De nuevo la revolución / Alexis Márquez Rodríguez

Revolution Once Again

If in 1998 the Venezuelan situation required truly revolutionary changes, it needs them even more now, since that situation bordering on the catastrophic has been aggravated considerably today. There is not a single vice, a single lack or a single act of corruption that has not been enormously multiplied over the last six years. With the aggravating circumstance that, while governmental bad practices were sometimes enacted in the open, but often with the appearance of legality—which didn't make them any less harmful—, along with being increased to the maximum, today they are enacted with the most unbelieveable nerve and without the least bit of camouflage.

In order to begin implementing these profound measures, Chávez counted on an almost complete consensus in 1999, since the political parties, the business community, the media, the middle class, the workers in general and the poor were unanimously convinced of the necessity of these changes and they were ready to collaborate. Of course, once the task was undertaken, and seeing as it was inevitable that some of the measures would affect powerful interests, that consensus would diminish. But in such a situation an intelligent and effective governmental politics could have avoided the pitfalls and neutralized opposing factors. What Chávez and his government most lacked was intelligence, and instead of gaining more adherents they began to alienate the support, not only of the large capitalists, which was inevitable, but also of the middle class and of important and diverse sectors of society.

That is why what Chávez has insisted on calling revolution, first Bolivarian, then pretty and now even neo-socialist, has been a fiasco, in which no one believes anymore. How can a regime where the most universal and unbelievable corruption rules be revolutionary; where the head of the Government is the first to violate the Constitution and the laws, without even bothering with technicalities and pseudo-legal tricks, but instead in the most shameless manner and with total impunity; where the separation of powers is mocked, and the great majority of functionaries of those powers, without exception, act submissively as mere executors of the boss's wishes; where human rights are mocked and even those that remain, such as freedom of speech, are kept within a regime of threats and pressures; where poverty has grown to obscene numbers; and finally, where the head of the Government uses filthy, arrogant, defiant and crude language on a daily basis, which not only discredits him nationally and internationally, but also deepens the abyss separating him from a good portion of the population, including that sector which is not originally anti-Chavista?

It is this attitude of the President and his followers, more than the content of his incoherent and epileptic politics, which undermines his supposedly revolutionary character, and it irremediably damages the few positive measures that have been implemented. Because, for example, who can deny that the so-called missions, beyond whatever attributes they might have, have been an opportunity for so many thieves to enrich themselves quickly and shamelessly with the country's money? By defining itself as revolutionary, what the current regime has done is prostitute the concept of revolution.

{ Alexis Márquez Rodríguez, TalCual, 17 June 2005 }

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