Remember Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco?

Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco
Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco

Remember Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco? The bolibourgeois ‘entrepreneur’ who went from working in a parking lot before Chavez came to power in 1998 to having a net worth of over $1.6 billion in 2005? Well, he fell from grace with the dictator, and is meant to be doing time in Caracas’ DISIP’s dungeons. The poor chap (not) could teach the business world a thing or two: mind in roughly the same time frame Google made $191 million, he managed to amass in Venezuela a personal fortune of $411 million and ‘built’ an empire worth $1.6 billion.

Back in the day when vcrisis.com was popular, Kenneth Rijock, a banking lawyer turned-career money launderer, turned-compliance officer and Financial Crime Consultant, sent me a series of articles about politically exposed persons (PEP):

PEPwatch Venezuela: Beware Of Government-Controlled Private Corporations (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3).

Rijock’s articles identified some bolibourgeoises, namely Fernandez Barrueco, Sarkis Beloune Arslanian, General (retired) Gustavo Adolfo Sanchez Gonzalez, Khaled Khalil Majzoub and his brother Majed Khalil Majzoub, acting as frontmen of chavista officials such as Diosdado Cabello, Adan Chavez and Jessy Chacon.

Some, or all, of the parties mentioned, must be planning for the future without Chavez, and have started to worry about information written by Rijock, published in vcrisis.com, and republished by Miguel at the Devil’s Excrement. Either one of them, or someone acting on their behalf, has been sending me communications, demanding that I remove the articles identifying them written by Rijock.

Just to leave a record for future reference, I shall post here their communications and my replies.

On 8 Feb 2012, at 15:01, Rubin Ferzinger <Rubin.ferzinger@lawyer.com> wrote

To Whom So Ever It May Concern

Admin,

I  want  to bring your concern to a very serious matter .The case have been solved earlier . The link  

hosted on your website contains the content that is defacing my Client’s reputation and affecting his Business and Social Life . Due to this content The following laws has been violated by your website : 

According to Article 17 of the United Nations 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Basis of Liability for Cyber libel

a) Distributor/Publisher Characterizations: One of the most important issues in cyber libel is whether the online service providers, operators of bulletin boards or website owners are common carriers, distributors or publishers.

b) Publishers, such as newspapers, magazines and broadcasters, are responsible and liable for everything that they produce, post and broadcast. Their liability is grounded in the fact that they can edit what they wish to include and exclude from their publication, be it a newspaper, magazine, television broadcast, website or newsgroup. As the admin of this website you have the privilege to remove the page as soon as possible . So i request you to remove the page “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221; as soon as possible,else we will take the required legal action against you .I hope you will understand the seriousness of the matter and take the appropriate step. 

Regards

Rubin Ferzinger

Legal Consultants Full Service Law

—– Original Message —–

From: Alek Boyd

Sent: 02/08/12 10:57 AM

To: Rubin Ferzinger

Subject: Re: Legal Notice(urgent action require)

Dear Mr. Ferzinger,

First of all, I do not appreciate legal threats.

Second, as a lawyer, you should know that the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights is an instrument that protects individuals from the actions of States.

Third, who are you, and, more importantly, who is your client?

Fourth, on what jurisdiction are you planning to “take legal action” against me, should I refuse to grant your client’s wishes?

Fifth, what “case has been solved earlier”?

Answer those questions, if you could, and let us move this conversation along civilised lines.

Cordially,

Alek Boyd

On 8 Feb 2012, at 21:33, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Boyd ,

You are asking about me I am lawyer if you could read the email id and the laws I have putted so that you could remove the article easily.

Now as you have said “I do not appreciate legal threats” let me give you a good answer Mr boyd According to the law, i.e. Article 17 the information you have posted in that article is defamatory.

As you have asked that “on what jurisdiction are you planning to “take legal action” against me”

this is because the article you have posted is not correct at all. All the information in that article is fake and spoiling the client reputation and affecting his business and social life as well.

You better know if you get a warning notice , this mean you should do accordingly, as directed in the email otherwise you might have to shutdown your website, no matter who so ever you are whatever the power you hold, you will be sued and you don’t know whom you are messing with. This will really gonna cost you (Mr Boyd).

