A day of extraordinary degradation at the National Assembly

Diosdado Cabello’s National Assembly seems determined to keep plumbing new depths.

Yesterday’s session, culminating in this extraordinary homophobic tirade against Henrique Capriles’s chief of staff at the Miranda governorship, Oscar López, explored whole new levels of humiliation for the republic. Having had police raid his offices, the best the government could come up with was a few camp photos of the guy in drag, with others showing men hugging other men while fully clothed. These photos were then exposed live on the floor of the National Assembly and billed as evidence of a male prostitution ring underlining the deep moral rot of Primero Justicia. We’re dealing with deeply disturbed people here.

It was a display stomach turning enough to bury news of the unceremonious dumping of the remarkably clueless Central Bank chairwoman, Edmeé Betancourt, who had just recently wowed us with her limitless ignorance of all things monetary. That decision was itself a smokescreen to divert some heat from the indictment of three Bandes officials in the U.S., following an FBI investigation into the huge web of corruption while Betancourt headed Bandes. In an arcane twist, Betancourt’s replacement, Eudomar (en serio!) Tovar, was himself at Bandes when the alleged crimes took place.

It was the kind of news day when even major stories that would normally be expected to hog the headlines for days on end got relegated to a small box on age A17. Lost among the hubbub, Maduro sought his very first Dictatorial Law – let’s not forget, for the Romans a “dictator” was an official accountable to no one legally empowered to legislate by decree – though in current Venezuelan usage it’s more circumspectly called an “Enabling Law.” Once more, we’re faced here with the practice of superfluous authoritarianism – it’s not as if the PSUV-dominated National Assembly that will gay-smear mid-level oppo operatives is ever actually going to debate or question, much less block, a government bill. But it’s a matter of principle, damnit: subjecting proposals to the scrutiny of others is below the dignity of the office of the president.

Touchingly, Maduro still felt the need to justify his demand for dictatorial powers by referencing the “corruption emergency” (not, you see, the one having to do with untrammelled kleptocracy at Edmee Betancourt’s Bandes but rather with the super-gaiety-gay-gayness of Primero Justicia). But of course we remember that last time Chávez asked for dictatorial powers specifically to help people displaced by the 2010 floods, and ended up using them to legislate on everything from price controls and the labour code to land tenancy and the Armed Forces law.

Exactly how much damage to the nation can a single legislative body do in one day? It’s as though the deputies were determined to answer that question yesterday, because in between the gay-baiting, the Central Bank leadership shuffling, and the legitimation of dictatorial powers, they managed to find time to destroy the used car market, as well.

And that’s not all! They still found time to cram in some new stealth taxes under a top heavy new Culture Law, send a happy birthday message to Fidel Castro, threaten to move after Henrique Capriles himself and capped it all off by ratifying a cooperation agreement with North Korea ferchrissake, too. (And then we say the A.N. is not productive!)

A remarkable, sad, painful day whose consequences will be felt for a long time to come.

99 thoughts on “A day of extraordinary degradation at the National Assembly

      • Fiesta reiv? Those things still exist?

        Seriously though, I’m sick to my stomach. There are no words to describe this.

      • Pero bueh! Es que ahora consigo a ver esto porque esta mañana no tuve tiempo, menos mal que ellos aceptan la “sexo-diversidad” hagame usted el favor, *plop* despues de llamarlo maricón varias veces en un arrebato rabioso … demasiado bueno, hay que poner este videito en los top ten y pasarlo cada vez que los bichitos estos digan que aceptan la *sexo-diversidad*. Yo te digo que si yo fuera Chavista y gay, estaria bien preocupado.

  1. You know, In any civilized country Carreño would be indicted for his homophobic rant and probably face the courts. The key word here is “civilized”. Also, how are the resident PSFs going to play the apology card on an act so clearly hateful? The FBI? The Cia? La Cuarta?

    • Oh, I don’t know. There are many supposedly advanced countries (rhymes with “Prussia”) where homophobia is actually encouraged, and enshrined in the law.

      • Its only OK if Putin does it, if the US were to introduce a law to (And I’m not joking, thats what the actual law says) punish people for “acting gay”, it would be looped 24/7 on Telesur, complete with a eerie and suspenseful video game music montage, remember that infamous cadena a few months ago?

    • You people are disgusting.

      Homosexuality is one thing. Male prostitution rings are quite another.

      Maduro or Death!!

      • Hector, I didn’t see any even remotely proof that those pictures equal gay prostitution. Did you, if so, please tell. There is not that much popcorn on the face of this planet to watch this anti gay tirade, you know?

        What’s gonna be the next step for Nicolas Maduro wearing reading glasses with a book of Malcom X on his hand, I see it, next step will be lynch gay people on the public square. We know Mamud and the new friends from NK will be pleased. I don’t know about you guys but *me da un fresquito por dentro* just watching the way they are killing themselves. Burro con dientes que son. :D

        I love when the gay, sorry, the guy with the red jacket says he is not irresponsible accusing somebody of having a gay prostitution ring simply showing some guys at a party, not even naked.

        So awesome. Hector tell me how much you love gay people go on….

      • Clearly, homosexuality = male prostitution = human trafficking = drug fueled orgies = PJ.
        Whoever fails to see the logical progression in those OBVIOUS assumptions doesn’t know anything about anything.

      • Clearly, homosexuality = male prostitution = human trafficking = drug-fueled orgies = PJ. Whoever fails to see the logical progression behind these OBVIOUS assumptions doesn’t know anything about anything.

  2. And some around here were complaining about chavismo/madurismo getting boring…

    It is not Maduro’s fault, it is us who are becoming accustomed to extraordinary things becoming ordinary: Crass President ignorance, multi-billion dollar scams, 10+ homicides per day, 3%+ per month inflation, MPs being beaten at National Assembly, outright homo and xenophobic official postures, …

    Options for a civil, democratic way out of this mess are running out… and it is so sad this same, terrible statement is also going from extraordinary to ordinary…

  3. Let’s not forget that they also sanctioned a Ley Organica de la Cultura. Needless to say, it is as statist and fiscally voracious as it could be

  4. smokescreensception, there have to be a very creative mind behind this crazy smokescreen/smear ideas, first it was that the opposition bought 19 fighter planes for colombia, now that an entire political party is running a male prostitution operation, seriusly? what’s next?

    • Of course. Someone in the government is a huge fan of Tom Cruise and twisting his movies to their own purposes. First Top Gun, now Risky Business. What’s next? A couple of good bets…

      Mission Impossible with opposition operatives infiltrating a government base?

      Days of Thunder with the opposition planning on fielding a car to compete with Pastor Maldonado for glory, money and women?

      Jerry Maguire with a prominent oppo pol being caught on the phone taking a bribe while screaming, “Show me the MONEY!” Wait….that one almost happened…

      A Few Good Men: A trial where all the evidence points to guilt, but they have to break the oppo first? “You want the truth? Chavistas can’t handle the truth!”

      Or my personal bet: Valkyrie. Another assassination plot on Madurbello with a briefcase bomb.

  5. The strategy here is clear: demoralize the opposition. It’s like when your enemy flings back the heads of captured soldiers at you – they want to kill you morally before they actually do it.

    If you’re feeling down, depressed, sickened … it means they’re winning!

    • Well, I can tell we’re winning, since your side is clearly sickened. Watching that jezebel MCM cringing on the National Assembly video, was pure gold.

      I fully expect Socialism in Venezuela to last at least as long as it has in Cuba.,

    • The OAS? The League of Nations for the Western Hemisphere?

      Toothless as my wife’s abuelita in Las González.

  6. The anti-gay diatribe-and-slide-show has the potential to further isolate the regime internationally, but not if people immediately claim others are merely “cowards and fools”. Right now, this speech is known to only a few people outside of Venezuela. Superimpose subtitles in a professional way, and distribute it worldwide. The demonization of gay people it contains will be a deal-breaker for millions of people whose only idea of Venezuela is that it is anti-imperialist, or somehow progressive.

