Thursday, January 06, 2005

The two year anniversary post

Confessions of a blogger

Yesterday was the second anniversary of this blog. Or at least the anniversary when this blog came officially on line. The first posts were written already on December first 2002, just as the general strike of 2002 was looming.

It has been quite an adventure writing for two years, trying to keep up with this blog. Some days I have enjoyed it very much. Other days I felt forced to write and depressed. Some days I felt that it was time to end this blog, in particular last June/July when no matter what the recall election result would be it seemed pointless to keep going.

But in the recent months I have come to realize that this modest, very modest, effort had a value, that indeed some people gave me the honor to consider what I write to be informative, a necessary piece of information for their use. Then I got a radio interview to explain what the blogging phenomenon was. Then the blog was entered in a contest by a reader and won, to my great surprise. Even if the total of votes was not that big compared to the big time bloggers up North, it demonstrated even more the need to talk about what was going South of the Rio Grande (or across the Atlantic). More citations and interviews followed.

Also a most important event came to pass, implying to increased importance of Venezuelan blogs: the new media "gag" law came to pass. This while Iranian bloggers went to jail albeit briefly. While the words blog and blogger entered dictionaries. Bloggers were considered by some US publications as "people of the year". Writing this blog suddenly was not such an egotistical venture. But even more important, if this blogger writes it is because other bloggers do write on Venezuela and people read all of us. Perhaps I flatter myself by thinking that they also keep writing because I write, but at least it keeps me writing. We all motivate each other. It is from all of our different approaches to look at what is becoming fast an opprobrious regime that there is a better chance that people overseas will get a clearer picture of what is really going on inside.

Indeed, sometime late August I found a second wind and I wrote perhaps more than ever, to describe the October election and to visualize what was coming our way. Now I do not think that I will stop, unless forced by events either personal or imposed by "others".

However I cannot keep this blog the way it was. I have said pretty much all that it is to say. Keeping only a critic eye on the Chavez administration would become tiring as I would repeat endlessly the tales of corruption, greed, violence, human rights abuses that I am sure will keep happening over and over again. Such is the nature of autocratic regimes, trying not to use stronger terms to describe what the Chavez adventure has become.

What the changes will be? I am not sure yet, though I have some ideas on what to add to the blog. Perhaps I will write about what should be done in Venezuela. After all if some people give credit to my opinions perhaps they would give credit to my ideas. Perhaps I should discuss other things about Venezuela, its culture, its society, its sights. Inviting people over to write could interesting, making the page more "participative", though these pages will not be open to philochavistas besides the comment section. No, Chavismo is funding enough propaganda sites and this one is my effort only, I set the rules until someone pays me for my words. And that someone has better got a fat wallet.

I do not know how this blog will evolve. But I trust it will evolve, hopefully in a positive and constructive way. After all it started as a personal diary two years ago and slowly became quite a public reference, with all its faults, and faulty English.

This blog started while we were experiencing one of our most glorious democratic moments when millions hit the streets all across Venezuela to demand our democratic rights. We have been defeated because we played fair with thugs. But our ideas have not been defeated. They cannot be defeated as they are that essence of human rights, so well written in a famous text: the pursuit of happiness. We want to create our own happiness and we do not want it imposed from above.

Thus I will keep writing, if anything in the hope that more and more people in Venezuela will write their story and tell the world what is really going on in my beleaguered and beloved country.

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