I have mailed in the sound of request but you took those words as a “Legal threat” inspite of legal notice. I think you sound like a illetrate one who actually hold the position of website admin to earn money no matter how, your idiotic articles can affects anyones social & professional life.

Oh! thats great “this is how you have ability to earn money”?

http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125”   remove this article from your website otherwise I have to take an strict action against you.” Mark my above words”.

Regards

Rubin Feringer

—– Original Message —–

From: Alek Boyd

Sent: 02/09/12 04:30 AM

To: Rubin Ferzinger

Subject: Re: Legal Notice(urgent action require)

Para la atención de quienquiera que sea la persona que envía estos correos.

Amenazas del tipo, no van a lograr absolutamente nada.

Identifíquese, diga quién es, desde dónde escribe, y quién es su cliente.

Gracias.

Alek Boyd

On 27 Feb 2012, at 14:48, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

we do not disclose our client information

The content which is posted on that article is defamatory and We suugest to remove this link “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

other wise show the proof regarding that article.

Regards

Rubin Ferzinger

Lawyer

On 27 Feb 2012, at 18:24, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd, 

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

On 22 Mar 2012, at 16:03, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

On 22 Mar 2012, at 16:14, Rubin Ferzinger wrote:

Mr Alek Boyd,

nosotros no revelamos información de nuestros clientes

El contenido que se publica en este artículo es difamatorio y Sugerimos eliminar este enlace “http://vcrisis.com/?content=letters/200602031125&#8221;

espectáculo de otra forma la prueba con respecto a ese artículo.

si usted siente que mediante el bloqueo de mi correo electrónico de identificación no tendrá problemas para que luego son estúpidos hay maneras mucho para castigar a otros, gente como usted.

Note here how whoever is behind this changes the address and the name of the person allegedly demanding removal of information.

On 23 Mar 2012, at 21:20, ken Rijock wrote:

Admin, 

As required under Sections 512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. )512(c)(3) and 512(d)(3)), we are instructed to place you on notice that:

The matter which is posted on your website is copied from our News website i.e “http://devilsexcrement.com/&#8221;.You didn’t even gone through any copyright legal documentation.The link on which our matter is copied is this

We want you to remove that above link .

DMCA Format

Name : Ken Rijock

Company Name : DevilSexcrement Media Group

Full legal name of the copyright holder : Ken Rijock

Contact email address : Ken.Rijock@journalist.com 

Authorized Copyright Owner : Ken Rijock 

If you want any Assurance regarding the holder and Owner of the copyright my name is written there in the link .I solemnly request you to Remove the above stated URL ‘s.

If you have any query regarding this Please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Regards

Ken Rijock

Senior Editor/ Journalist

Ken.Rijock@journalist.com.

— End of messages —

All emails, whether from Ferzinger or Rijock, were sent from the same IP address:

Sender: 74.208.5.67, mailout-us.gmx.com, United States, Wayne, 40.0548 – 75.4083, AS8560 1&1 Internet AG

Since there is a business and commercial lawyer in New York called Rubin Ferziger -note the last name difference- I sent an email asking whether he was in any way related to these demands, but unfortunately it wasn’t replied.

I did the same with Ken Rijock, with whom I have corresponded since 2005-06, and with Miguel Octavio. Despite alleged claims made in the emails, neither of them is aware of any copyright infringement, as alleged, nor have they been contacted directly by whoever is behind this chavista online reputation management campaign.

To be frank, it is amusing to be threatened by these types. They are so hopelessly clueless as to how the internet operates, and what laws could be applied, that I can only conclude that they are chavistas. In Venezuela, these things are settled rather more mundanely: a couple of thugs pay a visit, give a beating, kidnap, shoot or kill whoever the target is, and that’s that. The elegant way is to fabricate charges and have the chavista system of justice work its magic. But the hilarious thing is that this lot honestly think that they can have their way in other parts, just like they would in Venezuela, impersonating other people, misusing email addresses and blog names in order to scare some poor sod and get their way.

Fernandez Barrueco et al may know a thing or two about stealing a country blind and become phenomenally wealthy in the process. But about how the web works, they are in the dark ages.

Majed Khalil Majzoud

Majed Khalil Majzoud
Majed Khalil Majzoud

Updated 14.05.12 – Further to my previous post about chavista thugs suddenly realising the importance of online reputation management -in a likely post Chavez era- I have been able to narrow down who may be behind the clumsy intimidation attempt aimed at me: meet Majed Khalil Majzoud, an ‘internet savvy’ chavista.

Mr Khalil Majzoud, born 23 April, 1970, Venezuelan ID 13526338, has had an interesting life. In the same way as other Boligarchs -obscure individuals that have become extraordinarily wealthy in the shadows of Hugo Chavez’s socialist revolution- Majed Khalil Majzoud has gone from nothing –quite literally– to:

  • having an interest in Serfoca, a partner of Venezuela’s CVG, appointed to develop an “industrial project (Orinoco Paper Mill Project) for the integral processing of [500,000 hectares of] Caribbean pine wood”;
  • getting another $5 million –gone missing apparently– to provide a technology platform to Venezuela’s Defence Ministry;
  • having a controlling interest in Pacific Rim Energy, a company that has been granted millions by the Chavez regime -and by Evo Morales- for various energy projects;
  • having a controlling interest in Eveba, while stressing that influence of “mafias have decreased” in Venezuela…

I’m sure there’s more. In any case, of all the people mentioned in the articles that are causing concern to unnamed parties, Majed Khalil Majzoud is the only one who has been having his information posted in hundreds of websites lately. Do check it out, there’s 475 results published since someone -presumably on his behalf- demanded on 8 February that I deleted information from his dodgy past. Although the effort may also be related to his own problems -and those of his brother Khaled- with chavista justice (see herehere, and here).

In addition to that, a Majed Khalil -or someone in his stead- has registered .com, .net, .biz, .org, and .me domains, and is loading those sites with totally-unrelated-to-Venezuela content -despite some of it being in Spanish- to cover his tracks.

Lame, lame…

Update: a trusted reader informs us that Majed Khalil is the bagman of General Francisco Rangel Gomez, former president of aluminium and mining giant Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG), current Governor of Bolivar state. Hence his deals with CVG. Majed Khalil is also a partner -and best man- of Lieutenant Antonio José Morales Rodríguez (aka “el catre”), godson and aide-de-camp of Hugo Chavez and one of his most trusted men. Morales is currently director of the office of the Secretary of Venezuela’s Presidency. Morales has recently been fingered by former Supreme Court Judge Eladio Aponte Aponte as one of the men who ordered him to free an army drug trafficker (Pedro Magino) caught with 2 tonnes of cocaine in Venezuela.

Tony Caplin & Kellmar Ltd get $2 billion sovereign bond from Venezuela’s Central Bank

Daniel writes in to say that I should provide a bit of an explanation for why this should be a scandal. I guess that the reason would be that it is simply not normal for a Central Bank, to transfer free and clear, ownership of a sovereign bond, worth $2 billion, to a recently formed limited company with a share capital of £2,000, managed by an individual (Tony Caplin) who appears as inactive in the Financial Services Authority register.

Some context of actors provided to facilitate further investigations in respective jurisdictions.

Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV): Venezuela’s Central Bank [link].

Nelson Merentes: Current President of BCV [link].

Eudomar Tovar: First Vice President of BCV [link].

Kellmar Limited: Isle of Man registered, £2,000 limited company [link].

James Ellwood: Director of Kellmar Ltd [link]. Board member of Momentum Pensions Ltd [link].

Anthony Lindsay Caplin: a.k.a. Tony Caplin [link]. Former Chief Operating Officer of the Conservative Party [link]. Formerly with Panmure Gordon [link]. Director of Kellmar Ltd since 29 March 2011 [link]. Current Chairman of North West London Hospitals NHS Trust [link]. Current member of the Medical Research Council [link]. Current Commissioner of the Public Works Loan Board [link]. Currently inactive -as individual AXC01538 – Anthony Lindsay Caplin- according to the Financial Services Authority register [link].

Ramon Carpio Carvajal: Vice President of International Operations of BCV [link].

Ira D. Pruitt Jr: Attorney for Kellmar Ltd and Tony Caplin [link].

Rosallyn Hazelle: St. Kitts & Nevis Ambassador and Permanent Secretary Industry, Commerce, and Consumer Affairs [link].

Credit Suisse [link].

Sovereign Bond: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, 9.250, 07/05/28, ISIN USP17625AB33, common code 036133678 [link].

