Tuesday, 5 March 2013

10 reasons why I will not miss Chavez

Rest in peace, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. As a Venezuelan, I didn't agree with most of your policies and politics, but I do not rejoice in your death and I do respect the pain of your family and supporters.

In 1998, when you campaigned for the presidency -and promised to end corruption- despite my disappointment with the traditional parties, I did not support you because you had led a coup against president Carlos Andres Pérez. I didn't like Pérez, but he was elected by our people and attempting to overthrow him was proof that you did not respect the will of Venezuelans.

I didn't oppose 100% of what you did. I was grateful, for example, that you placed the issue of poverty on the table and you put the spotlight on millions of Venezuelans that until then had been excluded. I knew that the Cuban doctors in the slums were unprepared and unequipped, but I understood that they meant the world to the mother that knocks on their door at 3am. I was also happy of the way most Venezuelans started to care about politics again (some because they supported you; others because they opposed you). The anti-politic feeling we saw in the 90's was precisely what got you elected. And I also kept in mind that a majority of Venezuelans did support you, so you certainly had a right to be in office.

These are my 10 reasons why I will not miss you:

1. Your authoritarian manner (which reflected a flaw probably most Venezuelans have), and your inability to engage in an honest dialogue with anyone that opposed you. Even from your death bed, you had a Supreme Court justice fired because she didn't agree with your politics.

2. Your disrespect for the rule of law and your contribution to a climate of impunity in Venezuela. In 1999, you re-wrote the Constitution to fit your needs, and yet you violated it almost on a daily basis. With this example, it is no surprise that crime exploded in Venezuela. In 14 years, our homicide rate more than tripled from 22/100K to 74/100K. While judges were busy trying to prove their political allegiance to you, only 11% of homicides led to a conviction.

3. Your empty promises and the way you manipulated many Venezuelans to think you were really working for them. In 14 years you built less public housing than any president before you did in their 5 year periods. Hospitals today have no resources, and if you go there in an emergency you must bring with you everything from medicines to surgical gloves and masks. The truth is that you were better at blowing your own trumpet than at getting things done.

4. The astounding level of corruption of your government. There was corruption before you got elected, but normally a government's scandals weren't made public until they handed power to the opposing party. Now we've heard about millions and millions of dollars vanishing in front of everybody's eyes, and your only reaction was to attack the media that revealed the corruption. The only politicians accused of corruption have been from parties that oppose you, and mostly on trumped up charges. For example, Leopoldo Lopez was never condemned by the courts but you still prevented him for running for office. His crime? Using money from the wrong budget allocation to pay for the salaries of teachers and firemen -because your government withheld the appropriate funds.

5. The opportunities you missed. When you took office, the price of oil was $9.30, and in 2008 it reached $126.33. There was so much good you could have done with that money! And yet you decided to throw it away on corruption and buying elections and weapons. If you had used these resources well, 10.7% of Venezuelans would not be in extreme poverty.

6. Your attacks on private property and entrepreneurship. You nationalized hundreds of private companies, and pushed hundreds more towards bankruptcy. Not because you were a communist or a socialist, but simply because you wanted no one left with any power to oppose you. If everyone was a public employee, you could force them to attend your political rallies, and the opposition would not get any funding.

7. Your hypocrisy on freedom and human rights. You shut down more than 30 radio and television stations for being critical of your government, you denied access to foreign currency for newspapers to buy printing paper (regular citizens can't access foreign currency unless you authorize it), you imprisoned people without trial for years, you imprisoned people for crimes of opinion, you fired tens of thousands of public employees for signing a petition for a recall referendum and you denied them access to public services and even ID cards and passports.

8. Your hypocrisy on the issue of Venezuela's sovereignty. You kicked out the Americans but then you pulled down your pants for the Cubans, Russians, Chinese and Iranians. We have Cuban officers giving orders in the Venezuelan army. Chinese oil companies work with a higher margin of profit than any Western companies did. And you made it clear that your alliances would be with governments that massacre their own people.

9. Your hypocrisy on the issue of violence. You said this was a peaceful revolution but you allowed illegal armed groups like Tupamaros, La Piedrita and FBLN to operate. You gave them weapons. You had the Russians set up a Kalashnikov plant in Venezuela. You were critical of American wars but yet you gave weapons to the Colombian guerrilla, whose only agenda is murder and drug-dealing.

