Our Obama-bashing, dollar-loving Patent Office

Have a careful read at the “subtitles” under the Obama speech here: I’m going to go ahead and guess our favorite spokesman Jim Luers wrote that speech.

The screen above is at the waiting room for SAPI (Servicio Autónomo de la Propiedad Intelectual), the public office in charge of “protecting” intellectual property in Venezuela, inasmuch as such a thing exists here. This piece from Contrapunto tells the story. If Spanish is not your forté, the full text of the subtitles, on loop, reads:

“I respectfully want to invade Venezuela (…) and will only finish the Chavistas, I promise. I’m not interested in your wonderful and precious oil, well, only a little bit… but I will take over your wealth and destroy Venezuela. I want you to know that it’s all for the Venezuelans’ freedom and the exit of the Chavista regime – Maduristas, I love you LOL…”

To belabour the obvious, of course Obama never said anything like that. The video is from a speech he made last September at the Clinton Global Initative in New York City. In those remarks, he spoke about repression in Venezuela and asked for the release of Leopoldo Lopez, along with other dissidents detained in countries like Burundi, Egypt, China or Vietnam.

Perhaps the video was done just for the lulz (and the last bit seems kinda self-aware on that) but it still shows how anti-U.S. rhetoric is pushed not only in the State Media System, but in public offices all across the land. Maybe they didn’t get the recent memo that relations between the U.S. of A. and the B.R. of V. are getting more cozy than expected.

But the SAPI’s “anti-american” sentiment doesn’t extend to its currency: Back in May, the patent office announced to the public that all foreigners wishing to use the office in Venezuela must pay in U.S. dollars only. Intellectual property experts see the decision as negative not just for foreign companies, but for Venezuelans as well.

Assessments of the overall state of intellectual property rights in Venezuela range from “worrisome” to “uncertain”. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has put the country into its Priority Watch List in its latest Special 301 Report, which monitors the protection of intellectual property rights worldwide (or the lack thereof.) For SAPI’s consolation, other Latin American countries like Argentina, Ecuador or Chile are included on the list.