There, I said it.

I remember our first encounters. We were in a contemporary politics class discussing the surge of the Latin American left. You explained your experience as a leftist NGO volunteer who spent a few months in Venezuela. I knew you supported chavismo and I agreed you had balls, leaving your European comfort to spend some time in a country plagued by violence. I was willing to debate. But when I mentioned where I grew up, you gave me that look. “Oh, right. Chacao.

I was born in Caracas 34 years ago to a Spanish mother and a Japanese father, and I consider myself 100% Venezuelan Más criolla que una arepa. Politics and education were always discussed at home, so even if I grew up in a rather comfortable environment, I was always aware of our inequality issues.

Even when I left in 2003 I thought we’d hit rock bottom in 2002, silly me , Venezuela never really left me, and I would come to spend the next fourteen years glued to local media, watching our slow, but relentless, downward spiral, struggling to make sense of what was going on.

The hardest thing to deal with, however, is your kind. You fancy yourself as educated about Venezuelan matters, an all around social justice supporter as long as those you perceive as oppressed are in the same ideological axis you are. We’ve faced each other off quite a few times now, I always try to fight back with data, while your answer is that condescending look. “Venezuelans will fall prey to far right dogma” is one of your mantras, ignoring that a leftist leadership is, literally, killing my people.

Supporting socialist policies doesn’t keep me from denouncing the brutal monstrosity being inflicted upon my country.

Remember that time I told you about the horrific spike in violent deaths during the last two decades? You had travelled to Venezuela a couple of times during the 90s and knew it already was a country with violence issues. Somehow that was reason enough to dismiss the statistics proving my point, as, in your eyes, chavismo was not to blame. You were nice enough to remind me my opinion was worthless anyone who can move to Spain must be filthy rich, right? Sometimes I wish I were; but nope, I do work for a living.

I’ve tried hard to understand how you can believe someone solely based on their social class, while disregarding facts. I can’t, and I think I never will.

But I’ve never been as upset as the time you swallowed the Chavernment message and said the MUD was at fault for calling an “illegal demonstration”, therefore being responsible for the killings. I tried to remind you, with a soul wrenching feeling, that the only ones responsible for the dead are those pulling the trigger. You did much worse than giving me your classic look then: you accused me of being sponsored by the opposition. Just because I voiced disagreement.

You know the worst of it all? We agree on most things. We both believe in public universal education and healthcare financed with taxes. We agree that every government should ensure that its citizens have a safety net and that wealth redistribution should be a major driver against inequality. Here’s a secret though: supporting socialist policies doesn’t keep me from denouncing the brutal monstrosity being inflicted upon my country. My critical thinking (and my empathy) doesn’t go out the window on account of my ideology.

So, next time, stop pretending to be more knowledgeable about my domestic geopolitics, and to conclude that we’re all victims of a CIA sponsored coup d’etat. To Venezuelans like me, who somehow made it this far without a bullet between the eyes, being away from home is an ache  exacerbated by listening to you.

So I’ll spell it out for you right here, buddy: you’re a dick.

100 COMMENTS

  1. “We agree that every government should ensure that its citizens have a safety net and that wealth redistribution should be a major driver against inequality.”
    l
    I’ve got no problem with safety nets, but instead of wealth redistribution as a major driver against inequality, I tend to favor hard work and personal responsibility. But then, I’m strange that way.

    • How dare you.

      But I do think a responsibility of the right (can you believe we’re being called that these days?) is to create an environment to provide the OPPORTUNITIES to succeed, the economic environment to create the jobs.

      This is a responsibility the left has totally abandoned, even actively sabotages, by demonizing profit for hard work and killing successful businesses.

      The left prefers everyone works at government jobs, and we all know how great the government is at a turning a profit!

      Insert extreme sarcasm emoticon here.

      • Completely out of topic, but

        “I’ve got no problem with safety nets, but instead of wealth redistribution as a major driver against inequality, I tend to favor hard work and personal responsibility. But then, I’m strange that way.”

        While historically I can agree with that assessment, my problem with the idea of “hard work and personal responsibility” is that those concepts might disappear entirely in the next 15-25 years, due to the unrelenting automation process.

