The Turning Point in Chavez’ State of the Union: “Mr President, to Exproriate is To Steal”

January 13, 2012

A priceless moment. When Maria Corina Machado called Hugo a thief, the tone of the State of the Union simply changed. Chavez became very serious and has yet to change his composure.

(P.S. Chavez’ current UN Ambassador called him an “assassin”, go figure!)

176 Responses to “The Turning Point in Chavez’ State of the Union: “Mr President, to Exproriate is To Steal””

  1. m_astera Says:

    Methinks she just made herself into a real presidential candidate. Wear your Kevlar undies, Maria. The full-length ones.

  2. joseph Says:

    una mujer con bolas, de las cuales lamentablemente carecen muchos hombres.

  3. Stuart Freeman Says:

    Wow!!!

  4. doris Says:

    Maria Corina Machado’s right on!

  5. julie carbonell Says:

    BRAVO MARIA CORINA
    muy orgullosa de ser tu compatriota
    julie carbonell

  6. Carolina Says:

    How long before she gets detained by the police for some wierd espionage case of some sort from sumate? Or gets inhabilitated for it?

    I’m really amazed that someone finally interrupted him and spoke out the truth. Hats off MCM for her bravery! Actually, it looked more like she got fed up and reacted, but that was awesome.

  7. firepigette Says:

    Carolina,

    She got fed up and reacted? Just???

    That’s what more people need to do….get fed up !! Please…..

    Venezuelans have tolerated the intolerable…..not getting fed up and reacting is part and parcel of the evil done to the country.

    • Carolina Says:

      You are absolutely right FP.
      I only feel that her intervention, although very corageus indeed, felt very emotional. She became the voice of us all and I aplaude her for that, but I fear that her emotions might weak her on a presidential campaign against a Chavez who believes he’s above everybody, who doesn’t hesitate to mock people on their face, and who reacts agresively when gets caught by surprise, like he just did.
      He just told her “you don’t measure me up”, and he will keep doing that until October and beyond.

    • Carolina Says:

      To sumarize, yes, people have to react, that is a good thing and absolutely needed.. A presidential candidate, potential president, has to be able to control her/his emotions and don’t act based on them.

      • Syd Says:

        agree, especially when she’s receiving payment for her performance. I give it a A++ on courage, a B on delivery.

  8. Gene Says:

    She sure has the balls, where are the guys, any of the four, supposedly with balls? She is like Ron Paul in the USA, she offers a serious alternative to the venezuelan status quo of the last 50 + years which brought us to this state, increasing statism and mercantilism and decreasing individual liberties and responsibilities.

    • Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

      To be fair, none of the other ones are members of Parliament, so they were not in attendance.

      Which begs the question, how come José Vicente Rangel was in attendance? Anyway, cosas de la Robolución.

  9. maria gonzalez Says:

    She does not have balls…she has “BIG OVARIES” and I am so proud that is a women with big ovaries that tell Chavez “las verdades” in his face.

    On the other hand I was very sad to see the other Maria Leon, asking that MCM be punished for has BIG OVARIES! What a contrast!

    • Roy Says:

      Sorry, Maria,

      But, “BIG OVARIES” just doesn’t have the same… caché. And this is not the moment to debate semantics. The focus should be on Maria Corina’s courage in speaking out and speaking the truth at great personal risk.

  10. CharlesC Says:

    Truly inspiring! I woke my wife up and showed her the video.
    I am still in an emotional state! Cheers for Maria Corina
    Machado!!! You are so right-This moment was historic!

  11. deananash Says:

    She’s destined to rot in jail, or flee the country. Nevertheless, this is what freedom requires as a downpayment: SACRIFICE. Now, if she’s the only one, then her courage will have been wasted.

    THIS WEEKEND there should be a march of AT LEAST A MILLION people who agree with her, all marching against the theft that is appropriation. And, without mentioning any names, the “appropriator-in-chief”.

    You’ve got to get back to mocking the ridiculous presidente. Shouldn’t be too hard. You can start with his outlandish ‘bling’. As if all that metal he’s wearing actually meant something. No disrespect meant to Venezuelan customs, but this guy is a first-rate bobo.

    Did I hear her correctly? Chavez had already been pontificating for 8 HOURS???

    • Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

      Nine and a half was the final score, apparently.

    • Syd Says:

      So maybe MCM, her emotional state notwithstanding, did hit a RAW NERVE !

      We need more MCM’s. But better prepared to launch the next volley — no trembling voice, now.

      Dále.

  12. Javier Says:

    Chavez, by telling Maria Corina she hurt his feelings by calling him a thief after she said ” to expropriate is to steal”, just confirms he is the one behind expropriations, not that we didn’t know, but a confession of a crime does not need proofs. So Diego Arria is right when he says Chávez is his own accuser.

    Javier

  13. Kepler Says:

    Too emotional. It’s good for a catharsis but she should have made references to the fact every head of state in a country with indefinite re-election debates and doesn’t hide behind a military caste.
    She should have avoided the “gente decente” because that is a fuzzy thing and a lot of potential voters will interpret that differently. She should have focused more on the fact the murder rate has more than tripled, which should lead us to conclude, according to Chávez, that social inequality has become worse.
    And she should have talked about corruption scandals, about Pudreval etc.
    She was courageous, but she should have thought things through. This was predictable, very predictable, and we won’t have another opportunity in one full year.

    • Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

      Yes, Kepler, judging by the reaction she is getting on this and other forums, she completely blew it. :P

      • CharlesC Says:

        Well-spoken, Mr. Cristobal.
        Mr. Kepler “we won’t have another opportunity in one full year”
        I am hoping the opposite occurs everywhere he goes,and
        everytime he speaks. It is time to boo this clown off the stage
        and stop laughing and smiling on cue.

      • Kepler Says:

        Juan,

        I honestly don’t know. Do you judge Venezuela’s average citizen by what people say in English in an internet forum?

        I am trying to figure out what people in the secondary cities where Chávez still has the majority or at least almost 50%, think, people who have never been abroad, people who are not necessarily Chavistas, people who are not surfing on the Internet and know some English.

        One of the sins of the opposition time after time has been to think 80% of Venezuelans think like we do. Even those who oppose Chávez but are in classes C, D, tend to have quite a different perspective, sometimes sharing a lot of goals, but expressing them quite differently.

        And as I said: even if the vast majority of Venezuelans would prefer something like capitalism and won’t like socialism, whatever they have known has been one stage or the other of feudalism mixed with petrostate.

        They want their quiosquito, they want to manage their abasto. They want their children to travel and have nice houses.

        I think what Machado said reminded them more of her family’s loss than their lot.

        People should speak up against Chávez and have the courage to do that in front of him. But they should mind how to reach the largest amount of people, specially on such an occasion.

        We are just a part of Venezuelan society and we know already we are voting for the opposition.

        • Alvaro Says:

          I agree with Kepler, a lot of people already sees Chavez as some kind of Robin Hood who steals from the arrogant rich class (one MCM happen to be part of) and give it to the poor, because it’s no crime to steal from a thief (“Ladron que roba a Ladron tiene 100 años de perdon!)

          I guess stealing is ok in the current Venezuela, maybe that’s why crime is so high. One thing MCM did for sure, is to give fresh material to La Hojilla!

  14. island canuck Says:

    We were watching a movie last night which ended around 10 pm.
    When we stopped the movie the TV was set on Globovision & Chavez was still talking. My wife said that it was probably a rebroadcast of the original speech however it was still “en cadena”. Neither one of us could believe that he was still talking live.

    This morning I read that he went on for 9 hours & 28 minutes. Wow. is this man mentally deranged or what? What human talks for 9½ hours without stopping? Who would hold an audience captive for that amount of time? The man is definitely 100% certifiable. If I was an oppo member I would have walked out after an hour or so.

    The other question is – what sort of chemicals did they give him before the show? When he started I noticed his voice was very gravely, like he had the flu or something. Did he stand the whole 9+ hours??

    There was a good explanation of his medical situation yesterday in ND (in Spanish) here: http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=831782
    If this has any validity how did he keep going for this amount of time. I need whatever he’s smoking :-)

    • captainccs Says:

      Roberto Carlo Olivares addresses the true situation in Venezuela when he lists the four points he will cover:

      1.- profundizaré en la primera variable (el cáncer de Chávez),

      2.- la segunda variable es la situación interna de la Fuerza Armada Nacional,

      3.- la tercera variable es la elección del candidato unitario de la oposición a través de las primarias; y

      4.- la última variable es la determinación del pueblo venezolano en aras de recuperar su Libertad.

      In journalism you always mention things in the order of their importance:

      1.- Chavez
      2.- The military
      3.- The opposition primaries
      4.- The will of the Venezuelan people

      What Roberto Carlo Olivares is saying is that Chavez controls the military. Venezuela has “democracy” the military willing and permitting. The rest, being so far down the line, is just filler. The elections will be stolen because Venezuelans don’t have the balls to defend their democracy.

  15. captainccs Says:

    Priceless, yes. But if she wins the primaries, Chavez will still expropriate the presidential victory.

