Reinventar la lucha / Oswaldo Barreto

To Reinvent the Struggle

Yesterday, Manuel Rosales, in the modest and serene tone he surely employed when he would explain so many historical events to his high school students, spoke to us about the elections in the following terms: "This is a political triumph amidst an electoral setback."

And with the same tone he explained the meaning he gave to these words.

He spoke of the setback represented by the fact of not having reached the necessary votes to prevent the democratic reelection of a President who has governed us in such an undemocratic manner. And he used these words to signify what he considers the achieved triumph: "With my heart in my hand I say a new struggle begins today."

We haven't been able to defeat Hugo Chávez, but we have the possibility of preventing him from governing us as he has been doing since he arrived in Miraflores Palace. But in order for this possibility to be real and not just a mere illusion a new type of struggle is necessary. We think that, just as Arthur Rimbaud claimed at the zenith of his poetic creativity that it was necessary to "reinvent love" (reinventer l’ amour), Manuel Rosales is demanding from us that we reinvent the political struggle. He is telling us the tenacious and brave effort more than four million Venezuelans have put forth to defeat Chávez in his ambition to perpetuate himself as President, should now be put forth to prevent him from imposing his whims on us. A profound self-critique of what we in the opposition have done up to this point and an equally profound and responsible exhortation for us to take another path. Up until now, the major combativeness of the opposition, the one that manifested itself in the imposing marches and in the large moments of gathering signatures as well as in the elections regarding the revocatory referendum, pointed toward achieving Chávez's defeat, his exit from Miraflores.

Sane and legal democratic procedures for correcting an equally democratic major mistake.

But, each time we fail in this endeavor we fall into what can only be called depression and dejection. The great euphoria of the punctual manifestations was followed by a period of indifference, silence and—let's say it with the appropriate word—abstention.

Now, it won't be Chávez's absolutism that will oppose our resolution to struggle. We will find the forms of opposing whatever we consider affects the nation's interests, the democratic conscience and the full force of the rights of man. We will reinvent the struggle.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, TalCual, 6 December 2006 }

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