Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cleaning up the sty in the Land of Grace

We, civilians, need to explain how we are going to get Venezuela out of the mess - even before we vote the military regime out of power. Explaining how we will do it will speed up the process and improve the chances of stability and progress for Venezuela after the change.

Cleaning up: we have to do it on a permanent basis

Countless individuals have proclaimed since colonial times that they were going to fight corruption only to break new records on crookedness once they came to power. One example is that of military caudillo José Tadeo Monagas, who claimed to be fighting for the poor and against oligarcs but who instituted, together with his brother José Gregorio, the Monagas Dinasty and ended up being chased from power with the crowd shouting "death to the thieves". That is just the general rule in Venezuela.

Hero, Dictator, Thief
Can we set up mechanisms that are fool-proof and Venezuelan-proof to fight and actually reduce corruption?

The first thing we need to realise is there is absolutely no mechanism that can function perfectly all the time. Fighting corruption will need to be like fighting a virus: there is a constant race and you have to outsmart the evil creature time after time because it is bound to mutate over and over again. Any system for transparency and accountability has to be reviewed on a permanent basis and the reviewers cannot come from one single party but from the whole society.

Once we understand that, we can start proposing some real rules that may, willy-nilly, force the country towards more honesty.

Let's begin with this:

1) every contract between the Venezuelan national government or any regional government with a value higher than Bs 10000 must be published on the Internet for everyone to see. People would see details about the company and about the state functionaries signing in. No company can get a zillion contracts fo Bs 9999 to circumvent this.

2) FONDEN, the billionaire "Fund for Development", now used as the Chávez piggy bank and Bolivourgeois black box, must be fully transparent. Every piece of information about every dollar or Bolívar spent needs to be put online. Only a small amount of the Defence budget can be hidden from the general public but the accounts about this must be checkup up by a 10-member commission of the National Assembly made up of deputies from the current government and the opposition. The leader of such commission must be elected by random selection and changed every 6 months.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Getting Venezuela out of underdevelopment

Francisco wrote a provocative post some days ago. It was about oil policy and how hard it is to make this a topic of discussion in Venezuela for everybody. Details about what we need to do with oil are just hard to explain to most people. 

He started this topic after some previous posts discussing Leopoldo López's ideas on a future government. López basically wants to let Venezuela produce more oil. He also wants more transparency about its use, more investment, blablabla. The details, though, aren't there.

And the discussion ended up again on whether we should produce more or less oil. What we don't discuss is how to get off oil dependency. Apparently, a lot of people haven't got a clue. The thinking goes around "invest in petrochemistry" and at best "invest in R&D", apart from the eternal "invest more on education".

But nothing, absolutely nothing will change until we start discussing about the details. We need to do that not after the elections but right now.

One of the main topics about which we have to discuss details is how to bring transparency and accountability to investment.

Is there a fool-proof way of doing so? Can we device a mechanism so that those getting resources from the State are not like now the relatives of the president, the friends of the military case or the friends of the party?

We need a plan for accountability and transparency that is so tough a lot of politicos are going to fear a government advoting such a plan is elected but the vast majority of Venezuelans get excited about it.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Chávez discovers America

This was yesterday. Now this is a suspicious behaviour

Now that Venezuela's military caudillo is presumably sick, he is starting to discover some obvious things. For instance, today he came to the conclusion it is "suspicious to be completely dressed in red".

I have written a lot about red as ideological Ersat in our banana republic (like here, here and, in Spanish, here).

The caudillo's followers have to adapt to what their commandant thinks now. They used to think until yesterday that dressing up in red would make them ideologically they will have to check out what the caudillo is wearing.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Venezuela, parasite nation (II)

When you have an oil producing country where the work of a few can provide for billions of dollars, you can keep up millions living off as parasites for quite some time.

