They all want to be Luis Tascón


For Saturday, May 14, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

“No podemos retrogradar (sic) la historia”

Nicolás Maduro

Cadena. Council of Ministers, Néstor Kirchner hall, Miraflores. No real news about the country ever seems reach the seat of government, it seems. None of what was talked about corresponds with what’s really needed, with what people are saying and looking for: food, medicines, calm. Miraflores’ fictional country begins and ends before the camera; it invades homes with electrical power. Finding an audience is a matter of imposition.

As he said that he respects Brazil’s internal affairs and that he regrets what’s happening, Nicolás ordered the Venezuelan ambassador to return “after the coup d’etat,” confessing that he’s preparing a regional movement against impeachment, an audacity that far exceeds anything said by any spokesperson branded as “interventionist” by Delcy Rodríguez in her tweets.

After talking about the thousands of companies that are declaring bankruptcy in the U.S., as “Obama dances and posts little videos on Twitter,” Nicolás reminded us that the first Decree of Economic Emergency expired this Friday, and summarized its achievements: nothing.

Our self-styled “supporter of the human cause,” declared the decree a blessing that has helped him very much, even in “stopping a coup d’etat” from Parliament and facing a financial war that blocks Venezuela and prevents it from accessing international credit lines, despite the fact that his stubborn effort to prioritize the payment of the foreign debt over necessary imports to supply the very people he claims to defend.

According to him, there’s no greater threat than the National Assembly, so it’s important to restrict its authority. In a fit of creativity, which we’ll see ratified by the Royal Spanish Academy no doubt, he invented a new meaning for the word “constitutionally”, using it as a synonym for outrage, abuse, iniquity, tyranny, despotism and abusive authority. With this peculiar use of the term, he decided to approve for himself a State of Emergency and an Economic Emergency – he mentioned them separately, I’m not sure if by mistake or because of the authority he claims for himself, mixing politics with economy at leisure – to defeat the coup d’etat and external threats.

The threat

Nicolás substantiated his need for the decree with a 40 seconds video, where former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez talks with a single media outlet, which he considers a threat. According to him, Uribe has requested political intervention on Venezuela through foreign armed forces. Minutes later he said that there had been a meeting in Washington to plan for a coup d’etat against him. He said that the new decree is “more complete, offering more protection to the people” and for him, because he needs to get ready “to defeat any international action (…) any political, military or diplomatic action.”

So the goal for the PSUV’s march this Saturday changed. And it’s probable that the decree changed as well, because once he called Parliament an enemy, it’s probably that he’ll ignore what the Law establishes regarding states of emergency – which forces him to present the document before the National Assembly – to be approved or refused – in the next eight days. So probable that, in order to sign it he spoke of the authority given to him by the Constitution as Head of State, President, son of el finado and Bolívar. No even He-man with the Grayskull sword.

Chavismo doesn’t understand democracy, they can’t handle the concept of minority, diversity, negotiation and agreements. Chavismo knows that Nicolás is going to lose the recall referendum and therefore, they design a government by decrees which blithely violates the Constitution and the laws. And Nicolás deemed it necessary to clarify that his cabinet didn’t receive a Harvard education.

The country wastes away in long lines, uncertainty, multiplying their desperation while trying to find food that disappeared from the shelves. Hunger doesn’t understand about states of emergency. Hunger is the real emergency, threat and coup.

The referendum

Carlos Ocariz, Sucre municipality mayor, responded to the National Electoral Council about the signature verification schedule and the non-negotiable goal of achieving a recall referendum this year, reminding CNE officials that the regulations in force since 2007 include established periods: five days for counting, five more for their validation and 20 days to create a final report.

Ocariz demanded the application of the principle of timeliness (celeridad) established in the Constitution, the announcement of the signature validation centers and the crime that Jorge Rodríguez is committing by making statements with the copies of the forms, which only the CNE and the MUD in its role as solicitor, can make.

However, the PSUV keeps upping the ante on harassment, and the list of fools now includes Nueva Esparta governor, Carlos Mata Figueroa, with this despicable threat: “I tell you that there’s a list coming with names and surnames, because that’s public, since it’s not a secret, that should be publicly available and those who signed bust be ready for the consequences, because that’s public, not a secret.”

They all want to be Luis Tascón.