        Traditionally, technological advances have produced more jobs than they have eliminated, but that is radically changing. Analyst predicts that by 2025 (only 8 years from now!) 1/3 of retail jobs will be gone. By that time, there is a very good chance that all driving-related jobs (specially cargo) will be gone too. Same for water and air cargo transport and loading/unloading. And we are already starting (on the software side, at least) in the final automation endgame: automatic automation.

        How can a country that does not have a very effective wealth redistribution system can cope with 25-35% unemployment?

        What happens after 2035 (18 years from now!), when the average robot will be better at ANY job than the average trained human?

        • As a kid I had this very same conversation with an old man about my age. I was concerned by that new-fangled thing coming on the scene called the automobile. I was scared to death.

          What would happen to all the people who worked in the horse and buggy industry? They were everywhere! Every town, village and even the large cities had them. They cared for the horses when people stayed overnight, shoed them, fed them, repaired their carriages, made the whips, and all the accessories. Wouldn’t all these people be in the streets in just a matter of years without work if that thing called the automobile caught on? What would happen to them? They’d surely starve!

          I think you see where I’m going with my tall tale. Don’t fear the future, embrace it. Prepare yourself. Don’t rely on others to put food in your mouth or money in your pocket.

          My dad always told me that in life I’d find people doing far better than I and others doing far worse. Don’t envy those doing better than you, he’d say, learn from them. And do what you can to help those who aren’t doing better to DO BETTER FOR THEMSELVES. You can’t help them all he’d say, but you can have an impact on those around you.

          I’ve tried to be a job-creator all my life and was fortunately successful at it while living in the United States. I took what I learned there to other countries and was successful elsewhere too, even in Venezuela. Today there are still opportunities here in Venezuela because this government has destroyed so much of our functioning economy in the name of a “project”. Unfortunately, this government also throws roadblocks in one’s way that can be absolutely insane for those trying to create jobs.

          I believe that if the government creates conditions where people are allowed to prosper from their hard work and ideas, AND are allowed to do so without fear of confiscation (reasonable tax levels excluded), then there’s nothing to fear.

          Sure, care for those who are absolutely unable to care for themselves. No problem there. That’s your safteynet. Everybody else get busy doing something productive. Redistributing wealth ain’t one of them.

  2. Also wonderfully applicable to the British left. None of the hardcore Labour/Corbynistas I know have said anything about Corbyn’s crappy Swiss-like stance on this issue. Apparently I came to the UK and my family wasn’t poor, so obviously I’m blind and uncritical and stupid, or at best, some kind of Venetory and therefore I must be just completely inherently biased and unable to see facts. I’m Green here, but whatever.
    I have so far preferred to avoid the discussion because I appreciate their friendship but tbh, it is an insulting attitude they take.

    • Ignorance and ideology are difficult animals to fight. Ideology allows, indeed forces, people to interpret and filter information to bring it in line with their belief system. Ignorance allows them to re-affirm their often-surreal perspective. This is as true of a left-wing ideologue as a right-wing supremacist.

      Here is a very recent letter from a British Labour Party supporter praising the Venezuelan government for its restraint. He claims to have taken a serious interest in Venezuela for some time. (!!!)
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/18/venezuelas-opposition-is-not-so-innocent
      Take heart from the fact that most European socialists are not stupid enough to support the Venezuelan regime any longer – there are just a few ignorant ideologues left who will continue to support the regime irrespective of what further atrocities it commits. There were many communist party members who continued to support Stalin after the purges became common knowledge and even after the non-aggression pact was signed with Hitler’s third reich. Hard to figure.

      • How about the parents of AN Deputy Stalin Gonzalez (UNT-Caracas 5)?

        Or the parents of Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno?

        The legions of Castro apologists?

        The US has several active Communist groups. For instance, the Workers World Party, which broke away from the Socialist Workers Party over the Soviet invasion of Hungary (the SWP condemned it). The WWP is pro-Cuba, pro-North Korea, pro-Chavez (of course). And deeply involved in the so-called “anti-war movement” – WWP cadres founded and controlled “International ANSWER”, which organized most of the marches against the Iraq War.

        The “respectable” US labor movement freely associates with Communists; in May Day parades, locals of the SEIU (about 2M members, including lots of government workers) march in column with the WWP, the Young Communist League, the CPUSA, and others, all flaunting the hammer and sickle.

