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Thursday, June 7, 2007

The best defense: Name Calling

When you can't argue sometimes the best defense is to try to discredit your opponent by showing their mistakes, airing out the skeletons in their closets, digging up some dirt or you can just do what Chavez does and basically name everyone who opposes him a pawn of the Empire.

The Link: http://globovision.com/news.php?nid=57699 (In spanish, there's still no link in english)
this one is not the story per say but it will help some readers understand.

As it turns out, a group of students ask for permission to speak at the National Assembly, which was given. Is just beautiful that this students were given the opportunity to speak up before the people that were elected to represent all of us. The Chavistas have made lot of emphasis in this as a proof of Venezuela's freedom speech. But let's not be fool, one good action just doesn't erase all the bad ones.

Even though this students asked for the right to speak before the Assembly, they were told they would debate against Chavista students. The students accepted and went into the Assembly to express their feelings. The first student said, (I'm just going to quote some pieces I found on this article, also in spanish: http://www.eluniversal.com/2007/06/07/pol_ava_grupo-de-universitar_07A881173.shtml)

"We are not socialist we are social beings, we are not "neoliberalistas" we are "libres" (free)...please do not criminalize our protests....we the young are only armed with conscience, solidarity, optimism and humbleness...we are responding to the threat this closure of RCTV means against freedom of expression...we are convinced all Venezuelans should be treated equally (see the post below for a better look at this)."

Basically all he said was, we want to live free. We want to be respected. We are not of this political current or this other, we are Venezuelan citizens that deserve to be treated equally without distinction of color, race or "uniform," at this point the students took of a red shirt (red is the government color and you can see everybody dressed in red on the government financed protests), to display the white shirts they were wearing underneath as a symbol of peace and emphasizing this treated equally without regards of uniform.

Next, a Chavista student spoke up saying: "The flag colors are yellow, blue and red (apparently she was a little upset about the displayed the students before here had put on with the shirts and all)...there couldn't be any more freedom of speech than the one we are currently living on...today we have this participatory democracy in which we all can debate (students on the assembly is actually pretty good)... I want to invite these students (opposition students) to go to an assembly in a barrio to experience it's power, that's real democracy...Universities show us another reality, a reality that slaps us in the face sine universities are not for the service of the people...I ask for respect for that Venezuelan majority that wants a new democracy model...I criticize actresses that are protesting in favor of RCTV, since RCTV commercialized with their bodies...private education doesn't educate for freedom and life but for exploitation and death...please explain me the difference between freedom of expression and freedom of "enterprise?"...because Marcel Granier has freedom of enterprise to create his business RCTV and another thing is the right of the people to express themselves on their media...I want to call on all students to define side, are we on the side of the people who's blood has been spilled or are we on the side of the North American empire...is treason against our own ideal to side for the burgess and the imperialists.

This girl brought some nice arguments and some things to ponder. But I can't go on without pointing out the difference in the tone of both speeches. The first one was about pieces, no mention of sides, war, blood (except when referring to the student that had been brutalized by police). The speech asks for respect and for the right to be treated equally. On the second one, the tone changes and towards the end we are bombarded with all this siding and this weird idea that I, as a free Venezuelan can choose to follow the imperialist, capitalism way because I would be incurring on treason??? So if I decide to work and really push myself to be better, and I get rewarded because of this effort, and I buy things and enjoy the fruits of this efforts I am suddenly a traitor? One other thing we need to point is that Chavistas are always trying to show their good things like this good things are going to hide the bad one, but they failed to confront the true issue. Barrio assemblies are awesome. This debate on the National Assembly is awesome. But that doesn't give Chavez the right to close down a TV station, seriously people, it just doesn't.

So I have digressed quite a bit from my original thought but here it goes. As it turns out, after the students spoke and left the assembly they were mocked, not only by the Chavistas students which one could expect, but by the assembly people specifically, Cilia Flores. And to top it all, Chavez himself called this students pawns of the American Government. He said that this students had a written guide which one of his adepts was able to obtain after a ninja-like counter-attack-combat-super-anti-CIA/MI6-Jack-Bauer-has-nothing-on-this-student kind of move of grabbing the paper left by them after they spoke. He criticized the students for using a paper as a guide for their speech. Yes, he criticized them for using notes to give a speech and assured the world this notes were drafted by the evil imperialist hand. A side note here, Chavez believes anyone who uses a note to make a speech is not worthy since he never uses them...which would explain why he talks, and talks, and talks and is always talking without making absolutely any sense (Just try to watch any of his Cadenas or the Alo Presidente and you will desperately beg him to bring some notes the next time).

If you can't say anything good about your opponent, look for the bad. If you can't say anything bad either, all you need to do is apply a little bit of the Chavez remedy: Call them Imperialist Fascist, pawns of the empire, anti government traitors or any thing that involves high treason and love for capitalism, then wash, rinse & repeat.