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7/30/13

VeneBirtherism: Nicolás Maduro gives the Venezuelan opposition just enough rope... then hangs them

It's typical behaviour amongst press and media, be they English or Spanish language, to portray Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro as a wet-behind-ear, not-up-to-Chávez naive politico who got the big job dropped into his lap and isn't capable of filling the ex-boss's boots. Well ok, fair enough, oppos gotta oppose and all that, but Maduro isn't some green fruit of a politician either and he's shown enough nous to run rings round the dumbass opposition in Venezuela recently, with a big fat win registered today.

The issue is "Venezuelan Birther", a story that started a few weeks ago that was propagated by the right wing opposition to Maduro and stated that the man hadn't been born in Venezuela but was originally from Colombia. And due to that (and the Venezuelan constitution) it would mean that Maduro wasn't eligible to be Prez. In recent days the story has picked up a bit of steam too and has even made it into some English language reports. Admittedly from the dumbass end of the news-o-sphere (Fox, CNN, WashTimes) but covered all the same:


However, all this time, the weeks until today, Maduro has kept totally schtum about it all. Not a comment, not a word, no denials, not a dicky bird*, nothing. This non-reaction unsurprisingly just fuelled the passions of the dumbass Venezuelan right who smelled a fishy smell. Right up until today, when Maduro got the reaction he'd been looking for all along. Head oppo Henrique Capriles (fresh from hanging with far right wing ex-Pinochet politicos in Chile) on his TV show this morning said:

"Nicolás, I ask you, Where were you born? ... Are you lying about your nationality too?".

And then, all of a sudden, Bang! Slam! Whack! Nico Attack! First up irrefutable evidence that the person who started the rumour, an ex-senator in Panama who's had it in for Maduro and Chávez for years, made shit up. The Public Records Office in Colombia, in comments to AP, makes it clear that the "birth certificate" at the centre of the growing scandal is a obvious forgery; the dates are wrong, the number on the paper belongs to somebody else and the person who supposedly emitted the certificate had already been retired for two years before it was signed, making the forgery pretty darned obvious. And right on the heels comes Maduro with his first statement on the birther story just a few minutes ago, saying that the Venezuelan right wing (i.e. Capriles, now with a large plate of huevo splattered all over his cara) had been taken for a ride by a demented ex-senator from Panama.

So if you feel like writing Maduro off as a non-competent President for his political stance and philosophy, then go ahead and state your case. But don't fall for the "he's a amateur politican" schtik because if you do you too might get eaten for public opinion breakfast the way Capriles has been well and truly done over today.

*pun intended