        Communism ought to be dead, but it is alive and dangerous.

    • The Guardian these days is mostly lambasting Chavism and if there is a smidgen of support they are excoriated in the comments.

      That said, Corbynistas are not so circumspect. Seamus Milne, who still breathlessly opines on the virtues of Maduro has assumed a leadership position in the Labour Party as “Executive Director of Strategy and Communications.”

      You can’t make this crazy shit up…….

    • Ditto.

      I’m sick and tired of people that claim to be upset about hardcore ass-fisting Socialism while they claim just a little bit of ass-fingering Socialism would be just great.

      Toshiko, you claim you like data, yet there are tons of data showing that those policies you push do absolutely nothing to improve the lives of the population in a sustainable way.

      • actually, the data to prove things is everywhere in Western Europe to see. The murder rate we have is a fraction of what the US has and the USA lags behind life expectancy of Chile or Costa Rica, not to mention the EU.
        What we have here in the EU is called pluralism.

        • That’s because the U.S. takes in such a huge percentage of people from other countries.

          Once again, you missed the truth of the big picture.

          But what else is new?

        • Kepler, do those statistics show who commits the murders, the great percentage of them? If they don’t, I can tell you where they occur. Inner city blacks in black-on-black crime, that’s where they occur. What destroyed the inner cities? Socialism.

        • Actually, what you have is a Western Europe that has lead, “La Dolce Vida,” for the last 70 years while the USA has foot the bill for your defense. And let’s not even talk about the era just prior.

          Now, do you want to compare unemployment rates, especially for those under 25?

          • Unemployment in the Mediterranean countries is really bad, but still people in general live longer than in the USA and they seem to be living healthier and not less happy, so be it. And most Europeans have a lot more free time than Anglo Americans. Do you want to stop defending Europe? Please, do. Good ridance. Pathethic if you need to go all the way back to WW2.

        • Fund whatever you want out of your own pocket – not mine.

          Socialism was born with Karl Marx. What do you say about estimates of over 100 million dead? And the misery brought on those surviving it?

          I’ve heard of putting lipstick on a pig, but trying to make socialism – a dying idiocy – into something “nice”, renaming it “pluralism”, still leaves it a diseased pig. Happy solution to a horrible reputation: change your name and move to another country. That’s “socialism”.

          Socialism and socialists are nothing more than armed robbers.

        • Hey, Kike–and why the fuck does CC allow you to post with name–here are the facts:

          Your fucking statistics mean nothing when pulled out of context, especially since we all know what a shithole the EU has become.

          Immigrants want to come to the STATES, and quoting a few dubious critical statistics won’t change that. By the way:

          Where do you live? Can I get an honest answer?

          • Immigrants want to come to the STATES, and quoting a few dubious critical statistics won’t change that.

            because your opinion is of course worth more than serious researcher. What a joke.

            And just so you know I studied university and work in the US and I love the country, it has many great things. But this whole “America #1′ and “it’s the best country in the world” is just delusional. The US has some very real issues and denying them won’t fix them.

      • Sounds like we need an Inquisition to separate the Socialists from the Non-Socialists. But I wonder who the arbiter of the true Non-Socialist would be? Who is so pure and untouched by government? Who has not sat in a public park on a Saturday? Who drills and pumps their own water and disposes of their own shit?

        • For the love of god cannuck, you sound like a drama queen. I think we’re all bright enough to know that a functioning society requires elements of “socialism”. I think we’re also bright enough to know the difference between the socialism that makes a society function and that which controls its function.

          As I said elsewhere, don’t confiscate the fruits of my hard labor…..above and beyond reasonble tax levels. Does that now make me a socialist?

        • And for the record, in this pueblo I drilled my own water well, pump it to the house and dispose of my own shit. So there’s that.

          A pueblo of 12,000 without running water or sewage. Ain’t socialism great?

      • “I’m sick and tired of people that claim to be upset about hardcore ass-fisting Socialism while they claim just a little bit of ass-fingering Socialism would be just great.”

        Ricardo Da Cunha, that is an awesome comment. Nothing to add.

