screen-shot-2014-10-29-at-3-10-47-pmIn generations to come, historians are going to have such a wealth of material to pick over as they try to make sense of Venezuela post 1999 they’ll barely know where to start. Well, if you’re reading this and the calendar marks 2075 (or beyond) I’m going to make a humble suggestion: start with Daniella.

No other figure of the Chávez era more perfectly encapsulates the prostration of Venezuelan civil society. No other figure more neatly encapsulates chavismo as an engine for contradiction, a wellspring of privilege created in the name of the fight against privilege. In no other person do its feigned rejection of and desperate embrace of capitalist celebrity culture come together as obviously, as directly.

Devoid of discernible talent at any pursuit other than choosing her parents – along with, arguably, a certain unencumbered chutzpah when it comes to claiming her dues as revolutionary princess – Daniella Cabello is a walking, talking, (barely) singing ode to the moral debasement of a regime that isn’t content with merely controlling everything but insists on being seen to control everything.

Daniella’s SiBCI-manufactured stardom, her sudden ubiquity, the startling production values of the propaganda schlock she features in are a constant blaring reminder of her father’s power and society’s utter defencelessness before it. It’s as though he’s just not content with controlling all the money, all the politics and all the military: Diosdado’s determined to lord over the onanistic fantasies of the nation’s teenage boys as well, and no surgeon’s fee will be allowed to stand in the way.

And so we’re treated to Daniella screetching, stretching the abilities of autotune to enmendarle la plana, writhing, plastering her sillicone curves on every state-controlled screen within a 50 mile radious , incongruously propagandizing for a revolution whose integrity her stardom radically refutes.

There’s something at work here beyond simple nepotism, beyond mere bad taste.

There’s a will to humiliate, a determination to dramatize chavismo’s absolute control over the public sphere, to make it visible, palpable, using all the tools of pop culture.

Daniella’s stardom dramatizes her dad’s power in a way mere theft never could. Her career is pure spectacle: her presence necessary to make sure you never forget who owns the stage.

Yes, dear historian of the future, you could do much worse than to start with Daniella Cabello.

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  1. In May of 1952, Evita Perón was elected ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by her husband’s rubber-stamp legislature. In perpetuity.
    If Quico is suggesting we co-opt this practice for Dani, then I’m down.
    Are we thinking Miley or Lindsey for the musical biopic?

    • Don’t think so. I pity the poor schmuck that she does marry. That girl is the definition of “high maintenance”. And, imagine having Diosdado Cabello for a father-in-law.

      • Dude, whoever marries Daniella will have access to all Bs. 6,30 USD you can ever imagine. And she is kinda hot too. Diosdado as a father in law should be quite busy, perhaps he will only talk to you whn you need more 6,30 USD to sustain Daniella´s lifestyle…. You can ask Omar Acedo, who even got to bring Romeo Santos very likely at the 6,30 rate. Yo en esa me anoto

  2. If you are talking about the girl on the picture, well, she actually looks ok (even discounting the kilo or so of makeup she pasted onto her face).

    Her dress sense is suspect, but what would you expect from a Venezuelan nouveaux riche family?

    And concerning talent, I would say the regime has a complete disregard for it: Jessie Chacon was at some point minister of science (!), Maduro is president, this prodigy´s father heads parliament…

    You can hardly expect her to be Maria Callas, can you?

    In that sense, you are right: she is a symbol of our fatherland.

  3. The girl is pretty, typical Venezuelan beauty. But after seing the following beauty, and since she’s an adult hurting so many people with Lies, I wouldn’t mind if a bunch of Malandros chavistas took care of her one night.

  4. I can understand a doting father using his considerable influence and power to help the singing acting modelling career of his handsome looking daughter .( whatever her talents) thats so basically human , so quientessentially bourgeois.

    Whats really curious is that in a stern revolutionary socialist society that kind of career is an anathema , a frivolous expresion of decadent bourgeois sifrino tastes …which tells us something we already know about this regime , that is purported revolutionary ideology is more window dressing than something that it really imbibes and lives by .

    Chavez morbidly engorged megalomaniacal narcicism needed to prop itself with some fancy ideological mantle, from whence the socialism of the xxist century , the theatrically adopted ideology which justified his self love as the heroic righteous avenger of the downtrodded poor . .

    And yet when we look at the values which are revealed by the Daniella phenomenon , or by the private pictures and facebook images of the family and children and nannies of the big and powerful in the regime what we find is a life style , an outlook on life which is strictrly sifrino , garishly ,uncompromisingly and pretentiously bourgeois. Maduros son dancing over a carpet of strewn dollar bills , one of Chavez daughter posing in her underwear before one of the countries public artistic treasures in a public salon, another daughter showing her facebook friend a pack of dollar bills, photoes of visits to far off exotic and glamorious places , a nanny that is brought by Pdvsa plane to serve the traveling family of one of the govt masters. the uber luxurious clothing of Cilia. There is something so false and insincere in these manifestations of bourgeois self indulgence that the whole ideological underpinnings of the regime stand revealed as basically fake , as a fachade behind which we have people who are narcicistically and frivolous married to the sifrino form of life.

    Daniella is just a sample of something which is very deep and revealing about the fractured mentality of the regimes leaders in their personal lives.

