On Politics and Morals

Negotiations between Maduro’s government and the opposition are about to start again. Many cry treason, but on what authority?

When new negotiations between Maduro’s government and the opposition parties were announced, the internet went mad: talking was treason, negotiating with a dictatorship is unethical, double-crossers hide everywhere. It could be argued that political action should be about morality, while many theorists state it isn’t.

But let’s assume it is.

What moral imperative should guide political actions in our country now? Should personal dignity and purity against the dictatorship be the compass? Is it ethical to focus on abstract values when Venezuelans are suffering so much? When chronic disease patients struggle for essential medication before dying? When the fact that children are dying because of hunger is not news anymore, and we don’t even record their names?

If you think that political action is about morality, what imperative is higher than saving lives?

We’re going through hell: a pointless catastrophe engineered by ourselves. It’s not a devastating natural phenomenon hitting our country, it isn’t the oil prices (those have been lower in the past and living conditions weren’t this miserable). This crisis is our fault. All ours.

It is Maduro’s government’s fault on the first place. The policies that have been implemented show that, for state officers, some lives are expendable. That it’s okay for them to cut medicine and food supplies, that they believe people should take care of themselves. No one in the government cares about those who cannot. They’re doomed.

If you think that political action is about morality, what imperative is higher than saving lives?

Then we have parties in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), unable to agree about basic issues like elections or negotiation. Time goes on while these guys argue about the sex of angels. Meanwhile, Venezuelans die.

And then there are those who claim to oppose Maduro, but fight against the political opposition. They weren’t elected by anyone. They support abstention without a sensible plan for changing the regime, believing they have the monopoly of dignity and are entitled to rule this country. Any negotiation that could improve living conditions for the most vulnerable Venezuelans would be treason.

I think treason is not fighting for those condemned to die from shortages and hyperinflation. They don’t have time, they can’t wait for “conditions,” they need action now.

I know most of our readers will think I’m some colaboracionista, because I propose saving lives as our main goal, and not “Maduro vete ya.” But maybe, just maybe, if that sense of urgency was a priority for all political actors, we could agree on strengthening our institutions, on a plan for our foreign debt… on fair elections next year.

I know it sounds like a dream, but dreaming could be the first step for giving a future to the hopeless.

Lissette González

Is a PhD sociologist and researcher at Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales and Sociology Professor at Escuela de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. Blogger and collaborator of SIC Semanal and ElUcabista.com.