The past two weeks have shown us how low we have fallen as a country.  Assuming that there is still a country, the reality of an idea that has left me despondent as I have not been for a while. There is no point discussing the details of recent events: the web is full of them for those who had their mind elsewhere.  Perhaps it might be more helpful to think hard about what this all means.

Ya no estas mas a mi lado, corazón.

I suppose the downhill started when Chavez decided to have in Cuba a probably long postponed surgery.  No significant medical reports have been offered. Strong rumors that his family was already waiting for him in Havana when he arrived from his South American tour have killed any idea of "the medical emergency", not to mention that conveniently Miraflores Palace had "forgotten" to give a return date for his leave of absence.  Drugs and surgery and absence did not stop Chavez from pretending to sign major legislation, something that would not be tolerated in any civilized and democratic country.  The chavista spurious majority in parliament bent backward to justify what should never even be suggested in a civilized country.

We know now that we are a Cuban colony, and became one willingly, helping the invaders.

En el alma solo tengo soledad,

But the political opposition did not rise to the opportunity preferring cheap posturing and byzantine discussion instead of framing the debate as it should have been framed: we will not recognize any act of Chavez while in Cuba, but we will recognize those of an interim president.  Of course we would have lost the vote, but at least we would have taken a principled and legal position.  But if the Venezuelan opposition is still so lonely, so irrelevant on international and even national stages it is because it is accompanied by idiocy and its consequent lack of creativity.

Es la historia de un amor
Como no hay otro igual......

Que le dio luz a mi vida,
Apagándola después.

But the opposition was more in the dark than what it thought.  In fact we were all more in the dark with a disastrous power outage lasting as long as 24 hours in some areas.  In the middle of a heat wave which allowed for too many people to lose their food because in such heat a refrigerator can last only so many hours.

The governmental response, with the leader away, was even more clueless than usual.  They could only come up with a repressive rationing system for electricity, a worse one than last year, the one that did not work out, revealing that the billions spent to solve the electrical crisis were spent for nothing, and making inevitable more inflation and more recession.  As ever, the government even resorted to "sabotage" excuses, having been unable in two years to make such an accusation stand.  Plenty of ridiculous excuses from an exhausted regime, without Chavez being able to make a cadena to at least make them more palatable to his own followers.  

Hay que noche tan oscura,
sin tu amor yo viviré.

Y si ya no puedo verte,
¿porque dios me hizo quererte,
para hacerme sufrir mas?

Not that it would matter much, Chavez followers are suffering more of the current crisis than anyone else but they seem like the deer in the headlight!  And yet what could be considered a core constituency of Chavez was about to suffer the insufferable....

The El Rodeo prison battle has been just too much, lasting now over three days.  The indescribable corruption of the regime, and its Nazional Guard, had allowed the overcrowded jail hell to become a sort of state within the state.  If crime under Chavez has risen above all South American standards, so has risen the jail population, 2, 3, 4 and more times depending on the prison.  A colonial outpost is of course not allowed to build jails or think about rehab for prisoners when the Home Island is so needy of cash to survive.

Que me hizo comprender
Todo el bien, todo el mal,

Jail world has become one of Dante's hells without the poetry.  Prisoners (people deprived of liberty in the new PC jargon) are now organized in tribal gangs whose leaders (pranes) are able to buy out the Nazional Guard and warden system.  These guys are able to set inside jails a drug trafficking system, a sexual bondage organization which makes the "do not drop your soap in the shower" look like an idyllic pre-pubescent game.  But if these activities are reported to a certain degree elsewhere, the pranes have gone much further.  Now they can decide which privado de libertad will go to court for his hearing which means that before you gain your legal freedom or condemnation you must earn the one from your local pran.  And to ensure that they can duly exert all of this power, they have been able to amass an arsenal powerful enough, with actual war weapons, that has been able to keep in check the Nazional Guard sent in to retake El Rodeo.

Those who have allowed such a situation to arise because they gained from it are unable to revert the damage and the battle has been raging for three days already as the pranes know very well that their death is a given regardless of any surrendering.

But this is not the time to look for the guilty.  All of us are.

The opposition lack of gumption and project has been finding unacceptable ways to defend the "privados de libertad" (as opposed to "privado de vida"?  people deprived of life) instead of focusing exclusively on why prisons have become such dens of decay.  Not to mention that this blogger has often written about prisons but too many in the opposition have never wanted to concern themselves with that, forgetting that a society is perhaps best judged by how it handles the crime that our human nature carries within.

Siempre fuiste la razón de mi existir,
Adorarte para mi, fue religión,

And certainly the government is way more guilty than the guileless opposition: after all they are the ones that allowed the electrical grid to go on the fritz, the jail system to become a war zone, Chavez to do as he pleases, no matter how stupid, while all vie to adulate him the best.

Because in the end it is the personal hatreds of Chavez that drive our tragedy.

His hatred of Venezuela because it did not respond as he wished to do; so it made him surrender himself and the country to Cuba which leech nature looms huge behind all of our economical, financial, electrical disasters.

His hatred of people that know better than him has driven himself to surround with mediocrities that reveal themselves as more incompetent when he is away.  And he surely gloats in the spectacle of the mediocrities he left at home.

And there is his hatred of the National Guard.  In 1992 the National Guard was decisive in stopping Chavez who already held a grudge on them since 1989.  Chavez had tried to minimize the National Guard but the other armed branches did not allow for it.  So Chavez did the next best thing: he allowed its utter corruption and transformation into a Nazional Guard.  Either way he would win because either the Guard would be too corrupted to turn against him, or it would be too despised by the populace to become any threat.  He has succeeded it seems.

And thus these past two weeks we have finally entered into the time of reckoning when as a silly country we must start paying for our error in allowing for the election of someone as unqualified and hateful as Chavez.