Puntos de vista / Francisco Vera Izquierdo

Points of View

In principle, no one should be interested in the privacy of others, but the most unlike people can find themselves reflected in each other. These concepts I write, like those I remember, are private though not exclusive, nor secrets. I want to refer to politics and to the idea being formed of them in this country and I want to discuss my successive points of view regarding communism.

My Jesuit formation, collaborating with that of an ultra-conservative family, made me see communists as if they were something that didn't really exist; similar to ogres and other hellish beings, created by the human mind for moral or entertainment purposes.

Due to the death of Juan Vicente Gómez, in 1936 there was political freedom and communism was fashionable for many. The syndicated families of rubber plantation workers saw in that a mantle that protected them against dangerous investigations. An uncle explained to me that frightening old aunts was traditional and that the strong spirits of his era presumed to be atheist and the ones from my own, communists. The fact is I made myself frenetically anti-communist and, in an article, I was the first Venezuelan to declare himself as belonging to the right.

I have never abandoned my conservative position; but on certain occasions I have silenced it.

It happened that way when a counterproductive movement emerged called OLA, whose North American twin is the reason I don’t read the Spanish-language American press.

It's not necessary to be intelligent in order to be a communist; but one needs to be unintelligent to commune with certain strands of anti-communism.

And not for the fear of being classified as someone who backs down but rather as a rejection of fraternities made up of stupid people, I don’t belong to anti-communist groups. A long time ago I established my general position: to govern, the right. To enjoy drinks with, the communists. My unforgettable friend Miguel Otero Silva told me once that everywhere the communists were the best students in his classes, especially in Economics courses, but that here, following the school of Gustavo Machado, this was replaced by incompetence. I imagine Marx, Engels, Loria, et cetera, turning in their graves when they see the Chavistas who think of themselves as their disciples.

From the moment our chubby leader became a historical figure, he seemed to me neither uncouth nor cowardly but rather ignorant and vain, a very dangerous combination in a head of state. He is erroneously accused of being a coward during the events of April 11, 2002. I have read something like a western Military Honor Code and it is far from being a samurai Bushido. It's a bit exaggerated to say that a western soldier, outside battle, should only defend his dignity if an unarmed child attacks him. Regarding political performance, his avowal of communist faith is barely a manifestation of ignorance and his international behavior of vanity.

During the era of Joaquín Crespo there lived in Caracas a painter by the name of Bauder, whose paintings didn't sell until a limitless patron appeared. It was that general Manuel Antonio Matos returned from Europe with a marvelous wig and Bauder thought to paint portraits of Matos bald, who in turn would buy these in order to burn them.

He was, then, an ingenious person and in the field of Economics he anticipated the Chavistas: “What is the population of Venezuela? Eight hundred thousand inhabitants? Well then, each Venezuelan should give a bolívar to someone else and every person will have eight hundred thousand bolívares.”

{ Francisco Vera Izquierdo, El Nacional, 19 September 2005 }

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