Hugo Chavez: FARC’s unreliable partner

It is rather difficult sometimes to make sense of warfare and political issues in far away lands, though it’s always possible to draw parallels with similar historical events in other countries. People in the UK are well acquainted with IRA’s form of doing politics: bombings and assassinations targeting innocent civilians, extortions, assaults, in sum, terrorism. So try and picture this for an instant: information pertaining operations, communications, international networks and funds sources belonging to an IRA top commander has been recovered by MI5, in a stint operation in Ireland. A terrorist base was destroyed and a number of internationally wanted terrorists were killed. Incensed by violation to its sovereignty, the government of Ireland has immediately suspended relations with the UK. The French Prime Minister, who exerts a great deal of influence in Ireland and is seen as maverick revolutionary whose policies should be copied, has unilaterally frozen diplomatic and commercial relations with the UK, France’s second largest trading partner, in solidarity with Ireland. Furthermore, France’s military presence along the Channel has been beefed up, and a few battalions have been ordered to the coast.

In public statements, the French PM has condemned the UK government, accusing it of being America’s lap dog, and is touring the world, lobbying other countries and trying to form a coalition to further isolate the UK. The situation remains extremely tense. UK businesses have lost millions of pounds due to the conflict. Thousands of jobs are in danger. The reasons that have prompted the French PM to adopt such a stance remain quite inexplicable, in light of the fact that the IRA is considered a terrorist organisation by all European countries…

Hard to imagine? Quite right. A similar scenario involving Spain, France, Portugal and ETA could easily be drawn. Imaginary scenarios aside though, something remarkably similar took place in March 2008, when Colombian military bombed a rebel camp in Ecuador, killing Raul Reyes, and recovering a huge cache of data about FARC’s activities. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez immediately came to Ecuador’s, and FARC’s, rescue, siding with the terrorist group. Inexplicably, for the third time since he took office, and again due to the FARC, Chavez froze relations with Colombia. When former President Alvaro Uribe raised the issue with the Organisation of American States (OAS), Chavez broke again with Colombia, a fourth time. Colombia’s request for the formation of an international commission to investigate presence of 1500 terrorists in 87 camps within Venezuela went unanswered at the OAS.

On Tuesday this week, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published a dossier entitled “The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of  ’Raúl Reyes’“. It provides a rare insight into the Colombian narco-terrorist organisation, and how it has established relations and support networks, at the highest levels, with Hugo Chavez’s and Rafael Correa’s governments. In fact, there’s evidence that both Chavez’s and Correa’s political campaigns received donations from the terrorist group, at one time or another. So let me spell it out again: what would happen if it were to be revealed that political campaigns of French and Irish PMs had been funded with money coming from the IRA? The dossier depicts a very close, almost intimate, relations between wanted murderers with Venezuelan and Ecuadorian officials. It shows how passports, weapons, uniforms, oil, cocaine, and money exchanged hands between a criminal organisation and law enforcement authorities. The level of penetration of FARC in Venezuelan public institutions and officialdom is shockingly disturbing. But above all else, it shows why Hugo Chavez, in clear violation to UN resolutions, keeps siding with FARC: he sees the terrorist group as a useful partner both for internal and foreign policy agendas. As early as 1992-1994 Chavez was on the FARC’s take, that’s four full years before his election. So committed seem Chavez to the FARC’s cause, that at one point he offered Venezuelan oil, to be traded by the rebels in the spot market, and with resulting income MANPADS could be purchased to Aleksander Lukashenko’s regime. What a lovely story.

The files however provide a window into FARC’s own view of Chavez, who’s described as unreliable, useless, shallow, devoid of ideological depth, opportunistic, hypocritical, heading a regime of spineless individuals which is revolutionary only in name, rather much like how the rest of the world perceives the Venezuelan caudillo really. Perhaps if he knew how his terrorist partners see him, Chavez wouldn’t have been so keen on burning bridges, and his reputation along the way, to side with a group that has caused thousands of deaths and millions of displaced in Colombia. Fortunately, evidence of Chavez’s somewhat erratic historical support for FARC is now in the public domain, for the benefit of all.

