Thursday, March 1, 2012


The news from the impatient patient, upon awakening from the anesthesia after his operation, broke to the world in a tweet that he supposedly authored. According to his tweet, he is “soaring like a condor” and is in good health. Of course, it is impossible to know if it was actually Chávez who wrote this simile. But, accepting it as his own verbage that he chose to describe his recovery from surgery, it is curious to me that he chose this particular image to compare himself to—the condor. One thing that differentiates the condor from other birds is that it lacks a backbone. Its flying muscles are therefore not firmly anchored and the bird does very limited flapping of its wings, and instead, it tends to soar on air thermals, rising on hot air. And like a vulture, it feeds on the bodies of the dead.

Chávez chose the image with which to describe himself. I wonder if subconsciously he chose it to describe what he has done to Venezuela, rising on the rhetoric of eight-hour long speeches (like his mentor Fidel) and feeding on carcasses of those whose property he has expropriated (also like Fidel).

The October election is an opportunity for the Venezuelan people to change the bird that leads it. Perhaps it would do better with a hummingbird at the helm. At least it can flap its wings and not depend upon death to feed itself. And unlike the condor Chávez, it would decorate the landscape with its beauty—the hallmark of human rights.

1 comment:

  1. Chavez comparing himself to a bird without a backbone that feeds on the dead is the Freudian slip of the year!