Independencia y libertad de la nación / Oswaldo Barreto

The Nation’s Independence and Liberty

Hugo Chávez has just reiterated with his reverent words in salutation to Fidel Castro that “Venezuela has two presidents (Fidel Castro and himself). But we are one single government.” And Raúl Castro (Raúl, not his brother), in the most prosaic context of the signing of cooperation treaties between both countries, has manifested with equal clarity that these new agreements “are a significant contribution to the growing process of union and integration between the two countries.”

Since we first heard of these declarations, we’ve anxiously searched for the coverage given of them by the international press. And it turns out that up until now, though we have found discrete information and commentary on the public acts that made up the encounter’s agenda, we haven’t perceived the slightest observation of what these declarations represent as real and imminent threats looming over the independence of both nations. This time, neither the BBC nor the International Herald or Le Monde, nor the great dailies here in Latin America – who habitually pick up the big news items on their front covers, even if they’re about the most abandoned underdeveloped nations – even mention the single government that now rules in both nations. It is true that the other declarations by Chávez, and by the usually more thoughtful Fidel Castro, were so scandalous and universally bellicose that the revelation of the danger that threatens Cuba and Venezuela was relegated to the sidelines after the joint announcement that many new Vietnams are being gestated everywhere, or the firm conviction Fidel Castro says to have that there is “a new world war” on the horizon. Facing hecatombs of a global scale, our national tragedy is pushed to the sidelines by international opinion.

But this can’t be the case for us. The threats against our national independence are the equivalent of the threats that can arise against the life of an individual. To lose independence is to lose liberty, which means ceasing to exist as a nation. And if unfortunately the Cuban brothers and sisters have been forced to endure the suppression of liberty for nearly half a century already for the supposed sacrifice of affirming their independence, we Venezuelans are obliged to fight so as to not fall in a similar trap. Independence and liberty are inseparable.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, Tal Cual, 16 October 2007 }

No comments: