La vida es bella / Elizabeth Araujo

Life is Beautiful

At this point in the game the Coordinadora Democrática should accept defeat.

Declaring that the battle for the rescue of democratic values has not been cancelled would be a dignified, and even wonderful, gesture.

To continue seeing the sad image of Asdrúbal Aguiar informing us that he will travel to who knows what place to denounce the fraud seems to only add more suffering to shame.

There is no need to insist on how crooked the entire process ended up being. It is enough to evoke Jorge Rodríguez calmly proceeding in favor of the government, placing all types of obstacles against the signatures, and later against the signature repairs and against national and international observers. Or to evoke that miserable little character with the surname Carrasquero (the mere thought of his eventual Supreme Court appointment makes me nauseous) prancing around like the guard of the esquina caliente, threatening to cancel the elections. Or the obscene use of State funds for propaganda, forcing public sector employees to wear red and hiring thugs to destroy the booths under the complacent eyes of the Disip and the National Guard. It is with these images that we should close this embarrasing episode which only Hugo Chávez thinks to celebrate.

In the manner of Guido, the character from Roberto Begnini's film when he must face the cruelty of Nazism, we must insist that life is beautiful.

We should continue enjoying this dignified Venezuela that refuses to live under the force of the sword and lies. We will have to go to the movies, enjoy telenovelas, read a book and celebrate our friends' birthdays, without forgetting that the ruined country, which this man has not attended to in six years of government, still waits for bright and honest people.

That is the challenge for those who were defeated: to not turn their backs on those who wait for them and to install themselves where people suffer and wail. Those same people who hung the sign for the No on their window and who don't know what they will eat for lunch; those beggars who cross the highway like ghosts, or the street vendor who sleeps on the sidewalk so she won't lose her place and who submits her children to a diet of fast food and dreams on a piece of cardboard. All of them remain on the list of the wretched of the earth, to use the phrase that Chávez recites on his trips and which excites foreign journalists. Those smelly and unsafe streets where Freddy Bernal mounts placards with his ignorant slogans and where the Tupamaros reign at gunpoint, and where the official from the National Guard parks his car however he wants to because that's the purpose of the process. The country that has been uselessly divided and whose pieces will have to unite in order to share hopes and disappointments. I say it again, like Elizabeth Schön, that "within, far within ourselves, life's flowers are waiting, even death's flowers."

{ Elizabeth Araujo, TalCual, 24 August 2004 }

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