Fever

When you fall violently ill, or when a country's in crisis, there's no such thing as "waiting for the right time" to act.

46

There’s a specific moment, if you pay close attention, when you know you’re going to get sick. That pre-mucus, post-nasal drippy-tasting moment of surrender to pathogens, after which there’s just no turning back.

For me, this week, it came on Monday, at precisely 4:17 pm. I know because I made it a point to look at my watch and write it down, in case it ended up being a critical piece of information for the E.R. doctor, when I ended up on a stretcher in some overrun hospital somewhere.

No, I’m not paranoid or a hypochondriac. I live in Venezuela and there’s some pretty weird African mosquito shit going around.

In a matter of hours, my coughing fits got more violent, my bones began to ache, and I started shivering uncontrollably for minutes at a time. This was followed by a sustained fever, searing headaches, and bizarre bouts of numbness in my hands and feet.

It was awful.

So awful, in fact, I wouldn’t wish what I had upon Diosdado himself.

(Ok maybe I would, but that’s not the point.)

By 3:00 am on Tuesday delirium began to set in to what would’ve otherwise been a restless night with bad flu-like symptoms. I got seriously scared. Day after day we hear stories about people dying from lack of medicine.

Hell,” I thought to myself, “I don’t even have running water in my house right now. It’s being rationed.”

I was too sick to be properly indignant, but I still was. Because no matter what we might have been fucked into believing is normal, the thing is, it’s just not. It’s unacceptable.

Remember “unacceptable?” Or did we already let them scrub that one off our low-rent caribbean newspeak?

It’s unacceptable that six newborns died last week due to lack of basic medical equipment in Táchira’s main hospital, bringing their total death toll of newborns this year to 36 babies. That’s five dead babies a week in one state. In a country with a trillion dollars in oil revenues in the past 12 years.

Now I’m feverish and pissed. I take it back. Unacceptable is way too weak a word.

Yeah, there’s a crisis in Venezuela. Crisis this crisis that. The word rolls easy off the tongue. It’s only when you put a face to the tragedy that it gets harder to swallow. And doubly so when that face is feverish and staring back at you from the mirror.

Each and every one of 230 thousand children not going to school because public funding for their daily meal plan was cut has a face. These days, kids are more useful waiting in supermarket queues with their mothers anyways (an extra ID number equals extra food rations to feed the family.)

An entire generation of Venezuelan kids has been cheated out of its potential due to poor nutrition, leading to learning disabilities and growth deficiencies that will haunt them – and us – for decades to come.

We knew this would happen several years ago. How’s that for kickstarting a plan for economic development?

It’s Tuesday. 5 a.m. As I drift in and out of delirium, I try to calculate if it’s even worth going to a clínica. I weigh the odds. The smart money says they’ll have nothing to treat me with. Why even go out just to writhe in pain in an unfamiliar bed when I can do the same at home?

I know it’s painfully urgent that we stop the human cost of this government’s incompetence, by changing it. Because it’s already too late.

It’s one too many cancer patients who died without their chemo treatment too late, it’s one too many mothers standing in line instead of parenting too late, it’s one too many young men killed due to power outages too late, it’s one too many women menstruating into restaurant napkins too late, not to mention one too many victims of torture and repression too late.

It’s too late because, just like my fever, Venezuela’s economic sickness also had a peculiar moment when it started showing symptoms, meaning, impacting human lives: It was over two years ago, in 2014.

And action needed to be taken.

So said the National Association of Pharmacists.

And the National Association of Cattle Ranchers, and of commerce, and of dairy farmers, and of university professors.

And that’s why La Salida was proposed. It was a call on citizens to urge for regime change through peaceful, constitutional and electoral means, but also immediately – by underlining how unacceptable the human misery that would flow from inaction would be.

I can’t stand idly by while someone’s in pain knowing there’s something, anything, I can do about it. Or to put it in more cynical terms, I couldn’t live with myself if, two years down the line, lots of preventable death and suffering happened and I couldn’t say I at least tried to stop it. Because knowing it was happening, and waiting for the right time to come along before I acted would make me, at the very least, an opportunist, at most, an accomplice, and let’s be frank, in every instance, kind of an asshole.

I really don’t care if banking on people’s suffering as part of a tactical calculus is smart politics. It’s inhuman.

Could you look her in the eye and tell her that ridding her of this evil government was your plan all along, but you just needed her to pelar bolas un poquito más until the timing was just right?

Far from the reckless self-serving act of electoral sabotage some want to portray it as, La Salida was an earnest intervention on the forces of surefire death and destruction: it was the best, most responsible and ethical way of trying to prevent an already guaranteed slew of misery from befalling upon an innocent populace, entranced by smegma-laden spells of petropopulism.