    To expropriate is to steal and not only has Chavez stolen private property, he has been stealing elections for these past 13 years. We had over 50% of the votes for the Assembly, how come we have fewer than 50% of the members? Another Chavez theft.

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      Hugomandering/Gerrymandering is the reason. The number of registered voters for Miranda-3 and Miranda-7 is at esdata . We find out that in Miranda-3, which went oppo, there are 321,909 registered voters. We find out that in Miranda-7, which went Chavista, there are 137,843 registered voters.

      Registered voters/Assembly seat
      Broken down by victors in Circuitos/Circunscripciones/voting districts, not for statewide winners.

      Miranda State
      Oppo 255,104
      Chavista 170,144

      Carabobo State
      Oppo 267,524
      Chavista 179,382

      That is how you get 64% of the Assembly seats with only 48% of the vote. All votes are equal, but some votes are more equal than others.

      Eection results are from links from the Election Results Main Page. Click on Miranda and on Carabobo for results for those states.

      The Venezuelan Constitution, in Article 293 10) states:
      “Electoral Power organs shall guarantee the equality, impartiality, transparency and efficiency of electoral processes, as well as implementation of the personalization of suffrage and proportional representation.”

      This is the Constitution that Hugo wrote. He sees no need to follow it.
      That is how.

      • captainccs Says:

        >>>All votes are equal, but some votes are more equal than others.

        You forgot to mention that in some marginal, low population states the votes are worth double. Those states get twice the number of seats they should according to population, in the name of “fairness” so they are more equal. In the bicameral congress the senate makes up for the different size of the member states.

        Mark my words: not only is expropriation theft, so are Chavista elections!

        • Boludo Tejano Says:

          You forgot to mention that in some marginal, low population states the votes are worth double.
          Right you are.
          Estado Reg. Voters seats votes/seat
          Amazonas 88893 4 22,223
          Anzoátegui 943699 7 134,814
          Apure 282187 5 56,437
          Aragua 1095865 8 136,983
          Barinas 482388 6 80,398
          Bolívar 875449 8 109,431
          Carabobo 1413071 10 141,307
          Cojedes 205573 4 51,393
          Delta Amarcuro 106314 4 26,579
          Distrito Capital 1570041 10 157,004
          Falcón 587396 6 97,899
          Guárico 456171 5 91,234
          Lara 1122263 9 124,696
          Mérida 547482 6 91,247
          Miranda 1874134 12 156,178
          Monagas 540523 6 90,087
          Nueva Esparta 304833 4 76,208
          Portuguesa 526357 6 87,726
          Sucre 588272 6 98,045
          Táchira 769866 7 109,981
          Trujillo 461436 5 92,287
          Vargas 252804 4 63,201
          Yaracuy 378267 5 75,653
          Zulia 2242474 15 149,498

          For Amazonas: 22,223 registered voters /seat. For Zula: 149,198 registered voters/ seat. For Distrito Federal: 157,004 registered voters/seat. (Seats add up to 162: l65- 3 Indigenous seats)

      • Kepler Says:

        Boludo,
        I don’t understand why the opposition has not said this clearly at the National Assembly. They did put 52% signs, that was good. Still, they need to insist on that, use boards with the word “gerrymandering”, for instance. People in Venezuelan don’t know what the hell that word is (most people don’t anywhere, even if some are aware of the procedure) but if you start showing the message over and over again some people will start asking:
        y qué es esa vaina del gerry ese?
        And that should be the point.
        The point is further to gain more and more votes so that cheating becomes more difficult OR you kill Chávez.
        Firepigette thinks that by following a feel-better course and addressing the 2% of the population you will get rid of Chávez…and that by the sheer emotion and tears Chávez will drop dead.

        Unless we carry out a special action to call Chávez over and over and over again a coward, we won’t have better opportunities to shove it up his…
        as we had yesterday.

        • Boludo Tejano Says:

          I don’t understand why the opposition has not said this clearly at the National Assembly.

          I don’t know how well the Venezuelan mainstream media covered the Gerrymandering issue. You certainly covered it in your blog before the election, as did Quico & Juan Nagel. I’m sure that Daniel and Miguel Octavio also covered it.

          A further point about the Gerrymandering issue is that the numbers are out there in plain sight. It is a simple matter of connecting the number of registered voters per Circuito, and who won that given Circuito. There is no complicated Ph.D. level statistical analysis necessary, as was done for the 2004 Referendum. Nor is is a matter of inferring complex and nefarious Smartmatic software. The Gerrymander numbers are rather obvious.

          • Kepler Says:

            Boludo,

            They are obvious for those who want to see.
            It’s a different world out there. El Universal mentioned it a bit, and El Nacional, but I think this should have been a real campaign of information.
            Outside those regions and even close to those regions a lot of simple people didn’t know how bad it was. They just paid attention to who won in their region and in general, nothing more.

  16. Kepler Says:

    Miguel,

    Three months to go. Chávez won’t die. He exaggerated the whole shit, whatever he had

  17. captainccs Says:

    Did anyone pay attention to Chavez’s reply?

    “Tu no tienes ranquing para debatir conmigo. Primero tienes que ganar las primarias.”

    “You don’t have rank to debate me. First you must win the primaries.”

    No mention of the subject at hand, only a disqualification of the opponent based on the current level of authority. This is no democracy, where the “demos” is allowed to speak their mind. This is authoritarianism, where authority rules above and beyond all else. Elections are MOOT! Guns trump votes.

  18. bobthebuilder Says:

    MCM has just done what the rest of the opposition should have been doing for the last decade.

  19. Deanna Says:

    Whether MCM was fed up, emotional, or otherwise, she said to Chavez to his face what needed to be said these past 13 years. As a constant observer of what has been happening in this country, nothing will change until Venezuelans get out of their lethargic/defeatist mode and finally throw out this pseudo-president (either through votes or a civil uprising). I have heard so-called members of the silent opposition who have said that they don’t believe anything will change because Chavez will win the elections in 2012. With a defeatist outlook like that, there is no help or hope for the Venezuelans!!!

  20. Lucy Tania Says:

    she’s still a hottie…..

    listening to the laughter and cat calls in the background just emphasizes what a silly and undeserving people the Venzoidals are…. go swill your rum and make more illiterate kids you cant feed…..catastrophe is your future

    • BB Cuiba Says:

      I’m afraid you’re generalizing and that never really is an intelligent thing to do. Please don’t put everyone in the same bag.

  21. moctavio Says:

    Of course it is emotional, her father’s life work was expropriated in two parts, no compensation for part I, taken over three years ago, no compensation for part II, taken over a year and a half ago. Part I is in shambles, part II is being run by her family for the Government.

    • Mike Says:

      MO,
      Forgive my ignorance, but what was it that was expropriated, described by you as “her father’s life work”? And why would the family run “part II” for the government?
      Thank you.

      • moctavio Says:

        I did not want to go into details. her father founded Sivensa in the 40’s. It started as a steel processing company. Later, it went into the hot iron briquette business. Hot iron briquettes are made with iron ore and are a very good substitute for steel scrap. They started with a small plant called Fior, then a second one called Venprecar and then tried to go big time with another one called Orinoco iron. The processes did not scale well, but Orinoco eventually managed to produce about 1.8 million Tons per year, Venprecar about 800,000 and Fior I cant remember the number, arond 350,000 tons per year. Eventually Sivensa was divided into two divisions, Orinoco Iron, just briquettes and Sidetur, the steel processing and maker of finished steel products. Orinoco was taken over by the Government about two and half/three years ago. Venezuela’s production has plummeted (They took over all iron briquette plants, including a Japanese one and an Argentinean one). I understand it is producing less than a third of what it used to and its best technical people have left. In 2010, the Government took over Sidetur at the request of the workers. However, the owners have never left the operation of the company, I understand the people who took charge realized they could not run it. However, the Government has yet to pay for either of the two. Sivensa shares trade in the Caracas Stock Market, they are worth about US$ 72 million at the official rate. The company traded as high as one billion in the early 90’s, almost went under when it built Orinoco and then recovered to around US$ 170 million, but its plants are certainly worth more than that.

        • Mike Says:

          Thank you so much, Miguel. This is so much more info than I could have ever hoped for.

          Understandable that there really is no other word than THEFT when it’s one’s personal business, finca, building or whatever that is being ”expropriated” without appropriate compensation. No wonder that her emotion and passion almost went to the point of tears, because it’s just not quite the same when “things”, whatever they may be, happen to others.

        • Alex Dalmady Says:

          Orinoco Iron was supposed to produce 2.2 million tons/yr using a proprietary process (Fior). Fior produced around 400.000/yr. I used to follow Sivensa and its subsidiary International Briquette Holdings in the 90’s. Sivensa actually still holds the patents to the process, since that was held in a subsidiary that wasn’t nationalized.

          Sivensa has “book value” of about $900 million dollars. I guess in this case, they’d be happy if the government came up with that amount in the expropriation. The Machados are not the sole owners of Sivensa, which as Miguel mentioned is publicly traded. I can’t remember their ownership %, but I’d guess 30-60%.

  22. Glenn Says:

    I am astounded that anyone would criticize MCM for standing up to Chavez in a public forum. When was the last time anyone witnessed this?

