Carlos Blanco's A Time To Talk, released on January 20
"Stating illegitimacy of the regime implies raising the flags of freedom"
The recovery of the Venezuelan democracy entails breaking the overall links of political, administrative, symbolic, military and state dependence on Cuba. Since the time when Raúl Castro said the famous phrase that Venezuela and Cuba "were the same," until the present time, dependence has done nothing but increase until reaching today's shameful levels.
Many events reveal this embarrassing context. Chávez' political executors have believed that the place to clear up their differences, reach their shaky agreements, send their charmless messages, is Havana airport under the sardonic vigilance of Raúl Castro. The historical ignorance that the Venezuelan trio formed by Nicolás Maduro, Diosdado Cabello and Rafael Ramírez appear to have, as if they would have won it in intellectual fights in Sierra Maestra, did not let them see how their dependence on Cuba is as strong as the rejection it provokes.
The world is witnessing, perhaps with cynicism, how Venezuelan Armed Forces are lacking a Commander in Chief, because the one they had until January 10th was not sworn in; but even for those that have swallowed up the "suddenly-happening-event" tale, it is also unusual that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces does not communicate with his subordinates, including the Minister of the Defense, the Strategic Operational Commander and the Component Commanders; or even worse, that he is under the "intensive care" of the Commander in Chief of an alien military force.
As a patient, Chávez could be visited and "seen," as the members of his family and of the Venezuelan ruling prosthesis, the triumvirate, do. But, as alleged President of the Republic, capable of appointing a new minister, according to their lies, he should be able to exercise his non-delegable military command.
It is possible that any officer has visited or is allowed to visit Chávez. However, this has nothing to do with the exercise of a delicate and non-delegable function for anyone who happens to be President of the Republic.
ILLEGITIMATE. This mess has evidenced that the center of power that is left has moved to Cuba. The thing is not that the Trio travels to that country and that power goes with them when they do it. No. The thing is that they travel to overcome their weaknesses and, exhausted, they try to exercise the power that has settled in Havana. Power does not travel with them; it is there.
What and how is the power that is exercised over Venezuela from the Island? That power is a mix of the symbol represented by Chávez, administered by the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party, personified, in turn, by a wily swine, Raúl Castro. It is like the warlock that develops a ritual close to the burdened body of the symbol he is invoking and, once he is in a trance, he explains, expresses and construes what that body cannot say. This is the unusual spectacle of how a personality that created himself through his uncontrollable loquacity, now mute has been taken by third interested persons.
Venezuela is a country in which institutions are crippled and which only moves one limb, its little finger or its eyes, when a decision arranged by the Cuban leadership, the pathetic Trio and the symbolic use of Chávez is made in Cuba.
This is the reason why, denouncing illegitimacy of the imprecise exercise of Maduro is not radicalism, as the government and a misguided opposition sector believe. Not acknowledging legitimacy of what they are trying to make believe that Maduro can do does not mean not paying taxes, driving through a traffic light, walking naked around Plaza Bolívar, burning tires on every corner or calling for a guerrilla fight at the firebreak of Avila mountain. Denouncing illegitimacy of the government that is ruling Venezuela today basically implies developing a narrative and a politics in terms of what should happen in Venezuela a month, a year or a century from now; but that should necessarily happen to rescue democracy. We'll see.
POLITICS IN COMMAND. Below, some analogies; read well, analogies, not identical features, but just some similarities. When Hitler occupied France and a civil and military sector of the French society decided to "collaborate" with the regime to avoid -they believed- worse evils, there was an exceptional man, General Charles De Gaulle, who alone from London in 1940 called not to give up, to resist by any means. At that time, he was doing that without any support. De Gaulle did not know that his inspiring words would mark the origin of one of the most heroic resistance movements ever remembered. When De Gaulle spoke, he only uttered words, ideas, principles, values; later, they turned into actions. Or what Winston Churchill did in 1941, when from a school, he proclaimed one of his most inciting thoughts, precisely when Hitler was devastating Europe and planned to occupy England: "We shall never surrender." And this man, together with leaders from the US, France and the Soviet Union, led his country and the world to victory in 1945.
Stating illegitimacy of the regime in Venezuela implies raising the flags of freedom amidst a desert of complicities, delusions, pragmatisms. It is telling the world: You can endorse anything you want, but there is no democracy in Venezuela; you will impose on the others because you have the strength, but like Unamuno said "you will not convince;" yes, you have the power to force us to do things that we do not want to do (like voting in rigged elections); notwithstanding, we are going to continue to denounce fraud. In summary, it is the word that denounces and is not "collaborative," the modest one that everyone pronounces with limitations, from their own place. It is the severe civilian gesture that faces the obsequiousness the regime demands from its subordinates. It is reminding them that they betray the Republic when for the sake of an ideology that they do not understand, they surrender the Venezuelan state, tied down, for the Cuban chieftains to rape it. It is demanding the political leaders to give a proper name to the events that are ruining us, because problems are only overcome when you properly name the problem to be overcome.
I'm not calling upon people to assault the Winter Palace or to take Cuartel Moncada, or blow up the magazine along with Ricaurte. It is something tougher: speaking responsibly, no matter how heartless this may be; later, in three years or three days, who knows, our words will unexpectedly bear fruits.
When someone desperately asks what we are doing, how can we take the streets to protest, I think that always, in principle, it has been the Word; that is, understanding, the inherent knowledge of wisdom. Today a convincing action is imperative: revealing that (and rebelling because) the King is naked."
Translated by Álix Hernández
"Cocoa is to Venezuelans what wine is to the French," says Alejandro Prosperi, head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa, using this simile to express the paramount importance or the cocoa industry for the country. Often times heralded as "the best cocoa in the world," a passion for quality dating back to the sixteenth century has made Venezuelan cocoa growers to enjoy high prestige at international level and their product to be among the most sought-after in the world.