A bizarre (and live!) tale of indoctrination, hidden behind the infamous “misiones”

January 30, 2007

This is a really bizarre story. Mision Sucre is one of the “misiones” created by the Government, whose objective is to help those with a high school degree to have access to higher education. I have questioned this program, because the Chavez administration seems to be making the same mistake every Government in the last, at least thirty years has made, to emphasize higher education over lower levels. But that is beside the point.

Last Sunday, at Chavez’ Sunday Reality Show, they invited a girl representing “Mision Sure” Knowing how well this shows are staged, I am sure that Mari Quintero must have been one of the better and more articulate students of Mision Sucre. Right before the girl came on Chavez spoke badly of the cooperative program, his brainchild, which clearly is not going well since the President himself is saying it. And then came Mari to show to us and , hopefully, the world, how these misiones are used mainly to indoctrinate, instead of teaching them anything useful or what the programs are supposed to do. This is the exchange between Chavez and Mari, which says it all, as told in El Nacional today:

It was all Mari Quinetro’s fault. The girl, representing Mision Sucre, was part of the Sunday program Alo, Presidente, which was held the day before yesterday from Cojedes State. As proof of his relaxed relationship with the people Chavez decided to interview her to know about her specialty. The young woman indicated that her course was on processing and conservation of fishing products.

“Tell me-said Chavez-, what you have learned? How does it work with fish? How long do they last in the belly? The fish is oviparous, no? And then, tell me, what you have learned?, the head of the State asked her.

Quintero, without doubting, responded to him: “Right now they are talking to us about socio-political education, about hegemony, value added and that type of terms”�.

The President, surprised, crossed-examined her: “And about the fish, what you have learned, then”�.

And the girl said to him: “We have not begun to learn about it”.

The chief executive insisted on learning how advanced the course was.

The student told him that they began on October 15th.

Chavez wanted to know when the practical aspects would begin. With a smile of irrefutable security, Quintero indicated: “It will have to be tomorrow”.

A conversation then followed between the President and the instructor of the young person, Ubaldo Puerta. He informed the speaker that at the beginning of the courses they offer, “a socio-political education related to socialism, the social education of the individual, cooperativism”

But he entered into a contradiction with the student, because while Puerta assured him that that part lasted 15 days, Quintero said that they had been receiving three months of instruction.

Later the Minister for the Popular Economy, Pedro Morejon, took part and he tried to clarify the panorama, but Chavez was implacable. He requested the syllabus which they were following to review it later, and returned to the young girl “Okey (OK, in Spanish), now, Mary, tell me: when they finish the course, what are you going to do”.

The student indicated that they would try to form a cooperative, although previously the President had criticized that form of organization.

“Aha, and you already are visualizing some project in which you are going to work “. This only generated an even more startling answer still: “No; but as soon as we begin the practical part, we will see what the cooperative will be about”.

It was at that point that Chavez decided to leave it at that. One assumes that Mari Quintero must have immersed herself finally today, in the world of the fish farming.

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