In Venezuela half the population has no proper job. They are in the so-called "informal sector", which means they usually have to sell Chinese panties and Spanish skirts or drive a pirate taxi. The panties and the skirts and the cars are bought with those petrodollas. Millions of people are happy if they get food, something to drink and a ceiling. And it is that you don't need much more in tropical Venezuela. There are also a lot of people in state jobs thanks exclusively to their political loyalty. And with oil prices at $100 a barrel, a government can provide for some goodies for all of them, at least for some time, as population keeps growing.

Today deputy Aristóbulo Isturiz -former AD politician, former Causa R politician and now PSUV politician and enemy of AD and Causa R- announced that Venezuelans are invited to go at 2pm to the Bolívar Square in every town to celebrate the birthday of the current military caudillo, Hugo Chávez.

Yesterday the government issued new bonds that need to be sold at a high cost for the nation.  Wealthy profiteers will be able to get the bonds and earn a lot. The military regime will be able to keep the pressure off the currency for some time. The average Venezuelan will have to pay very dearly after the 2012 elections.

But half of those that will have to pay will celebrate today the birthday of the guy who is responsible for this mess. They will do that instead of trying to figure out how to get Venezuela on the road of sustainable development.

This made me think about this:

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Don't just look at their legs

These are two red-legged hokeycreepers. The male has blue plumage, the female is green. The picture was taken in Aragua state, in Northern Venezuela.

This is NOT a joke

Military strongman Chávez creates the Ministry of the Popular Power for the Penitentiary Service. The first minister will be charming Iris Valera.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Bolívar: One of the most damaging personality cults on Earth

Today is a holiday in Venezuela. It is the day our first national caudillo, Simón Bolívar, was born in 1783. Mind: Bolívar had some good ideas - none of them original - and some very bad ones. After he miserably failed as a military to defend Puerto Cabello, an easy job Miranda had given him, after he betrayed Miranda and delivered him to the Spaniards to save his own skin, he managed to lead military troops for some time. He got rid of people who could become a competition to him, like Piar. He also got Venezuela into incredible debts with Britain in order to get enough mercenaries and weapons to further his cause. In the end, Venezuelan troops led the liberation of several lands and Bolívar was acclaimed as "the Liberator", as if hundreds of thousands of others hadn't done more for the same thing - paying with their lives in very violent ways. 

Bolívar did not have much money to pay mercenaries and national military men, so he gave them land and power and in that way Venezuela became the most militarily obsessed country in South America. It did not fight anymore with other countries in Latin America (it couldn't have done it), but its military just dedicated themselves to be declared some sort of superior caste...the inheritors of "The Liberator".

Venezuelan military decided to promote the cult to Bolívar. Pseudo-historians decided to transform Bolívar into a demi-God. This helped them in their careers, specially as the military were strengthened by this. Now there is no Venezuelan with political ambitions who would dare have a more critical view of Bolívar, the caudillo who wanted to rule for life. This has done a lot of damage to the country: every new generation of military and politicos claim to be the "prophets" of this new Bolívar religion.

What would have happened had Bolívar not been born? Nothing, really. We would have got our independence at the same time, a little bit later or a little bit earlier. We would have probably let Bolivia and Peru be liberated from within or by Argentine and Chilean forces. We would have got less debts with the Britons. We wouldn't have had to lose so many lives. We would not have a third of all muninipios called after some military strongman. Other than that, things would have been probably more or less the same.

Today Chávez felt the need to come over to Venezuela for the usual rites of worship. Here you see some of his very kitsch tweets on Bolívar today:

"I talk to you Venezue,My People:Let's make Bolívar live now and forever in us, in our ideas, our behavior each day"
"Let'sSingWIthPabloNedura:Everything has your name, father, in our home, everything that is ours comes from your life, your inheritance is our daily bread"
"Sunday 24 July, bless you, day of God we declare you, day of Fatherland, day of Subleme Birth, let's sing to Simón Bolívar the Eternal"

Venezuelans are with Norwegians

My support, like that of many Venezuelans, goes to Norwegians, among whom I have several friends. They are a model of a society we all can learn from. They have shown what good will, honesty and perseverance can achieve. On Friday they were by hatred, by intolerance, by brutish prejudice, but they stood up and they will get stronger.
Extremists of any kind have no place in Norway. Don't underestimate Norwegians. They will prevail.

