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Venezuela: Reconciliation times ahead

By Aleksander Boyd

London 05 July 2004 – Today is the 193rd anniversary of Venezuela’s independence. History has it that Simon Bolivar, a mantuano [1] in the literal sense of the word, had it with the Spaniards and took it upon himself to kick them out of the land. Not content with such an extraordinarily difficult task, he deemed necessary to fight also for Colombia’s, Peru’s, Ecuador’s and Bolivia’s independence from Spanish oppression, which he managed to pull. Independence however we have not gained yet; indeed we expulsed the bloody parasites out but still we are slaves. The modern oppressing powers come not from Europe or North America for that matter, no. The enemy is within; ignorance, social hatred, lack of vision and strategic planning, egotistical politicos, those are our real enemies and they will impede whatever intent to progress. Nevertheless a slow metamorphosis of our society seems to have commenced.

There’s no need to continue pointing out Chavez’ fiascos. The guy is simply hysterical. For instance have a look at the presidential response to the recall effort. His very strategy to tackle the recall referendum is a negative one; whilst the opposition will campaign for a YES he shall do for a NO. Is there a connotation more explicitly negative than to campaign for a NO? By assuming a negative position he has already lost, polls notwithstanding.

We went today to a presentation of a percussion band called “Herencia de Venezuela.” [2] Its founder, Manuel Moreno, said some significant words, in between his rich explanation of the Venezuelan drum folklore. Mind you, this is a chap who is a vernacular exponent of those classes that allegedly support Chavez fervently; and sage words he uttered. A child’s cry interrupted his delightful account and his reaction could not have been more appropriate, “children are very pure” he expressed. “What’s more we must pursue balance vis-à-vis their upbringing. So that in the future they will be free of complexes and they will be able to embrace one another without apprehensions based on peculiar political tendencies.” Wow, respect, o como dicen en la Avenida Bolivar “eso si es cultura, cultura popular!”

The significance of the message is compelling and powerful, that is Venezuelans do not want to live hating each other. Our heritage is precisely that we were, up until quite recently, a nation where blacks, whites, rich, poor, fat, thin, tall and small coexisted harmoniously, in spite of political differences, and there is no Chavez who’s going to change that fact regardless of the intensity of the effort. Venezuelans are just not hateful people. The president has exacerbated bizarre passions however his snake-charming skills are waning. A sentiment of reconciliation has pervaded the Venezuelan society, thus we have beaten Hugo Chavez and his heinous revolution!!

[1] Mantuano: a bourgeois descendant of colonising Spanish families of former times.

[2] Herencia de Venezuela: Venezuela’s heritage

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