Salvados Redux

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So, #MaduroEnSalvados is back for round two. This time, a lot of attention is given to Venezuela’s current image in Spain something we addressed a bit in last week’s review.

First, two Spanish politicians are given the roles of prosecutor and defense of Maduro and chavismo. The former was one−time Spanish PM Felipe González, who denounces the decline of Venezuelan democracy, especially since December 2015, with MUD’s landslide victory in the 6-D legislative election.

The defense was Alberto Garzón, leader of United Left (right now in a joint coalition with the Podemos folks). He thinks Maduro had a rough time replacing someone like Hugo Chávez in the middle of an economic crisis.

We then come back to the Ayacucho Room, in Miraflores, where Jordi Évole explains the reason behind this all: “In Spain, lots of bad things are said about you. So this is your opportunity to respond.” Évole asks about the 2015 election, with Maduro saying he took defeat with humility (a version that falls flat when fact-checked). The issue of the ANC comes along and Évole shows him images of sessions where many of its members praise Maduro, attacking dissidents.

The president struggled to articulate his defense. According to him, there’s no censorship in the country, there’s just “enforcing the law.” When the issue of Spain arrives, he sidesteps direct criticism of Rajoy by saying his Spanish counterpart “follows U.S. orders.” He won’t take sides in a Spanish internal affair, regarding the Catalonian question, also saying that international intervention is required.

If this was an attempt to present a different image of him to the international audience, he basically fell on his “the right” and “imperial forces” speech.

When Évole asks about the possibility of something similar in Venezuela, recalling an alleged plan to split the nation, Maduro says he wouldn’t talk with separatists (talk about contradicting yourself).

This is a good moment to remind you that after this interview was taped, the Spanish government claimed there’s a disinformation campaign in Catalonia carried out by Russia and Venezuela.

In the last segment, Évole questions Maduro about the alleged Podemos connection. Maduro denies any financing of Podemos or even knowing Pablo Iglesias personally. He admitted meeting co-founder Juan Carlos Monedero. No mention of Alfredo Serrano at all.

Then came a round of questions on abortion and same-sex marriage (Maduro gave non-answers in both), and if he thinks the late comandante eterno would be proud of his successor. Évole gave him the chance of opening up a bit. He didn’t. He also praised Kim Jong-un, because Maduro is gracious like that. 

The second part of Salvados was sort of a letdown. Some of the important questions were left unanswered and there was a lack of focus that the first part didn’t have. Évole had good questions but went easy in several tough spots, without follow-ups. The biggest loser is Maduro; if this was an attempt to present a different image of him to the international audience, he basically fell on his “the right” and “imperial forces” speech. The guy wasted a chance to show a non-gaffe version of himself.

We expected PR and introspection, and we got the same old song and dance.

22 COMMENTS

  1. “We expected PR and introspection, and we got the same old song and dance.”

    … eh… we expected? I think anybody in the know expected the same song and dance. Is not like he has anything else…

  2. Ancient greeks thought there were only two kind of political exchanges , those between two persons in which they reasoned together perhaps from different angles but seeking both to advance into an improved understanding of a subject ( which they called dialectic), and one where one person spoke to a gathering of people in an effort to (using rethorical and histrionic devices and arguments) induce them into adopting his own beliefs ( this they called persuation) . Regime leaders dont do dialectics or dialogue , they dont reason their arguments , they dramatically declaim them rethorically and histrionically to a mass of people who are never given the chance to answer back …..or to make any questions.

    This is one of the very few times Maduro has allowed himself to hear someone else speak and make questions , of course lacking any practice he is very bad at it …..going back to the repetition of the stock phrases and empty cliches he is accostummed to using in his ordinary speeches but not offering one item or reasoning in support of his very discredited performance as a ruler. I really dont think listening to any of the Regime honchos is an intellectual exercise , they limit themselves to repeating some stock worn out arguments we have all heard a hundred times before and which lack either plausibility or logic ……

    • I couldn’t agree more, the whole interview was a flow of BS answers we’ve been hearing since forever. Numbnuts was just repeating the same old same old. A shame Évole didn’t make it more difficult for him, I guess he knew he still had to get out of Venezuela.

    • Not to begrudge bus drivers, but what do Venezuelans expect from a Marxist bus driver? He certainly isn’t going to be able to hold his own in the arena of ideas and reasoned logic with anyone even somewhat educated.

  3. “He thinks Maduro had a rough time replacing someone like Hugo Chávez in the middle of an economic crisis.”