To define La Salida as a series of open-ended protests, guarimbas and garbage fires is to miss the point entirely. It’s choosing to remain myopic for fear of having to confront the truth.

Those were tactics carried out by a dispersed array of people venting their frustrations the best way they knew how, and by people with the foresight to see that if they didn’t do something – desperately slim though their chances of success might be – we’d soon enough end up where we actually did end up. Here.

La Salida was a frank acknowledgment of the obvious, inevitable fact that urgent regime change through constitutional means was and remains the only way to solve this disaster and prevent further tragedy.

And isn’t that, almost verbatim, what Henrique Capriles said yesterday?

At this point of previously inconceivable crisis, I don’t really care anymore who calls for regime change. To do so would be petty. There are lives at stake and every second wasted could amount to more. True and sustainable regime change, and nothing else, is what needs to happen.

But as long as Henrique Capriles is having his fun under the sun of Salidismo, claiming he (well, God, really, but who’s counting) finally got the timing right, he’s not allowed to shit on all the people – some still in jail – who, through much tear gas, repression, torture and ridicule, paved the way for his consequence-free press conference calling for…La Salida.

As it turns out, my little bout with chikungunya was profoundly unpleasant, but not life threatening. 

I know that now.

On Tuesday, just before daybreak, I didn’t know that. All I knew then was that I was as sick as I’d ever been, and if I didn’t start to get better on my own, no help would come. And right at that moment, right through the fever, then is that I was glad, that back in 2014, I did everything I could to prevent this situation. That even if I failed, I fought.

There’s dignity in that, and I held fast to it.

46 COMMENTS

  1. This is so my kind of post!! Full of sarcasm, wit, anger, and the just the right dosage of ‘WTF Capriles?!?’ and his latest “my Salida is the good Salida” crock.

    I hope you get better!! I have some acetaminophen stashed, if need be. You earned it.

  2. Emiliana, a profound post that touched my heart.
    You are absolutely correct in everything you say except that a constitutional salida is possible.

    They will not leave through any legal means.

  3. Emiliana,

    It is because of valiant Venezuelans like you that I continue to believe that Venezuela is still worth fighting for. Thank you!

    If you need anything, just ask. I, like nearly anyone here, will move mountains to help you.

    Also, start taking large doses of Glucosamine. It will help your body repair the damage to your joints.

  4. Emiliana, a truly great, great post. One of the best we’ve seen in quite awhile. You’re sense of frustration and outrage encapsulates the wrenching existence of everyday Venezolanos. Powerful and evocative. And I just can’t get over the image produced by this gem of a phrase: “…entranced by smegma-laden spells of petropopulism.” Microphone. Dropped.

  5. I don’t know how to call it -naivitè or wilful ignorance, but “la salida” wasn’t some “responsible and ethical way of trying to prevent an already guaranteed slew of misery from befalling upon an innocent populace”. It was both cold and ill concieved politics.

    Moreover, “la salida” didn’t yield any results because Capriles said or did anything. It was because it didn’t gain traction in the mainstream public. But, you know, how could it? You had half the country violently rioting for change and the other half not wanting anything to do with that violence, even if it had a greater goal. There’s a big split in people when you ask tem if the end justifies the means.

    What wasn’t achieved in 2014 wasn’t achieved beacuse the patient did not want to be treated. Or at least not by any means.

  6. Ah, I remember the week I was stricken with chikunguya (Which I like to call Dengue 3.0), my brains got to fry inside my skull at the comfy temperature of 43 celsuis degrees, after taking “showers” (with bukhets…) at 3 am and the fever not budging an inch, I had to resort to stick my noggin in the bucket, and then go to bed with frozen gel bags all over my body…

    That was past year, so the scarcity wasn’t that strong as it is now, but it was severe already (Acetaminofén dissappeared because that happened in the middle of the epidemic outbreak, every pill got sold at 50Bs, from a 25-pill box you could buy at regulatd price of 5Bs), but I took the chance to get the compound from Tera Grip 24 packs, I went to one pharmacy and swiped the card to get a dozen of those, it was expensive (Compared to the regulated price) but I still have some and served the same purpose.

    Some weeks later, TeraGrip was extinguished…

    Now in 2016, I got a nice flu from a nice idiot who couldn’t cover the gaping drooling hole in his face to cough, but you know what’s funny, the last week of the flu, an even NICER mosquito brought me some the NICEST delivery:

    Z.

    I.

    K.

    A.

    The fuggin’ zika lasted less than a week, but it gave the flu a month more of screwing with my throat and breathing apparatus.