In the future, any apologising for Chavez, and by extension for the FARC, whether it comes from self defined “independent” professors, or Mayoral candidates, ought to be confronted with contents of the dossier. And is worth repeating some of the questions that this treasure trove of internal communications raise: what would happen in Europe is something similar were to be discovered? What would the fate of an elected official be if connections to a terrorist organisation, or to a supporter of same, were to be exposed? Is it Chavez any more palatable than Gaddafi? Are his diplomats in the UK any more acceptable? Given that 80% of Colombia’s cocaine produce enters international markets via Venezuela, what are the international community, Europe, and the UK more specifically, doing/going to do with the intelligence contained in that dossier?

Caso Alan Gross: Cuba continua violando todos los preceptos sobre derechos humanos

Hace unos días leí que al ciudadano norteamericano Alan Gross, arrestado en Cuba en diciembre del 2009 y acusado de mercenario por dizque distribuir material ‘contrarrevolucionario’ -léase una computadora portátil, una cámara de video, un telefono móvil, y quizás literatura sobre derechos humanos, civiles y políticos- le podrían condenar a 20 años de prisión. Al respecto, tengo un cuento.

Mi abuela paterna era cubana, nacida en un pueblo llamado Caibarién. Desde pequeño, la escuche repetir con regularidad lo oprobioso de la dictadura de Fidel Castro, y contar cómo hermanos, familiares cercanos, y amigos habían sido torturados, asesinados, encarcelados, por oponerse a las ideas comunistas del comandante Fidel. Las mismas que su pupilo el dictador de Venezuela quiere imponer. Por cosas del destino, se me presentó la oportunidad de viajar a Cuba, en dos ocasiones, en el 2008. Debo admitir que la idea me pareció atractiva en un principio, por cuanto finalmente podría conocer la tierra de la cual mi abuela hablaba con tanta nostalgia, aunque poner la vida a merced de criminales no es algo que se disfrute. Igual me embarqué en la aventura, y si antes de haber estado en Cuba sentia un profundo odio por los comunistas, lo que representan, y las consecuencias de sus acciones en seres humanos inocentes, el haber estado allí, y haber visto el comunismo desde adentro, no hizo sino acrecentar mi repulsión por un sistema politico que se ha caracterizado por su peculiar y sistemática castración e intento de destrucción del individuo.

El que diga que Cuba es un paraíso, es un degenerado. El que diga que los cubanos viven felices, es un depravado. El que repita el cuento aquel de que en Cuba toda la población es educada y tiene niveles de educación comparables con el mundo desarrollado, es un enajenado. El que afirme que en Cuba el sistema de salud es extraordinario, es otro enajenado. El que diga que Fidel Castro acabó con el burdel y libertinaje característicos de la Cuba de Batista y le devolvió la dignidad al pueblo cubano, deberían de encerrarlo 20 años en Villa Marista. Cuba es un fracaso. Es un estado de indigentes. Es una nación donde un megalómano demente apellidado Castro, ha hecho honor a su nombre, y ha castrado la vida y sueños de 11 millones de personas durante 50 años! Es un lugar miserable, un lugar de no retorno, un antro de prostitución, de narcotráfico. Y digo esto por que vi, comparti, comi, bebi, y hablé, con cubanos. Estuve en sus casas, en sus cocinas, en sus cuartos. Abri sus neveras. Vi sus bibliotecas. Nadie me echó el cuento. Claro, los cubanos con los que me reuni, no son miembros del partido. Sino opositores, libre pensadores.

