It’s one of my favorite bits of the gringo political lexicon: a Kinsley Gaffe is when a politician says something true but impolitic. MUD Secretary General Chúo Torrealba committed a classic Kinsley Gaffe yesterday when he said outright that Same Sex Marriage, while important, is just not a political priority for the opposition in a country on the brink of an outright humanitarian disaster.

Look, nobody is going to out-gay-rights me. My very first experience as a political activist was at age 19, as the only straight volunteer working to defeat an anti-gay ballot initiative in Oregon. I can say something not so many straight guys can: I know what it’s like to be in the closet. I spent months trying to wiggle my way out of the dates with cute boys our very nice executive director kept trying to set me up on.

But let’s get real. Go out and talk to 1,000 gay people in Venezuela today. Where do you think Same Sex Marriage ranks on their list of concerns? Above or below being able to get a bag of rice without standing in line for 6 hours? Above or below gaining stable access to antiretrovirals to keep HIV from turning into full blown AIDS? These are questions that answer themselves.

Yes, MUD’s line that they must focus like a laser beam on the overall fight for political power would be more credible if they didn’t keep weighing down the A.N. agenda with extraneous little distractions like the homages to Rafael Caldera and the resolutions praising La Divina Pastora.

But let’s get real, those kinds of saludos a la bandera cost you three minutes of MUD floor time. Discussing a same sex marriage law, approving the first reading, discussing it again, approving it a second time, dealing with the Sala Constitucional, then dealing with Maduro’s veto…it’s in no way comparable.

Of course the opposition isn’t going to push for same sex marriage rights in Venezuela in 2016: a highly emotive, months’ long fight that will drain all kinds of time and attention from the basic fight to restore something like a working democracy and economy is a non-starter around the MUD table.

When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. MUD gets that, and that is as it should be.

Chúo was just stating the obvious. It’s just that the obvious is sometimes better left unstated.

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    • And he said this as a reply to some random guy’s question on a tweet, while in a TV show? (Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seemed that way in the only video about it I could find).

      One key thing here is that some people are trying to make it seem as if LGBT activists are demanding this to be prioritised over the litany of problems that are part of our current clusterfu*k. Who is saying that? Wondering if this would be part of their legislative agenda (at all), on the other hand, would be a very reasonable concern, would it not?

      Somehow Chuo decided to let everyone know what the MUD probably thinks about this, in the least respectful terms possible and for no good reason at all. Concha de mango sounds about right.

  1. I am a full supporter of equal rights, and I will be very happy when gay marriage become the law in Venezuela, but quico is right today is not an issue and not even because many venezuelans will be against and that they will be wrong about it.

    It is about the economy, there shoulf be gay weddings, but ther also must be food in those weddings

    • Hey wassup, this is not about having empanaditas on a wedding. Will just leave this around here that I also left on the responding article to this one:

      SSM is important on many levels that maybe you don’t understand. It’s not important because this people want to have a fun wedding party. There are many legal complications same sex couple face due to their union not being recognized. This is a good start to try to understand: . Basically if one of the members of the same sex relationship dies, they could lose custody of their child (if it was carried by the other member), and they are not elegible to inherit anything. Yes, you can make a will blah blah blah (I understand this is not even a *thing* in Venezuela? IDK, I left Venezuela when I was ~21 so I never had to deal with wills over there). More legal issues here: This is for USA, but it’s a good explanation of some of the issues.


  2. Wrong to say it, and VERY wrong to admit this of all topics could be a breaking point within mud. What is even most embarrassing is that as Rodrigo points out, he’s on the same side as guys like Pedro Carreño and Elias Jaua; people that have openly used the F word (the one that rhymes with maggot) IN THE ASAMBLEA.

    Better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

  3. Not buying it at all.
    If you think we are on the verge of famine, behave like that. Don’t tell me how super concerned about it you are and then, hey, let’s talk about el Día del Cine Nacional and invite movie directors to the hemiciclo.

