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The election of Jair Bolsonaro was not surprising—but to liberal democrats in the region, it was most definitely shocking. The biggest, wealthiest and most powerful country in Latin America has just handed its presidency to a fascist.

Most of the time, the word is thrown around hyperbolically, but not here: with a decades’-long track record of rejecting democracy, advocating for lawless violence against undesirables and pining for military dictatorship, “fascist” isn’t an epithet when applied to Jair Bolsonaro. It’s a neutral descriptor.

The story of how such a large, pivotal country came to elect such an obviously unfit figure to lead the nation is relatively familiar by now: the political system, as a whole, failed under the weight of unbridled corruption and utter shamelessness. The Left failed most spectacularly, in the form of successive PT governments shot through with corruption and mismanagement. But the Center and the Right failed, too, to offer minimally credible alternatives to voters sickened by the spectacle of Lava Jato.

The entire system failed, and when entire systems fail, power falls to the fringe.

Venezuelans today are looking South with a mixture of curiosity, horror and—no sense denying it—jealousy. The reactionary authoritarian vein that propelled his rise in Brazil is powerfully present among Venezuelans traumatized by our own catastrophe. The Bolsonaro phenomenon serves to sort Venezuelan opposition-supporters between those actually committed to democracy and those willing to trade one kind of dictatorship for another.

Liberal democracy is in crisis everywhere. Venezuelans were among the first victims of its worldwide retreat. Brazilians are about to become its latest.

Some, in Venezuela, are bizarrely cheered up by this, as though the acute threat to constitutional order to our South was somehow good news for its own prospect among us.

It’s a mirage: a clumsy outcome of a childish, the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend mindset that debases those who yield to it. At the end of a slow-burn disaster, Brazil has chosen a catastrophe. Latin Americans will be living with its consequences for many years to come.

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156 COMMENTS

    • ha! finally came out for what he really is.

      @Toro
      You are wrong to assume that liberal democracy is daying, on the contrary, with the election of Donald Trump, Bolsonaro we might see a revamping of the liberal democracy doctrine, returning to a free market and free trade approach to make the country richer to solve the social-economic problems of the country.

      Considering the alternative, Bolsonaro is by far a common sense choice. What’s more the name of the game is: how can we make to stop Chinese takeover of the world, and make our countries great again.

      Better buckle up your seat belt…it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

      • Correction: You are wrong to assume that liberal democracy is dying, on the contrary, with the election of Donald Trump, Bolsonaro we might see a revamping of the liberal democracy doctrine, returning to a free market and free trade approach to make the country richer to solve the social-economic problems of the country.

      • The dictaorships should kill opposition members instead of torturing. 30,000 people must die. The opposition vermin will be wiped from the country

        Who said these things?

    • Francisco Toro has been showing his colors since 2005, when I pointed out in the old CC’s Haloscan comments that Lula is a gangster. Apparently, back then that made me a reactionary in Toro’s eyes. I knew I had done my job right.

      He didn’t know anything about Brazil then and doesn’t know anything about why we Brazilians elected Bolsonaro now. For the annointed like Toro, the fact that regular people find personal safety, the economy and jobs more important than, say, transgender bathrooms or affirmative action, is baffling.

      You can’t really expect anything more from a guy who gets the definition of “Fascism” from the headlines of the NYT, WaPo and The Economist. En resúmen, he’s been wrong about everything until now, and odds are that he’s wrong on this one too.

        • What the hell are you talking about? What “murder”? The SIXTY-FIVE THOUSAND Brazilians killed by crime every year despite “gun-control” and after four PT presidential terms? Those murders? Or the ZERO murders committed by the yet to be inaugurated Bolsonaro administration? You and the rest of the international left are blaming Bolsonaro for stuff he HAS NOT DONE, while most Brazilians decided to reject the stuff PT HAD ALREADY DONE, like wrecking the economy and bodyguarding the murderous Venezuelan dictatorship.

          • The Brazilian military dictaorship commited a genocide against indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon. It tortured, raped and inserted rats inside women’s uteruses.

            It was bloody brutal and barbaric. Bolsonaro has supported the dictatorship for more than 40 years.

          • @Kill instead of torture I’m well aware of Brazil’s sordid history of military dictatorships going all the way back to the coup against Pedro II.

            But I’m also well aware of the history of other totalitarian dictatorships.

            And the fact is, for all the barbarism of the Brazilian dictatorship, it was nowhere near as bloody, brutal, barbaric, or genocidal as what existed in Habana, or even its imitators like the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the MPLA in Angola. Or as we know, the

            Among Hispanic America’s right wing tyrannies, only the “National Reorganization Process” in Argentina can equal to the same degree of genocidal nutbaggery in this century.

            So let’s at least be absolutely damn blunt about our comparisons. And who Lula and co also supported.

            You don’t like either $hit sandwich? Neither do I. That’s one reason why- if you bother looking at my comments- I’m one of the more cautious of Bolsie’s defenders and advocating constant vigilance lest he usurp power.

            But I’m also not going to allow the usual double standards of “LOOK AT THE JUNTAS!” while ignoring the longest lasting junta in this hemisphere.

        • Well, you say murder shouldn’t be tolerated while still weeping for Teodoro?.

          Murder shouldn’t be tolerated unless carried out by leftists. FTFY

          • Teodoro disavowed the armed struggle roughly 8 years before I was born. He accepted a lawful amnesty. He then spent half a century working his ass off against leftist extremism.

            Certainly if Teodoro had continued to advocate political violence, he’d be remembered differently.

  1. When you’re stuck between Odebrecht (a bigger corruption scandal than the Papers), El Foro de Sao Paulo, tchau querida, The Pink Tide, Lula’s candidacy and testaferro. And Jair Bolsonaro, you’re not left with a lot of options.

    It’s not like we’re stoked to see him take office, at least I’m not. I’m fully aware of the danger he poses to democracy, and having lived in a country mostly “governed” by man in fatigues I’m skeptical (to say the least) towards an ex military taking office anywhere. Having said that, I much prefer him over anything el Foro had to offer.

    But eh. At least you acknowledged the left’s shortcomings, now you only have to realize the rampant corruption and fractures of the democratic process are not a bug of the left: they’re a feature.

    Bolsonaro is the creation of those features.

    And also yes. Anything to do with El Foro losing its grip over the continent is always good news.

    • I have to agree… Bolsonaro is not a perfect candidate nor is his hands to be trusted with unlimited power.
      (which politician truly is?)

      But the good ideas he has should be evaluated on their own while still managing to have a respectable discussion about the others. Not all privatization of a gubmint services is a bad thing. Just like nationalizing some specific services tends to bring more uniformity.

      I suspect the actual implementation of what his administration brings will be much tamer than the platform he ran on. If I’m wrong, I’ll own up to my error.

      But does anyone seriously believe another Lula in sheeps clothing would be helpful in the least bit?

  2. Whither the commitment to democracy?

    Bolsonaro is the worst outcome Brazilians, Venezuelans and latinoamericanos could have hoped for.

    Thank you Quico, very much agree with this. I have been sickened by some family, friends, and WhatsApp groups celebrating Bolsonaro’s election, and hoping for its Venezuelan incarnation.

    This is a great observation you make here, let’s work through the consequences:

    “Venezuelans today are looking South with a mixture of curiosity, horror and—no sense denying it—jealousy. The reactionary authoritarian vein that propelled his rise in Brazil is powerfully present among Venezuelans traumatized by our own catastrophe. The Bolsonaro phenomenon serves to sort Venezuelan opposition-supporters between those actually committed to democracy and those willing to trade one kind of dictatorship for another”.

    • @Carlos Eduardo Morrero “Bolsonaro is the worst outcome Brazilians, Venezuelans and latinoamericanos could have hoped for.”

      With respect, if you TRULY believe that, you have a monumentally poor imagination or grasp of history.

      And I say this even if- for the sake of the argument- Bolsonaro turns out to be a Benito Mussolini or Chiang Kai-Shek Fascist (Disclaimer: both sides of my family got stomped on by the Moose, and I do not think Bolsonaro is one), or a Fascist-phille like Franco or Salazar (someone who is not Fascist themselves but is happy to allign with them).

      I’m not going to mince words. Fascist Italy was a Godawful place for freedom, dissent, or economic efficiency.

      Francoist Spain was worse. And Fascist conduct in the colonies was even worse than that.

      BUT.

      It did NOT lead to a catastrophic famine during peacetime.

      It did NOT lead to perpetual civil war.

      It did not lead to chronic malnutrition among all aspects of society.

      However, that stuff all happened under the Castro brothers in Cuba, Chavismo in Venezuela, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and the continental territories of the Japanese Empire (or rather, the Showa-era Japanese Army).

      The “National Reorganization Process” of Argentina gets honorary credit because while there was no widespread famine, they tried to compensate for a reign of torture and murder that would’ve put a tag team of the Terrorists they opposed and Pinochet to shame.

      And do you even WANT me to start talking about Paraguay?

      So no. Don’t you DARE kid yourselves. This is NOT the worst outcome Brazilians could have hoped for.

      Frankly, I doubt we can *conceive* of the worst possible outcome. But this isn’t it

  3. All wrong. The only truth in this piece of crap its the jealousy. l’m totally disappointed. Well, that’s the fact. Now i know why Chávez and Maduro could do whatever pleases then. Brazil’s democracy are solid, despite PT, Bolsonaro, STF and these snowflakes journalists.

  4. I am sure this article will appear soon in one of the lefty rags like WaPo or NYT in the next few days….good grief Quico…this is truly disappointing.

  5. Bolsonaro and Maduro are from each others’ dreams. I can easily see an awful situation getting much bigger, and much worse.

  6. When asked my opinion about Jair Bolsonaro being elected president in Brazil, I can only reflect on how much any Venezuelan’s thinking (mine included) must have been affected by having to see Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, two very close Lula pals, destroying their (my) Venezuela.

  7. You make important points that the Venezuelan opposition should be clear about. Bolsonaro is indeed a fascist. He also has friends in DC, obviously; though it is not easy to see how this will play out.
    (Will Venezuelan refugees end up being Bolsinario’s version of Trump’s “Central American caravan” to be stopped by the military? )
    Well, in the face of a persistent crisis of the old order, Brazilians who don’t understand what needs to be done to develop a functioning democratic government and social justice turned in the other direction, to-a-far-right-caudillo, to someone who claims to have all the answers (and simple, moralizing ones at that).
    Sound familiar?
    In 1999, Venezuelans, in the face of a persistent crisis of the old order, who didn’t understand what needs to be done to develop a functioning democratic government and social justice turned in the other direction, to a uber-nationalistic-left-caudillo, to someone who claimed to have all the answers (and simple, moralizing ones at that).
    Alas. This will likely not end any better for Brazil than Venezuela’s excursion has.

    • Pinochet and Chile. You seem to ignore facts.

      Never mind that the majority opted for a rational free market approach, with and end to the nonsense of taking from others and calling it fair. The socialists say that anything other than socialism is wrong (tyrannical, insane, fascist, oppressive, discriminatory, unfair, greedy), and if you disagree, he’ll try to kill you.

      Even the most tyrannical tyrant is happy killing a few thousand people. Not the socialist. The socialists in their one-sighted “vision” of a delusion kill by the hundreds of millions – but only those who dare to disagree with them. The nerve of some people, eh? Thinking they are individuals not subject to someone else’s “vision”.

      A socialist will probably try to say that citing examples of Russia, Cuba, China, Cambodia, Venezuela is “biased” and “not representative” and “vindictive”, choosing the worst as the examples to give. National Socialist German Workers’ Party, the socialist will say, was not socialist. Nah. The socialist has learned to ignore facts, ignore other people, ignore success; the socialist has learned to live in a delusion, and kill anyone who disagrees. No proof of success is necessary, only the glorious revolutionary idea is necessary (because you get to kill people and steal their stuff).

