When in Rome…

P10A few days ago, Maduro was having a down in the dumps day, he needed a quick pick me up, something empowering, something to assert his manhood. So, he did what any self respecting male  would do, he made a rape joke, gorillas included.

Yes, a rape joke on Cadena Nacional.

In our little machista piece of heaven, the Government has frequently and recurrently used homophobic slurs in trying to define its opponents. The Man, not gay, definitely not gay.

This love with the manly, burly, testosterone filled politician is anything but new. Exhibit 1, 2, 3, to  infinity (yeah ladies, I put in a little something for you).

This isn’t just a throwback to an earlier era, it’s a throwback to antiquity. Literally. Ancient Rome was obsessed with the aggressive, virile male. In roman politics and law, opponents were accused of being soft and effeminate as an insult (sounds familiar, huh?) The ideal of the perfect politician was the Impenetrable Penetrator, the manliest of men.

The penetrator was the powerful, the penetrated the weak. Women had little to no say in this societies; they couldn’t penetrate anybody (although, Sappho would disagree). One of the worst things to do in Roman society, was to service a woman by cunnilingus – this was much worse than fellating another man. It put you at the bottom of the food chain.

So sexual aggression, more specifically, rape was used as a threat and a tool  (interestingly, studies show that the most commonly cited motives for rape are power, anger and sex). The poet Catullus threatened with rape two friends who called his verses soft. The God Priapus acted as a scarecrow protecting crops, his statue with an erect penis threatened intruders with rape. Even the penis was sometimes called the weapon.

But you know, that was over 2000 years ago. Right? Homophobic insults couldn’t still be used recurrently in our political environment? Right?

Here is Maduro as Canciller in 2012 exuding testosterone , here we can see AN legislator (and Vuitton lover) Pedro Carreño not only calling Capriles “Maricón” but even stating that members of Primera Justica are eunuchs (doesn’t he look strapping emasculation his opponents), Iris Varela also showed a dutiful amount of “balls” calling Capriles a drug addict and (once again) Marico.

Ok, but at the very least, rape as a threat is not being used. Right?

I laugh at your naiveness. Mérida, Margarita1, Margarita2, Caracas 1, Caracas 2. Mind you, this is just a few things of the ongoing protests. The fact is, that rape is use as a threat and as a punishment by Security Officers very frequently (but that pertains another post).

All this talk of the the “All inclusive socialism” and we cannot move past doing politics like it’s 54 B.C. Now, this seems to be a purely Chavista phenomenon at leader level (I have not seen or heard Opposition leaders use type of insults). But, the civil society that identifies with the opposition  is still very much in love with the testes, the power and the patriarchy.

I mean, really, a woman parading around with a sign that denigrates her own sexual organs. She is stating that , Maria Corina is capable of handling power because she’s got balls, she has a masculine trait, but Capriles is soft, effeminate and therefore has been dealt with the pussy, he is incapable of penetrating, therefore, no power to him.

Or how about the protestors in Altamira chanting that the National Guard wears panties. Or this photo, that is just… words elude me.

For Tamara Adrián, a lawyer, member of Partido Voluntad Popular, LGBT rights activist and transexual, the Goverment is extremely homophobic. But, the problem isn’t only the goverment, Venezuela is deeply homophobic because it is deeply machista. In order to work on the recognition of sexual diversity and walk towards gender equality we need to strip the phallus of power, so, something like, political impotence?

79 thoughts on “When in Rome…

    • NO PODEMOS CAER EN LA TRAMPA DE LAS DIVISIONES VENEZUELA NO AGUANTA MAS DIVISIONES, ENTIENDAN NO PODEMOS IRNOS A LA PRIMERA ESTE REGIMEN NO ESTA PARANDO A NADA QUE PREFIEREN UN CAPRILES BAJO PERFIL QUE ESPERA EL SARPAZO FINAL O UN CAPRILES HACIÉNDOLE COMPAÑÍA A LEOPOLDO ESTOS DOS HOMBRES EN CONJUNTO SE HAN JUGADO EL PELLEJO POR LA PATRIA

  1. Anyone who doesn’t realize the power of femininity is fooling himself.Who is there who has not once felt the force of a woman when she defends her children?

