El régimen, el héroe y la épica / Leonardo Azparren Giménez

The Regime, the Hero and the Epic

The electoral numbers the regime brags about are the support for the expansion of its process. Along with the vulnerabilities of the opposition political parties, there's also a solid strategy for neutralizing and, in the near future, taming any form of oppositional behavior. This would be the ideal point from which to maintain a democratic appearance which could deflect international criticism. But it's not enough. The regime needs an epic from which it can claim a spot in national history, so as to rewrite it like any respected victor.

In order to have an epic, the lieutenant colonel, in his vanity, intends to match himself only against W. Bush, because there's no other worthy opponent. For which purpose he models a historical discourse whose clearest expression was pronounced in the Asamblea Nacional by the historian Margarita López Maya. However, the regime doesn't have a Winter Palace, nor a Bastille, nor a Great March, nor a Sierra Maestra; it doesn't even have the civic virtues of Allende. All it has is oil. In other words, it lacks the revolutionary virtues to sustain an epic.

But his attempt to rewrite history is not banal, it's a matter that deserves more attention; more so after the brilliant article by Germán Carrera Damas.* That rewriting will make sense only to the degree that the regime can invent an epic for itself. And it has decided to build one, no matter the cost of any form of manipulation.

The regime holds within its reach the events to build an epic hero. Starting at the esoteric oath at the samán tree in Güere, up until the aborted canonization of the assassinated federal prosecutor Danilo Anderson. That's why it reinterprets the events of 27 February 1989 without mentioning the brutal lootings; and that's why it plays semantic games between rebellion and coup when differentiating between 4 February 1992 and 12 April 2002. The culminating point is the image of victim and martyr under attack from a Goliath.

W. Bush has a limited understanding; but we don't think that it's to such a degree that he'd concern himself with a gangster's tropical game. It would have been easy for W. Bush to eliminate Hussein amid the confusions of war and he didn't do it; he preferred to entangle himself in the interminable formalities of a trial. Arrogant as he is, why would he embroil himself in a marginal event?

But the lieutenant colonel, having no affairs of State to attend to, is delirious for a moment of heroism, at any cost. He wanders between the USA, Russia, India and China, with a bit of Brazil and Argentina. Like a rich relative, he doesn't bother speaking with any Central American or Caribbean nations, except that of his mentor. His is a statue made of clay. He ignores the fact that many of the greatest mythological heroes ended up being vulnerable, victims of their own intemperance.

Paraphrasing Brecht, pity whoever needs to be the hero.

* Germán Carrera Damas, "En defensa de las bases históricas de la conciencia nacional," El Nacional, 24 Febrero 2005.

{ Leonardo Azparren Giménez, TalCual, 10 March 2005 }

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