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Venezuela’s blame game

By Aleksander Boyd

London 05.02.04 – Extract from a conversation with a supporter of Hugo Chavez. I say; you killed 20 people and injured more than a hundred on April 11 2002!! You attempted the first coup to a democratically elected government in 1992!! More than a 100 got killed on that occasion too!! They say; on 1989 Carlos Andres Perez killed 300!! I say; your vitriolic speech has split the nation apart!! Your economic policies have thrown us 50 aback!! They say; blacks want to be part!! I say; you violated the constitution in 1992!! And as incumbent president you have eroded away all vestiges of separation of powers and institutional independence!! They say; you want to give the country away to the Gringos!! I say; but wait a minute you are giving the farm away to the Cubans!! They say; the CIA is trying to kill our president!! I say; the snow-ball effect of the internal debt is compromising our generations to come!! They say; watch out for those Gringos, they did it in Chile now they want to do it in Venezuela!!

Quite funny to see how quickly the chavistas run out of pretexts. Take the USA away from their hard drive and they are left naked, unprotected, as a child without a mother. Pedro Carmona Estanga’s brief actions in April 11 2002 are subject of much hatred by these people however they omit the little detail regarding Hugo Chavez having done exactly the same in December 22 1999. They keep accusing everyone who dares raising its voice against the government of being US puppets, coup-plotters and stateless. However I do not recall any previous Venezuelan president travelling so regularly to Washington for consultation as the present does to Havana; neither do I recall any of the previous presidents having being convicted and thrown into prison for leading a coup d’etat against a democratically elected president; much less have I memory of a previous head of state sending oil for free to another nation.

Another interesting aspect is that we are America’s puppets but they are not Cuba’s puppets. As Hernando De Soto once said “people do not emigrate to North Korea or Cuba, rather they prefer to go to Europe or the USA.” I wonder why, after all Cuba, or North Korea for that matter, are such fantastic places, so advanced, so progressive. Who emigrates to Venezuela nowadays? In a recent event known as “milking tour” I had the opportunity to see English companies, various firms from mainland Europe and some others from the USA trying desperately to get hold of the best and brightest of the British graduates; where were the Venezuelan companies, or the Cubans? There is another point which is even better, the workers struggle. With ever shrinking numbers of workers due to the stagnation and incoherent economic policies of Chavez, what sort of patron-worker struggle will arise? Upps! I think I touched a sensible area there, my interlocutor has gone mute for three seconds then he starts again his prefabricated rant against US imperialism. He did not answer my question pretty much the way none of them have. It is like the good old story of the novice and the faulty car; if the car suddenly gets a flat-tire blame it on the battery, if it runs out of petrol blame it on the battery, if it stalls blame it on the battery. Why the battery? Because it sounds complex, intellectual somewhat, forget about the broken glass that caused the flat-tire, or the non-self-renewable character of petrol or the utter driving incompetence of the novice. The battery will save the day.

The saddest thing of all was that my interlocutor was a professor of a worldwide admired university which prompts the question; if such individuals are in charge of educating others what breed of men and women will come out of higher education? How can people be so bloody stupid, so ignorant and so full of prejudice? This is learned stupidity we are talking here, well spread across the old world, not naivety. I can perfectly understand now Simon Bolivar’s resolution to expel the Spanish after having resided for a period in Europe.

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