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No to "Chavezland," Yes for Venezuela

By Víctor García Crespo, reprinted from Venezuela Today

July 1, 2004 - There is a unique distinction in the political world these days for those who speak about anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism and anti-United States, a strange land of both incredible love for underprivileged people, incessant attack against the wealthiest and total disdain for those who oppose the views of the rulers, irrespective of their social status. Within this political world there is place called Chavezland, where can be no opposition, no dissention, no independence of criterion and no democratic elections to embarrass a stunningly multi- demagogue, named Hugo Chávez, whose only real worry is whether to avoid elections through manipulation and cheating or to decide to take the gorilla’s mask off his face and eliminate any possibility of them.

Chavezland inhabitants are called "Chavistas." They are people who are seen but not heard. If any of them utters a critique against the government, not to mention Hugo Chávez, he or she will be ferreted out by a petulant president turned into a vigilante who won’t stop the search for any kind of punishment until "justice" is served.

You know all the stories you’ve hearing about how the dictatorship of the proletarians is able to open to the masses? About how Hugo Chávez wants the poorest next to him as long as they keep their mouths shut and their thinking muted? Well, you better pay attention and remember these stories because they are true, just ask Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator who became the icon and inspiration of Chavezland. As it is in Cuba, the president of Chavezland wants the Chavistas' support but he doesn’t want them to be complete human beings. They cannot freely agree on something different but the agreements of Chávez's land revolution. The motto of Chavezland is that the government belongs to the masses, but the real truth is when the government reaches the masses it doesn’t want to know about the masses' messages.

The problem for the government of Chavezland is that its origin is a democratic one. It happens that it was elected thanks to the votes of Venezuelans; thus, the president of Chavezland is also de the president of Venezuela, a different land to which the president has decided to split into Chavistas and "foreigners" (the majority of Venezuelans). The president firmly believes that in order to be Venezuelan you have to be Chavista or vice versa. If you were born in Venezuelan and you are not Chavista you loss your gentile and become contra-revolutionary. It is that simple. In order to deal with "these foreigners" and contra-revolutionaries the president of Chavezland appointed a convenient sergeant-at-arms / vice-president who used to be a well-respected journalist until everybody realized he was a liar. Throughout his tenure in office this sergeant-at-arms has done his bidding with all the masses that annoy the president. His job is to dissemble, disguise, cover up, conceal, overlook and feign every excess or mishap of the president, with total disregard of the intelligence and common sense of both, Venezuelans and the citizens of Chavezland. Thus, if there is a general strike that has stopped the whole country, the vice-president says that it is a virtual strike; if there is a street demonstration of the opposition with millions of people asking for the government to resign, he says there were only a handful of people; if there are images of beating and shooting which show without doubts the repressive and violent character of the government, he says that the images were edited and are not true; and if there are political prisoners, he says they are in jail because of common crimes. Of course, Venezuelans are certain that everything the vice-president does, he does with the presidents blessing. Otherwise, an outraged Hugo Chávez would have fired this clown long ago.

But in Chavezland a set back has occurred. In spite of all the efforts to avoid the functioning of democracy, the government could not stop the will of Venezuelans to carry out a referendum to recall the president of Chavezland. Hugo Chávez had not choice but accepting (at least “for the time being” as he loves to say) the democratic way. But everybody knows that the honesty or sincerity of this man may be misleading and a different approach may be within his program. Chávez has been whining and as usual, has thrown the issue back to a conspiracy theory orchestrated by the whites, riches and contra- revolutionary oligarchs together with the private mass communication means and has asked for the taking of a harder line against the latter which has been snapping only the bad pictures of the government. He has conveniently ignored the presence of those who are not whites, riches and oligarchs, (the majority of the contra-revolutionary Venezuelans) to make people believe he enjoys the support of the ordinary people. The wonderful irony in this, of course, comes in the form of a question: Where would Hugo Chávez be without Venezuelans?

Maybe he would be in Cuba doing some kind of job for his idol and no sitting in a presidential chair, or maybe he would still be preparing a second coup d'état to oust a legit democratic government. If there were no Venezuelans with hopes and living in the misery, and a lot of citizens unhappy with the performance of the former democratic governments, he would not be the president. Without democracy, there would have not been Hugo Chávez. But Chávez has said let’s get rid now of those Venezuelans who opposes the Chavismo and my land, do not allow them to enjoy the privileges that my supporters properly enjoy, we have to do everything necessary to deny them of any say in my revolution.

Can you imagine? A man who should be grateful to the majority of Venezuelans for having him elected decides, instead, to set up a revolution, create his own land, ask for unconditional support and then deny the most elemental citizens rights to those who elected him and now don’t support him because of his totalitarian ideas. The real motto of Chavezland is: Either you are or become a revolutionary or you will lose your rights.

Through the referendum to come the dilemma is simple. It is the choice between Chavezland and Venezuela. In Chavezland the co-existence among Venezuelans is denied by definition. In Venezuela the co-existence is the only way to guarantee peace and democracy. The solution of the dilemma is equally simple: No to Chavezland, Yes for the land of Venezuela.

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