10. Your hypocrisy on democracy. Your favorite insult for the opposition parties in Venezuela was "coupists", but you forgot you organized a coup in 1992, and the military that was loyal to you suggested they would support a coup in your favor if the opposition ever won the presidential elections. There was no democracy in your political party: you chose each of the candidates for the National Assembly and for city and state governments. When the opposition won the referendum that would have allowed you to change the Constitution in 2007, you disavowed the results and you figured out a way to change the articles and allow yourself to be reelected as many times as you wanted. You manipulated the elections in 2010 to make sure the opposition didn't get more than a third of seats in Parliament even though they got 51% of the popular vote. Your democracy was made of paper, you made sure there were no meaningful checks and balances and all institutions were your puppets.

So no, Hugo I will not miss you. Rest in peace now, while we try to rebuild the mess of a country that you left us.

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Follow Pancho49 on Twitter.

12 comments:

  1. Superb, this echoes my feelings precisely.

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  2. I love the way you laid out your reasons. Excellently written!

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  3. F*ck that! We don't have any authoritarian flaws... How can You talk like that about our own contry?... If that's Your opinion I respect it, but the fact that You've started this 10 reasons saying a negative statement about Venezuela is so disgusting... Specially when You clearly know that a majority supports Him and will always do. Things like that disgust Me all the time I see/read/hear opposition's words. That's not right. Is time to change for good, but this kind of retrograde opinions just keeps putting both parts in disagreements; and that my friend, I repeat, IS NOT RIGHT and DISGUST ME.

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    1. Whoever you are, the truth HURTS. The way this Pancho Guy laid out his article is NOTHING, but the SAD reality of Venezuela as a country. A majority of Venezuelans supporting this TERRORIST-THUG? Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME MAN? There has been nothing but FRAUD in every election in that country across the board from that SICK Government of DRUG DEALERS, ASSASSINS, TERRORISTS, THUGS, AND YOU FUCKING NAME IT. Next time, get your facts STRAIGHT BUDDY. Change for good you quoted...Sure man. A legacy of UNBRIDLED, UNABATED HATE AND VIOLENCE FED BY THIS GENOCIDAL MONSTER, WHO NEVER HAD OTHER FEELINGS OTHER THAN THE ONES JUST MENTIONED ALONGSIDE SOCIAL RESENTMENT & VENGEANCE...SUCH LEGACY will remain in Vzla indefinitely. Enough Said!!!

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  4. Hey Pancho, Excellent article on your end. As for rejoicing on this Genocidal Death, I am VERY HAPPY MYSELF HOPING THAT THIS MONSTER IS ROTTING AND BURNING IN THE MARBLE OF HELL AT THE ABSOLUTE BOTTOM OF IT... Unfortunately, This Genocidal left an indelible mark in Venezuelan History. His legacy of unbridled and unabated Violence and Hate will remain in Vzla for life. This is a country where the majority of the population is Illiterate, and they believed and still believes in this MONSTER as well as every word that came out of his FILTHY-PUKING MOUTH. The Venezuelan Population 90% or so barely knows how to read and write and their own names, and that Government of Thugs, Criminals, Drug Dealers, and Terrorists is NO EXCEPTION Man. Now they are Blaming the IMPERIO for this THUG'S DEATH just like the case of Yasser Arafat of Egypt... What goes on in that country would not even be seen nor experience in countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe,Tanzania, and many more...Venezuela is DONE, it is FINISHED, it is THROUGH...NO MORE... And Pancho, let us NOT FORGET that Vzla is a country where people sell themselves for a SONG man. How can a country be fixed like that? FORGET IT. You want an instance, I'll give you one: THE VENEZUELAN ARMY...Unless we see Another GENERALÍSIMO PÉREZ-JIMÉNEZ OR ANOTHER J.V. GÓMEZ, the country as I mentioned earlier, will remain in the DARK.

    Good thing you are out in England...I am out in Canada. Take Care Man & Peace!! Karl Suegart...

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  5. Sería buenísimo tenerlo en Castellano para así poder difundirlo por Twitter y Facebook. Yo estoy tan de acuerdo de lo que dices allí como si yo mismo lo hubiese escrito. Tomaste las palabras adecuadas y las colocaste en el orden preciso. Muy bueno en verdad. Saludos. @MacSterling

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  6. Lo tradujo un amigo:

    10 RAZONES POR LAS QUE NO EXTRAÑARÉ A HUGO CHÁVEZ

    Esto lo escribió Juan Francisco de León, venezolano de Panaquire, estado Miranda. Lo escribió en los comentarios de la noticia del fallecimiento en CNN, en Inglés, y luego lo pegó en su blog. Lo traduje y aquí lo dejo.

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    "Descanse en paz, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. Como venezolano, yo no estaba de acuerdo con la mayoría de sus políticas, pero no me regocijo en su muerte y respeto el dolor de su familia y sus partidarios.