    • Kepler Says:

      Nobody has criticized her for standing up to criticize Chávez. She could and should have criticized him even harder. The point is she didn’t prepare herself for that and this is incredible. We knew there is one fucking opportunity a year to try to talk publicly to that bastard.

      If you are going to speak out you have to take your decision: is it to make yourself feel better and make perhaps the likes of Firepigette feel better?
      Then you get your vote and the votes of those in El Cafetal and the votes of Firepigette if she travels from Carolina to Houston or NY or Washington to vote.

      If not, you should have said things that are priority for the 39% of Venezuelans who are not voting, to the 20% of Chavez supporters who may change.

      This is not a catharsis session. You can say that Chávez has blood in his hand, that Pudreval stinks and some of his relatives are in that, that Venezuela is importing as many weapons as the US while being just a fraction of the economic size of the US and while having millions without proper housing, you can say you

      That Machado is being paid for being a deputy. She had one fucking year to prepare.

      Sorry, guys: “somos gente decente” three or four times and talking about her personal traumas, no matter how hard they are for her, is of no use for the others.

      The way to win over is not by wanking.
      Either you use brute force or you try to gain over votes you do not have now.

      • firepigette Says:

        Kepler’s reaction is exactly why we have the Venezuela we do.It is unhealthy and backwards NOT to react with strong emotion in front of grave injustice.

        People in Venezuela have been repressing their good emotions for too long, and putting up with nonsense!

        This is one of the emotional blind spots common among people who have been oppressed for so many years.

  23. firepigette Says:

    Glenn,

    Do you not know Venezuela? This reaction is typical….I lived there most of my adult life …many many years, and I can tell you that the people are fearful and disdain others when others react emotionally to injustice…that is why they have caudillos.Caudillos are not there for NO reason.They also loved to butter up those with status.

    I used to talk just like Maria Corina when they robbed from me at the CANTV, when the Guardia Nacional treated me like shite, when neighbors allowed their mean dogs to bite others,when school officials ignored bullies, when the solvencia tried to steal my friend’s money etc etc….and all I ever got was a response of horror,fear and ridicule.

    People there are more horrified by those who stand up to dictators than they are by the dictators themselves…..they are used to authoritarians.They are in every household, every school, and in every government org, in Venezuela.

    • julie carbonell Says:

      you are right to a point, and maybe that´s why you left Venezuela. Some of us that have stayed RAISE our voices when necesary- and there seems to be a lot of Venezuelans that have lost the fear to raise thair voices in protest-
      juli from caracas

  24. Bruni Says:

    I disagree with you guys. I am a huge MCM fan since day one and I liked a lot what I was hearing until she said the “to expropriate is to steal”. I knew that Chávez would use that word “steal” to turn around what was up to then a difficult questioning for him.

    Now, until then she was really connecting to the venezuelan woman that cannot find milk, that have their children killed, that feels insecure in the streets and insecure in their business. Then she said the word “steal” and gives Chávez a hook to remove himself from the debate.

    He cleverly reminds her that she is still not the opposition candidate, and put her in her place with a smart “aguila no caza mosca”, which is equivalent to telling her and the country that he thinks she is insignificant.

    The result? I think that people that applaud MCM today are those that anyways would vote for MCM. On the other hand, she missed her opportunity to make the President debate about the very serious issues that she was presenting. On top of that, many people that would be naturally prone to vote for her have been saying that she is “too jojota” and Chávez answer was exactly to remind those people that she was still not up to his status.

    So, in the end, MCM should have used her time to win votes to be the opposition candidate, but I don’t think she won any new ones. I think the mini-debate made a very good show, but will not translate in more votes.

    I hope I am wrong because she is my candidate.

    • megaescualidus Says:

      In the end, MCM may not benefit at all from yesterday’s comments (now she’s even more in HC’s crosshairs) but so far she’s the only one I remember telling HC to his face he’s a ladron. Todos los demas en la oposicion solo guabinean.

      Political speeches are far from being class lectures (they’re not data driven, organized, impassioned). MCM intervention yesterday may have been off substance-wise, but it was right on feelings-wise (my humble opinion). Yesterday she became, for a few minutes, the voice of at least 50% of all Venezuelans (I hope I’m wrong and the real number is much higher).

      MCM is not old. If HC really kicks the bucket sometime soon, she may not have a chance now, but she could always try again later.

      • Kepler Says:

        Megaescualidus,

        Do you want our politicians to talk for the sake of catharsis or do you want them to try to reach others who could vote with us but are not doing it yet?

        • megaescualidus Says:

          I applaud MCM for telling HC to his face he’s a ladron. As I said above, I really believe for as long as her intervention lasted MCM became the voice of at least 52% of Venezuelans.

    • Mike Says:

      He CLEVERLY reminds her…and puts her in her place with a SMART “aguila no casa mosca”,…

      REALLY? CLEVERLY! SMART! In combination with the “ranking” comment? From this Trogolita that, if it wasn’t for her diplomatic immunity, he would have her rotting in jail already?

      Have you, as a woman, no decency, calling this monster smart and clever in comparison with Maria Corina Machado?

      Great statesmen can level with the guy that cleans the toilets AND with the QUEEN of England (the latter is just an example of the highest level of diplomatic protocol, not an endorsement of the persona).

      This is not about voting for her or getting new voters. She knows that for her winning the primary would be a miracle (por ahora). It’s about exposing Chavez for what he really is and calling things by colloquial names, i.e. expropriation = THEFT. And Chavez hates and FEARS when somebody mimics his colloquial speech that his followers can understand, and even more so when it comes from a woman.

      • captainccs Says:

        >>>Have you, as a woman, no decency, calling this monster smart and clever in comparison with Maria Corina Machado?

        Sorry Mike but you misunderstand or refuse to face reality. One wishes MCM had triumphed over Chavez and, in the minds of some, she did. But looking on with dispassion, an observer would conclude that the effect on the greater audience — the voters — was not necessarily favorable.

        The show at the AN is for public consumption. The actors have to know their audience. Getting mad or even with Chavez while not connecting to that greater audience is a wasted opportunity that comes once a year.

        Our objective is not to protect MCM but to get rid of Chavez. Let’s never forget our goals. The greatest mistake the opposition has made over the past 13 years is not facing up to reality (creer en pajaritos preñados). Remember that Chavez has the advice and backing of the longest living dictator in the world. The Castro Bros. have outlasted in office every other tyrant who ever lived.

        Denying reality, that Chavez won the street brawl, is a big mistake.

        • Mike Says:

          Captain,

          All I can do is suggest that you s l o w l y read my post again, word by word, sentence by sentence, rather than picking one statement and comment on it, TOTALLY out of context.

          MCM, at this stage of the game knows that she can’t win the primaries. Triumphing over Chavez to me means exactly what you say: Getting rid of Chavez, which by default SHE can’t do.

          So she exposes him and shows to the eyeballs (if this video gets some traction) of the world and more importantly, to the ni-ni women of Venezuela, who he really is, by making him loose his temper. Great courageous move.

          There is no need to lecture me about who’s playbook Chavez is following. The key here is: do the oppo candidates have one that can beat their’s? I am afraid the answer is no, simply because playing by democratic rules makes it impossible to beat one based on fascism. Draw your own conclusions re “Triumphing”.

          But back to details of Bruni’s comments, calling Chavez “CLEVER” and “SMART” in comparison to MCM, while Chavez tells her about his superior “ranking” (in a socialist dream society of equals) is simply nonsense to me.

      • Bruni Says:

        Mike, don’t be so “soupe au lait” (my English is not good enough to find the appropriate translation…(maybe jumpy?)). I don’t like Chávez and I like MCM a lot. She is my cnadidate. I have defended her in many situations since she was persecuted by the goverment, well before being a candidate.

        Now, I was analyzing the video. I don’t like Chavez, I never have and never will, but he is a very effective real-time communicator. The way he found to avoid the difficult situation MCM was putting him in was clever. This assessment has nothing to do with my lack of appreciation for the guy or my appreciation for MC. It is just a cold assessment of what I saw.

        The moral on this is that in the event of MCM winning the primaries, she really has to prepare herself to debate Chávez. Chávez is very good at turning the tables and using typical venezuelan sentences that are very close to the people.

  25. firepigette Says:

    A debate with an idiot, is never a debate.Chavez is not someone with whom ANY person can debate.

    We need to expose him ,and that is what she tries to do.

    Those people who defend ‘the process’ are not people who can process reality…you cannot win over people who have lost their reason in any kind of civil debate.To think so is to not accept the reality of what is going on in Venezuela today.

    However the show of emotion, the strength of standing up to evil, the determination to NOT continue tolerating what should never be tolerated, does having a fighting chance.

    I saw that Chavez was shocked….if people keep shocking him, he will look more and more ridiculous to the people.

    M Corina’s stance should be taken up by more and more people.

    • Syd Says:

      the show of emotion in politics rarely has had a fighting chance in politics, anywhere. More so when it’s a woman whose voice trembles as she gets her points across.

      I give MCM full credit for her courage in voicing her opinions, shared by much of the country. But she lost political points when she was unable to keep her emotions in check.

