Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 26th, 2014

“Gocho”?  ¿Qué es un “Gocho”? Any relation to Venezuela’s Maduro?

Gocho” is a term used to refer to people born in Táchira, Venezuela.

Their cultural differences and phonetic accents are noticeable among inhabitants of other states, just as a Texan would stand out in the middle of New York.

Táchira is one of the 23 states of Venezuela, located in the western part of the country, bordering Colombia.

Due to its location beyond the Venezuelan Andes, it has remained somewhat inaccessible until the start of the 20th century, and as a result, developed cultural differences from the rest of Venezuela.

“Gocho” is used as a term of endearment among Tachirans, but carries a distinctly negative connotation in almost all other states of Venezuela, implying that Gochos are clumsy, naive, and easily fooled – i.e. “Country Bumpkins”.

“Gochos ruled Venezuela since the beginning of the XX century to 1958 when dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez ran away because he didn’t agree to attack the soldiers and cadets involved in the coup d’etat (by the way, he’s considered the best president in the modern history of Venezuela despite his crimes)” (H/t Marcos Gonzalez).

What is a “Gocho”, and why are they laughing at Maduro? / ¿Qué es un “Gocho”, y por qué se están riendo Maduro?

…and the award for “Best Use Of Fake Testicles In Political Protest” goes to… *drumroll* *opens envelope* – this Gocha girl who has more balls than Maduro’s soldiers!

“Soy Gocha y tengo de sobra lo que a algunos de ustedes les falta” – “I am a Gocha, and I have plenty of what some of you are missing”. Image h/t @Rpolicial, explanation h/t @Pirouette_G3.

Gocha with balls

Angry Birds, Gocho-style. Original image h/t @lucho3008, captions mine.

Angry Birds, Gocho Style

“Los Gochos somos tan arrechos, q pusimos a los militares a barrer nuestra calles…!” –

“The Gochos are so badass, we even get the military to clean up our streets!”. H/t @Pirouette_G3.

Los Gochos somos tan arrechos, q pusimos a los militares a barrer nuestra calles...!

Los Gochos somos tan arrechos, q pusimos a los militares a barrer nuestra calles…!

Iron Man, Gocho Version… Loki: “Tengo tanquetas” – “I have tanks” … Tony Stark: “Tenemos Gochos” – “We have Gochos”.

Loki: "Tengo tanquetas" - "I have tanks" ... Tony Stark: "Tenemos Gochos" - "We have Gochos".

Chuck Norris can rest easy – Venezuela is in good hands. “Chuck! Venezuela needs your help! – What for??? If you have Gochos!!!”. Image & translation h/t FB: ViktorOm.

Chuck! Venezuela needs your help! - What for??? If you have Gochos!!!

Policeman: “Play dead! The Gochos are coming! :(“. H/t Gladys Hoyeck via @Mmorin_Informa. Thanks to commenter Mari for clarifying the meaning!

"Hazte el muerto...vienen los gochos 😥"

“Hazte el muerto… vienen los gochos 😥”

Nicolas Maduro gets desperate and sends in helicopters to detect protests and barricade crews – Gochos respond by making “Heliport” markings on roadways.

It may seem like a threatening gesture (“land here, see what happens”), but combined with other slogans –

“Venezuela Ya Desperto (Venezuela Is Awakened)” and “Tachira Se Respeta (Tachira Respected)”

It’s more of an appeal to the chopper pilots’ consciences. The Maduro Mustache (TM) is a nice touch. H/t @geraldinehl.

Helipad, Gocho Style

Helipad, Gocho Style

View of the same helipad from the apartment building:

Gocho Heliport - from the building

Another message to helicopter pilots – “Tachira No Se Rinde” – “Tachira Does Not Surrender”:

Tachira No Se Rinde

Tachira No Se Rinde / Tachira Will Not Surrender

Another message “welcomes” the G2 (Cuban Intelligence Directorate) operatives to Tachira. The joke here is that Maduro keeps pretending that he’s not importing thugs from Cuba – but the Gochos know better! Image h/t @VzlaSinMordaza.

Bienvenidos A Tachira, G2 Cubano // Welcome to Tachira, Cuban G2

Bienvenidos A Tachira, G2 Cubano // Welcome to Tachira, Cuban G2

Maduro sends in tanks – Gochos steal them and use them to block streets. Recycling – Al Gore would be SO proud!

Gochos steal a tank

“Venezuela would be better if these Venezolanos (major part of the country) were more like these Venezolanos (pointing to Tachira). In Tachira beats the true heart of Venezuela”:

Venezuela would be better if these

Practicality. “If we’re all going to hang out here, and we’ve got fires going, hey, might as well make something good to eat.”