    En 1998, cuando usted hizo campaña para la presidencia - y prometió poner fin a la corrupción - a pesar de mi decepción con los partidos tradicionales, no lo apoyé, ya que usted había dirigido un golpe de Estado contra el presidente Carlos Andrés Pérez. No me gustaba Pérez, pero había sido elegido por nuestro pueblo y tratar de derrocarlo era prueba de que no usted respetaba la voluntad de los venezolanos.

    No me opuse al 100% de lo que usted hizo. Agradecía, por ejemplo, que colocase el tema de la pobreza sobre la mesa y que pusiera en el foco a millones de venezolanos que hasta entonces habían sido excluidos. Yo sabía que los médicos cubanos en los barrios pobres estaban poco preparados y sub-equipados, pero entendí que que lo significaba todo para la madre que llama a puerta de ellos a las 3 a.m. También estaba feliz de que la mayoría de los venezolanos comenzara a preocuparse por la política de nuevo (algunos porque lo apoyaban, otros porque se le oponían). El sentimiento de anti-política de que vimos en los 90s fue precisamente lo que lo llevó a usted al triunfo electoral. Y también tuve en cuenta entonces que la mayoría de los venezolanos lo apoyaron, así que sin duda usted tenía derecho a estar en el cargo.

    Sin embargo, estas son mis 10 razones por las que no lo echaré de menos:

    1. Sus maneras autoritarias (lo que probablemente refleja un defecto presente en la mayoría de los venezolanos), y su incapacidad para comprometerse en un diálogo honesto con alguien que se le opusiera. Incluso desde su lecho de muerte hizo expulsar a un jueza del Tribunal Supremo porque ella no estaba de acuerdo con sus políticas.

    2. Su falta de respeto por el imperio de la ley y su contribución al clima de impunidad en Venezuela. En 1999, usted re-escribió la Constitución de acuerdo a sus necesidades, y sin embargo la violaba casi a diario. Con este ejemplo, no es de extrañar que la delincuencia estallara en Venezuela. En 14 años, nuestra tasa de homicidios se ha más que triplicado, 22 cada 100 mil a 74 cada cien mil. Mientras que los jueces estaban ocupados tratando de demostrarle su lealtad política, sólo el 11% de los casos de homicidios terminó en condena.

    3. Sus promesas vacías y la forma en que manipuló a muchos venezolanos para que pensaran que realmente estaba trabajando para ellos. En 14 años construyó menos viviendas público que ningún otro presidente antes, en sus períodos de 5 años. Los hospitales hoy en día no tienen recursos, e incluso si vas de emergencia hay escasez de todo, desde medicinas hasta guantes quirúrgicos y mascarillas. La verdad es usted fue mejor haciéndose propaganda que en resolver problemas.

    4. El asombroso nivel de corrupción de su gobierno. Había corrupción antes de que usted fuese elegido, pero normalmente los escándalos de gobierno no se hacían públicos hasta que entregaban el poder al partido opositor. Ahora hemos oído hablar de millones y millones de dólares que desaparecen frente a los ojos de todos, y su única reacción fue atacar a los medios de comunicación que revelaron la corrupción. Los únicos políticos acusados de corrupción han sido de los partidos que se le oponen, y en su mayoría son falsas acusaciones. Por ejemplo, Leopoldo López nunca fue condenado por los tribunales, pero aún así le impidió presentarse a elecciones. ¿Su delito? Usar dinero de la asignación presupuestaria incorrecta para pagar los sueldos de maestros y bomberos... porque su gobierno retuvo los fondos apropiados.

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  7. 5. Las oportunidades que perdió. Cuando asumió el cargo, el precio del petróleo era de u$s 9,30, y en 2008 llegó a 126,33 dólares. ¡Pudo haber hecho tantas cosas buenas con ese dinero! Y sin embargo, decidieron malgastarlo en comprar elecciones, en corrupción y en armas. Si hubiera utilizado esos recursos bien, más del 10,7% de los venezolanos no estaría en condiciones de pobreza extrema.

    6. Sus ataques a la propiedad privada y la iniciativa empresarial. Usted nacionalizó cientos de empresas privadas, y empujado a cientos más a la quiebra. No porque usted fuese un comunista o un socialista, sino simplemente porque no quería que quedara nadie con poder para oponérsele. Si todo el mundo era un empleado público, usted podría obligarlos a asistir a sus mítines políticos, y la oposición no tendría ninguna financiación.

    7. Su hipocresía sobre la libertad y los derechos humanos. Usted cerró más de 30 emisoras de radio y televisión por criticar a su gobierno, le negó a varios diarios el acceso a divisas extranjeras para comprar papel de impresión (los ciudadanos normales no pueden acceder a la moneda extranjera, a menos que su gobierno lo autorice), encarceló por años a personas sin juicio, ecnarceló por crímenes de opinión, despidió a decenas de miles de empleados públicos por firmar una petición para el referendo revocatorio y les negó el acceso a los servicios públicos e incluso a tarjetas de identidad y pasaportes.