      Idiots.

  8. Good call, Quico. Support the candidate of the PT- Lula’s party. You remember Lula, that great friend of El Finado? I guess not.

    Support the PT- the party whose head supported Maduro and the Constituent Assembly.
    Gleisi Hoffmann, the head of the Workers’ Party, made a rather strong statement last year in support of Maduro. Why does Brazil’s Workers’ Party still support the Maduro regime in Venezuela? She was quoted last year at the Forum of São Paolo in Managua:

    The PT expresses its support and solidarity with the government of the PSUV, its allies and President Nicolás Maduro in the face of the violent right-wing offensive against the Venezuelan government and condemns the recent terrorist attack against the Supreme Court. We expect the Constituent Assembly to contribute to an ever greater consolidation of the Bolivarian revolution and that political differences will be solved peacefully.

    Haddad, the PT’s Presidential candidate was much more circumspect in his statements about Maduro. I am reminded of Bernie Sanders, who for decades has had no problem supporting Latin American despots in Cuba, in Nicaragua, and also in Venezuela. Senator Bernie Sanders 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?

    While Bernie was quite willing to post this endorsement of Chavismo in 2011 on his website, Bernie was much more discreet when running for President.

    Regarding candid statements of a President/Presidential candidate versus those of the Party head, I am reminded of Carlos Altamirano, who headed Allende’s Socialist Party when Allende was President. You could depend on Altamirano to made an extreme statement, while Allende was much more careful in what he said. Perhaps there is a similar dynamic between Hoffman and Haddad.

  9. Great post. A Bolsonaro dictatorship will its own version of escualidos, a target population to be made into an enemy, then force into exile or worse. I feel for those victims just as I feel for those of Chavez.

    • I feel for those [PROSPECTIVE] victims just as I feel for those of Chavez.
      What about ACTUAL victims, such as a Presidential candidate who was the victim of a stabbing- an assassination attempt? Such as Bolsonaro.

      Just wondering.

      The author of this article and those praising the article are rather blind about this.

  10. The cult of ruthless invincible , loud talking strong men on horse back is one of the most deeply rooted pathologies of the latam psyche , caudillos are a dime a dozen in our history , of course versions of this archetype also exist in other societies , democracy is for us more of a ‘hothouse’ plant , it had its good days but now its every where in retreat , this is nothing to celebrate but in todays circumstances maybe thats the best we can deserve . Remember a former Secretary of State saying of a US supported dictator ‘he is a son of a bitch , but he is OUR son of a bitch’……!!

    • Well said Bill Bass.

      And yeah, that would be in reference to the “Dear” and Departed Anastasio Somozoa D., founder of the Somozoa dynasty and tyrant by control of the “Police Force.” It’s a sad testimony to a nation whose iconic image was a Statue called “Liberty Enlightening the World” would partner and patronize such thugs.

      But it’s even more depressing to see how often times replacing them usually leads to something worse.

      The Somozoas were tyrannical, murderous thugs.

      But they were better than Sandino or his self-proclaimed heirs.

  11. Let’s not forget, Mr. Palau and Mr. Toro, what Gustavo Petro told us about the July 30 2017 Constituent Assembly “vote” in Venezuela:Cuando Gustavo Petro apoyaba la constituyente en Venezuela.

    Este de Caracas, allí habita la clase media alta. Decidieron votar. Oportunidad no para la revancha sino para el dialogo y la apertura
    East Cararas, where the upper middle class live. They decided to vote. Opportunity not for revenge but for dialogue and an opening.

    So much for Gustavo Petro’s opportunity for “dialogue” and an “opening.” Dialogue with a stone wall. Ditto an opening.
    When El Finado became, shall we say, “finado,” recall what Gustavo Petro said of him: “a great Latin American Leader.”

    Then there was the Gustavo Petro tweet about abundantly stocked grocery shelves in Caracas in 2016;Entre a un supermercado en Caracas y Miren lo que encontré? Me habrá engañado RCN? (I entered a supermarket in Caracas and look what I found? RCN must have fooled me?
    Not to mention Gustavo Petro belonging to M-19, a guerrilla group that got support- and most likely also orders – from Fidel.

    With all that, Caracas Chronicles published an article that endorsed Gustavo Petro. Rodrigo Palau was the author. Which is why I am not surprised that CC also endorsed Haddad, the PT candidate. PT- the party whose head parroted the Chavista line on the Constituent Assembly.

    • This website should change its name to Aporrea Chronicles, if you add to all the things you pointed out, add the low-key cheerleading to oscure and amoral characters like Francisco Rodriguez and Henry Falcon is easy to see what this people be on now.

      CC turned radical, ideology over everything.

  12. I admit I don’t know that much about Bolsonaro. But I can’t say that I am very impressed with what his enemies say. Consider this offering from The Guardian, a paper which has had some-if not not all- good articles on Venezuela.The new Venezuela? Brazil populist Bolsonaro’s scare tactic gains traction

    The far-right candidate has sought, with little evidence, to link his Worker’s party opponent to Brazil’s neighbour’s troubles.

    While Haddad has been circumspect this year about Venezuela, Lula’s connections to to El Finado were rather obvious. Gleisi Hoffmann, the PT’s head, endorsed last year’s Consitutent Assembly “vote.” So it is hardly deceitful on Bolsonaro’s part to link the PT and its Presidential candidate to Venezuela.

    Consider what The Guardian wrote about the Colombian election.

    Similar claims were used against Colombia’s defeated leftwing presidential hopeful Gustavo Petro, who was routinely – and inaccurately – described as an agent of “castrochavismo”.

    See my previous comment about Petro. The comments in this CC posting covered Petro, Castro and El Finado rather well: What to Expect When You’re Electing: Colombian Edition. Gustavo Petro may not like being labeled an “agent of castrochavismo,” but no one forced him to join Castro-funded M-19, nor did anyone force him to make those pro-Chavismo tweets, nor did anyone force him to make claims during his campaign that were similar to claims that El Finado made in his 1998 campaign, nor did anyone force Petro to call El Finado a “great Latin American leader.”

  13. Bordering Fascism…“fascist” isn’t an epithet when applied to Jair Bolsonaro. It’s a neutral descriptor.
    Where Quico in no way shape or form proves to his readers that it “fascist” is a “neutral descriptor” of Bolsonaro. After all Reedies know so much than the hoi polloi. 🙂

    Why was there no mention of Bolsonaro’s being stabbed?

    Most of the time, the word is thrown around hyperbolically, but not here: …advocating for lawless violence against undesirables

    Bolsonaro’s being stabbed with a knife is a rather trenchant example of “lawless action”, is it not? As you consider Bolsonaro to be a Fascist, i.e. an undesirable, by YOUR definition the stabbing of Bolsonaro was “lawless violence against an undesirable.” That is, the stabbing of Bolsinaro was by your definition, a Fascist act against a Fascist.

    Why was there no mention of Bolsonaro’s being stabbed with a knife? Is it because it was an “anti-Fascist” committed a Fascist act by stabbing the alleged Fascist Bolsinaro? If a Fascist stabs someone with a knife, it is bad, but if someone stabs a Fascist with a knife, it is good? 🙂

    Fascism and knives reminds me of Night of the Long Knives.

    • Bolsonaro embraces the methods of his attacker, which is not an unusual characteristic of incipient dictators, fascist or otherwise.

      • @Canucklehead “Bolsonaro embraces the methods of his attacker, which is not an unusual characteristic of incipient dictators, fascist or otherwise.”

        ONLY because it’s not an unusual characteristic of RATIONAL ACTORS IN GENERAL- REGARDLESS OF THEIR POLITICS AND MORALITY! People don’t like being caught flatfooted and will organize to counter their opponent’s actions against them. And if that includes paramilitary violence, they will respond in kind.

        Seriously Canucklehead, study game theory.

        See: The Reichsbanner of Weimar Republican Germany. http://weimarandnazigermany.co.uk/reichsbanner-schwarz-rot-gold/ Organized to confront the thuggery and attempted coups of the Communists, the local Fascists, and the Absolutist Freikorps (backed by the Republic’s own military).

          • @Canucklehead “Paramilitaries are not on my list of checks and balances in a democratic society. I know. So last-decade of me…”

            A: The reason they’re not on your list of checks and balances is because- for all your braying and posturing- you don’t have to face the prospect of goons like the Blackshirts, Freikorps, SA, or RFB barging in to your rally or voting booth and smashing heads.

            Democratic Republicans in the Weimar Republic did. So they organized without caring about the judgements of a self-righteous git who might call them “fascist” for arming themselves against Fascist and Communist terrorism.

            and B: Try last millenia.

            There’s a reason why militias- both state formed and private- are some of the most common institutions in human society. They can be used to destroy freedom, but they can also be used to defend it.

            Down here we used to call them “Committees of Correspondence” and the Minutemen. But since you claim to be a Canadian you should be familiar with the history of the Canadian Militia.

  14. I don’t think Bolsonaro is as dangerous as Chavez because the state-level structure of Brazilian government is much stronger than it was in Venezuela, so it will be harder to trample constitutional restraints. Moreover, one must not under-estimate the value of the Cuban-Stasi state police and surveillance system – Bolsonaro does not have such a skilled instrument available. Of course, if the Chinese were offered enough juicy contracts…….

    • Forget China, Bolsonaro made it clear that China is a foe for Brazil, and he will be crazy to hire them to counteract the surveillance system placed by Lula/Rousseff.

    • “Brazilian government is much stronger than it was in Venezuela, ”

      Which has been demonstrated when they impeached Dilma and jailed Lula, which suppossedly had “trampling, trillonaire love from every person in the whole world and universe for them”

      If Venezuela’s institutions had even a fraction of that strength, the rotten wax doll would have been tossed in a cell for advocating and inciting crime during his takeover speech.

      • Well no, Carlos Andres Perez was impeached, and by any measure it had strong institutions. At the time it seems like institutions were working just fine.

        That didn’t help Venezuela afterwards… so I guess my point is that we shouldn’t take for granted that institutions might fail at the most important time for the Republic.

        • CAP’s case was actually a political lynching, because he dared to touch the interests of the enchufados at the time, the same enchufados that plundered the country’s vaults during the 70-80s and were completely oppossed to any measure to fix the economy (Thus they practically brainwashed people with the whole IMF rubbish and that)

          Again, Venezuela had paper-thin institutions, because they’ve been undermined by communists decades ago.

  15. Why is it that those who support communism/socialism are always the first to scream “Fascism” when opponents to their ideology are VOTED INTO OFFICE IN FREE AND FAIR DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS!?!?!

    Let me explain to Obersturmbannführer Toro the definition of fascism, maybe he’ll understand that it is his political ideology that is Fascist!

    “The only official definition of Fascism comes from Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, in which he outlines three principles of a fascist philosophy.
    1.”Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompasing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.
    2.”Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.
    3.”Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.
    The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and rest of the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife. There are no conflicting parties or elections in fascist countries.”

    Your political convictions that Fascist Toro!!! I just hope more Bolsonaro’s will win elections in S.A. and stamp out those TRUE FASCISTS aka Socialists!!1

  16. Pobres! From most of the comments here, it is clear that far too many Venezuelans do not understand that the only hope for their country and Brazil is a constitutional democracy with separation of powers and a competent bureaucracy based on a non-political civil service. In such a state all tendencies can compete for power on condition they do not destroy the institutions that guarantee level, competent “playing field”.

    Much like in my country (USA), the failure of the elites serking pure self interest refusing to resolve real difficulties of the people leads to people believing there is a shortcut to their liberation via dictatorship.

    But a dictatorship of either right or left, especially these caudillo-strong-man-centered dictatorships, cannot possibly cope with the complexity of the policies and organizational tasks necessary to resolve the developmental, social and economic problems the country faces.