    I don’t think that anyone on their right mind is expecting a marriage law right away, but, FFS, at least be respectful and do something different from what the chavistas did. It is an insult to our intelligence. Of course, we need to be patient, but you can still discuss that in a committee, and at least pretend.

    But hey, let’s apologize for taking away the pictures that were there for no good reason other than personality cult, wile we tell the faggots to get lost.

    • Agree Guido – I remember another local council in Caracas had the same thing. LGBTI groups wanted to discuss a raise in hate crimes and the guys said there was not time in the agenda to discuss it. Yet, they invited priests and rabbis to celebrate whatever-day in an special session. Inconsistency is the problem.

    • Guido, totally agree, besides they have it bombita, chavista LGBT Ngo’s introduced a bill project for gay marriage in 2014 i think, what better coup that the opposition AN approving this bill? What would be chavismo’s excuse not to approve it? This is beyond human rights, its about the type of state the opposition embodies (modern, liberal democracies with human rights where gay marriage is legal (good part of the western hemisphere)) versus the illiberal, militarist state that Chávez perfected.

  4. The thing that shocks me about Chuo is that the guy is a supposed left-wing activist that believes in progressive politics. Yet, this is only when it comes to poverty: the rest of the progressive agenda (and people) can f* right off cos there ain’t space here for you and your #firstworldproblems. (But man, it’s 2016!)

    • His job is to keep MUD together. That’s like items 1, 2 and 3 in his job description. So if you ask him “hey, should we prioritize this thing that’ll split your coalition right apart?” what do you think he’s gonna say?

      • The first thing you don’t do is simply dismiss it as first-world-problems. You can say there are more pressing things on the agenda and that as soon as those pressing things are resolve we will tackle this. But he didn’t do that.

  5. This just shows how some in the Venezuelan opposition are more concerned with their ‘progressist agendas’, which the vast majority of the population couldn’t care less about it, than with the suffering of the ordinary person who have voted for them. They should feel ashamed. If only they could abandon their ivory tower for a day and look in the eyes of their voters like Torrealba does…

    • I thought that democracy was there to protect the rights of the minorities as well. I guess LGBT is not an important minority which doesn’t live “the suffering of the ordinary people” + all the bullshit that LGBT have to live in a military dictatorship. But then again, the straight cisgender man…

    • Please go and tell that to the movie directors promoting their work while we are on the edge of starvation. Talk about an ivory tower.

      Ah, no. I didn’t think so. It’s nicer to come and attack the gays.

    • Those in the opposition don’t live in any ivory tower, the vast majority of them put themselves and their family through risk and hardship taking on the regime. If you only you could abandon the comfort of your keyboard, maybe you’d have some idea of the challenges and risks one takes when they became activists against the regime.

      Furthermore, your comment makes no sense. He clearly said it was NOT a priority, due to the crisis of the country. So what are you going on about?

      • Rory, your definition of the idiom ‘ivory tower’ is unclear to me, because although I am not a native English speaker, I do think that someone can be a very brave activist putting his life and family in unbelievable dangerous situations and STILL live in an ivory tower, see:

        Yes, some in the MUD do seem to be out of touch with ordinary people’s (including gay people) daily struggles. Actually, to discuss legal same sex marriage and spend political capital with such an unpopular topic when you are one-inch away from a humanitarian catastrophe is so absurd that I can’t help but think that they might be trying to sabotage the coalition from inside too. Hell, not even the gay Venezuelans, which are probably 5-10% of the population as in every other country, must believe that this is something to be discussed when they can’t even find milk to buy it. I would like to hear them on that (just not the latte-sipping ones living abroad, but the ones in the barrios).

        And I didn’t get your last lines too; yes, it’s not a priority to Torrealba, but it seems that there are some who disagree with him (inside MUD and in the comment section here). So what you are going on about?

  6. The LGBT community was kind-of bamboozled by MUD. Arguing whether the issue is a priority, or whether enough people care about it, is a red herring. The real issue is whether same sex marriage has enough support inside MUD, and I believe that – sadly – it does not. Not even close.

