Exponential

It used to be that when the government wanted to shut down a TV station, or a radio broadcaster, they’d at least go through the motions of couching the moves in  neutral-sounding bureaucratese.

RCTV went down not to a “shutdown“, you’ll remember, but to a “non-renewal of its broadcast license”. Such absurd circumlocution amounts to a concession, an acknowledgment that what they did was too brutal to do without euphemism.

Same thing for dozens of radio and regional TV stations. They got screwed alright, but with a little vaseline thrown into the works.

No longer. Yesterday, when muckracking weekly rag 6to Poder was ordered shut down and its editor arrested, no pretense was made that this was about anything other than the government’s need to protect itself by silencing its critics.

The only question now is which of 6to Poder’s many allegations finally got too hot for the government to handle. Corruption allegations against Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami, maybe?

MCM’s take on this is spot on. The Venezuelan State increasingly acts solely as a mechanism to protect the interests of the chavista governing elite. Of course every government, to some extent, acts to protect the interests of the governing elite – but proper thugocracies do nothing but that.

19 thoughts on “Exponential

  1. Good for MCM, she can say it like it should be said, with conviction, with clarity and with indignation.

    I have been commenting on this for a few months now as well.Chavez no longer cares about the fig leaf,or about pretending to be a democracy.He doesn’t even care about his international image.

    This is significant.

    • She is good, very good. Now, I hope Venezuelans stop thinking the best that can happen to a politician is to become president – think Peter’s Principle.

      We definitely need a good president, but we also need to make a lot of politicians become star ministers, amazing deputies, Wunder-governors.
      That is why I am also for all top “national” politicians – irrespectively of whether they want to become president – to star touring the whole country. It’s about building a top team for a better Venezuela, not having the next caudillo. We don”t need a caudillo, we don’t need “el hoooooombre, carajo”/”la mujeeer, carajo”. We need “el equiiiipooooo, coñooooo”.

            • No, not really. Ony Demostenes and his disciples. Fombona, I said: it is an issue in Venezuela. In other countries you see national leaders running around even if for sure they won’t be THE candidate; in Venezuela people only want to do it if they have a chance to become THE president or if they are paid to do so.
              I always use this example but it could be elsewhere: Borges is a nationa leader, he has family in Carabobo but you don’t see him anywhere but in Caracas or twice a year in a very oppo region of the interior.
              I got messages now from Aragua and other places very close to the Panamericana: why don’t we see them? Perhaps they should give flyers to Polar, Polar people are the only ones who come here”

  2. What happens in the AN is also an example of what’s happening outside. MCM is trying to do her job, while government hecklers try to stop her from doing it. 6toPoder employees were trying to do their job, government institutions are stopping them from doing it. Nobody is stopping the government institutions from doing their job; 6toPoder was just printing criticism, but that shouldn’t stop the institutions from working. On the contrary, that should pressure them to work better and more. I’m sure MCM would prefer to have those hecklers shut up and print cabaret pictures of her so long as they let her do her job in the AN. But government institutions want:

    A) not to work
    B) no criticism of their non work
    C) no pressure to work from others
    D) others not to work either.
    E) empty all the accounts and the reserves, after taking out loans on all possible capital.

    Petro state model has gone nitrous…

  3. extorres-I am glad you descibed the chavista choir so well. “They” don’t DON’T want to work,
    they look and act like the laziest bunch of dummies -zombies I have ever seen. Just look at the
    people listening to MCM and their posture, expressions, behavior while she is speaking.

  4. Yeah Francisco, but the 6to Poder article is dated June 5. Almost three months have passed and nothing has happened, and nothing will. I think 6to Poder got shut down simply because they need to control all the media, not because of any specific article. I am so tired of reading about some outrageous scandal, thinking “wow, this is it for them, this is finally too much, all hell will break loose”, only to see that nothing happens. Nothing happened with the Tascón list, or the Maisanta program, or Adán directly justifying, on TV, an armed defense of the regime in the case of an electoral defeat, or the countless housing projects, or the arbitrary expropiations, or the outrageous submission of the armed forces to the regime, instead of to the country, as seen recently on TV, when some general said he will always defend HC, etc.

  5. There’s something funny about the whole thing. First, the guys try to denigrate Patricia Poleo, publishing some alleged e-mails of Rafael Poleo criticizing her and casting some doubt about her sources. Now, they shut down the newspaper where she was publishing her articles. And like Cesar points out, these guys waited almost 3 months to react to the whole thing. Call it confirmation bias if you will (because of the link to Poleo’s article) but could it be that she’s stepping finally in someone’s toes?

    But there’s another angle to this, too. We have to ask: why on earth do they bring this up now, specially when the lawsuit against Mario Silva for similar reasons is still pending? If they close 6to poder, they should do the same with la hojilla, no? La salsa que es buena para el pavo, es buena para la pava también, no?

    • They certainly should, but would only if they were not hypocrites. And they are.

      The difference will be here: Eekhout alleges that 6to’s articles “justify violent actions,” and they will argue that Silva simply informs. I can conceive of a symbolic punishment, but it will be completely disproportionate.

  6. No, no, no. This has nothing to do with any article about corruption or anything of the sort that 6to Poder might have published in the past. This is just about the picture.

    If there’s one thing people with inferiority complexes hate is to be ridiculed. They hate it more than anything else. They can’t stand it and they can’t allow it to happen. In fact, I’m pretty sure RCTV wasn’t shut down because of El Observador. It was shut down because of Radio Rochela.

    If you want to take down a tyrant, don’t bother using the truth; use ridicule. And I don’t mean to simply insult them or to use clever satire like cartoonists do. It has to be something that is unmistakably intended to degrade the tyrant, but at the same time something that, the tyrant imagines, will have his enemies rolling on the floor laughing at him.

    I don’t mean something mild and harmless like photoshopping Fidel and Hugo’s face into the Brokeback Mountain poster, though that might be a good start. Better yet, imagine the famous.goatse picture with Hugo’s face photoshoped on it and the caption “Fidel, I’m ready for my treatment”. Or the tubgirl picture with the face of one of Chavez’s cachifas (or Mario Silva). That one would be oddly self-explanatory even without captions.

    • “The market in physical gold is tiny, and largely comprised of nut cases.”
      No kiddin’…

  7. Interesting that some of the regime’s own commentators, notably Pérez Pirela, seem to think the government is shooting itself in the foot here. AVN quotes him as saying, ‘ “estamos haciendo que 6to Poder se vuelva el chico famoso de la fiesta, cuando el impacto de ese semanario es muy poco”. PP argues for a ‘moral sanction’.

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