  3. I was in Madrid in July and Venezuelan politics there are front and centre in the rhetoric and arguments among political parties. Some there in the public sphere ‘use’ Venezuela to advance their own claims and agendas. But Spain is not alone in doing that. Similar goings on happen in other parts of Europe. Their take on the left is very different than ours in the Americas, no doubt. And I dare say that their view of the Latin American left is very much coloured by their Eurocentric optics and tinged with some romantic notion of revolution.
    My experience after some nearly forty years living in Canada is that what some may call ‘leftist’ policies are standard government practices here. Universal healthcare, education, infrastructure, gun control, general safety for citizens, transparent & representative government, open society accepting of differences…etc.
    The nightmarish socialist train wreck in Venezuela is something that requires its very own category, and I’m sure political scientists and others already have something in mind. The so called ‘left’ in Latin America is a curse. It simply has not worked.

    • Aside from gun control, how can you hijack the above characteristics as belonging almost exclusively to “the left,” while leaving out the horrible, NEGATIVE characteristics of the left? And man, there are plenty of them.

      My God, Canada is rife with examples of leftist laws, as are parts of the U.S., which restrict freedom–not enhance it.

      • The larger point is about effective forms of government. The right vs left debate is rather trite and not that interesting. Canada and other like nations have good social programs as well as free markets and robust economies. Those economies are not captive to boom-bust cycles nor to large scale grafting by government officials. The rule of law still has significance and there’s general political & economic stability. You don’t need to worry about seriously considering exile as an option for a better future for you & your children. The squandered petrol wealth of Venezuela is astounding by any standard, and not just in the last 18 years.

        • Addendum: the one ‘brutality’ in Canada is the weather in January & February, especially in more northern latitudes. But that one you can live with.

        • Right v. left “debate” is trite and not that interesting when you are on the wrong side. Your solution is the typical liberal left-wing solution: just redefine the words.

  4. The Spanish left is clownish, stuck in the past (Civil War & Franquismo), a bunch of useless zombies repeating the mantras sent to them from their political parties (we know which ones), vastly (and willingly) misinformed about events in Vzla, but very opinionated nonetheless.

    There are many contradictions to them, and trying to reach some sort of common ground when in a discussion with them is a chore that will leave you yelling at the top of your lungs. They only understand the rethoric of the early XX century (Soviet revolution and the Spanish Republic), so it’s really useless.

    I feel sick to my stomach anytime I see or hear anyone from Podemos, IU or any nationalist (read: xenophobic) party. They have blocked many Autonomous Communities’ Parliaments from releasing statements condemning Maduro and Co. (for example here in Mallorca). And PSOE is also starting to go down that same path. PSOE spokesman stated last week that the Vzla situation has been “blown out of proportion” by the media, so there we have a sneak peek at the new PSOE’s policy on our country.

    The PP hasn’t helped, either, since they have used our tragedy as electoral ammunition against Podemos and the left, so now there’s a widespread notion that what’s going on there’s not so terrible, but it’s a right wing media’s smear campaign on a democratically elected government, made with the purpose of distracting people from their rampant corruption and of keeping the left from winning elections over here.

    So it’s disgusting to see how our tragedy is being used by both extremes, right and left, which really takes the seriousness out of it to the eyes of the Spanish public.

    When I got here in 2002, and people learned where I was from, their response was “how exotic” or “you have beautiful women” or they mentioned some culebrón. Now, I get looks of pity, from some people, or of suspicion from others, while others look bored. It’s a very difficult subject to discuss, especially when us Venezuelans carry a very deep wound within ourselves and are faced with opinionated ignorance every day. I just do my best not to bring it up anymore, other people are better at explaining the situation over there anyway.

    Ignorance is widespread in this country, which is fast becoming the #1 Ni-Ni producer in the world, where young people prefer to quit school, squat in some apartment with their buddies, drink, smoke, chat on their mobiles, terrorize tourists and then call themselves “the radical left” on twitter, rather than finding something actually productive to do with their time. A bad omen for Spain which is making me think of a Plan B, in case it becomes a bolivarian franchise in the near future.

    So, it’s very frustrating, and I can relate to the author on this issue. The left has become infantile, all their arguments have turned populist and false, they promote the manipulation of information and the silencing of dissent, and are unable to recognize abuse of power from one of their own, while assuming a holier-than-thou attitude. Sounds just like the right.

