University de Los Andes (ULA) lecturer Jutta Schmitt writes: Whether it is the ride you take to town in a tightly packed buseta full of vividly disputing passengers, your arepa con queso that gets stuck in your throat when eye-scanning the newspaper headlines at lunch break, the conversation with friends or the brief chat that you have with a street artist at the traffic light, in these days, your every move, act, thought and word are all determined by the “magic date” August 15, 2004.
Chronos is merciless and has imposed another countdown on daily life in Venezuela, as the day of the famous Presidential recall referendum is inexorably nearing — both hoped and feared for in equal measure for being completely unpredictable in terms of the concrete situation that Venezuela will be facing in barely two weeks from now … never mind the outcome of this unique, electoral event in Venezuela’s history, that points to a categorical ratification of the President’s mandate by a vast majority of voters.
Predicting another round of severe, political trouble from mid-August on is pretty safe … however, it is in the outlining of detailed scenarios where the problem (and with it, its solution) lies.
Diagnosing the ostentatiously democratic and constitutional recall referendum as nothing else but the continuation — clad in ever new clothes — of the notorious and by now already musty, eternal “Plan B” of Venezuela’s rancid “opposition,” with little if no prospect for success, is a commonly accepted political wisdom, foremost by the very same “opposition.”
And this is basically the reason, why we have seen former, Miami-based Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez … the uncontested star democrat in the minds of the Venezuelan oligarchy … give this rancid “opposition” a sound, in his deeply democratic vocation rooting advice … namely to forget about the recall referendum because he considers it a predetermined failure for the “opposition.”
This is actually the first time the man speaks the plain truth … and to take the violent way instead, because else, (¡uh, ah!) Chavez simply no se va.
So, while ordinary Venezuelans are brooding over their arepa con queso about how to most effectively get prepared for the August 15 electoral battle (and indeed, preparations are in full swing), la creme de la creme of Venezuelan society (however rancid and profugos de la justicia) calls once again to the armed battle, as they consider violence and brutal repression the only viable way to reach their goal, the “De-Bolivarianization” of Venezuela, and with it, of Latin America — so they hope.
- Small surprise, that their very fondest, democratic wish, as expressed in Carlos Andres Perez’ own words, is, that president Chavez may preferably “die like a dog” instead of getting ratified in the August 15 recall referendum.
Such outspoken and cordial wishes, even if not necessarily shared by the vast majority of Venezuelans and Latin Americans, at least permits the deduction of a probable “opposition scenario” on referendum day:
The desperately needed violence and the “ungovernability” that has to be shown to the world (so that the masters in Brain-wash-ington will be able to rush to the final rescue), can only come about, if the “opposition,” with the help of the ineffable, private “mass media,” succeeds in giving preliminary results on referendum day, that point to Chavez’ defeat, calling on “opposition” supporters to take the streets to celebrate their “victory.”
Second step in the script: place and blow up a few bombs at some strategic places (their own, private “media” studios for example), play the rioting game, and blame it all on Chavez and his “violent gangs” (the Bolivarian Circles, a social grass roots organization supportive of the government, is always a welcome scapegoat).
Thus, and playing the card of the criminalization of the government and its supporters, “proven” to be fraudulent, clinging to power, authoritarian, violent and repressive, (you name it) the international election watchdogs can happily cry “foul play” and activate the Democratic Charter against a Venezuelan government turned “illegal.”
This is just one, single, immediate “opposition scenario,” with many more thinkable ones, not only in the short, but also in the mid- and long- term, as Venezuela’s Political Zombie Caste refuses to rest in peace.
The one, imperative thing to be taken into consideration by Hugo Chavez, his government team and the millions of people, who see in it the materialization of the only future they have, that is, their present here and now, is, that their mere existence as a socially and politically progressive and transformative force in Latin America will draw the most aggressive response from the established, rotten powers — in all places, at all times. Eternal war on the new is what they think can guarantee their “peace” of the rotten.
From Venezuela, we say ¡No to the peace of the graves! ¡No to the Return of the Zombies!