Thursday, 9 December 2010

Moving autocracy towards full-fledged dictatorship in Venezuela

Hugo uniform A) The green-clad military in action

Hugo uniform B) The multi-coloured friend in forced message to the nation

Hugo uniform C) The red-red party leader

The Puppet Supreme Court

The current National Assembly has only a few weeks' time and it is now in permanent session to maximize power for Chavismo.

As they do not want a National Assembly with representation of alternative forces to elect judges for the Supreme court, they have been carrying out a series of actions to replace the current judges - very pro-Chávez - with even more pro-Chávez people: first they changed some laws, then the current judges asked for early retirement so that the new ones would be elected by the current National Assembly and now that National Assembly -red all red- appointed the new judges, who are either outgoing deputies or some other very loyal Chavez lacays. The new judges will be in their jobs for 12 years unless some special Constituyente is organized. That is very unlikely as Chavismo changes the rules of the game all the time.

So now basically the ones who are going to say whether Chávez or a politician from an opposition party are doing something unlawful or not are to a big extent well-known Chávez politicians. Daniel wrote quite a lot about that here. Miguel wrote a bit here.

Doing and undoing something

Chávez ordered the takeover of 43 haciendas with a total of 20 thousand hectares as some sort of "measure to provide those affected by the floodings". You can read about that from official sources here. 20000/43 gives you 464,11 hectares per landholding. That is quite some land, but landowners like Chávez's pal Ramírez Chacín have several thousand hectares of land at the very least -now in the name of Ramírez's daughters- and they are untouchable.

As I have previously said, chances are the Chavista deputies are going to make thousands of dossiers about corruption disappear before 5 January.

Pseudo-socialist soup I

I will briefly mention something I want to discuss in detail later on is the way in which Chavismo is shifting gears in its propaganda tactics: socialism all over the place.

The military regime is wasting millions of petrodollars in state propaganda like this one. There you see a guy who is "obviously from the opposition", saying we have to get rid of Chávez in any way and stating now everything is so expensive and one cannot pay for the health services. At the same time, he is seen in a "Centro de Atención Integral", which is free and were everything is spotless and works perfectly. My foot. There are many more of those videos there. That is part of the daily broadcast of state TV and that is the only TV every Venezuelan can watch.

In reality there are Centros de Atención Integral where people get mostly pills and the like. In reality real public hospitals -which were for free well before Chávez came to power- are falling apart. In reality the new personnel does not know what a surgical tape or a scissor is (I know this from first sources). In reality the government appointed hospital directors are plundering the hospital resources and most of the time patients have to buy the most basic medicine because there is nothing left. In reality physicians are scared of working now because armed robberies are the daily routine.

Pseudo-socialist soup II

Since 1999 we have had a lot of shameless propaganda about how great Chávez is, how close he is to Simón Bolívar, how Bolivarian - an empty term with loose images- we are becoming and so on. The "social" and "socialist" came more or less often, but that was about it.

Almost every single noun with some positive connotation has the adjective "socialist" attached to it. They really should rename the Ministry of Information (now once more led by the hyena-man Izarra) Ministry of Truth.

Many Venezuelans haven't known anything but this regime: they were too young. Many who are older have no idea what is going on outside their country. They certainly hear the superficial things, but have no idea about how Venezuela's murder rate is compared to that of other countries, education, corruption, civil rights.

The alternative parties, very unfortunately, are not informing people. Perhaps the leaders - mostly frequent flyers - are not aware of how little the average Venezuelan knows about the outside world. That shows how disconnected they are with those people.

The National Assembly

Yesterday one of the most radical members of Chavismo, Iris Varela, declared they should take away the immunity from several new deputies because those deputies had received money from the US State Department.

In just a couple of weeks we have a showdown at the Asamblea Nacional. What do you think will happen then?

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Chávez recently realised the hundreds of thousands of images of himself falling apart were counter-productive.
Notice here "Un Solo Gobierno, Un Solo Pueblo. Gobierno Socialista de Venezuela" (One Government. One People. Socialist Government of Venezuela)

So now they are telling tales and adding a lot of socialismo to every tale. Here, at the airport, "vivir en socialismo", live in socialism. The misiones are not really solving the huge problem of education in Venezuela, quality is very low and the regime refuses to accept our proposal to join the PISA programme)

My thanks to Dan for several of the pictures here.
I will later write more on education in my Spanish blog.

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