      As one commenter on Quico’s blog stated, it appeared as though her ‘lanzamiento’ was perhaps improvised, not sufficiently prepared.

  26. Mina Says:

    María Corina, mi respeto y admiración! Esa es la manera!

  27. Bruni Says:

    Firepigette,

    I think MCM has been doing a great job exposing Chávez. In fact,, she is probably the only one in the AN that understands what it means to be a real deputy.

    However, her job now is to win votes to close the gap with other candidates and win the primaries, and there is just one month to go. Without those votes she will not be representing us.

    Do you think she won those votes yesterday?

  28. m_astera Says:

    She had the guts to stand up and speak against the caudillo, to his face, in public. That is all that matters.

    The authoritarian followers would not have approved no matter what she said, but anyone with a mind of their own and who loves the truth will applaud her.

    Debate with Chavez? Debating with a sociopathic liar is a waste of time.

  29. Bruni Says:

    m_astera,

    the current frontrunner is Capriles, followed by Pablo Perez and Leopoldo López. The question is not if she appealed to Chávez voters, the question is if she appealed to Capriles, Pérez and López voters. If you were a Capriles voter, would have you changed your mind and vote for MCM? Or if you were a PP or LL?

    I hope the answer is yes but unfortunately I think she just reafirmed her votes.

    It will be interesting to see what the polls tell.

    • moctavio Says:

      I dont think any of the voters for Capriles or Perez is hugely committed and their minds can be changed. I do think Maria Corina appealed to them with what she did, they mostly dislike Chavez and are fed up with him. If she is to have a chance she had to call attention to herself. She did.

    • m_astera Says:

      Bruni-

      I don’t have a dog in this fight or a horse in this race. I think anyone even slightly competent and partially honest could do much better than Chavez. It would be hard to do a worse job.

      What I hear on the street is that people are ready for a change.

      I also think that whoever is elected is going to have to acknowledge and cater to the populist ideas that have become accepted in Venezuela. The country is not going back to an oligarchy no matter who is president.

  30. Kepler Says:

    The point is not the debate in itself. It is to show Chávez cannot debate.
    Do the maths, please. We have about 38-40% of abstention. The amount of voters for the opposition in 2010 was 52%. Do you think we can be sure we will get 52% of the votes even if 52% of Venezuelans vote for the opposition?
    We need more.
    We need to point out Chávez is a coward and cannot hold a debate. We need to tell him on his face he thinks he is an emperor and he is fucking afraid to have a real debate.

    Some of you may remember HardTalk. Although the journalist was rather mild and didn’t have the background we Venezuelans have, he managed to ask some questions that greatly unsettled Chávez. What you did not see but was said in BBC was that Mark Weisbrot, Oliver Stone and Venezuela’s Harlot were all there calming him down and making signs with the hands and arms NOT to stand up! We need to challenge him in such a way he loses composure. You don’t do that by talking about those expropriated when absolutely all of them are already on your side

    You talk about the majority that either believe in the cargo cult and need some awakening or don’t believe in the cargo cult and got their children killed or have to live with their grandparents.

    Chavez, the murder rate has more than tripled since you are president and you say crime increases with social injustice. So, what is it?
    Chávez, what has happened with Pudreval and your nephew?
    Chávez, can you show property rights for your family’s haciendas back to 1811?
    Chávez, Bachelet, Lula, all the other presidents of South America accepted to have open debates. Why do you hide behind the microphone?

  31. captainccs Says:

    Without a doubt, Maria Corina is brave, maybe even foolhardy. But she is a novice and no Churchill. Churchill’s friend, Lord Birkenhead, quiped, ‘Winston
    has devoted the best years of his life to preparing his impromptu
    speeches.’ The best impromptu speech is the one that is well prepared. You don’t get up in the middle of a session on an impulse and start a rant. You come well prepared. You practice your ‘indignation’ in front of a mirror until it is letter perfect. In a street brawl (gallera), which is what Maria Corina started, she’ll always lose to Chavez. Say what you will, Chavez is Wily Coyote. It is difficult to beat him on his home grounds.

    As I said in my earlier post, Chavez simply eluded the subject and disqualified Maria Corina. She picked the wrong fight. Or the right fight with the wrong weapons. ¡Una novatada!

    This afternoon I went shopping in Mercado Guaicaipuro and mingled with “el pueblo de Caracas.” One or two complained about Hugo’s nine and a half hour rant. Not one mentioned Maria Corina. How is that for getting votes? Sifrinos will never elect a president. LOL

    • BB Cuiba Says:

      There’s no way this ignoramus blatherer can disqualify M.C.M. She has gained the respect of many. Those people you met at the Mercado Guaicaipuro didn’t stay till the end and probably missed her. Forget the sifrino qualification as it doesn’t apply. She is a hardworking, well educated woman who has admirable qualifications.

  32. Stuart Says:

    Marina Corina made a statement to Venezuelan’s and the rest of the world. Her exact words probably don’t matter as much as that she did it! This woman stood up against the man who supported Qaddafi, supports Assad, supports the terrorist Carlos, and other members of the US internationalist hate club. Hate America for its sins, okay, but to formulate a country’s future around that
    is incredulous. The US never made those policies against Japan, nor Germany after the Second World War. And the Cubans are not just in Venezuela to provide essential medical services. There are some who are participating in the policing and military concerns of Venezuela. If President Chavez hates American imperialism why is he replacing it with the same, just from another direction?

    She did not waste a moment, she created the moment!

  33. Bruni Says:

    A little OT, has anyone realized that the guy that was talking during 9.5 hours finished chemo treatments just a few months ago?

    i don’t want to discourage current cancer patients but after my treatments it took me six months to get back to teach and then talking during three hours in a row was extremely hard to do.

    How could he be pumped up to talk during 9 and a half hours?!?

    • captainccs Says:

      >>> How could he be pumped up to talk during 9 and a half hours?!?

      A whole blood transfusion? It does short term wonders!

      • BB Cuiba Says:

        I also had chemo and remember that after some of the treatments I became quite loquacious. It all depends on the medication. I taught between my weekly treatments and managed various classes a day. He probably got some “help” to prepare him for this, one of the longest “rants” in history. Una cantinflada como para el Libro Guinness. Only after her brief words did he get serious and down to business and try to tell us about all the things his regime supposedly has done.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      That’s a very important point.

      Yes, he did talk for 9 and a half hours. How? Was there a potty break? No? Your point is excellent. The argument made by Mr. Noriega a few months back was that the cancer was terminal and full chemotherapy was useless. So,…so, he did not subject himself to full chemotherapy. This was Noriega’s point. The allegations of Noriega still fit the template. Again, he could be wrong. Yup. No question. But, let’s keep things in perspective. If his cancer were terminal, and he did reject full treatments, this is exactly what would be occuring. Time will tell.

  34. Kepler Says:

    Bruni, somehow I am believing less and less he had that cancer. If he had something, it was a minor type. I would like to see if the physician who commented here last year and gave some interesting options could come forward and give us his updated view.

  35. firepigette Says:

    Whether or not MA. Corina wins votes with people who judge her wrongly is not as important as the fact that she express herself honestly and does what everyone should be doing which is confronting Chavez with the truth.

    Nobody has done this, and this is and has been the most important thing to be doing.It affects Chavez…it affects his stability, his power.

    I saw how Chavez trembled inwardly.This is the goal…even if she doesn’t win, someone had to start making waves in this direction.Up till now people have given Chavez too much undeserved respect.

  36. Bruni Says:

    JAJA Miguel, I couldn’t resist making a post out of it. Who knows, maybe this will have an impact after all. Whatever it is, we are the kings of humour, and the most efficients in the world!

  37. firepigette Says:

    Its true Venezuelans joke a lot, but right now that’s not what’s needed,Just another way to tolerate the intolerable.

    Thumbs down !

  38. Carolina Says:

    I have been thinking all day in several other women that have held office, checking out some videos, speeches, etc, wondering what is about MCM’s speech that I don’t like.

    I saw to this one and I thought it was worth posting. Notice the strenght, that she doesn’t smile, absolute control of emotions, no “maternal” embrace here. This is what I think MCM lacks of.

    And of course, the capitalismo popular speech.

    • Syd Says:

      good find, carolina! And you’re right. Thatcher controls her audience to a T, She delivers her points on popular capitalism with maturity, repeating several of these points to ensure that her audience ‘gets it’.

      As a speaker in a public sphere, this perfectly groomed woman delivers a polished performance.

      In contrast, I see MCM as more of a girl. And that’s why I think that she needs more years, honing her skills in the political arena.

    • captainccs Says:

      By the time Thatcher delivered that speech she had grown to be mature in politics and could hold her own in one of the toughest debating societies in the world, the English Parliament. And she had been elected Prime Minister after being elected MP! As I said, Maria Corina is no Churchill, — not yet.

      But, how would a heckler have fared interrupting Thatcher? Think about that!

      • Syd Says:

        I suspect the heckler would have been swatted as would a fly, by madam Thatcher, whether early in her political career, or later. In fact, as per http://www.margaretthatcher.org/essential/biography.asp:

        In her mid-twenties she ran as the Conservative candidate for the strong Labour seat of Dartford at the General Elections of 1950 and 1951, winning national publicity as the youngest woman candidate in the country.