These events call us to bring about not parallel monologues but real debates in a climate of respect. That is what extremists hate the most.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

She got post from Venezuela

Back in 1933, Venezuela's post service was better

And a new record was broken. The postcard was sent from a secondary city in Venezuela on 1 February 2011. It arrived in Paris on 15 July of the same year. International post arriving in Paris takes on average about two days to get to the average household anywhere in France. This means the card took about 5 months and 13 days to go from the post office in Venezuela to France. The postcard was supposedly sent by air mail. We hear all the time post gets lost for years in the US in France or Britain, but that is rather the exception. Venezuela's post service is getting more and more Bolivarian by the day.

Ten years ago the same postcard would take at most 2 weeks to go from Venezuela to any place in Europe. Now we are back to the times of the Colony when Alexander von Humboldt would send letters from a mission in Apure to his friends in Berlin and just hope for the best.

Wie Venezolaner den Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts lernen

Das Auslandsjournal hatte gestern eine Sendung über Gewalt in Venezuela, genauer gesagt über den Secuestro Express. Hier könnt Ihr sie sehen (ab Minute 13:18).

Einiges stand nicht da: die Entführungen betreffen meistens Leute der breiten Mittelschicht (also ungefähr alle, die ein Auto, ob uralt und runtergekommen oder nicht, haben) und der Oberschicht. Das ist etwa 30% der Bevölkerung. Die anderen, von sehr arm bis Untermittelschicht, müssen zwar kaum Entführungen fürchten, sie werden aber umso häufiger ausgeraubt. Die Leute in den Slums können auch viel leichter Opfer von verlorenen Kugeln bei den unzähligen Droggenkriegen werden.

Noch ein Kommentar: die Mordrate in Venezuela ist seit 1998 nicht um 70% sondern um über 300% gestiegen, wie man das aus UNODC-Daten (von Venezuela selbst geliefert) entnehmen kann. 

Ich würde sehr gern vom Herrn Dieterich mal wieder hören, wie es war mit dem Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts. Irgendwie muss die Kriminalität in Venezuela ausschliesslich mit dem Kapitalismus, mit trojanischen Pferden und mit fünften Kolonnen zu tun haben. Forget about Chile.

An die useful idiots, die immer noch die Regierung der Militärs in Venezuela unterstützen sage ich: bitte, kommen Sie nach Venezuela und bleiben Sie wirklich im Land ein Jahr lang...ohne Leibwache - auch ohne PSUV-Führer.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Die roten Puppen entpuppen sich als Parteifanatiker...und mehr

Nun hat das Oberste Gericht die von ihm kurz davor angenommene Anklage gegen den Oppositionspolitiker Henrique Capriles zurückgewiesen. Der Grund? Die Chávez-Partei, die Sozialistische Einheitspartei Venezuelas (in Wikipedia zu Vereinigte Sozialitsche Partei Venezuelas umbenannt) hat jetzt gesagt, der Anklager wäre kein Parteimitglied und die Partei würde diese Anklage nicht unterstützen.

Anscheinend hat Chávez gedacht, es ist noch keine richtige Zeit, um Capriles zu neutralisieren.

Der einzige Grund, um die Anklage zurückzuziehen, ist also nicht ein Urteil über Gültigkeit, sondern der Willen der Partei.

