I think the opposition's Unity Candidate

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  • Rich Rostrom - 12 years ago

    The opposition should attack CADIVI at every opportunity.

    If, as JCN suggests, CADIVI is "the single most destructive of all of Hugo Chavez’s policies", then it should be ripe for public execration.

    It is after all a channel of massive corruption and looting of the public.

    Yet JCN (and, apparently, Capriles) are afraid to strike at it. Apparently the Venezuelan people don't know what goes on at CADIVI and the opposition is afraid to tell them.

    How can you expect to defeat chavismo if you cannot denounce its worst action?

    Chavismo is bad. Catastrophically bad. It (and Chavez) should be decisively and overwhelmingly repudiated for things like CADIVI. But I get the impression that the goal is to squeeze out a narrow election win on other grounds, and then tackle the biggest chavist crimes and follies - because you believe that you cannot persuade a majority of Venezuelans that these obvious wrong acts are wrong.

    ISTM you need to attack these points. Here's my suggestion, regarding CADIVI.

    An animated cartoon (or a comic book) showing a line of small businessmen and others waiting to apply for $ from a sleazy CADIVI bureacrat in chavista fig (with various bling about his person). The applicants are all middle-aged, obviously tired, in worn clothes.

    Each applicant presents a stack of forms and a pile of bolivars, offers a perfectly reasonable request for a small amount of $, and is dismissed. The chavista

    - finds some trivial error in the forms.

    - declares the request unreasonable on absurd grounds.

    - tells the applicant his request will be considered and to come back in a week (and after the applicant leaves, throws the forms in a wastebasket.

    - denounces the applicant for wanting to "waste" dollars on "bourgeois luxuries" (as defined by chavismo) when the people are in such great need.

    - pulls out a list of names (with the suggestion that it is the list of recall petition signers or oppo voters), finds the applicant on it, and dismisses him with abusive language.

    In each case he reiterates the sacred duty to conserve $ for necessities.

    Then another chavista appears - an obvious "bolibourgeois" in snappy clothes, who cuts past the line and greets the bureaucrat by first name. He needs lots of $ to take delivery on imported luxury cars. He doesn't have any forms, but the bureaucrat casually tosses him a bundle of $ anyway. He also mentions that his girlfriend damaged his car, which is two years old anyway - would the dealer reserve him one of the new cars?

    Variations could include a dismissed applicant who changes from a suit to chavista fig (and sunglasses), and is immediately approved; an applicant whose pile of Bs is a few short of the claimed total (enough for his request, but not for a newly announced additional fee) and is excoriated for trying to cheat the people; a young chavista whose excuse for changing Bs for $ is blatantly phony, but is approved; a sleazy-looking man whose application is dubious, but who "accidentally" hands over an extra Bs 1000 and tells the bureaucrat to "keep the change" with a wink - and gets approved.

    That is the kind of message the opposition should be sending.

    I can think of other examples: a ceremony at some medical misione, attended by a host of chavistas in limousines, with champagne and hors d'oeuvres - but when the guests leave, there is only one half-trained Cuban "doctor" and no medical supplies (better yet, immense quantities of some medical supplies, and complete lack of others).

    If there is not a truly broad and deep repudiation of chavismo, the long-terms result of even a victory in 2012 could be like Nicaragua - chavistas will loot the state, and will remain embedded in the judiciary, the military, and the bureaucracy, where they will subvert and obstruct the elected oppo government till they can defeat it a few years later.

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