Historian and former Foreign Minister Simon Alberto Consalvi gives us his perspective on the upcoming election
I will vote for whomever does not mind me by Simon Alberto Consalvi in El Nacional
In seven days, Venezuelans will confront a test which no one can be indifferent to face. We all have to assume the position that our conscience dictates us, thinking not in personal or selfish terms, but of the destiny of the country. On Dec. 3d. we will elect a President of the Republic, but we are going to opt for something that goes much farther than that; during the times of our representative democracy this was a transcendental episode, but it never had the implications it has now.
It will be something much deeper, something that will modify our lives, the way we are and the way we behave, which will substantially affect our political and social system, depending on what the final verdict is, whether one or the other presidential options in play wins. One, that of the officialdom, promises to establish the “XXIst century socialism”, carrying out to its ultimate consequences the privatization of the state, of its immense resources, of its oil wealth, placing them at the service of an anti-democratic political project. There will be no public institution that will not be captured, from the powers of the state to the Armed Forces, which will stop doing what the 1999 Constitution says, to turn itself in the red army, that is, the armed branch of the revolutionary project.
There is no way of predicting the future, and is not a matter of asking the planets. The deck has been dealt. The promise of officialdom translates into the conquest of the State and in the abolishment of all other alternatives that, in a country with a pluralist tradition, were always present.
Like an army tank, the Bolivarian project has advanced in systematic fashion.
They adulterate history, painting with black colors the past, condemning to death all dissidence, while he applies the tactics and the methods of Juan Vicente Gomez, which served to justify the thesis of the “necessary gendarme”.
The theorists of the dictatorship, armed their doctrine starting from the premise that Venezuela was a country of morally unqualified people, not governable, lazy, anarchic, and that it needed General Gomez. They had to paint Venezuelans with Goya-like colors so that the image of the dictator would appear with the aura of the redemtors. That is the basis of the “necessary gendarme”.
It was such a false thesis that when Juan Vicente Gomez died, reality took care of denying it. Nobody dared mentioning it. Starting with Lopez Contreras, Venezuela demonstrated that it did not need gendarmes, that it was a country capable of choosing a political system that would guarantee everyone their representation, which progressively it began to conquer. With time, that system was called “an imperfect democracy”. There is no doubt that it was “imperfect”, but it was a democracy that allowed for the doors of change to remain open. Those are the possibilities that the Bolivarian project promises to aniquilate, to consecrate an autocratic regime, which is in conflict with pluralism and the freedom that we have enjoyed since 1936, with the exception of the years under the dictatorship of Perez Jimenez.
The Bolivarian revolution promises to implant a model that has demonstrated it is unfeasible and which has failed all over the world, from the fall of the soviet empire to all of the countries in the Iron curtain. The model that obsesses them the most is the Cuban model. A model that requires generous subsidies to survive. That is the metaphor that is hidden under the abstraction of “XXIst. Century Socialism”
It is not the democratic socialism of Chile, of Uruguay, or that of Brazil, where human rights are respected, private property, republican alternability, the equilibrium (and counterbalances) of the powers of the state, the interplay of ideas, freedom of speech. Neither Michelle Bachelet, nor Tabare Vazquez, nor Luiz Ignacio Lula Da Silva are pretending to stay in power until 2030. That punishment is apparently destined to the country of Bolivar and its “lifetime President” or for the rural country of the “necessary gendarme”. That is what is at play on Dec. 3d.
In the face of a perspective of such nature, there is no way to be indifferent. The vote this December has implications that it never had before in Venezuela. We Venezuelans have voted during seventy consecutive years from 1936 to 2006. We even voted during the time of the dictatorship of Perez Jimenez. The country knew how to vote. The rejection of the dictatorship was massive, its crumbling was the expression of popular desires and the civilest conscience of the Armed Forces, fatigued from lending their name to the personalized exercise of power.
This December the Presidency of the Republic is at stake. This is true, but what is at stake is much more than that. One candidate aspires to be chief of an aggressive sect, painted in red, armed behind the Kalashnikov rifles of thousands of reservists or of territorial guards that will not leave us in peace.
What is at stake is the destiny of 26 million peaceful Venezuelans, that not only believe in democracy, but also aspire to deeper reforms of society, in the search for equality and well being, but not by transplanted reforms, which are far from the pluralism and the right to decide for ourselves.
This December Venezuela’s foreign policy will be at stake. We have to vote for those that guarantee peace among Venezuelans, but also peace among our countries. It is necessary to vote against the strategic hate of the cold war.
Against the invention of asymmetrical wars and other demential concepts, against the interventionism of Venezuela and the proselytist waste. Venezuela requires a foreign policy founded on the permanent interests of the state and the Nation. A policy that respects others and makes our country be respected.
It is necessary to vote against demagoguery, against the anachronical cult of personality of the regimes of the soviet orbit. Against the boredom of a discourse that eight years later it is very similar to the visit to the dentist. Let’s vote for a President that will not like to tell us what we should read or what we should not read. For someone that will not give us lessons in history everyday, that will allow us to make mistakes and will respect our mistakes.
I will vote in the end for Manuel Rosales, because he will not mind me, nor what I do, nor what I think, nor what I write.
Because he will allow me to live in peace the life I want to live.