EspañolFor a while now, the Venezuelan government has been openly disregarding even the most basic pretense of impartiality. While the intent is to intimidate, in reality what Chavistas are showing is fear. They’re scared of making the wrong move.
Those in power know that the real enemies aren’t the overt opponents, but rather those who cheerfully put you on stage so that you make a mistake and fall hard.
The ban on María Corina Machado that prevents her from running in the upcoming legislative elections was and will be an entertaining topic for some time. That is, until Diosdado Cabello comes up with another idea to buy time, or until he finds another scapegoat.
That an incompetent entity, such as the Venezuelan comptroller general, banned Machado for failing to account for food vouchers is laughable. Especially because Chavismo has been surrounded by corruption during its 16 years in power and has become its own punchline.
They have no shame, and make a mockery of Venezuelans.
Some humble Chavistas — those who truly need the food vouchers to make ends meet — may believe María Corina truly is an evil witch who pocketed public funds. It’s a pity that reality hits these poor people in the face so strongly, since every single day they must wait in lines for hours before they can purchase a couple of basic products.
However, the well-to-do Chavistas — the ones who will take government-approved dollars at 6.30 Bs. and run to sell them for 600 Bs. — will probably be amused by the comptroller general’s nonsense.
The monthly average wage of an opposition legislator is around 20,000 Bs. for those from Caracas and 34,000 Bs. for the rest of the country. They all receive extra 900 Bs. for “food vouchers,” bringing the total wage of a non-Chavista legislator to around US$60.
If the comptroller really wants to protect public funds, there are more important cases he could be investigating. Rather than persecuting María Corina for what may amount to 35,000 Bs. during the 39 months she held office — more or less US$60 — he can look into how this administration and the previous one managed state funds. He could ask former minister Jorge Giordani for help, now that he has become an outspoken critic of President Maduro.
Further, the ban on María Corina disregards the National Electoral Council’s most recent whim on gender equality. She’s got the levelheadedness many men are lacking — she withstood a beating like one of the boys — but just in case the government forgot: she’s a woman.
If there’s anything that should be outlawed immediately in Venezuela, it is the government’s blind eye towards the economic crisis. We can no longer tolerate officials such as the minister of interior and justice, who said Venezuela is a “beautiful place to live,” and only criminals want to put an end to “the beauty” Chavismo has created.
The Central Bank’s refusal to release inflation and scarcity figures, just because, should be immediately declared illegal too.
It might be more sensible to ban Tibisay Lucena instead, for daring to appear in official events wearing her Chavista armband and brazenly claiming that the electoral council she presides is an impartial entity. Or Jorge Rodríguez, the mayor of Libertador, who let the town drown in trash while he planned the ruling party’s political strategy.
As you can see, the list is quite long.
Venezuela is in dire need of a spring cleaning, of the lies Chavismo has come up with to tell the rest of the world how everything is fine and that the government is a resounding success.
We must find a way to eliminate people’s fear to go out on the streets and demand their rights, and to subdue the armed criminals at the service of the regime who are willing to kill if necessary to neutralize protests.
President Nicolás Maduro, can we outlaw Prisons Minister Iris Varela’s policy to release criminals on probation without a court order? How do we eradicate the lawless motorcycle gangs, delinquents, and colectivos?
Someone from your administration should explain what you’re doing to suppress hunger, or why nobody has taken an interest in curbing inflation. For many years now, the government has outlawed the hopes and dreams of young people who wish for progress, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of murdered Venezuelans.
Your administration has not been able to eliminate corruption, impunity, opportunism, or mediocrity, and this will be the stigma your regime will carry throughout Venezuelan history.
But at any rate, Nicolás, we all know that what you’re really trying to do is outlaw Chavismo’s certain defeat on December 6.