Poor Yon Goicoechea. Such a cute young guy, such high hopes attached…and what are they coming to? A few months ago, the Cato Institute paid him half a million dollars to spread neoliberal/neocon/neofascist crapaganda and astroturf all over Venezuela. Playboy’s Venezuelan edition also obligingly gave him huge fanfare (between pictures of silicone-stuffed bunnies, natch.) Do you think they’re getting their money’s worth? Aporrea doesn’t:
Yon Goicoechea, opposition youth leader and student at Andres Bello Catholic University, said on Wednesday during an opposition demonstration that the movement he heads is disposed toward “setting this city on fire” if the State doesn’t backtrack on the decision of the Comptroller General to uphold the disqualifications of some 270 would-be political candidates on the grounds of irregularities in the exercise of their duties.
Draped with a Venezuelan flag like a superhero’s cape, Goicoechea declared on Globovision that “this Chavismo, which is filling our city with trash, deaths and blood, is impossible to sustain. People need to solve their problems by way of votes. They want to solve their problems the peaceful way. They want to solve their problems by way of justice.
“What are they looking for? That the people set this city on fire?” he continued. “What are they looking for? They’re looking for violence! If they don’t catch on and let Venezuelans express themselves freely at the polls…if they don’t let us demonstrate our enormous non-conformity with the government by way of regular channels, then they must be looking for us to burn up this city. What’s the matter with the government? Don’t they care that the disqualified candidates are suffering human rights violations?”
Translation mine. Link added.
My, oh my. Yon-Yon makes it sound like all of Caracas is about to go up in smoke just because 272 would-be candidates, most of them notably crooked, criminal or corrupt, and more than half of them Chavista (!), have been disqualified by the Comptroller General from standing for election. Yet witness what actually went on in the background to all this fiery rhetoric from the Caped Crusader:
A small group of oppositionists marched on Wednesday outside the offices of the Defender of the People in rejection of the supreme tribunal’s decision. However, the great majority of Caracans continued on their daily rounds, even though young opposition students, who are on vacation right now, intended to create some kind of violent uprising.
Only “a small group of oppositionists”? Gee, that’s kind of at odds with the “enormous non-conformity” that Yonny-boy insists is the true sentiment of Venezuelans. If most are with him and not Chavecito, wouldn’t they be out demonstrating alongside him and his student hordes, bringing the country to a grinding halt? They could, you know. If they wanted to. Certainly their bosses would be only too happy not only to give them the day off, but probably bus fare to Miraflores, too.
And if it turned into a riot that trashed and burned the streets of the capital? Hey, as long as it gets rid of the big brown guy in the red shirt, it’s all good. Wasn’t that the idea back in April 2002, too? There were trash and burning objects strewn all over the streets then, along with dead bodies. Interesting, isn’t it, how Yon-Yon alludes to that in his speech about “filling our streets with trash, death and blood”? The oppos would certainly know about that; they never miss a chance to do it.
Remember, this fits into a larger pattern. Yon has done this before, and he’s used the poor parts of town as his pawns.
And I bet the “good” folks at Cato know all about that, and couldn’t care less that Yon-Yon is violating human rights in his super-heroic efforts to uphold the so-called human rights of his noble co-religionists. Hey, it’s not as if Cato cares about human rights in earnest; its mission is not humanitarianism, it’s capitalism. And the neoliberal capitalist order of old depended on corrupt officials; it was how they kept the oil money flowing into the coffers of Corporate America, the World Bank, the IMF, you name it. So of course Cato has no problem with rewarding corrupt candidates and their cohorts–including useful idiots like Yon Goicoechea.
The fact that none of the disqualified are oppressed, imprisoned or being menaced with death just slides right by all these fake democrats of the opposition and its US cheerleaders. All they are being denied is the privilege of running for elected office because there are questions about their records. Anyone who’s not squeaky clean, anyone who’s under suspicion, doesn’t get to run–gosh, that just sounds so terrible, doesn’t it? Damn Chavismo, how antidemocratic to deny the corrupt their privileges!
But hey. If Cato and Co. are all rah-rah for Yon-Yon, in spite of all the zits on his soul, at least ordinary people in Caracas aren’t fooled. They had better things to do than stand around listening to some young golpista draped in a flag, and they went right on doing them. To them, Yon-Yon isn’t some champion of human rights; he’s just another paid-off local bottom feeder. In other words: Same old shit from yesterday, being recycled as roses today. Yawn, yawn.