Venezuelans Pay Tribute To Hugo Chávez

March 6, 2013
Entierro
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Chavez’ supporters turned out en masse today in their outpouring of love and sympathy for their dead leader, as his coffin was carried from the Military Hospital to the Miltary Academy in Caracas. Most of the main leaders of Chavismo were there, even if the cameras seemed to be avoiding Diosdado Cabello. Foreign leaders have begun arriving, as the funeral will be carried out on Friday.Chavez reportedly will be buried in Barinas, following his family´s wishes.

After yesterday’s “tough” and “confrontational” speech by then Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, there was a much more conciliatory one last night, in which Maduro thanked the opposition for the message read by Miranda Governor and likely candidate for the opposition Henrique Capriles. Unfortunately, Maduro’s interview was in the wee hours of the morning and not as widely shown as the more disturbing one before Chavez’ death was announced.

Caracas and the country were peaceful and tranquil, with few reports of violence, as expected. The whole country was absorbing the news as the opposition was respectful of the sad moment for Chávez’ supporters and admirers. Even those that opposed Chávez were cognizant of the fact that the moment was historical and that things going forward could be complex for the country. It was more a moment for reflection than for expression. There were some celebrations reported abroad, but they seemed to be more in tune with the naive belief that there will be some abrupt change in Venezuela now.

While there was no formal announcement or swearing in ceremony, Maduro signed the decree declaring seven days of mourning as acting President, confirming Foreign Minister’s Jaua statement that he would fill in for Chávez while a new election is held. This clearly sidesteps the Constitution, but it does not appear as Cabello will make an issue of it and the opposition should also ignore the point, even if it is in clear violation of the Venezuelan Constitution. After all, it appears as if this is what Chavismo was trying to avoid, that Maduro’s interim Presidency could be questioned. Only a single voice from Chavismo, that of former President of the National Assembly Soto Rojas, ever the rebel, has been heard suggesting Cabello should take office. Chávez would have been proud of him.

The opposition will likely be more interested in when the new Presidential election will be held. The Constitution specifies that the election should take place within thirty days of Chavez’ absolute absence, which is quite problematic given that the last week of those thirty days falls within Easter week which is a long holiday in Venezuela. This suggests that April 7th. or 14th. are more likely dates, which should be fine with the opposition, as long as it is technically feasible. There are no signs up to now that Chavismo wants to extend this date further into the future. Any delay would favor what little chance the opposition has, but I don’t believe the opposition should be complacent about holding the election too far into the future. A little leeway should be accepted, but the law and the Constitution should be followed

The discordant note was provided today, once again, by the Minister of Defense, who openly invited all Venezuelans to vote for Maduro in order to “give a blow to those fascists where it hurts”. Absolutely unnecessary, although the burial itself was clearly being staged as part of the campaign.

Going forward, as I said before, I do not believe that Capriles has much of a chance against Maduro in the face of the sympathy and the grief about Chavez’ death. Maduro is likely to be as radical as Chávez politically, but much more pragmatic on the economy. He should realize that he does not have nor will he ever have, Chávez goodwill. His survival depends on his management of the economy. And his enemies are more likely to be within PSUV, than in the opposition, as the weight of allowing for indefinite reelection of the President and internal differences, will likely create huge strains within PSUV and Chavismo in the future.

Meanwhile, the international Chávez propaganda machine is working full time on creating the Chávez hyper-legend. I participated in a TV show today where false statistics and facts about Venezuelan history were thrown around shamelessly. Chávez may have been good about selling symbols and ideas, but he was terrible about implementing any of them. I wonder what this foreign academics would think or do, if they had to survive on a Venezuelan Professor’s salary, decimated during the last fourteen years. Would their revolutionary ideals survive on less than US$ 300 a month (parallel rate)?
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I very much doubt it!

50 Responses to “Venezuelans Pay Tribute To Hugo Chávez”

  1. Gordo Says:

    Under Chavez, the meat of public wealth has been eaten away. Nicolas Maduro is left with the bone! Does Maduro make good sopa?

  2. firepigette Says:

    Respecting the disrespectful, the opposition continues in its 14th year to make mistake after mistake.

