Archive for January 26th, 2005

The Revolution is Politics by Guicaipuro Lameda

January 26, 2005

Up to February 2002, Guiacaipuro Lameda was one of the managing stars of the Chavez administration. Named by Chavez from day one to Office of the Budget, Lameda projected both an image of being efficient and caring. Despite standing up to Chavez a few times, even in public, like in that memorable occasion when he told Chavez there was no money to do what he had just announced (To which Chavez replied: :”Then find it”), Lameda became the first military officer to become President of PDVSA in its history. He was sent there by Chavez, “to clean it up, make it work for the country, for the people, break the cliques”.


In Lameda’s own words, he found a PDVSA much different place that he had envisioned, people worked hard, were loyal to the company and he found no evidence of corruption. In the end, he became more PDVSAn than the PDVSos, defining a set of goals and values for the company and becoming in the end, stronly identified with the PDVSA culture. Thus, Chavez fired him in February 2002, another victim of the Chavez praying mantis effect and replaced him with the same man that Chavez is now naming to the Presidency of the Venezuelan Central Bank, Gaston Parra Luzardo. That nomination sparked the crisis that led to the April 2002 crisis. 


In today’s El Universal, Lameda wrote this article called “The revolution is Politics” which speaks for itself.:


The Revolution is Politics by Guicaipuro Lameda


 


There is no doubt that the Bolivarian Revolution, that has already been installed in Venezuela for six years has been up to now pure politics


 


At one time, when I worked for the government in the position of Head of the Central Budget Office, I remember having worked very hard to contribute so that the socioeconomic theme would be made the motor of the Government’s agenda.


 


Unfortunately, because I did not know nor understand the true dynamics of the “revolutionary process” my efforts were in vain and much like a reporter entitled it once, I was in a war “alone and without ammunition”. The true motor of the Government’s agenda is only politics; the rest is simply excuses and complements.


 


The project or process uses the precarious conditions in which a majority of the population lives, to maintain a permanent conflict with everything that represents “the past” while that conflict is exploited to generate a profound political change.


 


That is why Hugo Chávez has insisted so many times, in that the important thing is politics, his revolutionary scheme is that, first and at whatever the cost, to change the political order in a radical way to later take care of the social and the economic, if it is at all possible.


 


That is why it should not surprise anyone what is happening surrounding the Rodrigo Granda case and although it seems absurd, illogical and irrational, it is perfectly coherent with the revolutionary strategy to restore in Venezuela the hegemonic control of power on the part of the old fashioned left, that would also prefer his “ideological” colleagues in the exercise of government in Colombia.  Therefore, the revolution constructs its ideal scenario, now the United States is not supporting Colombia so that they fight drug trafficking, terrorism or the armed insurgency against a democratic regime.  The message that is constructed for the audience loyal to the revolution is another one.  It is to make it look as if the USA-Colombia relation comprises of the “imperialistic strategy of Washington to restrain South American integration” and in the meantime the reason to strike against the government of Uribe, even if it damages commercial relations, has been declared formally: first, they are a friend of its enemy:  The United States, and second, they are the enemy of his friend:  the Colombian guerrilla, that one which is recognized as having the  belligerence and disposition to impose the old fashioned left  as the regime of government in Colombia.


 


Under this circumstance, the governments of Colombia and the United States must value, with objective coldness, the true dimension of the provocations that every day Hugo Chávez places, because they are only oriented to generate a conflict, by means of asymmetric threats, to capitalize in his purpose of propagating the blossoming of the radical left in the American continent as a mechanism of protection for his own unbridled political ambition.

The Revolution is Politics by Guicaipuro Lameda

January 26, 2005

Up to February 2002, Guiacaipuro Lameda was one of the managing stars of the Chavez administration. Named by Chavez from day one to Office of the Budget, Lameda projected both an image of being efficient and caring. Despite standing up to Chavez a few times, even in public, like in that memorable occasion when he told Chavez there was no money to do what he had just announced (To which Chavez replied: :”Then find it”), Lameda became the first military officer to become President of PDVSA in its history. He was sent there by Chavez, “to clean it up, make it work for the country, for the people, break the cliques”.


In Lameda’s own words, he found a PDVSA much different place that he had envisioned, people worked hard, were loyal to the company and he found no evidence of corruption. In the end, he became more PDVSAn than the PDVSos, defining a set of goals and values for the company and becoming in the end, stronly identified with the PDVSA culture. Thus, Chavez fired him in February 2002, another victim of the Chavez praying mantis effect and replaced him with the same man that Chavez is now naming to the Presidency of the Venezuelan Central Bank, Gaston Parra Luzardo. That nomination sparked the crisis that led to the April 2002 crisis. 


In today’s El Universal, Lameda wrote this article called “The revolution is Politics” which speaks for itself.:


The Revolution is Politics by Guicaipuro Lameda


 


There is no doubt that the Bolivarian Revolution, that has already been installed in Venezuela for six years has been up to now pure politics


 


At one time, when I worked for the government in the position of Head of the Central Budget Office, I remember having worked very hard to contribute so that the socioeconomic theme would be made the motor of the Government’s agenda.


 


Unfortunately, because I did not know nor understand the true dynamics of the “revolutionary process” my efforts were in vain and much like a reporter entitled it once, I was in a war “alone and without ammunition”. The true motor of the Government’s agenda is only politics; the rest is simply excuses and complements.


 


The project or process uses the precarious conditions in which a majority of the population lives, to maintain a permanent conflict with everything that represents “the past” while that conflict is exploited to generate a profound political change.


 


That is why Hugo Chávez has insisted so many times, in that the important thing is politics, his revolutionary scheme is that, first and at whatever the cost, to change the political order in a radical way to later take care of the social and the economic, if it is at all possible.


 


That is why it should not surprise anyone what is happening surrounding the Rodrigo Granda case and although it seems absurd, illogical and irrational, it is perfectly coherent with the revolutionary strategy to restore in Venezuela the hegemonic control of power on the part of the old fashioned left, that would also prefer his “ideological” colleagues in the exercise of government in Colombia.  Therefore, the revolution constructs its ideal scenario, now the United States is not supporting Colombia so that they fight drug trafficking, terrorism or the armed insurgency against a democratic regime.  The message that is constructed for the audience loyal to the revolution is another one.  It is to make it look as if the USA-Colombia relation comprises of the “imperialistic strategy of Washington to restrain South American integration” and in the meantime the reason to strike against the government of Uribe, even if it damages commercial relations, has been declared formally: first, they are a friend of its enemy:  The United States, and second, they are the enemy of his friend:  the Colombian guerrilla, that one which is recognized as having the  belligerence and disposition to impose the old fashioned left  as the regime of government in Colombia.


 


Under this circumstance, the governments of Colombia and the United States must value, with objective coldness, the true dimension of the provocations that every day Hugo Chávez places, because they are only oriented to generate a conflict, by means of asymmetric threats, to capitalize in his purpose of propagating the blossoming of the radical left in the American continent as a mechanism of protection for his own unbridled political ambition.

The Necessary Enemy by Javier Brassesco

January 26, 2005


Today, vcrisis posted a video of statements made by Causa R leader Andres Velasquez, who nobody can accuse of being right wing or an oligarch, which are quite good, as it is usual for him. In them Velasquez refers to the Granda and Anderson’s case. In the Granda case, Velasquez says that this is simply an artificial crisis, saying Chavez has made even more serious charges against the US, but never has even threatened to break relations; he simply needed something to distract attention from other problems



A very similar point is made today by Javier Brassesco in his article:”The Necessary Enemy” in today’s El Universal:


 


The Necessary Enemy by Javier Brassesco


 


Carl Schmitt, a constitutional lawyer who adhered to the Nazi cause at the height of the effervescence of the National Socialist Party (1933), said something that became very useful for Hitler:  “the first task for those that want to dedicate themselves to politics is to find an enemy”.  Schmitt explained that the political enemy does not need to be morally bad, nor esthetically ugly, it does not need to be a competitor at the financial level, but you can even do business with him. It is sufficient that it be the other one, a stranger, the not-me, the not-us.


 


How could one forget all of this when one saw the march convoked “to defend our sovereignty”! Thousands of people slapping the darkness, showing themselves ready for a fight that isn’t, that will never be. Anyone can be brave and have a big mouth when what you have in front is a windmill, evoked only to give cohesiveness to the group, we are all one, all against Him, against the other one against the enemy.


 


But something needs to be invented , since for now to blame and distract the people the internal enemy is not good enough, that concept that was adopted in Rwanda by the Hutus and their terrible militia (the interhamwe, “the ones that kill together”) right before they grabbed their machetes and devoted themselves to the patriotic task of exterminating eight hundred thousand Tutsis in three months (April-July 1994) while the world looked the other way, after all,  more blacks or fewer blacks is not something that keeps the civilized world of this planet awake.


