Monday, 4 February 2008


Here you have several posters. All are from early Soviet times but for one that belongs to Venezuela's XXI Century Socialism. It is actually taken from a pro-government site.
You have to find where the Venezuelan one is.

OK, the Spanish words gave it away. This is a real poster used by the Chavez regime to celebrate the 4th of February 1992, the day of the bloody coup led by Hugo Chávez Frías.

The other posters belonged to the beginning of the Soviet era (civil war, Lenin and the NEP times, road to socialism). Of course we have no communism in Venezuela. We have Chavismo or Gucci Socialism.

Well, it is initially funny, but at the end of the day I hope Venezuela gets over this as soon as possible.


I thought it would be interesting for our non-Spanish speakers to understand what the Chavez poster says. Here it is:

"The Fatherland woke up

New situations will come and the country
will have to take finally a better destiny.
Listen to my words, listen to Commandant Chavez
who sends you this message...

I thank you for your loyalty, your courage,
your unselfishness. (And) before this country and before you
I take responsibility for this military Bolivarian movement

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
Commandant of the Bolivarian Revolutionary M ovement
4 of February 1992

16 years of revolutionary dignity
4 February Day of the National Dignity"

Some remarks: Chávez organized a bloody coup to topple the very unpopular but democratically elected Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1992. Carlos Andrés Pérez had been president of Venezuela during the first oil boom in the seventies.

Many gullible people hag thought in 1988 that Pérez could bring the same amount of money we had in the seventies, although oil prices were very low. Instead, Pérez, a very corrupt president, tried to introduced austerity measures (among others, increasing the prize of petrol, which has not being raised for decades and is the cheapest on Earth). In 1989 there were riots and the soldiers shot people.

Before Chavez presidents could NOT be immediately reelected but had to wait at least 5 years after being president. The moment was thus Pérez second term, a term after which Pérez could not be reelected.

Chavez used the 1989 riots as a justification to try a coup in 1992, even if we all knew Pérez would be out of office on February 2004 at the latest and could be put to trial. Chavez failed in his coup and later other military coup mongers allied to Chavez on a second very bloody attempt. Pérez was taken out of office in 2004 by democratic means by the elected parliament at the time of Pérez, Chávez went to prison and was later freed much earlier than he should have been....and became elected president in the 1998 elections.

Chavez still claims he carried out his coup because of the 1989 events, but still he hasn't taken to justice the military who shot those people. Why? Because those military are his friends. Pérez might have been a very corrupt president and in a big part responsible for the events, but he was not the one who was shooting everywhere. A lot of those generals are now behind long as the petrodollars last.


  1. Oh Kepler I love them! The Russians for the deign aspect... The Chavez because it's a great historical document... you totally can tell the influence on the last one with communist art.

    Where did you find the Russian ones? Flick have a great collection of vintage posters that probably would take all your lifetime to watch them all ;P

  2. One just has to browse a little bit for "NEP" or "Soviet poster" (plenty of first time hits if the search is in Russian).
    The interesting thing is this: I also tried a couple of searches using "Fatherland's War" and "Stalin poster" and stuff like that, but the posters were a different style. So we can see a clear influence indeed with the early period (1917 until mid twenties).
    Of course, I am not implying anything more. As I said, Chavismo or Bolivarian Gucci socialism is a wee bit different. :-)

  3. There were much more similar posters, actually, but I saw them in a book I have not here. There are just a couple of important differences: in the Soviet posters you would usually see either workers (sometimes with big muscles) holding things OR the leader (Lenin, later Stalin) looking like the visionary. In the Chavista posters you have them all combined in one single person: Hugo Chávez Frías. Never mind these days Chávez is...rather portly.

  4. hoi Kepler,

    Amazing what pictures can say.
    I wish that I had this idea for my blog.

  5. I've seen the poster before today, can't quiet remember where. Maybe last year in this same date?

    As today, I thought about the drawing picturing him everything he's not; especially nowadays. And of course, feb/4th he was hiding under a desk, not waving our tricolor!

  6. Hi, Liz. I think Quico had a similar Chavez image some months ago, Chavistas probably just updated the text. What I found funny was the similar style to the Russian posters. Mind: I am sure if I had looked further, I would have found even more similar pictures, even with the same style of shirt and those muscles (hihi).

    Anyway, feel free any time to check out the section of ideas and propose whatever you might think off in any of those areas.
    They are still very rough and vague but my intention is to go deeper into different proposals for the country. We need to start circulating proposals and getting the most useful ones somehow into the wee brains of our politicos.

  7. That's true Kepler! I cannot recall a Chavista poster with anybody else but micomandante! Is this true or is it me that I haven't seen it?

    Probably it's Chavez idea not to post anybody but a slimmer, stronger and younger version of him. I have to roll my eyes because of this. Uff! Que sobraoooo el tipo, como decimos en Venezuela.

  8. Feathers, it is NOT true. I saw once at a Venezuelan post office a poster without Chavez. It had the image of Bolivar, a letter of his and the title "Letters that make history"...well, it was just next to another poster with the same colour and format and the face of our endeared Hugo Chavez and a letter of his Highness and the same title: "Letters that make history"
    I asked the blokes at the post office if I could take a picture and they proudly let me do so.
    Here you are it (unfortunately, I did not get it well, it is fuzzy)
    So, as you can see, there is a poster with another person than Chavez, with somebody Chavez considers equally important, namely Bolivar.

  9. Kepler, you would just LOVE the poster I saw in a Caracas rancho during an interview I translated for CBC, Canada: in this one, Chávez was portrayed all dressed in white with a HALO around his head and his hand stretched out to a child's head as if blessing him. the environment, however did not favor making pictures. If I ever come across with it again or find it on the internet, I'll post a copy. FB

  10. Pero Kepler! Remember that Bolivar doesn't count as a different entity from Chavez.

    For Chavismo, Chavez is the incarnation of Bolivar!

    Bolivar = Chavez

    Chavez = Bolivar

  11. FB,

    Hi. Welcome. That poster would be a great sight. I am not sure, though, people in the North would accept it is a real one unless 1) they have already been in Chavezland or 2) you can find it directly in a pro-government site.
    The one I put here is linked to Aporrea, a well-known Chavista site.
    My girlfriend has been to Venezuela and knows about the personality cult to Chavez and yet when I showed her this Chavez poster with the muscled Bolivar and the flag she thought it was a satirical thing from the opposition. When I showed her it was the real thing and the original link to Aporrea, she burst in laughter: "Oh, no, it is incredible!"

    You might have a point. Bolivar and Chavez are one and the same according to Chavismo. It is one of those mysteries I cannot comprehend.


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