    I don’t drink coca cola nor beer these days, I’ve been drinking so much chicken soup, that I think I might be close to growing feathers one of these days…

  7. Thank you for standing up for La Salida, for narrating what it truly meant for all of us back in 2014. It is absolutely true that La Salida was a moral imperative two years ago, and still is now. La Salida was never about setting shit on fire and blocking the streets out of a tantrum; that was just a leaderless abomination.

    La Salida was about a change of course the nation needed before falling to the abyss we are on now.

    I have been depressed since that spring of 2014, because I found out then that 90%+ of the Venezuelan society needed to live hell in order to know what was upon them… And even in 2016, there’s people that are still comfortable living in shit-filled hell! I recognize them by a haunting meme… “Vamos a ver”.

    Cuando llevas 17 años en “Vamos a ver”.. Creo que no estás viendo un coño.

    • Así es, “90%+ of the Venezuelan society needed to live hell in order to know ” y ese es el problema de fondo del que no se suele hablar porque el responsable visible es Maduro pero deprimirse por este hecho solo es posible si no se quiere ver o al menos no se acepta la realidad que subyace a todo esto, colocándose usted así junto al resto de venezolanos.

  8. You articulate very well feelings/symptoms I experienced (dengue). At the time I was fortunate to have access to a hospital where they could periodically hook me up to a drip to replenish the fluids that would not stay in my body. How people manage without that I really hate to think. Elderly people and young children especially. Well, they don’t manage sometimes. They die. By the time they die, it is probably a huge relief to anticipate. The ineptitude of the regime is killing people.

    When Capriles lost the election, he understood that certain measures would provoke a reaction that, absent more popular support (chavismo was still very popular, notwithstanding all the coercion going on), would be both dangerous and counter-productive. The assessment is not that things can wait even though people are dying. The assessment is, we act now, without broad and unequivocal support, we set things back. People can disagree with the assessment or the strategy, but I don’t think any of it was done in bad faith.

  9. Not to burst y’all’s bubble, but in terms of moral reasons for desperate and inmediate action, chavismo makes you look silly. That was the entirety of why Chávez happened, moral indignation at problems we’d had for too long (much longer, in fact).

    Maybe that’s why the moral commander in chief, Leopoldo “marica me lo samparía demasiado” López, founded a party with overtly fascist overtones (one of those inconvenient truths). Fascism and Communism derive from the same moral indignity.

    I like you, Emiliana, I really do. But you have some fascist-ass leaning tendencies.

    • Nacho, to “criollo” wanna be leftists who believe that Chavez was a God who reappears in “Pajarito” form, any reasonable democratic thinking, be it left or right wing, is called fascism. That probably happens because in their limited vocabulary they lack the tools to better express themselves or be it because they are ignorant or naif and don’t know better or simple because they are mindless dogma following simpletons. They have never bothered to understand what the word is all about eve as they are countless pages on it in history books or the internet.
      However, if what Maduro, his thugs and all their PSUV kind is what you consider fascism, them I am proud to be fascist too!

      • However, if what Maduro, his thugs and all their PSUV kind believe is what you consider fascism, them I am proud to be fascist too!

        Sorry, left the word believe out

    • The fact that chavismo arose due to (understandable) widespread discontent, or moral indignation as you called it (and not only failed miserably to ameliorate the root causes of that discontent, but somehow managed to deeply entrench them to the possibly-but-I-hope-not point of no return), does not preclude the call to action and moral urgency of the current situation. If nothing else, the fact that people are dying quite literally “de mengua” at far, and I mean far more alarming rates than anything we ever experienced in the past 30-40 years, should motivate a visceral reaction. Because whether your political tendencies are left, right, center, or outer spacial, this shit is beyond ideological justification (or any other kind of justification, while we’re at it). So to say that immediate and desperate action is silly in the face of what is slowly unraveling into a small-scale humanitarian crisis, is ridiculous. And if moral indignation is not a good enough reason for you, we can add some intellectually substantive ones to the list.

      Incidentally, fascism did not develop out of “moral” indignation; it doesn’t even rest on any particular ideology. It is reactionary, but not on moral grounds. I’m not sure which brilliant chavista first coined that ridiculous notion (perhaps its supreme leader), but being opposed to something does not mean that you are the opposite of it (besides, chavismo is such a mish mash of nonsense that you’d be hard-pressed to identify its “opposite”). And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re fascist.

