Clarísima confusion / Silvio Orta Cabrera

Extremely Clear Confusion

Totalitarianism blinds. On October 22, 1956 the [former Interior Minister Pedro] Carreño of the Hungarian Stalinist regime banned the march planned by students for the following day, accusing them of “allowing themselves to be manipulated by imperialism.” The students reached the National Assembly. The police repressed them and the Hungarian revolution began, crushed to the tune of Socialism or Death by Soviet troops. The totalitarian adores violence and military boots.

Fifty-one years later on another October 22, a march by students in Caracas was authorized. On the 23, they tried to reach the National Assembly (a delegation of them was able to). Red-shirted militias persisted in ambushing and assaulting them, as they did days later to the veteran Pompeyo [Márquez] and the young [Yon] Goicoechea at the Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador. The government accused the students of allowing themselves to be manipulated by the empire.

On October 29 a Chavista intellectual sent me an article regarding the threat of imperialism to the Bolivarian revolution. His conclusion includes supporting Chávez and the constitutional “reform.”

I told him: “I don’t doubt the threat. But, does that obligate us to say Yes to the ridiculous Chávez-Escarrá “reform” that, from the start, discriminates against Venezuelans who aren’t socialist and makes an illuminated continuist the most equal of all equals? Such nonsense gets tangled in the string of errors that have fractured every venture of socio-totalitarianism. It obeys not only the professional deformations of the jackbooted commander and the typical lurches of Carlos Escarrá’s dismal Constitution, but also, with more responsibility, the intellectual complicit with the cult of personality, the key to failure.

“Whoever practices this disrespects himself and when he does this he weakens his own ethics and, by disseminating it, that of other citizens. Is that any way to form a New Man for a New Society? The plague aborts slaves within a bureaucratic and repressive apparatus, generally submitting them to misery. False revolutions based on hunger and oppression do last. There you have Cuba and North Korea as (bad) examples.

“They cling to the same sophism–I added–by which, facing the threats of the Yankee Empire against the Soviet Empire, we once put up with the Stalinist horrors. You won’t sever my free thought again with that cardboard cup. Whoever believes in democracy and freedom should stand up against the Bush Empire, against the Chavista one and against all fundamentalisms.”

“I understand. There’s a lot of confusion,” he sympathizes with me. But for me there is none, and I owe a great deal to [Minister of Culture] Farruco Sesto, the one who looks at us like a conquistador looking at Indians in the 16th century. His recent abuses find this mestizo defending the Indio de Cumaná statue and reading the novel No será la Tierra, by Jorge Volpi, thus confirming my desire to vote No to the “reform,” because there has never been more clarity amidst the confusion.

{ Silvio Orta Cabrera, Tal Cual, 8 November 2007 }

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