Where else in the world are you going to see a street blockade – with a STEW POT in the center? Only In Tachira (TM)… I’ve been told that Gochos love their “hervido“, this seems to be proof positive:

Stew pot

Regular people use broken-down pallets & assorted boards to build barricades – Gochos cut down entire trees:

Gochos cut down trees

The “oversizing” trend isn’t limited to arboreals. Here, a couple of dozen Gochos drag a humongous rock toward a blockade position.

I’d love to watch the GNB try to clear THAT obstacle!



Tachira, Venezuela

During the recent unrest (sparked by the violent repression of a peaceful student demonstration in Caracas on February 12, 2014), the Gochos have distinguished themselves by not only offering the greatest levels of resistance to the government thugs, but apparently relishing the challenge and having a great time.

A picture is worth 1000 words, so I’ll just let the images do the talking…

"If you take this away, I will try again, I'm Gocho"

“If you take me away, I will put again, I’m Gocho”

A street blockade in Tachira reads: “Si me quitas / me pongo otra vez / soy gocho” – “If you take me away, I will put this again, I’m [a] Gocho”.

Well, that’s the literal translation. A commenter points out that “when they say “If you take me away, I’ll put myself back”, they are referring to the gochos presidents in the past, since government’s motto is “No volverán” (“They will not come back” – to rule the country)”. Image h/t @NotaSinCensura.

If you take this away, I will start again, I'm Gocho 2

Another shot of the same blockade, h/t @JohanJurado.

En Tachiro Estamos

“In Tachira, we’re waiting for the Navy down by the Torbes river… we look like we’re shaking (with fear)… HAHAHAHAHAHA”.
Image h/t @AnonsVenezuela, translation h/t @lugoadvertising.

UPDATE: The joke here is that the Torbes River is very shallow and full of rocks, so even a small boat would be unable to navigate it, much less the Navy. Also, Rio Torbes is very representative of San Cristobal because of its red color – Gochos are very proud of their river! [Thanks to Marcos Gonzalez for the explanation!]

To build barricades, most Venezuelans use motorcycle and car tires. But not Gochos. Oh no. They take it to a whole new level:

Burning Rubber: Gocho Level. Quema de caucho nivel Gocho.

Burning Rubber: Gocho Level. Quema de caucho nivel Gocho.

A group of Tachira opposition fighters bring a giant tractor tire to use in barricades. Original image posted with rhyming caption “quema de caucho, nivel Gocho” – ”Burning Rubber: Gocho Level”.  H/t @Alesaotesi.

Concrete blocks, rebar, and construction debris – Gochos don’t mess around when it comes to guarimbas. H/t @yorsegabriel.

Gocho Guarimba in Tachira.

Gocho Guarimba in Tachira.

Gocho barricades are used as examples to others. H/t @soylindsay.
UPDATE: It has been pointed out that this is actually in the Ukraine. However, it’s still in the spirit of the thing!

Barricade, Gocho style. Guarima, estilo de Gocho.

Barricade, Gocho style. Guarimba, estilo Gocho.

Another “Gocho Guarimba”, this one employing a crane used for building skyscrapers.
Image h/t @Percy_Michael, explanation h/t Marcos Gonzalez.

Guarimba in Las Vegas de Tariba, Tachira, Venezuela.

Guarimba in Las Vegas de Tariba, Tachira, Venezuela.

For comparison, here’s a typical street blockade:


It’s not just the streets that get blocked, either. If you’re going to close off a bridge serving one of the largest highways in the region, you might as well do it right. Another Gocho construction:

Puente Libertador between Tariba and Carabobo.

Puente Libertador between Tariba and Carabobo.

But it’s not just the construction skills and the penchant for oversized barricades that earned this group their own distinctive hashtag #GOCHOSARRECHOS (“Angry Gochos”). It’s the combination of ferocity, cavalier attitude in the face of imminent attack, and a refreshing touch of insanity… for example, while normal people hide behind barricades, Gochos bring out a couch and put on a Batman mask:

Gochos hanging out. Avenida Pueblo, San Cristobal, Tachira, Venezuela

Gochos hanging out. Avenida Pueblo, San Cristobal, Tachira, Venezuela

Image h/t @jsideregts.

…and in between repelling GNB attacks, apparently they like to watch TV:

Gocho TV.

Gocho TV.

Image posted by @choisy91 with caption “Los gochos son otro nivel” –

“The Gochos are on another level”. Marcos Gonzalez adds that the “Maduro-in-crossed-circle” image on TV is forbidden by the government (shocker!), and its usage in this context means that people want to see TV that’s not ruled by the government.

Apparently, the current exchange rate is 1 Gocho : 5 Araguans:

Trade 5 Araguans for 1 Gocho

“I’ll trade 5 Araguans for 1 Pissed-Off Gocho”. Image h/t @pettybooshwah.

And there’s plenty of Gochos to go around:

Tachira: yes, the protests are super-sized too.

