I feel so good today. From Moscow, I not only learn that
to spend some more money on buying weapons from Russia to complement the
billions of dollars already spent, but he has also invited the Russians to
establish military bases in Venezuela. This is making me feel so safe now. I
have no worries now, unless Chavez decides, for example, to start a war. He
almost did on March, but once the mobilization of soldiers and tanks began, he
realized that Colombia could probably take care of the Venezuelan armed
forces in a couple of days.
Which is what makes Chavez’ claims that he is arming to defend
Venezuela from the US so laughable. The same Venezuelan armed forces that could
not properly mobilize towards the border, or hold a military parade without trucks
overturning or zippers
blowing out in soldier’s pants.How long could they last even in a mini skirmish with any of our neighbors?
But Chavez’ is simply showing that his ideology has the
consistency of mushy tapioca. He talks about imperialism and sovereignty but
allows Cubans and now Soviets to come to Venezuela unchecked, to establish military bases.
There seems to be nothing wrong with the repressive Cuban State advising
Venezuela on ID cards and intelligence or a Russian army coming to Venezuela
and establishing a military base, but if the US suggests it will have a post
anywhere in Antarctica, the cries of Imperialism fly away.
In the end, it is because the only thing Chavez cares about
is arming Venezuela to become a regional superpower and antagonizing the US, it
is a way of life and clichés for him.
Because Chavez knows and understands that he will never confront the US
militarily, but he does know that Uribe and Lula will not tolerate any violation
by him of those countries sovereignty. The same way that some day he foresees
that the world may isolate him a la Mugabe when he refuses to relinquish power even if he
loses it in an election. At that time, he will be armed to the teeth, ready to
kill Venezuelans and foreign alike, just to save his hide and most importantly, his power.
Because after so much criticism of imperialism, Chavez has
become a little imperialist himself, giving away oil to the Caribbean and Cuba,
sending and crashing helicopters in Bolivia, giving away power plants to
Nicaragua, as Venezuela suffers daily blackouts. But maybe nobody has told him things are not well at home.
Meanwhile, there is a silent civil war in the barrios of
Venezuela, precisely where Chavez’ constituency is supposed to reside.
Homicides rates have tripled in the last ten years, as Chavez looks the other
way, as more than 12,000 of his supporters die needlessly every year due to his neglect of
crime as a major problem.
Thus, I feel safe at the macro level; neither the Colombians
nor the Americans will be able to invade us now that the autocrat has completed
these multi billion-dollar purchases of expensive toys. But I better stay home
at night, just in case I get caught in the crossfire of some barrio
confrontation or just a random shooting.
Because remarkably, the “people” that Chaves claims to care
so much about, can’t find jobs, don’t get good healthcare and go out day and
night fearful that they will be mugged, killed or kidnapped. I am lucky, I live
in this ghetto called Chacao, where a well equipped municipal police force
keeps crime under control, together with the dozens of the guards hired between the
building I live in, as well as the adjacent ones.
Such is the nuttiness of what we are living in, that Chavez can
spend billions on useless weapons, allow a hundred thousand Venezuelans to be
shot because of his neglect, send helicopters and cars to help Evo Morales save
his rear end and allow epidemics to spread under the absent eyes of Chavez
health authorities and nothing happens. Nobody says much.Who is there to be outraged? He is crazy some say,
he is nuts, say others, while he travels in luxury giving away the “people’s”
money. And we are told he is a brilliant strategist. I guess if the strategy is
to destroy and exterminate, he is brilliant indeed.
The same “people” he claims to love so much, but who have to
deal not only with Chavez international largesse abroad, but also with 30%
inflation (48% for food), crime, unemployment and health problems, as Venezuela
throws away billions of dollars in order to satisfy Chavez’ ego.
Meanwhile Chavez wants you to believe that the dead military
officers flying Evo’s helicopters are martyrs of the revolution, a
revolution which is not only fake and empty, but whose true martyrs are the
everyday Venezuelans that have to deal with the same problems as ten years ago,
exacerbated and magnified by the inefficiencies and decisions of the ignorant
But we keep plugging along as the opposition hopes for a
leader to show up miraculously, despite their many errors. Or that the Supreme
Court may feel some remorse at the banning of candidates. Or that cheating in
the December elections will be minimal. Or that somehow, the people will wake up
and give them a regional majority, so that Chavez can start blaming the
problems on them.
But at least we will be safe, the Russians will save us from
the Brazilians, from the Colombians or from the Americans.
Unless Hugo decides to start a war.
And why not? We have the weapons, the money and the madman and nobody to oppose them.
And he reminds us weekly that the revolution is “armed”. So, be prepared…