Katy says: A loyal reader kindly took up the offer to translate Juan Barreto’s speech. Thanks! This is a work in progress, so any suggestions for improvements are welcome.
INVITEE: JUAN BARRETO (Mayor of Metropolitan Caracas)
Caracas, August 22
Subject: The Inauguration of the Metropolitan Council for Public Political Planning.
Juan Barreto, Mayor of Metropolitan Caracas:
Some public officers have said that we don’t convene. I bring with me all the calls to convocation that we have made to all the mayors, to each councilor, I think that that is not the best politics, to make politics on the basis of a lie.
But not only do we call on the mayors to convene, at their offices, and here we have the reports of the faxes, the emails, but we convene with the press, and here are the press clippings, or they don’t read the press or as a prostitute’s son they should check or they weren’t called to convocation by ignorance, or the invitations did not reach their councils by bad faith, the best way is to reproach us.
As you will see, then, as an argument to ignore the strategic power that we are achieving and with much success are implementing, it is simply unpardonable; fortunately, the public knows where the truth lies.
And as a dead dog I don’t know … as we are not going to continue discussing with those who will go to jail soon, and as we are not going to fall for the trap and the skirmish of those who call for civil disobedience or who prepare invasions of property to confuse the public, to disqualify the honourable politics of expropriation which we have been carrying out, we will attack with everything, that means that we will defend with the truth.
We did not come here to fight, but neither will we allow ourselves to be dressed in lies, we did not come to fight but neither will we permit verbal thuggery, irresponsibility from the media, and glassy eyes of haughtiness from a putrid middle class, dulled by money, try to extract opportunity from public concession. Just as (Leopoldo) López took an office and burned the house of the MVR (chavista political party, Fifth Republic Movement) that he hasn’t paid for yet, by the way, there in La Castellana (an urbanization). Just as Radonsky took out Adolfo, that we are not going to do ourselves as decent people, took out Adolfo, ah, an officer who was involved in a coup that attacked the current Bolivarian Constitution and imprisoned Rodríguez Chacín, who fortunately came out live and well and is still around, and has a good memory, like they attacked the Cuban Embassy, the heroic Cuba of Fidel Castro, just like that we will pay with the same side of the coin by the other side of the face, they say that the party did not divide (allusion to homosexual conduct) but that it divided, I don’t know why. What tendency does each one have? How could they sit next to one another if one is with one current and another with the other? We will pay them with dignity, we will pay them with respect, we will pay with the truth, we will pay with tolerance, but we will not put up with one more lie. We will not put up with one more attack in the municipalities which they say they direct, we will not put up with one more illegal entry by force to the house of a neighbor, we will not put up with that they keep using people, that they keep changing the ordinances, that they keep illegally expelling neighbors of the municipalities that they say they govern.
The law is for everyone and our duty as Metropolitan Council of Government and Public Politics is to tighten the belt of those who try to practice fascism in the Metropolitan Area. And if there is a need for a psychiatrist, we will find Blanco. And if we have to march to those municipalities so that the Law be respected, so that they tell the truth, so that they respect the public, and so that with manliness they show their faces and assume that they are traitors to the public, liars, hypocrites, and I won’t continue saying more because the public knows them by their little faces, the new face of the old politics, the old face, like the mask of the Pharaohs, of the buried mummies. Here we are going to govern them, because it is the people that govern and not the putrid elites, not the neoliberalism with its old and new faces.
(Expletive: Carajo!) No more lies, boy. “That we don’t call for convocations, that there is no coordination, that there are no policies.” Of course! Because we aren’t privatizing lands, because we aren’t expelling people, because we don’t go around doing fraudulent business under the table, because we don’t have bank accounts abroad, and because we don’t have owners, because we believe in the people.
And if you are going to come to this Council, you are going to do so under these conditions, in conditions that the public imposes and demands, in conditions of truth, and in conditions of respect, in conditions of equality. That you respect us, carajo, so that we respect you! That you respect us, carajo, so that we respect you! (sic)
I think that here the little dog of the video went crazy, the video that I have and that I have not wanted to bring to the public’s attention. Here a dog went crazy. I have a video where this boy is with a dog, a dog that went crazy. Do we project it? Do we project the video that shows the dog or do we project the other?
That Council is to tell the truth. This Council is to contrast ideas, this Council is to march together and I am willing to extend a hand and march together, but march together and extend a hand over the base of a good relationship, a relationship of truth, a relationship of respect, a relationship where the fascists don’t have any room, but where popular revolutionary democracy and socialism have the possibility of building a Bolivarian nation, the nation that we love, the nation of the future.
