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Maduro’s Merry-Go-Round of Distractions

By: Carolina Jaimes Branger - Mar 6, 2015, 12:29 pm

EspañolI had been sitting at my computer thinking about what to write for a couple of hours when I began wondering: when, if ever, will the Venezuelan government begin to take its job seriously? When will they begin to deal with the real problems facing the country?

We have been in this mess for 16 years! Three successive governments, with only one year of this mess occurring during the times of the Civil Republic. There is a reason for this.

El gobierno venezolano detuvo a Ledezma con un operativo nunca visto para atrapar a un delincuente (Flickr)
The Venezuelan government arrested Ledezma using an operation that wouldn’t be used against a criminal (Flickr)

These struggles reminded me of my friend Milagros Socorro, and the time he said that writing opinion pieces was making him exhausted and discouraged.… I’ve been an eternal optimist, but at this point I am appalled.

It is 11:39 pm on Thursday, February 19, nearly 100 agents from the Sebin arrested mayor Antonio Ledezma. Witnesses claim that the officials involved in the warrantless raid were wearing hoods. Congressman Richard Blanco added the claim that Ledezma had been beaten.

Nearly 100 officials were “needed” to arrest a mayor who spends every day in the public eye, but when it comes to chasing, catching, and imprisoning thugs, they can be considered some of the most inept beings born of this land. But none of that is strange: it is the modus operandi of the revolution.

Then Maduro stepped in … as always, to prevent the media from reporting and informing the people. Because the right, the bigwigs, the empire, the oligarchy. The oligarchy, the empire, the bigwigs, the right … Taunts and attempts to discredit, promises, and more promises. Accusations right and left. Sinister accusations.

He claimed he would offer evidence, “later,” returning to the slogan that he is a working man, one apparently dedicated to digging up differences, instead of searching for commonalities. He blamed his political adversaries, who are not at fault any more than they are at fault for the family they were born into or for the education they received. The right, the bigwigs, the empire, the oligarchy. The oligarchy, the empire, the bigwigs, the right.

He repeated ad nauseam that he will continue, unshaken in his efforts to stop strange things from happening — a phrase used in the past to call attention to alleged civil-military conspiracies without actually pursuing a conclusion to them. His speech today seemed like a copy of one given by Diosdado Cabello last February.

In a desperate attempt to take attention away from the country’s real problems — a currency devaluation of 334 percent should be taken pretty seriously, as should rampant insecurity and growing shortages — Maduro spent nearly three hours complaining. The right, the bigwigs, the empire, the oligarchy. The oligarchy, the empire, the bigwigs, the right.

Chief among his complaints was that much of Mexico’s territory “was taken” by the United Sates. The reality of the story is that Texas, years after independence, requested admittance to the United States. And even if what Maduro had said was true, this piece of US history happened 167 years ago.

Instead of worrying about what happened long ago in other places, he needs to address the issues that are affecting Venezuelans today, including those people who applaud Maduro government’s excesses on national television.

Many shouted to defend the revolution “against the outside,” called for the government to “stop selling oil to the United States as they did during the oil strike,” and claimed that if something were to happen to Maduro it would immobilize two million people. Regardless, they are also forced to wait in line and have been affected by the shortages, inflation, devaluation, and insecurity.

But there they were, screaming like the untamed, against the right, the bigwigs, the empire, the oligarchy. The oligarchy, the empire, the bigwigs, the right.

With each passing day the situation in Venezuela is worsening, but all the government has to say is the right, the bigwigs, the empire, the oligarchy. The oligarchy, the empire, the bigwigs, the Right … How long will this madness last?

Edited by Fergus Hodgson.