The less enlightening face of chavismo writes in…

The second installment of our 15th-anniversary-archive-expedition has us looking into the [interesting] formats the then-weblog featured as posts... Today, we invite you back to the opinion-interchange-through-e-mail times. This post was originally published on December 4th, 2003.


From: Richard Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 2:39 PM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Back on line

> Francisco,


> I note that Caracas Chronicles is back on line and still peddling the same

> unconvincing “information” and opinions.


> It really is a pity that you are trying to redeem it after all the flawed

> predictions published since you launched the site.

[I wonder if he’s referring to my Nov 27th, 2002 prediction that the general strike would fail, or to my April 10th, 2002 prediction that unless a post-Chavez government was scrupulously inclusive it would quickly lose support and collapse? -ft]

> As I wrote to you in one

> of our first e-mail exchanges when are you going to go to the west of

> Caracas, if not just to collect your passport or I.D. card?


> As G. Wilpert says in Venezuela Analysis, Caracas Chronicles is one of the

> best examples of “ant-chavista triumphalism” on the web, which is a certain

> sort of backhanded compliment.


> There is no right and wrong in this situation, just winners and losers and

> it would be good for your morale to exorcize your demons by focussing on

> the political reality of Venezuela, instead of going on another dreamboat

> cruise and ending up in cloud cuckoo land – AGAIN!!.


> Best of luck

> Richard

From: [email protected] Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2003 2:49 PM

To: Richard

Subject: It’s simple, really.

Hey! It’s Richard!

The man who loves to disagree with the strawmen he creates and then calls my position!

The thing, Richard, is that all the bullshit either of us could write would not begin to make a difference. What you think, and what I think, and what Alan thinks and what Greg Wilpert thinks for that matter, all of that is of precisely no transcendence.

The only thing that matters anymore is what the electorate thinks. You’re convinced you have the majority. I’m convinced we have the majority…so the solution is simple, really: let’s vote! Find out who had it right!


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  1. Well, the “Pueblo” voted (“8mm of them”), the ANC was elected, HRA/MUD in effect ratified the vote by going to Regionals with a crooked CNE, so, lately, you’ve been “wrong”, FT….

  2. All these commenters are gone. They are all gone. Not one has held on.

    And yet… they aren’t.

    Following a schism in space and time, you’re now seeing your arguments re-fashioned into straw art by a new group of (mainly) PSFs.

    They’re calling this a pro-chavista site.

    They’re calling you all socialists.

    They inadvertently talk about the media’s coverage of Venezuela (and the old media in general) in the paranoid and conspiratorial style of Noam Chomsky.

    They believe the ends justify the means (invasion versus revolution).

    They use identical hackneyed phrases.

    They use the same four tropes to “argue”: whataboutism, strawmanism, ad homenimism, and appeal to a cold-war Manichean world view -the existential struggle of socialism versus capitalism.

    It is weird. It is like the shifting of a kaleidoscope. It is striking reading this first email, because it vividly illustrates a phenomenon which has come mainly from the far left, but has metastasized on a global scale into what we now call the alt-right: a kind of tribal, populist know-nothingism that has found its “highest” mode of expression, and gathers together its adherents, on the internet.


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