    • Nacho,

      You should be careful about who you call “fascisista”. The following link defines 14 characteristics of Fascism: http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

      Fascism has been difficult to define, because it is not, strictly speaking, an ideology but a phenomenon based upon particular charismatic leaders. By my count, Chavismo has 11-1/2 of the 14 characteristics defined. For me, that is enough to label Chavismo a type of Fascism. For the Chavistas to call the Opposition “fascista” is the pot calling the kettle black.

      So, back off!

  10. Policies are evaluated by its results, not by its intentions or justifications. “La Salida” was a bad policy because it failed and was destined to do so.

    I’m totally agree with the moral justification for calling it in 2014 and even before, but we didn’t have enough strength back then and Leopoldo either didn’t had a plan or was too naive to believe the government wasn’t going to set him up. Hell, he ended up in jail in a matter of hours! how bad a plan can be if the leader is neutralized that quick?

    If the point was to save people from the catastrophe, I don’t think it’s very wise to put yourself into a jail cell. Now if the point was to grow Leopoldo’s support base, then “La Salida” did a magnificent job.

    • LL’s time and the sacrifice of many killed and wounded was the cost of taking down any remaining facade of legitimacy that the regime might had at the time to internal and foreign audiences. It was a rite of passage necessary to transition out of the occupation.

      I think it was effective and it was necessary to allow later scenarios like having had the election yielding a more plural AN two years down the road.

      Now, when I see the Pope and the POTUS and others playing realpolitik in Cuba and I see how secondary Venezuela is to the rest of the world, I realize we are alone in our struggle and are being traded as bargaining chips in a larger game…

      Kudos to LL IMO.

  11. Nacho,
    Paraphrasing the Chinese president Deng Xiaoping who famously said that it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice, i posit that you may call it fascism or communism or any other ism, and I would not care a bit if it provided safety and peace and justice and prosperity to the nation…

    btw it was the same guy who also said: 致富光荣 (zhìfù guāngróng: To get rich is glorious!)

  12. This post is so great and so misguided.

    “I really don’t care if banking on people’s suffering as part of a tactical calculus is smart politics. It’s inhuman.”

    The more important lesson everyone in the opposition needs to have learned by now
    is that it is impossible to do anything without the people.
    (Because they are your only strength against the regime)

    La Salida was wrong because it completely forgot about the majority of people
    that just a month ago had voted for the government.

    No matter how convinced you are that something needs to be done
    your extra degree of super conviction does not count when million others disagree.

    It is not about making others suffer because it is “smart politics”
    it is about not being to do anything until you
    convince others to see your point of view
    and sometimes only reality will do that
    specially against a formidable and hegemonic propaganda machine.

    “And action needed to be taken”

    The more urgent the need, the clearer the thinking
    and the more careful your actions should be
    because the graver the consequences.
    Yes! the more important it is to calculate and be “smart”.
    Because being emotional is inhuman when grave mistakes are made.

    This is a great an impassioned post for La Salida.
    Unfortunately good decisions very rarely come from such emotions.
    Now matter how much you wish or need something to happen
    a bad decision will still produce bad results.

    There is so much distortion caused by runaway emotions:
    bad actions are seen as good and good people are seen as villains.
    Everything becomes black or white, there is no middle ground, no shades, no nuances.
    Reason is clouded and that way it is impossible to learn from the mistakes.

    You want passionate people by your side but not making the important decisions.

    • Los seres humanos también tienen emociones y necesidades básicas. Si crees que puedes ir en contra de eso, entonces vas a recibir un golpe muy duro debido a tu ignorancia. Ahora mismo la sociedad colapsó (aunque sabemos que no ha tocado fondo), y no tienes ni idea de toda la energía destructiva que eso va a generar y que puede salirse en cualquier momento de control de maneras que por supuesto en tu cálculo inicial no pudiste o no te dio la gana de prever. De hecho, temo que el sector caprilista, desde el 2014, ha apelado a los mismos mecanismos de represión que el gobierno, porque simplemente ese el camino que eligió y ya no le queda más remedio que apelar a la gobernabilidad a través de la humillación y el engaño. Cruzó esa frontera y por eso no se puede considerar un aliado. Esperar que el país colapsara para luego actuar no era racional. Ni siquiera voy a decir que era inmoral, que lo era, es que simplemente era irracional por cuanto iba en contra de lo humano, de la humanidad. Lo que había que hacerse era expresar una voluntad de cambio y esforzarse por convencer a la gente de esa necesidad. Ese era el sentido de llamado del 23 de enero, y no fue en vano, porque sirvió para aclarar muchas cosas. Los líderes que sobrevivirán a la catástrofe no serán los autoproclamados genios del ajedrez y de la sensatez, sino aquellos líderes completos de verdad, es decir, que entiendan la naturaleza humana en todos sus aspectos y busquen su bienestar. Ahora mismo, la Salida tiene más vigencia que nunca.