    There’s no mention of same sex marriage on any of MUD’s proposals, it’s not included in their legislative agenda, and they haven’t stated their position on the matter. When Tamara Adrián was included in the candidate list, people read too much into it. Her inclusion didn’t meant that MUD was pro-same sex marriage, as many people wrongly assumed. And let’s remember that including her was not a MUD-wide decision, so it doesn’t reflect MUD’s position on that or any issue. Candidates were chosen by their parties, who had their assigned slots to fill. If Adrían’s inclusion reflects any position on same sex marriage, then it’s that of her party VP, not of the whole of MUD.

    Adrián and all others deputies that support same sex marriage have a very steep hill to climb to convince MUD to even put it to a vote. Many MUD parties, and deputies, are very conservative on social issues. MUD is also very close to the Venezuelan Catholic church. There’s bound to be a lot of pushback coming from everywhere against it, from inside and around MUD. And Chuo’s statements are just the type of response that will allow those against it to postpone it indefinitely: “What’s the rush? We have a lot of more important things in the queue”.

    • Let’s remember that Ms. Adrián is not even a main deputy for the AN, she is a substitute. She has as much power to push the agenda as … well, as any of the other substitute deputies in the AN.

      • Exactly right, Juan. I don’t think there’s even any indication that Tomás Guanipa of PJ – of whom Adrian is a substitute – approves of same-sex marriage. MUD as a whole has never, to the best of my knowledge, taken a position on social issues such as same sex marriage or abortion. I think only Voluntad Popular (and maybe Vente?) is openly pro-same sex marriage. That’s less than a fifth of MUD.

        • UNT also founded a LGBT movement of their own, btw.

          Regarless of “how many parties actively promote gay rights”, it seems really unfortunate the secretary of a coalition that ought to represent all parties that make it up in equal fashion would blunder things this awfully.

          I don’t really care what Torrealba things of homosexuality, and frankly I’m not surprised this is his posture, but his job is not only to keep all parties united, but to represent everything they represent, equally. That is his blunder here.

          And so what if Tamara Adrian isn’t a main deputee? If MUD vouched for her in the beginning, why wouldn’t it do so now?

          Sidelining the topic fully merely because the most vocal of its defenders is suplente seems absurd to me. It’s like pushing the penitentiary problem back because Gilber Caro is also a suplente. That can’t be and isn’t a reason.

    • “The real issue is whether same sex marriage has enough support inside MUD”

      This. And by calling it a non priority they are indirectly stating that it does not have enough support.

  7. Ah yes. The famous “We’re just not ready” argument being used again against Gay rights, as is tradition in every other nation where this very same argument was used before gay marriage passed with zero issue.

    Mr Toro: This is by far the most disappointing thing I’ve ever read in CC. And not just because you somehow think you deserve a medal of valor for fending off dates. Did you know that you can be a progressive and still be so full of your own privilege that you can assume gay marriage to be a frivolous measure not worthy of serious treatment? Because that’s literally what you just did. Gay marriage isn’t some hood ornament worthy only of the nicer cars, it’s a right being denied.

    MUD will earn its political capital by showing the courage to always do the right thing, and that courage must extend beyond booting a bad portrait of the liberator.

        • Well, meeting movie directors doesn’t threaten the cohesion of the opposition coalition, which the other thing does.

          But yeah, MUD would definitely do well to rein in the ceremonial bullshit at the A.N., dado el estado de las cosas. They’ve just approved a Humanitarian Emergency measure, but it’s as though they haven’t quite grasped what that really means.

          • You are not solving it. You could use exactly the same argument he used against the Dia del Cine Nacional. But he was disrespectful and dismissive to us. Not acceptable.

            Is there anyone really trying to frontload SSM here?

          • I think the real rap on Chuo here is that speaking on sensitive topics without making news is a core competence for a politician and he’s clearly failed at that here.

          • Quico, this issue doesn’t threaten the cohesion of the PSUV/Polo Patriotico coalition?

