Cultos / Francisco Vera Izquierdo


It is indubitable that in order to improve one must change, but change itself is not enough without having picked the correct replacement. Relatedly, I saw someone interviewed on television who pronounced himself against the Independence. More frequently, and being something that is actually debatable, that period is considered as premature. If we only look at our yellow XIX century liberals, we must recognize that it is true, but we also had Carlos Soublette, José Antonio Páez, José María Vargas, etcetera, while Spain had Ferdinand VII, Juan Prim, Ramón María Narváez, among others. Of course Chávez couldn’t be compared to Juan Carlos I. And as for considering it premature, one should note what happened in Cuba and Puerto Rico, this one an American colony and the other a succession of merciless tyrannies.

Regarding our diplomacy, I have been able to observe from abroad that it might not be inferior to that of other Latin American countries. I am completely unaware of everything pertaining to our new Minister of Foreign Affairs. The fact that he was chosen by our chubby leader allows one to suppose that he his incompetent, but this is not definite. On the other hand, given the tradition of that position, it is unlikely that we’ll see a worse performance and at the moment there are no pending problems. The one that existed with Guyana was duly lost by Rómulo Betancourt’s Foreign Ministry and I don’t believe Colombia will try to reestablish the colonial border near Timotes.

After the death of Simón Bolívar, the hatred he inspired diminished and President Páez was able to bring back his remains to Venezuela a few years later, with no major inconveniences. Antonio Guzmán Blanco, a close relative, initiated his cult, which later acquired the strength it has today.

When the name of the Plaza Mayor was changed to Plaza Bolívar, I know of the occasion when, during my childhood, a cousin of mine said he was going out to Plaza Bolívar and his mother scolded him by saying: “What are you talking about, 'Plaza Bolívar'? It’s called Plaza Mayor. Who would ever think to baptize a square with that idiot’s name!”

Guzmán was given almost religious honors in the XIX century. In the XX, Cipriano Castro was too, but that lasted a relatively short time. Afterwards, Juan Vicente Gómez was honored. A cult also began to emerge around Eleazar López Contreras, but he stopped the matter early on and in 1936 he rejected the idea that he be referred to as meritorious. And who knows where the people associated with the New National Ideal might have reached. Luck would have it that on 23 January 1958, the man preferred to take off running.

And it doesn’t seem fair of me to mention the word without remembering the Osiris Cult, which was a joke born in the XIX when Caracas was Masonic and Freemasonry had become an excuse to get together for a good time. What happened when Manuel Antonio Aguirre arrived at a meeting one afternoon became famous. He saw a few empty seats in front and he sat down in one of them. The solemn voice of the Master Mason was then heard to intone: “Terrible Brother: A profaner in the Orient…Perform your duty.”

But a German mason arrived and tried to provide seriousness to the matter. So the pseudo masons decided to start their own separate group and they established the Osiris Cult, which exaggerated to a ridiculous degree the Masonic rituals, with Master Mason, Terrible Brother, etcetera, and from the Turkish War came the word “Caimacán,” still employed today.

I know nothing about the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and experience allows me to assume from the moment our President chose him that he is incompetent, but it is possible he made a mistake. Until today, cults were created in honor of people, but our chubby leader has opened a new one and that is the cult of ignorance.

{ Francisco Vera Izquierdo, El Nacional, 5 February 2007 }

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