VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: I guess that I have been suitably chastised by my colleague Patrick J. O'Donoghue (VHeadline News Editor) since he claims that in a previous editorial I gave the impression that I had written off the whole Venezuelan government as corrupt, indolent and incapable. Well, only partly! I certainly want to correct any mistaken perception that ALL of the Venezuelan government is corrupt, indolent and incapable ... but the real-time problem is that the current corruption, indolence and incapacity shown by quite a few Ministers and their un-Civil Servants is palpable!
A number of Ministers are clearly incapable of dealing with their portfolios, a number of Ambassadors are clearly like fish out of water in their foreign environs and the staff at Venezuelan embassies and consulates around the world (not exclusively in the United States!) are a true reflection of the corruption, indolence and incapacities that infect the Chavez administration from top to bottom ... NOT all of it, but dangerously close to it!
Of course, as a foreign observer, it would probably be more confortable to me to turn a blind eye and pretend that it is Venezuela's problem and that THEY have to deal with it as best they can. But, as a human being who has fallen in love with Venezuela (the country) and Venezuela (the people) it is difficult to stand idly by while insidious malingerers get away with blue murder, doing the nation great damage in the almost unstoppable process of degrading the democracy the Venezuela people thought majoritarily they had won with the succession of President Hugo Chavez Frias to the presidency in February 1999.
What I see is a nation that has been filled with hope, aspiration and a fervent belief in a leader who can lead them to the Promised Land of their dreams ... but their development is still in hostile territory with sheep being ripped from the flock by ravenous wolves and many of the pseudo-shepherds are even ready to sell new-born lambs to butchery if only to line their own pockets!
Having replaced an elistist old-guard of Accion Democratica/COPEI, which held corrupt sway for the greater part of half a century, the Bolivarian Revolution has grown its own elite in an absurd replica for that which went before ... only this time around, the new 'old-guard' is even less principled and more manipulative than anything Venezuela has previously seen.
Now, again, I repeat that the Venezuelan government is NOT wholly corrupt, indolent and incapable!
But the key positions are in the stranglehold of cliques or brotherhoods that are fondly reminiscent of Chicago-style politicking of the last century with incestuous and sweetheart dealings that should make the perpetrators blush but pass muster as the conventional traits of 'sin verguenzas' (those without shame) ... and in that regard, nothing has changed.
While Patrick O'Donoghue obviously sees some degree of harmony in efforts made by President Hugo Chavez Frias' United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to unite Venezuela's splintered left-wing factions under a common banner of unity ... laudable in all respects! ... my greatest fear ahead of November 23's decisive local and regional elections is that Chavez' initial powerbase and his bold ambitions for Venezuela are slowly but surely being eroded away by a fifth column of false-flagged chavistas who are closer physically to the President than he might otherwise find comfortable.
Some people have asked me why the President does not simply fire and be shot of the people who are corrupt, indolent and incapable ... it seems so easy from the outside looking in! Yet, imagine yourself in President Chavez' shoes! He's only human and despite the headlines and the glamor and the glitter that comes with presidential office, and despite the fact that he's an incorrigible workaholic, he's left to a very lonely life keeping to the dictate of established protocol while making decisions for the nation based on the temporal advice of ministers and his own gut feelings for the brand of 21st Century democracy he wills for the Venezuelan people.
The fact that his ministers may or may not be the most brilliant bananas on the boat is an unfortunate reality ... but what are the alternatives?
Chavez' political philosophy has dangerously been to inculcate an awareness in the grassroots citizens of Venezuela to take charge of their own destinies; to form local councils to act in their name upwards through a chain of comand to the very top of the nation -- himself -- the better to reflect the democratic will of his people and to serve them to the best of his ability. I say dangerously since even after nine years of his presidency, the battle of hearts and minds has only just begun and already it is being strangled by the political opposition and the false-flagged traitors who would sell their birthright to United States domination for a pittance.
The battlefield is therefore drawn for four months hence and, at least from the sidelines of an early July perspective, it would seem that storm clouds are already looming to hurricane force as the dis-united United Socialist Party of Venezuela grapples with internal problems and hither and thither defections while corrupt elements gather brownie points to themselves in dissent and indecision that's rampant throughout a disillusioned electorate that's easily swayed by disappearing promises of pie in the sky.
Would that the genuine grassroots people of Venezuela were to decide the November elections on the independent basis of one man (woman), one vote, but the fantasy is far from reality with top-down politicking kicking merry hell out of an otherwise brilliant concept of grassroots representation that may never be allowed to survive to maturity.
In answer to colleague Patrick. I must therfore admit that while he is right to chasten me for an illusion created that Venezuela is 100% corrupt, indolent and incapable is NOT wholly correct, the glass must meanwhile be considered to be either half empty or half full. Which?
Roy S. Carson
Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.