            Taking the initiative, it could be very useful as political tool

  8. If maintaining the oppos popularity is a priority at this moment , avoiding the bringing up of highly divisive issues that most ordinary people dont even think about is a no brainer . Chuo is absolutely right !! there are much more crucial survival issues on the table to spend time on tackling issues which Chavistas can manipulate to their advantage by playing to many peoples deep seated prejudices !!

    • The flaw in this comment is the suggestion that gay people are not ordinary people. That gay people don’t stand in lines, or live in the ranchos or make due like every other ordinary Venezuelan, hoping that their country will one day be as progressive as…Argentina. Where gay people can marry without incident.

      Shaking my head at how little Venezuelans think of themselves these days.

      • Can you hear us from all the way up there? It really is high that horse you’re on…

        Chamo, read. It’s *precisely* because gay people suffer from all the bullshit as much as anyone (hell – MORE than other groups) that front-loading SSM right now makes no sense.

        • All I hear right now is your completely unnecessary and rather strange tone of condescension, and it’s baffling me and beneath you.

          I donate, for what its worth. Disagree with me? Sure. Don’t insult me. It reveals you have no argument. “FOOD” is not an argument. Venezuela isn’t a subsistence society banging rocks for fire….yet.

  9. In a country where Catholics put as much trust in god as in the feng shui and “left wing hardliners” use the word mariconsones in public (so in private i bet you can’t order some chorizos with your parrilla at el rucio moro without wasting a couple minutes and risking your 18 años with all The gesticulation and “aaaaaaaay papah”s trown around), it’s hard, at least for me, to guess the common stance among the population, but i bet it will be a hard conversation to have.

    Surprisingly enough i’ve heard Allup talk about it, so equality must have a hefty ammount of supporters.

  10. How is a fundamental civil right a “first world problem”? That was a very offensive way to address that issue. Unfortunately it was probably said because the message resonates with Venezuelan opposition, so it was probably not as “politically incorrect” as you make it out to be in a Venezuelan context.

      • Setting priorities is important. No one is saying food shortages should not be addressed first, but when you use dismissive language on an issue as a leading figure of the opposition it sets a precedent and even an example for how the issue will be viewed and addressed going forward. It is not just being politically incorrect it is actually damaging to the cause.

  11. It’s not a “first world debate”, all over Latin America and the developing world the debate is happening, several developing countries have gay marriage and civil unions, if anything the statement, apart from underscoring the division among the opposition, painfully shows the intellectual limitations of Torrealba as a modern politician.
    BTW, handing out the deeds for Misión Vivienda building to many people with a criminal record who haven’t paid a penny and many who obtained the apartments through corruption sure was an urgent and moral priority of the AN.
    No solo de pan vive el hombre, parte de la ruinosa herencia del chavismo es llevar el debate pollítico a lo más básico, el problema más allá de económico es un problema moral de que tipo de país queremos .

  12. This is once more an urgent vs important problem. I understand than in a country as broken as Venezuela the only way to move forward is setting up priorities and dealing with “urgent matters” first, but this kind of shortsighted way of dealing with problems is part of the reason why we are so screwed.

    There will always be urgent problems, no society “as first world as it can get” will ever be free from urgent problems that need immediate solving. If we crunch numbers, the amnesty law to release political prisoners how many people will immediately benefit? how does that compare to the number of gay people living in Venezuela? which one should be discussed first? both are important, I will say both are urgent, to state that the latter is a “first world problem” paints a picture of the backwards society we have in Venezuela.

    In a country where you can legalize a union between a man and a women who are living together but not married and get a “legal concubinat certificate”, that two men or two women can’t get married is really absurd don’t you think? I know this was not a doing of the new National Assembly but it was approved in Venezuela without it being an urgent matter. Blaming the fact that they are pushing back the law on same sex marriage because it isn’t urgent is a lie, they are pushing it because they honestly couldn’t care less.