    A civil society feeding back and forth with the state institutions and political parties to adjust policy step by step is the only way to resolve such complex tasks.

    When such a system fails, or when it has never really existed, as in Venezuela, frustration leads to classes and various interest groups to support dictatorship of its own group and open social/civil warfare.

    Believe me, theoretical, intellectual bigots and simpletons like Trump, Chavez, Bolisario, et al will only deepen the crisis and destroy more institutions and increase the march towards chaotic civil warfare

    Build up a movement, a united front (push to dissolve all the little botique oppo parties) with unity on the essential policies around a platform or manifesto of policies that has been debated and agreed in some detail and which the new government would implement. And train people NOW (a broad if necessary) to take jobs in the devastated bureaucracies (which were devastated even before chavismo) when the movement/party takes power so that the policies can really be implemented.

    If one has a movement of this type, then even a violent struggle, for a time, against dictatorship of chavismo or whomever comes next, might be justified. But advocacy of a dictatorship of a new rabid right, left, or whatever strongman/caudillo sort is the politics of ruin, despair and surrender. It’s more of the same.

    • Am I the only one here who agrees with Dr. O’Donnell’s comment? He’s exactly right that the opposition in Venezuela needs to form a united front that is overwhelmingly active in the political scene. (As opposed to boycotting elections etc.)

      I have been thinking of a Lech Walesa-type wide movement within Venezuela as the way to restore constitutional democracy.

      Unfortunately, the election of Bolsonaro in Brazil is not helping this happen.

  17. US political historian Fukuyama has studied how the most functional democracies have developed thru time , and a very usual feature is for them to arise from ecoomically enlightened right wing dictatorship that in time allowed people to raise their living standards and forge state institutions that ultimately evolved into mature democracies , right wing dictatorships are better at building functional state apparatus than improvised democracies ……, and a functional state apparatus is the best harbinger of a working democracy …..this is what we see in Taiwan and Korea and other places ………
    It is much more likley that a right wing dictatorship can evolve into a democracy than for a totalitarian communist dictatorship to evolve into a democracy , communists once they have a strong hold on power will never let go of it…

  18. The swing to the right on either side of Venezuela should be no surprise given the disaster Venezuela has become.

    Much as I like to see this, the contrast between both corrections to the right leaves me worried.

    Duque so far has leadership and has not made any fatal mistakes in his term so far.

    Bolsonaro and his populist and inflammatory rhetoric are definitely examples of the worst kind.

    What remains to be seen is how Brazil’s institutions and counterweights stand up and are able to provide the necessary leadership to fulfill their roles for the good of the populace.

    Sure, I’d love to see a swing to the right in Venezuela. But I’d rather a Duque than a Bolsonaro.

    Careful what you wish for, Venezuela. You might end up with Diosdado in Miraflores.

    • @Gringozolano Fair enough. Certainly, caution is rarely unwarranted when it comes to people approaching power. Ben Franklin had a good quote.

      That said, “the worst kind” doesn’t stop at rhetoric and never, ever has. I’m fairly certain that the Jews and SPD members who got killed by the SA in the 1920’s would have loved it if Der Fuehrer had limited himself to inflammatory rhetoric.

    • “Careful what you wish for, Venezuela. You might end up with Diosdado in Miraflores”

      Oh, boy, another of those folks that are fear-mongering with the whole “diosdado is coming for you, BBOOOOO!”

      It woule be a momentous time when you realize they’ve been limbs from the same beast all this time, dude.

      • Don’t be silly. I am not using Godgiven as a boogeyman.

        Be real, something happens to Maduro and Diosdado will be right there ready to fight for that which he covets the most.

        Your simplistic view that they are all “gatos de un mismo saco” is disingenuous at best.

        There are at least 3 factions inside chavismo, at least, fighting tooth and nail inside. Gotta give them credit, they are more united than we are.

  19. The author of this article does not know what he wants. He is looking for socialism with a human face. He badly wants change but when change happens he objects.

      • And the side which stabs the opponent’s candidate is for a constitutional democracy under the rule of law. Decime otro de vaqueros.

        • I agree, Haddad would’ve been a different sort of catastrophe. Brazil faced a tragedy, more than an election. If I was Brazilian I’d have cast a blank vote.

          Whaddaboutism isn’t going to square this circle, though. The other side being awful doesn’t excuse this disaster. If you support a guy who supports death squads as policy and don’t see anything wrong with that, you got some work to do…

          • Thats what we have here too my friend, death squads and at this juncture we welcome them because our system is so rotten that it works only to the favor of the highest bidder, which is almost always the criminal with the most access to (stolen) resources.

          • You’ve got it right Quico. Blank vote was my choice. Haddad himself is not the kind of nightmare that el capitan represents. However he has no political stature of his own. Furthermore, PT is totally out of consideration at this stage. But el capitán is kind of the worst possible nightmare, ignorant, fascist, racist, autocratic and hate promoter. Kind of Duterte’s twin brother.

          • “Whaddaboutism isn’t going to square this circle, ”

            Isn’t this whole article about “Whaddaboutism”?

            You’re judging Bolsonaro before he even takes office and makes his first decree.

      • Toro, I knew you were full of crap but you outdid yourself this time. Someone said, Socialism is good until you ran out of others people money. Thus, you are so out of touch, in your Canadian bubble where socialism is said to work as long as you pay 1/2 of your income in taxes. God help you if the country runs out of money..

        How would you expect that Brazilians will embrace nothing but a man that did not care much about “saying the nice things” to get elected. This is a man that remained faithful to his beliefs and got elected for (una vainita) 27 years as congressman and now president with (otra vainita más) 55% of the vote. After Lava Jato and other more or less infamous scandals by the lefties, the corruption of Chavestias and the stupidity of the Nicaraguans.. HOW would you pretend to ask Brazilians to get anything but a government of the right.

        Little dude, you may still passing through puberty but that is OK. Your malaise is coming from growing and now living in the bubble of that overworked thing called social justice. What we would say “viendo los toros desde la talanquera” or watching the bulls form the stands. I like socialism, it is good, it is what makes you a tad more human but you will always hit the wall of resource generation and then, once money ran out the socialists will go for scorched earth tactics. Because the dream has to go on even if it means screwing up the very people that their illusion tried to help at the beginning. Examples are plenty, starting with Venezuela but you can always go back in time and see all the socialist states history of success and failure and you will promptly find that history is not on the side of socialists much less the people that supported them.

        You are kind of worry about dictatorship and death squads and whatnots. Well, Pinochet may have killed 3,000 people (may be more), even the Brazilian dictatorship killed people wholesale BUT socialists have killed a lot more and the prosperity achieved for kill ratio is not in their favor. Checkout Chavez, how many Venezuelans have died due to crime, lack of health services and now lack of food. I rest my case. Do not make me wrong, I am not advocating for the return of the worst of the Latin-American dictatorships of the 50’s-60′ but even the worst ultra right dictatorship would provide better chances of survival. And don’t bring Germany BS, the Nazis were socialists (as the Falangist Italians) and they went out to war; Hitler could have retired comfortably if he wouldn’t get into the task of expanding his country (ask Lord Chamberlain). That is my point.

        So Toro, you lost me long time ago and kinda buried yourself deeper when you supported the adefesio of Falson. Bolsonaro is not a problem, he is the solution for a problem.

        • @Ransacked Future

          Point of order: The Falangists weren’t Italian, they were SPANISH.

          And in addition, there was a vast gulf between what i’d call the “Original Falange” under Jose Antonio, and the “Francoist” Falange after Franco seized power of the rebel junta during the Civil war and forced a merger between them and their arch rivals/antithesises (at least within the wider rebel tent pole) the Carlist Requetes.

          Both were bloodthirsty, tyrannical, and despotic but I would only classify the former as Fascist.

          Meanwhile, my forebearers’ native Italy had the Fascisti, the Blackshirts.

      • “a constitutional democracy under the rule of law.”

        A nice cliché for campaign purposes, but as Miquilena once said to mock civil society (But this time I won’t steal his phrase to make fun of anything):

        ¿Con qué se come eso? (How do you eat that?)

        Which means, elaborate.

  20. He says he wants a constitucional democracy under the rule of the law! Great! Everybody wants that! He just forgets that PT (Haddad, Lula, Gleisi Hoffman – president of PT) say the same about Maduro’s government! One more thing – Brazil’s democracy is solid! Right or Left, despite all attempts to undermine it by the workers party (PT). Indeed, the author of this article does not know what he wants.

    • I find it really hard to grasp what part of this is hard: Bolsonaro ran on a promise to let police torture and murder people illegally and face no consequences.

      I just don’t see how that’s borderline. Saying Bolso doesn’t support the rule of law isn’t some far-out interpretation of his position. It’s just his position.

      • The thing here, Quico, is that most of us still hold a grudge against you for being so arrogant and preachy after being so wrong about Venezuela. It is not that you posit, argue, think, propose. Your statement are beyond-questioning truths, just because they come from you and they sound nice.

        You have given socialism a pass after the disaster that has caused in Venezuela (I know, that is not socialism). Now you come and move your expertise to Brazil and we have to trust you that this time you are going to get it right.

        Yes, Bolsonaro said more than a few troubling things (much like Trump), but most politicians (sometimes for the good) do not keep their promises.

        Not sure if there are courses on humility, but you would benefit in taking one.

        • Bueno, one thing about the last few years is that by now the public sphere is so profoundly poisoned just about everyone holds a grudge against almost everyone else. It sucks…but I get it.

          For most of the last Six years, as chavismo consolidated itself, the opposition has been picking between horrible options. Again and again we were looking at situations were Plan A had a 10% chance of success, Plan B a 5% chance. So I backed Plan A. It didn’t work. Chances were that it wouldn’t work. I backed it not because it was sure to work (it wasn’t!) but because it was a little bit more likely to work than the alternative, in a context where neither was really likely to work.

          I don’t think that makes me wrong, exactly.

          We’ve ended up with a horrible series of fights between supporters of Plan A and supporters of Plan B. They scream at each other and hold grudges, not seeing that both were likely to fail. Through this dynamic, chavismo becomes a machine for driving wedges between people who really ought to be allies. Yet another thing to hate about it.

          • Sorry Quico, time to wake up and smell the coffee. It is not a fight between Plan A and Plan B, it is fight between Plan A (la salida) vs Plan B (the FAKE OPPOSITION who BTW are sipping whiskey and eating at 5 star restaurants with the Chavistas and BTW always try to steer us back to “elections” and “dialogue”). The only way out of this is when BOTH the Chavistas and the Fake Opposition fall.

            Secondly, back to Bolsonaro, focus on identity politics all you want, but if you actually you followed his campaign they were more about putting the final nail in the coffin of the Foro de Sao Paulo and its bastard child Socialismo del Siglo XXI. Any Venezuelan or supporter of a FREE VENEZUELA, should be cheering that!!! not regurgitating the same crap that is all over the main stream media. Furthermore, if you bother to read any of the comments on CNN, ABC, CBS by Brazilians on this? They are like, hey you gringos have no clue what you are talking about, please come to Brazil and see why we are sick and tired of the red plague!!! Bolsonaro is no fascist. People are just fed up with the Foro de Sao Paulo and you cannot even mention that in your article. That should be the first thing any Venezuelan author should mention.

            And BTW have you been to Venezuela lately? Get robbed a time or two and you would like to see that worthless criminal hanging from a rope rather than running free on the streets with absolute impunity (because Leftists treat criminals as victims rather than perpetrators- especially in Venezuela).