    There is no greater force than that, and any man who challengers her on that one, must fear.

    We don’t need balls to show our warrior qualities( that is just wishful thinking on the part of men) ; We have our minds, our determination, our passion, our love, and our willingness to put the defenseless before ourselves.

    Nothing is more powerful than that.

    • We need more puns about lead ovaries, bear mamas or something like that.
      Hell, if I found some woman flaunting those signs, I would try to sit and talk with her about how it’s adding to the misogynist culture in Venezuela.

        • I hope you can understand spanish to read this reply:

          Creo que redacté mal la respuesta ahí y habré dicho algo muy malo sin intención, pido disculpas de antemano.
          Lo que trataba de decir en el mensaje era que, hacían falta más chistes y juegos e palabras sobre “ovarios de plomo” ó “mamás osa”, dado que la expresión “tener bolas” en Venezuela se supone que significa que alguien es valiente, pero al mismo tiempo refuerza el machismo que está metido en esta sociedad, y que si consiguiera a una mujer mostrando un cartel que dijera algo como lo mostrado en el artículo, que trataría de sentarme con ella a explicarle como ese tipo de expresiones se puede tomar para seguir reforzando el ideal machista venezolano.

  2. One of the worst things to do in Roman society, was to service a woman by cunnilingus

    I could be wrong but in Venezuelan politics I haven’t seen anyone try to insult another person in this fashion, so that’s progress right?

    • Just change “cunnilingus” for “fellatio”, it’s the same analogy, kneeling before somebody to bury your face in their junk is considered degrading.

  3. Culture emblematizes words giving them a meaning which becomes dissociated from what they originally designated , which take on an emotional sense and resonance of their own , Pontificex used to designate a maker of bridges now it is used to designate the Pope in Rome . Long time ago before Feminism became fashionable I criticized people at work because they referred to the balls of some employee or boss , to me it seemed offensively biological and they corrected me , they said when we say balls we dont mean the testicles of a man althought that where the metaphore comes from , we mean a persons gutsiness , resolute character and resilience so that its perfectly OK to talk about a ladies balls´’ . When I look at the original meaning of words ( and Im something of an ethymology aficionado) I discover again and again how words are transformed by usage and stand to mean something very different to what once they meant .

    I also read about Maduros joke about the gorilla and how it raped Capriles and instantly the idea came to me that subliminally Maduro was the gorilla , the gorilla that he wants to be , strong , brutal , bestial ,fierce invincible and that the joke revealed something about the relationship he wanted to have with Capriles , that it was he who would take pleasure in brutally raping Capriles . Which to me seemed to raise an interesting notion to the true nature of Maduros masculinity !! The image fitted with another association which comes to my mind everytime I think of visceral fascism , the tendency to worship great brutal force , absolute power , confrontation , violence and which one can easily identity with the animal ethos of a Gorilla. Just think of king Kong in the movie where he exultantly roars and thumps his chest after killing the dinasour , in my mind that image of king kong suggests the ethos of the visceral fascist which Maduro is or would like to be .

    • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who joined Chávez on his way to Cuba, c. 1998, described HCF at length, concluding that he was like a block of cement. The imagery stayed with me. Maduro’s chest thumping is an attempt, along with his conversion to CubanApparatchikism, to hide his rampant insecurities: harelip, limited education, limited IQ.

    • I strongly agree with “words are transformed by usage and stand to mean something very different to what once they meant”.

      And that transformation reveals a lot about that society’s values, norms and worldview. There’s a clear sexist trait in a society that associates male genitalia with strength and female genitalia with weakness.

      I definitely think your analysis of the gorilla joke is spot on: “Maduro was the gorilla [...] and that the joke revealed something about the relationship he wanted to have with Capriles”

      • When I was a child in Venezuela I heard these boys talking about being very manly and telling the other kids they would penetrate them and that the others were gay. I was perplexed and told them: but then you are also gay, position doesn’t matter…in fact, you are very gay because you keep telling everyone you want to penetrate them. They would become very furious. It’s pretty common in Latin America, I think…and it shows a weird conception of things.
        But this reminds me a part of Octavio Paz’s text of The Labyrinth of Solitude, the part about the chingada.

        • Maricon es quien recibe, no el que da, decían en los barrios.

          It was – is?- a common initiation rite for Gang members.

          • That reminds me of that episode of South Park where Cartman takes a photo of himself with Butters’s wang in his mouth.

  4. It’s not so much as the problem that they are sexist or homophobic as you raise here, it’s the fact that they insult everyone who opposes them in about every way, then they have the nerve of saying they are peaceful and respectful. Blatant hypocrites and bullies, that’s what they are in general.

      • My comment was aimed solely at the government. As for the pancarta, well, that surely is ironic. I have to agree that this is a machista society.

        • Venezuelan society is too damn misogynist, even when we listen all the time about the “warrior women that raise families alone”, they’re still seen as not equals to men in matter of rights.
          And that’s, well, moronic, it’s part of the toxic values that are ingrained in society.
          Doesn’t help either that “having balls” is an expression often used to describe a brave person.

          About that gocha photo… Damn, I can’t unsee that D:

  5. Food for thought( I don’t have any statistics):

    Many years ago ( during the early 90’s) I had a dear friend who has since left Venezuela; he was a Rhodes Scholar, a temporary teacher at the USSB, and also gay.

    We spent many afternoons together at the beach, or in Mall cafes, especially the one in Paseo Las Mercedes.He was a very intelligent, observant and sensitive man and much to my liking, a man of high principles.

    He often pointed people out to me in the cafes…people he knew who were gay and most of them were with women.He said that in Venezuelan the amount of gay men was much higher than in the US( where he was from)….but in Venezuelan gay men often hid their gayness, and many were married.They hid behind marriage.

    It is often said, that when people protest too much about something, there might be something they are trying to hide.

      • I wouldn’t know…this was the impression of a gay man who lived for 6 years in Caracas

        • Yeah, right, Firepigette. And probably you will say your impression is that North Carolina or whatever the state is where you are now in the US has the lowest ratio of homosexuals etc.
          Talking about bias and complete lack of scientific, rational perspective…and you claimed to have studied psychology.

          • Wikipedia delves not too deeply into a conflation of different concepts.

            Venezuela, as a country, isn’t politically ruled exclusively (or even mostly) by women, so it is not a “Gynecocracy”, or any of the other gyn- words referred in wikipedia, which roughly translate as “Governance by women”.

            On the other hand, large segments of Venezuela do have a social organizational form in which the mother or oldest female heads the family. This is usually called a matriarchy, which roughly translates as “Mother in charge”.

            An effort to solve this conflation of Gynecocracy and Matriarchy is quoted:

            “Matriarchy is also the public formation in which the woman occupies the ruling position in a family.[1] For this usage, some scholars now prefer the term matrifocal to matriarchal. Some, including Daniel Moynihan, claimed that there is a matriarchy among Black families in the United States,[22][b] because a quarter of them were headed by single women;[23] thus, families composing a substantial minority of a substantial minority could be enough for the latter to constitute a matriarchy within a larger non-matriarchal society.”

            But Matrifocality seems too much of an artificial construct for me. I guess that terminology debate has its merits, but I prefer to use Gynecocracy/Matriarchy than Matriarchy/Matrifocality.

            So, to sum it up. I think large segments of Venezuelans are raised in a domestically Matriarchal society, within a largely politically Androcratic society (even if 4 out of 5 branches have been “simbolicaly” headed by women).

            • “I think large segments of Venezuelans are raised in a domestically Matriarchal society,”
              And even then we have an incredibly misogynistic society, in variable degrees, but most of the venezuelan population is, many “matriarchs” of said families tend to raise their children to be misogynistic, creating a vicious cycle that in some cases keeps a lot of people sunken in poverty during generations.

              • Venezuelan marginal society is largely matriarchal in structure but sadly these matriarchs are machistas in mentality and think too well of the males they raise or pair with . There are no patriarchs in Venezuelan marginal society because a patriarch is a kind of super father and what marginal society produces are not fathers but studs ( Padrotes no Padres) who take no responsibitily for their children., But if there are no fathers then you need someone to methaphorically take the place of the absent father and that proto father is the Padrino o Patrono , someone who sets up a patronage clientelar relationship with the grown up youngsters . .

                In many animal species alpha males command respect and the bands obeiance but they dont take care of the children , they protect the women folk from the attacks of sex crazed youngsters but basically they are not fathers but studs. This makes it necessary to have matriarchal groups of mothers and youngsters under the authority of a head granny , strong and resourceful who takes care of all her descendants in actual practice .

                This animal set up is what our marginal family structure replicates , It also exists in the negro gheto families of the US and in many parts of latin america . The caribbean aborigine males were also extreme machistas and behaved very cruelly to their women , and the poor negro slaves hardly were allowed to have stable family relationships although they were encouraged to breed . The white males meantime were conquistadors and masters (there were few european women ) and bedded the to them low class local aborigine and slave women with prosmicous abandonment and the latter took to these pairings as something to be proud off giving their children a higher rank in a very hierarchized society . Studies show that the fenotype of typical venezuelans has a large caucasian male component (more than appears) , going back some 200 years ago and a mixed mostly aborigine female component ( with a bit of african female component mixed in ).

                This glamorization of pairing with white european conquistadors with low born female aborigines or african females probabply reinforced the machista cult .

                I have the idea that marginal women in venezuela are often more hard working , tougher , more responsible than the men they pair with although their inbred machismo makes them the sorry wimps of the latter.

  6. That assertion is far from the truth. There are people like that, but don’t use them as absolutes.

  7. What venezuela needs is dolientes!, Real ciudadanos con las bolas/ovarios bien puestos.
    Maricos o no/ lesbianas o no no import!

  8. A bit OT. Listening to the videos of Maduro linked in the article, it is amazing how he transfigured his speech style to one identical to Chavez’. Even his voice changed. Freaky.

    Recent Video

    April 2012 video

  9. Venezuela is not machista. The women of Venezuela are machistas…..it is the only explanation for a machista matriarcal society.

    • Venezuela is not a matriarchy in no way whatsoever. I think putting the blame on woman for being opressed is incorrect.
      Do women perpetuate Machismo? yes,as do men. Why is it done? That is the question we should be asking ourselves.

      • I agree with Audrey. As a man I am perplexed to see women coming over and over to say it’s, after all, women’s fault that there is a man-dominated society. Of course there are issues from every side but Venezuela is definitely not a matriarchy, which would mean power on the women. Wikipedia, although an informal encyclopaedia, does present some interesting information about the concept. Venezuela might have matri-whatever traits but no -archy at all.

      • Venezuela does have a problem of irresponsible fatherhood, and large segments of the population are raised by a single mother or a maternal single grandmother/single mother combo. You rejected the “matriarchy” label, but in the absence of any patriarch, how would call that family structure?

        • Mira lo que coloqué. En Wikipedia hablan de eso en el artículo “Matriarchy”. Es algo con -lineal etc.
          That ain’t matriarchy. -archy is the key.

        • The erosion of the family structure does not mean that a Matriarchy is taking place. Women are raising children in a Patriarchial society with machista values. Just because the father figure is no there, does not mean that there is not a subjugation to the father figure.
          Chavez is looked upon as a father figure by many.

          • Audry : We have a matriarchal society among the marginals because if there werent any matriarchs who would take care of the children and the younger women , not the man , theire out playing out their machista conceits, they are not patriarchs but useless glorified studs . We are all machistas but the men dont have the balls ( forgive the expression) to assumme responsibility for their children which is what a real patriarch does .

            By the way balls is just another name for testosterone which is proven to be the component that makes men assertive , aggresive and sexually obsessed !! women dont have testosterone , they have something else , they have brains and sensibility unless their brains become addled with machista superstitions .

            By the way machos dont care for true women (mujeres) they care for hembras, which is the animal equivalent of the macho , the term difference is lost in english but in spanish it says it all.

      • Audrey,

        You have to remember that Venezuela, just like many other countries is not just one culture.

        Among the poor, small town people of whom I was a part for some years,definitely it is a Matriarcada , just as Bruni says.This is characterized by serial relationships and women dominating the households.

        Among the Europeans descendents, Machismo is the norm

        • But if women had real power in the poor and small towns, then we wouldn’t witness the level of femicide, rape and sexual agression that we do. You could argue that there are close-knit female comunities in ultra radical muslim groups, would they be consider a matriarchy?

          • That’s the difference between Gynocracy (Governance by Women), a political term; and Matriarchy (Mother in Charge) a societal/family term.

      • But what she says with “machista matriarchal” has a grain of truth to it. We are a traditionally patriarchal society, but in our history since colonial times women have had a more complicated relationship with power than in other societies carved from the Latin/Mediterranean mold.

        Francisco Herrera Luque had a very compelling argument that explains this by examining the culture of our elites: the Conquista was carried out almost exclusively by men who initially mated with indigenous women, but in order to consolidate themselves as a local elite they had to comply with the racial laws of the Spanish Empire, so they married their daughters to younger Spaniards from the subsequent almost-exclusively-male immigration waves, and then transferred their political and economic power through the female line, sidelining their male descendants.

        The result of this “heiress” dynamic within a formally patriarchal mindset affected our culture in a unique manner, as women have always been aware of their essential role in the consolidation and transferring of power. Hence the archetype of the “mujer arrecha” and that perception that women surreptitiously run the show.

          • The argument is fleshed out in Los Amos del Valle, but he repeats and references it throughout his works.

            Here is a good summary of the argument, from a talk he gave at a feminist conference. Worth reading.

          • Well, the fact is that they do have quite a bit of power, which is why it has always been surreptitious: in a patriarchal environment, men would try to conceal the fact that the perpetuation of their status depends on their female descendants, and women would be aware of this and use it ingeniously (see the historical examples from the Herrera Luque article I linked above). This is quite ingrained in our psyche, which is why our culture is rife with proverbs and references to the “soft” coercive power that women possess and its hidden status.

            There is another thing that Herrera Luque only mentions in passing in that article, and it’s the fact that women play a big (possible larger) role in defining the ideology of their descendants. I won’t delve much into this, but I will mention as an aside that it’s worth considering when one examines how machismo is perpetuated.

            All of this takes me back to my initial point. Let me first mention an interesting statistical fact that you can corroborate by looking at electoral survey data: opposition voters tend to be female, while chavismo voters tend to be male. It’s not totally unreasonable to suspect that the violence and cruelty that chavismo regularly exerts against women is ultimately rooted in its never-ending desire for power and ideological control.

            • It is a good read. I would also state that the women’s power is not perceived as her own, she is using the male power for her own benefit (so to speak). This, female trickery in using men is also the source of violence and oppression of woman. Daughters were married (did not choose), were then at the “mercy” of their husband and would have to been able to navigate his moods to be able to make decisions that pertained her well being.
              As for The heiress, she cannot reign alone and she must always channel her power through a male dominant figure.
              Is machismo more machista than opposition ?

              • I think you understate the relevance of the fact that these are the elites we’re talking about who, as it is already understood, have a direct influence over the culture and behavior of the rest of society. Also, I disagree with the minor assumption of equating power with lack of restriction, which in my opinion is inferred inappropriately from the fact that being constrained implies being powerless.

