Chávez appeals to self-criticism to confront his decline
Amidst his campaign, the President lets on his mistakes
Wherever he goes, the President utters the mea culpa. "I am the one who complaints the most about this government is myself," he exclaimed in Barcelona (north-east Venezuela). In that speech, he even lashed out at his fellow red governors and mayors and showed his solidarity with the people of Anzoátegui state (north-east Venezuela.)
"I second the complaints regarding the street conditions here (...) revolutionaries might be dissatisfied or disappointed for one thing or another; maybe because they have not received a house, or because Mission Housing has not been implemented in their villages yet," he admitted.
In Valencia, the capital city of Carabobo state (north Venezuela), he doubled the dose and asked for mercy. "On behalf of my government, I present my apologies, but I promise that sooner than later we will finish the Line 2 of the Valencia subway."
Like a prodigal son, he returned to his home state Barinas (southwest Venezuela) to recognize the revolution's potholes. "I was told that the streets of Santa Lucia are really bad (...) they are terrible, I already heard about that. I find out about these things from different ways. The asphalt party' needs to be sent here. (Barinas state governor) Adán (Chávez), (Venezuelan Vice-President) Elías (Jaua), asphalt party' for Santa Lucía and for these villages in the plains region."
"Self-criticism! Criticism of ourselves," he roared in Táchira (western Venezuela), upset because the state government is in hands of the opposition. "We make mistakes, don't we? One makes mistakes, that is true, but one's mistakes must be recognized, especially if one expects to be a national leader, you can imagine, one must take his responsibilities," the dignitary blurted.
In his recent tour in Bolivar state (south Venezuela), the President continued beating his breast. "I know that here in Bolívar state, and especially in Ciudad Bolívar, there are serious problems, critical electric power failures, I know, and also here in San Félix, it is true, and actually in most parts of Venezuela," he admitted last Saturday in a rally, where he also said: "We also have problems regarding public security."
On Monday, from the Caruachi dam in Bolívar state and facing the workers of basic enterprises, the commander-in-chief opened the lock gates to let the complaints flow. "Let's do self-criticism, let's denounce irregularities and let's revise the plan (...) let's be irreverent in the discussion, but loyal in the action," he underscored.
Same old story
Political scientist Nicmer Evans, advocate of the Bolivarian process, insists that Chávez's self-critical discourse arises out of his political transparency and honesty. "This allows his to connect himself with the demands and claims of opponents and of his own partisans," he argues.
Evans notices, "the only way for he to remain in power through popular election is to be able to recognize mistakes, to propose solutions and to renovate the levels of efficiency and efficacy."
From this point of view, according to the academician, Chávez takes advantage of his own faults by showing that he has the ability to rectify.
On the contrary, Mariana Bacalao, an expert in political communication and opponent of the government, offers another explanation: "Chávez is touring around Venezuela, and he finds cities weighed down by problems and he feels the people's reaction. People want to hear about their issues, not about the salvation of the planet," the researcher highlights.
For Bacalao, this strategy is not a novelty. "That is his style; he always set himself aside from the mistakes and from his own team. He says: the team has not done his job; I did not know it; let's do self-criticism,' and so he transfers the responsibility towards others."
Nevertheless, now there is a greater challenge. "After 13 years, what can you say about your flaws? There is a considerable decline, the analyst explains.
Translated by Andreína Trujillo
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."