Unidad democrática, urgente / Demetrio Boersner

Urgent, Democratic Unity

For a few months, in the heart of the democratic Venezuelan opposition and of the "ni-ni"s attached to their individual liberties, the notion seemed to prevail that, even though Hugo Chávez's regime is of an autocratic tendency, the danger of an authentic "Cubanization" would be diminishing. Such an impression was based on the undeniable fact that the new Chavista bourgeoisie, with its wealth gathered under the State's blessing, has become conservative.

Its greatest desire is to enjoy its wealth within capitalist order. Comfortably installed in a "golden soviet," it would continue to emit obligatory "revolutionary" pronouncements, but these would be nothing more than ritual gestures.

At the same time we noticed with interest the multiplication of dissident groups of open and democratic sign within the heart of official power.

However, this calming image of the ascent of a "Chavismo without Chávez," flexible and a defender of private property, along with popular dissidence, is being countered by the indications of the will animating the Venezuelan President, and apparently the Cuban one, of pushing this country toward an irreversible collectivist authoritarianism. The purchase of Russian weapons and the formation of armed units efficiently indoctrinated and trained do not seem to respond to actual fears of an invasion from abroad, but instead they portend a preparation for an internal fight between hardcore Chavismo supported by Cuba, and the diverse dissident and opposition forces. The military preparation of a type of "second revolution" is accompanied by the intensification of indoctrination through local radio stations and political formation centers. At the same time, the government's response to demands of electoral transparency, which tends to strengthen abstentionism, could create the political point for the proclamation of a new phase, of open revolutionary dictatorship, at the end of this year or the beginning of 2007. Finally, the maintenance of the foreign policy of frenetic "anti-imperialism" allied with the most radical and violent forces opposed to the current established global order, does not seem to constitute a mere demagogic tactic for internal consumption (Hugo Chávez must know that 80 percent of his faithful don't share that Manichean vision), but instead an authentic strategy for "world revolution," in whose support coincide international factors of diverse nature: Marxist-Leninists, Islamicists and Neo-Nazis.

Facing this panorama of threats against the most essential liberties, we must insist more than ever on the slogan Democratic Unity for the entire opposition, from the center-right just as much as from the center-left, with all their pre-candidates and their diverse ideas on the country's fate. And with our hand opened to all the Venezuelans who, even though they might still consider themselves "Chavistas," reject the elimination of democracy.

{ Demetrio Boersner, TalCual, 23 June 2006 }

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