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Venezuela: Blogger Picks Political “Oops” Moments

The blogger More Baker in the blog Siglo Veinte Cambalach [es] compiled the best moments of the show that is national politics. In a list of phrases from public figures that defined the agenda of news, jokes and laughs from Venezuela in 2007.

Of course, with a president like Hugo Chávez some might say that the potential to be amazed grows with each new controversy. More Baker writes, “In our hearts and in our minds, these words, acts and gestures remained etched in our mind, left our mouths wide open, made us laugh and angered us.”

Here are her choices for the top 12 “oops” moments in Venezuela, with some background information and explanations for each:

12. “You feel offended because you want me to say what you want me to say and I don't go for that.” Answer from an interviewee to the journalist Carla Angola when she tried to conduct a subjective and unbalanced interview in favor of the opposition.

11. “Of those surveyed, 77.8% have knowledge of and have had access to the Constitutional Reform and 55.4% of those surveyed supported the Constitutional Reform without needing any information,” said the president of the National Assembly (parliament) even though a month later Hugo Chávez would ask for a referendum about socialism and his indefinite reelection.

10. “We did not come to the National Assembly to play politics,” said by Yon Goicoechea, the leader of the opposition student movement, when they spoke at the National Parliament on was covered by all of the radio and television channels, and before leaving so as to not have a debate with the pro-government students.

9. “By not registering the United Socialist Party (PSUV for its initials in Spanish) with the National Electoral Council for the elections of mayors and governors for the next year, it is inevitable that the V Republican Movement would be exhumed,” even though the Socialist Party was not created, President Chávez sent Deputy Francisco Ameliach to the Disciplinary Tribunal after asking that he use the old party because the new one did not exist. Not having a political party had an effect during the Chávez defeat.

8. “Damn coward, liar!!!” were the shouts from the deputy, Iris Varela, while she hit the journalist Gustavo Azócar on his television program because he published a story about the death of her newborn son and the effect that it had on the explosive personality of the deputy.

7. “The Reform Project is a labor of love of president Chávez,” a phrase from one of the many passionate supporters of the president and used during the campaign in support of the proposal to change the Constitution so that Chávez could remain more time in power. This sentimentality is part of political debates.

6. “On my knees, I ask you, President: return RCTV to us. I symbolize the people,” phrase from actor Franklin Virgüez, while kneeling to ask that the private channel's signal to be renewed.

5. “Sir, what do you have in the suitcase?” “Oh, books. Only books … and some pamphlets of San Joaquín.” The joke that arose from the scandal between Venezuela, Argentina and the United States after a Venezuelan citizen arrived in Argentina with a suitcase containing $800,000 that was not declared in customs. There still are no answers regarding this case of corruption.

4. “We thank Hugo Chávez because by using the word “mierda” (shit), it accomplished the same as when Uslar Pietri used the word “pendejo.” The former minister of Communications and Information, William Lara attempted to clarify the President's public insult when the President said that the opposition's victory was a “victory of shit,” which bothered many people. The minister equated Chavez with a Venezuelan literary figure and later with the Colombian Gabriel García Marque, who had used the word “mierda” in his works. During his tenure, the public official appeared to be Chavez’ minister of propaganda.

3. “Um, but, um, um, um,” just as Looney Tunes’ Porky the Pig would stutter, the minister Pedro Carreño would do the same, when a journalist asked him why he talked about bringing socialism to Venezuela, if he used Luis Vuitton ties and Gucci shoes.

2. “Why don't you shut up?” phrase from Juan Carlos de Borbón, King of Spain to President Chávez during an event in Chile. It made the world go around.

1. “If they kill me, and I die…” a denunciation made by opposition leader Manuel Rosales, known for his clumsy words, who was trying to give himself political importance.

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