          • “…the Foro de Sao Paulo…”

            The last time I ever dared to mention that I was called an “alt-right KKK-supporter fasho that could use a tin foil hat”

            It’s funny how I got the same response when I dared to challenge the ridiculous myth of the “caracazo being a spontaneous uprising of the poor against the mean and ebul IMF”

          • ulamog
            It’s funny how I got the same response when I dared to challenge the ridiculous myth of the “caracazo being a spontaneous uprising of the poor against the mean and ebul IMF

            You are not the only CC commenter who doesn’t see the Caracazo as being a spontaneous uprising. Consider Kepler. Advanced Google Search: Kepler Caracazo.

          • The best proof of how the caracaz was never spontaneous lies in reality itself.

            The “señoras de barrio” don’t pull automatic guns from thin air, neither they go and burn down the bodeguita where they’ve been buying food for years.

            The “humble and innocent pobres” don’t go racing in cars shooting people in market lines in the days after the event.

            The “marginalitos que juegan con perinolas” don’t aim straight for the throat when shooting soldiers and cops.

            How coincidential, that just after castro came to the country with a ton of cases and boxes that never were checked, there was a crapton of high-caliber guns in Caracas.

            And just for now, last but not least, absolutely NONE of the so-called “causes for caracazo” has been ever happened, just look at gasoline and bus fares.

            Those factors I mentioned happened, because me (And my family) was there.

          • Ulmalog, history has proven you correct. Now is 100% worse than it ever was back in 1989. Why do we not have a spontaneous rioting now? Because COLLECTIVOS, CUBAN G2 and COLOMBIAN GUERRILLAS ARE NOT ORGANIZING.

            Stick to your guns man, History is on your side and after living through this crap the official version of the Caracazo crumbles under its own weight.

      • “I find it really hard to grasp what part of this is hard: Bolsonaro ran on a promise to let police torture and murder people illegally and face no consequences.”

        Uh, no.

        Bolsonaro ran on the promise of not letting Brazil to become the next Venezuela, please stop the slander and reductionism.

        Haddad (And by extention Lula, the PT, Foro de Sao Paulo, chavismo, cuba and left in general) lost because their promises were to make Brazil the next Venezuela.

        People in Brazil aren’t as misinformed as Venezuelans were in 1998 and it doesn’t have an economic elite willing to destroy the country to get a meager profit as it happens in Venezuela.

        • Well sure, his campaign had a number of themes. A shockingly frank promise to turn a blind-eye to extra-judicial killing by the police was just one ingredient, not the only ingredient.

          But look: if I’m shopping the breakfast aisle, see a yummy-looking new cereal, start reading the ingredients and it says “wheat bran, cranberries, corn starch, Polonium 210…” I stop considering buying it no matter how much I like cranberries, dude…

          • Ah, so Bolsonaro is more than the one-dimensional monster described in the article, right?

            And how the lefties, meh, the chavistas (Because the guy that did the thing is a hardcore chavista) tried to kill him, and then the mediatic lefties went and claimed that “well, he deserved it!”.

            So yeah, one ingredient, one that also the so called “unity advocates” here in Venezuela insist on forging down people’s throats with the whole “suma, no restes” thing.

          • Also, I doubt he said “hey, I’ll let people kill whoever gives them the stink eye” textually, it was most likely that he was referring to criminals like drug traffickers, rapists and murderers.

            But since the FoSP-backed media has carpet-bombed the internet with “their truth”, I can’t find a video where he specifically fired that “plutonium missile”

          • Three posts one after another might seem too much, I guess.

            Look, the whole “extra judicial killings”, sometimes, as much as you hate the idea, become a necessary evil.

            It comes with context and the historical moment, sometimes criminals become threats much more powerful than the justice system and can’t be truly stopped by any other means, a thing that’s not exclusive to Venezuela nor to the current times, check the story of Venezuela after the independence war and you’ll see that several regimes had to resort to simply kill the criminals to stop them due to the magnitude of the threat they represented.

            One example was Funes during Juan Vicente Gómez’s dictatorship, I cite this example because Venezuela is de-evolving to times before that regime, where a bunch of warlords exerted a dreadful oppression over the people in the segmets of the territory of the country at the time, in the end, the threat of Funes only stopped when Gómez sent the chácharos to deal with him.

            Nowadays, the pranes, foreign guerrillas, terrorists and narcos, all openly backed by the castrochavista regime, are very much like those warlords from the first years of the past century, with very little means to deal with them within the boundaries of the legal system.

            You might say that we’re talking about Brazil and not Venezuela, and then I would answer that both countries share a border, and that the pranes and ELN taking over the mining arc might be a very real threat to Brazil, more now that PT has lost the presidency.

            The mention of “turning a blind eye to having criminals offed” is most likely simple rethoric, you should know by now that campaign promises don’t necessarily become real.

            Or to go straight to the point you tried to make: Bolsonaro won’t have OLPs.

            And lastly, chill out, bro, the very mention of a condiment isn’t an insult.

          • Ulmalog, spot on. All I have to say to Quico is try to actually live in Venezuela and be a victim of violent crime a few times. Sorry, but Bolsonaro is right, criminals should not be treated as victims. They should be treated as perpetrators. And if they do not respect the lives of actual innocent victims, they should not be granted any human lives. Honestly, and when you live in an extreme situation like Venezuela today, you need to kill the most violent offenders (an efficient death penalty, not a bureaucratic death penalty like in Texas) and less violent offenders should literally be put in to slavery (yes, I said it, slavery…and in addition should be castrated), and by slavery I mean they should be doing hard time where they actually work all day long rather than being in some prane run prison playing on their phone all day, doing drugs and screwing whores…If you talk to any old timer here the revel of the days of Marcos Perez Jiminez, where you could actually walk the streets at night and how great infrastructure projects were built by scumbag criminals. That is how you build a safe, secure and productive Venezuela…but no, we have politically correct libtards who treat criminals as victims rather than perpetrators.

            And that is a boots on the ground view from Venezuela and if you want to know why Bolsonaro got elected, this is one of the many reasons why. And until libtards will actually try to understand this, their analysis will continually fall short of the reality on the ground here in Latin America.

          • OK, some people have rights, other people don’t. Cops get to decide who’s who, on the fly, with no process, no habeas corpus, nothing. And if you have a problem with any of that, you need a reality check, and you’re a libtard.

            And this is your defense against charges of fascism.

            Got it.

            Estamos chévere.

          • Hey Quico, this is what I like to see because this is debate. And one of the keys to good debate is that you must engage with ideas that you even abhor because only then you will not find it so scary but that they actually might have a point.

            Now you started off good: “OK, some people have rights, other people don’t. Cops get to decide who’s who, on the fly, with no process, no habeas corpus, nothing. And if you have a problem with any of that, you need a reality check, and you’re a libtard.” A little cartoonish, but still you addressed a couple of my points here…but hey, lets get to the bottom of this:

            First of all, and the bottom line here in Venezuela, but in Latin America in general, especially where the Foro de Sao Paulo and its bastard child Socialismo del Siglo XXI has reared its ugly head is that the only way out of this is a WAR ON MALANDROS.

            We literally live in a narcostate tyranical tropical kleptocracy where there is no rule of law and criminals are literally in charge of this government- and it goes from top to bottom, bottom to top. Society has completely collapsed and it is rotten to the core. Therefore, if you do not want to make a strawman argument about Bolsonaro you must address this point first because this is what he is exactly against. If you begin from the perspective of identity politics (and just call him out for being a racist homophobe who is for extrajudicial murder) you are completely missing the point. What this is about is the collapse of moral values and rampant corruption that occurs wherever there is Socialismo del Siglo XXI and criminals are treated as victims rather than perpetrators- a point that I made twice but you never addressed before calling me out for being a “fascist” (which really is a badge of honor because it really is a term that has lost all meaning). So if we are going to discuss why Bolsonaro is questioning “whether malandros deserve human rights, when they do not respect the human rights of others,” we must begin from this point and put it into geopolitical context (that is situated with Socialismo del Siglo XXI where criminals are a base constituency).

            Now onto cops. I never said that I am for cops out to do extrajudicial killings. However with the reality of today in Venezuela, if somebody killed one of my friends and family members we would certainly put money down to pay the police to go do justice (because that is the only way justice works down here because the criminal justice system does not bring justice to the criminals).

            I did say I am for a speedy and less bureaucratic death penalty here in Venezuela–but, and an important but: I never said I would do away with due process.

            Now for the cops shooting down criminals, well being a police officer is not an easy job. And I think many of us here in Venezuela or Brazil would like to see a Dirty Harry clean up the barrios and favelas (and BTW there were a good amount of people in the favelas who did vote for Bolsonaro, despite all the harassment and intimidation from the gangsters). If anything, I am for putting good money into an Oscar Perez memorial SWAT team on a massive scale who will take a heavy handed approach in the war against the malandros (starting with the colectivos, then the pranes and then street scum). And for habeas corpus, well yeah, try to bring them in alive, but if they are armed and want a shoot out you are doing us all a favor and saving tax payers money in the majority of cases.

            Now one point that has not been discussed, is that Bolsonaro is for the right to bear arms- something desperately needed here in Venezuela and brings me back to my original point: i.e. criminals are treated as victims rather than perpetrators under Socialismo del Siglo XXI and if you happen to kill or wound a malandro invading your house their scumbag family will come after you for reparations or medical bills. That is totally off the wall looney left kind of stuff that can only take place in tropical kleptocracy. No, we need a government that protects the rights of hard working people who want to raise proper and productive families with strong values. And if that means protecting your family through the use of deadly force, so be it.

            So if this makes me a fascist (something ideologues on the left use to close down debate) I will take that as a badge of honor.

            BTW I will say my frequent use of “libtard” is the only thing that could be questionable and I will concede for the sake of having a good debate.

            However, all I ask is that you do not make a strawman argument of Bolsonaro that just repeats the same old identity politics talking points about him and actually frames him as a reaction to the Foro de Sau Paulo and Socialismo del Siglo XXI. A good writer on Latin American issues would be on top of this because not only is this actually how Bolsonaro actually talks about it, but it is something totally relevant to the situation in Venezuela today.

            Got it. Estamos chevere.

  21. Every one wants the same thing , no one delights in the harsh barbaric system of government that Bolsonaro appears to spouse , but we forgot something that we want just as badly , a system of government that works , that functions in terms of providing people with a normal life , free of shortages, of crime , with an opportunity for improving ones quality of life thru ones efforts , where supply of water and electricity and other services is reliable and efficient………., lets call them the metapolitical function of governments . Where this fails then the most democratic of governments will not entice our enthusiasm !! In Brazil democracy failed its people in that it probed itself extremely corrupt, incapable of meeting the challenge of controlling a flood of crime , where some economic decisions couldnt be taken that needed taking because democratic politics could not do it …..!! Constitutional Democracy and Rule of Law are not enough if the state is disfunctional in discharging its metapolitical duties ……when the latter happens people seek a magic dramatic epic solution , the ruthless violent strong man on a big horse , the big mouth caudillo who claims to be able to do everything that democracy cant do !! Few proponents of progressive government appear to pay too much attention to the metapolitical functions of government , political freedom and a Rule of Law are only two pillars of desirable govenrment , the third is clean functional government ……, without it the other two dont make the grade…!!

  22. I have many friends in Brasil. The main issues were corruption and crime.
    The “left” has had many years to fix both, but they just grew worse.
    Now the right will have its turn.
    Insofar as to using the term “fascist”, it has been used so much in an effort to smear those who you disagree with, that it has no meaning.

      • Bolsonaro and Le Pen are opposites economy-wise. Bolsonaro advocates free trade, low government spending and low taxes, his Finance Minister is a Chicago boy. What about Le Pen?

        You can do better than that, google “Paulo Guedes”.

      • Exactly. And it is noteworthy that the right also had its hands deeply in the cookie jar, and that those beautiful forever blameless business leaders built the cookie jar, thus creating the other part of this “dilemma” voters faced.

