is in a tie, the same way that the terrorists in Guantánamo Bay are “tied” with the Americans holding them.

Venezuela, according to Villalobos, is a country where people say mean things to you but no actual violence islikely to occur.

And polarization is just something we all suffer from. Kind of like the weather. Nobody is responsible for it – no siree.

Finally, we get to hear from someone who has become the darling of many in Caracas’ intellectual circles, Fernando Mires.

Mires’ text is called “Venezuela: From The Exit to The Change.” It is a long description of La Salida and what has come afterwards (Mires really needs an editor, btw). He points out La Salida’s mistakes, many of them correct, and calls for the vindication of Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, Henrique Capriles, and Chúo Torrealba. He says,

“The MUD, the opposition in general, lived through one of the worst crises in its history right after La Salida failed. The more radical groups, for reasons that could be explained by psychic (sic) methods (self-aggression), attacked Henrique Capriles and Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, Executive Secretary of the MUD. From various columns they have been offended and insulted more than any government representative.

Aveledo, the maximum warrior for unity, could not take the pressure against him, and he had to resign. It seemed at the time that a systematic labor of years was going to come crashing to the floor. The regime was, according to public opinion, in its lowest levels, but the MUD, ataccked by two fires, was not in any condition to capitalize on the general discontent.

Nevertheless, when the government and the ultra radicals were rejoicing, almost leaving the MUD out for dead, a true miracle appeared. In the end of September, Chúo Torrealba was named executive secretary of the MUD.

Mires’ text is basically one long vindication of the people who were against La Salida. Aveledo, Capriles, and especially Torrealba are the heroes, the main people responsible for the opposition’s current status as the leading political force in the country.

Now, perhaps I’m being too arrogant, but I think Mires gets a bunch of things wrong in his analysis.

Aveledo had to resign not because of some dirty campaign against him, but because authorities inside the MUD had to be renewed. He had been helming the coalition for a long time, and had significant successes at it, but the last few months of his tenure had been bad ones. There was Roberta-gate, and more importantly, there was a clear disconnect between himself and part of the MUD, that which Mires disdainfully calls “the radicals.”

Capriles, on the other hand, deserved much of the criticism launched his way. I admit a lot of it got out of hand,  but he gave as good as he got.

Capriles routinely blasted the students dying in the streets of Venezuela and the political prisoners rotting in our jails as mistaken radicals. His lack of empathy for people’s problems and for the reasons people were out on the streets was evident in quite a few interviews, most of them given to foreign media. And lest you think that lack of unity was the fault of the radicals, Mires should ask himself this: why is it that Aveledo and Capriles routinely ignored the voices representing these factions? What role does Maria Corina Machado play inside the MUD? Why did Leopoldo López himself complain to me in December of 2013, a few months before being jailed, that his party was basically not invited to MUD meetings?

Mires’ one-sided take on the opposition’s travails is tragic, but his claim that the opposition’s improved fortunes at the moment are due to Torrealba’s appointment are almost risible. The opposition is gaining the upper hand on the government in spite of itself, not because of it. The severe economic crisis people are living through is much more important than anything Torrealba has done. And, by the way, one of Torrealba’s main goals was to explain how candidates for the National Assembly were going to be picked, and lead the process to see this through. So far, there is absolutely no sign he is succeeding in this.

He then goes on to argue that, since both sides are equal, they need to sit down and talk.

There is a text that has been making the rounds by … a Venezuelan! It’s called Cinco Sótanos Contra el Sol, and it’s writen by playwright Leonardo Padrón. In it, Padrón discusses the infamous “basement” in Venezuela’s secret police headquarters, five floors below ground, where several student leaders are being held and tortured. It is a riveting read.

When foreigners write about Venezuela, many times they fail to grasp the nuances that are making our political life unbearable, nuances such as those captured by the Padrón piece. The incessant corruption, the deep penetration of drug trafficking, the human rights violations, the supression of independent media, the bone-headed economic policies, the assaults on human dignity that price controls and rationing represent … none of these things seem to matter to these authors. All they care about is keeping score, promoting “dialogue,” and pontificating about some fake moral equivalence between chavismo and those who oppose it.

