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placeholder three years after...

By Aleksander Boyd

20.11.05 | This site recently passed the three year mark. Therefore I consider fitting to look retrospectively and somehow analyse its purpose. As some readers may know, I became involved, empirically, in news reporting, in a language that I am still trying to master, for I felt that the traditional anglophone news outlets were doing, and continue to do so, an appalling and lousy job at covering Venezuela's crisis. For reasons that had to do more with morals and principles than merely with politics I took issue and launched myself into this rollercoaster, without prior knowledge of the consequences that my stance would cause.

One of the most important things I have learned during this period is that the debate on whether or not Hugo Chavez is good or evil has got absolutely nothing to do with his actions, facts or reality. Rather it's an ideological issue that has been drawn to the fiercely contested political arena. For it matters not, for some, that once upon a time he led a coup d'etat, which caused the death of many, therefore tainting forever the alleged respect for democracy that he, hypocritically, claims he has; it is irrelevant, for others, that he has empowered to an extent Venezuela's disenfranchised. A comment that summarises perfectly the former group, i.e. the hardcore armchair revolutionaries that defend, from afar, Hugo Chavez is:

I think we would all agree that there are occassions when it is justifiable to attempt to overthrow a government by force. This [coup led by Chavez in 1992] was one of those occassions, in my view.

The posture of the latter is more difficult to synthetise, given the abundant abuses from which one could raise the alarm, however I will venture into saying that the single most worrying element for most people opposing Hugo Chavez is the Cubanization of Venezuela. At this point it is, of course, utterly irrelevant for either side to continue arguing for, to the former group, Cuba represents a successful example that merits be copied and implemented everywhere.

Hence the most difficult point to make is to get either side recognize that the wrongly perceived "higher" moral ground upon which each side stand, on the premises described above, is completely disconnected with reality. The maxim "Hugo Chavez's social spending is unsustainable..." blocks one simple fact: illiterate malnourished people, that form the backbone of the chavista seudo revolution, don't give a flying toss about abstract economic concepts, such as sustainability in the long run. For them it is far more important that every now and then they receive some sort of cash hand out from the government, which they can spend as they wish. For them a hollow promise, or simply, a hug from the President carries more weight than a thoroughly researched paper on the imminent decease of PDVSA. To be attended by a Cuban indoctrinator posing as a doctor at 3 AM deep inside a barrio, and be given an aspirine for a cardiac arrest or a firearm wound, means heavens to them. Equally, financial aspects are entirely insignificant for the international comrades, for let us not forget that, Cubans can attest to this, economic sustainability has never being a revolutionary priority. Irrespective of the capacity to generate wealth, the State has to provide. Period. In lieu of rationality, it is the total abandonment of self-criticism or any form of enquiry before facts, from both sides, that gets into my nerves and makes me question the use that most individuals give to that intellectual capacity called discernment.

The CIA, the Opus Dei, the Neocons, Bush, the media, Carlos Andres Perez, Pedro [the brief] Carmona, Sumate... I stand accused to be an associate/puppet of all of the above. What is more browsing the web the other day I found an entry in the 'Democratic Underground' forum that read "Is Aleksander Boyd Venezuela's Achmed Chalabi?" such is the rationale (?) of some liberals. The fact of the matter is that this experience has opened my eyes and broaden my political understanding so much that I remain ever more committed to continue with this very lonely and ungrateful task. This I do without the financial, or otherwise, support of anybody. Can those on the other side say the same?

Three years after having entered this fray, I can frankly affirm that if whatever Hugo Chavez is trying to do in Venezuela represents the left and its ideals, I could not be farthest to the right. To those who agree with my views I say "la pelea es peleando" so never bow before thugs -regardless of political tendencies- and to those who disagree "please do point one example where communism has brought benefits to the people."

Addendum: the special gift from Google News on the site's anniversary has been to stop indexing the articles posted here.

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