Die Opposition organisiert sich aber weiter. Nun haben wir folgende "Präkandidaten":

  • María Corina Machado, unabhängig (man fürchtet aber, dass Acción Democrática sie unterstützen könne)
  • Leopoldo López, für Voluntad Popular...der aber wahrscheinlich nicht kandidieren darf, wegen Gerichtshofs
Die Chávez-Partei will aber auf jeden Fall, dass das Oberste Gericht den populären Bürgermeister von Petare, Carlos Ocariz, politische Rechte aberkennt. Man weiss, dass er ein möglicher Nachfolger von Capriles als Gouverneur vom Bundesstaat Miranda sein könnte. Man weiss auch, dass viele Armen im Westen Caracas die gute Regierung im armen Gebiet von Petare sehen und darüber nachdenken, wie es wäre, wenn sie auch so was hätten.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Bolívar, Chávez and the Colon

Reseachers paid by the Chávez government were going to reveal Simón Bolívar's real cause of death on 24 July, the day he was born. Last year Chávez had made a real show when he ordered Bolívar's exhumation.

24 July is still some days away, but we already have some leaks. In Últimas Noticias we hear Chávez Bolívar suffered from a problem of the colon. According to these researchers, Bolívar had a colon problem and his doctor, Próspero Reverend, gave him enemas four times a day, which led to "hydroelectric inbalance" and to Bolívar's untimely death.

Rumours tell us Chávez has colon cancer.

Esa es Venezuela.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The top of the pearl

Cerro El Copey is the highest point of Margarita (Pearl) Island. It offers a magnificent view up to the Venezuelan coast. It offers also the only source of drinkable water for the island. The Cerro El Copey is also a national park. Unfortunately, it is being destroyed by illegal urbanization and pollution from untreated waste.

This mountain was one of the first geological formations Europeans saw during Columbus' third voyage, the time when he came in contact for the first time with continental America (just a few kilometres to the South)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Venezolanische Diktatur agiert wie erwartet: sie will Capriles jetzt beseitigen

Chávez Marionetten beim Obersten Gericht haben eine Anklage gegen den oppositionellen Gouverneur vom Bundesstaat Miranda, Henrique Capriles, angenommen. Grund? Angeblich Korruption. Wir hatten dies seit Jahren erwartet. Die Militärregierung will so schnell wie möglich den populären Politiker der Primero de Justicia-Partei beseitigen, damit der angeblich kranker Kommandant Hugo Chávez keine nennenswerte Rivalen hat.

Was werden die demokratischen Regierung nun sagen?
Oberstes Gericht Venezuelas

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Where rain is scarce and winds blow hard

The Dividivi (Caesalpinia coriaria) is a tree-like shrub that originally grows in the barren, extremely windy coastal areas in Northern Venezuela, Colombia and the islands closeby (like Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which were part of the Province of Venezuela until the third decade of the XVII century).

The pods can be used to get tannin, a very versatile compound. Locals also treat a lot of ailments with different parts of this plant.

When Juan Martín de Ampués and later the Germans under the Welser arrived in Venezuela, this was one of the first trees they saw in the very arid region of Coriana, now around Coro, in Falcón.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Venezuelas königliche Familie oder Gruppenbild mit Kommandant

Hier könnt Ihr Venezuelas ein Video mit dem "comandante-presidente" sehen, nachdem er aus Kuba zurückkam. Kitschiger geht es nicht. Im letzten Teil erzählt der Kommandant, wie er eine Trophäe seiner Zeit als Amateur-Baseballspieler zurückbekam, denn viele Leute sehnten sich danach, diese Reliquie zu ergattern. Fremdschämen heisst "vergüenza ajena" auf spanisch, "Chávez" auf venezolanisch.

aus Daniels Blog geklaut

Monday, 11 July 2011

Venezuela und Langsamkeit

Der Gouverneur des Bundesstaates Anzoátegui, ehemaliger Guerrillero Tarek William Saab, erklärte anlässlich eines Sieges des lokalen Baseballteams bei der  Nationalen Meisterschaft diesen Tag zum Feiertag im ganzen Nord-Anzoátegui. Achtung: es handelt sich um ein Spiel der Finale, nicht um die Meisterschaft.