  5. The problem is that those socialist policies that you “support” will always and inevitably lead us to “brutal monstrosity”. You can’t have one without the other. At least your friend is upfront about it and acknowledges that. He’s a socialist, whereas you seem to not understand that you can’t really make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

    You friend is correct, you are from Chacao and got mad when the socialist policies (aka “brutal monstrosity”) that you *apparently* support started affecting you and your family. You are the revolutionary Dr Zhivago arriving at home and getting mad that his house has been socialised and that there are now another 4 families dividing the same place.

    How can Venezuela have proper social equality without mass expropriations (“wealth redistribution”)?
    How can Venezuela implement forced wealth redistribution without mass violation of human rights?
    How can Venezuela have mass violation of human rights under a democratic system, which would depose them by votes at any time?

    And that’s why they got rid of demoracy, which was the correct thing to do, given their objectives, which you call “brutal monstrosity”.

    Think about that next time you vote for Pablo Iglesias’ party.

    • You may find it shocking that almost every single Western European country applies the kind of policies I’m talking about and still manage to be a prosperous region by most standards. Without mass expropriations. Without violation of human rights. With a rather healthy democratic system. Incredible, huh?

  6. This article is weak AF. I am sick of the sifrinos DENYING their own privilege, which is the CORE of the issue of WHY we are here today. Yes, I am sure you worked very hard to be able to move to Spain, but the sole fact that you had the means to do so speaks of a privilege most Venezuelans can’t afford. This is so fucking important to acknowledge and internalize if we are ever going to rebuild our society on stronger, more fair foundations. Venezuelan society is CLASSIST still operating under a neo- colonialist structure. People with certain last names or addresses East of the city are given a head start in MANY ways. The Spanish left are blinded by their own privilege…romanticizing Latin American Socialism from the comfort of their “pisos” in wealthy neighborhoods. This whole situation is so fucked I can’t even deal .

    • “This whole situation is so fucked I can’t even deal…”

      As a start, may I recommend the following:

      WHO LIED TO YOU AND TOLD YOU LIFE IS FAIR?

    • no the core of the issue is a power hungry and amoral group of criminals that took control of power in Venezuela and will hold unto it until their last breath. Did they exploit the social and class differences to advance their agenda? of course they did but Latin American countries have historically been very unequal in fact countries like Brasil and Colombia are more unequal than Venezuela but people are not dying of hunger there.

      • It would be interesting to have inequality statistics for Venezuela that took into account the corruption of the enchufados. That is income which ordinarily doesn’t reach GINI/inequality calculations, I would wager. What are the GINI/inequality numbers for the current economic collapse?

    • “I am sick of the sifrinos DENYING their own privilege”

      Oh, yeah, having parents who worked their asses off all their lives is such a heinous crime, dude.

      • That is because people like Harrison assume that everybody who opposes the socialist/communist/chavista agenda comes from a privileged background. I come from a Ferrominera background (not engineers, just labor hand) and my parents managed to graduate 3 out of 4 kids from college during the despised IV republic.

      • Yeah, my privilege was staying up till 3am studying and working 2 jobs through college.

        I didn’t have time to party or go to raves like my roommates did. Now they are asking for socialism while I enjoy capitalism. They want what I have but didn’t want to put the effort into it.

        Does this ring a bell with any of you?

        When you say you want “redistribution”, what you are really saying is, just take it from those who worked and give it to those that don’t.

  7. Maybe you need to be a little more patient, and a little more persuasive, with people who are still coming to terms with a long history of living under the abuses of a right wing dictatorship. It seems to me sometimes, talking politics with someone from Spain, or Argentina, or Chile, or Guatemala, for example, that some number- certainly not great numbers- when they talk politics about Venezuela, are really arguing a proxy position in a conflict that was never satisfactorily or justly settled in their own countries. And there’s nothing unusual about people projecting their own history onto others. Sometimes they take a little more convincing.

    And then there are just ignorant people. They will probably take comfort in being called names by you and winding you up in never ending debates.

