27 de mayo 2007 / Simón Alberto Consalvi

May 27th 2007

To have thought (and expected) that after an ultimatum from the president of the Republic, the Supreme Court was going to pronounce itself against that order and was going to preserve the rights of RCTV was another mistake which, along with contributions from almost everyone, prolongs the fiction that we’re living under the rule of law. It doesn’t exist. So, it corresponds for us to acknowledge reality. This is crucial for knowing where we are, and what the alternatives might be for civil society and, above all, for those of us who advocate for freedom of speech, diversity and pluralism.

This May 27th will be known in history as one of the darkest days of our annals because of the closure of RCTV, undoubtedly, but more than that because of everything it promises for the future of Venezuelans. The same wilted faces of “revolutionary communication theorists” returned to Caracas. They gave us lessons on how we should resign ourselves and how we should leave all our prerogatives in the hands of those who control the State and its immense economic and political power. In their countries they represent nothing, not because “no one is a prophet in his own land,” but because their anachronistic ideas have no audience whatsoever. The Bolivarian revolution has performed the miracle of resurrecting them, as munificent as it is needy of the support of these foreigners.

So that the “simple expiration of a concession,” turned into an act of indoctrination against freedom of speech, against tolerance and against everything consecrated in the Constitution of 1999, the “only Constitution approved by a popular referendum,” but not the only one or first to be violated. These foreigners were brought here so they could advise us to renounce all that we’ve been and hope to be. Against everything that’s been conquered in arduous battles, before, during and after the dictatorships of Juan Vicente Gómez and Marcos Pérez Jiménez.

History has written our future: there will be no way to reduce those of us who believe in freedom of speech. We might be defeated; in effect, we have been defeated by discretional force, by petro-dollars and by the State’s far-reaching network.

During the Gómez dictatorship, Andrés Eloy Blanco edited a small mimeograph newspaper called El Imparcial. It circulated from person to person, and those who printed copies added their own denunciations. It passed into history as one of the great feats of the Venezuelan spirit. In one of the 100 volumes of El pensamiento político venezolano del siglo XX [Venezuelan Political Thought of the 20th Century], various texts from El Imparcial are reproduced, truly exemplary. Andrés Eloy Blanco paid for his sins in the prison of the Puerto Cabello castle, and it was there he wrote Barco de piedra. This is why he and his modest newspaper passed into history.

To seek the establishment of a revolution in the 20th century with dogmas and tactics from the 19th century or the 20th, the century of history’s most brutal totalitarianisms, is an adventure that can’t be, nor should it be, understood without thinking that it moves against time, that, as it displays its incompatibility with all freedoms, assumes a never-ending battle. At the service of such ideas or goals, the resources of all Venezuelans are alienated. We have never seen such an overwhelming discretion. No government has ever controlled such an unbelievable number of TV stations, radio stations, or newspapers as the Bolivarian regime does.

This May 27th is a dark day in our annals. Perhaps it will be, after all, the day we needed in order to realize where we are and where we’re headed. So that the presidents of Latin America or the diplomats that visit us, or who refer to Venezuela with certain aftertaste of commiseration, will have something on which to base their words. The least we can expect from this May 27th is that our Latin American friends remain silent. In any case, oil and petro-dollars will continue to flow, because we can’t subsist without imports. The democratic protocols of Mercosur can be thrown into the fire.

The admirable activism of younger journalists who have taken up the vanguard, guarantees that the shadows of this anti-Venezuelan May will eventually turn into splendor, no longer through Andrés Eloy’s typewriter, but instead by means of all the resources the media age offers. The attempt to establish a revolution that silences the multiple voices of democratic society is a political (or military) project that can’t prevail.

{ Simón Alberto Consalvi, El Nacional, 27 May 2007 }

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