Act 1: 2,046 new school teachers, with a specialization in "Cultural Development" (whatever that is), graduate under a government-sponsored program. Good for them, I guess.
Act 2: Hugo Chávez goes to the graduation and forces all TV and radio stations in the country to carry his speech for several hours, live. In it, he blasts everyone who doesn’t agree with him. (more on that in a separate post)
Act 3: The head of the program, a heretofore unknown bureaucrat named Andrés Rodríguez, goes on state-sponsored TV and says that the 2,000 new teachers are a "slap in the face of Venezuelan oligarchy and the church" because "they believe that a university education is only for the few." He went on to say, quite ludicrously, that graduating teachers is something that "can only happen in a revolution."
Now, there is nothing particularly remarkable in this sequence of events. It happens day in, and day out.
There is a script being followed here: take any achievement of the government, big or small, consequential or inconsequential, and make it into a profoundly political, insulting, class-warfare-inciting act, using and abusing the complete powers of the State. It’s the essence of the government’s current campaign.
We’ve long ago accepted the fact that chavistas don’t want to argue with us politically, they want to annihilate us, they want to eat our flesh and stomp on our rotting corpses. We’ve accepted it, but it doesn’t mean we’re used to it.
Yet, curiously enough, something chavistas don’t seem to grapple with is that when you’re on the receiving end of abuse like this, day in and day out, you’re not going to be particularly merciful when the tides shift and you’re back in power again.
And that’s going to happen. Sooner or later, that’s going to happen. No amount of "no volverán" chants can change that.
There is a growing possibility that the day of reckoning for people like Mr. Rodríguez is nearing. Given that, one has to wonder whether reconciliation will ever be possible in our country. Will our side have the political wisdom to embrace reconciliation when the bulk of the forces will justifiably want to settle scores?
Call it the Invictus problem.
So I have some friendly advice to chavistas, particularly those bureaucrats like Rodríguez who probably won’t benefit from any amnesty or who won’t have the political clout to escape justice: sir, for your own good, quit burning your bridges.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate