Para ser de oposición / León Arismendi

So as to Be in the Opposition

The phrase that serves as a title for this note synthesizes the witty answer profesor Ricardo Ríos ("Rico," as he's known) gave to one of those conceptual complaints from old comrades on the left, partisans of the "proceso," who wore perplexed faces because others of us support the candidate for national unity. Impelled to explain the reason for such a heretical act, he tells us his answer was, plain and simple, this: "I'm with Rosales because I want to have the possibility of being in the opposition again since with this government even that's impossible, because for you anyone who criticizes is a coup-plotter, a terrorist, an apostate and even a traitor to the nation."

It's sad to admit it (because many believed in good faith in progressive change), but that's one of the traits that best portray the experiment we've been fated to live during these last 8 years. If we exclude the times of armed struggle, we have to recognize that during the years of representative democracy, we leftist militants could discuss the country's political problems, critique and question the mistakes of whoever wielded power, without risk of receiving as an answer a barrage of insults of the type used by those who, today, lead the government. So for example, the left in the Parliament was persistent in its denunciations of administrative corruption without that act bringing with it that the state apparatus becomes a straight-jacket to stop such events from being the object of debate. And what is worse, the State never promoted (as it does now) the publication of tabloids and pseudo radio and TV programs whose purpose is to annihilate the morale of those who might disagree with the government.

In the end, the so-called "IV Republic" was more consistent with democratic values than the 8 years of this minestroni of beans & scraps, plantains the leaders of this "proceso" want to impose on us as a daily diet.

Without intending to create more drama about the elections next December 3rd, for the first time, since I have the use of reason, I can say we're facing two paths: one that beckons us to remain in an eternal conflict, the logical consequence of insisting on imposing on the plural country an anachronistic thought whose central spokesperson (the savior of the world) has the audacity to assume that progress and well-being are compatible with a society uniformed in a single color (red-red). The other invites us to create a new hope that will have as its axis the fight against poverty, it calls us to a national reconciliation, to the acknowledgement of differences, to the respect for democratic values, to the equality of opportunities with equity and social justice.

To say it under the premise of our mathematician friend: a country where being in the opposition is a right and not a crime, as the incumbent candidate wants to make it. That elemental aspiration is reason enough to vote for Manuel Rosales.

{ León Arismendi, TalCual, 27 November 2006 }

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