        • I will agree this is not the “traditional” right, but their economic policies are.
          Plus, there is either right, left or center.

          • I’m encouraged to hear that you may not think the non-economic policies he ran on of extra judicial execution and torture are necessarily right wing. That may be some common ground you share with Quico’s point above.

  23. The same guys who used to say that Venezuela was not communist are now saying that Brazil is fascist. Yes, we are all fascists here, my grandma too. If you don’t like it, send the troops on us. Let’s see how it goes.

    • Add to the record that he also said that caracazo was spontaneous “because our gasoline” and that cuba has never, ever done anything bad against Venezuela.

      • Don’t know about Caracazo, but the Obit that Quico wrote on Fidel was rather strong-worded.
        Francisco Toro: The Worst Latin American

        Has any other Latin American done as much damage in a single lifetime as Fidel Castro? It’s…not even close….
        In the extraordinary trail of devastation Fidel Castro blazed in his lifetime, Venezuela is just a footnote. But it’s our footnote, damnit. In the photo we see a washed up Hugo Chávez, fresh out of jail in 1994, in his first foreign trip after failing to overthrow our democracy by force. Chávez might have — just might have — faded into complete irrelevance, had Castro not latched onto his potential, exploiting his vanity to bankroll his own ghoulish dictatorship for another two decades, pushing Venezuela into its current catastrophe in the process.

        Fidel Castro was as close to a purely evil figure as Latin America has presented world history.

        He’s dead.

        Re Marc’s comment: accurate.

    • I’ve seen it… sadly many Venezuelans abroad are screaming that Trump is Chavez… and they don’t even realize that they are part of the problem that got us Chavez & Maduro…

  24. I won’t be surprised if Venezuelans like Quico start calling for a military intervention in… Brazil, to liberate us from our fascism! We must be freed.

    Yes, buddy, call Trudeau and tell him to send the army in.

  25. I can’t help but notice that the comments posted by Ulamog, Ira, and others are being deleted. I didn’t see anything particularly offensive in these posts and I don’t understand why they are being deleted other than strongly disagreeing with the author’s point of view. Is this the new norm at CC?

    • Looks like disagreeing with the articles isn’t part of the freedom of speech after all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Ah, I also have the whole text of my last comment, just in case someone wants to come with the slander that I was typing insults at the time.

  26. Brazilian stock market has just reached a historical record, almost 90,000 points, I guess investors worldwide are not reading the daily arepa! Brazil is fascist, but everyone loves it!

    #WeAreAllFascistsNow

  27. I’m reading CC again after being away from the Venezuela updates for a while, and I never thought I’d yearn for the days in which the Pro-chavismo PSF trolls were the biggest concern in the comments section. It’s staggering how reactionary some of the readers here are now.

    Has chavismo polarized and angered so many people to the point where, if given the chance, they’d vote for a man who’d be just as bad as Chavez, except with right wing beliefs? I thought it was batshit insane when a couple of my CCS friends were entertaining the notion that Trump was a good candidate, rather than seeing the irony of buying into the ramblings of a showman who built his entire platform on being an outsider of politics, and then criticizing people who voted for Chavez when he did just that.

    It seems that there is a huge blind spot in the lessons we *should’ve* learnt after 15+ years of madness…

    • @Wellborncross Part of the definition comes from “reactionary.”

      Reactionary- at least as an active thing rather than the passive “Ancien Regime” or “Way things are”- is by definition a reaction against something. In this case, the tides of revolution, or at least revolutionary sentiment. Back then it used to be the Dutch, English and French Revolutions. Now it is usually an assortment of Socialist or Communist (or to a far lesser degree, Islamist , and even rarer Liberal) revolution.

      Of which the Chavista experiment is front and center of the former two.

      The truth is, there aren’t many people who are as bad as Chavez or his heirs are. And I include the likes of scumsuckers such as Pinochet, the Brazilian Juntas, and the PRI in Mexico. Not because they were not tyrannical, torturing thugs. They absolutely were. But this is a different league, in the same way that Nicky II and Alex II were awful but paled in comparison to Lenin.

      If you cannot obtain succor by legitimate or respectable means- and the Venezuelan and Brazilian people have tried that Time And Again- people will look to more drastic measures.

      I don’t have to like that to recognize there is worse out there.

      But I’m gonna withhold judgement on whether or not Bolsie is as bad as Chavez or worse until several years in, where I see if he has shredded the constitution a bunch of times and is cementing a permanently “changed” political status quo with armed goons.

    • Yes. Voters saw corruption and incompetence on both sides, and they elected Hugo Chavez to fix it. You’d think there would be a lesson there.

      • @Canucklehead I’ll start believing that comparison when someone can point to Bolsonaro or Trump forming a covert terrorist organization with the goal of overthrowing their home country’s democratic republic via coup.

        Or failing that, I’ll accept when a totalitarian dictatorship emerges from them within…

        Let’s say Three years.

        • He doesn’t have to organize a covert terrorist organization to overthrow Brazilian democracy. That’s old school. Chavez tried it the old school way, and then he succeeded the new school way.

          They way you do it is, you appoint people to traditional institutions who have absolute loyalty to the leader, you curry favour with the military, and you use your bully pulpit to disparage and undermine civil society organizations and the press on the grounds that they are the enemy of the people. Then you start locking people up under the pretext of going after corruption. It all happens out in the open. Each step announced at wildly popular rallies.

          This has all been Bolsonaro’s election platform- all of this- so your three year timeline would represent a dereliction of his mandate if it would actually take that long.

          • @Canucklehead “He doesn’t have to organize a covert terrorist organization to overthrow Brazilian democracy.”

            He doesn’t have to to overthrow Brazilian Democracy. But he does in order to qualify for Chavez status that far out.

            Because it shows the unusual kind of aspiring tyrant. One who is not even interested in getting to power through the polls.

            “That’s old school.”

            Not older school than the SA, Blackshirts, and Red Guards. So perhaps what is new is old again?

            “Chavez tried it the old school way, and then he succeeded the new school way. ”

            Yes, but the likes of Chavez, Hitler, and so on weren’t even interested in the (Not-so) “New” Ballot way until their attempts at a coup were thwarted.

            “They way you do it is, you appoint people to traditional institutions who have absolute loyalty to the leader,-”

            Sorry, but you’ve lost the plot.

            In order to *appoint* people to traditional institutions, you have to have power.

            And by the time genuine totalitarians grab power, freedom is already long dead.

            “you curry favour with the military,”

            Benny the Moose and Vlad Lenin disagree.

            “and you use your bully pulpit to disparage and undermine civil society organizations and the press on the grounds that they are the enemy of the people. ”

            You’ve got it ssa wardbacks.

            You start by demonizing civil society, your enemies, and so on as a means to drum up support.

            Then you use that support to grab power. Whether by forming alliances, going for a coup, or the like.

            “Then you start locking people up under the pretext of going after corruption.”

            Again, Benny the Moose and Vlad Lenin disagree.

            ” It all happens out in the open. Each step announced at wildly popular rallies.”

            See above.

            “This has all been Bolsonaro’s election platform- all of this- so your three year timeline would represent a dereliction of his mandate if it would actually take that long.”

            It’s called “being Generous”

            Considering the number of abject idiots who still try and make the Trump = Chavez comparison AND how it can take quite some time to consolidate a totalitarian dictatorship (in some cases), I decided to afford leeway. Lots of leeway.

            Far, Far more than it usually takes.

    • Has chavismo polarized and angered so many people to the point where, if given the chance, they’d vote for a man who’d be just as bad as Chavez, except with right wing beliefs?

      It’s called being between a rock and a hard place. PT/Worker’s Party is Lula’s creation. You remember how Lula was buddy-buddy with El Finado? I hope you do. You recall how Gleisi Hoffman, the head of PT, supported Maduro and the Constituent “vote” as year against the “right-wingers?” . I quoted her in a comment yesterday, and will quote her again.

      The PT expresses its support and solidarity with the government of the PSUV, its allies and President Nicolás Maduro in the face of the violent right-wing offensive against the Venezuelan government and condemns the recent terrorist attack against the Supreme Court. We expect the Constituent Assembly to contribute to an ever greater consolidation of the Bolivarian revolution and that political differences will be solved peacefully.

      The link is at my comment @ October 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

  28. I should havep ut this comment out first. But I will say it now:

    Please Quico, give us the definition of Fascism you’re using.

    Because as an anal-retnative history nerd who had both sides of their family tree hounded and tramped on by the *Original Fascists8- the Blackshirts of the National Fascist Party under orders from Benito Mussolini- and someone who has spent a great deal of time studying totalitarian literature, including that of leading Fascist thinkers* such as-but-not-limited-to Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Virginio Gayda, Josef Goebbels, the Strasser Brothers, Ozzie Mosley, Anton Drexler, and Sadao Araki….

    I am well used to how it is misused, and have a better working definition of it than most.

    And no, not all responses are equally valid.

    • They say that Bolsie (I liked the nickname) is fascist because of some shit he had said decades ago on gays, women, etc, most of it he has already said he regrets and is sorry about it. He’s a democrat and has been warning the people for many years that Brazil would end up like the Venezuelan dictatorship.

      However, Haddad is a self-declared communist, but that doesn’t seem to scare journalists abroad! Funny.

      BTW, on the military dictatorship, he only says that if it weren’t for that, Brazil would be a Cubazuela today, given the Cold War context. Honest Venezuelans know that he’s right.

      • @Marc Well, I still think distrust- HEAVY distrust- is a wise position. But that said, being a sexist, racist, or homo-hating jagoff doesn’t make one a Fascist.

        Heck, even being all of those things plus an actual murderous tyrant doesn’t make one a Fascist (which is why the monster that was Francisco Franco- though plenty kill crazy and aligned with Fascists- was not viewed as one of their own and vice versa).

        “BTW, on the military dictatorship, he only says that if it weren’t for that, Brazil would be a Cubazuela today, given the Cold War context. Honest Venezuelans know that he’s right.”

        I have to assume that is not true, in order to keep the faith and play Devil’s Advocate. But it certainly was damn hard for Brazil.

        Still, thanks for the reply.

        • Yes, maybe we could have managed to beat communism with a democracy, but the institutions were very weak and the country was far poorer than Venezuela prior to Chavez being elected.

          Venezuela couldn’t beat communism as a democracy, but Brazil could as a dictatorship. That’s the score of the game. That’s what Bolsonaro says. Many in Brazil agree with this position. I honestly believe that we would be Cuba if it weren’t for our Army.

          I have been voting for Bolsonaro for many years, and he’s basically a GOP politician, a conservative.

          If anything, Venezuelans should be humbled by what happened in Brazil and try to learn how we managed to defeat communism. Figures like Roderick Navarro and Eduardo Bittar are already doing that.

          And I agree that “distrust” is a wise position to have, always, but not only with right-wing politicians, but with all.

          I’m sure Bolsie will be a great president. I know him.

          • Venezuela’s democracy has been undermined for like 30 years before the coup de grace that was the wax doll’s ascension.

            All part of the same invasion that begun in the 60s

        • Turtler, you are suffering from the limitations of Western Patriarchal thought. Get with the program. Being any of “sexist, racist, or homo-hating jagoff” (and, they all go together, of course) is the very definition of being fascist or a nazi, or an ultra-alt right winger” or a “white capitalist supremacist” or whatever. The definition is fluid. It’s the feelings that matter.

          • @Another Gringo Did you just assume Ernst Roehm’s sexual orientation?

            You Homophobic Eurocentric gnaf! How dare you deny the right of LGTQ+ people to self-identify according to their political consciences?

      • “However, Haddad is a self-declared communist, but that doesn’t seem to scare journalists abroad! Funny.”

        Because haddad had a “nice-sounding melodious speech”.

        I mean, it looks like it was pulled from the leftist handbook for campaign speeches, the same sugar-coated rubbish that both chapriles and the rotten mortadelo said in their campaigns.