    Very depressing to hear.

    • Ira Says:

      You know, that pretty much sums up the impression I was getting from all this, but couldn’t put into such succinct words.

      You’re dealing with thugs here, and the opposition intends to win with good manners?

  3. moctavio Says:

    It is not a time for politics, nothing would be gained from not allowing Chavistas the time they deserve to mourn their leader.

    • Marypuchy Says:

      I watched/listened all day today (7 hours+) the cadena and did not hear one single Chavez mourner interviewed by VTV express condolences towards any of the family members of Hugo Chavez.

      Everyone was praising Chavez, the revolution or cheer-leading the government’s candidate for the imminent election.

      It was a big electoral campaign.

    • cecilio Says:

      what you should not allow is to run them in the next elections! because you know who will win right? yes, they will win again and again and they will always win as long as there are ties to Cuba

  4. Ronaldo Says:

    Kudos for this excellent posting that demonstrates the diplomacy and respect that the opposition needs to win in the future.

    Many Chavistas have a deep emotional attachment to Chavez. Yes, it is obvious from their tears shown on TV over the last two days. These Chavistas should be respected and allowed a mourning period. Disrespectful treatment now will make it impossible to convince them to vote for the opposition later. The opposition has to show care and concern for all. It is time to move away from Chavez divisiveness and hatred.

    • Carolina Says:

      I understand your point but how much time?
      I’m pretty certain that the chavistas will use that argument in the campaign which starts…now. Whatever is said against the governement is going to be taken personally by the people and the government will be very quickly to point that out and said that “the opposition has no heart and that’s disrespectful”.

    • Ira Says:

      The big lie about the big blowhard has to be expressed daily.

      Let them be offended by the Opposition’s insensitivity to their loss–these bastard Chavistas sure don’t give a crap about anyone in the Opposition.

      Basically, the Chavistas know they’re engaged in a Civil War, and the Opposition still doesn’t.

  5. Andres F Says:

    If what you mean by Maduro’s management of the economy is what Chavez was doing, then he shouldn’t have a problem. As long as PDVSA continues to produce oil, he can go around the world giving it away, assuring that all the troubles continue to exist.

  6. Roger Says:

    Its important to remember that PDVSA and the Venezuelan economy are in the next beds over and also in delicate condition and have been for some time now.

  7. EDS Says:

    Capriles should go to the AMV a pay respect to Hugo and his family, don’t you think? That will show “cojones” and will take advantage of the media coverage of Chavez’s funeral….and of course, suicidal


  8. I would agree that nothing is gained by playing the same game chavistas do and start to insult people left and right. the replies to the insults, and proof of all the crap going on, does need to keep coming out afterwards though…

    But what really pisses me off is that NOW the world media says how terrible Chavez was!! NOW?? What about the last 14 years? All this time it was “allegedly” and ” He is bringing about change” etc etc. That is complete crap…nothing has changed in the last 2 days since he was announced dead, its not like some shocking evidence of his mismanagement has suddenly surfaced…and yet all of a sudden everyone is talking about how terrible he was for the country. Bastards.


  9. The constitution will likely be buried with Chavez… “enterrada en vida” as is the fear of many a human being… so far, Maduro as “interino” has taken it upon himself to throw dirt on it since day 1 by even signing the mourning decree he is clearly, as you so eloquently say, “sidestepping” the constitution… but lame ol’ Disodado is the first to hold his toungue… so what is to be expected from the rest of us mortals??? we go like sheep to the slaughter house with never so much as a single “baaah”… it makes me so sad… I sometime ago read that rage is healthier than sadness, as an expression of grief tends to lessen it and sadness keeps grief bottled up inside you…gnawing at your entrails like cancer gnawed at Chavez…. it is so easy to say “pueblo arrechate” but so hard to make it come true!!!

    I pray for the future of my country, of my family and peers and specially for that of ALL our children,not just mine, for they will grow up thinking that “history” is correct when they are told that all this was legally done and for the benefit of the nation.

    • Ira Says:

      Thanks for posting that! I want to show it to my wife!

      But the VZ national team is from Venezuela, right?