 


And even if that interior enemy is good for some things (Barreto blamed Bandera Roja for the revolt of the street vendors and Acosta Carles said the invasions were work the work of the opposition) in general it is not very credible in these moments of exaggerated transcendence. Thus the enemy has to be found abroad and what better enemy than the United States (that of course is the one that moves the strings, wicked and calculating behind the curtains), what better thing that appeal to patriotism, which for Samuel Johnson was the last refuge of the scoundrel, that one that makes the imbecile feel proud because they were born in the same place as a wise man, the same one that Bush appeals to push forward his preventive wars. The nation threatened by the insolent sole of the foreigner is the unwilted recourse of the politicians, the card up your sleeve that gathers the herd, makes it obey better and does not get distracted looking a different way.


 


Whatever happens with Colombia is not the important thing, because in the end absolutely nothing will happen. The Granda case will be a mystery more so to those that are by now dangerously used to it. Nothing ever happens here, we go from one thing to the other, statements, counter statements, scandals, scandalized opinions and a liter of milk already costs one thousand eight hundred bolivars, an additional person is sleeping in the streets.


 


In the middle of the boom of patriotic trifles and called to defend the Nation (Capital letters please), I remember and sympathize more than ever with that character of Brecht, that one that said that he was not interested in belonging to any place in particular, because in the end he could die anywhere.

The Necessary Enemy by Javier Brassesco

January 26, 2005


Today, vcrisis posted a video of statements made by Causa R leader Andres Velasquez, who nobody can accuse of being right wing or an oligarch, which are quite good, as it is usual for him. In them Velasquez refers to the Granda and Anderson’s case. In the Granda case, Velasquez says that this is simply an artificial crisis, saying Chavez has made even more serious charges against the US, but never has even threatened to break relations; he simply needed something to distract attention from other problems



A very similar point is made today by Javier Brassesco in his article:”The Necessary Enemy” in today’s El Universal:


 


The Necessary Enemy by Javier Brassesco


 


Carl Schmitt, a constitutional lawyer who adhered to the Nazi cause at the height of the effervescence of the National Socialist Party (1933), said something that became very useful for Hitler:  “the first task for those that want to dedicate themselves to politics is to find an enemy”.  Schmitt explained that the political enemy does not need to be morally bad, nor esthetically ugly, it does not need to be a competitor at the financial level, but you can even do business with him. It is sufficient that it be the other one, a stranger, the not-me, the not-us.


 


How could one forget all of this when one saw the march convoked “to defend our sovereignty”! Thousands of people slapping the darkness, showing themselves ready for a fight that isn’t, that will never be. Anyone can be brave and have a big mouth when what you have in front is a windmill, evoked only to give cohesiveness to the group, we are all one, all against Him, against the other one against the enemy.


 


But something needs to be invented , since for now to blame and distract the people the internal enemy is not good enough, that concept that was adopted in Rwanda by the Hutus and their terrible militia (the interhamwe, “the ones that kill together”) right before they grabbed their machetes and devoted themselves to the patriotic task of exterminating eight hundred thousand Tutsis in three months (April-July 1994) while the world looked the other way, after all,  more blacks or fewer blacks is not something that keeps the civilized world of this planet awake.


 


And even if that interior enemy is good for some things (Barreto blamed Bandera Roja for the revolt of the street vendors and Acosta Carles said the invasions were work the work of the opposition) in general it is not very credible in these moments of exaggerated transcendence. Thus the enemy has to be found abroad and what better enemy than the United States (that of course is the one that moves the strings, wicked and calculating behind the curtains), what better thing that appeal to patriotism, which for Samuel Johnson was the last refuge of the scoundrel, that one that makes the imbecile feel proud because they were born in the same place as a wise man, the same one that Bush appeals to push forward his preventive wars. The nation threatened by the insolent sole of the foreigner is the unwilted recourse of the politicians, the card up your sleeve that gathers the herd, makes it obey better and does not get distracted looking a different way.


 


Whatever happens with Colombia is not the important thing, because in the end absolutely nothing will happen. The Granda case will be a mystery more so to those that are by now dangerously used to it. Nothing ever happens here, we go from one thing to the other, statements, counter statements, scandals, scandalized opinions and a liter of milk already costs one thousand eight hundred bolivars, an additional person is sleeping in the streets.


 


In the middle of the boom of patriotic trifles and called to defend the Nation (Capital letters please), I remember and sympathize more than ever with that character of Brecht, that one that said that he was not interested in belonging to any place in particular, because in the end he could die anywhere.