On this blog, we’ve been huge fans of Prodavinci, and we remain so. But these four pieces left me shaking my head in disbelief. Was it just me? Am I reading things in them that are not really there?

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  1. “Now, I might be overly sensitive here. I’m no expert on who these people are, so my first impression is just that, an impression. Maybe they are not the biased leftists I take them to be. Maybe they are such bright luminaries that they deserve to give their opinion. Maybe my opposition-tinged glasses are not letting me appreciate serious analysis when I see it.

    Knowing this, I put my smirk aside, and I read their pieces with an open mind.”

    Mayhaps they are not the utmost leftist I fathom. Mayhaps their intelligence bestows their right to be cherished. Mayhaps my oppo-drenched monocles are impairing my tasting buds.

    I realize this as I sheath my Jewish smirk and prepare to judge their work in their material reality where ideals hold nary a candle.

  2. Great piece. Imagine, foreigners with the audacity to opine about the Motherland! Hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty to forward the article to Alexis de Toqueville.

    • Nice riposte! I disagree with almost everything Juan says here, but most especially the remark about foreigners who don’t live here opining about Venezuela. For every foreigner with an uninformed, superficial view of the country, there are 50 resident Venezuelans who can’t see the wood for the trees. I didn’t like all the stuff in these four essays by any means .. it would be odd if anyone did. But I think it can be immensely useful to listen carefully to the views of outsiders with fewer axes to grind. Fernando Mires in particular I find invariably lucid and well-informed, not just on Venezuela but on many other international issues. Juan, isn’t the real issue just that you disagree with them?

      • “I disagree with almost everything Juan says here, but most especially the remark about foreigners who don’t live here opining about Venezuela. For every foreigner with an uninformed, superficial view of the country, there are 50 resident Venezuelans who can’t see the wood for the trees.”

        It’s funny because Nagel doesn’t live here either. CC resident writers are a minority.

        • If you have the time to look up the acid exchanges between Mires and Roderick Navarro on twitter you may have a glimpse of this iconic darling in action. I for one was quite let down with his heavy-handed hamfistedness in the use of social media. I see him clearly now for what he is: a detestable crotchety old fart with a rabid superiority complex.

    • Nice one.

      You would be surprised to know we have our very own de Tocqueville: VS Naipaul. He wrote “The loss of El Dorado”, one of the most insightful views on Venezuela I have ever read.

      Not to mention Humboldt, John Lynch, Garcia Marquez… you know meddlesome foreigners who actually understand more than most of us.

  3. Dear blogger,

    A long post. You are very wrong in one thing:

    Thinking that outside opinion is unnecessary, arrogant, condescending and ignorant of nuance and detail (as if Venezuela today was the first ever tropical cluster-fuck, totally novel and incomprehensible to anyone not born in Caracas).

    And you make your mistake deeper by saying that a “foreigner” cannot grasp the complexity of Venezuela’s situation.

    To begin with, the best journalistic coverage of the last 15 years in our country has been carried out by two foreign outlets: The Economist (British) and ABC (Spanish).

    So foreigners “get” Venezuela quite well.

    Is there any use to know what foreigners think about Venezuela? YES! it is VERY useful. As a general principle, and in any job, outside opinion is necessary because it offers a different perspective. Rejecting it is arrogant and condescending, not to mention childish and immature.

    And this is even truer in a self-obsessed, self-victimising environment such as the Venezuelan opposition.

    You say a foreigner’s opinion is always partial. And yours isn’t? Is anyone impartial?

    There are other things that I consider wrong, but are really matters of opinion: for example, to call “La Salida” a mistake is an understatement. It was a full container of faeces (una gran cagada) excreted by incompetent, impatient politicians. And yes, they put lives at risk stupidly. I am not saying they are guilty of those deaths, imprisonments and torture (the government is and will someday face justice) but they certainly walked knowingly into a losing battle.