    • Turtler nice try.
      There is no way that Toro will take the bait and tie himself down to one definition of fascist. That would then clearly stop him from using it as a vague statement to try to hammer people with and close debate. Democrats like him would find that a bridge too far.
      For instance, he would not consider Antifa as being a clearly fascist organization even though they clearly are. Only because they serve the democrat socialist Cortez/Sanders agenda.

      • @Crusader Well, believe it or not I think it is worth trying.

        “For instance, he would not consider Antifa as being a clearly fascist organization even though they clearly are. ”

        No, most of them actually aren’t. And neither were their predecessors/namesakes/the origin of most of their iconography, “Anti-Fascist Aktion.”

        Anti-Fascist Aktion back then was a front group for the Stalinist KPD, with some lip service given to a “broad front” against Fascism. But with the definition of “Fascism” (see: “Social Fascism”; the official Marxist-Leninist definition of Fascism) so damn broad that George Orwell counted as one. They were basically a rebranding of the Red Fighters’ Bund with some more “inclusive” messaging for useful idjiots.

        While their ideological heirs are still dedicated to the destruction of literally anybody to the right of Lenin and some who are, they aren’t a single organization. They’re a hodge podge of Anarcho-Synds, Communists, and just plain goons.

        In a word, they aren’t Fascists. Even if their terrorism, violence, desire to exterminate the opposition, and rejection of democratic or republican norms is the same.

        • Turtler my understanding of fascism is not geographic to Europe and to me fascism’s definition is from more of a morality base — to make the nation stronger, more powerful, larger and more successful. Since fascists see national strength as the only thing that makes a nation “good,” fascists will use any means necessary to achieve that goal.
          As a result, fascists aim to use the country’s assets to increase the country’s strength. This leads to a nationalization of assets, in this, fascism resembles Marxism which in turn i see replicated in the current flow of Antifa in Portland etc.
          But at least i will put down my own interpretation of it, lets see Toro do the same.
          As i seem to be getting my posts taken down, we shall see if you get to read this.

          • @Crusader “Turtler my understanding of fascism is not geographic to Europe”

            Neither is mine.

            Yet by dropping this in you are implying that it is.

            Yet I very distinctly included Araki- a Japanese man and founder of the “Imperial Way” Faction, the hard line of Interbellum Japan’s nutbar militarists- among my list.

            And I can include others, such as Brazil’s organically grown Fascists the Integralists (a firm rejection of the idea that Fascism is necessarily racist: nationalist yes, and with racism shared by most of its proponents. but not all).

            “and to me fascism’s definition is from more of a morality base —”

            As is mine.

            ” to make the nation stronger, more powerful, larger and more successful.”

            It’s not a bad start. But by which definition we can include Garibaldi, the Savoyard Monarchs, de Maistre, Kaiser Wilhelm Ii, the Hongwu Emperor, and frankly most historical autocrats.

            (or at least most since the emergence of the “Nation State”).

            Including those that were explicitly not viewed as Fascist by the codifiers of Fascism themselves. Mussolini and Hitler never believed for one second that Victor Emmanual II or Ludendorff were their kin, even if they drew similarity.

            Fascism is much more specific. It is nationalist. But it is also socialist and romantic.

            “Since fascists see national strength as the only thing that makes a nation “good,””

            Actually, that’s a more uniquely Nazi innovation. Where Hitler believed that if the German people did not win the struggle for existence they did not deserve to exist.

            Other fascists were more… “sentimental.” They still revered social darwinianism and the ability of the strong to subjugate the weak, but they were more tied to their nation and ethnos. Mussolini for instance did dismiss a lot of his bodyguards after the Western Allies broke through his last line of defense in 1945, very much unlike Hitler at the bunker.

            “fascists will use any means necessary to achieve that goal.”

            Broadly agreed.

            But so will Communists. In spite of the two being distinct.

            (Similar yes. But distinct).

            Likewise apolitical psychopaths.

            “As a result, fascists aim to use the country’s assets to increase the country’s strength.’

            They and pretty much every national leader or government since the dawn of leaders.

            But Alexander the Great and Tokugawa Ieyasu were not Fascist. Authoritarians? Sure. Fascist? No.

            ” This leads to a nationalization of assets, in this, fascism resembles Marxism which in turn i see replicated in the current flow of Antifa in Portland etc.”

            Oh I agree.

            Fascism is an offshoot of Socialism and partially inspired by- but hostile to- Marx. It and Marxist internationalism are largely twins.

            But similar doesn’t mean the same.

            Just because Antifa went around trying to overthrow the Weimar Republic doesn’t mean it was ideologically identical to the dozens of other groups that were trying to do the same.

            And I will admit that I half want to see a bunch of Portland Commandos try and meet an ISIS cell…

            “But at least i will put down my own interpretation of it, lets see Toro do the same.”

            Fair enough. I’ll put it up in the next one. I’ll add it in my next comment.

            “As i seem to be getting my posts taken down, we shall see if you get to read this.”

            Fair enough.

          • @Crusader

            Right. This is gonna be a bit hard. Because Fascism has always proven a challenge to define- intentionally so, since Fascists idealized practical action over theory (more on that later). That and the sheer range of Fascist movements, ranging from the Germanophone, genocidally racist NSDAP to the anti-racist, Brazillian Integralists.

            But I can distill Fascism into a few points, which these all share.

            Fascism is:

            1. Totalitarian: Benito Mussoini gave us the classical definition of it. “Everything within the State, Nothing outside the state, nothing Against the State.” Simply put, the state is All. The idea of “Private Life” or “the Individual” has no meaningful existence. All must serve the state as the state serves them.

            However, there are plenty of flavors of totalitarianism. And while the Moose gave us one of our pithiest summaries of it he wasn’t the first one. For instance, we have Communism.

            Which brings us to the second definiing trait.

            2. Nationalist: Fascism embraces the nation as the integral, defining aspect of human existence. Whether or not this is an actual, pre-existing polity like Italy or Germany was, a landless nationality like the Croatians of the Ustasha, or a mixture of both.

            In this, Fascism is an explicit rejection of the internationalist, anti-nationalist spirit of Communism (or at least its orthodox manifestation) and pure Dynastic Absolutism like that practiced by the Habsburgs.

            NOTE I DID NOT SAY RACIST. Because Fascism is *NOT* in fact inherently Racist.

            To be sure, its founder and most powerful practitioners absolutely were. But far from all were, as the Integralists in Brazil and the Rexists in Belgium showed. And even among the racists there was indecision about what a “race” was or how to determine it.

            What is essential to Fascism is the national community and its cosmically just place in the world. Vox Populi.

            This all too often does lead its practitioners to racism, murderously so. But there is nothing theoretically excluding Fascism from upholding a multi-racial ideal nation-community. That’s exactly what many of them have done.

            3. Socialist: Fascism is a form of Socialism. This much is very, very clear if you study the declarations of the Fascist leaders and their ideological roots. The uniformity at which Fascist leaders from Araki to Mussolini declared themselves as Socialist exceeds even that of fervent polemics trying to deny that.

            The trick is one of conflation. Many theorists act as if Marxist Communism (which advocated class struggle and the abolition of national boundaries) were the only form of Socialism.

            This is balderdash and all one has to do is read Marx’s viscious attacks on his predecessors and contemporaries to see it.

            As it stands, Fascism was heavily influenced by the “Movement Socialists” that Musso explicitly calls out in “The Doctrine of Fascism”, and “Monarcho-Socialists” like Ferdinand Lasalle, who advocated for a strong monarchy as a bulwark against Bourgeoise Capitalism.

            4. A Third Way: Fascism as defined by the classics is neither primarily Left Wing nor Right Wing. Instead, it is what Mussolini called “Pragmatic.” Taking what it sees as the best of both worlds from the Socialist Democrat and Marxist Left, and the Liberal-Capitalist and Absolutist Right.

            So it’s an inherently synthetic ideology. And proud of it.

          • @Crusader Definition of Fascism, Part 2.

            Really, I think I’ve covered the four MAJOR defining traits of Fascism. But I’m going to go on and include other identifying ones.

            So in addition to being Totalitarian, Nationalist, Socialist, and a “Third Way/Positionist”…. Fascism is also…

            5. Sentimental and Romantic: By this I don’t mean heartwarming dates between Mussolini and…whoever his latest mistress was or Roehm and some strapping young dude. From what I’ve seen most Fascist leaders were really really sucky for anyone seeking romance with them.

            But what I do mean is that Fascism is a reaction against *pure* rationalism and materialism. That doesn’t mean it will not garb itself as “Scientific” or “Rational”, it did..

            But it does wholeheartedly embrace the idea of a “spiritualism.” That intangible things like transcended national spirits, willpower, and so on not only exist, they are often more important than the number of guns, tanks, people, and so on. Which is why Fascism usually places such a grand emphasis on “Purity”, “Spirit”, “The Leader” and yes, when it applies, Race.

            One of the best ways to show this quickly are a couple excerpts from one of Goebbels’ speeches about a conflict with the Communist Party’s paramilitaries.

            “If one takes from the mass their leader, or also their seducer, they are leaderless and easily controlled. Our tactic therefore was to silence this cowardly troublemaker at any cost.”

            “It quickly became clear that although the Communist Party had masses behind it, these masses became cowards when faced with a firmly disciplined and determined opponent. They ran. ”

            Full speech:

            http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/berlin.htm

            6. Revolutionary. Fascism always aspires to be a mass movement, one that will spearhead the way to the future. It certainly *Will* appeal to primordial myths like the “Yamato/Aryan Race” or traditional virtues like valor and honor. And sometimes it will hash out alliances or pragmatic arrangements with traditional institutions like-say- the Church, established political parties or unions, aristocrats, and business magnates.

            Sometimes these alliances are quite close, like the bond between the Ustasha and most of Croatia’s Catholic Clergy.

            But it is *NEVER* Traditionalist in and of itself. Even if its members or leaders are drawn from traditionalist sources like the aristocracy. And the existence and respect of these traditions is wholly dependent on them accepting complete submergence in and submission to the state. And what is virtuous or not is defined not by any pre-existing thing, but by the will of the Party-State.

            Refusal to do so will result in bitter wrath, as the Vatican found out all too often.

            and finally..

            7. Hierarchical: Fascism is Collectivist (see points 1-3), but it is anti-egalitarian. It fully embraces the idea that there are natural leaders, and their designated hierarchy. Usually clustered around the will of a “Great Man”, a Fuhrer, a Duce. A Leader whose singular wisdom and brilliance shall guide the hierarchy of the party, which will in turn guide the national collective.

            This is again in strict contrast to Communism. Marxist Communism embraces a hierarchical structure in the intermediary, during the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. But its theoretical end point is of a community of equals living together in a communal equality.

            This is not so with Fascism. This is the ideal end goal. There will always be The Chain of Command..

            Right, that took far too farqing long. But I hope it helped? Or at least was interesting.

  29. “Bolsonaro is the worst outcome Brazilians, Venezuelans and latinoamericanos could have hoped for.”

    Ha! I lost count on how many friends, neighbours and relatives I heard saying that they would abandon the country had Bolsonaro lost. Even my immediate family would go to Europe, we already had everything planned, we’d open a gas station over there. Even the name of the gas station was ready.

    And we’d not leave due to economical reasons, but simoly because of crime. As you guys know, socialist governments need high a crime rate and widespread violence to let people in a perpetual state of fear and intimidate/mute them from protesting, thus, crime would just get much worse with Haddad.

    I expect Brazilians from all over the world to return now!

    Yes, make the parallels with “Heim ins Reich” all you want, haha, but it’s true. It’s the best possible outcome ever, I still can’t believe it, it’s a dream, a miracle come true.