    • You’re completely right about the proxy position. I’m well aware of the damage done and how past experiences shape some people’s perception, specially those who suffered under Franco’s dictatorship. And understanding what happens in Venezuela can be quite a feat for those unfamiliar with our country. I normally don’t mind explaining. Here I mostly complain about those that are sunk beyond recovery on their own echo chambers.

  8. Podemitas are proven accomplices of the regime, so they can go get bent, their leadership should be in prision. BTW, to the Podemitas, you know how the “evil rightwinger” Rajoy keeps being in power? Because most Spaniards are scared shitless of what YOU would do in power, since they have seen the results.

  9. It’s not so much a given system as it is the MO. ALL successful governments and cultures share common goals. No country pulls these off perfectly, but so long as the honest aim is to get close, or to honor these goals, most any form of government can be successful.

    First is transparency. Politics, by nature, involves massive spin, whereas politicians say one thing and mean another. But accurate records go far in letting the public know what is what, and makes the government accountable.

    A free and independent press – drawing from transparent records – allows full scrutiny (from various perspecives) of the government, and everyone in it.

    An independent judiciary, beholden to the rule of law, means everyone has to play by the accepted rules.

    Lastly, an unwavering commitment to human rights insures a modicum of security and fair play for all.

    The problem with most all socialist systems is they end up running entirely counter to the above edicts. Maduro et al represent a worst-case scenario, shitting on every rule just mentioned.

    Chavistas are not transparent, but secretive, ergo Homeric plundering, cheating and gaming the system.

    The press is abused and harassed because Chavistas refuse to be accountable (meddling) to anyone or any outside force or nation.

    The judiciary is merely a tool of the government, who plays by its own rules and ignores any charter that limits their absolute power. If need be, they simply change the rules to fit their immediate need and call THAT the law.

    There is no commitment to human rights, save their own.

    Because this kind of anti-system is based on, and indeed fosters, deception, cheating, repression, and wholesale lying, it is fundamentally dishonest and primitive. And in today’s competitive world, such an outfit will always finish last.

    Ain’t no way around it.

  10. People hunger to have lives suffused with special meaning , importance , distinction , to identify with the heroic and grandiose and superlative, to feel enthralled by beautiful fiery passions , to feel nobly and righteously proud of themselves , and the grand noble ideals they stand for, they are humiliated by the mediochrity and frustration and failure and sense of insignificance that ravages their existence……, how do they sattisfy this urge …….. by professing a set of delusional ‘fired up’ beliefs , full of melodrama and anger , of supervillains , tender victims and saintly superheroes bound in a pathetic struggle for the salvation of the goody goody innocent poor people of the world against a malignant cabala of superwealthy and powerful elites exploting those poor people. In short they assumme a lofty ideological or religious ‘identity’ tied to a glorious militant cause which flatters their moral vanity and allows them to become intoxicated with glamorous hatreds.

    These culturally manfactured ‘identities’ are professed with passion and bloated pretentious fanaticism , the arch villains are to be blamed for all the ills of the world , the better to hate them with ferocious intensity and indignation……., there is nothing which is due to happenstance or their own failings or which can be tolerated about their ‘enemies’ …….Among the causes that allow people to assumme these peripathetic ‘identities’ is fascism (of both left and right’), revolutionary ideals , fundamentalist islam, the baser forms of populism, white supremacy…..and many others.

    One consequence of people professing of these identities is that they hold to delusional melodramatic views that oversimplify and falsify reality , that makes them blind to whatever truth may dampen their passion or reveals it as ignoble or unworthy. There is the famous phrase by Borges about how tyranny ultimately makes people dishonest and stupid, of course he was referring to the fake ideals most tyrannies use to prop up and justify their crimes and excesses ……. . The followers of Chavez and his succesors no less that those of Podemos and other european movements belong to this ilk of People.

    So lets not be surprised when some spanish professed ‘revolutionary’ looks at our miseries and tragedies and fails to recognize their origin in the foibles and crimes of a regime led by people who share many of the iconic delusions that intoxicate their hearts.!!

    • Eloquent and elegant statements, BB. The need for special meaning in one’s life, the need to feel heroic (delusions of grandeur) over those one sees as downtrodden, hits hardest those of youthful innocence, those of poor guidance, those with poor self-esteem, and those with aspects of mental illness — all common foibles in any given population. Hence the popularity of political movements that knowingly feed these foibles, their leaders knowing all too well the sirens that attracts many in a society for their electoral or dictatorial base.