    These people make one’s blood boils. yes, he replaced Chavez during an economic crisis brought entirely on the country by Chavista policies, policies which Maduro has doubled down on. Oil was still $100 a barrel well before the economy started its collapse into the current catastrophe.

  4. Plus, the DT exchange rate is now at 82,000 BsF:1 USD. We may hit 100K:1 by end of this month, maybe end of this week. This is a true Shitnami (got to love Canada):

  5. This comment really doesn’t have much to do with the interview, but I had to share this link.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/va-holds-off-certifying-tight-house-race-amid-new-claims-of-ballot-mix-ups/2017/11/20/780bf2a6-ce12-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a_story.html?utm_term=.e5333eedd8ed

    In the article, the Republican Rep for the State of Virginia complains about a ballot mix up thus:
    “Welcome to Venezuela,” Findlay said afterward. “This is how elections happen in Venezuela, Soviet Russia and now the commonwealth of Virginia. We don’t like the winners, we’re gonna have a new election.”

    • Ridiculous hyperbole and completely reckless comment.

      But yes (as I imagine is your point), venezuela is widely known as a sham democracy with sham ‘elections’ now.

      Has anyone who has seen the interview, did Evole ask him about Smartmatic saying there was fraud of at least 1 million on July 30?

      • Keep in mind that “Venezuela” is now a stock answer (sometimes lumped in with Cuba and Nork) in US website comments, and its never mentioned in a flattering light.

        “Bernie Sanders wants the US to become another Venezuela.”

        “If you want more free stuff from the government, just move to Venezuela and see how it works out for you (and take Sean Penn with you).” That sort of thing.

        Does not matter if Venezuela’s problems are more due to corruption, than socialism. In politics, there is no nuance, just name calling, hissy fits, shouting down/out, and the occasional face punching and other violence.

        • It would be hard call to make between corruption and socialism being responsible for destroying this country’s ability to operate with a functioning economy.

          There can be no doubt that major amounts of Venezuelan wealth have been stolen by everyone who has an opportunity to feed in the trough, but when selling gasoline for a few cents per gallon and clap boxes for $1 that probably cost $50 or more, just to site a couple of examples, something’s eventually going to give. It has.

          • Complete lack of Rule of Law may also have something to do with it? Or that may just be a symptom of the corruption and socialism. I only know what I learn on blogs like this one and Aporrea.

            Envy and Jealousy are easy emotions for populists (everywhere) to prey on.

          • Unfortunately, for decades now, Rule of Law usually translated into who’s got more money ( or connections) to skirt the law.

            In the early sixties a phone call from Romulo Betamcourt to a judge was enough to rule against my father and uncles in a patent case they brought against a certain mattress maker that made Paradisiacal products.

            It pretty much has been that way since the 1700’s.

            Adding socialism to the mix just made it worse.

          • I agree Robert Nasser, but there can be no doubt that the problem as worsened exponentially in the last 4 or 5 years.

            There was a time when I left my tractor on my ranch for the night with the key in the switch, unattended, and visible from the main road. Do that today and there’s better than a 50-50 chance that I’d find it the very next day, without the battery and perhaps without the starter and fuel injectors as well. The tires might still be there, but that’s only because they couldn’t haul them off with their motorbikes.

            Right now they’re stealing everything, down to the fence posts, barbed wire and even the friggin’ staples. You can imagine the danger of leaving cattle in the fields at night.

            Ranch owners are taking matters into their own hands. I’ve heard that the largest local ranch is patrolled by armed Guajiro indians who shoot to kill and are paid a bounty. I know this same ranch owner’s son had two locals killed back in August after catching them stealing fertilizer on his place. There were three involved, one got away injured, one was injured by gunfire and remained on site. The third guy helped the first one injured to safety and then went back for his brother. They were never seen again.

            Shallow graves, everyone imagines.

        • “Bernie Sanders wants the US to become another Venezuela.”
          From the sanders.senate.gov website: Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America.

          These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?

          The American dream is more likely to be realized in Venezuela than in the United States, Bernie Sanders tells us. As we all want to realize the American dream, we should emulate Venezuela, Bernie Sanders tells us. Just as Mayor Bernie said that Sandinista Nicaragua should be a model for Vermont.

  6. I guess from a Spanish perspective this chance at such an interview must have been fascinating, but from a Venezuelan perspective there’s really nothing surprising in Maduros answers.

    It s like watching an episode of Law & Order. You may like the acting and other production values, but you know whodunnit from the get go

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