Article 20

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, said through his Twitter account that he’s preparing a report on Venezuela’s situation (Human Rights, judicial branch, political prisoners, shortages of food and medicine, equilibrium between power and corruption) that he expects to deliver in May. He said that the country’s situation goes beyond the electoral context and that he was requested to take urgent action. He also said that he requested more information from the National Assembly about the political situation because “beyond the votes in the OAS, it’s a matter of democratic principles,” so he’s considering, according to Article 20 of the Inter American Democratic Charter, to convene a Permanent Council meeting to discuss the issue of severe constitutional deterioration in a member state.

Add this to the statements made by the former presidents gathered at the American Spanish Democratic Initiative (IDEA), requesting governments in the world to show active solidarity with the Venezuelan people, and you’ll know that Delcy must be furiously banging her keyboard.

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  1. And now we get to the part where Chavismo gets rid of that pesky Constitution thing officially. The previous fig-leaf of democracy was getting worn out anyway, and people weren’t buying the lie anymore, so Maduro is going to go full on dictator on us, claiming it is only a “temporary” exigency.

  2. “Add this to the statements made by the former presidents gathered at the American Spanish Democratic Initiative (IDEA), requesting governments in the world to show active solidarity with the Venezuelan people, and you’ll know that Delcy must be furiously banging her keyboard.”

    Priceless….. Delcy in full-on rabid dog mode, spitlle flying, eyes bugged out, furiously hammering away, spewing a never ending diatribe of chavista double-speak….

    God, Naky, but you do have a way of conjuring images in my mind with just a few strokes of your own keyboard. Thank you.

  3. This is gold for future history books, this dictatorship is ensuring that nothing that resembles Cuba not Chávez ever gets close to any seat of power ever again after their fall.

  4. In the early 60s my Dad was doing graduate work in the US. One of his teachers was Milton Friedman.

    At the time my dad was unable to escape the Fidelist fervor so in his youthful impertinence he decided to confront his teacher. He briefly heard him and then dismissed him with “you are speaking like a barber” and cut the conversation.

    While he lived he would dimiss intellectual dimwits as “habla como peluquero…”

    Pero es que este gobierna como peluquero.

  5. favor no usar google translate. o lo traduce alguien quien sepa ingles y castellano, o dejenlo en el idioma original. el resultado tal como lo colocaron es tragico, y es una tristeza, toda vez naky es una excelente periodista y escribe cosas muy interesantes y excelentes – pero con esta traduccion la mataron a ella…….

    • While restraining the overpowering urge to make a lewd comment on certain aspects of your maternal anatomy, I’ll point out that if you were to actually point to an example of a problematic translation, it would be possible to open a fruitful discussion on your concerns, while in the absence of such specificity your lament brings one to the unfortunate necessity of commemorating precisely your progenitorial entre-jambes…

  6. La traduccion del articulo es perfectamente apropiada y totalmente legible , no tengo ninguna dificultad en entender el texto , a veces hay expresiones, giros o vocablos que no admiten una traduccion perfecta y hay que recurrir a aproximaciones , eso es licito y aceptado . No me creo el menos exigente de quienes juzgan la labor de los traductores , he tenido ocasion de ver inumerable traducciones y rara vez hay alguna que no me inspire alguna reserva. Por eso considero que la labor que se viene haciendo traduciendo las resenas de Naky cabe con pulcritud dentro del ambito de lo aceptable y muchas veces de lo excelente !!

    • Totalmente en acuerdo Bill.

      English is my first language, and I find the translations to be excellent, often surprising me with their attention to nuance and detail. Most certainly never something that came near google.

      Every once in awhile, when i see english translations of spanish expressions I know or assume to know, I’ll pop over to facebook and read the original to see if there’s “more” there, and usually I find I was just as well off with the English. Naturally, I’m sure if you’re a native spanish speaker, Naky’s original in spanish will seem more nuanced to you.

      OF COURSE no translation is perfect, but that’s the nature of the beast. Some expressions DON’T translate, and require partial or liberal paraphrasing. Sometimes it’s not the gramatical expression that doesn’t translate well, It’s the subtle flavor of entire thought process that proves difficult communicate. A single biting exchange in spanish of only 5 words might be perfectly clear and understood with a short literal english translation, but it would be a clinically sterile understanding. All the undertones and nuances would be lost without a more expansive 2 sentence english translation.

      And for that, I tip my hat to Javier’s work, because on more than a few occasions, he’s managed to translate those things into English using very few words, keep Naky’s terse writing style intact, where what’s not said is just as much a part of the message as what is said. WELL DONE JAVIER!


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