      • You forget the leaders are pathological. This is being run by Cuban Sociopaths/Psychopaths and the Venezuelan leadership is all character disturbed. You still don’t get it

  11. The author is typical, they pretend to want socialism but as soon as it threatens their own privileges they reveal their opposition. Chavez’s biggest mistake was trying to compromise with these people and allowing them to be part of the transition, they used their positions and power to undermine Venezuela and create the problems that exist today. The good news is transitional democratic-socialism always reveals the problems of a transitional system, and allows the radicals to take the lead in the next step.

    • So true, socialists should never trust the petite bourgeoisie. Because as soon as those people see their wealth/way of life being threatened, they will try it to undermine the party from inside, and then from outside, in the way that Toshiko is doing here.

      And she is not ashamed of admitting that: “Here’s a secret though: supporting socialist policies doesn’t keep me from denouncing the brutal monstrosity being inflicted (…)”

      What she is really saying is this: “I will support socialist policies (Chavismo), but only if they don’t touch my neighbourhood. If they do, I will call those socialist policies “brutal monstrosity”, defect and move to Spain. I want socialist policies, but not in my neighbourhood!”

      Hardcore socialists like you, Judi Lynn, at least are ready to go until the end, no holds barred, and don’t hide your intent of achieving real social equality. #respect

      • “Hardcore socialists like you, Judi Lynn, at least are ready to go until the end, no holds barred, and don’t hide your intent of achieving real social equality. #respect”

        Until socialism comes knocking at their door, and they stop getting their dollar paycheck to keep braying stuff about how good is socialism.

    • Judi Lynn, put your money where your mouth is move to Venezuela, where you can experience the benefits of Real Existing Chavismo. If you need to lose some weight, Venezuela is the place to be Recall that three quarters of Venezuelans reported losing an average of 19 pounds last year. Call it the Real Existing Chavismo diet, or the Real Existing Socialism Diet.

        • My guess is that Judi Lynn does it gratis, out of far-out-lefty love. The Soviets will rise again!
          Chris Carlson, a.k.a. Clueless in Caracas and other names, kept replying- because he was on the payroll ( He was on the Venezuelanalysis staff- which shows Chavismo was paying him.)
          Judi Lynn hardly ever replies- which makes me think she isn’t getting paid. Why put that much effort in if you aren’t being paid?
          What happened to Hector? Was he getting paid?

  12. Wow! JL outdoes even herself: “The good news is transitional democratic-socialism always reveals the problems of a transitional system, and allows the radicals to take the lead in the next step.”

  13. “we agree on almost everything”

    Then you are much bigger problem for Venezuela tha spanish guy.

    Thats basically the sorry state of our opposition.a bunch of pinkos parading their moral ground as “centrists”. All the while not suffering the ravaging of the lefbecause you live privileged in the first world away from reality. You do the same crap as the spanish guy when he speaks about Vzla but don’t want to put yourself morally in the same category to him.

    I bet you also complain about “the radicals” from the opposition side and wanted to vote for Bernie.

    If you agree on almost everything you are not opposition, you are the reactionary left, you are exactly like him and you are not doing us favors.

    No wonder Allup gets so much apollogism in here. Go pray for “real socialism” in you pink first world closet

  14. Vivo en Barcelona, ES, y cada vez que veo un “Leopoldo Lopez es un asesino” escrito en los contedores de basura, me encantaría que los malditos de la CUP los suelten en pleno Petare a medianoche

    • A mi me tocó ahora con los de En Marea en Galicia. No se si todos, pero hay unos cuantos empeñados en que “el pueblo gallego” esta con Maduro. Definiendo “pueblo gallego” como “los cuatro que me votan”, claro; debe de ser que no han preguntado mucho a la cantidad de repatriados y sus familias…

      • Pues ya tiene mérito lo de Galicia :/ en Barcelona no hay tantos que tengan familiares o allegados que hayan emigrado a Venezuela, pero difícilmente encontrarás algún gallego que no tenga parientes allí.