    Finally, I will stand up for Villalobos and Savater here.

    Villalobos was a guerrilla commander fighting against a military dictatorship. He has seen more death and torture than any Venezuelan. He has more experience in conflict solving than anyone and understands more about transition that we will ever do. So I would listen to him closely. Certainly, he minimises current paramilitary violence in Venezuela, but that is probably because he fought in a full blown civil war for decades. Venezuela is not quite in the same circle of hell.

    Savater is a Basque socialist that fought first agains a fascist dictatorship and later against nationalist terrorists. He is hated by both fascists and nationalists. I dare say he knows about fanaticism and how to defeat it intellectually than you or I will ever do.

    Humility, blogger.

    • Ask Soviets and Cubans how being “patient” helped them.

      I don´t know how old are you, but for me, living more than half my life under chavismo does not help in the “patience” department.

      We are basically fed up. These youngsters are fed up and have no future either. I kindly recommend people asking for “patience” to carefully roll it and shove it in that place where sun never shone. Even more so if they belong to the generation who voted Chavez into power.

      • Impatience leads to stupidity, stupidity ends in impoliteness.

        Or is it stupidity that begets impatience? In your case Hunt, it may be a snake biting its own tail.

        Hunt, if you think anyone in Venezuela is a match for the government in violence, if you think the government can be defeated on the streets, you are deluded.

        I have never voted for the regime and opposed it since, you might say, 1992. Just so we are clear.

        But “La Salida” is hardly the first mistake made by incompetent opposers… Remember the electoral boycott? and the oil strike? and calling fraud without doing anything about it in 2013?

        • I´ve stated numerous times here that “calle” doesn´t solve the problem. I believe in the more traditional “plomo” approach, which oppo wont be able to do at least in a thousand years. First because they are pussies, second because they are inept: Lopez et al.

          I think La Salida was a mere act of catharsis. Asking these people to be patient is just not right.

          That is why i left Venezuela. No patience is really left in me.

          Before you judge me saying that the “plomo” approach is unrealistic, it is not. A real opposition would have tried to infiltrate armed forces slowly just like chavismo did in the 70´s / 80´s. Disabling them from inside without a single shot could be exploited NOW when cracks start to appear. What they did instead?, a Sesame Street performance in Plaza Altamira reinforcing their public image as cowards and defecters.

          • Oh, so you are calling for armed violence from abroad!

            You are a truly brave man, aren’t you?

            And opposers of the regime in Venezuela are “pussies”, even though they are actually there, in the middle of things, aren’t they?

            Well, I envy you, Hunt, I don’t have the guts to call on other people to sacrifice their lives.

          • “Oh, so you are calling for armed violence from abroad!”

            I don´t think you did read the last paragraph. No, i´m not.

            “And opposers of the regime in Venezuela are “pussies”, even though they are actually there, in the middle of things, aren’t they?”

            Yes, they are. Even Leopoldo who handed himself to *justice* in order to measure his popularity penis. They are all a bunch of coward sissies.

            “Well, I envy you, Hunt, I don’t have the guts to call on other people to sacrifice their lives.”

            I´m not asking that. Did you get scared and defensive when reading “plomo” up there?. Read it again. Infiltration of the FAN was key and wasnt done. Now we pay its consequences.

            We could have done a Zelaya, but since you all “progres” faint at the mention of “coup”…

  4. I like your reading comprehension-style analysis, you’re keeping your readers alert Nagel…

    Ummm, since you are in fact asking, I grant you that it can be irritating to listen to comments from people who are not affected by the reality in Venezuela and to top it off are probably as obtuse as your average chavista, but I do think you get a little carried away about the whole “foreigners commenting” bit. It is a reasonable gimmick that serves the purpose of attempting, even if not successfully, to provide an opinion that is not biased by personal links to Venezuela. I sense your rage at Ramirez because he apologizes for chavistas because he thinks their intentions were good, and your point is they were never any good from the start. Ok, but first, not all chavistas jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning to create the church of Chavez – how could he possibly know that the program was deeply corrupt already in 2000? Or is your point that the sandinistas failed due to corruption (not a flawed communist model), so he should have identified that common thread? Perhaps despite similar end points the underlying stories in Venezuela and Nicaragua really are that different. I think so, simply because the amount they could loot in Nicaragua was negligible, so they remained relatively innocent in their intentions.

