April 16, 2004

Best of the best comments forum in a long time...

I come home, drunk, only to find the best comments exchange in ages...I'm reproducing it, having translated some of the posts...


Apparently they are going to take a "sample" of 50%(!) of the fingerprints in the reparos and compare them to the fingerprints in the forms to see if they match. Funny, since part of the reason some of the firms are going to reparos is because the fingerprints are illegible. So I guess people will have to smudge their fingers in the exact same way.


How they can justify such harsh conditions (way harsher than what you need to do to vote!) is beyond me. I can't understand how some people still defend Jorge Rodriguez. Just because you know someone from before doesn't mean they're not crooks.

Juan N | Email | 04.16.04 - 1:10 pm | #


my theory is that there is more than meet the eye there..because what's the point of having all that money if they're giving you some...you cannot enjoy it...you cannot go to a rest, you cannot be around and about in the country in peace unless you have countless bodyguards and helicopters and what have you..I think some of this guys, like Cardinale inferred, are being blackmailed....it doesn't make anysense...who know what the hell they could be threatening J Rodrigues with??...

Jose Roman Duque | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 1:13 pm | #


I'm just embarrassed now that I believed Jorge Rodriguez for as long as I did. It's...erm...not something I'm proud of now...and it lost me a $50 bottle'o'something to boot in that bet with Alek.


I hate it when Alek is proven right and I'm proven wrong. It's been happening entirely too often lately.


Que desgracia...comer flores no paga...

Quico | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 1:14 pm | #


Blackmailing my foot. By their works you shall know them... I don't know Jorge Rodriguez or any of the others personally, but I don't need to. All I need to know is that he has pretty much written the death sentence of Venezuelan democracy, y perdonen la grandilocuencia.

Juan N | Email | 04.16.04 - 1:23 pm | #


You should check out the piece in www.exceso.net about him...fucking bastard. Honestly, the Quiroz Corradi/Mujica statements made me bloody mad. I mean, 20 minutes ago, writing the post, I was trying to be funny about it, but the more I think about it the more screamingly angry I get at these insane, irresponsible shitheads...cooooooooooooo???????o, queeeeee arrrrreeeeeechhheeeeeerrrraaaa!!!!

That's it, I'm going out to get drunk. Me sale pea llorona esta noche...

Quico | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 1:30 pm | #


I bet someone could do a really good comparison of the perversion of language/logic in the Soviet and Chavez regimes.

Erica | Email | 04.16.04 - 1:58 pm | #


Never trust a smart guy holding a grudge. Just the fact that Jose Vicente Rangel was the one pushing for him to go to the CNE should have tipped us all off.

Juan N | Email | 04.16.04 - 2:06 pm | #


I've heard Jorge Rodr?guez making public statements in Globovisi?n and half an hour later saying exactly the opposite in Jesse-visi?n.

Cristina Toro | Email | 04.16.04 - 2:10 pm | #


Rodriguez nos tiene locos... he should know a thing or two about that.

I was thinking that what they will end up doing is check the fingerprints of the reparos and determine that all those who went to repair are actually dead and their signatures will irreparably dismissed. there, sudden death.

Juan N | Email | 04.16.04 - 2:12 pm | #


Hey guys, there were indications about the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Jorge Rodriguez with his "cara de mosquita muerta" (even though he supposedly is male) a loonnnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago in little, perhaps obscure comments here and there. I'm surprised you believed in him for so long!!! As far as I'm concerned he showed his true colors ages ago. Resentment does not fade away, it eats at you and increases. No way no how was this guy ever going to be fair.
Maria | Email | 04.16.04 - 3:13 pm | #


funny thing that I believe i met the guy when he was in Medicine School, I played at a party at the Medicine faculty building in Sebucan, my friend introduced him to me..
no wonder his face looked familiar when I saw him at the CNE..
Jose Roman Duque | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 3:16 pm | #


Quote from yesterday's spirited discussion:

Guys, Maria, Tuti: I might have to SEE the blood. I WON?T shed it. Unless it?s mine.

