Pompeyo / Alexis Márquez Rodríguez


The violent acts that occurred last week at the Instituto Pedagógico, in which Pompeyo Márquez and the student leader Yon Goicoechea were verbally assaulted – the latter also physically – are of a gravity that many people haven’t fully understood yet. Actually, it’s not just about a simple case of intolerance – which it is, of course –, but also an undeniable symptom of the moral and ideological prostration to which our country has been led by Mr. Hugo Chávez and by Chavismo. That man’s preaching of hate, practiced from the highest political perch, has continued to demolish the ethical values that had traditionally ruled in Venezuelan politics. Eight or ten years ago, not even the fiercest enemies of Pompeyo Márquez would have dared to insult him, to call him a fascist and traitor. Because even when disagreeing with his ideas and with his conduct as a citizen, at that time everyone recognized him as a paradigm of dignity, bravery, honesty, and his long and heroic fight against the dictatorship of Pérez Jiménez, from an absolute and often risky clandestinity, was celebrated.

And the lamentable event is aggravated – if that’s actually possible – by the behavior of Ms. Cilia Flores, who functions as the president of the National Assembly (Oh rivers of Ripley!), when she publicly supported and celebrated those acts of savage violence, in a blatant act of apology for these crimes.

Pompeyo himself remarked how in the middle of the tumult he noticed a sign asking: “Where is Santos Yorme?,” in allusion to the pseudonym he used in the fight against the dictatorship, to which he gave an answer that couldn’t have been more convincing. He said, give or take a few words, the following: “Santos Yorme spent ten years, between 1948 and 1958, fighting clandestine against a brutal military dictatorship. Today, the same Santos Yorme is engaged in the fight against Hugo Chávez’s military, totalitarian and autocratic regime.”

So, it is evident that the catastrophic political, economic and social crisis the Chavista government has continued to aggravate, is magnified by the serious moral crisis, which is so much more harmful and will take us many more years to overcome. It’s not that the political, economic and social crisis is easy to overcome, but with appropriate policies and sufficient economic resources it will be possible in a relatively short period. But the moral crisis, the return to the ethical values cultivated over many decades, and which have now been debased, this degradation will only be eliminated over several generations, and thus it will take many years.

It’s also alarming that the events I’ve commented on occurred at the Instituto Pedagógico, a center specifically designed for the formation of future educators. If those lunatics – fortunately only a few – that everyone saw on TV are going to be tomorrow’s educators, what awaits us in the future of the country’s education, which has already become quite deteriorated?

{ Alexis Márquez Rodríguez, Tal Cual, 2 November 2007 }

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