Fui a Cuba, como Alan Gross, a ayudarlos. A demostrarles solidaridad. A darles aliento. A llevarles medicinas, computadores portátiles, cámaras de video y electrónicas, telefonos móviles, y literatura ‘contrarrevolucionaria’, que no es otra que la que propugna que todos los seres humanos nacen libres, poseen derechos que son inalienables, y que nadie debe violar. Allí conocí, por ejemplo, a Yuri Perez Vazquez, quien me narró, entre otras cosas, cómo durante sus estudios universitarios fue sometido a toda clase de abusos por negarse a asistir a los dizque ‘espontáneos actos de repudio’. A Yuri no sólo lo botaron de la universidad, sino que Herman van Hoof, director de la UNESCO en La Havana, se negó a conocer de su caso. Allí conocí a Edgar Lopez Moreno, uno de los tantos que, habiendo recibido asilo político en otro país, sufren la indignación de tener que pedirle permiso al mismo régimen que los oprime y los persigue para poder viajar al extranjero. Conocí también a su esposa, Rufina Velazquez, cuyo padre fue encarcelado por llevar a cabo una caminata en silencio. Allí conocí a otros líderes de la oposición, a quienes aconsejé presentasen una solicitud de discusión de los tratados de derechos humanos, civiles y políticos que la dictadura anunció haber firmado -pero nunca ratificó- lo cual hicieron, demostrando niveles de dignidad y valentía ejemplar. Allí escuche narraciones que no pueden calificarse sino de dantescas, sobre la sistemática violación a los principios y derechos más básicos que ocurren diariamente en las cárceles cubanas, prisiones que, dicho sea de paso, ni la Cruz Roja, ni la Iglesia, ni representantes de ONGs de derechos humanos pueden visitar. En Cuba la vida del individuo no alineado con la dictadura no vale un peso. De hecho, en su pobreza absoluta, el cubano promedio no es dueño, ni siquiera, de su vida, pues no puede hacer con ella lo que le dé la gana. No obstante, allí aprendí que no hay sistema que logre anular totalmente la naturaleza del individuo, que nace y es libre.

Por ello sé que Alan Gross es inocente de cualquier cargo que los malditos comunistas le acusen. A quienes debería condenarse a miles de años de presidio por crímenes que no prescriben, es a esos mismos comunistas que han criminalizado la libertad de expresión, la capacidad crítica, los derechos humanos, y el libre flujo de información. Los cubanos, y no los dictadores que los han oprimido por más de 50 años, merecen la solidaridad del mundo, merecen nuestro respeto, y necesitan de nuestra ayuda. Lamentablemente, Alan Gross fue escogido como chivo expiatorio en el tablero geopolitíco del régimen castrista. Ojalá y no tenga que pasar 20 años en la cárcel por contribuir  con la recuperación de la libertad del pueblo cubano.

The New York Times does Eva Golinger

Eva is moving up in the revolutionary world. The New York Times, bastion of liberalism, has published a profile of Eva Golinger. As Daniel argues, why would the New York Times consider worthy ceding a piece of its publication’s real state to a non entity, such as Eva Golinger? My view is that, if anything, the NYT, and Reuters before that, are simply setting the record straight on Eva, which is something I started doing in 2003. She’s gaining notoriety. She’s travelling with Chavez now. She’s even going to have her own programme, in that beacon of “objective” journalism, which is Putin-controlled Russia Today. Both articles present her as editor of officially-funded Correo del Orinoco. Simon Romero’s article in the NYT goes even further, and refers to her as “one of the most prominent fixtures of Venezuela’s expanding state propaganda complex.”

As her idol, to whom she owes a lavish lifestyle and everything she’s got, Golinger really is her own worst enemy. One only has to see the zeal with which she defends Chavez to realise that objectivity, respect for rule of law and human rights aren’t values Golinger holds dear. The peculiarly funny thing is that Golinger resents being defined as a propagandist, which is effectively what she is. In that regard, the NYT is to be applauded. As Larry Rohter did with Oliver Stone’s propagandistic film and his officially-funded sources, now Simon Romero’s article has “outed” Eva Golinger, in The New York Times no less!

Encuentro con Raquel Rivas Rojas

Esta tarde, tuve el placer de finalmente conocer a Raquel Rivas Rojas, en el  seminario “Memorias del desvarío: Los desaciertos de la historia en tres novelas venezolanas contemporáneas” en King’s College . Raquel es creadora de una de esas citas memorables, que definen en pocas palabras y en relación con hechos de nuestro pasado, la tragedia que vive actualmente el gentilicio venezolano:

La tiranía, tanto de la multitud como de su más temible producto, el caudillo irredento, no puede ser contrarrestada con la letra. Al caudillo sólo puede vencerlo la naturaleza implacable —la fuerza de los hechos— o la traición de las masas, que es como un cataclismo natural, como una avalancha indetenible. De ahí que Aguirre esté condenado desde el principio a la derrota y que ésta sea producto de la base misma sobre la cual se sustenta su liderazgo, la condición insostenible de su empresa. A fin de cuentas, lo que Aguirre realiza es una ficción de revolución de la que nadie está enterado hasta muy avanzada la aventura, y son estas ficciones de revolución las que parecen ponerse aquí en escena, en una vuelta de tuerca que permite observar, por su reverso trágico, las incursiones atrabiliarias de los caudillos espontáneos. Siempre temerosos de sus pies de barro, atentos al murmullo de los traidores que amenazan su precaria estabilidad, luchando incansables contra sus propios delirios. Porque si en un primer momento esta ficción presenta al tirano como una fuerza natural indetenible, hacia el final del relato su caída resultará tan inevitable como lo fue, en un principio, su emergencia.

