El porvenir de la oposición / Oswaldo Barreto

The Future of the Opposition

Everywhere you go, since a long time ago, people talk about the crisis of the opposition in Venezuela, about the constant dislocation with which it moves in all political stages. But now, when the establishment of a totalitarian regime can be outlined on the horizon more and more, the general preoccupation about this inexorably projects itself in the form of this question: what is the future of our opposition? And in the same formulation of this question an answer would seem to impose itself, also inexorably. The reasons from our history and also the history of other societies, along with the awareness we all have of the confused and surely mistaken unfolding of our current opposition, these drag us powerlessly to this answer: the opposition will be squashed or reduced to such a larval existence that it won't be able to contain or stop the totalitarian expansion Hugo Chávez has dedicated himself to for a long time now.

It will be squashed or reduced, we say, as always happened to the opposition in the actual dictatorships that existed in our own Republic, Gómez's and Pérez Jiménez's. Silenced, imprisoned and finally assassinated in Soviet Russia, in the satellite countries of that empire and the Asian communist regimes.

Persecuted in the same way or thrown into exile as in Cuba. Such could be our actual destiny.

No one will forget that only when that sinsiter perspective becomes reality, when the opposition is already tamed or disappeared, only then will Chávez's regime be consolidated. There will be, effectively, no totalitarianism in Venezuela, no matter how fierce and lethal Chávez's effort might be in imposing it, if he doesn't first succeed in destroying the opposition, in that way following the recipe Stalin, Mao or Fidel Castro bequeathed to history.

This affirmation can be taken as a platitude, but it leads us to something of extreme importance and which has been cast aside by even the very specialists in the study and analysis of dictatorships and totalitarianisms. Effectively, it might be a platitude to maintain that totalitarian regimes manage to consolidate themselves when they're able to make their opposition disappear, but on the other hand, it is the most unsettling present which makes us ask ourselves: what have those buried oppositions contributed to their own disapperance?

And this question takes us to the theme announced in our title: the future of the opposition in Venezuela doesn't only depend on Chávez, it also depends, in a decisive way, on the opposition we create against him today.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, TalCual, 18 July 2006 }

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