        She lost both times, but cut the Labour majority sharply and hugely enjoyed the experience of campaigning. Aspects of her mature political style were formed in Dartford, a largely working class constituency which suffered as much as any from post-war rationing and shortages, as well as the rising level of taxation and state regulation. Unlike many Conservatives at that time, she had little difficulty getting a hearing from any audience and she spoke easily, with force and confidence, on issues that mattered to the voters.

        Perhaps to rule out confusion, I should have used “aplomb”, rather than “maturity”, in my earlier comment. MCM has been in the public sphere long enough to have developed aplomb or maturity — in full — when confronting an adversary.

        When I saw the trembling voice, I was reminded by an MP in Canadian liberal politics (Carolyn Bennett, MD). “…in 1998 when then prime minister Jean Chrétien declared the Hepatitis – C compensation package a non-confidence vote, forcing many Liberal MPs to vote against their will, including Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Ont.) who was reduced to tears by the ordeal. ”

        Just doesn’t look good, even if some later said they were crocodile tears.

  39. Bruni Says:

    Don’t be that straight Firepigette! I found the song quite good because it conveys a message in a way all venezuelans can relate to: through humour and music.

    I don’t know if MCM’s team was behind the song or if it was a spontaneous creation by someone in the web but it was VERY good.

    Exactly the type of message everybody in Venezuela understands.

    • captainccs Says:

      Bruni, I agree! Heaping ridicule on Chavez is something people relate to and there is nothing the government can do about it. Protest songs have been popular for ever and they are not the property of the left. People must realize that Chavez is just one more clown. You have to pull his mask away.

      That is why, to protect himself from MCM’s attack, he states that he is THE authority and she is just a Johnny-Come-Lately.

  40. LD Says:

    If you think he was/is not ill, look at :

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=832111

    and take note of this:

    http://www.radiomundial.com.ve/article/suspenden-aló-presidente-n°-377

    For sure, it is incredible how he can speak nearly ten hours without a break, but it is not without a cost.
    Maybe he is yet “cancer-free”, but you can’t detect a single cancerous cell… only time will tell, if he is really cancer- free. Normally after 5 years, then you count as healed.

  41. LD Says:

    Chávez with his Aguila no caza mosca was only showing what he think about the AN, he was there not to tell tales, but to explain the work of the government and to answer the questions the AN has…!!!! The AN is there to ask!!!
    MCM was not asking as a candidate to anything but as a member of the AN!!!
    As other members had to do.

  42. Kepler Says:

    Miguel,

    Do you remember who that doctor was who was writing here about the different possibilities on Chávez’s health? He mentioned one type of cancer that is supposed to be relatively mild…he said something of the type: it’s most likely either X (very lethal type) or Y (peanuts, relatively speaking)

    I’m curious about what he thinks at this stage.

  43. firepigette Says:

    Carolina,

    1.Thatcher is British, M Corina is not.

    Walk softly and carry a big stick works in a country where you don’t have to yell over everybody to be heard.

    It is true that Corina is lacking experience and maturity and in no way can be compared to Thatcher because as we age, we gain a natural presence and authority than young people never have….however…that is true with ALL the candidates except for Arias..

    does Chavez have maturity? No.

    • Carolina Says:

      FP – I’m not comparing personally Thatcher with MCM. I’m comparing the strength of their speeches.

      Here is another one to compare it to:

      I can’t understand one word, and yet, I can’t stop listening. I see a strong woman, who has the audience absolutely captivated. An audience that can be quite similar (or worse) to the venezuelan if you ask me.

      I could keep going searching for strong women leaders. There are many. Including venezuelan Mercedes Pulido de Briceno. Too bad she was born 20 years before she should have.

      http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid=188830

      • Syd Says:

        When speaking about politics in Parkistan, in English, Benazir Bhutto (another Oxford graduate like Margaret Thatcher, and like her, from a political family),was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL speaker, a master of the word. Spellbinding, really. BB had me hooked.

    • Syd Says:

      clearly you haven’t even looked into a primer on Thatcher’s bio, FP, before issuing your opinion. Thatcher was an accomplished speaker and a strong political presence, even in her twenties.

      And clearly you have no idea about the ruckus in the parliamentary process, in Britain (and in Canada, for that matter).

      Really, before going sanctimonious, why don’t you do a little reading. Google is your friend.

      • firepigette Says:

        Syd, lol

        Is that your sanctimonious opinion?

        You, like Kepler have perfected the art of dreaming :) as through dreams you discover what people know about, have read and what they don’t or haven’t…

        Besides Thatcher was not running for prime minister when she was in her
        20’s

        In any case, I was not speaking in absolute terms, but rather in general-

        natural authority comes with age.

      • Syd Says:

        FP, you’re having problems with analysis and accountability.. again. Let me help you. You said: “It is true that Corina is lacking experience and maturity and in no way can be compared to Thatcher because as we age, we gain a natural presence and authority than young people never have.”

        I provided you with a quote from Thatcher’s own website/bio, referring to Thatcher in her twenties. If you read it you would have understood, that your little notion that MCM can’t be compared to Thatcher because of ageing differences, is ludicrous.

        Get it?

        As for your “Walk softly and carry a big stick works in a country where you don’t have to yell over everybody to be heard.” Clearly, you haven’t been exposed to the screeching in parliamentary procedures. I guess it’s easier for you to dream and spout nonsense on these boards.

    • Carolina Says:

      FP – I’m very intrigued by your comment No. 1. What do you mean by that? A british can hold him/herself, and a venezuelan can’t?
      British don’t cry, venezuelans do?
      I’n not really understanding what you mean.

      • firepigette Says:

        Carolina,

        Where did I say British don’t cry?

        You cannot compare one country to another in this sense…Culture trumps politics, and each situation has to be seen in the historical context it takes place.

        Venezuela is a very machista country where women have to speak up to be heard…British debates might be quite lively but Venezuelans in groups are more imposing and much more emotional in their presentations.

        As for the BB, she is a powerful speaker, old style……in a different culture than Venezuela.Ma Corina emphasizes direct communication and freshness.

        Most important right now for her is:

        Not to win the nomination but to expose Chavez.

      • Syd Says:

        FP: British debates might be quite lively but Venezuelans in groups are more imposing and much more emotional in their presentations.

        Might be quite lively????
        Oh brother. The clueless opine.

        British debates in parliament can DEVASTATE with laser accuracy, anger in the ranks, pounding of fists, you name it.

        In this internet age, FP, you really ought to back up what you state, before providing such baseless opinions as though you were some authority on them. In the alternative, have the decency to be a little humble; it goes a lot further.

  44. ErneX Says:

    I think she blew a good opportunity to say something more insightful to the fat man. I don’t understand the excitement surrounding what she did there.

    • Carolina Says:

      Something like a good and loud “por ahora” when he told her she didn’t have the raking.

      • Carolina Says:

        LOL. “ranking”. LOL.

      • Syd Says:

        that would have been priceless: MCM stating “por ahora” in rebuttal to Chávez’ put-down on ranking. I guess she was trying to be “decente”.

        Mija (meaning MCM), wake up!

        The trouble with sociopathic bullies, is that they have become used to people acting like sheep as they continue to steamroll ahead. Only when someone roars back at these bullies, do they stop in their tracks. For nothing unhinges them more than to be mocked, to be dressed down, in public..

  45. Ira Says:

    What matters isn’t just what you say on Saturday–but what you say on Sunday and the following days when you’re asked about it by the press, etc.

    She created a Kodak moment, and although some here are more brilliant than her (yeah, right) and wish to criticize the complete content of her message, when you take her appearance in its totality, she said what had to be said.

    She gets an A for this. The A+ will come in the days ahead.


  46. Well, she has a pair of.. ovaries. But her speech is too “political” for my taste: filled with cliches, and popular catch phrases. “El pais demanda un cambio.. blah blah.., you know what I mean.

    But at least she has the courage to call Chavez a thief, which directly, and indirectly he is (What’s his net worth, including Swiss accounts by now, plus his family and friends?! We”l never know, billions for sure.)

    But his woman needs to be more clear: “mujeres que han perdido sus hijos, esposos,, ,,,” Say it straight: The violence and crime rate in Vzla, since you took office, Mr. Chavez is at …, unprecedented figures in our entire history. The economy is in shambles, by all measures. Unprecedented.

    She needs to be even more direct.

  47. Noel Says:

    I don’t know exactly who she is, but she has more courage than most male politicians; she reminds me of this woman who repeadely questioned prime minister Putin about corruption during the biggest international investment forum in Moscow.

    In Venezuela as in other countries, if you want democracy, empower women

  48. firepigette Says:

    To All:

    The media has NO possibility of confronting and interrogating Chavez .This is why the only way it can be done in Live in when Chavez addressing congress.This makes it even more understandable it is so important that people like Maria Corina stand up and confront him.To some the setting might not seem appropriate but this is the ONLY was to do it.

