Razones del antichavismo / Ana Teresa Torres

Reasons for Antichavismo

On some occasions I have considered the possibility of coinciding with Chavismo. This assertion might surprise some readers, so I'll try to explain myself. It's not a case of being a ni-ni, which goes against my way of being, but rather an attempt at considering the country from a perspective that might allow me to understand the process in which it finds itself. It's quite easy to understand the reasons that lead Venezuela to Bolivarianism, therefore I won't insist on them. I will comment, simply and as a reminder, that I have never considered Chávez an accident of history. On the contrary, I see him as a logical consequence of the deterioration of the democratic system. As an answer to that system's failure, it eventually began to distance itself from its Social Democratic proposals, finally becoming a theater of representations which ceased to represent the interests of not only the majority but those of the nation's own project. I have no doubt that by the early 1980s the replacement of political representations was inevitable and desirable, as was the emergence of a vision for the country that could embark on the road of resolving the major problems. In abbreviated form, these problems could be included within the concept of the poverty and vulnerability of Venezuela's citizens. The answer to that substitution was Chávez. Thus, the possibility of coinciding with Chavismo would have been the logical mode of conduct for those of us who agreed that Venezuela could not continue on the same path. In fact, this was the case for a great majority of the country and we could say that it remains this way today, despite whatever doubts we might have about the veracity of the referendum results.

What is the problem then? Why are there signs of a corruption that could exceed any previous examples? Why can't we be sure about the impact and reliability of the missions? Why do figures seem to indicate that poverty has not diminished but that instead it has increased? All of these would be good reasons for an opposition member but the problem does not seem to me to reside in the government-opposition game, typical of any democratic system. Bolivarianism situates the country within the division of two projects, neither of which is well-defined.

Do we opposition Venezuelans want a white, anglo-saxon, liberal project? Do pro-government Venezuelans want a project that lies somewhere between Perón and Fidel? Do Bolivarian Venezuelans know their leader's road map? Do opposition Venezuelans have a sufficiently clear project for the country to contrast against the previous one? None of these questions have been fully answered. But I should respond to the one I formulated at the beginning, because it is truly an insult to be told that we opposition Venezuelans do not coincide with Chavismo because of racist reasons, or because the fate of the most poor and vulnerable Venezuelans does not matter to us at all. For me, there are three obstacles: Chávez and his project are in my view militaristic, nationalistic and, consequently, violent (both in discourse and in actions), the sum of which sooner or later leads to totalitarianism.

Nothing in these years has allowed me to modify this perception, but instead it has been confirmed. If the project eventually aligns itself within a Western, citizen-based and productive Social Democratic context, I will be ready to change my opinion.

{ Ana Teresa Torres, TalCual, 17 September 2004 }

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