    8. Su hipocresía sobre la soberanía venezolana. Echó a los estadounidenses pero luego se bajó los pantalones para los cubanos, los rusos, los chinos, los iraníes. Tenemos oficiales cubanos dando órdenes en el ejército venezolano. Las compañías petroleras chinas trabajan con un margen de lucro más elevado que cualquiera de las empresas occidentales que habían antes. Y dejó claro que sus alianzas serían con gobiernos que masacran y oprimen a su propio pueblo.

    9. Su hipocresía sobre el tema de la violencia. Usted dijo que se trataba de una revolución pacífica, pero le permitió operar a grupos armados ilegales como los Tupamaros, La Piedrita y el FBLN. Usted les dio armas. Hizo que los rusos establecieran una planta de Kalashnikovs en Venezuela. Criticó las guerras estadounidenses, pero le dio armas a la guerrilla colombiana, cuyo única agenda es el asesinato y el tráfico de drogas.

    10. Su hipocresía para con la democracia. Su insulto favorito para los partidos de oposición en Venezuela era "golpistas", pero se le olvidó haber organizado un golpe de estado en 1992, y el ejército que le era leal suigirió que apoyaría un golpe de Estado en su nombre, si alguna vez la oposición ganaba las elecciones presidenciales. No había ninguna democracia en su partido político, el PSUV: usted elegía a cada uno de los candidatos a la Asamblea Nacional y los gobiernos municipales y estatales. Cuando la oposición ganó el referendo que hubiera permitido cambiar la Constitución en 2007, rechazó los resultados y se inventó una manera de modificar los artículos y permitirse ser reelegido tantas veces como quisiera. Manipuló las elecciones en 2010 para asegurarse de que la oposición no consiguiera más de un tercio de los escaños en el Parlamento a pesar de que obtuvieron el 51% del voto popular. Su democracia estaba hecha de papel; se aseguró de que no hubiesen pesos y contrapesos significativos y que todas las instituciones fueran sus títeres.

    Así que no, Hugo, no lo voy a echar de menos. Descanse en paz ahora, mientras tratamos de reconstruir el desastre de país que nos dejó."

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  8. Bravo Francisco, mejor dicho, ni Dios, cuando este cabrón se presente delante de él. Sin embargo, el legado negativo de Chávez perdurará por décadas. El cáncer no es la enfermedad que se lo llevó, sino el chavismo en el cuerpo de la democracia venezolana. Bravo!!!!

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  9. just read your article on CNN. The reasons why you won't miss el Caudillo are just the beginning of why Venezolanos should welcome his death as an opportunity for a new beginning.

    As you stated regarding the pissing away of Venezuela's oil wealth, what a missed opportunity!

    This cowboy from Barinas, who was at the very beginning a patriot and champion of his people, advanced through the ranks of the military only to became a massive casualty of the temptations that absolute power provided him. He was all too human in this regard, but he deserves no pardon. When a leader invokes laws to outlaw criticism, that is a huge red flag. I know this sounds harsh, but I am glad he is dead and believe that he truly deserved to suffer like he did.

    The type of environment that his red-shirted thugs imposed on at least one educational institution qualifies my utter contempt for the man.

    A very dear friend of mine was promoted within the university to director where he/she worked. Shortly after this, he/she was confronted by chavistas to sign off on giving credits to someone who had not studied there. He/she refused. Shortly thereafter, graffiti was plastered on his/her office that had a picture of a skull and the words “Maldito/Maldita" followed with his/her name. They also held a gun to his/her stomach. He/she still refused and lived to tell about it. He/she had balls.

    I hope all Venezolanos can have the balls to reject a continuation of the failed policies of a once noble patriot who was absolutely corrupted by absolute power.

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    1. Hi Michael, very good feedback on your end. Your comment states NOTHING but TRUE FACTS. As for Venezuelans having the COJONES to reject such government of THUGS, DRUG DEALERS, THIEVES, TERRORISTS, SOCIAL MISFITS, ASSASSINS AND YOU NAME IT, remains to be seen. Personally, I do NOT think it is gonna happen since these THUGS have an entire country in its corner, and lots of people sold out to the regime. Historically, Vzla has NEVER been a country of war like Mexico or Colombia WARRIOR Countries by excellence.The country has been very peaceful for the most part. They will have to take and manage the situation as it comes, and deal with it to the best of their ability. Unfortunately,I don't think they have a way out. Stay alert & Peace...Karl S.

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