Trading Red Berets for Hearts: Four years since you left us
“After I blatantly lied in the TSJ last Friday, I don’t think you need any further evidence of our creativity. Nothing prevents us from commemorating the date we chose to publicly admit your death, so once again we showcased our warplanes and brought 200 international guests for the events we’ll carry out in mandatory broadcasts nobody will watch.”
“Most of the party is fuming over our official silence regarding Donald Trump’s attacks. These sanctions are unacceptable. Los gringos say that they’re certain about the how criminal and corrupt we are, and they seem appalled by our Human Rights abuses, our systematic and political use of the judiciary, our selective persecution of dissidents and the restrictions we’ve imposed on free speech. ¡Qué bolas! Just look at what Trump himself is doing against American media.”
We keep fashioning fake enemies to sell ourselves as the victims and we keep pushing the narrative of non-existent accomplishments.
“The worst part is that he keeps making Luis Almagro’s work easier —I’ve always said that Almagro is anti-Venezuela— but this whole mess with Odebrecht and our dismal oil output have inspired alliances that were inconceivable in your days. Beware: today, the Democratic Charter rides stronger through Latin America than you-know-whose sword ever did.”
“We keep destroying companies with rampant inflation, impossible imports restrictions, almost no access to foreign currency and un-payable wage hikes to try and patch up the crisis we’ve been steadily feeding. It’s only through your miracle that the collapse isn’t worse with all the amassed losses due to divestment and negligence. In any case, we keep denouncing the things we won’t solve; fashioning fake enemies to sell ourselves as the victims and we keep pushing the narrative of non-existent accomplishments.”
A Coup d’Etat has morphed from a narrative resource we used to exhaustion, into a real possibility.
“Treason is a perfect crime. Not even the best of Human Rights protection systems could process so many political prisoners at the same time. People must take when facing the hazards of a broken Rule of Law and failed justice system, they’d rather share tweets than showing up and protest. Following the same logic, we launched a re-registration drive for opposition parties with conditions that will only guarantee them failure, aiming at accomplishing what Ortega did in Nicaragua so that the CNE can call elections only when we’re certain of victory.”
We can confidently say that everything would be worse without us, there’s no other discourse and that’s a great advantage.
“Military power is pervasive, that’s why the paranoia about a Coup d’Etat has morphed from a narrative resource we used to exhaustion into a real possibility. The opposition’s screw-ups are our only consolation. PSUV obviously lacks noble leaders and one of the few restrictions we villains have is our inability to inspire hope, a costly setback in a crisis like this. But the other side offers no alternatives, they’re reduced to crying foul and can’t muster any optimism; they’re drained by constant competition and are unable to find consensus on what they’d do should they rise to power. We can confidently say that everything would be worse without us, there’s no other discourse and that’s a great advantage.”
“Oil just won’t reach the $50 mark. China won’t lend us anymore and CAF and IDB say they won’t do it either without the National Assembly’s approval. We didn’t issue enough new banknotes to fully update our cono monetario and on top of that, Exxon Mobil widened its operation in the Guyana-contested Esequibo territory, aspiring to an output of 100,000 oil barrels per day in 2020. We’ve still got assets to pawn off and sustain this year, but we can no longer steal the way we used to.”
It’s a lie, we don’t love you, we just miss the golden age of your reign, but a dead guy’s a good excuse.
“And regarding the United States’ accusations against me, I tell you: it’s been interesting to gauge how many people fear me; the silence terror can impose, but I can’t say I’m happy about the sanctions that prevent me from reaching the next level I was meant to have. Nobody deserves to be your successor more than I, because when things grow worse, it’ll be necessary to have a fearsome guy at the top. Even though fear doesn’t work for everything, silence is extremely useful.”
“We’re willing to force everyone to live through even worse conditions if it means we can service our debt and avoid default, distributing bond interests among our people, securing a place for so many people who can’t live abroad, like me. That’s why we keep saying patria o muerte and declaring our love for you. It’s a lie, we don’t love you, we just miss the golden age of your reign, but a dead guy’s a good excuse, even to trade red berets for hearts.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.