Wenn Du also Arbeitnehmer im Dienst hast, musst Du ihnen den Tag frei geben. Du darfst auch Dein Geschäft bis auf wenigen Ausnahmen nicht öffnen, auch wenn Du allein arbeiten willst.

Die Regierung hatte Anfang 2011 erklärt, man würde 2 Millionen Wohnungen in 7 Jahren bauen. Dieses Jahr würde man 150 000 dieser Wohnungen fertig kriegen. Bis Juli hat man aber nur 18161 fertiggestellt. Das ist 12% des Zieles, 88% muss man in den nächsten 6 Monaten produzieren. Wahrscheinlich wird der Anteil in Anzoátegui weniger als erwartet sein.

Russia taking care of its Caribbean chicken of the golden eggs

Medvedev called Venezuela's military caudillo to wish him well and to announce Sergey Lavrov, Russia's minister for Foreign Affairs, would be visiting the Land of Grace in late August.
What is at stake? As I have mentioned earlier, the Russian Federation has earned more than 7 billion dollars since 2004 by selling weapons to my underdeveloped nation. Let's be clear: Venezuela is a poor nation, even if it has a lot of oil. Education levels are dismal, infrastructure is crumbling down and productivity is as low as it can get. Still, it buys weapons that have no real chance against any hypothetical foreign invasion and could only be use for 1) attacking Venezuelans and 2) creating the opportunities for some people to get nice commissions.

I predict more support from the Russian government for Venezuelan security services, more loans for Chávez to try to win the elections in 2012 and more debts for Venezuela. Lavrov will discuss, as the Russians are saying, things like the Venezuelan-Russian bank and the transactions in ruble instead of dollars. The main purpose of that bank is going to be to facilitate the payment of weapons deals and such "priorities" for the Venezuelan military caste. Отлично - for the Russians.

Lavrov taking care of the Bolivarian chicken of the golden eggs

Saturday, 9 July 2011

How many tonnes of cocaine do US Americans and Europeans want to buy? How many weapons do they want to sell?

I posted some time ago in German about the increase in cocaine finds by security forces in Venezuela. In 2009 those forces found 15 tonnes of cocaine. In 2010 they found about 24.53 tonnes. In 2011 they have found at least 18 tonnes:

  • In February Venezuelan and French authorities caught in international waters 3.6 tonnes going from Colombia to Honduras, 
  • By june, a total of  10.3 tonnes had been confiscated
  • Just in one action Venezuelan authorities caught 6.7 tonnes of cocaine

We still have almost 6 months to go. Of course, that cocaine is just a fraction of whatever cocaine dealers were trying to smuggle through and out of Venezuela to North America's and Europe's markets. Those markets exist because US Americans and Europeans pay real money.

Here I am not with other bloggers: I also think high ranking officials in Venezuela are likely to be involved in the drug trade in Venezuela but I don't think they are the only high ranking people involved in that. Mexico is in complete disarray in the fight "on" drugs. That could not happen if the military there were so kosher. And the US and Europe are not helping at all to improve things while keeping up demand.

On top of that, you have things like the Gunwalker coming from the States. Please, watch this CBS video about how the US government provided thousands of high-power guns to the drug cartels.

I am sure this hasn't been the first time and it won't be the last one. There are many reasons for that.

Is Venezuela's government a disaster with regards to cocaine traffic? Yes, indeed. Is the picture more complex than that? Yes, it is.