    Otherwise I thought it remarkable that most agreed that Maduro was doing a shabby job although they limit this to managing the economy. The false caveat is that chavismo has good intentions, as you aptly point out.

  5. It is rather amusing that Nagel starts by critiquing their opinion given their ‘foreign’ status, and then he totally misinterprets what UPyD represents in the Spanish political spectrum by suggesting they’re a ‘downright leftist’ party. Ironically confirms his weirdly-xenophobic thesis on foreigners not being able to discuss national politics.

    I enjoy reading Nagel’s self-serving analyses if only to try to understand how is it that after the Lost Decade we have liberal crusaders among our ranks in the Opposition…

  6. I welcome Juans article not because he questions Prodavinci making so much fuss about the opinions of four famour foreigners writing about Venezuela . but because it brings home how thorny and laberynthic understanding our national situation has become even to ourselves . the contrasting responses of our bloggers attest to that. We are in a thicket of explanations and interpretations which go every other way and not one which points us to a clear direction .

    I share many of his reservations about what some of these famous writers write about us , or the tone they use or how wayward in some of their judgments , but they all do make an honest effort , they all strongly side with the opposition and they all make comments that can be well regarded even if marred sometimes with naivete or misguided parochial considerations. (from their own turf) .

    Whats important is that by writing about us they make our cause more rooted in the conscience of international intellectuals and opinion makers , (which can be very useful) , and allow us to feel us less isolated . Also that our own reponses however differently nuanced , rich in pespectives all show a common phocus on the need to get these bastards out , the tactics may vary but the end goal being so definitive and crisp clear.

    We should not be afraid of mistakes or of differences , they exist in any crisis situation , the important think is to keep the spirit alive and the resolve intact to keep going at it until the deed is accomplished and I dont see anyone in this blog who is in any way inclined to give it up.!!

  7. I don’t know too much about the others but I have read many books of Fernando Savater and you can certainly trust on his opinion. In the case of this article it is vague and vaporous, it is true, but without the negative overtones that the writer of this blog wants to attach to them. He is not a biased leftist. The party that he and many others founded is not progressive, it is a laughable thing called “el centro” but nobody knows what’s that.

  8. Juan, I did not read your entire post ( I am always a bit leery of critical pieces that are longer than the pieces being criticized). I got the thesis of your post right away., Then, went and read the first article (perfect storm). What I got form that article was that, structurally, the leftist (populist) revolutions are all the same and suffer from the same affliction: Revolutionaries hold the keys to the truth. The consequence is summed up in the closing sentence: “Los sueños mesiánicos comienzan siempre con grandes discursos y terminan en grandes colas.” So, maybe you and I have completely different weltenschauungs. Sometimes you have to read something for what it says, not for what you think it should say.

  9. Juan,

    I have not read the articles. I confess that my Spanish, while good enough for conversation and business, is not up to the task of parsing subtle political commentary.

    Nevertheless, I would like to say that, of course, a foreigner’s perspective lacks the nuance and intimate knowledge of a Venezuelan. That is inevitable. I often despair of foreigners’ opinions of U.S. politics. For that matter, after so much time spent away from the U.S., my own understanding of U.S. politics is sorely lacking in nuance and cultural comprehension. But, consider that your intimate knowledge of the issues and players may be blinding you to a bigger picture that is clearer to an outsider than to a Venezuelan. Perhaps you “cannot see the forest for the trees.”