                Let’s be candid here. Do you think a mantuana who, never having to work in her entire life, inherits a big hacienda with thousands of cattle, a nobiliary title and a few dozen slaves (including a pagapeos girl), who is aware that all of these riches will grow and be inherited by her daughters, is oppressed? Just because she can only pick her husband from a small pool of Spaniards whose single contribution to the equation —a fact understood by everyone involved, especially her family— is European blood?

                Regarding your last question, I think the answer is quite straightforward. This isn’t meant to say that there is no such thing in the opposition, but the track record of each side in this matter paints a very clear picture (has any opposition politician ever said anything remotely close to “Marisabel, esta noche te doy lo tuyo”?).

              • Some women are stronger in character than the men they marry so the latter are governed by their wives sometimes wisely sometimes disastrously . Many times character trumps culture and turns the scales upside down . bossy and hectoring women are known to exist and to rule their nincumcoop husbands. Also its not unknown that there are families which are dominated by a strong willed or smart woman even while their husbands quietly disappear or wisely remain in the background ..

                The more civilized and culturally advanced the social and family setting the less likely it is that women (or their male relatives) will tolerate any mistreatment by a thuggish husband or male companion.

                Part of the problem is the age disparity that sometimes exists between a woman child and her more mature male partner , specially in the barrios where its more common . If a young girl runs away or is abducted by a barrio ‘warrio’r then the chances are that she will be mistreated and later abandoned by her male companion. Know of cases where very young girls in a barrio have to be sent away by their families to remote relatives to protect them from the accostment of local barrio thuggs !!

          • Sometimes, some women give a very bad image for the rest of the ladies when they use their gender as some sort of impunity or get-out-of-jail-card to be as assholish as they can be, for example, Lina Ron offering beatings to every-freakin-body-she-wanted, knowing that most men in that position would have lost many teeth right there, or every female chavista that when somebody says something they don’t like, they jump to scream “He’s a woman-beater!” at the top of her lungs…

            Also, in a machista society like Venezuela, one can find paradoxes like charging people with “aggresion towards female” crimes, while girls are taught that they should find a guy with money to sustain them, or that women are only for cleaning, cooking and having children.

            I could remember a more funny approach to machismo with the “Palomino Vergara” sketchs from some years ago.

          • And that’s a way to keep them (us) “under control”. Thanks for this analysis, Audrey. Matriarchy is a term overly used in Venezuela in ways that keep society under the illusion that women hold power. That illusion serves patriarchy itself. It is a serious concern that discrimination due to gender and sexual orientation is so blatant in both extremes of the Venezuelan political sphere.

            • I don’t think there is a matriarchy in here, but the fact of the matter is that gender relations follow a different pattern than those of related cultures. Venezuelan machismo pales in comparison to that of Mesoamerica and Spain–yes, contemporary Spain. That doesn’t mean it is nonexistent or even irrelevant, but that there are clear, non-ancillary reasons behind its distinctive features, and that anyone seeking to understand it and fight it properly ought to take those reasons into account, rather than just chalking it up as “textbook machismo” and moving up from there (this, by the way, is something we tend to do when we analyze any phenomenon that happens here and resembles an existing “ism”, including capitalism, socialism, and most unfortunately racism).

              Also, it is clear which extreme of the Venezuelan political sphere has the worst track record in that sense. It is particularly shameful, as they are the ones who claim to fly the “progressive” banner.

  10. That pathological cruelty against women –particularly opposition women– reveals that there is something really dark and broken at the very heart of chavismo. This is important to note because, although we are a traditionally patriarchal society, we have a centuries-long history of associating women with influence and the transferring of political and economic power, as Francisco Herrera Luque argued in Los Amos del Valle (a summary of the argument can be seen here), which has influenced our culture and led the archetype of the “mujer arrecha” as the image at the top of this posts exemplifies.

