Sunday, 31 October 2010

Shameless brainwashing, Latino-style

Chávez's regime expropriated the bottle-manufacturing factory Owens-Illinois Venezuela just a few days ago. The action was part of a plan to control every aspect of income generation in Venezuela and as a way of getting hold of all companies supplying POLAR, the largest private company in Venezuela. Here you can watch a propaganda video the military regime produced to explain its version of why it expropriated that factory. The video shows Owens-Illinois workers applauding, but it does not allow really tell viewers why and when exactly. The believers in Chávez are supposed to imagine workers were supporting what Chávez's henchman and vice president, Elias Jaua, was saying in another place and moment. State "journalists" did not ask workers to talk freely about their "liberation". That is no surprise: what worker would feel like talking openly when the whole factory is chock-a-block with armed soldiers? What worker would talk freely after union people from Agroisleña, another recently expropriated factory, were sacked after voicing their opinion?

The military regime wanted to have a show with "workers supporting the liberation". As it does not have real workers' backing, the regime sent 7 buses to look for some one-hour actors among the eternal jobless hanging around Bolívar's square in Los Guayos, where Owens-Illinois is located. Half of Venezuelans work - according to governmental INE statistics - in what the government calls "informal sector". In reality most of them are basically unemployed, depending on some fictitious "scholarship" or selling Chinese toys or working as pirate taxi drivers when they can. This time, as some people from Los Guayos tell me, the regime did not manage to fill even 3 of the buses. In previous years they would have been able to fill in all 7 buses immediately and the ones outside would be trying to to get in for the privilege of "defending the revolution". Not anymore. The regime's popularity is definitely going down even if Venezuela still is experiencing the longest oil boom of its history.


  1. Chávez loves his collection of non-productive "socialized" companies like 10 year old kids their Panini World Cup albums.
    Maybe he's like Colonel Kurtz looking for redemption from his own heads war of some "ideas" against even his mind.

  2. I don't know what's in his mind. One obvious thing is he wants to control every income generating organisation with any clout, no matter what. He wants all Venezuelans to depend on him. Then he is obviously trying to suffocate POLAR. Those are his main goals and the destruction of the economy is just a byproduct.
    What I would like to know is how much he has thought about that destruction. Perhaps he wants something to happen for him to do something really really nasty.

  3. I think he has done more than enough evil by stupidly wasting resources, supporting real bullies, talking pointless nonsense and finishing not one of his countless and costly proyects in a acceptable way. More than enough. I understand him less than you as you have grown up in the same country. We will see what he may do, when he is really cornered after loosing even more supporters. You know better.
    Have come back from 3 weeks in Chile yesterday. Its hard to set up a good public school system for the poor even there. Or breaking habits like sending other men in obviously unsafe mines. You need resources and time for that. And we all know that their availability is scarce.
    Bettering life conditions is a slow and tough process. We know that. The street smart, good-hearted and hello kitty loving girl, whose school uniform I've bought in february and chilean friends tried to help much more doesn't understand that she has to change some important things in her life on this planet, starting with doing something against her cootie problem. Her mercado working father doesn't understand the consequences, her mother has left them with another men and the teachers of her school doesn't bother. Probably she will repeat primero medio a second time. In 3 or 4 years she will have a nice little baby with a boyfriend as unprepared for life in the 21th century as herself. I hope in 10 years more a better developed social help system paid with state money will give her baby the chance it deserves.

  4. Wow, I wrote a whole text and Blogger swallowed it.
    OK, just a short version:

    I grew up in Venezuela and saw from very close those attitudes and issues. I am also as shocked as you are. It is almost all about education - Erziehung, upbringing, above all, but also Bildung, just plain basic education.
    But it is not completely all: remember the Weizsäcker during WW2.

    About evil: I think Chávez did more than enough evil on that February morning when he killed those innocent for his Bolivar fantasy (actually to get to power). What I mean now is that he will try to provoke a lot of violence, take power from the new deputies (he will do something nastier than what happened to William Azuaje).

    A lot of his high ranking officials are people who got this kind of training or are aware of it:

    The Caracazo in 1989 (the excuse Chávez used to use violence in 1992) was not a spontaneous outburst. It was very well planned by a specific sector of the extreme left. Some of them are with Chávez now. Those people are experts, they have always been, for provocation, infiltration and so on.

    As for Chile: I have never been to Chile. I have friends from there. As far as I hear, it seems things are progressing, even if so slowly.
    At a personal level you will see a lot of tragedies and wasted energy and lives, but things seem to be improving.
    At least governments, both left and right, are much more aware of the necessary steps on the path to sustainable development than anything you see in Venezuela.
    It will take decades to clean up the education system there, among other many things.

    Now, if you read what Miranda wrote about some regions of Europe in 1780 and what happened just a couple of decades later, you would be surprised at how some things can change.


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