Monday, August 27, 2007

Going ape for Rory Carroll: Too early to make up his mind about what's going on in Venezuela... is it really?

At least one European who didn't buy the official version.

I say, something about those disgusting big murals with a gigantic Chavez face and a mole the size of Kansas clicked onto his European historical roots. Where did he see that before in Europe uh? And, uh, how did it all ended?

Carroll's commentary was a response about a Chavista red rose colored one by his colleague, John Pilger. I am expecting to read more sharper comments from Carroll in the future.

"When you do tramp up the winding streets into the barrios above Caracas, the picture is often grey.

You can see, as Pilger did, impressive social programmes, which bring education, health care and subsidised food to the poor. For spending oil revenues this way Chavez deserves credit, and it explains why he wins successive landslides.

You can also see, if you choose to, the inflation which erodes these gains, the bureaucratic chaos which threatens their sustainability and the Hugo murals which form part of a cult of personality.

You can descend into the valley and meet upper class racists who call Chavez a monkey, shop for Gucci in Miami and deride the poor. And you can cheer their comeuppance.

You can also meet lower middle class people, bus drivers, mechanics, nurses, who are desperate to emigrate because they fear the future under a man who espouses Marxism-Leninism and plans to abolish presidential term limits.

You can look at the thousands of new communal councils and say here is an innovative form of grassroots democracy. Or here is a giant web of patronage and control. Or, my view, that it is too soon to tell.

The absence of reliable statistics - adult literacy, murders, oil production, poverty reduction and so on - behoves caution. But that is grey and boring if you view Latin American politics in vivid Walt Disney colours."

He might be into something on this last paragraph. Yes, he's got it. It's all about colorful bochinche (in the Venezuelan sense) in Venezuela. There's no room for boring gray in the country where the women are famous for their vanity and the men... I don't know... lately for their lack of esféricas but also known for their vanity as well. Not that we don't have serious, boring but smart and very educated, prepared and very brave men and women but for some reason Venezuelans don't pay attention to them. They prefer the colorful ones. Yes, it's all about colors in Venezuela. No wonder why we have such a ugly narcissist in power.

Well said Mr. Carroll. I think your article describe very well what's going on in Venezuela but also the way that Chavez's kind of comedy, professional entertainer in life but president on the side, disguises the horrible reality that this man and his big ego are doing to Venezuela and their countryman.

I agree, I prefer to see Chavez 10,000 times on a TV cadena, eating my popcorn, and with a Tylenol on the side just in case, laughing sometimes, (yes, I think Chavez is very funny, he should be Venezuela's first clown), that say, the style of Adolf, who wasn't funny at all. The only problem is that this man is not the King of comedy, and the end, the end is not gonna be that funny for many of us. Unfortunately, this is not a movie that we can shut off the TV and continue with our life. Not for any Venezuelan, inside or out of the country.

Only a little detail to point out to Mr. Carroll, maybe his Irish idiosyncrasy cannot allow him to see what it's so clear for Venezuelans: people call Chavez a monkey, a gorilla, not for racism, but because the guy behaves like an animal. Actually, it's not fair for the Gorillas in the zoo or the funny monkeys. This comparison is not fair for those creatures, but that's how Venezuelans talk to express the idea that somebody behaves irrational, just like an monkey. Don't Anglos have an expression called "going ape"? Is that expression racist? No! It's an expression that calls for a specific behavior you can observe on apes. Ay caramba!

Something else.... Mr. Carroll... the ones who are buying Gucci in Miami and the rest of the world this days like crazy are the new boligarchs, this new generation of new rich Chavistas who have loaded themselves by sucking the government oil-tit and now have oil barrels of dollars to buy whatever they want, abroad, of course. Actually, they don't go to Miami that often, that's so 4th Republic, soooo low class, they like to use PDVSA's private jet to Europe and think they belong for a couple of days. If they knew...

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