    • But see, I’d say it’s different. Maduro’s kid, RosaInés, those revelations were leaks, as it were, instances of what was meant-to-remain-private-becoming-public. They’re gross, sure, but they’re not in your face in the way Daniella’s stardom is brazenly, in your face. In your face by design.

      That *privately* these guys act like they single-handedly control zillions of petrodollars is…well, not even slightly surprising. That Diosdado chooses to make a spectacle of it in this way, through the public whoring of his daughter is…breathtaking!

      • You are right Francisco that Daniellas, in your face, daddy sponsored push to stardom is different from all the burgeois sins of excess that the Chavista head honchos and their children have been discovered to have commited in private . Daniella certainly represents a shamelessness or flagrancy that marks a qualitative jump in the way that Chavismo manifests its incongruity with so called revolutionary values , But fundamentally what i find fascinating if not shocking is the gross incongruity in the mindset of these people be it expressed through Daniellas rising stardom as a teen age heart throb or through all those leaked manifestations of their sifrino tastes and excesses. There is no pretense whatsoever at the creation of the so called new man to replace the corrupt degraded capitalist man of old , The bankrupcy is not only political and financial it is also ideological in the fullest extent of the term. !!

      • This is very specific to Diosdado. He relishes this sort of spectacle. He wants EVERYBODY to know that this is his daughter and that she can get away with every fantasy or whim, the more notorious the better. In the same way that he gets relatives appointed to very visible positions. Or in the way he chose to be there when Leopoldo gave himself in, just so we would all know that LL was HIS prisoner.

  5. Oh dear. This so reminds me of then young children Helga, Hildago, Helmut, Holdine, Hedwig and Heidrun (all beginning with the letter ‘H’ to honor you-know-who) of Joseph Goebbels who had the run of the place at Berchtesgaden. They never reached the age where they could voice their own independent decisions on politics. They were all unwittingly forced to take cyanide in 1945 in the bunker in Berlin. There was an exception, however, a child from a previous marriage. His name was Harald Quandt, who lived after the war, and helped build one of the greatest automotive empires in the world. Still, to this day, his grandchildren are the majority stockholder of, …BMW.

  6. Call me fickle, but her teeth really bother me. Someone who has all the privileges that she does (and coming from a society that values beauty) she should really have whiter teeth.

    When I see yellowish teeth, I often think dirty mouth…which may be fitting in this case…

  7. She is just doing what she does best in the service of 21st Century Socialism.
    “From each according to their ability…and…” (let’s not waste time on the second part).
    But, seriously, do you think she knows anything about, say, raising organic chickens on a commune?

  8. We have journeyed long up the river and encountered many beastly visions and aberrant spectacles, and now we are reaching the wellspring, the domain of the lost captain…the horror.

    • If this were hockey I’d take that bet any day of the week. A brilliant educated woman who strongly believes in public service and working for the good of her country versus a stuck up hipocrite who’s only goal appears to be make sure her daddy steals every last penny they can get their hands on. No contest!

  9. You know, Quico, reading between the lines I get the distinct impression you don’t like her very much. But I really think you should just come out and say it, instead of beating around the bush like that.

  10. Daniella’s deep video about the real truth of Venezuela’s history and current state is packed with so much critical thinking that I’m reminded of the great Socrates.
    And of course by that I mean she makes me want to unflinchingly drink hemlock and die.
    In all seriousness though, if she is to end up terrified of leaving her own house like Googoosha, it’d be nothing short of well-deserved.

  11. Thanks Quico, for being such a connoisseur of Daniella’s work and sharing it with us. I had goosebumps at the 2:44 mark of that “Invencible” song. Just beautiful!!!

  12. Sharing some news I read today, there’s a lot of good things going on.

    1: Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Felipe González are forming a group of known personalities to call for the release of political prisoners in Venezuela.

    2: Aécio Neves, the leader of Brazilian opposition, is going to Venezuela with other senators to call for the release of political prisoners in April.

    3: Lilian Tintori is coming to Brazil to speak at the Congress in April.

    4: Vargas Llosa is the man uniting the two sides. God bless his soul.

  13. The Cabellos are a highly narcissistic family structure. Absolute case study for specialists in personality disorders. In such highly charged environments, dysfunctionality spills over and someone gets scapegoated, usually a son or daughter (are there other siblings?). There is usually a facade hiding an ugly truth.

      • The picture shows more than they would like to tell. See how Daniella’s left hand is touching Cabello’s right hand, showing true affection and an extremely close relation – to touch’s one hand casually like that is something that only people who really like each other do, sometimes even couples are not close enough to walk holding hands in public. Now see how the smaller one is protected by the mother, besides being literally behind her, he is holding mamma’s arm too! As if that somewhat frightned child were wanting protection from the rest of the family behind mamma koala, and mamma koala is definitely not letting anyone harm that kid.

        The son in the middle, however, shows a plastic smile. He is not happy. See how Daniella distances her body from him, as if he were a complete stranger (compare to how Cabello is closer to his wife, or to how closer the smaller son is to his mother to notice the difference). Check how Daniella not only makes everything to avoid touching her brother’s shoulder with her left hand, she also avoids touching his right arm with her right arm. It’s like her arm was suspending in the air, hard like a frozen turkey leg. Cabello also doesn’t mind being too close to him, he even gave a step back to allow a greater distance. I bet he is the least liked in the family, and doesn’t have the privileges his sister or mother do.


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