      • “Esperar que el país colapsara para luego actuar no era racional.”

        Y quien ha hecho esa propuesta? Capriles?

        La propuesta ha sido siempre actuar,
        pero de una manera positiva buscando construir esa mayoría necesaria.

        El único curso de acción eficaz.
        Como tu bien lo pones aquí:

        “Lo que había que hacerse era expresar una voluntad de cambio y esforzarse por convencer a la gente de esa necesidad.”

        La Salida no lograba ese objetivo. Era alienante, especialmente con esa mayoría que solo un mes antes había votado abrumadoramente por los candidatos del gobierno.

        “temo que el sector caprilista, desde el 2014, ha apelado a los mismos mecanismos de represión que el gobierno”

        Como????
        Decir algo como esto, es ver las cosas en blanco y negro. Es estar enceguecido por el maniqueismo y no pensar en claro. Ese es el problema de primar las emociones sobre la racionalidad.
        Se toman decisiones equivocadas con las mejores intenciones.

        El camino al infierno esta pavimentado de buenas intenciones.

        “Los líderes que sobrevivirán a la catástrofe no serán los autoproclamados genios del ajedrez y de la sensatez, sino aquellos líderes completos de verdad, es decir, que entiendan la naturaleza humana en todos sus aspectos y busquen su bienestar.”

        Indudablemente que los mejores líderes son los que tengan la mayor suma de esas cualidades que ahí colocas, incluyendo la sensatez y la inteligencia estratégica.

        No cabe duda que conocer la naturaleza humana es importante y por eso hay que saber como encauzar esas energías, positivas y negativas y no dejarlas simplemente desbordarse y volverse destructivas.
        Tambien hay que saber cuando usar esas energías, cuando acumularlas y cuando liberarlas.

        Esa es la tarea de los líderes.

        Dejemos de hacer apología a las emociones sobre la razón.
        La madurez tanto a nivel personal, como de un pueblo está en el saber usar la razón y manejar las emociones.

        “Un pueblo ignorante es instrumento ciego de su propia destrucción.”

        • La salida nunca fue una propuesta destructiva. Destructiva fue la reacción del gobierno. La propuesta que se hizo era perfectamente válida, constitucional y democrática. Lo sigue siendo. El tiempo lo ha probado. A lo mejor lo que para ti es imposible a mí no me lo parece; A mí me parece más importante ir a los barrios y pueblos a decir la verdad y enfrentarme a la propaganda oficial que ser alcalde de Sucre, como Ocariz, o gobernador de Miranda, como Capriles, reyes de la nada, príncipes de la pseudoactividad. La reacción del caprilismo también fue destructiva porque validó la represión y no ganó nada a cambio. El destino del caprilismo es triste, puesto que ya no le queda más que ser parte del aparato represivo de un estado fallido. ¿Cómo piensa resolver la crisis social que se avecina? Corrijo, no digo ni siquiera “resolver”, digo “sobrevivir”, y hablo muy literalmente cuando uso el término “sobrevivir”, porque nadie sabe lo que puede pasar, estamos jugando a la ruleta rusa. Probablemente tendrá que tomar los métodos represivos prestados del gobierno, es decir, seguir sometiendo a la gente a una presión que nadie sabe si es capaz de resistir. Se puso del lado de lo indefendible y ni siquiera se abstuvo de tomar posición para luego tener las manos libres. Capriles llamó a Leopoldo López, que ha pisado tanto o más barrio que él, “elitista”, en una entrevista. ¿Cuál es su apuesta? Parecer algo que no es ¿Cuál es su realidad? Que como gobernador no puede hacer nada no digo ya para aportarle soluciones a su gente, sino simplemente para disminuir su sufrimiento. Inaugurar escaleras y regalar cabillas, eso es lo que le queda. Su política es tan vacía como la de Chávez, excepto que Chávez le sacaba más beneficio. Es el precio que paga por dedicarse a lo que se dedica, por haber tomado las decisiones que tomó. Lo que te digo es que a medida que la situación siga empeorando, el costo político para esos vencedores del Risk será cada vez mayor. Se montaron en el mismo barco que el gobierno. ¿No es predecible eso? Están jugando con fuego.

