The “Leftist” Protest of Heinz Dietrich

Guatemalan writer Percy Godoy criticizes the German author of “Hugo Chavez and 21st Century Socialism” for his recent comments against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.


To manipulate the truth is an act of condemnation, especially for those who- from intellectual positions and using their renown acquired from erratic flirtations with the left- postulate a well-prepared argument for the media against the government of Maduro. Heinz Dietrich, who has been presented as some kind of ideologist of Chavismo, plays this role to the letter.

Dietrich has relaunched himself in recent months as a relentless critic of Maduro’s governability, consciously allowing himself to be manipulated by mass media and projecting a political rhetoric that one could hardly distinguish from right-wing international opinion. His opinions, intelligently, are intended to divide, to sow doubt, to create an extrapolated state of mind with supposed scientific and intellectual roots. His corrupt values, full of ideological diversion aim to contribute to bringing down the Bolivarian revolution. He is, without doubt, one of the principle promoters of the ideological guarimba against the Maduro government.

These ideas advocated by Dietrich have been precise and well defined;

-Encouragement of fatalism in regards to the Maduro government, drawing invisible lines with other political processes. Without any qualms, this provoker declared: “The most probable outcome for Venezuela is that of Egypt or Ukraine.” Dietrich spread left and right his malicious perception of chavismo’s exhaustion and the impossibility that the driving forces of the revolution can accomplish anything. He intends to draw loaded comparisons between Chavez and Maduro, maliciously exploiting the true differences between the two personalities. In essence, his ruse is to overplay Chavez’s undeniable leadership qualities in order to minimize and disqualify Maduro. When remembering Chavez, he said “he had a dialectic manner of thinking, with a sharp perception of things; an encyclopedic database, a profound knowledge of Latin American history, an enchanting way with words, and charisma that captivated worldwide audiences. He was the tropical Perón.” Meanwhile, [Dietrich] refers to Maduro in the following manner; “He has none of this. That’s why he mechanically imitates what he saw in Chavez and becomes garrulous. Of course, Chavez was pragmatic, because he understood reality. Maduro doesn’t understand it, and consequently has no real plan to escape the crisis.”

-Justification, through analysis, of the failure of chavismo: “Petroleum revenue is no longer sufficient to cover the financial model, the fiscal system does not generate the necessary income, the unsustainability of the national monetary system before its foreign counterparts, the sterility of political rhetoric, all of these are aspects which in hardly a year have manifested with palpable clarity. During Chavez’s last years they were tendencies visible only to specialists. Now they are the dominion of the general public.”

-Delegitimize Maduro as the appropriate figure to carry on chavismo: Dietrich has tried to put in doubt the Bolivarian government’s capability to confront the crisis provoked within the country. Provoked, more than by recognized faults of the government, but by destabilizing actions of the Venezuelan right-wing and its international allies. He even questioned Chavez’s decision in picking Maduro as his successor: “In conclusion, the commander’s decision was deficient.”

-To project the PSUV’s and other left-wing forces’ incapacity: The manipulator clearly intends to show the Bolivarian left as incapable of accomplishing the necessary renovation of the chavista model, in the economic sense, as well as in the areas of social progress and safety. He insists on the likelihood that other political forces have more capacity for development, which makes his critique close to a validation of the option of neoliberalism. In that sense, he declared to a newspaper his personal “disappointment” because Maduro and the country’s current leadership “have not presented a program to restructure the model inherited from Chavez, even though such a program would be the prerequisite to recover control of the country.”

-To ridicule Maduro’s current foreign policy: In this sense, Dietrich considers the diplomatic performance of the country and the assumed role of Maduro before CNN, Barack Obama, and other international confrontations “erroneous”.

-The intention to foment mistrust within and towards the country’s leadership: Even though he recognizes certain strengths of the Maduro government, he sees an abrupt change in leadership as a necessary condition for the country, with the clear intention to foment suspicion, mistrust, ambition, and other gaps between its members. He says with no misgivings, “If Bolivarianism does not replace Maduro’s team, it will end up like Yanukovich in Ukraine.”

-The suggestion of the FANB’s [National Guard] lead role in order to promote political change. For Dietrich, after recognizing the service of the armed forces to the constitutional government in confronting the “soft coup,” these same bodies of power will be the facilitators of an institutional transformation. To that note he claimed: “There will be a turning point in their attitude towards the government, if they become convinced it does not have the capacity to resolve the crisis.”

Just as he did with La Tercera [Chilean newspaper], Heinz Dietrich offered an interview to Klaus Ehringfeld of the German newspaper Spiegel Online, where he maintains the same argument after they manipulatively “sanctify” him as the ideological leader of the Latin American left.

In this interview, as I’ve already noted, Dietrich maintains the same anti-Bolivarian discourse, but subtly draws on the supposed responsibility of Cuba in said events, while misrepresenting the current protests as a sign of disenchantment and frustration with chavismo itself, as opposed to being a right-wing offensive. Within this argument, he upholds the following points:

1)    The crisis is connected to external interests.

2)    Maduro’s discourse referring to the opposition as “fascists.”

3)    The drastic measures adopted by Maduro to jail [oppositional leader] Leopoldo Lopez.

4)    The revival of fresh thoughts among frustrated people.

5)    Crim is the exclusive responsibility of the government.

6)    Scarcity is the product, exclusively, of poor governance, omitting the ties to speculation and the economic war as it is wielded by the right-wing.

7)    The necessity to reform the economy for a more free currency fluctation, to reduce inflation, without explaining that the right has systematically encouraged hard currency flight, scarcity, economic insecurity, the deliberate fall in production and financial sabotage.

8)    Politics must do a 180° turn or all will be lost.

9)    Maduro “will not last eight weeks, and will probably be replaced by a government junta. For the military and chavista governors it’s clear that [Maduro’s] politics spell the end of the Bolivarian era.

10) A political solution would be to form a coalition with the moderate right.

Heinz Dietrich maintained the same ideological appreciation in his other work, titled “Venezuela-Ukraine: Will it Survive the 5th Republic?” in which he played the part of the fatalistic fortune teller, selling formulas and recipes to continue his political guarimba [barricade] against Maduro and chavismo.

In conclusion, Dietrich opportunely takes advantage of his almost forgotten role as a “pro-leftist” to proclaim himself the ideologist of the moment, mixing antiquated formulas with new, duly masked, capitalist blueprints. He is aware of his role, and perversely allows himself to be used in efforts to develop a new media attack on the Bolivarian revolution, from falsified leftist postures. His words are utilized to distance certain revolutionaries from the path towards socialism, to sow pessimism, foment frustration and encourage conspiracy. He does it, knowingly, in a crucial moment in Venezuela’s history. By fostering gaps within the left, he sells factions and engenders fifth-columnesque betrayal.

Dietrich may be relevant for some, but not for those revolutionaries who recognize his sordid intentions as a conspirator, manipulator, ideological speculator, and instrument for partition. Of his ideas for 21st Century Socialism only a sad, hungover guarimbero [blockader] façade remains.


Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy is a Guatemalan journalist and writer settled in La Habana, Cuba.

Translated by Z.C Dutka for Venezuelanalysis.com

Source: Author's blog