Tachira: yes, the protests are super-sized too.

Massive demonstration in Tachira, with the crowd fading all the way into the horizon… Image h/t@ReporteYa, with caption “Mi TACHIRA grande! Dando ejemplo! Caraqueño te falta espíritu GOCHO!” – “My great Tachira! Giving an example! Caracas, you lack the Gocho spirit!”

Gochos aren’t very big fans of Nicolas Maduro, either:

Gocho Art

“Maduro metase su felicidad suprema por el…” – “Maduro can shove his ‘supreme happiness’ right up…”. Image h/t @Sangarccs. Thanks to commenters “Miguel” and “Vannessa” for the translation!

G-2 is the Cuban intelligence agency (the equivalent of CIA).
G-8 usually stands for the “Group of Eight” (world’s largest economies), but in Spanish, “8″ is “ocho”, so this becomes a pun: G-OCHO.
So, while the “sellouts” consort with the Cuban G-2, the Venezuelan patriots count themselves alongside the Gochos. (H/t


 Thank you all for sharing! Please feel free to post new material directly on the Facebook wall – or E-mail me at! /// Este post ha batido el récord “de todos los tiempos mejores” durante 2 días seguidos!
Gracias por compartir a todos! Por favor, siéntase libre de publicar nuevo material directamente en el muro de Facebook – o escribir al correo en!

“Life is Beautiful. It was not meant for me”

I don’t have friends. Not a single one.

Occasionally, I’m in the mood of chatting and lend a careful ear, a behavior that encourages the talker to open up in matters that I didn’t expect to hear, and frankly didn’t care.

For most of my life, I didn’t have the patience to listen to people’s stories. Until one day in a coffee shop, 30 years ago, I listened intently to a tall US girl whom I used to occasionally meet at the International Students administration of the university.

She was discussing her thesis, and on a whim I decided to focus on her subject matter and I asked pertinent questions. (I am an experimental design minded person). For once, I didn’t go on tangents in order to avoid the real conversation. She was very impressed and said: “You always gave me the impression of a shallow person. I was wrong.

She was not wrong and she was not off the mark: This conversation was a rare exception to my behavior, but it opened up my eyes on what constitute a “conversation” and the power of intently listening that is the main ingredient in a conversation.

The truth is that I was going through a difficult time, as was usually the case most of my life. A conversing sexy goat would have imputed the same reaction in me.

I’m having a conversation with Zikar, a total stranger to me, whom I met in a cocktail party, and who looked disoriented, bored and as aloof as I was.

Zikar is similar to me on these occasions, unless a pretty girl takes the initiative to approach me in my corner, barely sipping on my glass and my eyes roving over this curious general audience and contemplating the schmoozing assembly.

Zikar said: “Do you think life is beautiful?”

My surprised silence sent him into an expanded explanation. Zikar resumed:

“You see, it is the feedback from what I see and hear in the movies and social platforms that give me the feeling that life seems to be beautiful and exciting. If I had to rely on my personal experiences, I think that this life sucks and was not meant for me.”

I asked Zikar: “Have you been abroad for some time?”

“Yes, I have been to many places and countries and lived there for many years.”

I asked: “Have you been trekking, climbing mountains, crossing rivers, swimming in oceans…”

“Yes. I did all these activities”

I said: “And all these experiences were not good enough to appreciate life?”

Zikar quickly replied: “All the emotions in these experiences were skin deep and never touched my inner core. You see, I have no talent in anything. And I’m not the artistic kind of person to appreciate work of arts in painting, music, acting, theater production and design…

I cannot distinguish the details and variations in work of arts and unable to discuss to give any useful opinion on work of arts. I didn’t acquire the taste for luxury and luxury items. Just the frugal type who is amazed that I could wake up and go about the day for so many years.

You see, without talent I couldn’t acquire the passion to love anything that counts.”

I said: “Zikar, have you ever fallen in love?”

The answer was ready and Zikar said: “No. I don’t recollect falling in love.  My level of sensibility is not high enough to encounter ecstatic joy and acute emotional suffering. My imagination in matter of feeling is negligible.”

I asked: “Have you been visiting places in company of friends…”

Zikar’s answer was fast: “Never. Most of the times I toured, saw movies, visited zoos and and attended cultural events and walked the streets all alone.

I’m basically a bore. I swim but I’m no swimmer, I ski but I’m no skier. I’m good in mathematics but I’m no mathematician… I cannot join group activities in sports because I wear corrective glasses and my experiences since the age of 12 was prohibitive in replacing my broken glasses”

I said: “Have you ever attempted Zikar to make an effort to learn a talent?’

Zikar answer was prompt: “Yes. I invested plenty of time and effort to learn a few talents: I knew that my old age will be catastrophic if I fail to get passionate about an artistic field. But it was too late. I didn’t feel I had any innate skills for any artistic field and was mostly the joke of the class.

