Is the (Red) Tide Turning in Venezuela?

September 12th, 2010

By Dan Miller

More people now talk about el Presidente Hugo Chávez like a dog.

*  *  *

The recent loud but silent protest by the very beautiful outgoing Miss Universe, a Venezuelan, has not gone unnoticed in a country where the Miss Venezuela and Miss Universe contests are major distractions from daily woes. Miss Venezuelas have won many Miss Universe competitions, most recently in both 2008 and 2009:

In her last catwalk in Vegas … [the outgoing Miss Universe] decided to unfold a Venezuelan flag, not on protocol. But that was not all, and in Venezuela we noticed that her flag had ONLY 7 stars instead of the official 8 (video here). Sure enough there are already chavistas accusing her of all sorts of conspiracy, and the poor woman might want to think about it before coming back to Caracas. Certain things happen in Vegas that cannot stay in Vegas.

Many Venezuelans view the eight-star flag as representing Chávez rather than Venezuela, and don’t like it even a little bit.

One of the online English language media outlets I go to daily to take the pulse of Venezuela, Vheadline, styles itself as “100% independent of all political factions in Venezuela.” It has however generally been quite supportive of el Presidente Chávez and his merry band. If a recent article there is any guide, the tide may well be turning even among some “elite” Chávez supporters, quite possibly due to the deservedly nasty things being said about Chávez et al domestically and internationally — even by the UN Human Rights Council’s investigator on freedom of expression.

Vheadline had offered some pretty mild criticism in the past, but this article by the editor and publisher, “Alice’s looking glass is surely in need of urgent repair,” should win a Pulitzer prize for unvarnished anger. Published on September 6, it manages to dump a heavy load of fecal matter on the Chávez administration, particularly the (Chavista) United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) election czar Andres Izarra.

The angry italics and bold face shouting are in the original article:

Wowee! Andres — who used to be a reasonably competent press attache at Venezuela’s embassy in Washington D.C. before he was allowed to let power go to his head as Minister of Communications & Information (Minci) and latterly as president of South America’s CNN-clone TeleSur — gets himself all worked up because … offenders have concentrated on “giving full coverage to NGOs [Non Governmental Organizations], which have allegedly received money from abroad (namely USA/CIA) to engage in a destabilization plan against Venezuela.”

Of course they do … how else is the Venezuelan electorate to get to know about the multitude of things that have gone wrong and continue to go wrong with Chavez’ Revolution. Does Chavez really believe there is any other means by which the Venezuelan public is to get to know about malfeasance in public office, widespread corruption and soaring criminality?

Andres, of course, neglects to mention the hundreds of government-funded local newspapers and radio stations that have proliferated in recent years “to spread the good word” about President Hugo Chavez’ Bolivarian Revolution. …

To crown it all … Andres has just authored a government-funded book called “The Guardians of pornographic journalism” which he admits was dashed off in four days, presumably as a response to opposition newspapers’ “calumny” of publishing a graphic picture from the overflowing Caracas Morgue.

An attack on a close Chávez official is an attack on Chávez personally. Sit, Hugo. Bad dog!

For those who don’t pay much attention to Venezuelan goings-on, there is very little actual opposition media in Venezuela; most have been shut down, nationalized, or otherwise effectively muzzled.

Continue reading this article at Pajamas Media »


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4 Responses to “Is the (Red) Tide Turning in Venezuela?”



  1. Tom Carter |

    What’s happened in Venezuela since Chavez came to power is truly tragic. It’s so extreme that it’s hard to believe that they haven’t thrown him out yet. That’s undoubtedly coming, one way or the other.

    It’s interesting that his own people know how bad he is and how much damage he’s doing, as do serious people who know what’s going on in Venezuela. Seems like the only people who think he’s just super are brain-dead leftists in America and elsewhere.


  2. Dan Miller |

    In the article, I tried to make a point that the tide may be turning against the Chavista government. I cited an article in VHeadline which seemed, to me, to shout that things were bad and getting worse from the standpoint of democracy in Venezuela. This was a bit surprising, because VHeadline had traditionally but not always been pro-Bolivarian Socialism and pro-Chavista. On September 12th, VHeadline republished my Pajamas Media article without, as far as I know, permission. I don’t know why it did so, but it did not fit well with the narrative I had come to expect from it.

    Today, VHeadline published this article with a link to the audio of an interview with Fernando Egana,

    formerly Minister in charge of the Venezuelan Central Office of Information (OCI) during much of the second presidency of Dr. Rafael Caldera (1994-1999) during which administration he [was] also . . . essentially the right-hand man of the then Head of State.

    The interview is 22 Mb long and takes a bit of time to download. It is well worth the time. As noted in the VHeadline article,

    In this exclusive interview, I began by asking him about the state of democracy in Venezuela; the electoral system, his interpretation of the rise and fall of the nation’s oil industry, its decline in industrial strength, his opinion of the Las Cristinas gold mine stand-off and the future for Venezuela post-September 26 legislative elections.

    What will happen if Venezuela continues under the majority control of President Hugo Chavez Frias and the flora of announcements by the President of multiple plots of magnicide.

    Egana ventures to opine on how best to “get rid of Chavez”…

    Sr. Egana seems to hope that the elections of 2012, when Chavez will be up for reelection, will be the best way to “get rid of Chavez,” and I hope that will happen; somehow, I doubt that it will. What happens on September 26th of this year may well be a key to 2012.

    The interesting thing is that, during quite a congenial interview by the editor and publisher of VHeadline, Sr. Egana highlights very substantial problems with “democracy” in Venezuela and in particular the electoral system which is under the control of the Venezuelan Government. He also highlights some of the economic problems facing Venezuela and generally lays them at the doorstep of the Chavez government.

    VHeadline appears not to be an insignificant blog. According to a blurb following the republication of my article,

    VHeadline.com is read frequently by top decision-makers in over 142 countries — 92.7% are based in North America while 97.63% of VHeadline.com readers are located in the commercial/ finance, high-tech sectors as well as at more than 2,360 universities, academic and research institutions around the globe.

    Does it matter what a previously generally (but not always) but apparently decreasingly pro-Chavista blog is now saying about Chavez et al? I think so, particularly if the blurb quoted above is accurate, just as it matters what the media in the United States may be starting to say about the Obama administration, although with less vigor and enthusiasm.


  3. Clarissa |

    Chavez is a huge joke as a leader and a complete idiot to boot. Gradually, everybody is seeing just how useless he is.


  4. Dan Miller |

    Clarissa, I certainly hope so. It been a long decade.


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