Guionista / Elizabeth Araujo


President Chávez flies to the United States, appears at the UN and drops his incendiary speech, like those that rouse up the multitude of red shirts on avenida Bolívar, and the next day he offers a press conference, insisting on the plan to eliminate him, but no one kills him.

Who governs us? An enlightened being who wants to save the world or the movie librettist who vanished when he embraced a military career? It's true that Chávez skillfully masks his ineptitude for governing with the idea of assassination, the red alert that victimizes him and transforms him in the eyes of his worshippers into a national hero, the suspense for his public appearances, surrounded by partisans in front of Miraflores palace, cheered like a boxer who returns with the crown.

Assassination serves him as an alibi for not providing explanations. All one has to do is ask one's "revolutionary" friends plugged into el proceso about the scant accomplishments of the government in terms of health care, highways or public safety, for them to remind us that "they haven't let him govern," and immediately list the "CIA plots" among which the reverend Pat Robertson's sermon now stands out. Chávez sells a brand of mystery in installments, and the idea of assassination fits his condition as a leader, leaving behind the confusion that surrounds his frequent escapades.

A Communications student has recently stumbled onto a valuable fact in the research he is conducting for his thesis: the almost chronometric coincidence between the President's persistent mentioning of a plan to assassinate him and the nearness of his travels out of the country, which shows us the image of the scriptwriter of his own adventures. But as with any film produced in a hurry the viewer discovers production errors, and a notorious example is constituted by that singular feat of flying exactly to the land where assassins are training to kill him.

We had left off, before the trip to New York, that Venezuela was about to break relations with the United States and that the certainty of assassination was such that just a few weeks ago his bodyguards tore to shreds a woman who approached him at the Poliedro auditorium to hand him a few lines in a note seeking his help, and to which Chávez offered no other apology than to scream: "It's just that they want to kill me!"

Even then, he takes advantage of the afternoon reserved by the UN for private meetings among the heads of state to exhibit himself at the altar of a Methodist church in New York, pronounce the speech he tends to use when he disrupts telenovelas, and when he leaves not a single scream is heard, not even an insult, not even a shot. Too much Hollywood in the head for such an immensely expensive movie.

{Elizabeth Araujo, TalCual, 20 September 2005 }

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