Against asphyxia

El Nacional, Venezuela.

By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

‘No petty bourgeois asshole is going to come and tell the majority of Venezuelan youngsters which one is the route the country should follow! The homeland’s road was signalled by Hugo Chavez on February 4th!’ This is what Venezuelan minister Victor Clark shouted in Yaracuy with an inflamed attitude and very few voice inflexions, as if he had studied oratory in Havana, a few days before the 12th of February. In his speech, he denounced terrorist acts and accused the students of being ‘coup d’état leaders’, whom, by the way, have won almost all student elections in the country. But the best of it was its reasoning: History is already written. We gave a coup d’état first. F*** you!

The perverse procedure, by which the victims of aggression become the ones to blame for that aggression, goes beyond the criminalization of protests. It is related to a previous mechanism, it is related to the official promotion of a concept: for the Power, the opposition is not the people. Someone can only be part of the people from the blindness loyalty to the government. The rest is illegitimate; it is treated as a transgression against citizenship: being against the government is to be banned of identity. Therefore, any protest is doomed. Because the subject of the protest is someone who is no longer home.

But of course, to this one must add the folly of a call under a name that only produces confusion and illusions: ‘The end’. Leopoldo Lopez, with skill and by taking advantage of different social ills, imposed his agenda on the rest of the opposition. He built an effective staging and certainly did a radical call that intended to paralyze the country.  None of that, however, is so far a coup d’état. It may be a political mistake, but not a crime. When Chavez was released from prison in 1994, he repeatedly called for demonstrations demanding the immediate resignation of President Caldera. And it was not an attempted coup. He was playing politics.

Crime is somewhere else. But the government does not want to talk about it. The Ombudsman keeps silence. Someone denounces conspiracies without evidence. The government always will show slogans rather than evidence. It is amazing how the government has been quick to shield themselves behind the banner of Internet promiscuity. And it’s true: there are false images; there are images of another time, another place … But not all images. Rather, they are the less. And that cannot be used to sneak the rest of the reality. The Power clings to a minimum distortion to discredit complaints and real testimonies of victims and to hide what happens and also to justify their brutal assault. Luisa Ortega Díaz dismissing official violence by saying that this is a group of Venezuelans ‘who do not love the nation’, it is not only scary, it is criminal. It legitimizes repression. It even gives it a sentimental value.

The theory of the coup, put forward by the government to almost any action proposed by any opponent is very useful: they blame the protesters, blessing their punishment. But that action leaves dead, wounded, unforgettable scenes of horror … consequences that cannot be erased. Blood stains are not washed with rhetoric.

The origin of the violence is also in a State without control, opaque, which insists on imposing its schemes.  A pursuing State, anxious, determined to invade and occupy all spaces. Because not recognizing the right of the other and cornering them, is a form of violence. The creation of parallel powers is violence. Outwitting the results of the referendum in 2007 and implementing what was rejected by the people is violence. Violence is the media blackout and denial of paper for the press. The Minister of Defence stating that she is a chavista is a form of violence … The list could be endless. No conspiracy but defence of life. While asphyxia is a government plan, there’s a bit of country struggling to breathe.

Source: El Nacional

Translated by #InfoVenezuela