At best, the current situation is a complete mess and a farce by all government bodies. At worse, it is a mess with a lot of people on every side pursueing very nasty targets.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Das souveräne Schwein

Die Erdöllgesellschaft PDVSA, die seit 1973 dem venezolanischen Staat gehört und seit 1999 von der Chávez-Regierung als immer zur Verfügung stehendes Sparschwein angesehen wird, beschäftigt sich immer mehr mit Aufgaben, die mit ihren eigentlichen Funktionen nichts zu tun haben. Und so will jetzt PDVSA Agrícola 24 Tonnen Schweinfleisch und Schweinprodukte monatlich produzieren. Das wird primär im Bundesstaat Bolívar stattfinden. Ich frage mich, ob der jetzige Gouverneur dieses Bundesstaates, der Militär Rangel Gómez, dabei mithelfen will. Der Name für diese Marke: Cerdo El Soberano. Das ist so was von zweideutig...vor allem, weil Chávez sich für "das Volk" hält und das Volk ja der Souverän sein sollte.

Ich bin mal gespannt, was für Korruptionsfälle später ans Licht kommen...wie bei PUDREVAL

Die Militär-Bonzen haben bis jetzt wirklich Schwein gehabt. Wir werden wahrscheinlich schon wieder etwas wie dies (auf englisch) erleben.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Forbes on Venezuela: number 6 worst performer

Not surprised by this at all: Forbes has placed Venezuela at place 6 among the worst performing economies in the world. Considering the sheer amount of petrodollars coming in, this is a real tragedy. Unfortunately, the average citizen hasn't got a clue about how much extra money the government is getting from very high oil prices and the alternative forces do not know how to convey that information.

Palestine should demand recognition as state from United Nations, in spite of what the US says

Victoria Nuland, the new spokesperson for the United States Department of State, just declared it is not good that Palestine demands from United Nations the recognition as a state.

She says "negotiations have to continue" - like they have been doing for so many decades now. Meanwhile, the Israeli government is stealing more and more acres of land from Palestinians. It is pushing forward ethnic cleansing. When Palestinians demand the expansion to stop, the Israeli government claims that is not possible, negotiations should be "without pre-conditions". The chuzpah.

Victoria Nuland's grandparents were Jewish and although her dad considers himself agnostic, he is very attached to that community. Somehow that reminds me a bit of Ari Fleischer, a previous White House Press Secretary, also from Jewish background. I find it curious I don't see so many Arab names among those spokespersons and secretaries. Is it not fair to ask about it? The ratio difference between Jewish American/Arab American is not that significant (even if most Arab Americans are not Muslim).
Palestinian woman having to leave what is now Israel, 1948

Palestinians should ask for recognition of Palestine as a state. The current government of the US just wants to avoid vetoing Palestine, as the Israeli government will demand from them, because that would show very clearly how the US is so partial about the whole issue. If they veto, be it. The world will know. It is time to recognise Palestine as an equal state. It has as much right to exist as Israel. Israel has to accept it has no more and no less rights than anyone else. It is not special. It is not superior. It has to abide by international law, like anyone else.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

One of those who will have the most to lose with Chávez's departure speaks out

Military honcho Diosdado Cabello, one of the most notorious Chávez men, just declared:

"While we ask the president to heal and come back, there are soñe out there excited thinking the commandant won't come back. Of course he will and we will continue the revolution (sic)...They, the traitors of the fatherland as Primero Justicia, AD, COPEI, Globovisión, Últimas Noticias, El Nacional, El Universal, would not doubt a single second to sell out the Fatherland to the North American Empire"

Where do we start?
  • This is good news for Primero Justicia, as it was mentioned firstly.
  • Had a journalist from El Nacional or El Universal written Diosdado is a traitor of the Fatherland,  the government would have closed down the newspaper or imposed a huge fine.
  • Últimas Noticias used to be a rather pro-Chávez newspaper, even Chávez used to praise more.
The Bolibourgeoisie is worried.


This sculpture, produced in Western Venezuela about the time when the Frankish Kingdom appeared in Europe, represents a man giving an offer.

The person who moulded it was very probably a Timoto-Cuica Amerindian. The Timoto-cuicas were part of the now mostly extinct Chibchan macrogroup.