  49. Kepler Says:

    Firepigette, nobody is thinking otherwise. Deputies had to stand up and DEMAND a debate with him, and tell him right away we think he doesn’t have the cojones to accept as he doesn’t know what a debate is, as he is afraid to have to answer and question and answer back in front of people, that elsewhere the head of state can be questioned but not in Veneuela, where he runs away to hide or to tell monologues without the opposition to answer right away in the same channel.
    I wrote that to an oppo leader a couple of days ago. I have kept writing that before. I sent that message to Corina last year, to her site, for someone from there to tell me that was not the email to tell that, etc.
    Go figure.

    We needed that opportunity not to say once something, but to say something AND force him to accept a debate or – most likely – be shown to be a coward as he won’t accept one.

    • m_astera Says:

      Your point about debating Chavez is well taken, Kepler. I wrote that debating with a sociopathic liar is a waste of time, and it is, as long as you follow their rules. As the English version goes “Don’t argue with stupid, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”.

      In a real debate with an intelligent opponent and with a somewhat impartial and informed audience, Chavez would stand no chance. Therefore he will not debate. How does one go about getting him to refuse to debate again and again until people get the picture?

      I’m betting we won’t see Chavez giving many more speeches at the AN or any other “public” venue, just to avoid the chance that someone else might confront him.

      • Kepler Says:

        Michael, I will tell you soon. I won’t write further details here but there are things several people are doing, like with the PISA programme (which is not over yet).

        Imagine a mammoth trying to escape from a group of people throwing spears at it. We survived and Neanderthals didn’t because we thought through every possible motion the mammoth could undertake. We then ensured by all means it would go right to that cliff (and we made sure none of our relatives was below).

        It’s not going to be easy but I think we need to put forward fool-proof attacks on Chávez. Chavista honchos are morons but there is one single thing they are good at yet: provoking responses that haven’t been thought through.

        By all means I salute people to challenge him. But I think we need to foresee a little bit more.

  50. moctavio Says:

    Funny, MCM is not among my top choices, but I applaud what she did and I think she did some damage. Today Chavez was still talking about her. This thread has over 100 comments, something rare. She needed to build up the support of opposition people, I think she did that, later if she is capable of winning the primary, she can come back and ask Chavez for a debate and then show what a clown he is since he will not accept.

    Look Capriles is ahead of the pack, doing and saying nothing. I think what she did was orders of magnitude better. I wish we had a Thatcher-like figure. In Venezuela, candidates don’t run on ideology, they run mostly on what they think people will like and it is mostly populism. Thatcher did not do that.

    I wish we had two or three candidates running on ideology and ideas, but no such luck, we take what we have.

    • Bruni Says:

      I like Maria Corina a lot but I don’t like M. Thatcher ideology. One thing is the craziness of Chavez trying to socialize everything and another extreme is the Thatcherism trying to privatize everything.

      I think one needs an equilibrium. Some things must be run by the state, like education, health, public transportation and the major country resource, like electricity in Quebec or oil in Venezuela. The rest, I leave it to the private sector if there is high competition. If there isn’t then a regulated private sector, like what we have in telecommunications here in North America.

      I hope that Maria Corina does not embrace Thatcherism if she gets to win.

      • captainccs Says:

        >>>I think one needs an equilibrium.

        The state must run internal and external security and justice. The rest we can do ourselves. There is no such thing a being 10% pregnant or 10% socialist. If you need a sample case, well, take a look at Europe. it’s broke and it’s socialism and populism that has them in that condition.

        Even China has given up on communism. Must we be the last of the underdeveloped in the name of a failed ideology? Why condemn us to such a horrible fate when there are better alternatives?

    • Kepler Says:

      Miguel,
      Thatcher was not precisely an ideologist, she was just stubborn as a mule and going against Labour, which had made a mess and at a time when unions had hindered a lot. But she did a lot of things not based on any given ideology but just not to give back.
      I lived in Britain a couple of years after she left office and boy, the hatred towards her was still so present! She did things that were completely mental, like the poll tax. Thanks to that tax, someone in extreme poverty in Scotland ended up paying more taxes for living in his wee flat with his wife and his daughter would be paying more than a bloke in a villa.

      Sorry, man: Venezuela hasn’t even reached a capitalist state and you want a Thatcher. Venezuela is a feudal state. Venezuelan presidents haven’t even put some order in land property and agrarian reform as the French did during the Revolution and the rest of Western and Northern Europe did soon before or after that.

      Let’s have a real education revolution for the average citizen – not for the few Illuminati and let’s have a proper land reform.
      And let’s foster a debate where ideology and above all programmes are discussed in open debates.
      Unfortunately, I see little room for that within a presidential system.

      • Kepler Says:

        sorry, I meant a system where ideology and programmes are discussed in open debates.

      • moctavio Says:

        Ha! Ten years before becoming Prime Minister Margareth Thatcher would go around her country giving talks about free markets, giving away pamphlets to anyone willing to listen in a country where everything was socialized. Few people paid attention, but slowly, via a foundation, the message came through and when her party became leaderless, she was IT. It was ALL about ideology in a country mired in controls, unions and regulations. She got to power and unleashed the ideology, liberating markets and changing England’s future. If that is not ideology, I dont know what is. I lived through that!

        England used to be called a country on its way to underdevelopment in 1978, Thatcher changed that.

        • Bruni Says:

          Please Miguel, don’t tell me you are Thatcher admirer! Please don’t….

          Listen what academics have to tell about the Thatcher years and what went after.

          Talk to people that lived and lives in England about the state of education and health care after Thatcher.

          Even Harry Potter’s Voldermort reign is precisely inspired in the Thatcher years (you should read Harry Potter!)

          • moctavio Says:

            Bruni: Britain was in a downward spiral, Thatcher changed that. As simple as that. If that is not something to admire, then I dont know what is.

            Yes, I admire someone that decades before even had a chance to sell her ideas went around trying to sell them and was rejected but kept at it. Eventually she got to power, implemented the ideas and managed to get her country growing for the first time in two decades, setting it in a course, that indeed stopped it from becoming an underdeveloped country.

            • Ira Says:

              I think the discussion here is less about what Thatcher actually stood for, but more about HOW she took her stand.

              In other words, take the left or right politics out of the equation and just look at the politics involved.

            • Carolina Says:

              Thank you Ira. That was exactly my point.

            • Bruni Says:

              Miguel, using that logic you should admire Miquelena who decades before Chavez was elected was trying to sell his ideas of what was the bolivarian revolution. Or Alan Greenspan who claimed that the market would fix everything and refused to listen to anything else.

              It is not because someone has a mind of their own that the outcome is good.
              Quite the opposite, stubborn people sometimes are deadly wrong and because of their stubbornness drag everyone else with them.

            • G.W.E.H. Says:

              Thatcher won two wars

          • Mike Says:

            Yes Miguel,
            Harry Potter and Voldemort is must read stuff for your continuous academic advancement and specifically for the benefit of understanding global politics.

        • captainccs Says:

          Miguel, what we need is a Thatcherite capitalist ideologue! When CAP tried a bit of that medicine it failed because he had not prepared the country for it. It’s not expropriation that is theft. Socialism is! It steals the future of the whole country, not just the property of a few rich oligarchs.

          But we have over 60 years during which the various socialist governments have trained Venezuelans to suck on the national oil teat. That will take a lot of effort to reverse. But every new socialist government is just one more nail in the Venezuelan coffin.

          We don’t need England as a model. We have Chile, we have Colombia. Both have managed to escape socialism, at least for a time. Why must we continue to condemn ourselves to poverty and misery? For the sake of a political religion? Absurd! And the saddest part is that it is intelligent people who are proposing following in this absurd path.

          • Kepler Says:

            Captain: we have never had any socialism, we have never had capitalism.
            We have only had feudalism with a lot of clientelism thanks to oil.

            A country with enough money and where virtually everybody had to pay for the books of their children even if that meant two months salary, where
            there was neither common land use and guaranteed quality education
            nor private property for the majority cannot be called neither one thing nor the other.

            Venezuela is a feudal country with politicos who have claimed to be socialists or capitalists or whatever, but virtually none knew more than a couple of slogans from the “ideologies” they claimed to represent.

            The sad thing is that most educated Venezuelans try to explain our misery
            through models from abroad: we need to import model X or Y.
            It is not that we cannot apply other models.
            We firstly need to see what we have.
            In Venezuela rulers haven’t even done the homework European kings
            carried out 5 to 3 centuries ago.

            The Japanese were cleverer. They learnt from their Bakumatsu period
            and transform Japan in their Meiji period after a lot of thoughts about what they needed. They went too militaristic, but they developed.
            Take a look at that period. If Japanese were acting like Venezuelans they
            would go Bakumatsu and then isolationist and then Bakumatsu
            and then isolationist again, over and over, going back like the dog to their own vomit, as the proverb says, wondering why things don’t work and riots
            keep happening.

            Yes, we need parties with ideologies and above all programmes, but we
            also need them with a little bit of historical knowledge.
            If you want to avoid repeating mistakes you need to know
            the errors others did.

            • captainccs Says:

              Kepler, you trot out Feudalism as our principal evil. There is some truth to that. Under Feudalism the Lord and Master owned not only the land but all the serfs who inhabited the land. Our Constitution gives ownership of most of our natural resources to the Current Lord and Master (el gobernante de turno) but the people are not quite as enslaved as under Feudalism. Big Brother (or Sister) does dictate what we should eat and were we should not smoke and how much of our property we must give up for “the common good.”