    I think Chuo didn’t commit a gaffle he just lied, I don’t think the MUD thinks same sex marriage is remotely important they just don’t care. The fact that he will openly make such comment probes that they don’t even consider the negative effect this might have in their popularity because guess what… they think NOBODY CARES!

  13. I think that to understand Chuo’s words, you must understand what he’s trying to achieve politically. Maybe you can actually propose equal rights in a place like Caracas, but in most of the country, sadly (and particularly in the province), being gay is pretty much a crime. In Maracaibo you can be gunned down for no other particular reason and people’s reaction will be “Well, they had it coming acting like that”.

    Approving equal rights (for which I’m all up for) requires making a lobby. You know the whole gas price campaign? Something like that. Because it’s way easier for Pedro Perez in Cabudare to accept a meeting to talk about movies or the church, than to accept a talk on congress about two men kissing.

    I don’t like it. I think it’s a sign of how backwards we’ve become culturally. But that’s the way it is. Perhaps the first lobby should be done inside the MUD, which is a lot to say. At this particular time, that is a super risky talk to have, politically.

  14. Call me naive, but why should “truth” ever be “impolitic”?

    Venezuela is facing a humanitarian crisis that could end up claiming tens of thousands of lives. The leadership of the MUD understands this and Chuo’s statement of priorities is dead on target. Those who see all politics through the lens of one issue are doing the society as a whole a disservice.

  15. First, I agree with Toro. I’m sorry, but, as a quick example, the goverment just repressed a protest for the lack of cancer medicines for children. THAT is a priority.

    Second, instead of demanding action NOW, it seems more reasonable to ask that it should be included in a future Constitutional reform package.

    Third, even the LGBT community has more pressing priorities, besides survival. Seven, SEVEN law projects of gay marriage rejected by the regime shows that it just isn’t happening with Maduro and Co. in charge, and this is a country where cops go and beat up homosexuals because they can, Ché Guevara style.

  16. Lets also cut thru the BS here. There are food shortages because of the crazy-self-inflicted currency controls set forth by the government.

    What is the AN doing about them? It seems like nothing. Why? Because they don’t want to take any political cost for something that they didn’t cause. So the strategy is to wait til the executive decides to take action. While you wait? Why not tackle these issue? Well, they don’t because it is hard, it is unpleasant and makes the MUD a camp where no longer all can fit.

    But is the MUD-led AN doing something for reform? It doesn’t seem so.

  17. If the priority of the AN were the economic situation, they would be on special session to reform the Fair Prices Law, the Central Bank Law, and the myriad of economic laws responsible for the debacle, but the priorities have been Misión Vivienda, la Divina Pastora, Film-making.

  18. Wow! Reading All these comments have been great, because I see that here in this blog, there’s common sense. There’s no ignorance about the matter. As I said in a reply comment, I agree with the MUD secretary opinion, it’s not the time to discuss equal rights. I am gay, and I’m sure that amongst the lgbt community the priority now is how to deal with medicine and food shortages. Once these things are solved, we can talk about legalizing same sex marriage. And about lgbt in Venezuela, I want to express my opinion about: it sucks. It sucks because we are seen as low degree citizens. It sucks because people judge us based on stereotypes (and vzlan TV is way responsible for that). It sucks because gay and lesbian orgs are so politicized, that it’s impossible to have a decent parade (or any kind of activity). Being gay in Venezuela is hard.

  19. There’s a few well poisoning assertions that are being made here. And we can’t have an honest discussion until they are addressed.

    Assertion #1: Gay Marriage is being demanded at the expense of more pressing emergency matters.

    This is false. While Chuo was very badly improvising a position on this, best as I can tell, nobody is saying “stop everything right now and pass a gay marriage law immediately!” That’s an obvious straw man argument.

    All of us wait with baited breath to see the return of some basics first. Even those among us who would dream of gay marriage in Venezuela and think it’s appropriate to advocate for. Even in (gasp) 2016!

