Saturday, October 13, 2007

Beating a Dead Horse

I know, I know, I keep bringing this up, but new examples keep poping up.

In the US and elsewhere, Chávez is often depicted as a manipulative and paranoid 'populist.' The idea here is that he follows a familiar pattern of social spending and antagonistic (though baseless) rhetoric. According to this analysis, Chávez has been so effective in uniting a solid majority of the population in large part through constituting 'the people' as opposed to 'the oligarchy' (Venezuelan old money) and 'the Empire' (the United States). He then ostensibly tells 'the people' that they are perpetually under attack from these looming and united dangers. Hence anything he does is justified.

Which, our friends in the State Department and the New York Times tell us, is hogwash. The sentiment is repeated ad nauseum by oppos here in Venezuela, who constantly chant 'We're not coup-mongers, we're (insert issue or identity group here)"

Unfortunately for them, however, they keep shoving their feet in their mouth.

Example du jour: Manuel Rosales, of Un Nuevo Tiempo and governor of Zulia (richest state in VZ) fame, is in Washington D.C. holding meetings with Thomas Shannon (assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs), asking for the US to 'exert international pressure against the constitutional reform in Venezuela."

I mean, seriously, it really seems like the oppos here WANT to fail.

Either that, or maybe that Chávez guy isn't so crazy for thinking the interests of the rich and of the US government are working against him...

7 comments:

Charles said...

In the miami herald, they are claiming that people oppose his reforms, but they are being bought off with the 6 hr work day.

--d said...

hey charles...
not too surprising, coming from a rag like the miami herald.
much harder fro them to wrap their heads around is the fact that Chavez is so popular precisely because he has made the majority of Venezuelans' lives better. that, if anything, is what is 'buying people off.'
now, does that make the reforms something to support-full-stop? not so sure. the debate is starting to really heat up down here, and FINALLY the oppos are starting to make a bit of sense (for example, the changes to article 337 which regulate so-called 'states of exception'...on which i'm trying to write something at present)...

...however, when combined with antics like Rosales' stint to DC and the stupid protest by oppo students and RCTV actresses yesterday at a public event around the reforma, the oppos lose any credibility they manage to eck out.

Sandra said...

@all
we need some pro-chavistas over at www.shortnews.com.

If you have some time it would be great to hear some informed voices on Chavez .

TheHolyFatman said...

It's refreshing to hear someone from the inside talking about the positive changes that Chavez has brought about. I know he is persona no gratis in the US as he has kicked both the World bank and IMF OUT. Rightfully so.

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Megan said...

Wow. You are exactly where I want to be. I have just recently decided that I would like to do my graduate studies on Venezuela, most likely from an anthropological or geographical approach. I'm sure there are lots of academics from the U.S. doing research there. Any advice on a possible topic that I could focus in on given my anthropological background?

Keegan Smith said...

Rosales and DC one that one, but they didn't get any more support than they did in the last election so it's really a wake up call. I think it will help the revolution despite setting it back a little. It has instantly discredited dictator propaganda as he accepted the result despite all the dirty tactics which even the US weren't expecting through "operation pliers." Still as subvesrion is outsourced (privatised) by the US government it may become less easy to track covert operations. Education is the key. Keep spreading the truth! www.searchingforchange.blogspot.com