Basta intercambiar Chavez por Aguirre para entender lo que, sin duda, devendrá. Raquel tiene razón. La caída del dictador actual es tan inevitable como el discurrir del tiempo, y durante el seminario de hoy, Raquel hizo referencia a una carta que Rómulo Gallegos habría enviado a Rafael Vegas, y que forma parte del segundo prólogo de la novela Falke, de Federico Vegas:

Ha muerto Juan Vicente Gómez. ¡Que ingenuidad asombrarse por el paso del tiempo! Acaso no sabíamos que hasta el más cruel y obstinado presente se convierte en pasado. Me avergüenzo al recordar las veces que concebí a Gómez como algo eterno, inmutable.

En estos tiempos de zozobra, es difícil tener la serenidad y tranquilidad de mente como para llegar a conclusiones tan evidentes como éstas. No obstante, ha habido según Raquel una proliferación de novelas históricas en Venezuela, en los últimos 11 años. Tal parece que la clase intelectual, que había pasado a un segundo plano en la Venezuela post Perez Jimenez en lo relativo a la formación de identidad nacional por medio de la literatura, se ha reactivado, y está intentando contrarrestar el megáfono oficial, en su intento hegemónico de construir la nueva identidad venezolana. Raquel se refirió específicamente a tres novelas: Falke de Federico Vegas, Rocanegras de Fedosy Santaella, y El Pasajero de Truman de Francisco Suniaga. En las tres, se tratan hechos históricos: en el primer caso, el intento de derrocar a Juan Vicente Gomez por parte de un grupo variopinto y mal preparado en 1929. En el segundo, el asesinato del hermano de Juan Vicente Gomez en 1923. En el ultimo, el intento de instalar a Diogenes Escalante en una suerte de presidencia transitoria en 1946.

Parece haber un patrón entre los autores en la escogencia de los hechos históricos. Todos ellos están rodeados de misterio, por lo cual hay mucho espacio para elucubraciones, y para darle rienda suelta a la imaginación. Es lo que Hayden White denomina en su Metahistory como “philosophers of history”, es decir, escritores que utilizan el récord histórico para construir narrativas subjetivas paralelas de acuerdo a su ideología. Raquel nos dijo que éstas novelas históricas pueden considerarse como “maquinas de producción de identidad nacional o de relatos identitarios” (sic), lo cual me parece interesante, por cuanto en mi propuesta de doctorado, pretendo investigar el evidente cambio en las fuentes de creación de discursos de identidad y de nación. Durante las dictaduras de Juan Vicente Gomez y Perez Jimenez la clase intelectual formaba parte activa de la clase política. Durante la dictadura de Hugo Chavez, la clase intelectual ha sido relegada, prácticamente al oscurantismo. El creador por excelencia de nociones de identidad y nación, es ahora un líder político -que no intelectual devenido en político, un militar golpista, un apátrida genuflexo, que persigue entronizarse en el poder. Es la mente del primer caudillo reencarnado, aquel que deseaba la destrucción y aniquilación total de sus enemigos, quien vocifera ahora omnipresente, abusando de los ingentes recursos del estado, su discurso dizque emancipador.

Es en ese contexto, en ese “país histérico” como diría Rafael Vegas, donde intenta la clase intelectual actual contrarrestar la hegemonía comunicacional oficial. La letra no traerá la democracia de vuelta, serán el hambre, la violencia, la corrupción obscena, la ineficiencia, en suma, la idiosincrasia boliburguesa lo que pasará factura. Nuestra historia republicana está plagada de intentos fallidos, de sucesos que las mismas autoridades han asegurado permanezcan envueltos en misterio, de traiciones. Afortunadamente, tambien está llena de transiciones, de derrocamientos, y de levantamientos populares contra el opresor orden establecido.