We know how to confront, we don’t fear anything, nor blackmail, nor death. Those who with vests and airs of grandeur leveled on that 11th and 12th of April and then hid themselves will not intimidate us with their armed bands, and just as they try to intimidate in Chacao to Teresita, just as they try to intimidate in the buildings where they say they govern, sectors of the middle class changing ordinances, imposing criteria, changing rights to frontage and imposing new taxes, that is to say, trying to crush the people.
We wait until today to respond to the lie. To respond to the lie in the face of the lie, and to say to the lie that the lie will not be back! Bring your projects, bring your arguments, bring your lawyers, bring your languages that we will discuss in the language that is needed. But that you better not keep repeating blasphemies that are nothing more than offenses to the citizens. I’m not offended by anything anymore. Of me everything has been said or almost everything. The only thing that has not been said is that “he was a fascist” and that will never be said.
Therefore, and with all respect, if you want confrontation, we will give it on the street. If you want conciliation, we will give it on the street. If you want debate, we will give it on the street, if you are looking for a fight, we will fight on the street, and if you are looking for agreement, we will agree before the public, not in “conciliábulos”, not in “cenáculos”, not in elite circles nor in red district bars in Las Mercedes. And if with these rules of the game and these conditions that we are clarifying in no uncertain terms, you want to come together, then welcome. Welcome, welcome to the debate and if with these conditions you do not want to attend, you are just as welcomed. We will continue to discuss and will continue to build. This is the third reunion that we are having in the Teresa Carreño Theatre in just two days, yesterday in this Hall we had a swearing in of the Metropolitan Cultural Council, not with any different people that are likely here today. Yesterday we swore in delegates of the Metropolitan Council for Participatory Budget Planning, in this same Hall, at another time. And today we will hold a swearing in of delegates of the Metropolitan Council of Public Political Planning, a group responsible, elected directly by the people, for the people, to serve the people, and not supported by any transnational group, consulting service, a power space (?).
Here we will bring, for example, the project that we have ready for the expropriation of the golf links of La Lagunita, and the construction of an urbanization for the middle sectors, with an integral park, because we have conducted serious studies that show that the square meter of lawn of a golf link consumes what 20 families of ten people use to survive in one week, and that is why the large golf clubs are being moved away from the large cities, so that 183 people can play, better it is that 1,800 people live.
And now we will see them at the front, protesting “Don’t mess with my hole”, their little stick (golf club) in their hand and accompanied by whomever wants, López Sisco, Colomina, and their large etcetera of walking cadavers.
We already have created the project for use of La Carlota (small inner city airport), and we will also submit it to consideration, to debate, and to the discussion of this airport. We have created the project of different nuclei of endogenous development in all the Metropolitan Area, incorporating those municipalities where popular sectors have been excluded from the best lands. The land in the Metropolitan Area has to be redistributed. The land cannot be privatized, we are of the land, we belong to the land, the land cannot belong to anyone. The land is not for enrichment, nor for privatized use, nor for the construction of luxury condominiums, the land has to be for life, the land has to be for health, the land has to be for happiness, and the land has to be distributed in terms of equality, and that applies to agricultural lands, to urban lands and to lands for use in condominium.
And we are in the street to ratify, with the Metropolitan Council of Public Politics, the Decree of the Territorial Sectorial Law, the ordinance, approved by the Metropolitan Council, where we apply conditions to all those buildings that are more than 20 years old, that have been inhabited by people for whom the rules of the game have been changed and we will submit the illegal ordinances to the consideration of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. We already have the writ and we are waiting for the date so that with a march we can take it to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice and repeal all those illegal ordinances that have been approved at the margin of the law in different municipalities, (issued to) those citizens and all those inhabitants of the Metropolitan Area.
And if we have to expropriate complete municipalities, we will do it. So that they remain as councilors, because certainly they have also trampled on the councilor, and they will also see more of us in their municipalities, you know? Walking the streets liberally, with the people, let’s see if they don’t bite and become fascists, let’s see if they don’t take out their little pots. They are capable of respect and tolerance, but we, too, are capable of respect and tolerance. But we will not respect and tolerate lies, infamy, defamation, or fascism.
Here, there is space for democracy, here, there is no space for intolerant fascism. A ka intolerance fascists, Stalinism.
If you want to talk in democratic terms, with soft hands, all the misses that are here with us, the smiles of all the children are within your reach, the fraternal embrace is within your reach, but we will not accept that in a private reunion we come to agreement and afterwards you come out declaring another (expletive: vaina). That is why I did not call you for any more convocations, so that you would come crying to (my) desk, asking for help in the Tribunal. Thank goodness I have it recorded because in the office I record everything, so that you can’t say to me that that is not so, López. Because you are both cowards! One knows scoundrels and says (expletive: coño), this character like he.. then, we will say as Graucho, how does he want others to treat him, as a gentleman or as we really are, or better yet as Mario Moreno Cantinflas: “Excuse me for calling you a gentleman, it’s just that I don’t know you”.
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