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Letter From Venezuela

I received the following from my grade school chum Dan Bailey, who now lives and works as a teacher in Caracas,Venezuela. Here he explains what's happening there as if it were happening here, a remarkably evocative technique.

Recently in Venezuela: Some Events in Americanese (based on information from the periodicals VenEconomia and El Universal--www.veneconomia.com and www.eluniversal.com)

Yesterday dozens of heavily armed motorcyclists militantly supporting the Obama Administration overcame building guards, entered Fox News Channel in New York, threw tear gas grenades and caused some damage to installations.

Meanwhile the Obama Administration is rushing through the nearly 100% Democratic Party-controlled Congress (this due to a previous Republican boycott of Congressional elections, claiming unfair government advantage conferred upon the Democrats) a Media Crimes Law which will soon make it impossible via print, tv, radio, or the Net to express any form of criticism the Obama Administration deems destabilizing or "damaging to the mental health of Americans." In recent hours 32 well-established radio stations' licenses were lifted by the Federal Communications Commission and taken off the air. These were in areas of high population, with large listening audiences. One was Fox Radio's flagship evening simulcast of its television news shows, which are often critical of the government.

The Obama-controlled Congress also has just passed in record time an extensive new Elections Law which, in defiance of the Constitution, does away with proportional representation. It creates winner-take-all scenarios while simultaneously giving the Obama-controlled National Elections Board the power to redistrict (gerrymander) at any time. Observers note this appears to be a way to make permanent the current Democratic near-total control of Congress.

In reference to the last non-Democratic Party political figures to be elected last November--namely Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and the governors of Nebraska, Arkansas, Maryland, Louisiana and Hawaii—all have experienced adverse consequences. Obama ordered the Army and Navy to take over the ports and airports in the latter three states (thus depriving them of significant tax revenues) while threatening their governors with prison in case of resistance. In Maryland, the National Guard displaced state troopers from their headquarters at gunpoint. Three weeks ago Mayor Fenty mounted a hunger strike on the ground floor of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. saying that since the OAS had been vigorous in its condemnation of damage to democracy in Honduras, it should stop ignoring the obvious and deep damage being done to it in the United States. After five days of Mayor Fenty's hunger strike, Miguel Insulza, President of the OAS, spoke to him by phone. Observers note that Insulza has ambitions to become U.N. Secretary-General, a post for which he requires the votes of the Obama Administration and its allies.

Meanwhile the Obama Administration is preparing a new Education Law as part of its aim to decisively shape American society in all its aspects forever.

Pursuant to this is the formation of the "new revolutionary," which person can be created only by an ideological and doctrinaire education. On July 15, President Obama proclaimed in a university commencement address that "The kind of education in America which will make Americans truly free can be no other than Communist education!" Analysts note that the new legislation--being rushed along towards a final vote--(1) does not specify the specific meaning of "Communist," thereby giving the government carte blanche to shape and reshape education at any time as the future unfolds; (2) centralizes all education in the United States, making every institution, public or private, answerable to the federal government, effectively White House; (3) mandates that all teachers be accredited only by the federal government and therefore in conformance with its plans; (4) strips from universities all discretionary decision-making powers; and (5) gives surrounding "people's committees"--in reality controlled by the top of the federal government, their sole funder--the power to intervene in every administrative decision of every American educational institution.

Note to readers: I hope this translation into "Americanese" gives a feel for what was happening in Venezuela up until about two months ago. More of the same nature has happened since. Most of the above is drawn from the best source of news-in-context that I know of, Veneconomia, . At its website, click "Subscribete" on the right. Once signed in you'll have access to the "site in English." You'll receive two or three electronic issues a week to keep abreast of events here along with their significance. Meanwhile El Universal is one of the two biggest Venezuelan dailies (in Spanish).

By the way, the new Media Crimes Law will likely do away with its editorials, Veneconomia notes.
– Dan Bailey, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, September 22, 2009

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