Misión Morir Muriendo

Chigüire as Think Tank

The government has insisted to attempt controlling all aspects of everyday life in Venezuela. It’s not surprising that they’re trying to control life… after death. With 10 year statistics showing Venezuela as a country with “war-like” levels of violence (but no war), the temptation to poke your nose into the death business is not one chavistas are likely to resist.

Morgues have already gotten the revolutionary treatment. In a clear case of Life imitating Chigüire, the next logical step is price controlled funerals, burials and related activities.

A new Law on Funeral Services has been put on the legislative fast-track, with deputies racing to enact it before the National Assembly goes on recess on August 15th. The bill has one of those long names determined to make clear to everyone its true intention: Law for the Regularization and Control of the Provision of Funeral Services, Burials and Cremations.

The wonder is that they didn’t put the word “socialist” in it.

The deputy in charge of the legislation, Claudio Farías (PSUV-Miranda) explained that the bill aims to: “…to control the excessive charges made by funeral homes and cemeteries.” It includes a proposal that poor families will not have to pay any expenses to bury one of their members. The law also wants people to choose cremation over the traditional burial, given the state of public graveyards like in western Caracas.

Of course, the current bill comes with a new bureaucratic entity to supervise it all: the National Council for Funeral Homes and Cemeteries. Looks like that we’ll see brand new “socialist funeral homes” pretty soon. And, needless to say, the first State Funeral graft/corruption scandal is coming in 3…2…1…

25 thoughts on “Misión Morir Muriendo

  1. This is bad, funerals will become scarcer like any other price controled commodity. There will be waits, lines and that won’t do…… “because (yeah) summer’s coming on and we’re runnin outta ice.”

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  2. If this helps to convince humanity that burying dead people in expensive boxes is a silly idea, so much the better.

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    • Agree with you although the amount of mercury that get in the atmosphere when body are cremated if people have a lot of fixed teeth.

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  3. Well, I hope there are a few funds apportioned to the *mantenimiento* in el Cementerio del Sur (in Ccs). From fairly recent reports, it looks like things have gotten worse. And they were bad, when I last visited in 2001.

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    • I don’t think you can actually force people to cremate as there are religions that don’t approve it.

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    • The bill doesn’t contain any appeal in favor of cremation over burials, but article 27 indicate that public cemeteries lacked space and must establish crematoriums in response.

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  4. Since the beginning of the post I can’t take away from my mind the scene from Apocalypto when Jaguar Paw is escaping the big city and he falls into a field full of decapitated bodies.

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  5. Speaking of funerals, I bet Hugo Chavez will not be cremated. As for space, I imagine a monument taking up a couple of city blocks in Caracas has already been planned and paid. Bolivar may be overshadowed.

    Socialist funerals may require multiple bodies in one casket. Just think, Chavez, Castro brothers, Assad, N. Korean Kim, Guevara, together forever.

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  6. It’s bad form to begin your post with a propaganda line. Why not at least try to sneak it in somewhere in the middle, so that readers so quick to identify you as an opposition shill?

    “The government has insisted to attempt controlling all aspects of everyday life in Venezuela.”

    Isn’t the biggest opposition complain these days that the Chavez government has failed to put sufficient effort into controlling the levels of crime in Venezuela? Any reasonable person (does that exclude members of the opposition) could tell you that, if the government were truly “attempt[ing] [to control] all aspects of everyday life in Venezuela”, one of the first signs would have been the rigorous enforcement of law, and the tight regulation of crime. For example, it’s been reported that Nazi Germany had the lowest crime rates in the world at that time. The irony here is that, in complaining that the government isn’t doing enough about crime, the opposition is demanding more control over the everyday lives of Venezuelans!

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    • Do you realize how moronic your argument is?

      Basically, you are telling F. Toro “Hey! Your statement is incorrect. The government is not trying to control ALL aspects of everyday life in Venezuela. The one thing they should be trying to control, they don’t even give a damn!”

      So, yes, in a sense, you are right, the government is not trying to control ALL aspects of everyday life in Venezuela, only those they should not be trying to control. Are you happy now?

      At least in most dictatorships you get a few good things (like low crime rates) together with a ton of bad things, but with this government we don’t even get those good things!

      And your post is supposed to be a defense of the government??

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      • Yes, in fact, I do realize how moronic my argument is. You see, I crafted it deliberately so that morons like you could understand what I was saying! (j/k)

        Listen, I am forcing myself to read this blog because I foolishly suspect some benefit might come from reading what the other side has to say.

        I am making an effort to understand your point of view, but you are not making it easy by beginning your post with a hyperbolic assertion: the government has been attempting to control all aspects of everyday life… It’s not surprising that they’re trying to control life… after death.

        Would you listen to anything I had to say, if I began with a similarly unjust hyperbole about how the opposition serves only the elites?

        Just a minor complaint. I can try harder to ignore things like this in the future.

