By Tomas Sancio | Venezuelan Politics
16.07.05 | This is another example of the elected officials who owe more to the President and party leader that allowed them to run for office and provide them with their funds than to the people that elected them. In a well-functioning Democracy, the Greater Caracas Mayor, Juan Barreto wouldn't have to go out of his way to plaster the images of Chávez on police cars. However, it seems that he needs to continuosly praise his leader in order to keep a level of support from the President. That's the sad story of this government: a charismatic leader chooses no-names* to work for him that, barring management skills, compete for his attention through countless different brown-nosing techniques. It's simple, if you don't suck it up to the leader, you're out of the loop. How sad.
The saddest part is not the decoration of the cars themselves (not unlike North Korea, in which the images of Kim Jong Il are plastered everywhere), but the text of the paid advertisement from which this picture was taken (published in El Nacional, today):
"Cuando veas una unidad con la imágen de Chávez, estamos salvando vidas.
"When you see a [police] unit with Chávez's image, we are saving lives. (The bold type is from the ad)
On the other hand, it's also part of Chávez's strategy to gain all the rewards of whatever action is taken by his Ministers and "his" Mayors while placing the blame on them publicly. The Ministers and Mayors just have to tag along (at least the Mayors from the opposition have some dignity).
Hanging Chávez's image everywhere is also intended for covering up lousy management and inefficiency. For example, the DIEX office in La Trinidad, Caracas area now boasts four (4) Chávez posters when months ago it didn't have any. I went there because I had to pick up my ID card that was solicited (I have the receipt) in March of 2004. In other words, if your organization can't deliver a document in more than one year, at least wrap the offices with Chávez posters so you don't get fired.
It's cult of personality at its worst.
* Barreto is not a no-name. He was a very famous journalist before Chávez. Unfortunately, he had never held any Mayor position nor similar post.
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