Políticas paralelas / Oswaldo Barreto

Parallel Politics

At this point no one, neither inside or outside our borders, ignores the fact that Venezuelas situation represents, when considered from an internal perspective, one of the most difficult our society has ever lived through and, from an international perspective, one of the national crises with the greatest repercussions on other countries, other societies. And this representation from within and from abroad assumes as a fundamental symptom of our situation the prolonged and diversified protests that shake the country. And in appearance, what are these protests today but the expression of two antagonistic behaviors. On one side, the behavior of a large portion of society that demands the rights and liberties that the government systematically infringes upon or denies them. And on the other, the behavior of the government facing the form and content these protests enact.

And its in relation to this appreciation of the different behaviors in the face of the protests, and not in relation to the protests themselves, that our visible political activity orbits. Every day we hear declarations, pronouncements and decisions based on what has been done or is being done by the government in the face of complaints and demands; we speak of the viability or impossibility of “dialogue,” of the effectiveness of the peace conferences or the groups of notables commenting on the forms the protests take, or on the biased attitudes of the opposition toward them.

But if this is the apparent reading of our crisis that’s barely interrupted by daily reports of those who fall in them or are brought down by them, of those who’ve ended up in jail or in darkness, there is another reading that the force of these events imposes on us. I’m referring to other parallel politics, that no declaration or political or rhetorical subterfuge can hide.

On the one hand, what the regime (the president and his apparatus of power) hasn’t known how to or hasn’t been able to do to resolve the difficulties, calamities and penuries that all of us as Venezuelans endure. And on the other, the continuous growth and diversification of the repression. And one of those lines, expressed by the each day more obvious lines of customers at stores, unavoidably gives rise to the other. The inefficiency in the production and fair distribution of goods is immediately transmuted into raids by the police and army, into prisons, tortures and deaths. And this is why the protests grow.

{ Oswaldo Barreto, Tal Cual, 21 March 2014 }

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