Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The XXI century Grinch who stole Christmas

Procrastination pays. I have been meaning to write more in detail on the damage that Chavez is doing to us (and himself) by taking away from us our Christmas break and traditions. His egocentricity, his insecurities, his megalomania are all into play when he could not even wait for three weeks before announcing his plans for reelection. He will pay dearly for that, I am sure, as many of his followers also would like to spend time with their close ones on Christmas instead of campaigning again and again.

Today in Tal Cual there is an article worth translating by Miguel Angel Latouche which will save me the required time on writing on this topic. There you go:

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El Grinch [sic]

He has already made public his determination to steal Christmas from us, not to let ourselves enjoy the presents, nor the fraternity hugs, or the good wishes for prosperity, nor the displays of goodwill.

According to him, the enjoyment of family and friends, the reconnection with the intimate, with the the private world, must be for some other time. A permanent campaign has been declared: he has called on his followers to remain on the streets.

He has decided that we forget about parranda and aguinaldo, gaitas and carols to busy ourselves to ensure (or avoid, as the case may be) his own permanence in power (1). These days we have had to see him every day, to listen to him daily.

He preaches the need for citizens to put aside their private needs and turn tot he publuic sphere to preserve the revolutionary entelechy .

Worse still, we have been confronted to an intolerant speech, which defines politics as an arena for structural confrontation, which leaves no loophole for reconciliation and concord, for the aggregation of interests, for discussion of differences. We have been told in endless cadenas, that we are irreconcilable enemies, as if we did not share the same homeland, as if we did not share the same history, as if the permanent brawl, the easy insult, the brutal disqualification could be understood as the elements from which one can build the nation as a collective project (2).

On the other hand, we find ourselves in front of a permanent disqualification from the citizenship. The electoral process is understood as a legitimating mechanism, if and when the results are favorable to him [Chavez]. Otherwise, the electoral act is invalidated, accusing the people of being immature: they are described as being unable to understand the content of the proposed social project, the benefits they should know how to wait for and that will arrive at an undetermined future of which none has heard of. In that sense, a crisis of governance is promoted defined as the absence of public resources for opposition ruled districts, in their being ignored as factors in the political game, in their disqualification as partners, in the disrespect made to the popular will , and the unrestricted use of the mechanisms of power and public resources to bolster a political project of exclusion.

From the power seat the intention is to hold hostage society, making it homogeneous, undifferentiated. The intention is to reduce the ability of individuals to make decisions for themselves, to act autonomously, with freedom to define the contents of their interests and their systems of preference. The intention is to confuse us, to make us believe that he [Chavez] is equivalent to the people, that he interprets the people, that he represents it in its entirety. The authoritarian temptation leads him to try to steal Christmas.

Perhaps, simply, his heart is, for some reason we do not know, too small.

1) parranda and aguinaldo, gaitas are Venezuelan traditional forms of Christmas music.

2) Cadenas are forced simultaneous broadcast on ALL TV and ALL Radio stations of Venezuela, for as long as the government wishes it so, of anything from a Chavez endless speech to any "institutional" message. The opposition is not allowed such privileges. This abuse is particularly grave at this time of flash campaign when the number of cadenas surpasses any record previously established by Chavez.

-The end-

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