Chávez y la guerra / Oswaldo Barreto

Chávez and War

Just as other columnists in this and other newspapers have done, we have written more than one note about the use and abuse Hugo Chávez makes of militaristic language, of war metaphors and even of his own deliberate and firm goal of leading the country into an actual war.

With these comments we have undoubtedly contributed—and, as it relates to me, I affirm this in the mode of self-criticism—to making the theme of war banal among us, to the point that no one seems to be interested in the topic anymore, much less is anyone frightened, after the latest long-winded speech by the president on the hackneyed theme.

However, regardless of how much Chavista propaganda has numbed us against the preoccupations and fears the theme of war awakens in all societies, I believe we have all been able to perceive the growing emphasis Chávez and his spokesmen have placed on disseminating the idea that Venezuela is effectively and with acceleration preparing to engage in a guerrilla war against an external enemy.

What position should be taken regarding this new propagandistic offensive by Chavismo? To persist in viewing it as a scarecrow the regime uses to divert interest and preoccupation from other ills that not only assault our imaginary but actually wander throughout the entire country: unemployment, crime and poverty? And is the effect these words have on us not so overwhelming already, without also dedicating ourselves to combating the sequence of nonsense this government debits daily about gigantic weapons, armies, maneuvers and battles? While we are sure they continue to be nonsense, nonsense this government’s wisdom considers useful instruments of governance, then it would continue to be sensible to have nothing to do with them.

However, if plans to take us to war truly existed, with associates and motives that, as Darío would say, “we don’t know and we suspect,” then we would be behaving, beyond mere skeptics of scarecrows, like the ostrich that buries its head to flee danger. This is a doubt that has assaulted me when I have seen the silence our media keep regarding the article the BBC published in its online edition of 03-06-06, with the clearly suggestive title of “Caracas prepara guerra de guerrillas.”*

*[“Venezuela trains for guerrilla war”]

{ Oswaldo Barreto, TalCual, 8 March 2006 }

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