              This modern form of Feudalism is properly called “Socialism.” The nomenklatura replaces the Lord and Master but nothing of substance changes.

              The antidote is the respect for the right to private property. Didn’t CANTV improve when it was privatized?

            • Kepler Says:

              Que no, CCs.

              Mira: you really need to learn what socialism is. I know in the US people call “socialism” just anything that looks differently, anything that has to do with the state.

              At least the Russians managed to get their population from feudal state to a decent education level for the average. They also changed the possession mechanisms drastically.

              The issue is that for there to be some socialism at least you need to distribute the means of production and capital making and that hasn’t been the case in Venezuela. You do have a group of barons. Most of the people you see with yachts in Morrocoy became rich because they happened to be
              close to the petro-tit (I know exceptions), but they were NOT part of the state. They used the state. That is not socialism, don’t mix it up with the Apparatchiki who got privileges in the Soviet Union or even in Cuba now, that is a completely different story.

              The Venezuelan government hasn’t ever guaranteed the level of education for the average population that Britain or France or Germany provided for their citizens 300-200 years ago (comparatively speaking). It was only because of that that those countries and by derivation the US managed to jump forward the way they did.
              Until you don’t guarantee that, you have no chance and you will get revolt after revolt. One learns that from history. Look at South Korea, at China in the last decades.

              If you want to put down socialism, that’s fine with me. But that’s something else.

        • G.W.E.H. Says:

          Miguel, that was some of your best.

  51. Deanna Says:

    Funny, isn’t it, that none of the other candidates echoed/backed up what MCM stated in the National Assembly. I would have expected no less from them, especially if they are supposed to have a united stand. I believe that what she did, whether emotional or not, took courage and that is what is lacking from the others. Yes, it did have an impact on Chavez; otherwise, he wouldn’t still be talking about it.

    • island canuck Says:

      As of this morning he’s mentioned it 4 times + JVR also felt the need to bring it up.

      She has them loco. If they had just ignored it we wouldn’t still be talking about it 4 days later.

  52. captainccs Says:

    Venezuela, take a look in the mirror. Here is your future:

    “ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said on Monday he was confident a deal on a crucial debt swap plan would be reached in time despite the breakdown of high level talks last week.

    Talks between Greece and its creditor banks to slash the country’s towering debt pile ended without an agreement on Friday, pushing Athens closer to default.”

    Gone broke! Pure Socialism!

    http://news.yahoo.com/greek-pm-confident-debt-swap-deal-clinched-time-083553716.html

  53. captainccs Says:

    >>>Que no, CCs. Mira: you really need to learn what socialism is. I know in the US people call “socialism” just anything that looks differently, anything that has to do with the state.

    Kepler, I’m not “US people.” I live in my own country, Venezuela. I happen to know Socialism/Populism first hand. It bankrupted my business under Luis Herrera. I met Socialism/Populism first hand when I had to close my father’s business in Caracas during CAP’s first reign. No, I don’t think I need to change my view on “what socialism really is” having experienced its disastrous effects first hand.

  54. Kepler Says:

    The fact your father and grandfather and greatgrandfather suffered from it doesn’t make it socialism. There is a distinct terminology, you don’t have to study political science or the like to know that.

    Besides: populism is not exclusive of socialism of any type. In fact: populism has always been with us.

    You can call hepatitis and heart attack and AIDS and burning of third degree cancer if you like. This is only going to confuse matters, but if it makes you happy: go ahead.

    This does not make socialism any bit better. It is simply different and if you can’t see there are certain things we need to do before getting any capitalism (not just getting rid of Chávez), we will have Chávez para rato.

    Please, mention one single society that has gone from feudal to capitalist state.

    By the way: feudalism was not always with people attached to the soil by law or a special status. That was just part of a whole era. We are still in the Middle Ages and as long as some people behave like lords and don’t see a society they have to contribute to, we will keep having riots and the like.

    The funny thing is most Venezuelans who deem themselves “capitalists” pretend to be more capitalist than the most capitalist Britons or US Americans and yet said Britons and US Americans have a much stronger sense of social support than the “socialist” caudillo in Venezuela.

    Texas guarantees every child has all his textbooks.

    In Venezuela people say that is demagoguery.

    Estamos igual que en tiempos de la Colonia (antes de las reformas borbónicas).

  55. moctavio Says:

    I am not saying we need a Thatcher, I admire her for how she took stand and gave her life for it and helped her country. I am saying that we need more than just people that want to be President playing the “elect me” game. Each country needs different things at different stages of its history. Venezuela has become a state controlled country, unless we remove that control, the country will not go forward, I wish we had a candidate calling to an end for the armed forces, the sale of state property and the like.

  56. Kepler Says:

    Miguel, I agree with you 100% in what you just said. My point is not some academic punctiliousness, it is more about what people forget to do if we need a change. Capitalism, to be sustainable, needs to come from adjusting not only some of the parameters of state giving too much, but also hardly anything in the things that mater.

    The thing is that the few times when we even tried, at least for a couple of days, to move towards another direction, we didn’t take the preparatory means to prevent chaos.

    Lefties are going to be ready to subvert, create mayhem and blame it all on “capitalism”. Any change needs preparation and mechanisms to support the children and the people who will be affected, for instance, because suddenly they don’t have scholarship but they don’t have a piece of land with value – unlike a few terratenientes – and their children have no books and the transport mafias won’t enable them to use the buses, etc.

    Before we commit to changes we need to publicly discuss who and why is anyone going to pay what for it all.

    Chavismo has exacerbated everything a million times, but we always had the state intervening on one side and on the other no rule of law whatsoever and a set of “lords” getting rich like few. They had less commitment with the poor than elsewhere.

    The whole system is so fucked up from the start: regulations like nowhere else, we never ever wanted to pay taxes but got the import/export mafias since Colonial times: the jefes de Aduana and others like that were the ones getting rich.

    My fear is that when people try to change things, they will only want to let them change for those below them. The ones close to the petro-tit will always want to remain there. The rules are for the others. That is when things start to get nasty.


  57. For those still reading this thread, here are my 2 cents:

    Clearly, the woman has balls. (Tip for a new slang ” Maria Corina Si tiene Coraje!”) That’s commendable.

    But here are a few observations on her brave interception:

    – Less can be more. As you mention, 9 hours of Chavez’s rants where quickly debunked, if not effaced by a couple minutes from MCM. Chavez has not learned that basic rule of public speaking in 12 years. He thinks that the more he talks, and talks, the better. Not necessarily, even if his approving audience is, by enlarge, even more under-educated than he is.

    – Kudos to MCM. Calling Chavez a Liar, and a Thief, in no uncertain terms takes guts.

    – But here’s where she could improve: She plays the “Women’s card” too much. She needs to speak to the entire population, especially on a Machista country as ours is. “Las mujeres no consiguen leche.. etc. fine, but she over-does it.

    – It’s unclear what she means by repeating “la Vzla Decente”. Whatever she has in mind, it’s not conveying any message. As opposed to what, exactly? Those are inefficient, political cliches. Same as “transformacion profunda”, o “una nueva Vzla”, we’ve heard that a million times.

    It’s a bunch of political hot air.

    And let’s remember. Una “sifrina” like MCM is not gonna steal many votes from the under-educated, Chavista masses. She needs to speak to the more educated, middle and upper classes, which might tip the balance in her favor. Sad, but true. SO.. that political rhetoric won’t work with people like you, the readers of these sophisticated blogs, or me. We just don’t buy that kind of political, empty crap, cliches, and populist “catchy” expressions.

    She needs to target her act, because ALL politicians must ACT.. to her target audience. That is, perhaps 70% of the more educated voters in Vzla. Forget about the other 30%, or spending too much time in the barrios and pueblos del interior: Those voters are already SOLD, literally. Chavez bought them years ago with BS and gifts.

    Final note: Cracks me up when Chavez keeps utilizing Imperialistic, Oligarch, “escualido” term such as “fuera de rankin'”. If he was a bit more educated, and true to his mantras, he would never use such American expressions in his speeches. Guess he’s also been “conquered” and his mind was “invaded” by the Yankis, so there’s some justification for his maniacal paranoia.. Heck, he should even be talking about Baseball, or “homeruns”, and stuff.

  58. captainccs Says:

    Un poco fuera de tema, pero vengo del semillero de nuestro socialismo/populismo, un sitio donde entrenan a nuestrs estudiantes a mendigar. Mientras esas personas de USA, de extrañas costumbres, reparten periódicos, cortan grama, limpian nieve o sirven hamburguesas para ganarse unos dolares, a los nuestros los entrenamos, desde temprana edad, a ser buenos sujetos socialists, a mendigar el pasaje estudiantil. Claro, TIENEN DERECHO A TRANSPORTE GRATIS. ¿O no?

    ¡Vayan a la estación del Parque del Este y vean como entrenamos mendigos! ¡Da asco! Pero de eso viven los lideres socialistas/populistas. Esos estudiantes son su futura clientela, la nueva generación de mendigos.

