Is politics diluted in the Venezuelan spirit? Are these efforts to seize power and the changes, big or small, produced as a result of the electoral processes, straying from the collective interest? The question is a whimsical exercise for us, although it undeniably merits it based on useful answers. The affirmation for many is based on popular disgust in the face of institutional chaos, which collides with the obligation of unavoidable struggles for democracy (a concept that, due to its weaknesses in recent times, is also questioned according to thinkers on the subject). But the supposed indifference, with regard to Venezuela, places the significant expressions in the entire social spectrum, although in a particular way in the popular areas; the periphery beset with misery in the big cities, as well as in the distant towns, attacked by centralism.
The Bolívar state, due to its significance for the country, offers the best field task with important indicators in this regard (the National Survey of Living Conditions, Encovi, of the Andrés Bello Catholic University, UCAB, contributes substantially to social research) , and also, adding other necessary elements, we can deepen what each aspect (parties, distortions and aberrations of the governing exercise and personalities) by itself can have weight.
A premise that I have been reading to the Caracas social communicator Carolina Gómez-Ávila (with whom you may or may not agree in her views, but which cannot be denied honesty and rigor) points out that the numerous protests do not focus on the core of the Issue: to obtain social demands there must be political changes, so the struggle must be the demand for democracy and not the retail request for solutions that will never remedy deficiencies that are possible only with the existence of the rule of law.
The theme from other perspectives – I remember – was the exquisite and recurring points of confrontations in the old Venezuelan left, far from the aberrations of those who now qualify as revolutionaries. But Gómez-Ávila’s exhortation becomes pertinent in the present circumstance; an element to consider in the political elaboration. The other points that have an impact on the population’s apparent indifference to the political approach have to do with the deficiency of the message of alternative to the Chavista failure, and within this message it is important to highlight Ciudad Guayana as the main electoral bastion of the Bolívar state in the construction of a narrative (in its condition as a metropolis) that weaves together and becomes a factor in all those isolated initiatives led by incipient organizations of society in the face of the emptiness of a ritual opposition party leadership, perceived as corrupt or, at best, cases, as a paladin of nostalgia.
The parliamentary farce
The communities of Guayana understood with the last electoral processes, already marked throughout the years of Chavismo by the abuses and advantages of the State, the ambush of elections that do not choose. It is not even necessary to put the most daunting example of having modified, when apparently the rest of the operations with the civil and military authorities failed in the crucial hours, the minutes of totalization to award the victory in the government of the state of Bolívar, to the candidate of the revolution. It was already in vogue in the communities, but the misunderstanding of political parties clinging to the only strategy that is comfortable for them (which allows them vedetism and does not expose them to struggles with the population), as well as the democratic cultural blackmail that operates in these cases, had prevented people from rejecting participation in these intervened events. The opportunity came with the 2018 presidential elections, where it was absolutely clear that popular sentiment would not accompany an act built for Maduro’s permanence, a fact that was imposed on the agenda of political organizations and that never crystallized the attempt of some groups to convert. the election in the projection of paper leaderships, on the one hand, and granting international legitimacy to those results.
Francisco Arévalo, a well-known poet from Ciudad Guayana, writes on his Twitter account: “Little by little the vote has been destroyed as an instrument of civilizing alternation. Will-preference serve a band that does not play carts before power and money. Politics is no longer serving the people but keeping them stupid. The ‘vote’ certifies the trap ”. Considering this review, when it focuses on two activities that theoretically call for participation this coming December, the Government parliamentarians and their kidnapped parties and the Popular Consultation promoted by the National Assembly with Guaidó at the head, proof that the Venezuelan indifference to politics is not such, it may have clear overtones of verification. It will be evident that what exists is contempt for phony political actors, corrupt officials, fanaticized and ignorant of some values; company buffoons after their interests, and not politics, lost from the Venezuelan exercise. That is why the relevance of carrying out a technically neat national consultation and hence it can be deduced that the “laboratories” to cajole citizens, those “sorceries” of the electoral act, are not armed from popular sentiment. What people want are free and fair elections, because they are in urgent need of progress, development and peace: of the stomach and of the soul.