  30. It seems that saying this has become an insult that amounts to have the comment deleted, so I’ll repeat it once again:

    “Contrary to the popular belief, shiabbe never said during the campaign that he was going to exterminate the adecos nor to destroy anything, and yes, anyone is free to post a video proving the contrary if you want.”

    So, once again, the fear-mongering of comparing Bolsonaro with shiabbe (Or drogadado as someone claimed in another comment) is baseless and lacks any sustenance.

  31. This comment section is a cesspool of reasons why chavismo was as popular as it was for so long. It’s like one authoritarian military dictator wasn’t enough to learn your lesson. I hope you’re all proud when he starts shooting at Venezuelan refugees. The least corrupt and well run countries in the world are accountable democracies with CLEAN elections, not authoritarian ideologues..

    • @Bucc “This comment section is a cesspool of reasons why chavismo was as popular as it was for so long.”

      No, it’s a cesspool of why the tide is a biotch.

      “It’s like one authoritarian military dictator wasn’t enough to learn your lesson.”

      But apparently a civil wannabe-dictator like Lula and his proteges don’t count?

      I hate to tell ya this, but civilian dictators can be just as damaging as military ones. Often moreso.

      ” I hope you’re all proud when he starts shooting at Venezuelan refugees.”

      A: Thanks for the concern, but I don’t need to be proud of a given ally against a greater threat in order to view them as useful.

      For the same reason my grandparents did not have to think greatly of the corrupt scumsucker that was “Chiang Kai-Shek”/Jiang Jieshi in order to recognize him as an ally in the common cause of WWII. And an important one to boot.

      And if you think Bolsonaro is worse than Jiang Jieshi, YOU AIN’T STUDIED EITHER.

      and

      B: For your sake, you’d better hope he does shoot Venezuelan refugees. Lest this stuff from you appear- what’s the word?

      Oh yes.

      Damn Foolish.

      “The least corrupt and well run countries in the world are accountable democracies with CLEAN elections, not authoritarian ideologues..”

      Oh, agreed absofreakinglutely.

      Now tell me how the HELL continuing to empower Lula and the PT was IN ANY WAY compatible with trying to help Brazil become one of them?

      Even if we believed that the PT and Bolsie are equally bad, there would be benefit in supporting the side that’s not in power. If only because ripping out an incumbency and putting in a new wannabe jagoff means short-circuiting many of the lines of patronage the old bad guys built, making the newcomer have to try and start his own and impose his fiat against the opposition of the old regime, etc. Hence why it would hurt the formation of a dictatorship.

      Sort of like if Hitler got replaced by Hugenburg or the Communist Party in 1934.

      This election, Bolsie’s the side out of power. Which makes him the lesser evil.

      • Sorry, I missed the part where I defended the PT governments corruption. You also clearly missed the part where they were removed power and many jailed for said corruption. You don’t just get to claim dictator or authoritarian for someone you don’t like. PT, while full of corruption as much of Brazil wasn’t dictatorial. Bolsonaro is. He’s said so. So you’re right, they’re not the same.

        • @Bucc “Sorry, I missed the part where I defended the PT governments corruption.”

          Let me let you in on the secret:

          It was The Entire Damn Comment. All the Parts.

          You know why?

          Because there are three ways of defending something. Defining it explicitly, defending it implicitly, and defending it by omission.

          The last of which involves simply not bringing it up, as if it is simply not an issue.

          “You also clearly missed the part where they were removed power and many jailed for said corruption. ”

          Firstly: You assume wrong.

          And you know the saying about what assumptions do to a person.

          Secondly: I did notice the point where they were removed from power.

          The problem is twofold.

          A: Rather than disowning the corrupt leadership like the plague they were, PT’s frontrunner- and Bolsie’s opponent- continued meeting with him, even acting as lawyer for him.

          Which is a terrible move legally due to the conflict of interest and the need to avoid it with a plague. But shows where PT’s issues were.

          B: They were removed from power BY the voters rejecting them in favor of Bolsie’s party.

          You do realize that, right?

          “You don’t just get to claim dictator or authoritarian for someone you don’t like.”

          I don’t.

          You also don’t get to dodge the issue by omission and peddle legal nonsense in order to condemn someone you dislike.

          “PT, while full of corruption as much of Brazil wasn’t dictatorial.”

          And neither was the Sanmarinese Communist Party.

          And largely for the same reason, at least as far as the leadership went. Lack of oppertunity rather than lack of desire.

          The point stands.

          “Bolsonaro is. He’s said so. ”

          Then prove it.

          “So you’re right, they’re not the same.”

          Again, then prove it.

          Because I certainly am not going to take your word for it.

          • A: Rather than disowning the corrupt leadership like the plague they were, PT’s frontrunner- and Bolsie’s opponent- continued meeting with him, even acting as lawyer for him.

            The PT nominated Lula for the PT Presidential candidate in August, when Lula was in jail for corruption and money laundering. That’s a rather strong statement. It is not a statement that indicates PT intends to clean up corruption, however. Perhaps bucc believes that nominating corrupt and jailed Lula for President indicates that PT intends to clean up corruption, but I don’t. 🙂

            That Lula stayed in jail indicates that the Brazilian judiciary has not fallen to the levels of the judiciary in Venezuela.

            James Curley spent part of his final term as Mayor of Boston in jail for bribery and mail fraud, so this isn’t unprecedented.

        • <bucc
          Sorry, I missed the part where I defended the PT governments corruption.
          Take a look at your initial comment.

          October 31, 2018 at 4:05 am
          This comment section is a cesspool of reasons why chavismo was as popular as it was for so long. It’s like one authoritarian military dictator wasn’t enough to learn your lesson. I hope you’re all proud when he starts shooting at Venezuelan refugees. The least corrupt and well run countries in the world are accountable democracies with CLEAN elections, not authoritarian ideologues..

          The point is that this election was a choice between Bolsonaro and PT/Haddad. Recall that Gleseil Hoffman, the head of PT, expressed support of Maduro and also of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly “election” of last year Recall that Lula, PT’s founder, was buddy-buddy with El Finado.

          You attacked the choice of Bolsonaro. You made no such attack on the choice of PT/Haddad. Quico, at least, while making it quite clear that Bolsonaro disgusts him, also stated that in the election he would have handed in a blank ballot: both candidates disgusted him. You made no such initial comment.

          Attacking Bolsonaro without also attacking PT/Haddad implies to me, at least, support of PT/Haddad. This election involved a CHOICE. Attacking one choice without also attacking the other choice implies support of the choice you didn’t attack. When I voted third party, I didn’t express disgust for only one side.

          While you imply or outright state that Bolsonaro is an “authoritarian military dictator,” Bolsonaro was an elected member of Congress for 27 years. Neither Marcos Pérez Jiménez nor El Finado, Venezuelan examples of an “authoritarian military dictator,” had any experience of serving as an elected member of the national legislative body.

          Brazilian voters faced a difficult choice. Bolsonaro, in his more than two decades as a legislator and also as a Presidential candidate, had made some controversial statements. How do such controversial statements presage his conduct in office? PT/Haddad/Hoffman: no need to repeat.

    • ** ” why chavismo was as popular as it was”

      No, it wasn’t popular, in fact, chavismo has never surpassed 25%.

      ** “It’s like one authoritarian military dictator wasn’t enough to learn your lesson. ”

      Apparently a vendepatria thief is better, isn’t it? And cut the rubbish, dude, we’re not talking if the guy’s a military or not, the point that ACTUALLY MATTERS IS IF THE PERSON IS CORRUPT OR NOT, because Bolsonaro hasn’t been proven to be corrupt after over 25 years of political career.

      ** ” I hope you’re all proud when he starts shooting at Venezuelan refugees. ”

      What an absurd excuse, as if venezuelan refugees haven’t been brutalized by the PT’s chavista hordes by now, your lies are disgusting, bucc, and your comment should be purged for being such a rotten slander.

      https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/video/ataque-campamento-venezolanos-migrantes-pacaraima-live-francho-baron-mirador-mundial/

      • You’re delusional if you think chavisimo only ever had 25% support. Again proving my point of why it’s been allowed to get to this point. You live in a bubble. But this bubble probably explains why you support anti-democratic fascist’s. Also, if you don’t think that at the first sign of trouble this guy goes straight for the immigrants, you frankly don’t read history my friend.

        Just like Brazil today, Venezuela was a trustless, broken political system with no hope. Just like Brazil today they elected radical, anti-democratic, populist snake oil salesmen with simple answers promising to fix everything. Same means, same ends, sorry.

        Finally, the only slander I see here is you insulting the Venezuelan condition here by pretending that in your own little bubble that Brazil is in even 10% of the crisis Venezuela currently faces. Lula ran a center left regime with some European style welfare policies and never once did anything to threaten global capital obligations. His government also oversaw comical corruption, which although not unique to Brazil historically, is absurd and rightly outraged the population. This allowed the change of government we see today, DEMOCRATICALLY. Clearly their democracy hasn’t failed yet as they’ve been able to elect this nut job and change course, for better or for worse.

        So please, don’t insult Venezuelans by minimizing the gravity of our situation by comparing it to Brazil. Because the equivalence would have been Chavez in a jail cell, and maduro impeached, and I’m still waiting for that.

        • @Bucc “You’re delusional if you think chavisimo only ever had 25% support. ”

          Agreed, Maybe in terms of the “Hardline” or “First Choice” Chavistas. But there are usually a lot of people willing to pool support for second or third chocies in order to get politics.

          “Again proving my point of why it’s been allowed to get to this point”

          The reason this has been allowed to get to this point is because the supposedly respectable, democratic left in Brazil (like in many other places in Hispanic America) has not driven out the totalitarians and totalitarian-apologists in its midst like the plague they were.

          The fact that Lula wasn’t removed from his position of prominence in the party until he could be linked to corruption is damning.

          The fact that he continued to be the gray eminence of the party and Haddad continued to serve as his lawyer is even more damning and legally incompetent to boot. Because apparently not a single damn person in a position of responsibility in PT cared a damn about “The appearance of Impropriety.”

          “You live in a bubble”

          Fair enough.

          But so do you.

          “.But this bubble probably explains why you support anti-democratic fascist’s”

          Your bubble explains why you don’t feel the slightest obligation to define “Fascist” before accusing someone of it.

          So go on. Try it.

          “Also, if you don’t think that at the first sign of trouble this guy goes straight for the immigrants, you frankly don’t read history my friend.”

          Well, I do read history. A great deal of it. Particularly on the existence of Fascism, its definition, and its evolution.

          The fact is, hostility towards immigrants doesn’t conflate to Fascism. Unless you’d like to convince people that Gilded Age America or the Swedish Social Democrat Party of the 1920’s were Fascist.

          And furthermore, immigrants are usually Not the first demonized by actual Fascist groups. Mussolini focused first on his ideological cousins the Italian Socialists and Communists. Hitler focused on the KPD, Jews (Esp. German Jews), and the great German businesses. There’s a saying that familiarity breeds contempt, and that applies to early Fascist propaganda too. Usually the campaign against immigrants, foreigners, and “International” interests grew out from those campaigns. A logical extension of them.

          But what do I know? I just read the ACTUAL history!

          “Just like Brazil today, Venezuela was a trustless, broken political system with no hope.”

          Perhaps part of the problem are political radicals so insistent that a system is broken or devoid of *any* hope that people will assume that the only possible remedy is an extreme one.

          “Just like Brazil today they elected radical, anti-democratic, populist snake oil salesmen with simple answers promising to fix everything. ”

          Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

          Again, last I checked, Bolsie didn’t form a terrorist group supported by Castro with the intent of destroying his nation’s system by coup before getting elected.

          “Finally, the only slander I see here is you -”

          Nobody sees slander here. That’s one thing you and Ul get wrong.

