Sobre esto y aquello / Francisco Vera Izquierdo

About This and That

It is neither easy nor prudent to discuss who might be the most incompetent official in the current administration. A great number of people remain undecided between the President and the Vice President, but this could be due to the fact that they are the most visible officials.

Besides, they have added the new Secretary of State to their government. If he does not clearly beat them, at least he puts in a good effort. Quo Vadis tells the story of how the Emperor Nero sang continually, and by all appearances he dit it well. But Lucio Domicio Galba's rebellion in Gaul arrived, leading to his dethronement and death. The witty remark "He sang so much that he woke up the Gallic rooster" became popular.

Regarding Venezuela's governments, I believe that we have not had a better one than general Isaías Medina Angarita's. During my childhood, that is before the aforementioned government, I used to hear people say that the best government had been the one led by Juan Pablo Rojas Paúl. Those among Medina's supporters who defended his actions on October 18, 1945 justified them on the basis of his humanitarian desire to not spill blood. On that occasion, I wrote that a soldier's training is for the purpose of learning how to spill blood and that a politician's duty is to not let himself be overthrown. That form of humanitarianism applied to public affairs has, in my opinion, been a dire governmental error in Venezuela and it has brought, as a consequence, periods of crime alternating with others of senselessness.

Coincidentally, last week I published an article in which I remembered Medina's supporters. I said that one of Arturo Uslar Pietri's mistakes was the creation of the political party Partido Democrático Venezolano (PDV), which not only required that public sector employees join but also subtracted the application fees from their salaries.

This led to to the enthusiasm with which the newspaper's offices received my insurrection. Assuming that it was a lapse on my part, they thought to correct it by publishing that the mistake had been creating the Frente Nacional Democrático (FND). I think that the error in the latter case was not in its creation but rather in the leaders chosen and, alongside them, the disastrous entry into the government with the so-called "Wide Base."

A FND, within a reasonable opposition, would have served as a brake to hold back the abuses of puntofijismo. But doctor Uslar made the same mistake in 1963 that he had made twenty years earlier, believing that a political party could be formed from within the government. What is actually the case is that once a political party's members have been amalgamated within the adversity of belonging to an opposition party then they can take power and complete their development, as was the case with AD, Copei, the Partido Liberal, etcetera. In Germany this was the case with the Nazis, in Italy with fascism, etcetera.

As the events proved, the fall of Medina meant periods of crime alternating with periods of senselessness for Venezuela.

And I believe that in these moments we are reliving the latter. Day by day, I am more convinced about the truth of the idea that minorities are often mistaken and majorities are always mistaken.

In Venezuela there is a principle, which I'm not sure exists throughout the world, and it is that there are governments that deserve to be defeated by force and others that do not. During the October 1945 coup, I heard Totoña Sotillo say for the first time: "This government doesn't deserve to be overthrown. Why didn't they overthrow Juan Vicente Gómez?" And this is a widely admitted standard in Venezuela. I don't completely agree with it, but I understand why this belief is held. And that just as the threats to puntofijismo had been acceptable, so had other more recent ones.

If being a politician means desiring and searching for power, then I am definitely not a politician. And I believe that professionalism is indispensable, and most especially for vocational activities. Just as I think that the most effective anti-government activity would be to become its spokesperson. In other words, being a showcase for the blunders of Ministers, Ambassadors, etcetera. Recently, I watched an interview with the Secretary of State and I was left speechless.

Regarding the politics of protecting criminals in order to gain their political solidarity, it does not seem conducive to any benefits. To begin with, gangsters, just like capitalists, constitute a considerable force within society. But because of their numbers, they are not an electoral factor. Besides, the belief that benefits are not favors but are instead a simple consequence of Logic and Justice, is not exclusive to criminals but is rather typical of all Humanity. All that talk about success due to good luck applies to everyone else, not me.

Around 1930, with the possibility of Hitler already established, the general consensus was that he was a lunatic. Stalin added: "He is a lunatic but he will do everything he says."

I continually hear people in Venezuela talk about a poor farmer and, paraphrasing a bit, I think. He is a poor farmer but one that must taken seriously. This is a country and he is turning it into an impoverished farm.

Regarding the damage he inflicts, I remember the adage "Trouble comes in threes."

{ Francisco Vera Izquierdo, El Nacional, 12 July 2004 }

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