        • I think the video would be of interest at gay pride celebrations worldwide. In Toronto we are expecting one million people next year. I am sure this would be of interest.

      • @emiduarte:

        I suppose you have contacts through PP and eventually CDU because of PJ, but please, please, please: send the message to others as well, including social democrats of all the EU and the Green party in Germany. One of the errors the oppo parties have made time after time is to go only to contact their respective “brother parties”.

        PJ goes to PP, PP and similar parties organise to promote a resolution on a Thursday afternoon in Strassbourg and the only people present are they and the extreme right supporting Chavismo…cuatro gatos, the rest go on vacation.

        Then, several months later, a UNT representative comes, meets French PS or so, they do the same thing and again, the centre right parties and others don’t go to the session…not because they would be against supporting the motion but because they think it is too represented by just the sister-party of their EU competition.
        Parties of the whole democratic spectrum have produced a joined declaration only when they see they are getting representatives of the general society of the country in trouble.

        I have addressed several times the German media to correct them when they described the election row as a fight between “socialists” (Chavistas) and “conservatives” (us).

        Both social democratic parties (UNT, AD, even if you or I don’t like them, Causa R, whatever) and liberal-centre right parties (PJ, ???) need to make joined statements, etc.

        PP is very conservative. Please, don’t let them be the ones forwarding the message to the rest in the EU.

      • No *decent* foreigners give a damn about you and your causes, Toro.

        You would do better spending some time trying to learn something about obedience to your moral and intellectual superiors. If you can’t, then just shut up, close down your blog, and take a break from writing until you’ve learned those lessons.

    • Of course, this is why I am lovin’ all this shit, specially the culture law, I am telling you they are steps away of making official to lynch gay people in the public square. After all, they do it in Iran, and it is know the horrible things they do to gay people in Cuba. When the rest of the word is pushing for gay rights and gay marriage… this is the best news ever for the opposition, all wrapped on a rainbow bow. Guys, use it well.

  7. Havent got the stomach to continue watching the regimes sordid parlamentarian spectacles , but if as reported in the press part of the spectacle had to do with pillorying one of Capriles collaborators as gay and as running gay prostitution circle the ‘homophobic aroma’ of the spectacle may have a negative connotation in developed western countries but in Venezuela where machismo rules supreme and overt gay behaviour has to say the least a ‘distasteful’ aura , the pillorying wont necessarily go down badly .!! What really counts is the way the regime has made a deplorable circus spectacle of the thing and whether the Capriles collaborator has broken any laws which merit indictement and prosecution ( for example if it is proben that he had personal parties financed with public funds) . What he does in private with his personal life is nobody’s business but his own and should not be the subject of any official comments in any public forums , of course what the press chooses to do with it is another matter !!

    • “the spectacle may have a negative connotation in developed western countries but in Venezuela where machismo rules supreme and overt gay behaviour has to say the least a ‘distasteful’ aura , the pillorying wont necessarily go down badly”

      Bingo!

      They want to obliterate PJ, and in a country so homophobic as Venezuela there isn’t probably a more efficient way to do it than to portray them as “a bunch of fags”.

      • When I wrote the above I hadnt read the psuv parlamentarians statements , they are so utterly , grossly and viscerally vulgar as to ellicit automatic revulsion . Moreover their rant doesnt just refer to Capriles collaborator but to Capriles himself and to the Oppo generally without offering the least basis for what they are saying !!They are insults plain and simple meant to offend as much as possible . Not sure that people will pay that much attention to the accusation against capriles because its so rabid and crazed as to be automatically discarded by any normal person.

      • So true, but in my opinion it’s more the damage they do to themselves, because times are changing. And, one thing is to call people fags which unfortunately is normal in Venezuela, to prosecute people because they are gays and/or using their gayness as a character flaw. Which is what they did on the video. Gays could have a life in Venezuela, I do have Venezuelans gay friends who have been open since long time and have a life there, so this is serious, like crossing a new line closer to become a fascist state. Also, they are gay people on the red side, not only their leaders but sympathizers… so… they must be scared of what is happening, no sé digo yo. I don’t think any openly gay Chavista would be comfortable now with “el proceso”.