          In the immortal words of JJ Jameson:

          Slander is Spoken, in print it’s libel.

          “insulting the Venezuelan condition here by pretending that in your own little bubble that Brazil is in even 10% of the crisis Venezuela currently faces.”

          Where did he say that?

          “Lula ran a center left regime-”

          Lula was worse than a corrupt goon. He was an enthusiastic shill for Communist totalitarians.

          The fact that such a man and a party that refuses to disown him is viewed as “Center-Left” points to a crucial problem with what passes for the “Central-Left” in Brazil and elsewhere today.

          One that cannot be excused or justified by screaming “FAR RIIIIGHT” at Bolsie.

          It’s time to clean house, much like British Labour did after WWII to get all the Communist sleeper agents out. And probably needs to do again with the likes of the Corbynistas.

          “with some European style welfare policies and never once did anything to threaten global capital obligations.”

          Besides providing diplomatic coverage for the Chavistas and credibility to bad actors in Habana and elsewhere.

          ” His government also oversaw comical corruption, which although not unique to Brazil historically, is absurd and rightly outraged the population. ”

          Honestly, corruption is one of the lesser problems I have with his regime.

          I imagine part of this is a function of the fact that I’m not Brazilian, do not have to suffer through it, and live in a relative bubble where I am not influenced by it. Which is fair. But another part of it is that I am a student of history.

          And the fact is, free societies can survive corruption. Even staggering corruption. And a lot of times, drastic attempts to curb it often do not work, or do more damage than it is worth by becoming tyrannical.

          But the fact that Lula and PT continued to walk hand in glove with El Finado points to a crucial hole in the soul, and a problem with their political philosophy.

          “This allowed the change of government we see today, DEMOCRATICALLY. ”

          Indeed. And I agree.

          “Clearly their democracy hasn’t failed yet as they’ve been able to elect this nut job and change course, for better or for worse.”

          Agreed. But again, is that for lack of desire by Lula or PT, or lack of oppertunity?

          “So please, don’t insult Venezuelans by minimizing the gravity of our situation by comparing it to Brazil.”

          Forgive me, but I think you’re the one doing that.

          By loudly shouting that Bolsie is a Fascist, you are assuming his government will be totalitarian.

          Since Fascism and Communism are the two classical branches of totalitarianism and invited invitation even when both were just being formed, I would say that is comparing the two.

          Perhaps Bolsie will be even worse than Chavez and Maduro put together. I have no crystal ball to the future, just some insights in the past.

          But there’s a qualitative difference between shooting off one’s mouth on the campaign trail- even in horrible, racist, or authoritarian ways- and joining a terrorist conspiracy to destroy democracy and impose a totalitarian state.

          And if you cannot understand the difference, I pity you.

          “Because the equivalence would have been Chavez in a jail cell, and maduro impeached, and I’m still waiting for that.”

          Leaders in a party can have equivalent ideals without being in equivalent situations.

          The Sanmarinese Communist Party was much, much less intimidating than the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. For starters, it could never take totalitarian power. But that did not mean it was not taking orders from Moscow and marching in lockstep with it.

          The Bible tells us that by our fruits we shall know them. And while I don’t know what fruits Bolsie has brought or will bring, we know where Haddad and Lula stand in relation to Chavismo.

        • bucc:
          So please, don’t insult Venezuelans by minimizing the gravity of our situation by comparing it to Brazil.

          Recall your previous comment.

          This comment section is a cesspool of reasons why chavismo was as popular as it was for so long. It’s like one authoritarian military dictator wasn’t enough to learn your lesson. I hope you’re all proud when he starts shooting at Venezuelan refugees.

          That is a rather obvious comparison of Bolsonaro to El Finado. IOW, commenter bucc informs us it is well and good for commenter bucc to compare Venezuela to Brazil, but it is entirely inappropriate when another commenter also compares Venezuela to Brazil.

          In other words: Do as I say, not as I do. 🙂

          • You’re conflating Equating the economic crises (and causes of said crisis) in Brazil to Venezuela’s, to comparing one dictatorial leader, to a leader who openly advocates for political assassinations and is nostalgic of a military dictatorship. So yes, one is comparable and one isn’t…. This shouldnt be complicated to understand.

  32. Apart from the WSJ and Fox News, pretty much all mainstream international media are calling Brazil a threat to world peace and ‘fascist’ now. I wonder if Brazil will be sanctioned or something, hell, even a military intervention can’t be discarded since we are apparently invading Poland next week!

    Jesus Christ, if only they focused their power on the real enemies, you know, people like Maduro and his Cuban master…

    I’m glad Obama is not the president anymore, otherwise the tomahawks would already be incoming. Now I know what small countries like Honduras and Paraguay suffered when they deposed their leftist leaders, it’s hard when you piss off the international left!

    Anyway, a good read on what Bolsonaro actually is:
    https://m.jpost.com/Opinion/In-defense-of-Bolsonaro-568796

    • Dude, are you serious? The Jerusalem Post? They are only sucking Bolsonaro’s dick because he has used Judeo-Christian imagery and narrative like Brazil’s destiny under God . Furthermore: Bolsonaro maintains close links to Brazil’s powerful Evangelical movement, which spans a wide range of Protestant denominations and traditions, like neo-Pentecostalism. His wife and son are both evangelicals. He bases his hatred and buffoonery as many BIGOTS do: in his miopic idea of Christianity. This is just like when The Zionist were sucking Bush Jr.’s dick back in the early 2000s.

      • @Harrison In other words, an ad hominem that does not come even Remotely close to addressing the source’s arguments or evidence.

        Protip: Ad Hominems are dumb arguing.

        There was a time in world history where the world was graced by the story of a group of Polish officers found murdered in a forest by slave laborers and the SS.

        The demented, lying, genocidally racist Chihuahua Josef Goebbels spearhead a group of Axis state and pro-Fascist rags claiming that the officers were murdered by the Soviets.

        In contrast, the Soviets claimed that the Third Reich murdered them, and they were supported not only by the propaganda organizations of the Soviet state and Communist parties, but also by those of the Allied governments and the overwhelming majority of “Respectable” news agencies.

        But guess what happened years later upon review!?!?

        It turns out that the Soviets actually HAD killed the Poles in Katyn Forest.

        *Which means that FOR ONCE in his Misspent Life*, Der Fuhrer’s propaganda mouthpiece was TELLING THE TRUTH!!!

        So do you see why it is FOLLY to dismiss an argument merely because of the source it comes from?

        And I’m sorry, but there is No Way In Goddarm Heck that you are going to convince anyone sane that the Jerusalem Post is worse than *Freaking Das Reich.*

        • You are missing my point. The original post was trying to sell us the idea that Bolsonaro has been unfairly represented by the “mainstream media” and offered another more “objective” source to learn about him. Which is why I called out his bullshit. Bias is bias I do not care where it comes from. Let’s compare apples to apples.

          • @Harrison “You are missing my point.”

            You didn’t make a point.

            You merely shouted “JPOST! SERIOUSLY?!?!” And then went on to explain reasons why Jpost would be favorably biased to him.

            Fair enough.

            The problem is that there is no point here. You spent so much time trying to explain why there would be bias that you forgot to explain how that bias had any great import.

            Namely by resulting in *skewed and/or factually inaccurate reporting.*

            “The original post was trying to sell us the idea that Bolsonaro has been unfairly represented by the “mainstream media” and offered another more “objective” source to learn about him. Which is why I called out his bullshit.”

            The problem is, you don’t actually do any steps to show that the allegation that the MSM’s treatment of Bolsie was unfair, or that Jpost is *less biased* than its opponents.

            “Bias is bias I do not care where it comes from.”

            Agreed.

            But Bias DOES NOT automatically make something factually invalid.

            Period. Full stop.

            That’s why measuring bias and identifying its likely sources is not sufficient. One must also evaluate the merits of the charges.

            ” Let’s compare apples to apples.”

            Likewise.

            But that involves a comparison.

  33. Yes, Harrison.

    In this vein, what I find interesting is that Chavez is criticized (correctly) for inciting polarization, for promoting his “beloved” barrio poor IN OPPOSITION TO. the modern middle class. In his rhetoric he included in his “oligarchy” not only the urban big business class and larger rural landowners, but the entire middle class(!) as the class enemy of “the people” whom he defined as the barrio and rural poor.

    No doubt, the middle class (whether lower, middle or upper) were all a special target of Chavez. This seems to have to do with both Chavez’ class prejudices and the fact he could not visualize and certainly not organize the sort of more complex social services and institutions that are needed to satisfy the needs of the middle classes. The poor are much more amenable to clientalism (which was roughly his understanding of “socialism”) given their rudimentary conditions living in barrios and rural areas, without formal work, etc.

    And, in the end, his oil-fueled clientalist pseudo-socialist approach was so irrational and so organizationally incompetent that it ended up only further impoverishing his base as well.

    So, clearly as we can see from the comments section here, the Venezuelan middle class has responded to Chavez hatred of them and his ruin of their way of life with a similarly virulent class hatred of chavismo.
    While such emotions are clearly justified, as a political/social program, it will end up no better than the simple-minded chavista program.

    Middle class support for fascist or extreme-right response is no more a solution to these deep class antagonisms in Venezuela society between the informal-economy/poor and the middle classes than was chavismo’s Bolivarian oil-socialism. This poor-v-middle-class antagonism existed long before Chavez – you constantly heard it expressed by both groups in daily life – though of course not all Venezuelans succumbed to this polarization.

    As you indicate, the poor are far more numerous than the middle class, and indeed, they live next to the middle classes (in CCS, the poor literally surround the middle classes). The only way to get out of the present collapse of the economy and of the political/social system is to find a program that promises some future for both classes (and is not clientalist, of course).

    Meanwhile, another aspect is that perhaps things would not have gone so far if the opposition had a stronger national big-business class behind it. In Chile, Argentina and Brazil, under their former dictatorships, even though these were right wing dictatorships the business classes saw at a certain point that the dictatorships were counter productive to their business interests and a large section of the bigger business class joined the united fronts against the dictatorship. This was a major factor in the return to democracy.

    In Venezuela, however, the problem I see is that there is not and never was a very significant independent bigger business class anything like there is/was in Chile, Argentina and Brazil in the sense of a class that is fairly independent of the state. Venezuela’s business class was always rather weak and undeveloped, and very state-dependent. And now, well, it is almost completely destroyed/ruined. This also means it never created a very large or powerful working class, wich in turn could produce organizations that could put significant pressure on a dictatorship such as now exists in Venezuela.

    Anyway, the visceral hatred the middle class (including, many of the commentators here) feels for chavismo and what chavismo represented as “socialism” and all that, is perfectly understandable. But rage and castigation, per se, it is not a political program to end the dictatorship and rebuild the society. (IMHO)
    Given the class structure of Venezuela and the low level of state-independent, non-oil business development, and the now-even-more-severe polarization of the middle as v. the poor classes chavismo has engineered (though common oppression by the presently evolved chavista dictatorship brings some sense of solidarity), it is not so clear how to overcome the present dictatorship.

    • I concur! Could have not explain it better! Regarding the commentators here, many of them are not Venezuelan and are utterly ignorant of the depth of our current struggle and pretend to explain it using correlations between their societies and Venezuela’s which is an exercise in futility. There seems to be a building up of a backlash based on bitterness and revenge… and I hope that Venezuela’s swing to the right, while necessary, will not take us to the other extreme. My hope for our future is Maria Corina Machado whom I have always admired and whose restraint I trust.

      • @Thomas W ODonnell No worries. It happens to everyone sooner or later.

        Will try and get up a reply/rcritique to your post soon.

  34. Meh. Lots of “unfit” people get elected to public office. Bernie. Shrillary. Obama.

    But somehow the world doesn’t fall off its axis.

    Bolsonaro was elected democratically. Does the author oppose such elections?

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