      I guess the ex-pat wearing that jersey confused me. At first I thought he was part of the team, but I guess he’s just an ex-pat in Florida rooting for the VZ team.

      Which considering they were playing the Marlins, is totally acceptable to me.

      (But go Yankees!)

      • dcmontreal Says:

        That fooled me too. I thought at first they were players in uniform. It seems that the team members made neutral statements, except for two who refused to comment.

  10. Mike Says:

    One thing seems to be clear now: after seeing the massive amount of people yesterday, if there was cheating DURING the actual election, it did not affect the outcome. What is hard to quantify is the huge advantage Chavez had in terms of propaganda, using government resources, in other words, did it produce a 10 point advantage? I doubt it.

  11. Virginia Says:

    Everyone should hold their tongues, be peaceful during this time of mourning that the people /poor of Venezuela believe they need.. Any upheaval will only ruin any chances for Capriles to possibly win the election.. Let us just call it..The Calm..DON”T make waves to keep the people angered..slow down, let them go about their days, no agitation, allow time for thought..


  12. Virginia, the best that could happen now to the opposition is to lose. By winning they would be losing big time, what is going to happen (and happening!) to the economy should be managed by those that caused it.

    • Carolina Says:

      I agree. This system has to implode for people to forget about it.
      If the opposition wins, is going to have to carry with the consequences of this mess, with an assembly that will not support anything, so to the people’s eyes, it will be their fault and in 6 years time chavismo will be back and stronger.

    • Glenn Says:

      I equate this to discussions about addictions – you sometimes need to hit rock bottom before you can begin to climb out of the hole. It’s best that “rock bottom” is hit under Maduro’s watch.

    • Deanna Says:

      I agree. If Chavizmo wins the election, they will make an even bigger mess of the economy and the result will be a Caracazo-like tsunami that will eventually obliterate them.

  13. firepigette Says:

    One thing I firmly believe in is people’s rights to their feelings and their expressions as long as they do not stop others from expressing themselves as well.But apparently, according to my daughter, Chavistas are threatening people with death if they express relief over Chavez’s death.I believe that people have a right to feeling relieved as well.Chavistas are not the only ones with feelings and rights.

    If people want a democracy they have to respect all manners of thought and allowing oneself to be threatened, is as evil as threatening oneself.

    I don’t think people should try and take away this vulgar expression of a Deity, but I do not think that people should limit their own self expression when they are not threatening the other.I am not advocating aggression, but rather self expression.

    Not making waves has always been the opposition strategy.That doesn’t change now.And not making waves has gotten the opposition where it is today.

  14. Carolina Says:

    Now I must say that I was surprised at the El Universal this morning. Of course it has all the covering of the “event”, but also has three articles criticizing the government. Two regarding Farruco Sesto and the cultural life and the other one the “alicate” a los medios.
    If the media starts to lose the fear, this is going to get very interesting.

    • Carolina Says:

      Estan haciendo entrevistas en vivo. Acabo de escuchar a Elias Pino Iturrieta, y ahora van a entrevistar a Bocaranda.

      Pino Iturrieta llamo a Chavez “el santon”.

      • liz Says:

        Really? se soltaron el moño? Bueno, la situación lo amerita… en mi humilde esquina, creo que esta gente hizo lo mismito Carmona, el tipo se autonombró presidente. Pero más bravo que Carmona: sin ceremonia ni nada! publicó un decretico en gaceta y ya.

  15. Slledge77 Says:

    Como casi nadie dice esto,, hay una expresion perfecta en Ingles: Good Riddance!!

    En otras palabras menos mal que se fue ese Loco, Megalomano, malandro, asesino indirectamente de dozenas de Venezolanos cada fin de semana, responsable por el mayor descalabro y perdidas immesurables con esa dictadura infernal, que saco a la mayoria de nosotros, los que pudimos, fuera del pais. Porque? Pa que no nos mataran por un par de zapatos en Chacaito o donde fuera.

    La verdad es: Menos mal que se murio ese gran… canalla. Millones de venezolanos estaran mejor, y vivos. Para no ser brutal aqui,, imaginen como estaria Cuba si esa otra RATA llamado Fidel, heroe de Chavez, se hubiera muerto have 30 anos.

