Here we go again, trying to predict what's going to happen in Venezuela.
Let's look at what is happening:
|The Indians had the Kshatriya or warrior caste. Venezuelans now have the Bolivarian military|
1) the Venezuelan regime is increasingly making big efforts in making Venezuelans used to the idea that the military caste are a special class. The regime wants to make it clear they are a special profession, a group of people that needs more attention than mathematicians, biologists, street cleaners, nurses, chemists, teachers, construction workers or the rest. The new law for military training at school level is designed to prepare the new generation of those who will help keep up the military in power in the future. You already read about the new "military areas of development". Now you can read (in Spanish) about how the military in Carabobo are using most of their former ally, drug dealer Makled, to expand their already heavy presence in that region: you can see rising star general Alcalá kissing babies and talking about how the military are giving 2 hectares of the expropiated land for housing - that's 1.3% of the total - and some other for a school and mentions how they are taking at least 80 hectares -that is 53.3% of that land - to build new barracks for the military caste in Carabobo.
2) The Partido Comunista de Venezuela knows it doesn't have a chance without Chávez and his military, so it agrees with the militarization process and says the military training for children is good for "patriotism" (check out the article at one of the government's papers, paid with the State's money).
3) Nobody is saying anything about the horribly low standards of public primary and secondary school in Venezuela:
University students are too busy with defending university rights without looking at the broader picture - something they could do in Germany or Sweden but not in Venezuela today, in view of the social tensions, the government's propaganda machine and simple common sense- . Chavistas, on their side, believe they will solve the education problem and above all their lack of clout at university level by eliminating university autonomy and by sending more pro-Chavez people to universities even if those persons are virtually illiterate and should firstly get a real primary education.
Watch leader Diego Scharifker in this old video here (English). He has valid points, but he - like most Venezuelans - forget something very fundamental about the re-election possibility: in Europe there is only indefinite reelection in countries with parliamentarian as opposed to presidential system. This is a big difference and this is something I have never ever ever heard in Venezuela. Not even so-called political scientists from Europe (pro or against Chávez) seem to notice this huge difference, which should be the decisive point to oppose indefinite-reelection: we have a presidential system, stupid! It is not just about traditions or "cultures".
Watch Diego Scharifker here as well (Spanish) talking about the budget for universities. He has a right to talk about university budgets, but he simply has no chance as long as he does not address the fact that 1) hundreds of thousands of students get their entry because they are the children of university workers or teachers or because the students' councils have sold the entries to them (student councils legally get a certain amount of "entries" they can distribute)- this is like letting illiterate people get to university for political reasons-, 2) there is a huge amount of "workers" who don't work and are on the pay list of universities, 3) universities in Venezuela have a much higher proportion of the education budget than in any other Latin American country in a country where the education budget gets - in theory - a bigger chunk of the total budget than in many other countries.
As long as he does not address these issues, he and students in general who are not followers of Chávez will have a hard time in order to gain the hearts and souls of most Venezuelans (those who send children to public schools, etc).
Scharifker perhaps does not know public schools could be good. He probably has the experience of the US and Venezuelan models only, so he does not even consider this point. Or perhaps he thinks he should focus on universities as schools should be defended by other people. If he thinks so, he can wait until the end of times.
Chavistas are already spreading anti-Semite statements about Scharifker. Why? Simply because Scharifker's family is of Jewish background. One example: Kalim Delia, member of the new generation of pro-Chávez "scientists" at IVIC, Venezuela's main research institution. One
4) Oil prices are over 700% higher than when the military caudillo was first elected and most Venezuelans have no idea about what this has meant for Venezuela. In fact, even foreign historians and sociologists do not seem to fully grasp how empty and unstable any regime can be if it is based on this (if you read German, check Zeuske's interview here).
So: what's next?
- As I said earlier, the Chávez Sturmtruppen will increase attacks on any leader of the opposition forces that dares to go to what most Venezuelans have wrongly labelled as "rural": cities outside the 3 main urban centres. Already the Henrique Capriles team was attacked by Chávez mobs in San Carlos. Expect much more of this in the months to come.
- Even if Venezuela is getting petrodollars as never before, Chávez's mismanagement and widespread corruption are forcing the government to bet on Chinese financing. The Chinese, who pretend to be "non-interventionists" but who simply have more subtile methods than US Americans, will make sure they will see a return for their investment. They already provide the Venezuelan government with a lot of the technology it needs to spy on the emails and telephone conversations of the alternative forces. They will give enough goodies to the Venezuelan government to distribute before election time. As Venezuelans only think about the hic and nunc, they won't mind receiving refrigerators today even if that means their government will get less dollars for each barrel for the next 20 years and Venezuelans are less productive today than decades ago.
- The alternative forces may waste a lot of time because the AD and COPEI and Proyecto Venezuela parties, but probably also UNT and PJ and all the rest, keep their party interests before return to democracy. Unity is seen at most as "getting before election time one candidate". Unity means more, even if parties have different ideologies (in reality Venezuelans are mostly discussing about caudillos, not about ideologies and much less about concrete plans for development). Expect endless discussions about when the primaries will take place. Expect also the Chávez groups infiltrating and voting to choose the best opposition candidate for Chávez.
To be continued...