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        • Unsorted,

          You said “I am making an effort to understand your point of view, but you are not making it easy by beginning your post with a hyperbolic assertion: the government has been attempting to control all aspects of everyday life… It’s not surprising that they’re trying to control life… after death.”

          What is moronic is not your complain that F. Toro’s assertion (his post, not mine, by the way) may be hyperbolic. What is moronic is to present the government’s complete inability to control crime (they cannot even control it in jails!) as some kind of counterargument. And when I say moronic, I mean in the way Umberto Ecco defines moronic (in his book “Focault’s Pendulum”).

          And I didn’t call you a moron, only that your argument is moronic. For all I know, you may be a moron, a cretin, a fool, or perhaps a lunatic (see the aforementioned book).

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          • Two things, getashrink.

            I wrote the article, not Quico. And thanks for having my back. You’re doing it right.

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            • Oh, sorry about that! I think I was reading an article by Toro before I read “Unsorted’s” reply, and somehow I erroneously kept in the back of my mind that I still was in a Toro’s article when I “re-replied”.

              Not happening again.

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          • I cannot speak to whether or not my argument is ‘moronic’ in the sense you mention. Thanks for the reference, though unfortunately it may take me awhile to look it up.

            I am not surprised that you are not convinced by the argument. I admit that it is not a very strong one. The government’s “inability to control crime” does not itself disprove the claim that the government is “attempting to control all aspects of everyday life.”

            However, I do think that the government’s “inability to control crime” at least suggests that the government may not be “attempting to control all aspects of everyday life”. Other evidence would have to be addressed, but this does, in fact, raise the question.

            I think I’m being reasonable here. I’m trying. I ask that you try to do the same.

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            • Ok, no point pissing you off. I will not call your argument anything anymore. You admit that the argument you give is not the strongest, and certainly you could have looked for something else. For example, I believe that the government is trying to control the economy in ways that turn out to be counterproductive, but certainly, the level of control is not anything near what you find in Cuba. It is possible then to debate whether this revolution actually wants to achieve more Cuba-like control or not, and whether that’s a good thing or not. You can also debate whether the government is trying to control the media (although I don’t know how much of a debate can be there, especially after the government itself has claimed that their goal is to achieve “Hegemonia comunicacional”). You can debate whether Chavez wants to control the judicial system (although, again, don’t know how can that be debated when one the most important judges in the country doesn’t believe in separation of powers).

              That’s the kind of things that came to my mind when I read the line in Gustavo’s post that you’re complaining about. Obviously, the government is not trying to control ALL aspects of everyday life. They are not trying to control the way you dress, or the god you worship, or anything like that. Most people here know what that “all” means, and although you may have the right to complain about the use of that “all”, talking about one of the government’s biggest failures to try to refute that “all” is not the wisest thing.

              Imagine this scenario: A woman who is very oppressed by her husband comes to me and tells me that her man is trying to control every aspect of her life, and then I ask her “Is he trying to get you out of harm’s way?”, and then she answers, “No, he doesn’t care if I get hurt”, and then I say, “Oh, then he is not trying to control EVERY aspect of your life”.

              I would be a complete asshole, wouldn’t I?

              I know my analogy is not perfect, and I know you presented your argument thinking about how, as a rule, authoritarian governments tend to control crime. But every rule has its exception, and you have to admit that it’s rather ironic that despite the government trying to control so many things (not “all”, but “many”), they can’t (or even try to) control something so important as crime.

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        • So let me see if I understand you.

          You state that it is a mistake to aver that “the government has been trying to control all aspects of everyday life..”

          Well, let’s count some of the ways:

          1) Price Controls
          2) Can’t move a kilo of any food anywhere without being stopped at least 7 times between Valencia and Caracas
          3) CADIVI
          4) SENIAT and the silly requirement to give a cedula number even if you buy a pack of gum

          I mean, I could go on and on (anybody else, feel free to jump in on the list).

          They’re like the Little Dutch Boy and the Dike!

          The thing of it is, is that if this government paid more attention to efficiency and none to party affiliation much of the control exercised might even be accepted at the very least, but not even that!

          Who you mouth support for counts more than your credentials and experience, and this leads to inefficiencies that affect EVERYBODY, EVERY DAY

          Hell, if this poor excuse for a “democratic” government spent more time actually trying to resolve everyday problems like crime & piss poor infrastructure Capriles would have a snowball’s chance in hell on October 7.

          I am nowhere near being a Ron Paul advocate, but this Chavismo really takes the cake when it comes to trying to control things best left alone. The more they touch something the more they screw it up.

          I mean, we’ve had like a TRILLION DOLLARS come though and there are rolling blackouts every day all over the place. The roads are guillotines, Valencia Lake is a goddam disaster, ditto Lake Maracaibo. Oil production is nowhere near where it should be (think of the opportunity cost of oil at over $100 barrel and all the barrels we missed producing because PDVSA is going down the tubes). Top it off with 155,000 violent deaths and a 95% non closure rate of the judicial system.

          Nope, this government certainly doesn’t try to do anything!!!

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