          La política no se trata únicamente de conseguir votos. La política más bien se trata de efectuar cambios en la realidad y de hacerlo con criterio, con inteligencia. Hacer que voten por ti, si lo analizas, es algo muy sencillo. No es barato ni se logra de un momento para otro, pero es sencillo. Mira el caso de Donald Trump o de Hugo Chávez. Por eso mismo digo que la traición del sector caprilista fue a la política misma, entendida la política ampliamente. La salida estaba en la correcto. Sólo tienes que ver más allá de la guarimba, que fue un accidente, y concentrarte en la sustancia del llamado y en su contexto. Estaba en lo correcto porque proponía lo que era necesario, no sólo desde un punto de vista moral, sino desde un punto de vista lógico, haciendo un análisis profundo y sincero de la situación. Capriles propuso algo ilógico y Leopoldo López propuso algo lógico. Lo que pasa es que para ti LL simplemente propuso tumbar al gobierno trancando calles nada más, y para mí lo que hizo fue decir: el colapso es inevitable y tenemos que activar los mecanismos constitucionales para la salida del gobierno lo antes posible para evitar una catástrofe. Era un llamado tan lógico que tiene ahora más sentido que nunca y lamentamos no haberle hecho caso en ese momento (por lo menos yo lo lamento). En cambio ignoro cuál es el llamado de Capriles. Supongo que era algo así como “la gente es muy bruta, hay que darle lo que yo creo que quiere y así eventualmente votarán por nosotros”. Lo cierto es que invirtió su energía en el mensaje equivocado, porque ese es un mensaje inútil, inconsecuente, vacío. No puedes hacer al ganar las elecciones lo que nunca te atreviste ni siquiera a proponer en la campaña. A veces uno invierte mucho en crear una imagen, y me parece que algunos defienden lo indefendible simplemente para salvar una imagen, en vez de dejarla ir. EL día que Capriles deje de alimentar esa imagen populista monstruosa que se creó, quizás pueda aportar algo concreto en el sentido verdadero del cambio. Ahora mismo, es simplemente un aliado de la dictadura. Y como él, hay muchos.

          Amieres, quizás nunca llegaremos a un acuerdo, y eso está bien. Sin embargo, me gustaría aclarar mi punto una vez más: lo que yo estoy diciendo es que lo que tú propones como una estrategia a mí no me parece tal. Me ofende que quieras hacer pasar por estrategia algo que para mí evidentemente no lo es. El caprilismo rechazó desde un principio la propuesta de la salida porque no era parte de su agenda y su agenda era autodestructiva. Lo que estoy diciendo es que la agenda del caprilismo, lo que tú llamas “estrategia”, está equivocada, es un desperdicio de energía en el sentido incorrecto.

          La energía tenía que dedicarse a la salida completamente desde el 2014 y no a populismos dudosos.

          A mí me parece que tiene mucho mérito decir:hay que cambiar el rumbo ahora o el barco se va a hundir.

          No me parece que tenga ningún mérito decirle a todo el mundo: cuando el barco se hunda, yo quiero ser capitán.

          Eso que parece una perogrullada es lo que los maestros de las damas chinas pasaron por alto. Viven literalmnete del legado de Chávez y de la desesperación de la población que no tiene más opción que votar por ellos. Pero en un contexto normal, nadie los tomaría en serio.

        • Hay otra cosa que no dije en el comentario anterior. No la dije porque no quería repetirme. Pero quizás valga la pena. Veo que tu estrategia es ignorar los argumentos y escudarte en una especie de figura ultra-racional lo cual me parece cómico y anticuado. A mí no me importa mucho eso, porque mi comentario y mis argumentos van dirigidos a todos los lectores y no sólo a ti.

          Si se pone la razón por encima de las emociones, o las emociones por encima de la razón, no se llega a ningún lado. Es algo autodestructivo. En el equilibrio radica la madurez, a la cual apelas, pero, no sé, muy mecánicamente, como si lo hicieras “al caletre”.

          Un líder no puede ser ni totalmente frío ni totalmente emotivo, ni las estrategias pueden tomarse sin tomar en cuenta algunos factores psicológicos. ¿No sé, nunca viste Star Trek? La recomiendo. Los ejércitos tristes y desmotivados pierden, aunque sean mayoría.

          Más allá de eso, si por ejemplo te parece racional una estrategia en la cual se contempla de alguna manera beneficiarse de una situación trágica es porque eres un tirano o un esclavo.

          Spinoza en su Ètica define a los tiranos como aquellos que necesitan la tristeza de sus súbditos, y a los esclavos como aquellos que tienen la necesidad de estar tristes.

          ¡A mí me parece que sin duda es irracional ponerme en una situación en la cual hay que sufrir a un nivel tal que es incierto para mí si la puedo soportar o no! Lo que quiero decir es que cualquier estrategia que se base en esas premisas es enfermiza para mí, puesto que atenta contra mi propia salud. La estrategia adecuada es aquella que me pone a mí en la situación de aumentar mi alegría, mi potencia de obrar, mi salud, mi supervivencia.

