Preguntas ingenuas / Teodoro Petkoff

Simple Questions

In the interview with the poet Luis Alberto Crespo that Tal Cual published yesterday, amid the many interesting and serious things he said, and which I agree with, he commented in ambiguous terms, however, about the Cuban poet Raúl Rivero's prison sentence. Although he condemned "on principle all prisons," he asked how they had jailed Rivero, whether as a poet or as a politician, adding that "the matter is part of the laws over there." Of course, poet, the Soviet gulag was also a part of the laws "over there," of the former Soviet Union. The Nazi concentration camps and the "final solution" against Jews were also very established in a Germanic manner within the laws "over there." The prisoners of Guantanamo (a naval base for North American imperialism located in Cuba, whose contract was automatically renewed in 1999 by Fidel with no added anti-imperialist words) are there "legally." In general, serious governments (and surely the Nazis and the Soviets were serious, as are the Americans) attack human rights while paying close attention to legal formalities. But tell me one thing, poet. By chance, is there a Venezuelan law that prohibits the granting of a passport to those people who oppose the Chavista regime? Or do we simply violate human rights here in the manner of a banana republic, just for the sake of the commander's pure cojones?

{Teodoro Petkoff, Tal Cual, 25 March 2004}

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