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The surreal revolution in Venezuela

By Miguel Octavio

There is a lot to blog about tonight, but I really need some rest before tomorrow’s march. Hopefully nothing will happen, but the attitude of the President, the Vice-President, the Minister of Defense, the Mayor of the Libertador District and the Fiscal (bundled Attorney general/Prosecutor) make me pessimistic.

The Government wants a confrontation and we want to protest to defend our rights. As usual we want it to be peaceful, as usual, the Government means to stop us. Why? I think the Chavez administration is looking for a crisis. Nothing else can explain everything that has happened during the last week. People have disappeared (10), have been killed (10), have been injured (more than 1300) and have been detained illegally, but the brutality can be proven by the fact that throughout all this, the ratio of injuries Opposition/Government is 150 to 1.

Mind you, I don’t want to keep count and I don’t want anyone, absolutely anyone, from either side, to be injured, but when you hear the Government justifying the brutality and the repression on the fact that National Guardsmen have been injured, I have to worry.

Last week, the Government did not want the opposition march to get close to the theater where the G-15 summit was taking place. They did not even allow a small group from the opposition to present a document to the leaders at the Summit. Hundreds of heavily armored National Guards with tanks were put in place and the tear gas began to fly even before the march got there.

This week, the opposition symbolically plans a march to the same place, there is no summit, all Mayors, including the Mayor of all of Caracas authorize the march, but the pro-Chavez mayor of the Libertador District says we can’t go there. Why? Coincidentally he is holding a market right at the same place, that nobody had heard about until the opposition said where it was going. This is what it is like to live in a totalitarian state. First we could not march to the presidential palace, later it was to the Electoral Council, now it is wherever we say we want to march, we can’t, just so a confrontation may take place.

Maybe the Government will be surprised tomorrow. See, there is a trap planned. Tomorrow we will behave badly, very badly. If we are attacked we have a plan, a really aggressive plan. We are going to sit down. If and when the National Guard starts throwing us tear gas canisters we, all of us, are simply going to sit down right there. The second part of the plan is even worse, more aggressive and Machiavellic, we plan to have international observers present. Foreigners at that! Some even from Bush’s country! Oh yeah, we are getting to be really bad people down here. We are learning.

We actually practiced today, in Chacao and in front of the OAS, and in Maracaibo and in Plaza La Meritocracia, where Jose Vilas’ mother challenged Hugo Chavez to meet with her. See, that is the ultimate battle plan. We all go out; we sit down, the whole country, at once. And we will be called all sorts of names.

Today was surreal. We had our “bundle” the Fiscal; imagine an Attorney General/Prosecutor, bundled into a single position. He is Chavez’ first Vice-President, later named to this hybrid position. While guaranteeing us impartiality, transparency and all those empty words he has said for the last two years, he actually justified the National Guard going outand repressing people by saying that the local authorities failed to maintain order. Hey! Pretty Good argument for the world press Isaias! Except the National Guard went out first! Remember? It was Thursday afternoon, Mugabe had not arrived yet and hundreds of prototypes of the “New Venezuelans” disguised as Robocops took the Avenida Libertador to stop us. Even before we were there they began throwing tear gas, injuring a reporter. By the time we got there, repression was all over. The tactics were those for a World War II tank battle, except Isaias, these were people armed with flags and posters. And more than half of them were women, not tanks. And Venezuelan women not only are good looking, but they are very tough, ask Elinor Montes. But your story is good Isais, Milosevic would love to have you as a roommate, and he will eventually. Imagine, you, Hugo, Milosevic and all three cheating Mugabe in the card game as he falls sleep!

And then there was Hugo himself. Inviting the Diplomatic Corp to explain to them how the opposition wants to overthrow him. After a sort of rerun of the Revolution will not be televised, lots of Carmona-the-Brief shots, he showed the aggressiveness of the opposition in last week’s march. Oh! The slingshots! The stones! The Women! So incredible aggressive, like that terrorist named Montes that walked up to the National Guard, flag in hand! Imagine she is a hero now! Terrorist! These women are really getting on my nerves and Garcia Carneiros’s. But he hates that Spanish reporter named Marta more.

Then, Chavez began to show how the media terrorizes. Video Clips of Mugabe falling sleep listening to Chavez’ speech! The TV announcer actually cracks up. What nerve! How irreverent! Except it was never clear whether the announcer was laughing at Mugabe or Chavez. Little difference in the end, you just wait. So far the imitation is uncanny!

Oh yes, in the interest of fairness, Chavez did show one yuppie with a .38, a pair of binoculars and a bullet proof vest. My God! This must be a coup in the making! What do your need a bulletproof vest for? We only use assault rifles! A bullet proof vest is useless against that! What fools! And more slingshots! That dangerous weapon that has been revived by the Venezuelan opposition and used to threaten the life of our citizens and loyal troops!.

See, said Chavez, it is George W. Bush (emphasis on the W) who has paid these thousands of people (no more than 2000,Jose Vicente told him) to do this. They want me to look bad; I have infiltrated the CIA and found they are giving Slingshot 100 and 101 courses! You want to know what the requirement is? You have to have signed in the Reafirmazo, except that the CIA does not accept the CNE data, it only accepts the Sumate data, otherwise they would have no students, their signatures would all be disqualified or under observation!

Then we saw the fraud by the opposition. Imagine, one person was dead, another was a foreigner. Cedula number 5070673, she is dead (but you try 8080 on your cellphone and she is pretty much alive) or 250083, he said this person does not exist, but it is in the Electoral Registry. Or some foreigners who signed, but their Cedulas were disqualified anyway, along with 143,000 others that were simply not in the registry. But Chavez talked to the psychiatrist Jorge Rodríguez who gave him some statistics classes, he can no longer be fooled, four cases make a gigantic fraud, no matter what Gaviria and Jimmy the guy with the funny accent in Spanish and his lackeys say.

Chavez told all of this with a nervous smile that made him look cynical and somewhat deranged, but that is only my personal and extremely biased judgment. As the Diplomats sat uncomfortably in the cheap plastic chairs with weak legs for four hours and they were all getting hungry (it was 4 PM) Hugo said: “We respect Human rights, but we will use force whenever necessary”. Only the word excessive was missing from the statement.

Chavez then called the CNE decision wise, the Church also took its blows “I have had more tolerance with them than with any Government, event his Sanctity" referring to the Pope. He threatened the media with closing them down (it’s coming, believe me).

He did not show pictures of anyone being shot in the back in cold blood, he did not mention the resignation of his UN Ambassador yesterday, he did not say that the Venezuelan Government has recused the Executive Secretary of the OAS Human rights Commission. You see, this is the pretty revolution; we do not talk about such things. They are simply necessary.

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