Monday, 6 October 2008

What the international community is missing from Venezuela

Hugo Chávez is known outside Venezuela for his controversial speeches. They go from the folksy to the simply insulting. I am not precisely a fan of George W. Bush, but I found, as almost everybody, the speech of Chávez at United Nations a tasteless way of looking for attention, while some in the Left found that "funny" (thanks God not all the left and the truth be said, the right has similar clowns and people who applaud the clowns). But what most people abroad do not know is the caliber of most speeches Chávez makes in Venezuela, speeches where he very explicitly says how he is going to break the law and violate the most basic principles of democracy.

Take the last speech Hugo Chávez held in the central state of Carabobo. In that speech Chávez simply declared he was not going to send money to Carabobo if the governor elected iin November s from the opposition. Never mind the national government has by law to transfer a part of the budget to the governors and mayors of all regions. Chávez also said - again - Carabobo is a "nest of traitors since Venezuela's independence." He frankly declared "I won't be sending money to those places where there are counter-revolutionary governors and mayors. What for? For them to steal them or plan a conspiracy against me?"

Carabobo is a state that has been known for being independent for a long time. It has been one of the places where the opposition has scored best. Unlike what some very badly informed foreign "socialists" say, it is not because it is a "province of mostly white people who do not want to share their wealth". First of all, Venezuela is not Bolivia and the European-Indian divide Bolivians have is not present. I come from that region and my very average African and Indian and European background can testify for it. Secondly, Carabobo is a big urban centre and has an important university, with lots of students who have not been brainwashed yet. Then there are relatively more people with access to regime critical media (critical mass, critical TV can only reach Venezuelans via cable or satellite but for Caracas and most people do not have cable or satellite).

The region rejected Chávez's referendum with a higher percentage than other regions. That hurts Chávez more than most think. It also has a couple of mayors who belong already to the opposition.

Chávez is desperate because he knows his candidate, Mario Silva, has little chances if the election is clean. Mario Silva is a TV presenter at the state channel who uses ilegally state TV to promote his candidacy (I will come in future posts to this issue about illegal use of state funds). He can be so low that even most people who still support the regime do not like him. He wants to be governor of a state where he had no previous link whatsoever (he changed his registration to vote in Carabobo just a month ago).

It would be very interesting to know what people like French minister of Foreign affairs, Bernard Kourchner, has to say about this. Would he finally speak out or is he afraid of losing too many dollars of business deals? And would Zapatero just shut up? We know already what Lula would say, Brazil is profiting too much from the shambles Venezuela is in right now.
What is the EU going to do about those elections? And specially: what is it going to do about the aftermatch?


  1. I would be very grateful if someone could tell me where to find a video of what Notitarde reported from Carabobo.
    The latest video I have found from Carabobo on Youtube is the one where Chávez is saying "yankis de ..."

  2. I think this is the same meeting, but as the speaker on this computer is not funktioning I have no idea what Chavez is saying

  3. Thanks, I will check it out. Have to leave now.
    I just know that was what led to this tragedy as El Chiguire Bipolar reports:


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