      • Si, es que era eso mismo, yo estaba de visita en la aldea viendo a mis padres, oyendo en la radio oyendo a la loca esta de En Marea diciendo tal barrabasada y pensando mira, ahora va resultar que no somos “pueblo gallego” en esta aldea donde no hay casa donde no haya un pariente que vino de o está ahora mismo en Venezuela.

        Pero ya sabes, esta gente de cierta izquierda radical es muy fan de dar carnet de quien es “pueblo” y quien no. Causualmente siempre coinciden con si cacareas su linea oficial…

  15. I would have more details to say, but well, you said most of it. Is maddening.

    You have to understand something clearly. No political anything in Spain cares one bit about Venezuela.

    To the “right” (I’m including the PSOE in this so the quotes), Venezuela’s situation is only an useful club to bash Podemos/CUP/IU with. Thats all they care about.

    To the “left”, apart from the psychological need to have a fucking revolution somewhere to defend as long as is far away and they dont actually have to live it, well, as it is a tool of the “right” to hit them then if follows it has all to be false, right? It said that right here in this article from the true free media, Russia Today…

    Most of the population shows some empathy in a distant sense – “hey, you are from Venezuela? This are fucked up there, right. Not sure how exaclty, maybe is not like we get in the media but sure has to be bad, as I have a friend/cousin/neighbourgh…”. But the moment it is political, it enters the whole realm of the stupid left-right discussion here where nothing matters, only ideological alignment. In this case, the so called “right” has the advantage of not having to lie while the hard left has to go into “alternative facts” territory, but is just this time; they are both willing to not care one bit about reality as long as ideology requires it. If one says its day, the other will say it is night, and anybody just trying to look at the window to see what it is is just missing the point; the point is to never ever let the other side have it, reality be damned.

  16. Also drives me mad the way they cant square the fact that what they most approve of here in Spain is EXACTLY what the opposition does in Venezuela. Which ends up with an hypocrisy that is …

    Example, they were very much in favor of “escraches” over here. Hey, I understand, the country had an enormous crisis and the responsible people were all very safe with golden parachutes from the cajas they destroyed and stuff like that. Not much of a fan but I understand the idea and the rage.

    But the day they get a demonstration of Venezuelans asking them why they are receiving and fetting a Chavista delegation is “the far right Venezuelan opposition is importing their violence here!”.

    FUCK YOU. We do EXACTLY THE SAME YOU DO – protest an injustice. And there was no violence AT ALL.

    But then of course the ideological need to lie sets in and you get somebody showing a video of “Venezuelan far – right calls ‘Franco, Franco!’ against IU!” when all the protestors were yelling was “NARCO NARCO” to the chavista delegation.

    • I agree 100% with both comments. It’s not only the insult to have your country used in a proxy war between the right and the left with no one actually caring but also the muddled waters the public opinion is left with as a result. But hey, we’re just a bunch of privileged bastards and only that can explain why we’re against it. As you say, truly maddening.

  17. Oof. I feel this essay. Not as somebody who deals with Podemos types regularly, but as somebody who left Venezuela before Chavez and lives in the US today, ostensibly as as a liberal myself.

    Similar brand of smug ignorant certainty of friends and colleagues to the left of me who only very recently come around to the possibility that Venezuelans have been done in by populist claptrap dressed in a communist t-shirt that has since given itself to rank corruption and power for its own sake.

    To hear it from them, the failure of Venezuela is not a mere failure of administration combined with systemic corruption and blind adherence to dogma, but some larger bigoted thesis about how Latin America is eternally dysfunctional, Venezuela is a country in Latin America, and therefore Venezuelans are probably too culturally dysfunctional for a stable democratic society (something it actually had) and can only be governed by a strong man / charismatic leader, possibly with epaulets.

    Or alternately, our misery is being intentionally created by outside clandestine forces, definitely the CIA.

    Or that it’s not all that bad, and the right wing media is lying about the true condition, which is just fine, naturally, and an improvement over “the past”, which — while they are unfamiliar with — undoubtedly must have been horrible, because Latin Americans all have an oppressive ruling class who dress just like Mr Roarke from Fantasy Island and are the reason why you must by organic fair trade coffee only.

    Or Chavez being bad was good, because “Ha ha, take that, neoliberal!” (paraphrasing).

    Pick one.

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