Appeal to Supporters of Venezuela's democracy
By Aleksander Boyd
Caracas 01.12.06 | "There's going to be a coup... Chavez won't accept defeat... Chavez's militias will attack us if we try to defend the vote... You better get food stocks for there's going to be a bloodshed... The fix is in..." These are some of the rumours I have heard in the last few days. Sadly these are repeated a million times by opposition folks that, perhaps unknowingly and unable to overcome their fears, act as a resonance box of the inanity coming from the official camp. Days ago I was arguing that Manuel Rosales is the underdog in this electoral race. It follows that the millions of Venezuelans supportive of Rosales' bid stand on an equal footing. Our commitment to rescue Venezuela's democracy is despised in many foreign news rooms, policy desks and governmental departments. Newsworthy items, such as Chavez's rejection of accepting the presence of a multipartisan senatorial commission of observers from Spain -critical of his regime in past legislative elections-, went unnoticed.
Please note the circled hand. Picture from El Nacional
Homeless Venezuelans nailing their hands to a tree in protest to the caudillo's pathetic performance vis-a-vis housing solutions for the poor did not qualify either. See such human tragedies are non-events for Reuters, AP et al. Recently BBC's Greg Morsbach called to ask me whether I knew any disgruntled chavista. I told him that he could find them by the truckload camping outside the housing office in El Rosal or, closer to his office located in El Paraiso, in Cota 905 where they were allowed to invade parcels of land only to live in subhuman conditions on a hillside. Has anyone seen Morsbach report on that?
In any case this is just a brief note to those that would like to see democracy flourishing again in Venezuela. An appeal to simpathetic bloggers, media, governments and individuals. The choice is rather simple. What we are facing on Sunday is a plural democratic option on one side and a single party, indefinite presidency, absolute control of the state, centralized government, oppression, militarism, terrorism, human rights violations, violence and instability on the other. It's a no brainer really. That is why I do believe that Rosales will win. But we need help in the form of getting the message out.
Of the many scenarios the one I consider the most likely is: Rosales wins, Chavez refuses to accept defeat, orders his militias to attack, the military react -as they did on 11 April 2002-, force Chavez to accept results and after much tension and perhaps some deaths Rosales is proclaimed Venezuela's president. However there's a crucial aspect about this view, which is people power or the involvement of the millions of Venezuelans that have been marching alongside Rosales for the last three months. Every Venezuelan committed to the country's future and democracy, on both sides of the divide, must get involved in the process of ensuring that votes are properly counted and tallies' results correspond to number of receipts deposited in ballots. If this process is carried out in orderly fashion, respecting electoral norms and legislation there should not be problems. And if it turns out that the will of the majority favours Chavez, so be it. This country can not evolve in such polarized condition. This country must overcome Chavez, the hatred, class conflicts and divisions planted by him. Venezuela needs the positive input of every Venezuelan to become a great nation. We have the chance, just around the corner. To waste another opportunity, in less than a decade, would be terribly sad.
However it would be foolish to think that Chavez, having so many issues for which he has to be made accountable, will go without a fight. Venezuela heard him ordering the Avila Plan in 2002; Venezuela saw him commanding a coup d'etat in 1992. That's how he reacts, that's how militaristic caudillos react, by violent means. He's no democrat for no democrat can claim that him and only him is capable of running a country. No democrat thinks wise to have a single party. No democrat models his ideals and policies on failed and repressive communist dictators. No democrat mocks and disrespects the less educated. No democrat states "L'État, c'est moi." No democrat seeks to obliterate opposition parties. No democrat demands of people to live in subhuman conditions for revolutions' sake. No democrat leads coups d'etat. No democrat uses tanks to protest.
Hence dear freedom fighters, be on your guard, give democracy a chance for we all stand to benefit from it.
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