The Day I Stared My Inner Chavista In the Eye and Did Not Blink

It's a bit of a blur. There was Daniella Cabello. And her dad. And some rum. And Donald Trump and a TSJ justice and Raúl's dashed dreams. It's...sort of hard to summarize.

Hugo Chávez saved me from the left.

And by left, I mean, you know, la izquierda mal bañada. 

If Chávez hadn’t been President when I was in college, I would have spent my days playing Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés songs, smoking pot, and chatting up commie girls talking about the revolution and how I would leave it all to retire to the mountains and live how humans are supposed to live, and how we could do that together, probably naked. Yes. Chávez saved me from all that. Or did he rob me of all that? The right to be absolutely stupid in my 20s – hasta eso me quitó. I’m a little bit broken inside. I have a repressed little monster that every once in awhile tries to crawl out of my mouth, and I have to stuff back in with a shovel.

Thanks to a recent decision by the Supreme Tribunal (TSJ), I’ve been able to get in touch with that part of my psyche. And sort of come to terms with it. But we’ll get back to that.

Lately, I’ve been having the weirdest dream. I enter a house, probably in Prados del Este, Santa Mónica, or San Antonio. A woman receives me in the foyer, it’s Daniella Cabello. It’s a PG dream, sorry. She walks me in, serves me a rum and coke, and shows me to the living room. Sitting in a victorian chair, like a modern day Napoleon, is her father: Diosdado Cabello. I’m scared, but I sit down anyway. He raises a glass of rum and coke, ¡salud!  And we start drinking, and chatting, and making jokes, and talking about life, the Universe, you know, everything. And you know what? I really liked him. He was such a good host, such a great guy.


Am I a closet chavista? Do I secretly admire them? Do I want to be their friend? Is my inner little Gollum winning this battle? The thought has troubled me for weeks.

Some days later I dreamt that Donald Trump joined us. And he was lovely too! And Diosdado and him toasted their billions away, and Donald made a pass at Daniella, and Diosdado didn’t care, and we were such a happy bunch. And this? What the hell could this mean? Well, probably that Donald will jump to the left once he gets the official nomination to grab all those disenfranchised Bernie Bros who hate Hillary, but we’re waaay off track now.

Anyway, back to that TSJ ruling. A couple of days ago the news in Venezuela was that the TSJ had rejected a bill that would have given property rights to the recipients of Misión Vivienda, for the homes that they are occupying but do not and cannot own.

It’s an absurdly unpopular decision, but they just couldn’t let the AN get away with a populist measure. Chavistas are the only ones allowed demagoguery. The reasoning of Justice Lourdes Suarez Anderson, sister of Danilo Anderson (¡Danilo somos todos!), was just amazing, of Luersian proportions.

Here are some of the good bits from an El Estimulo piece:

“Also, (the decision) considers that it (the project) doesn’t take into account the impact for the economy ‘of these units entering the market freely through their sale, nor that they would become part of the financial speculation that takes place on the secondary mortgage market.’”

Ok, you can get an idea where this is heading:

Here, the judge argues that the ‘unregulated growth’ of this secondary housing market ‘was one of the first causes of the economic crisis of 2008 in the United States, which also had worldwide repercussions.’

This is Gold. I want to buy Lourdes Suarez Anderson a drink. I want to drink a rum and coke (not Cuba Libre, and probably just rum since there will be no more coke in Venezuela, I mean, no more Coca-Cola, damn it, the puns are killing me) with Justice Suarez-Anderson, and Diosdado, and Daniella, and, why not? Donald Trump too, he can come along. I want us to celebrate such genius. I want her to teach me. I want to ask her for a job. I want to thank her for liberating my inner chavista. I love it. I love her for this.

The level of release, of nothingness, of zen, at which you have to arrive to in order to write something like this in a TSJ decision with a straight face is something the best comedians in the world spend years striving for.

I was supposed to analyze this. Y’know, juridically. But how could I? And, more importantly, why should I? This isn’t law, this is art.

So I’m just going to enjoy this moment. The moment I finally laughed with my inner chavista.

I love you, my little monster.