        • The percentage of people who are gay in Venezuela is way much lower than the percentage of rabid homophobic people, especially in the countryside, and that’s why they think attacking the alleged homosexuality of PJ party members will at the end pay off (and I also think it will). I know there are a lot of homosexuals in Venezuela, but I also know a lot of people who would send them to concentration camps if they could (just like Fidel Castro did back in the 60’s and 70’s).

          In any case, I do agree that this move is somewhat of a risky gambit, especially because of the clumsy way it is being done, so you are probably right, “they must be scared of what is happening”, and even more scared of what’s to come.

        • Feathers,

          “I don’t think any openly gay Chavista would be comfortable now with “el proceso”.”

          You are probably right, but yet on the other hand I know of some gay men who actively participate in an anti-gay cults.I have a gay cousin who lives in India in an ashram of a guru who is anti- gay.I often wonder how he reconciles the difference, and what he tells himself.He comes back for a few months once a year and I just listen to him, I never opine, or question him, so I really don’t know his answer, but I am curious.It is just that it would seem so rude on my part to openly question or expose his motives. Then there are the cases of many Christians or Buddhists who do the same.Maybe they are not totally comfortable, but nevertheless continue their support.

          Perhaps it is like anything else, when we have a strong belief system we ourselves muddle the inconsistencies in our thinking.

  8. Of course, I agree with all the aforementioned comments. However, I do not understand how the Oppo falls again and again into the fascist trap of leaving potentially compromising information in their public offices, or even their homes, and frequently get private conversations recorded for subsequent public display. They apparentlly still don’t “get” what kind of a country/political situation they’re living in, one that reminds me of the Cold War movies where spies can only talk in low voices frequently near a heavily-tree-shaded body of water (which, today, with modern techniques, is not necessarily even secure). It’s time the Oppo leaders stopped being ninos de pecho and began looking for serious international counter-espionage advice….

    • It’s time the Oppo leaders stopped being ninos de pecho. Agree. But do they really need serious international counter-espionage advice, or just plain common sense, given the climate of political persecution?

      If those of us at a distance can see the need for discretion, how come these oppo politicos, closer to the repression, are so blind?

      • Good question, last. The reason for advice is that certain observation techniques aren’t so obvious; for example, the recording of MCM’s conversation with her ex-professor in his study was probably done from outside through his window glass at an unobstructed distance of as much as a block away.

    • MCM, right, that crybaby whiner who runs to the US embassy every time her poor feelings get hurt.

      I’m pretty sure I don’t much care about her expression, and the more degraded she feels the better.

            • A quote from Xóchil, german poet, dedicated to Hector: “…after two hours of propaganda poetry”…”I say: “If we love, we do not need a political struggle.” Almost half of the audience claps careful. The other half is silent icy. A man is angry. My sentence was decent. Nevertheless, he seems almost dangerous.”

            • Well, Maduro is an obvious failure, so I guess that just leaves you one option. The sooner the better – the universe might be infinite, but you’re still a waste of space.

          • This corollary troll is such a moron, he doesn’t know why calls for Death are pavoso.
            You go, pichoncito. Keep calling out “Maduro or Death”.

  9. For all their supposed progressivism (or at least the one they display abroad) these rojos are no better than the most rabid religious homophobe. They are not above playing up prejudices if that helps rouse up the rabble. The idea that two dudes in drag constitute a male prostitution ring is ridiculous if you have an ounce of critical thinking. I don’t know how they summon up that rage, maybe they genuinely believe the idiocy they spout?

  10. I have just checked Venezuelanalysis to see how they spinned it… surprise, surprise, yesterday’s session of the AN didn’t take place, it seems. They haven’t figured out yet how to spin it.

    • My guess is that they will not report it. Even digesting the information would be for them like eating shit.

      • Rather ironic when they have numerous articles on equality, be it gender, sexuality or class…and yet when their paymasters/government of Golinga say something that is certainly contra equality, it will likely get a pass.