They are all gone now. Still, they remain in our genes, specially on those from the maternal side (as opposed to the paternal side, which is mostly European). They remain in some of our traditions:


I always liked the name Timoto-Cuica, it sounds so musical: t m t kk

Venezuela, mittelalterliches Land

Chávez Bruder weiss, dass die Popularität des Caudillos gesunken ist. Darum sagte er, die Regierung müsse ihre Macht nicht nur durch Wahlen, sondern durch Waffen behalten. Man weiss: die Opposition hat keine Waffen, bis auf ihre Stimmen. Da gibt es nichts zu interpretieren. Da gibt es nur zu beurteilen und anzuklagen.

Und alle wissen jetzt: unter den Chavistas weckt nur der 56-jährige Caudillo Sympathien - bei 48% der Bevölkerung Venezuelas, die noch zum Teil an die Militärregierung glaubt. Vizepräsident Elías Jaua, Militär Diosdado Cabello und alle anderen könnten nie einen Bruchtteil der Sympathie des Chávez hervorrufen. Unter den Oppositionellen ist eine leitende Figur noch nicht entschieden - jede Region hat die eigene.
40 Jahre Zivilregierungen - 1958-1989, eigentlich 38 Jahre, denn es gab eine Übergangsphase mit Militärs- waren nicht genug, um die Caudillo-Mentalität auszulöschen. Die Zivilregierungen behielten diese Mentalität. Die Parteistrukturen waren alles andere als demokratisch und man wusste nicht, wie Führungspositionen durch Debatten und Konkurrenz entwickeln konnte. Wenn jemand nicht Parteiführer sein konnte, gründete er seine eigene Partei. Und so haben wir jetzt so viele Oppositionsparteien. Die Venezolaner denken immer noch an Führer, die mit vielen Versprechungen sie überzeugen können, nicht an Bewegungen mit Programmen für die nachhaltige Entwicklung des Landes. 

Die Oppositionellen werden sich wahrscheinlich über einen einzigen Kandidat einigen, logistisch gesehen werden sie aber weiterhin getrennt arbeiten. Das ist ein Desaster: wenn jede Partei der alternativen Kräften ihr eigenes Büro, ihr eigenes Telefon, ihre eigene Werbungsstrategie in jedem Bundesstaat entwickeln will, dazu aber kaum Geld hat, werden sie alle zusammen, auch wenn sie einen einzigen Präsidentenkandidat unterstützen, viel weniger effektiv sein als eine Regierung, die Staatsgelder massal benutzt, um Chávez-propaganda zu treiben, eine Regierung, die den Wahlrat hinter sich hat, eine Regierung, die das Militär benutzt, um die Wahlen "sicherzustellen" und Radio- und Fernsehsendern zu jeder Zeit zwingt, stundenlang Regierungspropaganda auszustrahlen.

Venezuela, mittelalterliches Land 
Wir Venezolaner denken immer noch mittelalterlich, wie ein grosser Teil unserer Vorfahren, die im 16. Jahrhundert kamen, um El Dorado zu suchen und die Aufklärung völlig verpasst haben oder kazikisch, wie ein grosser Teil unserer Vorfahren, die schon längst in Südamerika lebten, aber erst vor kurzem sesshaft wurden und erst dabei waren, Siedlungen und Städte zu entwickeln und so entweder nur den eigenen Stamm erkannten oder erst bei der Conquista versuchten, Föderationen, meist unter Leitung eines Führers, zu bilden.

