Sobremesa Chronicles

Caracas_EXT1_944_1You know what I miss? I miss the truth.

I yearn for a politician that speaks his or her mind, damn the torpedoes.

Consider, for example, the past few weeks in the thorny, cantankerous, dysfunctional relationship between the US and Venezuela.

You know what’s happened: embassies are being downsized, then not. Sanctions have been imposed. Marches have taken place. Military exercises have been scheduled. Generals have shrugged. Diplomats have weighed in.

It’s a lot to digest. What has our opposition basically said?

“We don’t like foreign interventionism, because it distracts Venezuelans from what we really want to talk about.”


Our opposition leaders have decided that any question related to the United States must be followed by a milquetoast, uncomfortable attempt to change the topic – “I’m just here to talk about the lines outside supermarkets! Don’t ask me about difficult things such as ‘diplomacy’…!”

I don’t expect everyone in the opposition to be a foreign policy analyst. But the relationship between the US and Venezuela is too crucial for everyone to line up and ignore it.

How easy it would be to tell the truth, to say something like:

“The relationship between the US and Venezuela is of crucial importance. Our two nations have strong commercial and cultural ties. Venezuelans admire American culture and the American way of life. We used to have strong political ties, too, but Chávez and Maduro have decided to torpedo those in the name of a stupid ideology that does not reflect our values.

Our nations need each other. We need to get along. A relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation would benefit the Venezuelan population. The US can benefit from increased oil, and we can benefit from their technological and financial advantages. A good US-Venezuela relationship can create jobs for Venezuelans and Americans. But the Maduro administration has torpedoed every possible road to having good relations. It is hell-bent on destroying our country – and our friendships – for the sake of holding on to power at any cost.”

Yeah, whoever said that would immediately be labeled a pitiyanqui. But you know what? That’s what they call us anyway.

Might as well go down speaking the truth.

Have a good weekend, everyone.