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Please, Do Not Vote Against Hugo Chavez Anymore

By Victor Garcia Crespo

11.09.05 | Sometimes, no political participation is a smart fix for a political problem. Those who call themselves the Venezuelan opposition leadership against Hugo Chavez’s government, are cheating and misleading us. In this sense, they don't differentiate too much from his enemy. Either, they appear to possess little understanding of the real danger of Hugo Chavez or they are just selfish human beings whose real aim was (and still is) to reach power to satisfy their self-centered interest, paying lip service to those ordinary citizens who naively support them. The truth is, they are an unsavory coalition of power searchers and political deniers. The question is if we, as ordinary citizens who oppose the government, would be wrong in ignoring, despising or unsupporting them.

Chavez’s political project, on the edge of destroying democracy, will, if the next elections go ahead, have another “major victory”, leaving to the opposition leadership, because of their incompetence and selfishness, only enough space to continue their waning stupid rhetoric. In the meantime, the Venezuelan people will see further incrusted, in their already frustrated lives, the dagger of the political impotence.

To continue playing Hugo Chavez’s game by participating in an election which result is already known, will be another political suicide. Every Venezuelan knows that in every ballot box there will be an invisible warning similar to those of every cigarette box: “ Warning: The consequences of dropping your vote into this ballot box will be harmful to yourself and specially to your country. It has already been determined that your government cheats and it will win the election. Your vote against it, will not count”.

Faced with the political emergency of ousting Hugo Chavez from power, the leadership of the opposition, not content with being politically irresponsible by participating in a fixed election, they are going to do it with different candidates because their vested interests made the consensus impossible. In other words, their participation will be an idiotic and embarrassing political action. But, there is more: it will be immoral. For they know the government strategy is to leave some room for the dissidents so that the international opinion can still see Hugo Chavez sustaining the “support of the majority” thanks to a “democratic election process”. On this basis, those opposition leaders just want a share of the “oil cake”, that the Lieutenant Colonel graciously, (but transitorily while advances the country towards the Cuban paradise) is willing to give them. The sad truth is they just want some money and resources so that in the near future they can be sitting down in some Miami bar, having -and "campaneando"- a Black Label, and answering: “Who cares”, every time someone ask them the question: ”How about the Venezuelan people?“

But we should try not to judge a cause by its supporters or by those who lead it. There are several things, which make me uncomfortable about criticizing the Venezuelan opposition leadership. After all, they were able to unmask the government, and some of them have put forward before the country, the ideological political crossroad we are living in, as well as having pointed out and worked hard to open some roads for a democratic way out. However, political mistakes have been their main tenet. The real issue is that instead of tackling the problem –the need for a real and honest democracy, they have provided a failed general strike, coupled with a failed coup d’état, as well as an extreme political right wing which was ready to abolish every democratic institution when the had the chance. This begs the question: Should we continue to support them?

The answer has to be an unequivocal No! It came the time where we have to say “Se acabó, boto tierrita y no juego mas ” [i] We cannot continue behind those who want to go on playing Hugo Chavez political game. If we all agree and know that Hugo Chavez is a cheater, there is no reason to play with (or against) him in the same table and with his set of cards. If we continue to do so, we are overlooking the fact that we are delegating in his government our right to self defense, when the truth is we have no defense against a government already looking for destroying its adversaries based on a “superior” notion of what defense entails.

Some Venezuelans believe that by not participating in the elections we would be contributing to a major despotism and giving up the little freedom that is remaining. However, such a faith in political participation ignores the fact that political participation, in any political system, has always been successful in bringing about a monopoly of coercive power over those who support or adverse a government. If, in a democratic society, this coercion has not turned us into cattle instead of human beings, is because of the unavoidable political incompetence of those who we elected. Happily, this is an incompetence that democracy permits to put aside in every election. However, if there is not election, or the election is pre-fixed: What is the point in participating? Since we will not be able to get rid of the incompetence, our participation will be an instrument for our own conversion into cattle. We will not have any returns on our forced “investment” in what is indeed, an inexistent democracy. We cannot expect any redemption by political means by playing Hugo Chavez’s political game.

From now on Venezuelans have to show Hugo Chavez that we don't agree with his political system and we are not willing to provide a sanction to his revolution, the sole purpose of which is to subject us to be treated like cattle rather tan free men. We already lined to polls and we were cheated. We will not be cheated again. Let’s see how Hugo Chavez will complete his electoral system by creating voters that do not exist. Although I know he will not have a hard time devising this system; he will have it in trying to convince people about its merits and reliability. It is important for Venezuelans to understand the meaning and consequences of political voting within Chavez’s revolution. They also need to know the reasons and consequences of abstention from such voting. The future of Venezuela may well depend on such understanding. This should be the banner of the real opposition.

Yes, I will not vote against Hugo Chavez, anymore!!!!

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