Im Gebiet Caracas-Miranda und Teil Anzoáteguis haben gibt es ein Partei, Primero Justicia, die den wahrscheinlichsten Kandidat der Opposition hat, Henrique Capriles. Die Leiter dieser Partei sind aber -bis auf Carlos Ocariz - vorwiegend Menschen aus dem Grossraum Caracas. Sie haben bis jetzt nicht gewusst, wie man die Leute anderer Regionen miteinbezieht.
Massaker von Priestern durch Indianer, die auf Ocampos Angriffe in Cumana reagierten. Die Priester verteidigten die Indianer, sie machten aber keinen Unterschied

In den Llanos, Falcón (um Coro) und auf Margarita ist die wichtigste Oppo-Partei Acción Democrática (AD), eine alte Partei, die man mit Recht vor allem mit den sehr korrupten Zeiten vor 1998 assoziert. Es hilft nicht, dass die Korruption seit 1999 schlimmer geworden ist: jetzt gibt es einen Erdölboom und zwischen 1989 und 1999 nicht, jetzt ist die PSUV und Chávez, die die Petrodollars zum Teil verteilen, verhältnissmässig weniger als davor, immerhin aber mehr als zwischen 1989 und 1999. 
Die Welser: Gold, Gold, Gold, keinen Bock, Siedlungen zu entwickeln

Im westlichen Bundesstaat Zulia ist die Opposition vorwiegend durch UNT (Abkömmlinge von AD) vertreten. UNT ist dort sehr stark  und wird wahrscheinlich so bleiben. Die Zulianos haben immer ihren eigenen Charakter behalten wollen.

Die alte Partei Copei - Christdemokraten- sind vorwiegend im westlichen Bundesstaat Táchira vertreten. Convergencia, die nur noch besteht, weil die Parteigründer nicht ihre "Macht" aufgeben wollen, ist  wichtigste Oppopartei in Yaracuy. Das ist eine Splitterpartei von COPEI. In Amazonas (im Süden) haben wir die sozialistische PPT, die von der PSUV splittterte. Im bevölkerungsreichen Bundesstaat Carabobo ist die wichtigste Oppopartei Proyecto Venezuela, die von einer Familie geleitet wird - die Salas-Feo.  
 In Bolívar ist die wichtigste Partei Causa R, eine gewerkschaftsgerichtete Partei, die ausserhalb von Guayana nicht viel zu sagen hat. 

Überall in Venezuela versucht Leopoldo López, eine Partei zu entwickeln, die noch eine neue Art Sozialdemokratie darstellen soll: Voluntad Popular. Die Partei hat viele neue Wähler, sie dreht sich aber bis jetzt primär um ihn allein. 

Lope de Aguirre, wie viele anderen, wollte der Führer sein
Es gibt auch die Ökologisten, die weniger als 1% der Stimmen haben. Ferner gibt es noch 20 oder mehr Parteien in jedem der 23 Bundesstaaten.
Auch wenn die Opposition ein einziger Kandidat auswählen wird, vergeudet sie viel zu viel Energie durch die viele parallelen Strukturen.

Nun sagt der Verteidigungsminister und ehemaliger Putschist Henry Rangel Silva, dass die Militärs die Macht des Hugo Chávez immer verteidigen werden. Er hatte schon früher mehrmals öffentlich gesagt, dass "die Militärs und das 'Volk' einen Machtwechsel nicht erdulden und die Opposition an der Macht nicht tolerieren würden. Kurz darauf wurde er zu Verteidigungsminister promoviert.

Venezuela hat nie wirklich die Zeiten der Aufklärung erlebt. Auch wenn sich Figuren wie Simón Bolívar und viele andere auf die Ideen der Revolutionen Europas beriefen, hatten sie primär ihre eigene Ambitionen im Kopf. Das mochte  wahrscheinlich bei fast allen Revolutionären Europas ähnlich gewesen sein, in Europa gab es aber zum Teil eine grosse Anzahl von Menschen, die auch kritisch die verschiedenen Ideen diskutierten. Die Masse der Bevölkerung in Venezuela hat nie Zeit und Bildung gehabt, um sich mit diesen Ideen grundsätzlich zu beschäftigen. Die Bevölkerung meines Landes ist seit Jahrhunderten nur Parolen ohne viel Inhalt hinterher gefolgt und die vermeintlichen Führer haben immer wieder versäumt, die öffentliche Diskussion von Projekten zu fördern.