Andrés Cardinale | Email | 04.16.04 - 12:21 am |

Andrés amigo... prepare! It might come sooner than you think, unless there is still a tiny window open somewhere and cooler heads prevail.

Quico: sorry you lost your bet with Alek, but look on the bright side, you're no longer a comeflor!!
Maria | Email | 04.16.04 - 3:31 pm | #


Do you remember Joao de Goveia and his statements, that convinced everyone he was a nutcase? Guess who coached him...
Andr?s Cardinale | Email | 04.16.04 - 3:34 pm | #


I swear the only time I have read of people being so nasty and 'caradura'..was when I read about, Nazism, or Stalin...I thought that something like that was impossible to occur in Vzla.!!
esto es inaudito
Jose Roman Duque | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 3:45 pm | #


grimm panorama..I saw my dad over the 'semana santa'..he looked quite tired and not too hopeful about the situation down there...
Jose Roman Duque | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 3:47 pm | #


JDR -- it's unbelievable that we all still had some hope.
Maria | Email | 04.16.04 - 3:54 pm | #

To quote the wise Dionne Warwick:

“What do you get when you fall in love?“

(And, by the way, I thought Faitha‘s piece on Rodríguez for Exceso was a little ?soft?).
Andrés Cardinale | Email | 04.16.04 - 3:56 pm | #


My dad sometimes used to say to me, "if you're always right, why are you screaming?" FT et al, it's not a bad thing to be a comeflor, in fact, it's great. What sucks is to be a comeflor in Venezuela; it doesn't work. That's why guys like Elias Santana, though he's not really a comeflor at all, will never go far. They neither smell nor stiink, as they say. Picture yourself in front of a glue-sniffer who's pointing at you in the face with a '38 and you telling him "but the constitution says nobody must violate my right to life..." That's the situation we're in, the glue-sniffers are in power, and believe me when I tell that they're high (on power) and they won't let go. It's a matter of survival. That, FT, one does not learn in school, but on the streets. So thank heaven - or your parents - to have had an education in school and not on the streets.

aleksander boyd | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 5:11 pm | #


Continuing with the Exceso article...

"which was approved and distributed, that was not invented by someone, or cheating, or a trick, well, what it says, look here: that each person must SIGN (FIRMAR) his voting form personally, unless it is a disabled person, and it that case, it shall be noted, you see?"

Last time I looked up the meaning of the word "firmar" it was to sign... there is nothing there about "llenar" as in "llenar los datos" --- or fill out the form. Or am I totally crazy?

Alek... I'm almost convinced que la cosa se va a decidir en la calle". Hope I'm wrong.

Maria | Email | 04.16.04 - 5:19 pm | #


In the street or in the Celestial Courts!

Andrés Cardinale | Email | 04.16.04 - 5:25 pm | #


Aleksander, you write really well in Spanish as well.

I think it great fun being a comeflor, especially in Venezuela. I go about my business trying to be kind to every Chavista I run into and you don't know how good it feels. We don't talk about politics, a smile is enough, a kind gesture. And this is what most of the followers of El?as Santana (among whom I count myself) go around doing.

It may sound naive, but I think we do make a difference.

In February, for instance, on the street where I live (which coincidentally is the street where Alianza Civica headquarters are) we sould sit on the sidewalk to have conversations with them: chavistas with opposition members. We even shared some beers.

It may sound naive, but I really think we make a difference.

Cristina Toro | Email | 04.16.04 - 6:27 pm | #


With which chavistas did you hit the beers, Cristina, with the deceived believers or with the ones who hold power? I also had some beers with them in the get-togethers in Avenida Bolivar, all in good humor. In fact, they even paid for the beers. Nevertheless, I'm not going go get sentimental at this stage in the game. Sadly the Chavezes of this world do not understand what we are talking about here. To win or to die, that is their slogan. Add to that an overflowing megalomania, a sense of absolute ownership over the truth, the wealth of sycophants, intellectual limitations, a poverty of the soul, the absence of values and ethics and you meet the ultimate degeneration of being. That is what Chavez is, a character escaped from Dantes infernos. You cannot reason with someone like this.

