Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Celebrating Coups

Imagine a situation where a government is becoming more unpopular, there are protests, there is inflation, there is a general sense that the economy is off the rails. As a result, there is a coup attempt. Would this be something you would celebrate? If you are the Venezuelan government, then the answer is yes. But, of course, only yes if the year is 1992 (22 years ago today) but certainly not if it is 2014.

The link above has a lengthy discussion of the heroic actions of Hugo Chávez and how wonderful the coup attempt--excuse me, military rebellion--was. Of course it wasn't a coup attempt, just like the Chilean military insisted that 1973 was a "military pronouncement" rather than a coup.

This reminds me of Egypt as well. Coups for your side are good. Similar actions by the opposition represent treason, treachery, and self-interest. Your side is for "the people." The other side is for narrow evil interests.

No matter how you slice it, coups are not propitious for future stability. Celebrating them is a bad idea. Having the state do so officially is even worse.

Update: according to Nicolás Maduro's Twitter account, it was a "Day of National Dignity" rather than a coup attempt, and it is semi-religious to boot.

Update 2: the cup of coup love overfloweth. Chávez's coup showed him to be "the Giant of New History," whatever that is.


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