    Toda Venezuela deberia estar celebrando.

  16. island canuck Says:

    There are rumours flying around that the father of Chavez has also died.

  17. colon Says:

    This image is proof that there is a way. Hay un camino: pa’ cementerio detras de Chavez. Now it’s going to be long and complicated…..

  18. Ronaldo Says:

    “For my enemies I have only forgiveness. If my death shall contribute to the cessation of factions and the consolidation of the Union, I can go tranquilly to my grave.” Simone Bolivar

    “Legislators could certainly do with a school of morals.” Simone Bolivar

    “An ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction.” Simone Bolivar

    “The three greatest fools of History have been Jesus Christ, Don Quixote . . . and me! ” Simone Bolivar

    “I do not want to die. Please don’t let me die. The U.S caused my cancer. Punish those who do not support me. I know what is best. Close your eyes, vote and get a washing machine. The three greatest fools of History have been Jesus Christ, Don Quixote, and Simone Bolivar” Hugo Chavez

  19. Ira Says:

    I think I finally figured out what kind of cancer he had, which is the reason they were too embarrassed to ever reveal it:

    Brain cancer.

    Not only might that embarrass Chavismo as a target/explanation for his nutty musings and irrational behavior, but medically, might explain the fact that with this type of cancer, he really didn’t lose any weight.

  20. Ira Says:

    Totally off-topic, but:

    Can someone please explain to me the status of “buying Citgo” in the U.S. now?

    As I post on Yahoo with other dumb Americans such as myself, I often come across the “Boycott Citgo” mantra. However, I know that PDVSA sold tons of assets, gas stations and refining (I think) for fear of loss as reparations to Conoco and Exxon, and that going into a Citgo station today doesn’t necessarily mean giving your money to PDVSA.

    What’s the real deal nowadays?

  21. moctavio Says:

    PDVSA still owns CITGO, they sold assets, but its still there.

  22. metodex Says:

    i honestly believe Maduro will be the next presidet because its too soon and people will vote for Chavez,even though they will get Maduro, we will all get a ripe one.

  23. Jose Alberto Says:

    Miguel Octavio, que paso? No cheering for Capriles or for the opposition? Now… That finally after 14 years opposition faces someone different than The Man HCF we should be cheering Capriles, also a leader, and the only one that emerge with some chance to beat Chavismo w/o Chavez for first time. It is defenetely overwhelming to see the outpour of love, admiration and coverage that El Comandante is having, a true icon of the 21 st century, as hard and difficult as it seems we need to have some hope and cheer for Capriles, remember October? Many thought he was going to win. But tirar la toalla asi no mas in this article it is escualido style, we need to believe in change. Nothing personsl, i love your blog keep writing please!

  24. moctavio Says:

    Sorry, Capriles blew it when he ran for Governor of Miranda instead of staying at leader of the opposition. Maduro will win because of Chavez and his recent death. In the end it is best for the opposition, the economic mess is really complex to handle. Having Capriles run it, would be the death of the opposition.

  25. Kepler Says:

    The opposition needs more than one leader, it needs a team. And that team should be of people who are young and not only lawyers from Caracas & UCAB.

    The opposition should have talked for years of the pernicious effect of personality cult. It seems the word “personality cult” is too complex for Venezuelans to talk about or what? Now it’s too late.

    Our politicians need to stop talking as if they were the better managers to repair street lights and start talking about visions with meat – not “a beautiful Venezuela”, as López did -and not just “more more schools” (that’s a no brainer), as Capriles did.

    The opposition should be investigating as much as it can about Cilia Flores.

  26. Wholly Cow Says:

    Just note that as with most things Chavista, not everything is what meets the eye: according to Venezuelan military sources quoted by Spanish newspaper ABC, the coffin that was paraded around Caracas to the military academy was empty! http://is.gd/pjQXP1

  27. arco Says:

    Wellwell well
    Happy with your new president? Just dont do anything against it! Buy your polar and sit under your tree like you did always. You are just the most ignorant folk i have every see. So damn stupid. Enjoy your president mamaduro.but stop bitching about it. Because your are allthe blame. Shame on you all. This is what you deserve. Your kids will appreciate it!


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