Keep on greeting and smiling, remain gentle, but please don't be so naive, because they've got matters worked out clearly. Send my regards to the comeflor in chief...

aleksander boyd | Email |Homepage | 04.16.04 - 6:47 pm | #


Who's the head flower eater? Elias Santana? Alek, being serious here, I can eat flowers, but not shit.

Andrés Cardinale | Email | 04.16.04 - 7:14 pm | #


Allow a naive gringa who has spent a great deal of time studying how authoritarians have fallen in Latin America. First all Latin American authoritarians open up small democratic spaces in order to maintain their legitimacy. The authoritarian always plans on limiting and manipulating these spaces to his advantage. Opposition movements fail when they determine that these small democratic spaces are just a trap. Instead of taking a gamble a pushing the democratic space to its limit, the opposition walks away from the space. The authoritarian remains in power. Success only happens when opposition movements take the bait, and go for it, making use of the democratic space despite the high probability that they will fail.
It is at these moments when events spiral out of the authoritarians control. Mistakes are made by the regime and deals are cut by moderate regime supporters (actors that nobody ever expected would turn their backs on the authoritarian actually abandon him). I disagree with all of you, the opposition should take the risk, and go to the reparo. Someone please tell me what alternative has a higher probability of success?

Janette | 04.16.04 - 7:47 pm | #



I think you can judge from the feedback here where opposition spirits are lying and, and it's pretty damn low. The final realization that it is impossible to move the chavista state to do something it doesn't want to do vis-a-vis the referendum is still, amazingly, a final shock to an already animically battered opposition. The angering thing, the maddening thing, is that Chavez's mayhem and confusion strategy has worked perfectly.

The CNE seems to be calculating that it's best bet is to ensure the opposition walks out of the talks. The way it's chosen to do that is to impose procedures that a-run directly counter to what had been agreed at the negotiating table (Carter Center and OAS are witnesses) and b-make it 100% certain that the opposition cannot gather the needed number of reparo signatures. For the opposition to continue in these terms would be just plain grotesque, just building up supporters' hopes one last time in the absolute certainty that they will be dashed. I don't think that's responsible leadership.

I think the opposition really needs to ask itself what a serious campaign of systematic Gandhian active non-violence and non-cooperation would entail. And I'm sorry Cristina, but to keep to the Gandhian principle, this would have to be without violence, but outside the framework of the law.


The only thing I can say is that if I see only a 0.0000000000001% chance of resolving a problem peacefully instead of using violence, that 0.0000000000001% is worth pursuing, and pursing it forcefully. Because no matter how inevitable it may look, the consequences of either widespread violence or outright dictatorship are so grave, that every imaginable effort must be exhausted in seeking a peaceful, democratic solution.

We are not in deeper shit than the National Party of South Africa was in 10 years ago. But the National Party knew it was facing an opponent committed to respecting the rights of its followers, no matter how grave the human rights abuses of the apartheid era. Eventually, it becomes a matter of survival for the offending party to be able to hand back power to the people it has aggressed without fearing blind retribution and violence. If South Africa could make it out of Apartheid without a race war, Venezuela can DEFINITELY do the same...the chavistas haven't done to the opposition a millionth of what the apartheid regime did to the black majority in South Africa.

For Mandela, assuring the whites that they would be treated fairly was a key element in getting them to hand over power. Eventually, F.W. de Klerk came to trust him enough to do a deal, and the deal has largely been kept. The result has been a fantastic success for that society, which had far better reasons to go violent than we do.

If they can do it, we can do it. Only detail is...erm...we have to find a Mandela to lead us...(where's Pompeyo when you need him?)