Querida Rosinés / Laureano Márquez

Dear Rosinés

How are you? I hope well and that you have the chance to enjoy some cartoons on cable TV. Let me recommend the show called Boomerang, which if it didn’t harm us (I think!) won’t harm you, either. As well as Yogi Bear, The Pink Panther, Atom Ant, Simbad, Shazam!, etc. I don’t recommend The Flinstones, because maybe your dad doesn’t like them, since they represent the capitalist model as something natural and belonging to humans, and which even existed during cavemen times.

I heard about your concerns regarding the horse on the Coat of Arms looking backwards. I completely agree with you. All coats of arms have roaring lions (when they stand up on their little hind legs), eagles, horses, but none have a Golden Retriever, for example. And those dogs are so noble. If it were up to me, I would put a Golden Retriever on the Coat of Arms, with a little stick in its mouth standing at its owner’s feet. Or a turtle, like the one you have: a good emblem for our slowness in everything. In any case, if we’re gonna leave a horse on ours, let it be one from the Rinconada racetrack, with its little number, its jockey and everything. Because if anything identifies us, it's chance and betting. Anyways, the purpose of this letter is to ask for your help. You children have a lot of power and I know that your dad pays attention to you. You’re probably the only person he listens to closely. Besides, you and your little nephews are the only ones who can talk to your dad honestly, without the fear the rest of us feel. The other day, your papi told us that his grandson said to him: “No, you’re a pirate!” I’m so jealous! Well, so as not to go off-the topic here, since I know he listens to you, make these petitions to him:

– Ask him to also take out of the Coat of Arms a man dressed in olive green fatigues and with a white beard like St. Nick (with all appropriate respect towards the new manual for Christmas). A man who interferes too much in our affairs. It’s as though the little girl who lives next door to you, taking advantage of how much you like her, were to take your Barbies, your teddy bears or your story books and bring over her little brothers and sisters to play in your room.

– Tell him to also stop talking about the things he’s gonna do up through 2021. Recently, he told us about a whole bunch of bicentenaries he plans on celebrating: 1810, 12, 14 and he always talks about 2021. Even if he does plan on staying in power until that date, he shouldn’t say it so often, because those of us who don’t agree with him (don’t be scared, each day there’s fewer of us, according to official statistics) end up suffering a desperation that isn’t good either.

– One last thing for you to ask him: that he stop getting so mad at those of us who don’t think like him and that he stop scolding us so often. Sometimes he calls us coup plotters and fascists and one feels like answering back like your little nephew did: “No, you’re a pirate!”

Rosinés: With these things I’ve just asked you to mention, the long coexistence that awaits us with your papi will be easier to bear. In exchange, we'll offer him our conformity. By the way, ask him also to not make so many required TV and radio broadcasts [cadenas]. But of course, pretend like these are all your ideas.

OK, kid. May God bless you and give you all the love and happiness I wish for my own daughter.

Translator's note: This week, a court in Venezuela has fined the newspaper TalCual at least $18,604 (the amount could be increased) for publishing, in November 2005, this satirical article addressed to Hugo Chávez's youngest daughter, Rosinés. (In 2005, Chávez had claimed during a public speech that the idea for changing the Venezuelan Coat of Arms was suggested to him by Rosinés.) The article has also been banned from the Internet by the Venezuelan government.

{ Laureano Márquez, TalCual, 25 November 2005 }

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