Monday, 19 April 2010

Venezuela going to pot or to Pot?

Goint to pot only or really going to Pot?

Chávez's popularity has been going down and the National Assembly elections are getting closer. Oil prices, 538% higher than when the military coupster got elected in 1998, are not increasing as the corrupt and highly inefficient Venezuelan government needs.

Chávez feels he has to deflect as much as possible the attention from domestic problems. To do that, he is using again the usual anti-USA rhetoric, but in increasingly pathetic ways. His regime is already talking about the existence of an economic US embargo against Venezuela, when the only embargo there is is the one related to weapons. You cannot say that is why Venezuela's economy is going to pot.

What is destroying Venezuela's economy is Chavismo itself. As we wrote in our previous post, the government is short of money and had to get from China 20 billion dollars in loans -or "investments", as the regime puts it-. As there is no transparency, we don't have an idea about the conditions under which Venezuela will have to pay for the easy money destined to election time and not sustainable development. It won't be easy and I am sorry above all for the Venezuelan kids.

What is the government's general strategy now?

  • to pay poor farmers and unemployed to become "Bolivarian militias", militias that are becoming pretorian guards of Chávez
  • to beef up its intelligence services through Cuban personnel and Chinese communication packages
  • to divert more money and competences from regional governments where the opposition is in "power"
  • to purge even further the military and the judiciary
  • to speed up the brainwashing programmes at every level, even in schools throught the so-called "media guerrillas" and Misiones and through the most general rewriting of history
  • to select ministers and high ranking officials whose main skill is to show submission to the Jefe
Yesterday, Chavista deputies declared they want states and municipalities to give way to the socialist councils. This would allow Chavismo to completely eliminate the few, already almost powerless institutions where the opposition still has representatives and to finally establish councils (Russian "soviet") controlled by the PSUV.

Some days ago Chávez said the "squalid ones", the opposition, suffer from a sickness. He added he did not know if that sickness could be cured.

A little bit after that the current Vicepresident - the list of former vicepresidents or minister is legion-, Elías Jaua, declared that the government had managed to "increased agricultural production by 21% in the latest 10 years". As a former pro-Chávez blogger wrote, that shows the level of failure of this process: Venezuela's population has increased about that much in the same period of time. So: even if we were to believe what Jaua is saying, that means that there hasn't been an increase in productivity in a decade, in spite of all the petrodollars coming in and technology everywhere evolving. The fact a minister can use such a statement as propaganda is very informative. It means that in spite of all the popularity loss, still millions of Venezuelans buy those statements. The reason is simple: their education level is very low and getting lower. Mathematical literacy, already bad when Chávez came to power, is deteriorating even further.

If you speak Spanish and you have a little bit of patience, you can take a short look at this text. The text is very badly written. The author is supposed to be a teacher from one of the Bolivarian institutes that provide Chavista propaganda dressed up as education. The author complains about people asking for "higher academic standards in education". She claims they are "trying to preserve the capitalist hegemony". After reading that text there is one thing we can say for sure: reading and comprehension skills, already very poor before Chávez came to power, are going further down the drain.

Where is this going to end? Will Venezuela go not just to pot but to a Pot-led situation at the end of the road? I don't think so. Venezuela won't become a South American Cambodia. The country just has too much oil and Venezuelans are too connected - even if educationally very isolated - from the outside world. Still, the government is doing anything it can to transform Venezuelans into a meek nation and to accelerate the brainwashing process as much as possible. It will also do anything it can to promote the emigration of those who disagree. It will be willing to take Venezuela into a civil war when its supporters become a clear minority to all.

We need to do all we can to remind Venezuelans that this situation is not normal, that there are better options for our country, that there is a future where resentment as state policy and personality cult are just a sad page in history books and where an open, pluralistic and more just society prevails.

This sign with a big spelling error is located at the exit of a PDVSA plant. This is not an exception but rather the rule now.

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