You see, no one in my family was an artist or appreciated arts.  And there were no extra-curriculum activities in all the schools that I attended, not even end of year play or group activities.

Definitely, most of my emotional energies are pretty shallow and I didn’t feel a catalytic drive to love life as talented people seem to engage in…

You see, I’m mainly a mental person, though I don’t think that I am rational in my decisions.

I learned 3 languages because events and schools forced on me to learn these languages. However, outside verbal languages, I don’t know any of the other kinds of languages like sign language, music, body language…”

My conversation with Zikar took place 3 years ago, and I had completely forgot how he looked.

A joint acquaintance with Zikar who might have thought that I am a close friend of Zikar called me yesterday. He said: “Al 3awad bi salamtak. And may God be compassionate with Zikar. He passed away. He jumping from a three floor building”.

Zikar had left a short note before committing suicide that read:

“It seems that life is beautiful. It was not meant for me and for many billion human like me. The idea of ending my life was not the problem. I couldn’t figure out the proper method not to hurt my relatives, get people in trouble, or be a problem for people to collect my body and waste their nerves and energy on my final departure, like jumping in front of a car and let the driver go through many horror scenes and decisions on a stupid stranger.”

Note: The title jumped into my mind and I had to weave a short story around that idea.

Instead of an essay, however funny and loaded with humor the essay may be, a short story convey better the message and reaches deeper into the consciousness. Especially, when most of the story evolves around a conversation and the main external character represents the topic.

I like to call this genre of essays “Charessay“, from Character Essay, with an attached word association of  “I say caress me?”

A funny UN Proposal: Sanctioning Peace Spoilers?

The British-drafted resolution, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, does not name any individuals or entities that should face a freeze of their assets and travel ban.

A proposed U.N. Security Council resolution would authorize sanctions against individuals and organizations threatening peace, security or stability, like in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan…

EDITH M. LEDERER, from the Associated Press, published this Feb. 24, 2014

UN Proposal Would Sanction Peace Spoilers in Yemen

Instead, the British-drafted resolution would establish a committee to decide who should face sanctions and to monitor their implementation, and a panel of experts to assist the committee.

Yemen has been struggling with a transition to democracy since the “Arab Spring” protests in 2011 that forced longtime ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years as president.

A transitional government led by President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi is trying to deal with insecurity and terrorist attacks, promote national reconciliation, draft a new constitution and hold elections.

As a months-long national dialogue aimed at mapping out the country’s future ended on Jan. 25, Hadi pledged to form commissions to draft a constitution and work out details of a new federation for the country.

When British rule ended in 1967 southerners formed an independent state, but in 1990 the south joined a unified Yemen.

A 1994 attempt by southerners to regain independence was crushed in a three-month civil war, but many in the south still support independence.

While Hadi’s government is battling al-Qaida militants, several Yemeni security officials say supporters of ex-president Saleh with links to the country’s security and intelligence agencies have quietly backed al-Qaida fighters to undermine the government.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

The proposed Security Council resolution condemns the growing number of attacks carried out or sponsored by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group’s Yemen branch. (A too general statement, given it is Saudi Arabia who is funding and supporting all of Al Qaeda factions everywhere, and particularly in Yemen, Syria and Iraq and cooperating very closely with Israel in the planing and execution of the terrorist operations)

It welcomes the road map for a Yemeni-led political transition agreed on by all political parties at the national dialogue conference and expresses strong support for the next steps: drafting a constitution, poll reforms including the drafting of a new electoral law, holding a referendum on the draft constitution, reforming the government to move from a single to a federal state, and timely general elections.

A resolution adopted by the Security Council in June 2012 threatened non-military sanctions against those trying to undermine Yemen’s transition to democracy. (It is the military shipments that should be sanctioned)

The proposed new resolution determines “that the situation in Yemen constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region.”

It authorizes an asset freeze and travel ban under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be enforced militarily, against those “engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen.”

The draft states that those subject to sanctions may include — but are not limited to — individuals or entities undermining completion of Yemen’s political transition, engaging in acts of violence or terrorism or attacks on essential infrastructure, and planning or committing human rights abuses.

Note: A few proposals are indulging in the absurd.

How the poor and troubled countries can reform within economical and financial sanctions?

How societies with over 50% unemployment can get out of this morass when the unemployed and unemployable youth are roaming the streets and finding no opportunities to maneuver within their stagnating life?

How these “down on their luck youth communities” can expect any earning potentials when the only deals with the powerful States are mainly weapon transactions?

take 7 INSIGHT: Youth Unemployment in Middle East, North Africa

Data are from ILO’s Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013 report.

Regional data are from ILO’s 2012 preliminary estimates; U.S. and E.U. data are from the OECD’s second quarter 2012 data.




February 2014

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