Carlos Andrés Pérez was always a controversial figure, hated by some, deemed great by others. Whatever your views regarding this “Gocho”, his two terms as president paint an arc of Venezuela’s story in the second half of puntofijismo.
Now imagine dipping into Dumbledore’s pensive and heading back to August 1998. Here’s what a muggle would find (pay special heed until the 15th minute):
When the interviewer asks CAP what’s the future of Venezuela under Hugo Chávez: “A dictatorship, a dictatorship of Chávez or a dictatorship produced by Chavez’s arrival to power. This is going to bring Venezuela back to the times of dictatorship, this is lamentable and it will not yield any benefit to the country.”
Then surprisingly, the Colombian interviewer asks whats the stance of the business federation, the entrepreneurs, towards Chavez, and this is what CAP answers: “They are responsible for what has happened, because contrary to what happened in Colombia – which has been heavily battered by the guerrillas and narcotics – there’s a social structure that upholds the floor of its democracy; instead [in Venezuela] these business leaders took sides with the situation that we have lived in here, and they paved the way for this painful situation in our country to take place. They don’t support Chávez but they made it possible for this situation to develop.”
So as you can see, the original gocho might have made costly mistakes, but in some sense he foresaw what was about to unfold in the coming 15 years or so.
Adriana Azzi and Professor Trelawney se quedaron pendejas.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.