        I wonder how the American leftists at VA feel about this… it is certainly something that runs contrary to their espoused ideology. Isn’t it rather hypocritical to say nothing/do nothing and receive pay from the government that endorses this viewpoint?

        • I think the majority of leftists are herd-following fashionistas with no desire or wherewithal to really understand repressive governments.

          Take for instance the current exhibit of Chinese dissident, Ai Weiwei. Since the media reports favourably on his work, and supports him during his house arrest by the Chinese government, you are sure to find leftists flocking to his exhibits. And that’s a good thing. But do they get it? For instance, slide #5 in the slide show of the link illustrates two objects: one, the video camera used as a government tool of (house arrest/public) repression; the other, a simple hardhat as the only protective device the government gave to provincial rescuers, working among the debris of major earthquake(s) in Sichuan.

          Oh, the fashionistas will applaud. Like they did when Chávez would appeal to their inner bad-boy selves. And since the methods of repression among the Cubazuelan government are not well known outside the country, these same fashionistas haven’t quite figured out where their sympathies lie, in regard to the Maduro government. Conscious of world opinion, Maduro employs more subtle tactics. Hence the walk-about with Cabello in the produce aisle of a supermarket. Maduro stops and grips an onion to begin his subtle tirade, the vegetable forming the allegory of a weapon. The global fashionistas are none the wiser.

          In a similar vein, the Mad government quickly produces a counterbalancing force to the pre-promoted rant against homosexuals in the National Assembly. Result? A videotaped close-cropped love-in with LGBT’s, rainbow flags to boot. The fashionistas are sure to see that, and on the balance of things, will likely say, ‘oh, ok, that’s not so bad,’ before they mosey onto their next pet peeve.

          My conclusions? None at the moment. Just observations.

  11. http://youtu.be/TF_cxRUw_PY Maduro and his combo trying to do a little damage control of this whole homophobic display on the AN, reminds me this people who everybody knows are very antisemtic (hint, he died recently), but since this is not 1939 Germany the have to say after a very angry antisemitic tirade something like “nooooo we love jews we just hate Israel” uhm mmm or “noooo we love gringos we just hate the USA”

    I will have to reply to this load of crap with wise words from his militant buddy (insert angry tone):

    “responde, homosexual, acepta el reto, maricóoooonnnnn”!!!

    • If Diosdado Cabello had angrily ruled him out of order, backpedalling might work to some extent. But after the bullshit Trial by Powerpoint yesterday, Cabello endorsed the conclusion of a “nest of prostitutes” running the opposition. That’s deep complicity.

      • You will also recall that Cabello was practically selling tickets, just before the National Assembly spectacle.

        Buenas tardes compatriotas, vamos a comenzar la sesión de la Asamblea Nacional, el que tenga ojos que vea y el que tenga oídos que escuche!!— Diosdado Cabello R (@dcabellor) August 13, 2013

        Buenas tardes compatriotas, mañana la sesión de la Asamblea Nacional estará muy reveladora, te invitamos a verla, no dejes que te la cuenten— Diosdado Cabello R (@dcabellor) August 12, 2013

  12. The Psuv parlamentarians language was atrociously gross in its homophobia ,so although common venezuelans (given the machista culture) are for the most part tinged with homophobia, , theirs is a ‘good natured’ homophobia , more humorously derisive than angry and much less aggresive than the savage tone used by Psuv parlamentarians in attacking it . Because chavistas are supposed to be ultra liberal in their political postures they may have over reached their message , giving an impression that they didnt want to make and that can boumerang against them in the more ‘progressive’ circles the regime attempts to court in the developed world.

    • Thanks to a few recent comments, the penny dropped. Sent a link of this post and that of Daniel’s on the subject to an appropriate individual, who I suspect will cause fur to fly. I wish I would have thought to do so earlier.

  13. FRIGHTENING! Diosdado Cabello’s a dangerous, very dangerous ignoramus, bigot, & racist!
    People such as this man, the puppet president Maduro, are the ruination of the Venezuelan people.

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