You want uppity? I’ll give you uppity…

Hey, fellas (especially all you FUX Snoozers): Be thankful on this day that you are not Gustavo Azocar, yellow journalist of the Venezuelan opposition. Because this guy just suffered a fate worse than death, at least as far as macho Latin American males are concerned–he got the shit beaten out of him on national TV by a woman. Shorter version at BoRev; longer version here:

The woman is Iris Varela, a parliamentary deputy from the state of Tachira, nicknamed “Comandanta Fosforito” for her combative, fiery nature. Azocar wrote a defamatory book about her, in which nothing, not even the death of her newborn son (in 1992) was spared from ugly speculation. Azocar cites unnamed medical personnel at the hospital, claiming that Varela reacted with rage and vowed revenge when told that her baby had congenital malformations and was dead.


VTV’s Mario Silva, dissecting the events on his show, La Hojilla, reads out the offending chapter in the last five minutes of the video. There is insinuation that her own volatile personality was somehow to blame for her pregnancy complications and the baby’s illness, and that her reaction to the bad news was inappropriately political. Azocar states flat out that the whole event is “key” to understanding “her aggressiveness, her visceral hatred for certain political sectors, and her resentment.” In an incredible bit of pretzel logic, he links this devastating childbirth experience with the coup on February 4, when then Lt.-Col. Hugo Chavez led a failed attempt to topple the government of Carlos Andres Perez.

Who is being nasty, vengeful, and inappropriately political here? Iris Varela? Or Gustavo Azocar?

Azocar got what he had coming during a broadcast of his show (on opposition channel Globovision), when Varela, who was not interviewed for the book, showed up on set and just waded into him like a mama bear (about 1/3 of the way into the video). She repeatedly calls him out as a coward and a chicken. Azocar tries to play the innocent victim, but it’s clear that he’s playing against type. (He’s got it coming legally, too: he’s been charged under the LOPNA, or Organic Law of Protection for Children and Adolescents, with defamation and violating the privacy of a child.)

Aporrea.org is buzzing with messages of support for Iris Varela and condemnations for Azocar. And no wonder: when the political gets so nastily and needlessly personal, no one can blame a woman for defending her motherly honor with fisticuffs. Except, of course, those dirty enough to try to use her most private pain against her. People like that deserve a good, ignominious on-air pummeling. (And when watching the video, take note: she gives it to him above the belt. He hit her a lot lower in his filthy screed.)

Opposition journalists in Venezuela don’t get killed, as in Colombia. Their careers don’t even suffer if they are found guilty of complicity in fascist coups, or charged under the child-protection laws of the land. Their jobs are safe no matter what vile things they do in their capacity as members of the right-wing media. But they do have one major Achilles’ heel: They are big fat wimps, and all it takes to prove it is one feisty little Chavista lady from Tachira, refusing to take their bullshit lying down.

PS: An Australian news site has decided to give you an extremely abbreviated and misleading version, one that makes it look like this was just another crazy lady attacking a poor, defenceless man. Yet in the clip they include, Varela is denouncing Azocar as a liar and saying he gave her no right to reply to his defamation. They don’t mention THAT anywhere in the story! Someone please tell them to learn a little Spanish and look up Aporrea–their story is so incomplete that they, too, are lying to us.

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2 Responses to You want uppity? I’ll give you uppity…

  1. Slave Revolt says:

    Bina, I don’t tend to support violent acts. But this attack on Iris, using the death of a child, is dispicable. And coming from a man, with the history of gender oppression…well, in this case Iris is allowed a few hits at this bastard. Permanently maiming him–or injuring him enough to require medical attention/hospitalization–I would not agree with. But a few slaps at the bastard–you go girl!
    I would argue the same if someone used the death of Jenna Bush’s (future) child as a way to attack her politically. Azocar displays the most ignominious character in the way he used the death of a child to score political points.
    Note also that the opposition have hated Iris strongly for years now. She has been harrassed in public on numerous occassions.
    Looks like this time she simply had enough. Good for her! She can go forth in life knowing that she got the best of that bastard–and that she was the better, more ethical person.

  2. Bina says:

    Slave, I hear ya. I don’t generally go in for the physical stuff, either. I’m the quietest person in every room, if you were to meet me in real time (yeah, I know–hard to believe, eh?)
    But as a bullied kid who learned the hard way that being ladylike is no way to fight back, I can understand totally why Iris lost it like that. Be a good girl even if it kills you? No way, not me, not anymore. There comes a time when you have to fight back, even if you hate fighting. I got over a good chunk of my nice-girl squeamishness by taking martial-arts based self-defence classes during journalism school. I only regret one thing–that I hadn’t taken them in middle school! I used to be so polite, so proper–when I was 13, I literally wouldn’t say shit if I had a mouthful. And the bullies took advantage of that! They thrive on that. The bullies are in charge, and they like it that way. They would like everyone else to be polite and shut up and take it (because that’s how they get away with bullying!), but as the t-shirt says, well-behaved women don’t make history. There is only one language the bullies will shut up and listen to, and it’s not polite!
    And as you say, she’s been hounded for long enough. He’s the aggressor here; she is the defender. I say he got off lightly. If it were me he attacked, he WOULD land up in hospital. I may be a nice polite Canadian lady for the most part, but I don’t fight like a girl.

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