  10. Juan,
    Read all four pieces by now. I think you get bogged down in the details. All pieces (in my view), unequivocally, pain a very negative picture of the regime. Except the one by Mires, none really addressed the issue of “La Salida.” You may disagree with the fine points of Mire’s analysis, but here is an unequivocal statement by Mires: “Torrealba, Capriles, López, Machado, Borges, Ledezma y tantos otros, saben que recorren un camino minado. Un gobierno militar y militarizado, para-militares enloquecidos, personajes siniestros dispuestos a cometer cualquiera “dioscabellada”, tribunales mercenarios de justicia, tribunales electorales parcializados, prensa y televisión en manos del gobierno. Todo eso no da, ni mucho menos, una garantía definitiva para el triunfo.” His concluding sentence is almost trivial since it is indisputable “Pero si las alianzas son seguras y confiables, si son seleccionados los candidatos más idóneos, si el potencial de descontento es vaciado masivamente en las urnas, si las elecciones y las movilizaciones sociales coinciden, nadie ni nada podrá detener a ese Cambio que ya viene.” Perhaps the problem for many of us is that we neither want to wait, nor find it fair that we are forced to play by the rules while the government flaunts those rules.

    • I agree! The analysis is surprisingly poor…to say the least.

      For example, when Villalobos says “conflict” he is referring to “armed conflict”, “war”, and that Venezuela is in a pre-conflict stage. When he mentiones “empate”, he refers to the two sides in “pre-conflict”: those who don’t realize the terrible social inequalities that led to, or provided a perfect environment for, the Chavez phenomenon; and those who don’t see, or don’t want to see, the disaster of, by far, the worst government in Venezuelan history.

      How “left..ish” Latin American outsiders see Venezuela? That’s what the Prodavinci posts are about.
      La Salida does not acknowledge that important sectors of the country have the right to distrust them. The right to distrust the other side. That is, for example, that the other side distrusts the oppositions capacity to understand that things before Chavez were already pretty bad! Villalobos, Mires and the other authors seem to agree with this in one way or another. But the goverment has done much worse the opposite way. None of the authors seem to acknowledge that they “want the oppo to play by the rules while the government flaunts those rules”. Why are four “lefty..ish” Latin American outsiders doing that?

      Prodavinci’s misfire? They provide room for much needed debate I would say…

  11. Hablaré en español, pues uno de los puntos que apenas roza Nagel es algo en lo que he pensado mucho tiempo, y es lo que en esencia propone Savater para Venezuela: una nueva transición española, una ruptura pactada que le daría no solo plena impunidad a la cúpula chavista, si no la garantía de seguir controlando al PSUV y ocupando cargos públicos de relevancia.

    Hablamos de un destino tan malo que es preferible que el chavismo gobierne Venezuela con puño de hierro durante décadas. Una democracia basada en la impunidad no puede perdurar pues no tiene legitimidad alguna ni tan siquiera un relato legendario que le sirva de base.

    La misma España es prueba de sobra de lo que digo, pues el montaje de la Transición sólo funcionó mientras el timón de esa nación lo llevó las generaciones que habían crecido durante la dictadura del general Franco o durante la Transición. Ahora España está lidiando con montones de jóvenes resentidos con el franquismo, la Casa de los Borbones y el sistema creado en la Transición, debido a la poca legitimidad que tiene la democracia española.

    También hay otra cosa a apuntar. Pese a lo ya dicho, la Transición Española fue lo menos malo que pudo hacerse en su momento debido a lo metido que tenía (y tiene, los carajitos que votarán por Podemos saldrían corriendo apenas les llegue el primer bote de gas del bueno) el miedo los españoles. Nosotros no somos un pueblo tan atemorizado y amordazado. Yo creo que aún somos un bravo pueblo.

  12. First, while distance does reduce perception of details, it also grants perspective. The foreign observer may see important parallels between Venezuela and other countries that the more parochial Venezuelan cannot.

    Second, the phrase “a tie between the bolivarian regime’s economic failure and the opposition’s political failure” strikes me as very trenchant. The regime’s failure goes beyond economic bungling of course, but that failure has been matched by the opposition’s failure to create a plausible political response. This has led to a stalemate, with the regime clinging to power.

    So I cannot agree that this effort was a failure.


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