Look, I get it: Picking out any one bit of insanity appearing on Venezuelan State Propaganda and singling it out for special opprobium is kind of an artificial exercise. Yet I can’t help but feel that even by the deranged, psychopath-on-ketamine editorial standards of SiBCI, the campaign of character assassination unleashed against former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González these last few days has been nothing short of obscene.
Day after day, on one propaganda broadcast after another, one of the elder statesmen of European Social Democracy has been slammed everything from privatizing utilities to running death squads. We’re talking about a guy who was with friendly terms with Chávez. A guy who cut his diplomatic teeth interceding with Augusto friggin’ Pinochet for the freeing of leftist political prisoners in Chile. That’s who SiBCI is branding an “ultrarightist”.
The scale of the Orwellian nonsense on display is breathtaking. These people don’t even have the presence of mind to realize perhaps it’s not a good idea to label one of the last few remaining actual anti-fascist resistance fighters, a guy who really did risk his life as leader of an outlawed political party in a clandestine struggle against a real fascist dictator as…what else?…a fascist.
The derp is strong with this one.
But the Cherry on Top, the final, insane curlicue of rhetorical nonsense in this entire festival of unhinged slander, was seeing Miguel Angel Pérez Pirela – of all the goddamn people – try to convince us that Felipe González is…wait for it…a drug kingpin!
To quote Michel Platini: enough is enough and too much is too much.
To see the coked up standard bearer of the regime Diosdado friggin’ Cabello runs slam anyone – least of all a guy like Felipe González – of drug trafficking is like seeing Pastor Maldonado round up three dozen little-old-ladies-who-only-ever-drove-their-car-to-the-store and marching them off to jail for reckless driving. It’s like seeing Rona del Valle Gómez demand that Columbia University posthumously strip Stephen Jay Gould of his PhD for rampant scientific illiteracy.
It’s like…actually, you know what, I’m not even going to finish that sentence. There’s no point. No simile I could possibly think up, no matter how far-fetched and overegged, could come anywhere near the scale of ridiculousness of hearing Pérez fucking Pirela acuse Felipe González of drug-running.
We’re beyond the realm of political propaganda here and onto a kind of zany plane of sheer dadaist communicational lunacy. The idea can’t be to manipulate public opinion, either domestic nor, heavin forbid, international, because no one with the slightest notion of how the world works could fail to see the lunacy in it all. In fact, what’s hard is trying to figure out what exactly chavismo thinks it could gain by acting this way.
It’s like having your propaganda served up by a Frankenstein’s monster stitched up out of Hunter S. Thompson and the Iraqi Minister of Information. It could almost be funny – and, at times, it still is. As long as you don’t actually think. Because when you do, you realize it’s not. It’s deeply, desperately unfunny.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.