    Assertion #2: Gay Marriage is a privilege, a first world indulgence that can be afforded once all the basics are covered. (Basically, gay marriage is air conditioning. You can’t have it without electricity n’ stuff) This is so wrong it makes my head hurt. In all the twenty one countries — even macho ones like Mexico — who have taken this on, they all reached the same conclusion. Gay marriage is a fundamental human right. And there is no timetable on stopping the denial of a human right. PERIOD. We can all agree too, that rights are not things people should ask for nicely from others with full stomachs after a nice glass of wine.

    Assertion #4: It’s a topic that would destroy badly needed political capital if taken on.

    I disagree with this for purely Machiavellian reasons: Machiavelli himself wrote “In taking of a state, be sure to commit your atrocities all at once.”

    One of the reasons why I liked Ramos Allup removing the portraits of Chavez and Madame Tussaud Bolivar is that it set an important tone. It said, starting on Day 1, we’re not going to slow walk changes. We’re taking this sh-t seriously and get used to it because it’s happening today. (Shame that it just as quickly led to some cold feet)

    Fighting for the rights of all Venezuelans isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s consistent with the liberal principles of Democracy that we’re all clamoring for — the same principles that state that personality cult portraiture has no place in assembly halls.

    Gay Marriage actually dovetails into this. Rather than eat political capital, embracing it would strengthen the sincerity of MUD as not just a hatchet man coalition party, but an actual party with an actual liberalizing agenda. That might actually matter to folks. More folks in fact, than the ones who are going to be put off by it.

    It would also matter to the international community. It would for one thing, telegraph to the Anglophone liberals that MUD are the actual party for true social progress, and not the “right wing oligarchs” they were led to believe they are.

    Assertion #3: Venezuelan society is too backward and too homophobic.

    Venezuelan society is exactly what you make it. If you want to believe it’s backward and homophobic, and simply too dysfunctional for change…you perpetuate that further with your inaction. Gay rights are hard won, and they are won by people who believed their own societies were capable of better, and went on to prove it.

  20. The trick is to negotiate a full-blown crisis while retaining your humanity, which starts and ends with civil rights – gay, straight and otherwise. Mistakes are bound to be made, given the need to set priorities.

  21. How is this even a dilema?

    99.9% of people in Venezuela are affected by food shortages, civil unrest and a collapsing economy.

    How can anyone think it’s a great time to start talking about gay marriage.

    Note: I don’t mind or care if gay people want to get married. It’s up to them and will vote in their favor when given the chance.

    This is like issue #1000 in order of priority for Venezuela.

    Chuo’s job is to keep the unity in the MUD at all costs.

    Don’t fault him for doing his job. It’s the logically choice.

    There seems to be a gap of understanding of power on CC. Make no mistake. This political war is about power and the future of the country. The players involved are playing their lives in this struggle. All in a spectacle for the word to see. Who’s legacy will remain and who’s will be wiped from the face of the earth.

    • To claim people are making this urgent at the expense of dealing withscarcity is a false bordering on downright libelous claim. And to claim that gay marriage is frivolous issue is deeply insulting one.

      Chuo mishandled this and so did CC. Badly I might add.

      The correct answer was made by another poster here: “The trick is to negotiate a full blown crisis while retaining your humanity”

      So in the important debate about setting priorities, kindly do not throw gay people under the bus.

      • It’s only logical to start on issues that pretty much every one can agree on.

        You can all sit down worrying about political correctness all you want. The reality is introducing this right now derails what’s important right now and opens the MUD up to division.

        LGBT make up a small minority and enacting some some sort of gay marriage rights would probably produce more trouble then it’s worth. I know what you might be thinking. A minority should be heard and not discriminated. That is 100% right.

        This isn’t about right or wrong. This is about power and those who wield it. Gay rights will become a public issue when there is something to gain from it politically.

        There’s no way you can’t agree with that.

        That’s the problem with everyone assertions on these comments. I don’t think there is a single comment against gay marriage. Some are arguing political advantage while others are arguing human rights advocation. They are both right, but guess what’s more important right now in a political war. Exactly. You know the answer.