          Yo no defiendo la guarimba, no te equivoques, lo que sí defiendo es una estrategia que apunte en la dirección correcta y que invierta la energía de manera correcta y sana y cuyo propósito me convenga, me haga bien. La dirección correcta era convencer a la gente de la verdad y no de la mentira, aunque eso fuera más difícil. Evidentemente, cualquier esfuerzo por convencer a la gente de mentiras, como ha hecho Capriles desde que se convirtió en el hombre-lobo populista, o como hizo Chávez, no me sirve ni me servirá para nada. Esos son votos que no valen para nada, son votos de esclavos en el sentido que ya expliqué. No sirven para el cambio. Ya está. Lo dije. Salió por sí mismo. Lo que critico del caprilismo es simple y llanamente que se esfuerza demasiado en convencer a la gente de algo que está equivocado.

          • Es típico en estas discusiones de internet que ambos interlocutores se acusen mutuamente de lo mismo, por ejemplo como dices tu: de “ignorar los argumentos”.

            Lo cual se traduce en repetir los mismos argumentos de lado y lado, ad infinitum.
            Por ejemplo tu insistes en repetir el trillado argumento de que la otra era “…una estrategia en la cual se contempla de alguna manera beneficiarse de una situación trágica”.
            Yo podría tratar de volver a explicar que nadie ha propuesto tamaña estrategia. Que tu argumento es lo que se denomina una falacia de hombre de paja. Pero tu lo ignorarás y seguiremos dando círculos.

            Sin embargo hay que decirlo. Nadie ha propuesto eso. Nadie.

            En cuanto a las emociones, por supuesto que un líder debe saber, tener y entender de emociones, como ser humano (y no vulcano ni androide) por que son básicas para tener empatía y poder relacionarse con la gente e inclusive influenciarla. Pero al momento de sentarse a tomar las decisiones importantes se debe hacer basado en razones y no llevados por las emociones. Si, tomando muy en cuenta la situación y estado de ánimo de la gente pero no dejandose llevar por ellas.

            Por eso mismo, tampoco un líder puede ignorar lo que sienten y piensan (otra vez lo repito) los millones de personas que veían las cosas diferente y a las que La Salida no les produjo otra cosa que rechazo. Porque no es suficiente con decir tu verdad, el como la dices importa mucho. Y el mensaje de La Salida era que había que salir del gobierno a como diera lugar y la mayoría de la gente no lo veía. No le convencía. Era un mensaje muy estridente y puramente político que a la gente o los dejaba fríos o les producía rechazo. (esta es la parte de mi argumento que tu ignoras)

            Que la estrategia nunca ha sido esperar a que la gente sufra sino tratar de convencerlos y que hasta que no haya suficiente masa crítica de convencidos pues algo como La Salida simplemente es prematuro y contraproducente. Asi de sencillo.

            Lo cómico de todo esto es que aunque no lo parezca, yo no defiendo a Capriles (tampoco lo ataco), porque me parece que le faltan cualidades importantes para ser líder (aunque también le sobran otras), y tampoco desprecio a Leopoldo o a MCM quienes me parecen buenos líderes en general, aunque erraron gruesamente al impulsar La Salida. Y no me refiero a las guarimbas sino al moto #ElQueSeCansaPierde, ingrediente seguro para el fracaso.

            Y tampoco tengo problema con quienes ven cosas positivas en La Salida, como varios argumentan aquí. No comulgo, pero por lo menos esa discusión está basada en cuestiones de mérito, en razones. Tampoco discuto que la gente estuviera al límite de su paciencia y necesitara actuar “hacer algo”, una válvula de escape.

            Lo que si no considero válido es justificar errores graves estratégicos como La Salida argumentando que no se podía hacer otra cosa porque las emociones asi lo dictaban. Se entiende que la persona enferma sin medicamentos, el que pasa hambre y trabajo sin esperanza alguna, que el que sufre la violencia diaria, el que ve su destino empeorar actúe emocionalmente. Se entiende, se justifica y se le perdona.

            Pero no al lider que llama a esa misma gente a la acción y las lleva por el camino equivocado, ese lider no tiene derecho a dejarse llevar por sus emociones. Y no puede usarlas como justificación. El debe saber de las emociones de los demás (de todos, tanto de un lado como del otro!). Pero no debe decidir emocionalmente. Ese líder tiene el deber moral de sopesar bien las consecuencias antes de afectar el destino de todos.

            P.S.
            Lamento que no te guste mi estilo de escribir, pero todos tenemos limitaciones.