    So, yes, it’s possible that their ensañamiento has to do with power, which we know is something that motivates them like nothing else.

    • Ahí se ve todavía más el machismo podrido, diciendo cosas como “a esa no la violaron porque es muy fea” o estupideces por el estilo.

      Claro, porque en la sociedad machista, a las mujeres nunca las violan porque de alguna forma se supone que es culpa de ella (Recuerdo un cartel que decía por ahí “Incitar al sexo genera violaciones”), y de hecho, la violación es sólo algo chistoso.

      • Va más allá de eso. La vaina con ellos es poder, poder y más poder. En sus mentes, no es lo mismo vejar a una mujer común y corriente que ultrajar a una jueza y enemiga política. Por eso es que vuelan como buitres alrededor de MCM, que además de ser diputada de oposición tiene una conexión directa con la antigua élite, en la que el poder económico y político se heredaba por la línea femenina. En su lógica Bovecista, hacerle daño a una mujer con esas cualidades es un acto de “justicia revolucionaria”.

        • El chavismo es visceralmente fascista , o sea que profesa la idolatria de la fuerza , la confrontacion , el poderio ,y la violencia y desprecia y aborrece la debilidad ( de alli el gusto de Chavez en calficar sus opositores de escualidos) .

          El poderio en el imaginario popular es un rasgo del arrecho macho vernaculo , la debilidad en cambio una cualidad femenina , Como el fascista ama el poder y desprecia la debilidad tiende a profesar un machismo virulento que valora no la mujer normal sino la mujer de posturas machorras marimachas o guerreristas ( Lina Ron , La primera ‘Combatiente’) o la mujer sumisa que se arrodilla a cumplir las ordenes del macho .

          Cuando una mujer sin dejar de ser exquisitamente femenina se muestra inteligente , resuelta , digna elocuente o cumple un role de autoridad en un plan opositor entonces les arrecha por que es como si sacrilegamente usurpara la funcion del macho . Por eso el maltrato de la Jueza Afuimi , por eso la rabia contra MCM . La mujer sumisa y complaciente no es admirada pero tampoco se la odia de alli todas esas mujeres caraetabla en el CNE o en la Judicatura.o las mosquitas muertas en tanto ministerio .

  11. The problem in Venezuela is common among Latin American countries. You basically have two Venezuelas. On the red corner you have a rude Venezuela coming from the “barrios”, used to crime, violence and all the miseries of life, homophobic, and believing that people should be coerced by punches and insults; on the blue corner you have a pussyfied social-democrat Venezuela, well-educated enough to compose a cosmopolitan elite who believes in gay rights, greenpeace, save the whales, that Chavismo “can be removed by votes” and that Maduro is “not a dictator”. Also, when they hear the first sound of bullets or explosions echoing in their affluent neighbourhoods, they immediately pack their luggage and go to exile.

    Well, it’s natural that the guys on the red corner would eventually beat the guys on the blue corner, and is also natural that the winners of the stand-off would later promote their primitive and rustic values and beliefs to state policies.

  12. Audrey: most Venezuelan male politicans are attacked on those terms. Since the XIXth Century. Alas, I don’t recall such words form the Head of Government prior to this era.

    Not a proud image.

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  14. Audrey: Thank you for a magnificent post. I used to like this blog years ago because of its political and economic analyses which I could share with my friends and work colleagues here in the UK where I live. However, I stopped reading it regularly (and sharing it!) precisely because of the misogynistic language of some posts, which, although usually a tad subtler than Maduro’s, it was still there and it annoyed me that even amongst people who are well educated this type of language was ‘ok’. As a Venezuelan woman, it is never ‘ok’ for me to hear/read homophobic or sexist language used to denigrate your opponent (or anyone for that matter) but it’s even a bigger crime when people with education, living abroad, bilingual, etc and claiming to support democratic values, etc express themselves in that way. If more people like you Audrey write in this blog I’m sure other contributors will raise their game too.

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