A couple of interesting links today

January 26, 2005

From the Weekly Standard by Thor Harvolssen on Chavez’ history with guerrilla groups, entitled Guerilla Nation.


 


And from the New York Sun (by subscription) as posted on bradynet on the outsourcing of intelligence and police activities to Cubans by the Chaves Government entitled Venezuela Outsources Intelligence Activities to Cuba. Curious how this is not against our sovereignty. The article discusses the new agreement by which Cuban police and prosecutors will be able to come and harass people in Venezuela. I have not had the time to talk about this incredible agreement which completely relegates sovereign matters to a foreign power. But in Chavez cynical world, that’s ok, he trusts Fidel.

What do the Pucon Triathlon and Chavez’ sexist remarks have in common?

January 26, 2005

The question in this title may seem strange, but there is actually a very strong coincidence. A coworker of mine went last week to Chile to participate in the Pucon half Ironman triathlon, which took place on the same day as Chavez’ sexist remarks about Condoleezza Rice. Since Sunday, I have been trying to find news in the international press about both events, with very limited success.


In the case of the triathlon I was trying to find out how well she did in her category (over 40, ladies) which was never reported by the official website. But so far, I have only found one report in the international press, which is an Australian site reporting on the failure of one of their countryman to win the event. By the way, I did find out through the grapevine that my friend came in third, only a minute away from the leader in her category, but it still has not been reported anywhere in the international press.


 


The same can be said of Chavez’ sexist remarks about Condoleezza Rice that day. I have been searching the international news with very little success, which was surprising to me given the sexist nature of his remarks and the sensitivity of the world press to such attitudes. To my surprise, this is the only link I have been able to find (actually someone posted it in the comments!) to the story in any major newspaper and it is actually quite short on that particular subject:


 


“There are some subjects that most presidents would avoid when speaking in public about an adversary, no matter the circumstances. But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has once again proven he’s no ordinary president. Just days after U.S. Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice said at her senate confirmation hearings that Chavez was “a negative force in the region,” he suggested she needed the type of companionship he could not satisfy. “I will not make that sacrifice for my country,” he told a rally Sunday.


 


Crudeness aside, Chavez’ comments underscored just how low U.S.-Venezuelan relations have dropped amid recent Washington complaints that his government is harboring leftist guerrillas from neighboring Colombia.”


 


The report is actually quite bland, compared to how offensive I think Chavez’ remarks were, but what really surprised me is that the writer failed to make a pun when he or she wrote: “But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has once again proven he’s no ordinary president”.


 


It’s actually the opposite; his remarks show how truly ordinary Chavez actually is.

What do the Pucon Triathlon and Chavez’ sexist remarks have in common?

January 26, 2005

The question in this title may seem strange, but there is actually a very strong coincidence. A coworker of mine went last week to Chile to participate in the Pucon half Ironman triathlon, which took place on the same day as Chavez’ sexist remarks about Condoleezza Rice. Since Sunday, I have been trying to find news in the international press about both events, with very limited success.


In the case of the triathlon I was trying to find out how well she did in her category (over 40, ladies) which was never reported by the official website. But so far, I have only found one report in the international press, which is an Australian site reporting on the failure of one of their countryman to win the event. By the way, I did find out through the grapevine that my friend came in third, only a minute away from the leader in her category, but it still has not been reported anywhere in the international press.


 


The same can be said of Chavez’ sexist remarks about Condoleezza Rice that day. I have been searching the international news with very little success, which was surprising to me given the sexist nature of his remarks and the sensitivity of the world press to such attitudes. To my surprise, this is the only link I have been able to find (actually someone posted it in the comments!) to the story in any major newspaper and it is actually quite short on that particular subject:


 


“There are some subjects that most presidents would avoid when speaking in public about an adversary, no matter the circumstances. But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has once again proven he’s no ordinary president. Just days after U.S. Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice said at her senate confirmation hearings that Chavez was “a negative force in the region,” he suggested she needed the type of companionship he could not satisfy. “I will not make that sacrifice for my country,” he told a rally Sunday.


 


Crudeness aside, Chavez’ comments underscored just how low U.S.-Venezuelan relations have dropped amid recent Washington complaints that his government is harboring leftist guerrillas from neighboring Colombia.”


 


The report is actually quite bland, compared to how offensive I think Chavez’ remarks were, but what really surprised me is that the writer failed to make a pun when he or she wrote: “But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has once again proven he’s no ordinary president”.


 


It’s actually the opposite; his remarks show how truly ordinary Chavez actually is.

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