    • Still waiting for an explanation of how granting others the same rights you enjoy are a threat to your exercise of those rights. Does every gay wedding claim a straight one as a sacrifice or summat?

  22. We might discuss it a lot but calling it a “human rights issue” is annoying PC. Human rights are people in prison because of what they belief, people who can’t vote because of their race, people beeing sent to prison for being gay, these kind of things are human rights. Two gays can already *de facto* marry. That is, to live together and form a “family”. They just don’t have their union certified by the state. Big deal.

    I am heterosexual. If I were forbiden to marry a woman, but could still live with her and raise a family… I don’t get what’s the big deal. Many heterosexual couples never officialy marry out of their own option.

    I don’t even know why the state is in the business of certifying people’s unions, by the way. I’m for the end of state marriages.

    • “I’m for the end of state marriages.”

      The purpose of all civil marriage law is to protect the society’s interest in the care and raising of children. While I am sure that your take on this issue is well intentioned, what you are proposing is “to throw out the baby with the bath water”. There does need to be some major reforms to the legal institution of marriage. It is obvious that the old “one size fits all” concept is no longer functioning well in modern society. But, the essential goal of the institution should remain the same.

      • Paternity and maternity, and to make sure that childred are being properly rased are issues that require regulation by the state, I agree 100%. Another thing is childless marriages. I believe the necessity to create state marriage (that is, marriages being registered by the state) was born on a time where a women was dependent from her husband and didn’t work. If you think about that… state marriages… why? I see so many people, heterosexuals, who are living together for years and never had a civil marriage. Of course this is not something to be discussed by now but a discussion for the long term. It’s a phylosophical thing. No country in the earth does not register marriages.

    • Funny how marriage is “no big deal”, but ask for gay marriage, and suddenly OMG ITS A HUGE DEAL WHAT A NONSTARTER.

      Which one is it? Is marriage no big deal, or is it such a big deal that it must be reserved for procreating couples free of disease examined by doctors that…you know what? No, I am not going to personally re-prosecute the utilitarian argument for gay marriage on Caracas f—ing Chronicles. This has been argued to death in numerous societies. Gays can marry in Mexico, they can marry in Uruguay, they can marry in Brazil, they can marry in Argentina, they can even marry in the USA, where people are petrified of anything that isn’t missionary position between two consenting Rascal Scooters.

      I would only hope that my dear Venezuela would obviously prioritize emergency matters as they should be, but not use this crisis to simultaneously diminish its own obligation to promote a free and open society. I agree with the others here who have suggested that it’s a very Chavista mindset to create a crisis, and then say the basics of laying the foundation for a decent f—ing civilization must be on hold while we sort out the crisis stuff.

    • I am not sure if you are a troll, or if you are really that ignorant.

      When you are not married, the family of your deceased partner can come and take everything from you. They can take the custody of the children, if your partner was the only legal parent, as happened to the widow of Giny Soto, who lost her apartment too.
      Since you are not a legal partner, the family of your partner can forbid you from visiting him or her on the deathbed. Yes, people are that cruel. Separating a couple in the very last moment of the life of one of them, just because they can. This IS a HR issue. It is a lot more than a piece of paper.

      • It is clear the issue is not food vs gay rights,
        and is not third world vs first world problems.

        It is shaky political standing vs authoritarian regime fishing in troubled waters.

        The MUD cannot drive a wedge through its own camp and risk losing the U in MUD.
        Also it would unnecessarily make it lose part of the popular support.
        When you want a unity you focus on what brings you together.

        This is an issue for a democratic society to tackle.
        That is the priority, to first become a democratic society.

  23. Demonstrating again that politicians in Venezuela can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, Torrealba should’ve say “We’re also working on that too, among the other critical problems that torment the country”.

    Also, anything that does something for that community will be instantly crash against the latino machismo that’s deeply ingrained in Venezuela’s idiosyncrasy.

