Cómplices e ingenuos / Elizabeth Araujo

Complicit and Ingenuous

In the solemn ceremony which opened the judicial year, a group of magistrates awards the president of the TSJ [Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, Venezuela's supreme court] with the war cry that tends to characterize radical Chavismo ["Uh, Ah, Chávez no se va!"]. The incident, perhaps irrelevant, once again cites the issue of courts at the service of a regime that little by little slides toward authoritarianism and whose discourse nevertheless satisfies a considerable part of the population. Is it a sincere form of thinking or do they ignore that no populist adventure has a happy ending? It is enough to see the image of judges stomping on their sacred duty to remain balanced, to ask if there will be a public prosecutor willing to convince the journalist Patricia Poleo that she should show up to her summons, with the guarantee that she will have an impartial trial.

The same thing happens when one sees respectable academics and businessmen exaltedly applaud a president who preaches peace but disdains dialogue; or when poets and filmmakers, who used to be defenders of freedom, hush-up the illegalities of the Minister of Culture; or when we see journalist friends stammer answers to justify the Attorney General's awkwardness. Thus, nothing remains but to evoke Mass Psychology of Fascism, that immortal work in which Wilhelm Reich dealt with the theme of civil complicity under the Nazis. Of course, someone could reason that we are dealing with two situations quite distant from one another. Moreover, the fact these lines are published, without a repressive act occurring against she who writes them, would serve as the best argument.

But in the depths of this revolutionary vortex, supported by generous salaries and contracts, there lies a danger those who wander within the disorganized and emotional proceso refuse to consider. The way in which the Caracas World Social Forum unfolded speaks for itself: the five State TV channels—VTV, ViveTV, CatiaTV, Telesur and Anvtv—offered a slanted coverage, without giving the public a chance to hear the approaches that weren't necessarily heading toward the chorus of anti-Bush slogans with which the government confiscated the event.

As an example, the revealing image from yesterday. A young Belgian woman confesses to the reporter from a Spanish TV station her nuisance because the topic of the ascent of militarism had been rejected by the forum's organizers.

The journalist smiles benevolently.

The scene occurs in Los Caobos park, with the echo of old slogans and Europeans who succumb before the image of Chávez anywhere you look.

The Belgian woman condenses her ideology in a phrase: I fight for a just society, but without soldiers.

Undoubtedly, she came with an excess of ingenuousness or with ostensible ignorance.

{ Elizabeth Araujo, TalCual, 31 January 2006 }

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