    ———————————

    A bit off topic, but I come from our socialist/populist nursery, a place where we train our students to beg. While those USA people, with strange habits, have a paper route, or mow the lawn, or shovel snow, or flip hamburgers to earn a few dollars, we train ours, from a young age, to be good socialist/populist subjects, to beg for a student pass on the Metro. They HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE TRANSPORT? ¿No?

    Go to the Metro station at Parque del Este and see how we train beggars. For shame! But that is how socialists/populists leaders train their future clients, the new generation of beggars.

    It takes a Thatcher to turn such a train wreck around. None of the current crop of candidates can do it and most aren’t even interested in trying.

    • Kepler Says:

      Ccs,

      You are really overdoing. As far as I remember, there are similar reductions in Canada. I travelled in a complete region of Germany for very little thanks to reduced tickets as a student. The same is the case in the Netherlands, in Norway, in Britain.

      And it has nothing to do with populism. I, like many others, worked as a student in Germany.

      What the government should do is to liberate the currency exchange control, stop subsidies for petrol and stuff like that.

      Oh, Geez…quieres ser más gringo que el gringo

      • captainccs Says:

        Not a single capitalist country on your list and half of them are broke. LOL

        • Kepler Says:

          What a joke-! The US is as broke as Germany or very socialist Norway.
          Actually: what do I see here?

          http://www.mta.info/mta/news/releases/?en=080827-NYCT124

          You really should go to Texas. Perhaps you are going to find that place is Marxist Leninist, children can get their books as loan from the state…

          • moctavio Says:

            The US is not broke, nor is Germany nor is Norway, those are the safest countries in the western world. If any of those are broke, then Japan is in terrible shape. Germany is in trouble because it was to save the euro. The US has reduce unemployment by 1.5% in four months If the US can get the housing inventory down, there will be a huge recovery.

            • Kepler Says:

              I know that, Miguel, even if the US’s and Germany’s debts are rising through the skies (and the US’s trade deficit, unlike what some economists say, cannot go on growing so long). I am just saying that in comparison, if such countries are broke, so is the “most capitalist country” on Earth…if there is such a thing. The whole discussion by these guys seems to be based on some hatred towards Europe and “communism, ergo Chavez came from Europe socialism”, whatever.
              As Ira said: it is beyond left or right. But these guys really think the solution is to imitate the caricature they have in mind about the US model (which is not really what the US actually is)

            • jc Says:

              I’m buying two houses in a very hard hit area (outside of Phoenix), because my savings has been building since 2006 (when I and likely many other investors saw the housing crunch in the writing) and my credit is very good. I can’t say that I myself am a “bellweather” of sorts, but I think that there are many more like me who saw what was happening and planned ahead. I can’t say this will be a predictor, of course, but I think housing inventory will indeed rebound, because of the utterly extremely low cost of housing here (houses built in 2005 or later selling for extremely low cost, under $100k). Wait and see is all I can say, but I personally have a very positive outlook. Americans aren’t stupid, at least, those who watch the markets, anyhow, and we’re going to pounce, I think. Even people who didn’t see the writing on the wall, they’re going to go after these extremely low cost investments. It all depends on whether the US can push for new loans to homebuyers. There’s something like 10 million homes out there begging to be picked up at now-adjusted costs (let’s be honest, the housing boom here was unrealistic, totally mythical thanks to toxic loans; yeah, we Americans messed that one up, sorry about that). To put it bluntly, it’s a buyers market. Sorry for the US-centric vernacular / slang, if what I’ve said doesn’t make sense please Google the terms I’ve used here. Tired and just wanted to comment.

  59. captainccs Says:

    >>>What a joke-! The US is as broke as Germany or very socialist Norway.

    Kepler, I’m intrigued at your instance of talking about gringolandia in your replies to me. What does it have to do with me? I’m not gringo. I don’t live in gringolandia although I have in the past and I think it’s a really nice country. How does attacking the USA further your feudal views? How does it defend socialism. I’m at a loss.

    BTW, I have my pet theory of why Chavez hates the USA. They won’t let him go to Disneyworld! One of the unintended consequences of the failed military coup directed by Chavez, not from the front lines but hidden in the safety of some museum or other, is that the USA will not give him a tourist visa. They don’t admit terrorists and failed coupsters. Any Venezuelan would give his eye teeth to shake Mickey’s hand. That this pleasure is denied Hugo who can’t take his darling little daughter to Orlando like any other Venezuelan can, must be searing is tender heart.

    • Kepler Says:

      I am not attacking the US here, even if you see it that way. I am saying the US, which seems to you to epitomize the most capitalist country on Earth, is in a similar situation to Germany when it comes to “being broke”. And even when it comes to reduction for students, it is not so far off. In fact: Texas is more “socialist” than many countries in Europe when it comes to help in education. It is like saying you want to be more Catholic than the pope. That is in itself not an attack on the pope, but on your view of what “Catholicism”/capitalism/etc is.

      • captainccs Says:

        But why mention the USA in posts to me? Why would I care what they do or don’t do in Texas? My problem is right here, in Venezuela where socialism is killing the country and has for the past 53 years. Talk to me about Venezuela but forget feudalism, it does not apply. It’s socialism Castro Cuban model just now. With MAS it was Eurocommunism. With AD it Social Democracy. With COPEI it was Social Christians. Socialists and Communists all! With Chavez add a touch of old fashioned caudillismo if you wish. It’s socialism that’s killing my country. No need to invoke Norway or the Netherlands. The rot is right here socialist/populist/communist style.

        Expropriation is theft. So is inflation! Our inflation didn’t start with Chavez. It started with Viernes Negro and that fat man Luis Herrera Campins, the man who said that laws were like women, designed to be raped. Yes, he said that and Irene Saez look for his support. How is that for rot? No need to go to Denmark for rot, we have plenty here, subsidized by the excrement of the devil.

        • Andres F Says:

          Maybe because your name says “captainccs”, he thought you were American. I agree, comparing what some state does with their school books, is a far cry to what most countries do in Europe with many other respects.

    • G.W.E.H. Says:

      the visa denial really pissed him off!

  60. captainccs Says:

    Anyone who does not see the continued degeneration of Venezuela under the socialist governments it has had since 1958 which led to the election of our current dictator is either blind or a willful denier. Hiding under another banner like “feudalism” or comparing to other nations does not cut the mustard. Our youth is leaving creating a brain drain that will harm the country for decades. Our education system has been purposefully corrupted into a brainwashing machine. Our military is ruled by a foreign imperial power. Commercial relations are being ruined by expropriation and commecial lawlessness. What got Chavez elected were 40 years of demo-desgracia during which oil revenue was squandered on fragatas misilisticas and other stupidities. Talking about giving things away, CAP gave Bolivia, that land locked country, a ship so they could start a navy. In the bathtub?

    Calling a ‘hatred towards Europe and “communism, ergo Chavez came from Europe socialism”‘ is pure nonsense. Besides, I’m not just faulting Chavez but all the socialist governments that led to his election by a disgruntled population. The 30 to 35% inflation/devaluation is not new with Chavez, it was started by Luis Herrena Campins in 1983, a full 15 years before Chavez got elected.

    Just look at the news. Where is the epicenter of the latest world wide crisis if not in Europe? Tell me what go them there? Thatcherism, was it? No. It was the nanny state. It was the welfare state. It was the search for a misguided “social justice.” As we say in Venezuela, “uno se arropa hasta donde le alcanza la cobija.” You can only stretch the safety net so far. After that it’s ruin for all.

    Just open your eyes and let the truth into your heart and mind. It’s cause and effect. The effect is poverty and Chavez. The cause, the 40 years of mismanagement that came before. What were the policies followed during those 40 yeas? Price controls, rent controls, import substitutions and other policies that caused shortages and high prices. And a good dose of demagoguery to boot. CAP and Caldera insisting on getting reelected. Why complain about Chavez doing the same? Quite simply, people of all walks of life had had enough of demo-desgracia. People were saying: “the military is ‘pueblo’ who will be with us” and “we need a strong hand to bring order.” Chavez won the 1998 election fair and square. Never forget that. But ask yourself why he did. Because people of all walks of life were desperate for a change. Tired of demagogs, tired of failed populism, tired of failed social policies. Maybe not intellectually but where it really hurts, in the wallet. In the lack of food. In the lack of housing. In the lack of jobs. If you don’t want to blame the 40 years of demo-desgracia I don’t know where to place it. Feudalism? Give me a break.

  61. moctavio Says:

    Kepler: US debt is no longer growing through the roof. German debt will go through the roof if Germany tries to save the euro. There is a large difference, not only does the US have lower taxes, but it has fewer commitments longer term, so that payments can easily be made. Worry about the rest of Europe or about Japan, Japan’s debt is almost twice its GDP (US is 80% or so, Germany 75% and Norway 65%), whil eJapan has an aging population and allows no immigration.

  62. moctavio Says:

    Latest poll :

    Henrique Capriles 51%
    Pablo Perez 30%
    Leopoldo Lopez 11%
    MCM 3%

  63. moctavio Says:

    Nope that’s Consultores 21, the most consistent pollster in my personal opinion. They also lie low.


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