  24. Hearing the phrase “political correctness” in any commentary puts me on an immediately distrustful footing. Because that’s a loaded term that suggests the user doesn’t feel that gay rights is anything more than silly political artifice, doesn’t impact regular folk and is completely unimportant to the realities of “ordinary people”. It tells me that the person who says it isn’t serious about people like me and is just paying lip service.

    Except gay people ARE ordinary people. And they’re not just a first class affection, they’re everywhere. And they have families that care about them. And some of those families are dirt poor. And one of them so happens to run the only other excellent political blog about Venezuela besides this one that I pay serious attention to (and donate to).

    Seeing as most here are in agreement that nobody is front-loading gay marriage at the expense of “Food!” (thanks, Toro) then we can agree what happened is that Chuo speculated in a way that came across poorly. And now we have a false debate about Fooood! vs Gay Marriage, which is complete and utter bollocks since we all can agree nobody is pushing for this right now at the expense of all other matters.

    HERE IS THE PROBLEM: In addressing the issue of Venezuela’s future, we do have to be careful. Because there are two messages that sound very alike, but are in reality very very different.

    Message A: “We’re in a crisis and we have to put out fires. Gay rights will have to wait.”

    Message B: “We’re in a crisis and we have to put out fires so that we can also fight for gay rights.”

    Message A and B could almost be the same thing, but A is very insidious whereas B is reassuring.

    Here’s my problem with A. It’s very Chavista tactic (and standard tactic throughout history) that a nation should be in a constant state of emergency so that the preservation of human rights and human dignity can forever be put off and people easier disenfranchised and controlled. It’s passive neglect BY DESIGN. And its a very old trick and it doesn’t just stop with gay rights as you know.

    Whereas message B fosters a sincere commitment to this issue and puts it within the proper framework of addressing matters today.

    Do you see the difference and do you know why a very similar sounding message could sound so alarming to some of us?

  25. I believe most people here are aware of how efficient has chavismo been in selling a benevolent image to the world; until recently, an educated audiende in the English speaking world believed the so called bolivarian revolution had restored the rights of indigenous, afro-Venezuelan, women, and was working very hard at doing something for the LGBTI community. During the days that followed the #6D victory, I was thrilled to see that mainstream, and independent media, were paying close attention to the fact that among the winning candidates there were members of our community. I was even more thrilled to see Jorge Rodriguez complain in a couple of press conferences about the coverage Tamara Adrian was getting. I believe he was aware of how disruptive is this piece news was to the image chavismo had worked so hard to built.
    Támara Adrian ran a campaign “sin pelos en la lengua” when taking about the perils of the LGBT community, she was listened, she won, which I believe was a great achievement that sadly appears minimized or ignored by Chuo, at least in his latest comments.
    I caught Ramos Allup defending our cause when asked a leading question that tried to put him in tres y dos, the question misgendered Tamara, Allup responded correctly gendering her and confirming that in the new Venezuela there is space for everyone. Chuo’s comments, on the other hand, raise a uncomfortable question; was this a slip of tongue, or is he bothered by the diversity agenda? If the leaders responsible for bringing these issues to the national assembly, the ones receiving the people’s mandate, are not currently competing to prioritize this matter over the long list of issues that affect our country today, why to marginalize it in public? Do doubt this was unnecessary, lo del pelón de Chuo fue un pelón, still, I cut him some slack, let’s this impasse to be covered by a new headline, he will be the new president of ANTV.

  26. When I said mentioned “human rights” in the context of gays, as proffered in this entry, I was not suggesting that the legislature push gay marriage to the top of their agenda above food and medicine and security etc. Nor do I believe human rights only apply to people in prison. i mean human rights in the broader sense – that everyone, especially in times of crisis, should hold their humanity dearly, according to everyone respect and dignity, especially to those you are disagree with. The thing that keeps Chavismo in the dark as a movement not to be taken seriously is that they don’t respect anyone’s opinion or rights but their own. That’s not leadership, but treason to mankind.


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