On weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth

Chavistas react to the death of their demigod

Many Chavistas are disconsolate tonight.  They fervently believed in a pack of lies, so densely interwoven by a ruthless demagogue that they could not be disentangled from each other, or from the very body of that demagogue.  One of the chief lies they believed in was the invulnerability of their Caudillo, the strong man Hugo Chavez.  Repeatedly, they received assurances that he was on his way back to the throne.  In essence, they turned a mere mortal into a demigod, or, as Nicolas Maduro called him today, a redeemer.

And they also believed in the biggest lie of all: that socialism can really bring about prosperity and social justice.

But death has robbed them of their illusions.  Desengaño.   Disillusionment is theirs tonight.  The redeemer is dead, and they weep and wail, and gnash their teeth.  And when they awake tomorrow they should  begin to face the awful fact that his promises and policies have ruined their nation. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, these mourners are more likely to divinize their dead man and keep their faith in his lies than to face up to their delusions.  They are to be pitied, for sure.  But they should also be feared.

For many of us Cubans who still can’t understand how our nation was hijacked by a charismatic sociopath who was genuinely beloved by many–and still is — the brief reign of King Hugo offers us a painful mirror image, a lesson in the irrationality of the human race in general and of the peculiar irrationality of  Hispanic cultures in particular, including that of the  bankrupt Motherland, Spain.

Those who love Chavez  — whether in Venezuela, or elsewhere — need to be understood in order to be overcome.   That’s quite a challenge, perhaps too great a challenge.  Understanding a faith system that is founded on envy, hate,  and intolerance, as well as on unrealistic utopian fantasies takes a great leap of the imagination for those who aren’t similarly obsessed.  But we need to try, and we need above all to acknowledge the seductive power of the basest human inclinations, especially among those who have little else to hope for and among self-righteous intellectuals.

Hugos, Fidels, Rauls, Ches, Evos, and Obamas have never been in short supply, and, from the looks of it right now, such men are gaining the upper hand.   We need to outsmart them, somehow, and also to overpower them, much as one would do with any thug.  Their chief weapon is the Big Lie.  Their patron is the Father of Lies, who is also known by many other names.  Exposing the lies and the liars, and ensuring that the exposing never stops is essential.

In the meantime, right now, death has done the world a favor by ridding it of one of its worst Liars.  Unfortunately, waiting for the grim reaper to carry off the lying despots  is not a good strategy at all.   But the mere fact that no man lives forever, at times like this, can sure be comforting.

Shakespeare summed it all up very nicely:

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings…
for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
( Richard II, 3.2.1565-1580)



9 thoughts on “On weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth

  1. Oh, how I love this post.

    My experience with liberals currently is even more terrible. I am speaking not of the poor who love getting the goodies. I speak of the intellectuals, the voracious readers, those who live good lives, faithful to their spouses, raising their children with morality, the hard workers who save their money and obey the laws. These should be a natural constituency for a decent man like Romney. But they were swept off their feet by Obama. Why? “Because he cares about us and Romney only cares about his rich friends.” How did such insanity take hold so readily in them?

    I have had conversations with my liberal friends, all lovely, good, kind people, in the past weeks, that were unbelievably frightening. They have no minds and yet they think I have lost mine.

    So what is going to save us? Where is the brave member of the msm who is going to stand against the mass of his colleagues?

    I am unable to be witty about any of this. I am filled with terror at the moment.

  2. Those losers-weepers remind me of the mourners for Kim Jong Il,for Rafael Trujillo, and the similar histrionics of those who will shed tears when Fidel Castro finally cante el manisero.

  3. Caro Profesor,

    I agree with you that one way to fight the Chavez of this world is to expose their lies. But we also must understand a fact that most people are not exposed to, poverty. I was in caracas when the caracazo happened, as a product manager for a multinational, “Los Monos” as they were referred came down due to their extreme poverty and were repealed brutally by the army, later came Chavez, and these “monos” elected him. Roman Orozco, wrote an interesting article on this subject on “El Pais”, “Los Monos de Chavez”. March 9.

    “Siempre que hayan mas pobres que se sienten oprimidos, los oportunistas como chavez podran ser llevados al poder.”

    Governments must address poverty, as it was done in Braziland in Spain in the 1960´s throughout 1980’s. And, there must be an understanding between the wealth creators and the under-privileged socially and economically.

    Jorge B, Lisboa, Portugal

  4. The best way to address poverty is for business to be allowed to grow and create jobs. Government does not help as much as it hurts the poor. And when Government is permitted to become over zealous in “helping”, everyone suffers; the poor suffer most.

  5. @honey:

    Most of the people in the USA have no idea what is real poverty, me either until I was transferred to latin America and Africa. I am a son of an the historical exile who arrived in Miami in 1960, september 1960. We were poor, I thought were where, food from the refugio and so on.

    But, if you do the research, the cubans in the 1960´s got a lot of help from the goverment, from loans and on. I went to fancy East School Colleges and on to Europe for graduate work, thanks to federal goverment help.

    Venezuela I worked there with a detergent multinational, I knew the poverty indexes we used to had the largest share with a brand called ABC. I moved around because my fathers cousin was president of the CADSA stores, part of the Cisnero group.

    Venezuela was a cleptocracy,(and continues to be) and the poor (los Monos) had no chance to move on as you say.

    Wake up, because as long as the underpriviledge have the right to vote, and no opportunities to move up, they will have nothing to loose when they vote for clowns such as Correa and Chavez.

    As I said, there has to be an understanding among the wealth creators and the workers.

    Venezuela got what it deserved. However, I am still bafld how a gangster got hold of Cuba, one of the few countries were social mobibility existed.

    Ironically, real capitalism, only in China.

  6. No, what happened in Cuba makes no sense, or far less sense than the same thing happening in Bolivia or Haiti.

  7. @asombra, I have been away from the USA for 28 years this april, due to my international assingments.

    Not only in Bolivia and so on, but the same thing is happening in the USA, media driven by ideology, voter´s not voting based on performance and so on.

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