  13. He wrote: “The assessment is, we act now, without broad and unequivocal support, we set things back.”

    This is only true when there is room and resources and time to actually go “back,” for things to get worse to the point that ANY action is better than none. This is known as the “tipping point,” and if Venezuela has passed it, talk about making things worse, or sticking to strictly rational strategies, instantly become moot.

    People are needlessly dying by the dozens, according to my daughter who is doing her residency in CCS. It’s so bad that at least half of the new doctors regret ever going into medicine.

    Where is the tipping point? When do rational arguments suddenly sound like stalling till ….. till what?

    Perhaps the whole fucking place has to melt down, right down to the wood, before any substantive change is really possible.

    JL

  14. The right time is the best time to get the result you want with the least risk of failure , to act from moral indignation is fine and helps us feel morally proud but if that means that your actions are timed so they are more likely to fail then its self defeating because what you really NEED is to be succesful in order to destroy the cause of your moral indignation NOT prolong it forever.

    Timing is all important to get the right result , that timing may not suit the timing of your moral indignation , if thats the case then you must exercise self discipline to rein in your indignation until the time when it best suits your goal ……..otherwise your putting your moral pride (indignation) above the need to obtain a succesful result which serves the bigger moral purpose.

    This comment is nothing to do with la salida of 2014 which I happen to think was useful (despite being very unlikely to succeed) because it made our current more favourable situation possible by arousing the world to the fact of this regimes dictatorial and criminal nature !! I suspect that the pressure of world opinion had a lot to do with the elections being held and their results being at least nominally recognized which has opened a lot of doors to the opposition …..

    Now our situation is different and daily the unpopularity of the regime makes it weaker …….at some point some decisive action will have to be taken …perhaps now is the time as both HCR and others in the NA are thinking …….but thats something that has nothing to do with moral indignation …….but with pragmatical considerations which in the end serve the higher moral purpose !!

  15. Well, almost every comment here that attacks la salida turns to be more nauseous, cynical and sickening than the previous one, bordering in plain chaburro trolling.

    Don’t worry, people, Venezuela can wait another decade more, because the feelings of a handful of ill-bred imbeciles are worth more than the lives of thousands.

    It’s disgusting to hear people that are suppossed to be against chavizmo that la salida was wrong because it would hurt the feelings of the base chaviztas to lose the government, while they have mocked, insulted and delight in every atrocity they’ve done, to the point that they just point and laugh their asses off whenever they throw up their latest lie or how they’re slaughtering people left and right (Anyone remembers the “Brito smells like formaline! Hahahaha!”).

    But turns out that getting rid of them is an abominable crime because “it will make sad” the poor pretty little snowflake that every chavista is.

    Keep lying to yourselves that la salida was a trap set up by MCM, LL and AL to “climb corse mountains for political gain” because you still have that rotten maggot in your heads that whispers “they are politicians, so they’re eeevvvvvuuuurrrrr… blockades killed millions… they deserve everything that befalls them because they DISRUPTED YOUR PRECIOUS LITTLE ROUTINE… little fag sifrinitos deserve to die…”

  16. Very well said:

    Retweeted Ramón Piñango (@rapinango):

    El tiempo de la gente está delante del tiempo de la dirigencia política.

  17. This is GLORIOUS. You earned my stash of acetominophen in case you need it, since you put my exact feeling into words….. “But as long as Henrique Capriles is having his fun under the sun of Salidismo, claiming he (well, God, really, but who’s counting) finally got the timing right, he’s not allowed to shit on all the people – some still in jail – who, through much tear gas, repression, torture and ridicule, paved the way for his consequence-free press conference calling for…La Salida.”

  18. I just want to reach for the low hanging fruit here and remind you just how much pain and suffering you could have avoided if….

    ….you had planted that acetaminophen bush as one of the wise chavistas advised months ago.

    Tsk tsk.

    Failure to plan is planning to fail.

  19. We are suckers for going for the exultant profession of operatic passions of righteous outrage that delightfully enhance our moral self regard without considering that getting things done requires the coolheaded careful assesment of very practical and difficult questions , where there are no sure right or wrong answers but only tortuous paths that are fraught with very real threats of failure .

    If I were a member of the opposition leadership I would have several different concurrent scenarios and strategies for getting to the goal and I would not be very candid in telling the world what was my game plan . In fact I would not have one but several to be activated at different stages depending on what I read the situation to be at any given time . We are dealing with a very unscrupulous adversary who holds some heavy institutional cards and is not shy about using them in the most fraudulent way possible .

    Meantime as background we see the Venezuela we love fall apart in ever larger pieces as it titters over the abyss of economic and social argamedom !!

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